My family lives a full day's drive away from us and for years my mother has been bugging, I mean, gently nudging me to copy all the articles in which I or my work has appeared. Today I thought that perhaps if I took a photo it would suffice - needless to say, it does not. So in between coats of paint on another project I'm working on (I'll share some photos of work in progress next week) I am busily photocopying. Unfortunately this pile doesn't include the articles I've written, the books my work has been published in, the television, radio and online interviews. I guess I'll just have to send Mom some links - I'm sure my dad will help her with their fandangled computer ;)
What's interesting about this process is that I tend to file things away as soon as I see them so it is a real treat to look back over the past ten years and see what I have accomplished and how I've been able to contribute not only to the arts community in Alberta but especially in my little community. What an honour. Recently I was called a 'mover and shaker' in my city which makes me laugh when most of my time is spent holed up in my studio. And it wasn't until recently that many people I've known in Airdrie for up to 15 years connected me with the articles. It's interesting really. Locally I'm probably known most for being a community volunteer, a mom, and local chatty little blonde...maybe (a little) bossy, too. I do feel fortunate to live in this place. Especially now, with the bright, warm sunshine and amazing prairie and mountain views. I am definitely an Alberta girl.
After ten straight days of working because of ARTember it's been nice to focus on my studio work again. I'm currently preparing a series of smalls which range in size from 8x10 to 12x16 inches which is a nice departure after working on the large utility box. The work was a real pleasure but my back is happy to take a break. I can't believe how therapeutic it is to be spending solid blocks of time in my sacred space enjoying the lovely scent and flickering light of a beeswax candle while listening to classical music playing on CBC radio.
While my canvases dry for the next round, I'm roasting a farm-raised chicken (it's already smelling lovely) and have been catching up on the first season of 'Downton Abbey' - I have to admit I'm addicted. Love the sets, costumes, acting and storyline and am so glad that a number of patrons recommended it.
I've also begun working on my presentation and workshop which I'll be offering at Evanescence Gallery in High River in November. I'm really looking forward to a weekend to focus on supporting the artistic development of others. It's so nice for me to be able to give back by sharing my knowledge with others and by encouraging them in their own visions and dreams. The presentation on Friday evening will be open to the public and the workshops held at the gallery will be listed on their site by the end of September - they are limited to an intimate group of six which I'm grateful for as I prefer to have the time to engage with each person present.
So as fall happily plugs along, I will remember to schedule these full days of creativity sprinkled with times of rest as I look forward to visiting our farmers' market this afternoon and perhaps even an hour to read. I cannot have a day without that.
AIRdirondack Gala 2012
I can't believe that the third annual AIRdirondack Gala came to pass and I'm so glad it was another success both for Creative Airdrie and for arts & culture in Airdrie. We are so fortunate to live in a community that encourages and supports its arts. I feel like I'm standing at the cusp of something new and great for our city, a huge time of growth. As a professional artist, it's so nice to be able to contribute by using my skills and interests in a positive way and it is really an honour to be able to be involved. A wonderful evening filled with wonderful people for a wonderful cause.
Yesterday this was my view most of the day as I spent my time camped out on my sofa with my pochade on my lap and managed to complete 6 mini paintings of the heART~blox series which incorporates reclaimed wood and decorative papers. There is only one left at one of my galleries so it's time to catch up, but it was just the therapy I needed.
I ended up heading out to host another ARTember event at the library in the evening, this time a digital photography class taught by a very good friend, Rod Wood and this afternoon I have a graffiti artist, Zac Abbott, who will be demonstrating a screen printed t-shirt. Tomorrow the photography class will be held again, but this time for kids instead of adults and then I'm off to the AIRdirondack Gala in the evening.
After working through the weekend and every day this week, I'm looking forward to going out for breakfast with my husband. Here's to another lovely autumn day...
Well it's ARTember which means I've been crazy busy, but happily so. Yesterday I put the final varnish coat on the utility box, hung an exhibit of works by Becky Kundert at the library, arranged a screen-print t-shirt demonstration for teens with graffiti artist Zac Abbott, organized digital photography classes by Rod Wood for kids and another for adults, and am looking forward to the AIRdirondack Gala on Friday. All fun.
