We have lived in Airdrie for seventeen years, the longest I've lived anywhere...and almost nine of those years in this house, a record for me. And it suits our family well. Are there things I would change? Of course, over time I'm sure we will, but it's cosy and comfortable and quite pretty, too. It feels like my little cabin in a bit of a wood even though we're in the midst of a busy and growing city.
When we were looking for a new home there were only three available on the market...this being one of them. And as soon as we walked in the door we knew it was home. Everything fell into place immediately and we've enjoyed being here ever since. Our neighbors are amazing. The street is a quiet cul-de-sac. We are close to the creek for evening walks...and to view the odd beaver, heron or coyote.
And living in a growing city has been a privilege with a new and vibrant arts community. Opportunities to be involved in public art, festivals, and sharing art with the community. It's been incredible.
Life is interesting. I've been so busy, sitting on committees for AirdrieFest, ARTember, Mayor's Nite of the Arts, The AIRdirondack Art Project (sitting on these committees always means commitments outside of them) and also planning workshops and exhibits for the library...as much as I love all of this, it does take its toll when I'm also preparing work for several new exhibits, writing articles and preparing workshops along with an online workshop for FALL 21 SECRETS. I'm not complaining, honestly, but I am a little tired. I'm hoping to get most things wrapped up by the end of next week so that I can take a bit of a break. Just a couple of weeks in nature, that's all I need. And then ARTember will begin which means exhaustion until the end of September...but also a community filled with arts & cultural events for several weeks. It makes me so happy.
My mother-in-law is heading out for a visit this week so my neglected home needs a bit of 'tweaking' and at the same time, our eldest daughter just turned 20 (Was that so long ago? It feels like yesterday though I'm now much closer to 50 which I'm excited for and curious about...) and we're preparing to move her into her new apartment for her third year of University. I never want my family to feel like an after thought as they are the most important part of my life, but I am glad for the wisdom my sister-in-saw shared with me many years ago:
1. First, when I was concerned about how my choices affected others or what other people would think of me, is that people don't think of us as often as we think they do.
2. Second, when my husband and/or I do things that are important for us and/or our family, our daughters will see the sacrifices we made to create a better life for our family and the importance of doing those things that bring us joy ourselves in order to be happier contributing parents, friends and community members.
So...today is filled with a bunch of loose ends to tie up, good conversations (looking forward to it) and hopefully time to paint just for fun.
It is always such a great pleasure to work with a gallery with similar visions and goals to mine...which is really to connect with others. I've come to realize that while the work I do is mostly solitary, there is a desire to connect with others through it, whether it be through the image, the colours or even through the original inspiration which is my story. And it is an honour that someone believes in the work that I do enough to share it. To share their valuable space with me. It seems that everywhere my work ends up, it is complimented by the work already there.
So, thank you Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio for this wonderful opportunity. I am beyond grateful. I highly recommend a visit to Cochrane with a pop-in at this lovely gallery...and suggest a stop at Coffee Traders...fresh, homemade, organic...yum!
So thrilled to be a Guest Artist at Just ImaJan Art Gallery & Studio in Cochrane...if you haven't been, it is fantastic! I have been an admirer of both the gallery and the gallery owner/artist Janet Armstrong as she is an extremely talented painter. And Cochrane is such a lovely town to visit...my favorite café is Coffee Traders with homemade, gluten & dairy free options, and yummy drinks. Thank you for this opportunity Janet!
I think it was my first week in painting class at Red Deer College that we were asked to paint an animal skull...it was also my first introduction to the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and I fell madly in love with her style. How she painted those soft folds of fabric and such interesting subject matter, and of course, her no nonsense personality. I was smitten.
One of the greatest lessons I learned in art school was to be inspired by others but to relay that image or message in your own voice. Take what you learn and don't try to replicate what someone else is doing but rather create something new, which really isn't difficult as we all have our own way of working. Thank goodness. It's much easier than trying to replicate something else, much more soul-filling, and you just never know what will come of the experience. The beauty of practicing art.
Yesterday we met with a few of this year's chair artists and Qualico Communities - our major corporate sponsor for the AIRdirondack Art Project for the five years of this project...all of whom we couldn't do this without. Collaboration is so important, both as an artist and as a member of our community, and I feel so fortunate to have businesses like Qualico who support the growth of art & culture in our community in this way. There are so many other people behind the scenes who make this work as well as it does in being the largest fundraiser for Creative Airdrie...Fred Burley, longtime Council Member who without complaint delivers chairs and stands for us whenever we need him and his cube truck, Sheri Reed who has taken the reigns the past couple of years to assist with the coordination of artists and delivery of supplies whenever required, local businesses who display the chairs until the Gala in September, Fulton's Home Hardware who have always supplied materials at minimal cost, Bert Church High School students and their shop teacher who have begun building the chairs for us in the past couple of years, the businesses who supply silent auction items for the Gala (Avenue Cakery & Bakeshoppe cupcakes are ALWAYS a hit!), and of course, Qualico's marketing team who we couldn't do without. And finally, all the friends and family who assist and support us along the way...there are so many people involved who do this because it is important to our community as a whole. And, after months of hard work at the end of the summer we get to enjoy a beautiful event full of great music and food and laughter along with the support of all of those who purchase these stunning pieces in the end. It really does warm the cockles of my heart.
I want to say 'Thank you!' to AyrSpace Gallery for finding new homes for more of my canoes...I couldn't do what I do without the tremendous support of the wonderful galleries I am privileged to work with.
AIRdirondack Art Project