The fern-leafed desert parsley grows to over a meter in height in dry, rocky areas and has a spicy scent. They are an edible plant that blooms either yellow or deep purple. The roots of the plant were used medicinally to treat asthma, colds and flu and as a poultice to treat cuts, burns and broken bones. The early explorer Meriwether Lewis collected this plant in Idaho in 1806 stating that it was 'A great horse medicine among the Natives.' It is also known as Chocolate Tips.
August 7, 2015 The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 15
Effusion brings Funk to town!
By Stephen Lebovits
Effusion Art Gallery + Glass Studio
“Ow, we want the funk, Give up the funk! Ow, we need the funk, We gotta have that funk,” sang George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic in 1977. Now, almost 40 years later, Effusion brings the funk to Invermere — artist Veronica Funk, that is. Born in Winnipeg and raised in northern Manitoba, Funk now calls Airdrie, Alta. home, from where she creates her colourful, urbanesque, poly-symbolic paintings.
“The symbols I use are very meaningful for me as many come from stories told by the Cree Grandmothers in my community while they taught us to bead and weave,” she explains. Heavily-influenced by the Cree culture in which she was immersed as a young girl, she recalls seeing a pictograph for the first time, drawn on some outcroppings high above the waterline, and yet so far down from the land above that it made her wonder how anyone could get to such a remote spot.
“This place, where I learned to survive in the wilderness as part of my public education, where we came together to celebrate events, was a place that I never wanted to leave,” she readily admits before explaining how, now, she infuses those foundational memories into her canvasses.
“Each one of my pieces represents an ephemeral and physical sacred vessel, filled with images, colours and symbols from my past,” she says, referring to how hand prints represent Mother Earth/the Creator, circles represent moons and the passing of time, small lines are tribal members, and arrows symbolize direction.
Studying art and design at Red Deer College in Alberta, Veronica apprenticed with potters, stone sculptors and painters in Manitoba, eventually spending a year creatively painting on a farm in Saskatchewan. But since turning professional in 1999, her singular goal is to create a sanctuary, a quiet place of contemplation, an offer of an inviting place to be still. Combining simplicity, light and vibrant colour through the use of opaque and transparent acrylic glazes, she draws with her brush, slightly distorting and manipulating her subjects so as to share the beauty of imperfection, creating soft, sculptural forms, as she endeavors to capture the essence of spiritual light that is found from the forests of Emily Carr to the flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe.
So, why not drop by and catch some nu-Funk flavours? Veronica Funk will be at Effusion tonight (Friday, August 7th) from 5 to 8 p.m., then back again Saturday, August 8th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit www.effusionartgallery.com.
Last fall I had the great privilege of teaching an online workshop with Dirty Footprints Studio which consisted of 21 different teachers each teaching different techniques. Then the owner, Connie Solera contacted each of the artists to interview them about their journey as an artist - you can view mine here or link to all of them here.
It was such an interesting and touching conversation for me as I realized the value I place on community (an a-ha! moment). It is probably why I love working at the library as, along with a strong focus on arts and culture, there is a huge focus on our facility being a community gathering space. The funny thing is that I'm an introvert who behaves like an extrovert who requires a lot of solitude but because community is so important to me I volunteer along with my work at the library.
If you're interested in an online course that's fun and full of great tips I highly recommend 21 SECRETS. Connie offers a new set of workshops twice a year with a huge variety of teachers. You can see the workshops currently available here (I was part of Fall 2014) and the list of teachers here.
Last week I created a backdrop wall for a series of children's literacy videos that the library is making. I'm so glad I painted a chalkboard wall in the Program Room for things such as this and am even happier now that I've found chalkboard markers and crayons. They are so vibrant and easy to use. But we still had the issue of the old chalk which made the images very hazy so when my daughter (who runs the Summer Reading Program) suggested pop to clean it we thought we'd give it a try and it was fabulous! Who would have thought it! She had read it on Pinterest, and though it suggested Coke all we had was Pepsi and it worked like a charm. So, for those of you who have chalkboard walls, that is my tip of the day. You're welcome. ;)
Yesterday we spent time at Lake Louise, with a hike up to Lake Agnes Teahouse and it was wonderful. On the way up we passed Mirror Lake and plenty of milk vetch, a wildflower I find very interesting though don't see very often. It tends to grow in abundance around Douglas Fir and Ponderosa pine and has been known to be used as tea on occasion and the root as a licorice subsitute though it is considered poisonous, especially to cattle. Milk-vetch has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to help strengthen the body against physical, mental and emotional stress.