For #the100dayproject I have completed 100 miniature portraits of 100 historical female artists. What a joy this has been! They will be packed up into two mint tins and then travel into Calgary to be exhibited at Sparrow Artspace during my artist residency through the month of June. I'm very excited to share these little works of art.
The essence of "creating your own history" lies in the experiences that shape your personal narrative. Whether positive or negative, each layer of experience contributes to who you are as a person. It's liberating to recognize that no matter where you are in your journey, there is always room for growth and progress. Collective experiences define the history of a place or community, while individual experiences and interpretations of those shared experiences shape our unique qualities.
Throughout June, we will offer various opportunities to share experiences…from mixed media, travel journalling and portrait painting to exhibits and author visit. Everyone is welcome.
RECEPTION: Saturday, June 3, 1-4pm
LOCATION: Sparrow Artspace, 36-4th Street NE, Calgary
EXHIBIT: June 1-30, 2023
My friend Ana Zanella & I have so many great events taking place during our Artist Residency at Sparrow Artspace in Calgary in June:
Register for Travel Journalling & Portrait Painting here.
In my early days of painting, I think my biggest weaknesses were in not trusting myself. I questioned the work I created and how I created it, believing that the work of other artists was more valid. I questioned whether I deserved a place 'at the table.' I also trusted the advice of others...at times, to my detriment. I invested money where I wasn't comfortable. I continued to create work that had an audience far longer than I should have and it ended up making me sad. In fact, I ended up giving away my supplies and easel and fell into a depression. Over time I have learned to trust my gut. And that has served me well. Every day I make choices that work for me and give me joy. And every day I cannot wait to get into my studio to paint.
Early on in my career as a professional artist, these three books were so helpful. I began in the pre-digital era so it wasn't very easy to find information about the business of art and, even though there is more information available now, I still find these three more valuable.
Taking the Leap-Cay Lang: This one is filled with information and examples of everything an artist needs to create a professional portfolio, from writing a curriculum vitae, to an artist's statement, and more. The author even discusses how to connect with galleries. These were all the things I never learned in art school but what I needed. After sending out my first 6 submissions to galleries, I was contacted for interviews by 5 of them and immediately got a solo show that ended up on television and in print. That was amazing!
The Creative Habit- Twyla Tharp: This one is an inspirational read. Choreographer Twyla Tharp discusses how she comes up with ideas and then actually follows through on those ideas. It is a book that I return to over and over for inspiration.
Writing Down the Bones-Natalie Goldberg: This one was incredible for information on how to write anything. When I stumbled upon this tiny edition I was so happy as I could carry it around in my purse. I spent a lot of time in the dental office with my daughter (braces) so I could pull it out and read it anytime. It really helped me to not be intimidated by writing but to actually look forward to it.
So, though these three don't all have something directly related to the career of a painter, they were all wonderful resources.
My primary focus for several years has been creating acrylic on canvas portrait paintings of women. My work has included a project titled Nasty Women, which involved painting 100 portraits in just as many days, and my current project, Woman's Work, shares the contributions of women in our society. The goal of every one of my portrait projects is to celebrate women. Recently, I have been transitioning from acrylics to watercolours, using both wood and paper as my substrates.
During this in-person workshop, I will discuss my method of creating an abstract acrylic background and adding a portrait to it. I will also demonstrate how to paint directly on wood using watercolour. In addition, we will explore how to simplify complex subject matter and create interest by layering transparent watercolours while creating portraits on paper.
This workshop will be a fun and supportive environment suitable for all skill levels. All materials needed for the workshop will be provided. Maximum 10 participants.
Date & Time: June 24, 1-4pm
Location: Sparrow Artspace, 36 Fourth St NE, Calgary, AB
Keeping a personal record of your travels and experiences can be a fulfilling hobby that produces a cherished artefact. For me, keeping a travel journal has become the perfect way to remember my trips.
At Sparrow Artspace, I will conduct an in-person workshop where I will introduce you to my travel journaling techniques and practices. I will share my sketchbooks and demonstrate how I work while traveling, including my use of minimal watercolour supplies.
During the workshop, we will work together to start a new journal, utilizing a variety of water media and working in A6 (4-1/8” x 5-3/4”) Field Sketchbooks. The workshop will be relaxed, and you will have ample opportunities to ask questions. All necessary supplies will be provided, and registration will be limited to 20 participants.
Whether you want to capture past travels or plan future trips, this workshop promises to be a rewarding experience that will inspire new creativity in how you document your journeys.
Date & Time: June 15 at 1-4pm
Location: Sparrow Artspace, 36 Fourth St NE, Calgary, AB
Ethan Seaborn, May 11, 2023, Airdrie CityView
Painting portraits of the women and sharing their stories alongside them, Funk hopes viewers of her latest pieces will recognize the contributions women bring to the table.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every sector and individual in multiple ways, but it was women who seemed to take many of the knocks when it came to job security.
Local artist Veronica Funk addresses this reality in her upcoming exhibit “Woman Work,” in which she completed 50 hand-painted portraits of women. The exhibit will be on display at a gallery in Calgary throughout the month of June, with special guests being invited to participate.
After losing her job amid the pandemic, Funk wanted to see if other women had gone through something similar. Putting out a call on social media, she invited women from all over the world to share their experiences.
Hearing the tales of women from different careers, Funk noted it was disheartening to hear many had stories parallel to her own. With a desire to emphasize what women bring to the table, the long-time Airdrie resident and local painter created an art series to highlight their worth, and the paintings will soon be on display at a gallery in Calgary's Bridgeland neighbourhood.
“I wanted to validate women, their experiences and their contributions,” she said.
Funk was able to hear stories from almost every corner of the world. From Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, women shared how their work lives had been uprooted or impacted by the pandemic over the last few years.
As families were beginning to self-isolate at home in 2020, Funk said a lot of the responsibilities fell onto women. From house cleaning to taking care of relatives, women stepped up to the plate.
“It was quit fascinating to hear the same experience,” Funk said. “Responsibilities in the home were left to women, whether that was educating children, or caring for ill relatives or friends.”
In creating her new exhibit, Funk said a major challenge was waiting to hear from participants. Some of them, she added, needed time to warm up to the idea of sharing information from their personal lives.
In order to alleviate some of the pressure, Funk made it a priority to share the positives, instead. She wanted to allow women the opportunity to share whatever they felt comfortable with sharing.
Painting portraits of the women and sharing their stories alongside them, Funk hopes viewers of her latest pieces will recognize the contributions women bring to the table. She hopes her work will leave people wondering what would happen if women were not a part of society.
“I just want them to be inspired that an everyday woman can make a difference in the world,” she said. “What they contribute does matter to somebody.”
At the end of 2022, Funk put on a similar series of female-focused portraits called “Extraordinary Women.” The exhibit highlighted the contributions of present-day women within Canada.
A subject of “Woman Work,” Heather Patterson, has been invited by Funk to participate in her upcoming exhibit on June 15 at 7 p.m. Patterson worked in hospitals at the time of the pandemic and documented her experience through sharing photos, which she later compiled in a book.
“She took a lot of photos during the pandemic in the ER and has published the book and she’ll actually be doing a reading at my exhibit in Calgary,” Funk said.
Funk’s upcoming exhibit will showcase 50 of her painted portraits alongside the subjects' stories. It will be on display throughout the month of June.
Those wishing to view the exhibit next month can visit the Sparrow Artspace inside the DeWaal building in Bridgeland, just north of Calgary’s downtown and the northern banks of the Bow River.
In this introduction to watercolours workshop, we will discuss everything from supplies to color theory, basic shapes and strokes, different techniques, and composition. There will also be an opportunity to try out a variety of different types of watercolours, from natural soil-based pigments through to watercolour pencils. Materials will be provided, $5 fee. For more information, please visit here.
DATE: Tuesday, June 6, 6.30-8.30pm
LOCATION: Airdrie Public Library, 111 - 304 Main Street SE, Airdrie, AB
REGISTRATION: Sign-up in-person at the library's help desk