We had such a lovely week...spent time with both of our daughters, enjoyed the Helen Schuler nature centre in Lethbridge and, as always, was inspired by the Lethbridge Viaduct (aka The High Level Bridge). The steel trestle was built over the coulees and the Oldman River between 1907 - 1909 and is so beautiful I think it belongs in movies. The weather was lovely and it was wonderful to spend time with extended family. It is these breaks that have me excited to be back in the studio. Time to break out the airbrush. :)
For several months I have been creating an online workshop, based on my book 'Sacred Vessel::An Artist's Handbook'. The PDF includes links to short videos where I share both my trials and successes as an artist, with a focus on the things that I wished I would have known when I was beginning my career. From inspiration to wiring canvases and documenting artwork as well as creating submissions, my goal was to share all the things I have learned throughout the past 20 years as a professional exhibiting artist.
There are two options available: the first is the 37 page PDF with links to 18 short videos and the other includes a 12 month mentorship program, where I will be available for a monthly conversation via email or skype for feedback or critiques, questions about artist statements or submissions or any other area of difficulty. The mentorship will limited to 10 participants. To learn more, please visit my etsy shop here.
It's been busy in my little studio this fall...my favourite season and the time of the year when I have to most energy which works well as it tends to coordinate with a busy season for me. There are several projects that I have been invited to take part in, so now I have to decide how it fits into my priorities which are my family, painting (which includes exhibits) and studies (slowly & happily trudging along).
I feel so fortunate to be able to pick & chose where my attentions lie. But I also realize that success in certain areas of my life demand that I focus in this way. It also means that I am the happiest because of making these choices.
Working on a commission can be a challenge, but one that I don't mind. Initially I like to see a few images of my work that connects with the patron, and then send a few sketches just to make sure we're on the same page. As I've been painting this piece, I realized that I needed to make adjustments in order to align to the original sketch more closely. So, even though I felt so far ahead, today is adjustment day. I'll be in my studio if anyone needs me. :)
This past year I have been going through old family photographs and wondering how I could honour those women who came before us. I really love the idea of remembering what our grandmothers have done, often without recognition, so for the next 52 WEEKS project beginning in January I am asking for photographs and stories. I would love to include your grandmother (or great-grandmother) and to hear her story in order to share the successes and challenges of these women.
This is a painting that I recently re-worked after giving it much thought. When I originally painted it, it was picked up immediately by a gallery in BC then went on to another in Calgary. Once it was returned to my studio recently, I found that there were a couple of things that I didn't like...or maybe connect with...like the tree that was initially in the background and the shape of the canoe (see below).
It was a great opportunity to try out a new acrylic ink that I had picked up by Daler Rowney as well as some of the Golden OPEN acrylics that I've been wanting to try out. As as as the FW ink, I think I will probably stick to the Liquitex acrylic ink as I found the Daler Rowney to be harder to clean out of my Iwata airbrush and after allowing the ink to cure for a day, it still mixed into the colours I layered over the top of it (something that is an important part of my process), especially the white.
The Gold OPEN acrylics felt a little sticky to me, and since I do love to work in many layers, the slow drying time was a bit of a challenge for me. I guess I'm just a Liquitex girl...the acrylics are familiar to me and I love how they work together.
In spite of the changes I made to the painting, it still feels like Autumn to me...particularly that 'murmuration' of swallows. I just made certain to add more back into the piece after re-working it. All-in-all I'm very happy with the final results.
Yesterday was Orange Shirt Day, a day set aside to remember and honour Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada. It's a visual reminder that every child matters. Kalum Teke Dan is the Blackfoot artist from the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta who created the stunning imagery on this shirt to support advances in education on Indigenous issues and promote healing and reconciliation. It is available through Staples.
AIRdirondack Art Project