Yesterday afternoon I spent my time creating this 'map' on primed canvas and it will be heading to City Hall tomorrow for others to add input into improving literacy in our region. I love the fact that permanent markers can be used on fabric to create something lasting. Markers are comfortable, not intimidating at all, so anyone can use them. After working on different projects for kids on canvas (my favorite support), I'm finding it to be the perfect ground for so many projects and because of this work yesterday, have another idea for Cloth Paper Scissors (fingers crossed). I also love the idea that many people will be involved to add words and images which will work towards creating a better future for our young children, to give them better opportunities to learn and grow. As I worked on it, I was reminded of the storefront window backdrop that IThis was a fun project - hope I get the chance to do more like this.
On the weekend I read an article about a fascinating woman by the name of Margaret Shelton and couldn't believe I hadn't heard of her before. She grew up in the mid-central Alberta prairies (near Drumheller) and would ride her orange bike all the way to the Rockies to sketch and paint them along with everything else around her, both near and far, staying in her pup tent for the summer. Her work is quite stunning as she was able to capture the area with impeccable drawing skills and would then return home to create linocut and wood block prints along with larger watercolor and oil paintings. What an amazing role model to not only follow her dream as an artist, but to be so focused and driven to do what it takes to follow that dream. Even today, what she accomplished fills me with wonder and awe as I don't know that I could be so dedicated, so committed, so brave. So this morning I headed into Calgary to visit The Collectors Gallery in Inglewood (always a pleasure) and saw my favorite pieces, a small watercolour sketch which sat beside its completed print. It was wonderful to see her bike (which she painted orange so that it wouldn't be stolen) in the exhibit along with the pochade and sketchbooks she travelled with - I wish these items would be placed in a museum for posterity. I wanted to take a ride on the bike and flip through her sketchbooks - I know I'll be going back.
We had one day of sunshiine yesterday in between many gray rainy days so I took advantage of it and painted outside which was amazing though it is always difficult to keep the acrylics wet when they sit in the sun. It's back to gray again today so I'm very glad I took advantage of the reprieve. I had a wonderful trip to High River (as always) and it was such a treat to meet another patron of my work. I really am grateful for the support I have received on this journey as a creative for without it would be much more difficult to continue to learn and grow, though I know I would do this regardless as I can't not. I'm working on another project and article, one that has been stewing for awhile, and though I cannot take my 5 foot canvas outside (well, maybe I could but it would be a challenge) I was happy to be able to work on something else for a day.
Today I have an all day meeting, and those who know me can attest to the fact that I really, really dislike meetings, especially the longer ones, but I am grateful to spend the day with a group of people whom I admire and enjoy spending time with...they make me happy.
It's also my husband's 44th birthday and our youngest daughter has planned a weekend of fun for us all - starting with dinner tonight and then a day at the Crossroads Market for homemade perogies and cabbage rolls like mama made (delish!) and the 10th annual Calgary Herald Book Sale which is a FABULOUS massive fundraiser which this year will be in support of the Raise-A-Reader program. As busy as my calendar looks over the next month as my eldest daughter is graduating and I am working on a few art programs for the Summer Reading Program at the library along with my own exhibits, I am absolutely thrilled to have this weekend to spend just with my family.
Another busy day ahead of me so I'm starting slow with a cup of grape-green tea from Naked Leaf (I'm so pleased to see my canoe on the cannister), then off to deliver new work to the Evanescence Gallery in High River. At least it looks like the clouds are beginning to part. The thunder storms of late have been quite powerful, shaking the house, which is a little scary but also quite amazing.
As busy as my days have been, they have been an absolute pleasure. Yesterday I managed to paint in my studio in between a trip to Simply Ceramics to paint a bowl for the Foodbank Fundraiser (a real honour to be invited to take part in such a wonderful cause), baking for my daughter's grad dessert night, cleaning house (our dog is shedding and it's allergy season which is tough on my family), and preparing a menu plan for the week along with dinner. I began another canvas 30"x36" and even managed to bring the 48"x60" canvas to the next level. There are times I have no idea what I'll be doing, other times I have an inkling, and then, others I have a full vision of the finished product (keeping an open mind to the creative process). This time I knew the shape and size of canoe but other than that I was baffled, until I read about Grandmother Moon and knew that I wanted to incorporate the image in my mind with the work. I was born in June (I'll be celebrating my 46th birthday in three weeks) and am definitely a moon child - my emotions are certainly connected to the waxing and waning moon. And so, today, as I drive south I will think of the new canvas I've prepared so I can begin to envision the image that will live there.
I spent a great afternoon painting a bowl at Deb's Ceramics in town in support of Airdrie Foodbank's Empty Bowls festival which will be held at Nose Creek Park on June 23. Can't wait. My favorite bowls in my kitchen cabinets have been purchased at the festival in previous years - along with incredible soup made by local restaurants. It's a lovely day filled with local musical and creative talent. One of my favorite annual events in town. And it's for such a fabulous cause - love what the Foodbank does in our community. You can see more pictures here.
I had the most glorious day yesterday. My youngest daughter and I hung work at Cafe Koi in downtown Calgary - the owner is a really, really nice fellow, the space is beautiful, and the menu is amazing. Then we spent the day in Kensington, beginning with drinks at Higher Ground Cafe where she was thrilled with her kids' hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, drizzled caramel and chocolate shavings, and then walking in the warm sunshine. We spent quite a bit of time at Pages Books, one of my favorite bookstores, and then found my daughter a lovely bohemian skirt. My little artist, well not so little anymore as I'm sure she'll be taller than I am very soon (no great feat, I assure you). We came home to fragrant BBQ, more delicious drinks and reading on the deck. A perfect Sunday.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +