I'm so excited as I was able to retrieve my etsy account (yay!) so I've listed these great little 'village' pieces that I've begun creating (visit here). This year was a strange year, with a visits to doctors, labs, physiotherapists, etc, etc and also losing some of my online accounts like facebook and blogger but I'm so happy to have the etsy account once again. And I am feeling pretty darn good these days so for that I am grateful. I've come to realize that this year was a time for a shift in my life. I'm still learning - to say 'no' to those things that deplete me, and to accept whole-heartedly the good things that come into my life without questioning whether I deserve it. Throughout this year, I have to say that my family, painting and reading have kept me sane and happy. It's interesting how challenges can not only grow a person but direct you to those things that are the absolute most important. As difficult as those valleys can be, I know they are necessary. And, though we are expecting flurries and dropping temperatures, I am thankful for the littlest things...the wing chair that was the first big purchase my husband & I made after we were married, it was the place I nursed and read to my babies and toddlers, and even still snuggle with these same girls who are now my teenagers. I am thankful for a good meal and great conversation and laughter with my family. And I am especially thankful for my public library, both for the opportunity to work as an Art Program Co-ordinator and for the great selection of literature, and for the support that I have received in my creative life. And for my faith which sustains me. I am eternally grateful.
This morning I received the lovliest email stating that two of my pieces have been selected as one of sixteen female artists whose work will be exhibited on the virtual gallery of the Women's Art Museum. The eventual goal is to create a museum that features the work of women artists - something that is very close to my heart:
The Women’s Art Museum Society of Canada was incorporated
October 2, 2006 under Alberta’s Societies Act by a small group of women who were
concerned with safeguarding and preserving women’s visual art heritage. The
objective of the Society is to open the doors to a museum that will house a
permanent collection of women’s art as well as display painting, drawings,
sculptures, photographs, prints, multi-media, video and technology based art
works created by women artists from coast to coast.
We know that this dream will take an incredible amount of human
resources and capital. Until we have a permanent locale, WAM will promote the
works of Canadian women artists through community projects and advocacy. We
welcome your support in making this dream come true.
I am honoured to be included. I'll let you know when the virtual gallery is ready :)
I've been busy cutting up the lumber that's been gifted to me - I'm really excited about using reclaimed wood as I've always been concerned about the environment and this is one way I can recycle in my art. The first pile of lumber I cut into squares as it is almost 2 inches deep and will make great minis - but the second pile is different decking lumber and I wasn't certain at first how I was going to use it but remembered a project that was in my mind a number of years ago. I've always liked the idea of putting my chairs into little 'houses' and realized that this might be the perfect opportunity to do that...and the title 'City of Refuge' has been on my mind for about 10 years. Often I have envisioned an arts school as a 'City of Refuge' for those of us who don't fit into the regular mould, one that is accepting of all the arts and not just trying to push the envelope. I do understand that kind of art education, and in fact took part in it initially, but still felt a little lost as an art student. I'm not a 'push the envelope' kind of gal - I just want peace and serenity in my life and in my personal environment - and thus I paint these places of sanctuary. My youngest daughter told me this looks like a little village, which makes me think of a safe place to be nurtured. And what better environment for these spots of reflection and security than their own little home.
Yesterday was quite a day - I was featured in two separate articles in two different local area newspapers...one about the Wetlands Exhibit at the library and the other about the website my friend Michelle & I created to support the arts community in and around Airdrie (http://www.airdrieartists.weebly.com/). I spent the past two days holed up in my house and then was pleasantly surprised last night. There are so many times that I become absolutely exhausted trying to be an advocate for arts & culture in this community and wonder why I bother and then when things like the exhibit and the website become publicly acknowledged and I see the results of the arts community working together, I feel and warmth in my heart and think that maybe I can continue on. It's never easy to work with a group of people, and I find it particularly challenging working with a group of creative people. Everyone is a visionary and extremely passionate, which is lovely but can be difficult when you're trying to coordinate things. Unfortunately some people may feel that I'm self-serving when I keep ending up in the media but that is not the point at all - I'm just trying so hard to promote and encourage this community of creative people that I have the privilege of connecting with almost daily. And I've been extremely fortunate in that I've received an abundance of support and encouragement in my own journey in return. I do realize that when we do anything in an authentic manner with a bigger goal than ourselves in mind, even though in the short term there may be some misunderstanding, I do believe that in the long term it will be recognized for what it truly is - in all its honesty. I honestly do not like taking so much time away from my family and my own art at times, but I feel that this is crucial for the arts as a whole, not just in my town.
I painted this piece over a month ago and put it away because I didn't think it was any good - but last night, as I was going through some work, I stumbled upon it and really like it. Sometimes work is funny that way. There are days I complete something and absolutely love it until I look at it again another day, and other times, I am pleasantly surprised. This was a piece that was inspired by a tube of black paint, something that I struggle with using in my paintbox as using black was a definite no-no during my education. I find it interesting how some things I was taught I stick to as though they were hard and fast rules, and other teachings are abandoned and ignored. Whenever I give demonstrations, there are times I am totally embarassed to share what I do in the privacy of my studio because I know when I break the rules, and other times I am glad to share that most rules were meant to be broken. There have been a lot of wonderful, positive things happening in my different roles as an artist these days (painter, writer, curator, teacher) and some not so positive. There are times when I just want to shut the world out and hole up in my studio with soothing music and scented candlelight. This is one of them. And yet, it is one of the weeks that my schedule is cram-packed. So it was a pleasant surprise to see this piece and actually feel joy when I came across it. And, by the way, I have donated the tube of black paint to a friend whom I know will utilize it well. :)
Library Link: Our wetlands celebrated in new art exhibit at Airdrie library
CityView, Nov 16, 2011 05:13 pm | Veronica Funk
Airdrie Public Library (APL) is pleased to welcome a new art exhibit, running to Jan. 2.
