Monday, 28 November 2016

Something a Bit Different

This is the time of year when many artists think about displaying their work at Christmas Art and Craft Fairs. As I don't like the bustle of large events I usually just set-up for the local Wynndel fair which is happening this Saturday, Dec. 3.

I will be displaying a few of my smaller paintings, a wide selection of my cards, crocheted Christmas ornaments and many of my quilled ornaments. This year I am adding some new items which I hope will appeal to people looking for gifts for boys.

I made some stencils for the first time with not much idea of what I was doing. Then I painted some leftover pieces of mat board and added the stencils. The final step was to cover the back and make a border on the front. These signs have hang-tabs on the back but are also light enough they can be stuck on the wall with Fun Tak. I think they turned out well and hope that others like them too.

Because I had the stencils I figured I might as well use them again but this time I put them on T-Shirts.

It has been quite sometime since I had a young boy in my life so all I can do is hope that these will be a success.

I came up with another item that I hope will sell. I often get pains in my hands and the rice/wheat bags I had were much too big so I took them apart and made small ones.
Some of these were made with recycled material and others were made with  my painted fabrics. Thirty seconds in the microwave makes them nice and warm and the heat lasts a surprising length of time.

I think I am going to do a few signs with a different stencil design for the fair - just for fun!
I have had a sign with this "Artist at Work" design for years and when my friend Linda saw my stencilled signs she asked if I could make a stencil of this design. So, while Linda played with some acrylic abstracts, I made another stencil. Once the stencil was done Linda made her own sign and I figured I would make a few too. Who knows, maybe they will sell  - I'll even take commissions - lol.

It is always interesting to see what items do well at the Wynndel Christmas Art & Craft Fair and will I never make a killing I usually do okay - time will tell.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

A Shift in Focus

My mind really hasn't been on art for the last few months!

Since my husband's heart attack, I have been focused more on health and our diets. The second day Bob was in the hospital a friend loaned us "To Your Health" by Dr. Hans Diehl and I started reading. A few days later, another friend gave me "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman, MD. We also got a book when Bob got out of the hospital - "Living Well with Heart Disease" from the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

I won't go into details about what I read but it was enough to get me started on a new diet lifestyle. The goal was to reduce sodium, fats and sugars which would improve blood pressure and promote weight loss. Using the recipes in the books and from the internet, I have been including many more vegetables as well as beans and lentils into our meals. There have been a few "I can't eat that" meals but most have worked out well and I now have about 20 recipes that will become staples. I have also modified a number of our favourite 'pre-heart attack' recipes to meet with the changes in our needs.

I know how easy it is to slide back into old habits so I am keeping a record of almost everything we eat and the nutrition information - sodium, fibre, calories, fat, sugar. So far things seem to be working; Bob has lost 10 lbs and I have lost 6. And, we are both feeling good about the changes - so, here's to a better future!

And, to show that I haven't completely ignored my art, here are a few of my latest quilling projects.

They are all made with my own painted paper cut to 1/4" and they are all about 3" x 3". These make super little ornaments for the Christmas tree or for year round. They can be hung, mounted and framed or fixed with some sticky tak to go on the wall or a mirror

I have a few other things on the go as well and maybe I will find the time to write about them soon . Now, I am off to figure out the nutrition for tonight's dinner - lol.

Monday, 17 October 2016

More Crazy Life

I really don't know why things have still seemed so crazy, but I feel like I have been running at full speed just to keep up with all the things I need to get done.

Last week I was planning a Watercolour Painting Party for Saturday, when most of the people who had signed up had to cancel. No problem as there was a Arts & Craft Garage Sale scheduled for that day that I had wanted to attend as a vendor. But, the single party participant still remaining had already had to cancel once because of illness and I didn't want to disappoint her again so I offered to do a private party just for her.

Jeannie and her Lighthouse
Jeannie took some lessons with me a few years ago but had to stop painting for a while due to health issues. She was very happy with her painting and is planning on coming back for more lessons.

After seeing Jeannie off, I went to my computer and found a request to do a special Watercolour Party as a birthday present. As my weekend was already fully booked, we settled on this afternoon for this party of two.
Judi's Veranda Painting 
Jill's Beached Boat Painting

Jill and Judi
It always fills me with satisfaction to have people go home so happy with the paintings they have done. Today was the first time these ladies have painted since school and both were thrilled with the whole afternoon. We had a great time, they did a great job and they asked to be notified when I do my parties again in the spring.

These two private parties feel like the only break I have had in all the craziness and gave me my first chance to do some painting in too long a time.  Painting has always been a healing process for me - a way to sooth my soul and enter a more peaceful frame of mind.

Now it just has to stop raining long enough for me to finish cleaning up my garden and I will feel free to settle down and enjoy the coming winter (and get some painting done).

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Back in the Groove!

At least I hope I am. Things have been pretty crazy here for the last few months and, although I kept thinking about writing, life just kept getting in the way.

In August I was busy getting some paintings ready for the Creston Art Club's Annual Fall Show. I was also working on plans for the Call to Artists for the Art in the Chamber and Art in the Library displays for 2017. Then my husband, Bob, had a heart attack. He is OK now after having a stent put in but things were pretty hairy for a while.

So, in between visits to the hospital, I was able to get some paintings framed and ready for the art show.
a visitor looking at some of my paintings
We have a pretty nice set-up for our shows and we usually have about 20 members displaying their art - lots of variety in both subject and media.

Visitors have the chance to sit and enjoy refreshments while they enjoy the art.

After the Art Show, I had to get ready for my Watercolour Painting Parties. I had one on September 17 and one today, September 24. The first party had a full compliment of 6 which I consider a good number to allow for lots of individual attention.
Theresa and her painting

Rosemarie, Eileen and Kathy

Ed and Cheryl

It is always so gratifying when someone who has never painted before is thrilled with their painting. Or, when they are so pleased with the whole process that they plan to come for lessons. And, when some of them have come back for a second Party. - How cool is that?

Today's party only had 4 participants as a few cancelled due to illness but we had a good time!
Jenny was so into it she did two!

Jeanette had never painted before

Alison and Betty - trouble along the way but happy at the end!
I really enjoy introducing people to the joys of watercolour painting and hope to do more parties in the future.

For now, it is back to planning. I will be displaying my paintings at two venues for the next few months so I have to figure out what is going where and then get it all cleaned up and ready to pack! No rest for the wicked!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Painting for the Public

When I start a painting I don't usually think about if it will sell; I paint for the enjoyment. There are however a few scenes that I paint because they are popular with the tourists and with people who used to live in the area.

Clouds on the Mountains #2

Most of those scenes are similar to this one; a view of the Creston Valley looking west across the flats as viewed from Hwy 3A.

Birds over Erickson  
I have done a few scenes of the east side of the valley but they don't seem to have the same impact as the west side paintings.

Kootenay Lake Sunset #2
Another popular scene is my version of sunset on Kootenay Lake. These are based on my daughter's photo of Garland Bay.

Over the years I have done 17 paintings of the west side of the valley, 14 paintings of sunset on the lake and 5 paintings of the east side of the valley. I am happy to say that most of them have sold.

I have used photos of a number of my original paintings to make cards which also sell very well, especially to the tourists during the summer. I have painted a number of other valley scenes but, judging by card sales, they don't have the same appeal.

I rarely paint the same thing twice because I like variety too much but when I paint the valley I always end up with pictures that are subtly different.

It is a joy to live in such a beautiful area and as long as scenes like this keep selling I will keep painting them because it is fun and profitable too - always a bonus!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

More Quilling

I have been spending the last few days making some cards combining quilling with watercolour.
Red Sails in the Sunset

Calliope with Fuchsia

Calliope with Delphinium
I really can't price these high enough to make up for the time I spend making them which is why I am glad my art is more hobby than profession - lol. However, because I enjoy the making I will be doing more I am sure.

The cards are 5 x 7 and come with an envelope and are packaged in a clear bag.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Painting in a Garden

Every year The Creston Art Club has a Paint-out and Pot-luck lunch at the home of one of our members. This year the event was held in the gardens of Jenny Steenkamp.
Jenny has a beautiful home in an orchard with cherries, apricot, peaches and other fruit all around. She also has an incredible garden with so many fascinating little buildings surrounded by fabulous plants and flowers.
I think we had about 18 of our members attend and we all spread out around the yard to paint whatever took our fancy.
From flowers to buildings, fish ponds to mountain views, there was something interesting at every turn.

The building here is a screened gazebo which was set up for all the wonderful dishes that were brought for the pot-luck.

I am not sure what this structure was intended for but it reminded me of a little bandstand but with seating.
This little gem is a children's playhouse, used mostly for storage now as the children are all grown. I tried to draw and paint this scene with only minor success so you won't see a photo of my painting - lol. I do buildings better when I can take my time and plan. One day I should go back and study the building and try the scene again.
This was the scene I should have painted as I am much better at landscapes in a plein aire situation. This is a view of the Skimmerhorn Mountains on the east side of the Creston valley with a wild poppy bed in the foreground.

It was a great day, with fellowship and painting together - how could it miss?