This week I also have a video interview scheduled with Jeff Clovis of AIR 106.1 which I'm looking forward to as well as a patron visit to pick up a canoe painting. And, in the midst of all this, I have a few more paintings to complete for my exhibit at Inglewood Fine Arts in Calgary this fall and I managed to finish my canning for the season. Whew!
Thankfully I have reading to help me relax from all this excitement and am on the final 50 pages of book five in the 'Game of Thrones' series...it's pretty intense. How am I ever going to wait until the author publishes book six? I guess I'll just have to watch the series to pass the time.
Still feeling absolutely blessed and filled with abundance. My favorite season, my favorite things. And a cute new t-shirt to boot!
(See Step-by-Step images here: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Proposal, News and more News.)
I have worked under almost every weather condition on this project but it has been such an honour for me to be selected that it's actually been a pleasure. Tomorrow I'll stop by to see if it needs any final touches and then in a couple of days I'll give the piece a final coat of varnish. I am so grateful to City Hall for encouraging the community's arts and artists and allowing a project like this in the community, to Sign Concepts for preparing the box and for being such a pleasure to work with (thanks Scott!), to the Fultons and everyone at Home Hardware for the materials and for always being such a great supporter of the arts in Airdrie, to the businesses who selected my submission, to everyone who stopped by, honked, waved or emailed encouragement (thank you, too, Linda for your kind words this morning), and finally to my friend Sherry for her vision that this could be a thriving creative community to be a part of and to her commitment to growing that community by supporting its local artists along with Awesome Airdrie for the funding to make it possible. I feel absolutely blessed.
Two steps forward...
Another exhausting and exhilerating day at the utility box. Many more great conversations on the street and one side is almost totally complete. I'm thinking the other three will go a bit faster as I will mix the last two colors I need before I go - a nice light turquoise and a deep rich navy blue. And I am so grateful to my friend Sherry for this opportunity and for the green tea latte - it kept me going until mid-afternoon. Another treat was speaking with Zac who was adding graffitti to Sully Boardsports down the street. I love my town.
A local artist whose work has been acknowledged globally is the first to use one of our city's utility boxes as her canvas.
Airdrie's Veronica Funk has added more than just a dash of colour to the corner of Main Street and First Avenue downtown.
Painting materials are being funded by a grant from 'Awesome Airdrie'.
Funk says for those who thought her work on the box was complete - not yet.
She's hoping to be finished her work on the box by September 10 or 11.
Funk, who works at the Airdrie Public Library, has exhibited her art all across Canada but loves to live in Airdrie. She sees a great time of growth for the area, and is glad to be a part of the development.
She emphasizes: "I'm so pleased that I got this opportunity to finally do my own art in my community."
It was so much nicer to work without extreme wind conditions today though I forgot how physically taxing a large art project it - I'll be in desperate need of a massage when I'm done. But it has been an absolutely amazing process.
Today a number of people stopped by to chat and take photos - a gentleman from Poland spoke of how public art has been successful changing the face of vandalism in Europe while giving the creative people an opportunity to share their gifts - an elderly lady asked if I might stop by her complex and add colour to their building, I suggested the landlord might not be impressed ;) - a little girl apparently stops by every day to see the progession - others told me that they voted for my design for which I am extremely grateful - someone else stopped by to tell me he has taken to walking down Main Street just to see it.
I've been asked for my inspiration and about my history in this community. I'm proud to say I've lived here for fifteen years, a record for me to live in one place. I'm so pleased to be in a place that is honouring its arts community. I'm so grateful for the people I have the privilege of sharing my community. And I'm so glad to call this home. Tomorrow I begin adding symbols and imagery...very excited for the next step!
Well...the first layer of warm colours are on the utility box project on Main Street and though my hands were freezing from those gale force winds I cannot wait to get back tomorrow (hopefully our forecast for thunder showers doesn't come true) to add a layer of cool colours. It was so nice to hear encouraging comments from both drivers and pedestrians. I'm working in oils which is a bit of a challenge as I haven't used them in a few years but the effect is perfect. After an emotional day yesterday bringing my eldest child away to university, this has been the medicine I needed. Gosh, I am so glad I get to do this...and during my favorite season, too, how lucky can a girl get?