Airdrie Regional ARTS Society proposed the idea of the Watersheds & Wetlands exhibit to raise awareness of the value of our water resources and riparian areas in Rocky View. Artists were invited to draw inspiration from local wetlands and watersheds, then create work based on their reaction. With help from Rocky View County, Nose Creek Watershed Partnership and Cows and Fish, an ‘open air’ painting day was held to let people experience a local riparian area. Biologists were on hand to hold informational talks and conduct field trips. The exhibit features 72 pieces of artwork created by 22 different artists ranging from sculptors to photographers.
Our wetlands are becoming a valuable resource that is dwindling. Within watersheds and ecosystems, human activities can cause depletion or pollution. The watershed and its ecosystems sustain our way of life and wetlands are important elements of a watershed because they serve as the link between land and water resources. A familiarity with the functions and values of an ecosystem such as a wetland can improve decision-making today and protect values that may be held by future generations as well.
This exhibit seeks to draw attention to this valuable water supply, which we use for recreation and also sustains plant material, fish and wildlife.
In conjunction with the Wetlands & Watersheds exhibit, local jewelry designer Alicia Laurin is exhibiting her latest body of work. Laurin has been making jewelry since 1999. While being a self-taught jewelry artist, her life experiences, research and experimentation with different mediums are what led to Laurin evolving into the artist she is today. She loves abstract, fun colours, textures and asymmetrical designs, which really come through in her work. She creates all one-of-a-kind pieces as unique as the people who wear them and loves that other women can express their own creativity through her designs.
For more information on Laurin, visit www.beadedbliss.webs.com
Yesterday I received my copy of the art avenue magazine which is published by the Federation of Canadian Artists and was pleasantly surprised. In addition to featuring Lauren Harris, who has been an inspiration in my creative life, on the cover as a founding member of the Federation, I opened the cover to see my piece (titled 'Sunrise') on the inside of the cover (top right corner). What an honour. It reminds me of the time years ago when a painting of mine was printed alongside an article aboutPavorotti in the avenue magazine years ago. I'm always amazed at how blessed I am - I am grateful to do something that gives me so much joy and peace. Last week was so busy with fulfilling too many commitments and this week I've just been able to focus on painting - it's what I love to do. And because it makes me happy, I feel so much more contentment in my daily life when I allow myself the privilege of painting. And when others respond to what I do...well, that's just the cherry on top.
It's a good thing I only have five minis in my studio right now - of them, four got a slight re-vamp and I'm very happy with the results. Indigo Dreams II got tree branches in the window and a bit of a brighter highlight on the chair which, to me, feels like moonlight, By the Lake got a lamp and some extra light, Summer Thyme got some buds on the tree as well as sunnier highlights, and My Comfort got an evergreen - it's the one that's actually outside my livingroom window. I usually try to avoid reworking a piece once it's been signed and dated, but with these little 6"x6" guys, I just couldn't resist. This is what happens when I'm awake at 4:00 am.
These have been busy, happy days. I've completed pieces for a few upcoming shows and just completed this sign for a neighbor in exchange for lumber. I love trades. It will be proudly displayed over his abundantly flourishing greenhouse. While working on it I remembered that I had painted a large winter scene in a huge department store window a number of years ago. I'm amazed at the creative things I've done which I've forgotten over the years and yet they've been so much fun. I also forget how often I question the value of my work which brings joy to others. I paint because I love the process, but I also find pleasure in the joy experienced by viewers. These days I've kept a running list of where my work has been adopted as a reminder to myself of how I am blessed to share my art with others. I also ran into someone recently who purchased a number of pieces about seven years ago and was thrilled to hear that the paintings still make her family happy. It's snowing outside this morning, there's a fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate in my mug and Christmas music on the stereo - I know it's early, but it feels like Christmas to me.
What a busy week it's been, and it's only Wednesday morning. First I want to thank the lovely lady who purchased this piece and so kindly sent me this photo of it after my demonstration last week. I chose to call this painting 'Gathering' because it not only reflected where I was with a gathering of creative people, but also reflects this space that I see as a place to gather my thoughts. It's definintely a place I'll spend some time today before I begin more busyness this evening.
I've been hanging a new exhibit at the library and speaking to many area artists as a friend and I have decided to take the time to create a kind of directory for the local arts community - we just started a few days ago and already have almost 50 artists included. We wanted it to be an online hub of sorts of the arts as I am very proud of this community of people that I call my friends. You can take a peek at it here - www.airdrieartists.weebly.com.
I've also just completed a commission and two calls for exhibits, and have another commission and another two calls to complete. And, of course, the odd meeting sprinkled in. (Breathe.) And here I thought I'd take it easy this fall. I don't know what I was thinking.