Sunday, 24 September 2017

Way too Busy!

That is what September has been like - way too busy!

It started off with the last day of the Saturday Afternoon Summer Art Market. The market was a mixed success; some people did well and others did little or nothing. Visitor numbers were disappointing averaging about 15 each Saturday. I think there were a number of factors that contributed to the low numbers - time of day, morning would have been better - the weather, it was way too hot all summer and - the smoke, for much of the summer the valley was filled with smoke from fires near and far. Well, we tried and might try again next year - who knows!

The following weekend The Creston Art Club had its Annual Fall Show and Sale. Of course, I forgot to take photos as I seemed to be busy whenever I was there. I was lucky enough to sell a few things including one of my painted feathers.
I also sold a small painting that was done during January's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.
#981 - Train Coming - 5 x 7 watercolour
I had a nice visit with the lady who bought my painting and I told her and her sisters all about my Watercolour Painting Parties. That worked out really well as she and one sister came yesterday to my first party of the fall.

Sherry and Holly with their Lighthouse Vignettes
Eileen and Barb with their Vignettes
It was a small group (which I am beginning to think should be the norm) and, except for Eileen, none of the participants have painted for over 30 years. I think they were all surprised at how well they did. Holly commented that she hadn't planned on framing her painting but after seeing it completed and matted she said "I think I will frame it after all". How is that for a review?

So the month is nearly over and there still isn't time to relax. I am going to have to start cleaning up the gardens and flowers this week. I am also going for cataract surgery and then, I will be ending the month with another Painting Party.

H'mm - I wonder what October will bring!



Monday, 18 September 2017

A Trip North

Last week Bob and I traveled north to MacKenzie, BC to visit our daughter and son-in-law. I am pretty much a home-body so the trip was quite a change for me. I feel like we just spent 5 days traveling in the car.
 We started by going over the Creston-Salmo pass. There is a lovely little lake at the summit and a little log cabin which I believe is used by skiers and snowshoers in the winter.
 I took well over a hundred photos during our trip - mostly while the car was moving so many didn't turn out. Besides, I don't want this post to be too overloaded with photos.
Instead of going the more popular route we decided to go through New Denver then down to the small ferry on the Lower Arrow Lake.

 We ended the first day at Kamloops which is in the 'almost' desert part of BC.  The picture above looks very green for some reason when it really should be brown and yellow.
 We continued north along the Gold Rush Trail and the farther north we went the stranger the trees.
While we were in Mackenzie , the kids took us on some tours of the area. I never remember the names of the mountains or lakes unfortunately but this photo is probably from the highest place around. The road up to the top was narrow, bumpy and very close to steep drops - I had my head turned away for much of the trip. And, once at the top I stayed far away from the edge.
This is the view coming down the mountain. In this photo you might be able to see some tall posts where the road starts to disappear. These mark the edge of the road and, in winter only the top foot or so is visible and the only way up is by snowmobile.
 We never found out the names of many of the rivers or lakes that we passed along the way.

Part of our trip was through areas of BC that had suffered major fires during the summer. We didn't see much of the devastation as most of the fires were not along the highways but over 100 buildings were lost and acres of forest.
Instead of coming home the same way we went north, we headed east from Kamloops through the Rogers Pass and the Kicking Horse Pass.
The Rogers Pass has a number of avalanche tunnels which are always interesting.
 
There have been some major changes in the road through the Kicking Horse Pass and we wanted to see them. I can't say that I remember what the road used to be like but there are now some pretty big structures and some impressive through-ways.
 I guess the most impressive structure is the bridge. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a really good photo.
After seeing the changes we turned and headed south to home. After 4 1/2 days of almost constant driving we were both tired and neither of us felt like taking more photos - it is so good to be home!

To end on a really cheerful note - after almost 3 months we have finally had some rain - almost enough to wet the forest and more in the forecast.

Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Almost Over

It is so hard to believe that summer is almost over: the time seemed to speed by while at the same time it seemed to be crawling. The heat, the smoke, the lack of visitors to my home gallery and to the Summer Art Market have all contributed to the strangeness I have felt all summer.

I have been spending what leisure time I have had doing some quilled paper and watercolour pieces. I find both aspects soothing and relaxing.
#1050 - Filigree Flier

#1051 - Filigree Rufous

#1052 - Filigree Fantasy
#1054 - Filigree Fantasy #2
I have been sticking with hummingbirds as my subjects because they suit the lacy looking I am going for and they sell very well - everyone loves hummers! I have, however, been taking some liberties with my colours - at least I have never seen a purple and orange hummer - lol.

I have been thinking about my plans for the Fall and trying to get things organized for a few Watercolour Painting Parties. I am also hoping that some of my students will be coming back to continue their lessons but I expect I will have to wait for the weather to get cold before that happens. I was pleasantly surprised last week by an email from Cheryl asking if I could fit in a lesson on the weekend. I did of course and we both managed to finish a pretty decent painting. Here is mine!
#1053 Deep Fuchsia - 5 x 7 watercolour
On a non-art note, a few weeks ago I got a new camera as my old favourite finally gave up the ghost. The new one is a Canon PowerShot SX420 15 and it is working great! Although I mostly use the camera to take photos of my art, it works super taking pictures through the windows of the critters that visit our yard.
baby turkeys

deer and fawn in my back yard

fawn
These are some of the joys of living in the country in the middle of a forest - life is good!

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment.


Monday, 14 August 2017

Strange and Unsettling

It has been a very strange and unsettling summer so far.

I never get a lot of visitors to my home gallery as we are 1km off the highway but this year has been the worst since I opened. However, for the first time I  had some locals stop in for a mini lesson and the Watercolour Painting Party I blogged about last week.

The Saturday Afternoon Summer Art Market that I have organized has also been a bit strange. Every Saturday we set up and wait, and wait, and wait for visitors. We have done a lot of promoting on social media, put out rack cards and posters as well as some big signs at the venue but our efforts have been mostly unsuccessful.  Visitor numbers and sales have been disappointing but we keep hoping things will improve.

The unsettling part has been due to the fire situation in BC and the high temperatures.
looking south across the flats

looking west across the flats

There have only been a few small fires in the valley and they were quickly handled by the local fire departments and wildfire crews. The closest major fire is about an hour away across the lake at the top of a mountain. It is not endangering people or homes but it is very hard to fight because of the terrain. The biggest fires are many hours away from us but the smoke from all these fires makes its way to our area and makes life difficult. That is what you see in the above photos - there are mountains behind all that smoke haze - and that is what we have been living with for weeks.

We finally had some rain yesterday and a bit today, as well as cooler temperatures although we need a whole lot more of both.

I haven't been doing very much art (too busy organizing things I guess) but I have managed to get a few things done.

#1048 - Rough Seas - unframed 8 x 10 acrylic on canvas board
#1044 - Still Life with Blue Vase - unframed 7 x 10 watercolour
#1049 - Dragonfly with Camellia  - 5 x7 matted to 8 x 10 quilling and watecolour
One last thing - we have a new resident in our yard. Some people regard little guys like this as pests but I am have a good time watching him scurry around the flower beds and pots.
    enjoying the seeds from the Amaranth Velvet Curtain
     

       

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you will let me know how your summer is going.


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Surprise Party

Well, it was a surprise to me!

Last year I made some "Cool Bags for Caps" for a lady I met at the Boswell Art Fair. This Monday she phoned asking if I could do a Painting Party for a group of 6; her, a friend and 4 teenage girls. They wanted to come in the morning so I had to figure out which paintings they might be able to do in a shorter time than my regular parties. I decided to have them do 7 x 10 paintings thinking that they would take less time than 10 x 14 pieces. I still underestimated the time it would take but it all worked out in the end.

Each of them did a fabulous job on their paintings and I think they were all very happy with the results.





I am afraid I got the girls all mixed up so I haven't added their names under their photos.

You might have noticed that these photos were taken outside. Kim asked that we have the painting party on the deck so that we could enjoy the weather. The atmosphere was great but it did make painting a bit of a challenge because the paint was drying too fast for easy blending. However, you can see that they all did a great job.

My husband took about 30 photos of us while we were working but I figured that is just too many for this blog - lol. He did take a group shot of all the participants which I think is a great way to end this post.


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear what you are up to this summer.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Half Way Through

It is hard to believe that we are half way through the summer - where has July gone?

I look back and don't feel that I have accomplished much this month. I feel that I have been very busy although I am not sure with what! I have spent a fair bit of time taking care of my flowers because it has been so hot. I have also been busy with the Saturday Afternoon Summer Art Market; planning what to take, organizing other artists and artisans and trying to promote the venture.

I have painted a few more turkey feathers and figured out a couple of ways they can be displayed. And, here is a picture of one of the visitors who leaves feathers behind for me to paint.




The framed feather and the one in the stand are examples of how people can display the feathers - I think both look good.

I also managed to get a quilled piece done and was lucky enough to get a request for it the first day I posted it on Facebook. It will soon be making its way to Australia to a cousin-in-law.
#1045 - Pastel Hummingbird
The warm weather has really increased the fire hazard in our province and there are a number of fires burning although nothing too close to us. However, the smoke from fires hundreds of miles away still makes it way to our area. That, plus the threat of fire has, I believe, kept tourism down. I am keeping my fingers crossed that August will be a better month with more visitors and more sales - and cooler weather.

I would love to see your comments and how is your summer going?


Sunday, 9 July 2017

A Short but Sweet Visit

This morning we had a charming visitor who had so much fun bouncing around the yard that I wished for a video camera. No such luck and besides there was a bit too much shade. I had to be happy with a few photos taken from inside the house.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed my sweet visitor!


The photos aren't great because this little guy kept moving too much - so much fun! Mom was either just behind or just ahead of this little one and seemed  very calm about the gallivanting.

I was taking some photos of my yard and flowers to send to my daughter and it made me think about the comparison between my yard this past winter and my yard today.
the courtyard in winter

the courtyard today
I know which I prefer - in spite of the heat!