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?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Teach and Learn

I have often found that each time I teach a class or workshop that I learn something too. Yesterday's Watercolour Painting Party had seven complete beginners so everything was completely new and frightening. Do you remember the first time you sat in front of a blank sheet of paper or canvas? Do you remember how you hesitated to add any colour? I still have trouble sometimes when confronted by a large canvas and acrylics or oils but not with watercolour so I was a bit surprised by the hesitation most of the group exhibited.
Dora, Karen and Judy
Karen's Victorian Garden

Dora's Weathered Sheds

Judy's Soft Sunrise
 I also learned that when teaching raw beginners that seven is really too many. I found that I was not able to give everyone the individual attention that they needed. I often felt that I rushed through explanations so I could move on the the next person. Luckily no one held it against me and they all seemed to have a good time.
Veronica, Edith, Ingrid and Lee

Veronica's Fantasy Garden

Ingrid's Shipwreck

Edith's Barn on the Hill

Lee's Barn in Autumn
In spite of the fact that they were beginners I think they all did a wonderful job with their paintings. Once they got going they didn't seem to be afraid of the colour any more and they also learned that they could do a lot with just water.

This was the last Watercolour Painting Party until September when I will be doing two more with the vignettes for those who weren't able to attend in June. I will also be offering some parties where participants will get to do 2 small paintings that will be matted to 8 x 10's.

I hope I can take what I have learned and make my next Painting Parties even better than the ones I already done!

Monday, 20 June 2016

So Much Fun!

We had so much fun at Saturday's Watercolour Painting Party and all of the paintings were wonderful (I think).
Carrie, Lynne and Vicki


Eleanor, Ed and Cheryl    
Although most of this week's participants had some painting experience, the style of the paintings or the medium was new to them so they were challenged. One of my biggest concerns is people who are unhappy because their painting doesn't look like mine. I try to remind them that each of us sees things differently and paints differently AND if you don't normally paint this way you can't expect perfection the first time. Actually, you should never expect perfection because often it is the 'mistakes' that make paintings live.

Here are some close-ups of this week's paintings:
Carrie's Path to the Lighthouse

Vicki's Bright Sky

Lynne's Rocky Shore

Eleanor's Autumn Tones

Ed's Old Barn

Cheryl's Pastel Gardens


I did take a few photos of the party goers at work but when I picked up the camera they all pretty much just stared at me - they weren't going to let anyone know that they had been laughing just minutes before. So, I decided not to share those photos lest people call me a liar when I say we had so much fun!



Saturday, 11 June 2016

Success! - Mostly

My first Watercolour Painting Party was today and I think it went rather well. There were a few minor problems; the weather was cold and wet so we set up in the basement, and I forgot to charge the battery in the camera and it died on me before I finished taking photos.
There were seven party goers, all seniors except for a 12 year old boy who really likes art. His mother is a friend and she booked the space for him when I offered it to her.
My husband took some photos from the stairway so the angle was wrong to get a shot of everyone. This is Grietja holding Spence's painting so he could see it from a distance,
It is too bad that the lamp is blocking Donna but here you see Spencer sharing his painting with the rest of the group.
Barb, Jim, Donna and Grietja with their paintings. It is so interesting that people can paint the same scene and end up with very different paintings. Most of the 'students' were new to painting although Barb took a few lessons years ago and Grietja has painted a bit in acrylic.
This is were my camera was dying. I couldn't see what I was doing and managed to cut off heads and pretty much all of Lesley's painting - grrr! Anyway, this is Spencer, Gay and Lesley. It is a good thing that I am an artist because I sure ain’t a photographer - lol!

Everyone seemed to have a great time and I have hopes that they will come back in the fall for another Watercolour Painting Party.




Thursday, 9 June 2016

First Party Coming Up!

My first Watercolour Painting Party is coming up this Saturday and I think I am a bit nervous! It has been some time since I have taught a group of beginners and I have never before worked in this type of format. I THINK I have everything ready.
I have made some cards for the painters to use as guides and I have done faint drawings of their choices on 1/4 sheet of Arches 140 lb paper.
I have prepared small palettes with the basic colours they will need. I am a firm believer in a limited palette and mixing colours but I felt that these beginners needed a few extras to make their work a bit easier. I also have groups of the brushes I think will work best.
I have a bunch of paper towel cut to a handy size, water containers and spray bottles all ready for the big day.
I have a 'cheat sheet' of Vignette Guidelines and some evaluation forms. I have painting boards all ready for the paper and enough tables and chairs for everyone - me included!

Now all I can do is hope for good weather so that we can enjoy nature and bird song while we have our Painting Party on the covered deck.