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?

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!