The 2020 Amazing Airdrie Women Awards hosted by AirdrieLIFE magazine will be held on June 11, 2020 along with the POWER of ART exhibit and silent auction (which will begin online May 1). The exhibit will begin at The Store Upstairs followed by Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie. All proceeds support Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. for victim's assistance.
In these unusual times I have been experimenting more with subject matter, taking time to go through sketchbooks & photographs and painting whatever it is that attracts my attention instead of only focusing on bodies of work in series. It's not that I haven't done this in the past, and I am still focusing on 'The Grandmothers' series, but also painting what I see around me or the things that I miss right now. I am so grateful that I got to visit relatives in Banff right before isolation became recommended but also glad to be in our home with most of my immediate family.
There are times I awake in the night thinking of this pandemic and I get really sad because I don't know when I'll see my daughter in Lethbridge again and we had made so many plans to attend events there and at the Jubilee in Calgary, which, of course, have all been cancelled. I was also going to teach a painting workshop at her school. Instead, I am trying to see the silver lining in that I can focus on my studies of Astronomy and my painting. I still get to sit down for meals with my other daughter and my husband and we are all safe and well and can go for walks.
Right now I wanted to paint the Three Sisters in Canmore because the girls & I got an outline tattooed a few years ago and that image brings me closer to both my girls (theirs are on their calves & mine is on my foot). There are so many things that make me happy and I wanted to focus on that.
The four Cole girls were known as Mary’s Girls. And we were. Lois was born first with me following a few years later. Lorraine and Connie would make up the four of us. Little did I know then what my mom would teach me about being a mother while she was promoted to grandmother. Life was not easy for mom. There wasn’t much money and yet she managed to put food on the table. My dad was a drunk who took great pleasure in beating me. Never my mom or my sisters - only me. And I never knew why ... but this story is not about him. My sister had two daughters and very shortly after my son James was born. We lived closer to mom in her later years so she knew James we’ll. In fact he would drive his motorcycle about 50kms to visit her. Whenever I complained about his marks or his attention span or his decision to become a ski instructor my mother always defended James. Always! She loves to dine with the two of us and we ate out more than I should admit. My mother loved Mavillette Beach in Nova Scotia. My sisters and I honour her there every summer. My novels are all set in Cape St Mary which is where Mavillette is located. I launch my novels there and the locals come out proudly to support me. And this is how mom dressed even for the beach. Never pants. Freshly ironed blouse and jacket. White skirt with matching white shoes. And honest to god she wore hosiery on the beach!
~ Carol Ann Cole
When I removed The Grandmothers project from my studio wall to re-paint it for my daughter, I really missed seeing these faces, even though it was only for a few days. Now they're back and nothing makes me happier than looking at this wall. There have been several changes as my new space (which I have used at different times in our many years here) is much smaller, but I think it's cozier, too. Throughout the years I have worked in many different spaces, from the kitchen to a closet, and I have found that the environment isn't a determining factor for me, but rather the supplies. I think I'm pretty lucky because I don't ever have the feeling of forcing myself to paint. It's just something I have to do...in fact, I feel the opposite. When I try not to paint, that is when my struggles begin. So, right now I am so glad that the ladies are back on the wall where they should be. :)