Six wildflowers have already found their new home and I am grateful beyond measure. I have favorites based on the stories they played in my life, their colours or their shapes, but I really do like them in groupings so it pleases me that these will live together. Thank you Bluerock Gallery.
Often I read blogs that share fun facts and today I thought I'd do the same, but with a little bit of a twist. Artists are expected to be a little eccentric so I consider these my small eccentricities...
1. I absolutely love Justin Bieber's latest CD (this too shall pass). My usual taste runs to folk, jazz and light alternative music.
2. For a light read I enjoy Christian fiction - tame language, no sex and violence, quick reads.
3. My home really is my sanctuary (I'm a Cancer and INFJ) and though I love people I'm easily disturbed by a ringing doorbell or telephone (especially when I'm painting).
4. I really, really dislike driving...I've been in 5 accidents, none considered my fault...so I don't tend to leave my community unless it's absolutely necessary.
5. I can't paint until everything in my home is in its place, everything in the house needs to be tidied away, though I'm okay with dust bunnies.
For those who have asked, these are the final totem animal pieces that are available. To read more about each, please visit the 52 WEEKS::Totem Animals page here and click on the images to read more about them. If you are interested in any of the 7x14 inch acrylic and mixed media paintings on canvas, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
I was first introduced to Buffy Sainte-Marie on CBC television when I was very young. I always loved to hear her voice and laughter and to see her bright smile. She is a singer, songwriter, educator, activist, and actress who received her Master's degree in Fine Arts and exhibited her paintings at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and the Emily Carr Gallery in Vancouver. As long as I have admired her I never knew until recently that she wrote 'Up Where We Belong', a song performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warne in the 1980's. It brings to mind wonderful memories of listening to a Walkman riding up a ski lift with a dear friend on a beautiful sunny day in the mountains.
Whenever I paint I go through so many stages of belief in myself and disbelief...and yet, as the work begins to come together it feels like magic. Don't get me wrong, even through the disbelief I absolutely love putting paint on canvas, adding patterns and layers and layers of beautiful colour, but at each stage as I step back from the work to see how it looks and feels at that particular point I begin to question my choices. And even as the painting is coming to fruition, I sometimes question what it is that is missing. Often it is at the most unusual times that I find the solution, that 'Aha!' moment, and sometimes in the strangest ways. A pattern on something such as a piece of paper, a curtain, or the branches of a tree, or I see the moon or a plate and realize that I need to add that shape, colour or pattern. Stepping back from the work frequently makes all the difference, even when I'm not totally pleased with what I see. It is at those moments that I can take a good look at what is working and what isn't...what needs to be added and what needs to be removed. Those are the moments of magic.
As I tend to begin several canvases at once when I work in series, it is inevitable that several pieces begin to come to completion at the same time. I find this a difficult time in the painting process as at first I prefer one over the others, and then another, and back again. This can be both good and bad as I feel a little neglectful of one as I am enamoured of another and it feels as though I am choosing one of my 'children' over another. The good thing is that this also pushes me to bring the other to a higher standard rather than giving up when it might be good enough. The bad thing is that I sometimes overwork a piece when I'm obsessed with it and have to force myself to put my brushes down and walk away. Another good thing is that as I work out a difficult situation with one, I am guided to solutions for another. Recently it felt as though one painting glowed while another felt flat and I realized that I needed to increase the contrast between dark and light. Another bad thing is that I sometimes change something in one piece because I was drawn to something in another - whether that is a colour or pattern - and it sometimes seems to deflate the piece when I should have left well enough alone. It's an interesting balancing act but at the same time I'm grateful for working in this manner as I tend to learn more and find solutions in this way.
We had another great workshop at the library, this time award winning bird carver Ken Vickets taught everyone how to use wood carving tools safely. It was so great to see everyone enjoy themselves, in spite of the five bandaids that were required, and several of the kids told me they want to be sculptors when they grow up. The Airdrie Public Library is so grateful for the support received from TD Bank so that we can continue to offer these great programs.
Yesterday I took a lovely drive to the countryside to visit a beautiful space and to drop off my latest 52 WEEKS project. I love visiting the Bluerock Gallery as the artwork is stunning (I feel extremely blessed to be represented) and the people who work there are so very amazing. And I even picked up a little something special for my Mother-in-Law...so far every gift I have purchased there has been a hit so I don't expect any less this time.
Tomorrow I begin treatment on my shoulders for which I am both nervous and excited. The next two months will be painful (though so have the past few) but I am looking forward to eventual relief. Thank you everyone for such wonderful words of encouragement...and on some occasions for the chocolates, pastries and my favorite Starbucks green tea lattes - some people know me very well :).
I was introduced to Dian Fossey and her work in occupational therapy with autistic children followed by her opposition to the poaching of gorillas in Africa in the late 1970's through an article in National Geographic magazine and it was through her I began an interest in activism through slow and steady work and commitment. At that time, I signed a petition to boycott the ravaging of the rainforest in order to grow chocolate which I didn't eat for two years until my father mentioned that it was probably okay to enjoy ethically grown and harvested chocolate (thank goodness!). In the 1980's I was saddened when I watched the movie of her life and death, 'Gorilla's in the Mist' where she was played by Sigourney Weaver, Throughout the years I often wished that my passion was more concrete in helping others as hers was but over time I have learned that the arts are as important to human beings as anything else. Because of a family history of clinical depression and anxieties, suicide and alcoholism, I see first-hand the benefits of a creative life and so dedicate my life to not only my own creative exploration but also to the creative efforts of others. Through this work I have found my place in this world.
It has been a busy week at the library with the inaugural 2016 APL Author Series visit, followed by our annual High School Exhibit Opening and on the weekend we are looking forward to our Junior as well as Teen/Adult Art Workshops with sculptor Ken Vickets. I feel so privileged not only to be working for the Airdrie Public Library but also to be involved in these wonderful events and to work with such amazing volunteers and artists.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +