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.
AIRdirondack Art Project