Sunday, 15 October 2017

Things are Slowing Down!

At least they appear to be as I only have a few things scheduled for the rest of this month - thank heaven!

I started off the month with a lesson to a small group of ladies who want to learn how to draw. They plan on coming once a week but one already had to miss a class and another will be missing this week. It is hard to figure out how to catch people up on what was missed while the others want to forge ahead.

On October 7, I hosted my final Watercolour Painting Party for the season. I had 5 scheduled to attend and ended up with only two due to cancellations. No matter, we had a great time!

Cheryl and Ed have both attended parties in the past and have also taken some private lessons with me. Both did a super job on their chosen paintings and were very happy with the results. I think they will be back for more lessons once golfing season ends.

Yesterday I attended a one day acrylic workshop with Castlegar artist Mirja Vahala Mirja's Studio. 

The workshop was put on by the Creston Art Club and seemed to involve a ton of emails back and forth between the club's president and me and between me and the participants - much more work than was needed!. However, we all had a good time and I think we all learned stuff too. (the photos are in reverse order)
critique time!

finished pieces ready for critique

watching and listening - what did we do wrong?

more critiques

Linda's piece

Jenny's paintings for the final critique
getting set up

Mirja Vahala

The focus of the class was Colour Contrasts: value, compliments, temperature, intensity, hue and quantity. Until the end we were painting the same still life over and over, each painting building on what we learned in the ones before. I admit there are still a few gaps in my understanding especially with intensity and quantity but I will work on those concepts on my own.
These are my paintings from the class. I am missing either intensity or hue although I can't figure out which one is missing - oh well, more study required. The last two I did were on 'quantity' - can you figure out what it means? These were done on 8 x 10 canvases and I think I will redo the studies onto watercolour paper and reuse the canvases in the future. These are not suitable for selling and paper stores better - lol.

As there is not much on my schedule (except for the drawing classes) for some time I will be relaxing after the busy summer and just puttering in my studio for the next while and enjoying doing not much of anything.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

A Fabulous Fall

The weather has cooled down, leaves are falling and people are getting back to their fall/winter lives.

For me that means Painting Parties, lessons, workshops and thinking about Christmas Fairs.

Yesterday I held my second painting party of the season with five party-goers and we had a great time.
Everyone did two 5 x 7 paintings. Mary Mae brought her granddaughter up this summer for a 'mini' painting lesson and found out about the painting parties then.
 So far, Eileen has attended four of my parties - I guess that means she has been pleased every time.
Abby saw my posters at the recent Art Club Fall Show and left her name and contact info. When I got in touch she asked if there was room for her sisters; there was and they all came and had a good time.
All three girls chose to paint the scene with the Skimmerhorn mountains but Darcy also picked the Lake at Sunset picture. It is too bad that the photo doesn't show all of the colour because her sky is lovely.
Heidi chose the Winter Sunset scene as her second piece and it was fun to see her expression to the effect of salt on the wet paint. Again, it is too bad that many of the details do not show.

I haven't been doing much painting myself but I have been making some quilled ornaments as I am thinking about November's Christmas Craft Fair.
 So far I am just focusing on hummingbird ornaments as they are very popular and usually sell well.
I have added a few new patterns and I have started adding glitter on the neck of some of the pieces. Sigh - glitter really doesn't show up well in photos!
For the rest, my cataract surgery went well, I have started cleaning up my flower pots and gardens and I am enjoying the fall colours in the world around me - gotta remember to take some photos! My first classes of the fall start this week. Then, I will have my (possibly) final Painting Party of the season and the next weekend I will attend an acrylic workshop on Contrasts. There are other things on the list too but then, I like to be busy and all these things make this fall just fabulous!


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.