My favourite line in this article that was beautifully written by journalist Kelsey Yates is, "A local artist is working on a unique project to honour the legacy of 52 wise and wonderful women." I really love that as these women really are wise and wonderful. To read the complete article, please visit the Airdrie Echo here.
I have been planning a fundraiser for the FOODBANK for some time and, for now, have decided that I will begin with a STUDIO SALE with half the proceeds being donated. These 5 lilies which have been painted on 8x8 inch cradled wood panels are now available for $50 each and will include free delivery in and around Calgary (otherwise shipping will be an additional $20). Please email with your selection and address (clockwise from top left: Lily1-forest; Lily2-navy; Lily3-pumpkin; Lily4-lime; Lily5-magenta). Payment can be made via eTransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
My Grandma, Marie Elva Desimone (nee Bergeron), was born in October 3rd, 1924 and left us at 83 years on October 18th, 2007 after a yearlong battle with cancer. I was quite close with my Grandma and miss many things about her every day. She was a vivacious and strong-willed woman, who lived through many events in her lifetime and still came out smiling with her hearty laugh. One of my most favourite stories about her, and a testament to how strong she was, is when she was working during WWII in Vancouver. In 1943 when she was 18, she left her home in Edson AB, and travelled by train to Vancouver. She started working in the North Vancouver Burrard Dry Dock and was a “catcher” for construction and repairs on ships that would be stationed at the docks. The “catcher” was the person who would catch white-hot rivets that had been tossed to her by the “heater”, and then would pass them to the “bucker”. From there the “bucker” would place the rivet into the hole in the metal plate or whatever part there were working on, and the “riveter” from the other side would seal the rivet in place. This was extremely time sensitive and delicate work, but also required a lot of strength to catch the heavy rivets in a smooth motion and pass along quickly. Hardened and strong from growing up and working on the farm, she was more than capable of performing this work. Within 6 months, she was also given the job of heating the rivets, which even less women were given the chance to do during that time. Marie worked there until 1945, and then returned home to help again on the farm. Sometime during this work, a photographer and reporter came through the docks wanting to document the female workers at the Burrard Dry Docks. My favourite portrait of her was taken then and has recently been permanently displayed at the Crane & Iron Worker facility at SAIT.
After the war, she went on to have a very full life. Six children and many grandchildren. She was an exceptional person, and went at life with the same strength and humility. Balanced with an incredible sense of self, and a no BS attitude, at least as long as I knew her – a trait I also picked up. She was sharp-witted, and had a wicked sense of humor you’d catch her sometimes pulling someone’s leg with a mischievous smile but you’d never get anything past her. Dance, cards, family gatherings, cooking to name a few were all loves that she was amazing at. And believe me she could double skunk you at crib without a blink of an eye, but lord help you if you skunked her!
She faced cancer with the same no BS attitude. It was something that was happening, nothing that could be done about it, something to be learned from it and inevitable. Rather than face aggressive chemo and radiation that would have only paused the outcome slightly, she chose to be closer to her family and friends. Visiting with people, sharing laughs and stories. Eventually relocating to a care facility in Calgary to be closer to family here she was making fond memories right until the end.
And was still able to kick my butt at crib.
~ Amanda Benner
Being house bound these days has meant that I've been able to focus solely on my studies and on my artwork. It also means that I've been able to follow the muse wherever it leads. Since I have a few 8x10 standard canvases left in my stock I've begun painting a few wildflowers again (as part of the 52 WEEKS::Wildflowers series) and since I've been seeing the crocuses pop up I decided one should be a crocus (almost done). Also, I have a few 7x14 inch canvases left from the 52 WEEKS::Heroes series so I've been painting portraits that my daughter requested a few years ago. This along with The Grandmothers series, the Rocky Mountains and the CityScapes have kept me quite busy. Switching back and forth is great as it helps me solve composition and pattern problems as they arise. There's definitely never a dull moment.
I think of all of the portrait series that I've completed to date, this one is my favourite for several reasons. Not only do I love looking at old photographs, but I absolutely love listening to the stories. Every single week I am amazed by these women and by their families as they are willingly sharing these images and memories with me. I'm certain that I've been much more reflective during this time in our world, but I have loved history as long as I can remember, and painting the portraits and learning the history of these women is like being in my own little museum every day. I feel so honoured. P.S. My wool vest/dress was designed and sewn by my daughter Katherine Funk :)
I wanted to take the time to do this right to honour my only Grandparent I knew in my entire life. Her name was Elizabeth MacGregor Hardie Feb 13, 1927 to Oct 1, 2019, 92 yrs of age when she passed. Military widow, loving mother to 4 children, 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren. She spent her life as a Registered Nurse in NFLD,raising her children after her husband passed; was a avid member of Eastern Star, and a lay reader in her local Anglican Church. She loved scrabble, puzzles, back scratches, bridge, knitting, and spending time with her grandbabies.
~ Stephanie de Souza
Last year I had painted a portrait of Saoirse Ronan playing Agatha from Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel as part of my 'Wunderland' series (see image here). Because I had been painting a portrait a day for 30 days as part of that project, I had to hurry the painting a bit which created a rough image, but I really liked it. Now, I decided to re-create that portrait for myself, giving myself more time to layer colours and I have to admit that I absolutely love this one. I'm so glad I re-visited this painting.
Join me on Instagram Live with Platform for Passionate People at @plapp.in at 8.30-9.30 am MST (Alberta time) on Tuesday, May 12 for a free workshop on creating abstract acrylic backgrounds. It will be my first InstaLive so...fingers crossed! :)
My grandma was a wonderful woman. She was very athletic as a young woman and even won some athletic awards in school. As a young lady she attended business college and then met my grandpa and started a family. She was the mother of 5 boys! Always keeping her faith through her life close to her. She enjoyed doing needle point as a creative outlet in her adulthood. Her family was the most important to her. She called all her grandchildren "dearest one." She passed around 2 years ago in September. I truly believe she is my guardian angel now.
~ Kristen Powell
Working on 3 more mountains - Cascade (top), Castle (bottom) plus Sulphur Mountain (not pictured). The third mountain isn't to my liking yet, so the original drawing on the canvas needs a bit more adjusting before I continue working on it. I tend to get a bit frustrated with myself when I can't get the image I want onto the canvas, especially when I'm taking a sketch from my pocket moleskine sketchbook that I'm happy with so this one may require a paint over to begin again. And I think Cascade Mountain needs a bit more shaping. I don't mind that, though, as the layers of colour and line just seems to add interest to the final painting. Fingers crossed!
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +