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!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Just Too Hot!

That is what I am going to blame for the low numbers at the Saturday Afternoon Summer Art Market. It is too hot! People either head for the lake or they stay home and try to keep cool.

Once again we had 6 vendors and just a few more visitors - lol. Because of the heat my "Cool Ties/Hot Weather Scarves" sold pretty well - mostly to the other vendors as we all needed something to combat the 36 C (about 98 F) temperature.

Here are a few photos of the market:





We are all hoping for cooler weather for the rest of the summer but either way I know I will be at the market every week, hoping for more sales. I did sell a painting today - one of my painted feathers sold to a fellow Art Club member.
Raccoon on a turkey feather
I can only wish that paintings sold as well as these novelty items. Oh well, I don't paint for profit but for enjoyment but it would be nice if the two went together.

Have a great weekend where ever you are!


Friday, 7 July 2017

Left Behind

The other day one of the wild turkeys that visit our yard left a gift behind. Now, turkeys often leave things behind and most of the time we do not appreciate the 'gift' and we have to watch were we walk - lol. But this time I was pleased.

There was a perfect tail feather on the lawn. Turkeys often leave the odd wing feather but the large tail feathers are not as common. Anyway, I picked it up but just couldn't throw it away. So, I painted on it!
Hummingbird and Morning Glory
I was so pleased that I went searching through my stash of feathers and found a few more that were large enough to paint.
Valley scene

Raccoon
I am hoping that these will sell well at the Saturday Afternoon Summer Art Market tomorrow. And, I am hoping that more feathers get left behind when the turkeys visit.


Friday, 30 June 2017

A New Venture

Summer has arrived and, hopefully, the tourists will start coming too.

In our area many of the artists rely on the tourists for the bulk of sales. The valley (from Yahk to Riondel) is small town and rural with a total population around 15,000, many of whom are seniors.  To make it even harder to sell art we have a lot of artists and artisans in the area; and, while competition is supposed to be good for business, I am not sure if that applies to art.

This year a venue where I have displayed my art with good success in the past
has closed its art exhibit and I am going to try a new venture - A Summer Art Market!

The Art Market came about thanks to a small grant from the Creston Arts Council. Our first day will be tomorrow, July 1, and we will have 6 artists setting up to, hopefully, sell their art. The Market will only be held Saturday afternoons during the summer. I am hoping that we will get some traffic from the local Farmer's Market and from the Kunze Gallery both of which are just down the street from our location.

As the Art Market is my idea, I have been doing all the organizing - I can't seem to stop - lol. Anyway, I have sent out emails, posted on Facebook, created and ordered rack cards and made up and distributed a few posters. Now I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will get some visitors!

I have my boxes all packed with a wide selection of the things I make and paint: matted and bagged original watercolours and mixed media pieces, Hot Weather Scarves, a variety of my cards, my quilled ornaments and some of the stenciled signs and T-shirts I did last winter. I figure I have enough art and other things to display something new almost every week during the summer.

Although art is not a business for me, it is important to me to sell my work - mostly to make room for new art. I have made a few on-line sales but I am not into marketing and, frankly the Canadian Postal system is pretty expensive for shipping so I am not pursuing that avenue to any great degree. I am much happier just selling locally and am hoping for success in this new venture.


Monday, 26 June 2017

The Last Party of the Season

Well, summer has hit us with some heat finally and it was so nice to be able to set up in the cool basement for the last Watercolour Painting Party of the season.

I only had five participants this weekend so it made everything go very smoothly. Another advantage was that they all had some experience with watercolours.

Here are the photos of the work created:
Heather and her Derelict Boat

Closeup of Heather's painting

Eileen's Lighthouse

closeup of the Lighthouse


Jane with her Summer Veranda
closeup of Jane's painting

Mike and Rhonda with their paintings


Rhonda's Flower Garden

Mike's Rickety Old Barn
Everyone was very happy with their finished paintings and I think some of them will be back in the fall for another Painting Party.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

So, I am not going to write much today. Here are some photos from my latest Watercolour Painting Parties.

                                                     "VIGNETTES"

Bonnie

Veronica

Close-up of Veronica's painting

Marja

close-up of Marja's painting
                                 
                                  "BUILDING IN FOG" PAINTINGS

Eileen Tanner and Shauna

Shauna's painting

Eileen's painting

Tanner's painting

Shelly and Pauline

Shelly's painting

Pauline's painting

Judy and Lynn

Judy's painting

Lynn's painting
We had a great time at both parties and, once again, everyone seemed very happy with their paintings - in spite of a few hiccups - lol.

I am taking a bit of a break from art to catch up on house and yard work but I am sure I will be back at it soon.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment.