Monday, 11 November 2013

Making things and Organizing

In the late Spring I started doing some new creative activities because my walls were too full of paintings. Many of the items I made are going to be available this coming Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Wynndel Community Center's Annual Arts & Craft sale.

  My granddaughter, Jasmine modeled some of the items so I could get some photos. On the left she is wearing one of the T-shirt scarves I made (we call them fun dangles) and one of the mixed media brooches I made last year. Below on the left, Jasmine is showing a belt and headband done by finger weaving as well as a crocheted wristband and choker. The middle picture shows more finger weaving with a hat band and a tie/belt. The final display is an infinity scarf done in crocheting. I have had a lot of fun making these items and other things - I just hope I can sell some!

 Of course, I won't have Jas available to model during the event so I had to come up with a way to display some of my product. Once again my granddaughter came to the rescue! I traced around her upper body to make some mat board figures and she traced around me. I think they look quite smart.

Now comes the organizing part! Whenever I have a show with a table display to set up, I always set the display up at home first. This gives me the chance to decide if I have too much or too little product and it makes set up on the day of the event much easier.

As you can see I have a full table full of color and variety. In addition to the items already mentioned I will have some of my little boxes, my mixed media brooches, a selection of my paintings and some Christmas type cards. I hope to see many of my friends this Saturday at Wynndel Hall.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A New Venture - Workshops

A thought that has been germinating for a few months has finally sprouted and is growing like a weed. I am now offering workshops!! I have taught workshops to the Creston Art Club and once to the Riondel Art Club but now I am open to going further afield. Details are still sketchy but I can think of a few things that might appeal to students.

In Watercolor:
It's Snowing
 This simple winter scene gives students a number of techniques to learn.
Trash or Treasure
 Painting metal and glass is always a challenge - I would have to practice a bit!
Atmosphere is always popular and a scene like this can teach a number of things.

Add Pen & Ink:

Fencepost and Daisies
A loose watercolor with pen & ink accents - a great way to spice up a painting
Blue Poppy
Or, just use the pen & ink techniques by themselves for a totally different look

Maybe some Acrylics:

Iris Magic
 Painting with acrylic on paper gives you options - watercolor style or acrylic or both!
Under the Skimmerhorn
 Painting a scene with just a palette knife can be fun and challenging.

These are just some of the things I have taught over the years and I look forward to sharing them as well as other techniques with aspiring artists.  If you or your group is interested in a specific technique, check with me - maybe I can help.

I try to structure my workshops so the participants each takes home a painting that is not a duplicate of my work  but something uniquely their own - it is the technique that is important not the subject.  I hope my idea of workshops will appeal to many artists in the neighboring communities. To find out more contact me at

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

The month of June is always a very busy time. Between the garden, my flowers and getting art ready for the summer tourist season, I don't seem to have time for anything else.

Last week I took some art to the restaurant at the Kokanee Springs Golf Course as part of the Eastshore Art Connection which I joined this year.

Broken Trellis
Sunlight thru the Trees

I don't know how into art golfers are but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I also have to have a painting to - possibly- display at Wynwood Winery as part of the Eastshore artdrive. It is a challenge to pick something as I have heard that the lighting there is not great.

Into the Flames
Next I will be displaying two pieces at the Wynndel Canada Day celebration art display.
M'mm Good

 These pieces will go on to the exhibit at the Ingham Arts Center in Creston on July 2 and stay there for a few days.

I have never displayed big pieces in Wynndel before so it will be interesting to see what happens.

I am still organizing the Art in the Library display for the summer so that is cutting into my time to prepare for the Artistic Visions Summer Art Market. The Art Market is a cooperative with 14 artists in a variety of styles and media. Check out our Facebook page -

I have been painting some local scenes that I hope will catch tourist's eyes and pocketbooks but I will also display some of my other new work.

From the Viewpoint
Hidden Below

Birds over Erickson

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Creative Outlet

I have been thinking recently about looking for a new creative outlet. It is not that I am unhappy with painting but that I am running out of room. Almost every wall in my home/gallery has art and some rooms are FULL of paintings and the offshoots of my painting.

my studio
spare bedroom

laundry room
 I have tried many forms of creativity over the years but I am sure there are still new things to explore.

Also, since I started on Facebook and Etsy, I have seen so many really neat things that I think I would like to try. Like these charming fabric flowers and this lovely crocheted scarf/necklace.

Crochet lariat scarf/crochet flowered scarf/flowered necklacePink canvas bag matching hair clip.

There are so many interesting things out there that I want to try. Some people may say that some of these items are craft not art but I am not so sure. One of the definitions in my dictionary is: The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful...

Of course, things that I consider beautiful may not be thought of that way by others, just as things I consider art may be considered craft by others. It doesn't really matter what others think as long as whatever I do makes me happy and fulfilled.

Creativity has a different look for each person but most of us want and need a creative outlet in our lives to make us complete.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Lots of Ideas, Too Little Time

My mind is just brimming with ideas for new posts but I can't seem to find the time to write, so, I will let the photos do most of the work.

A workshop in February where we all did the same painting creating atmosphere with acrylics.

two starts from different participants

by Richard Mitton
by Val van der Poel

the left painting is the finished product by the instructor and the right is my piece before I added some people

A mixed media workshop where we all did our own thing using the techniques taught by Win Dinn, a local artist and color fiend.

various different starts by a number of classmates and me

The Junction

These are two of my finished pieces from the mixed media classes.

Both types of instruction have their place but I much prefer being able to create my own painting with my own references or imagination.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Volunteering: Work vs Opportunity

As if being a housekeeper, cook and bottle washer etc. and trying to find time to paint and attend workshops isn't enough, this year I took on an extra volunteer job. I am the coordinator for 2 community art displays: one at the local library and the other at the local Chamber of Commerce. Each exhibit lasts around 8 weeks and I have to find the artists, arrange publicity, help with set up (and take down of course), trudge around town with posters etc. etc. etc.

It is always exciting to see the new displays as they go up - to get the first look at the wonderful art that Creston area residents and visitors will be able to enjoy for free.

Here are some examples from the Art in the Library show
by Marion Evans
by Audrey Orosz

by Marge Wiebe

It is very hard to take pictures of watercolor art because everything is behind glass and the glare is terrible. Also, the library display is set up on long walls which makes getting an over-all view difficult.

Here are some pictures of the Art in the Chamber display

Encaustic Wax by Carrie Lucas
by Ute Bachinski and Elaine Alfoldy

by Andy Alfoldy
The Creston area has around 15,000 population and we probably have over 300 artists in a wide variety of media. Of course, not all of them are professional but we have some incredible talent in our neck of the woods and I am getting to see so much of it by volunteering to do the organizing. If you live in my area I hope you will stop by these venues and seeing the wonderful artwork on display.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Not Just an Artist

As any artist knows, we are so much more than just artists. We are breadwinners, homemakers, repair men/women, mothers/fathers, gardeners... and the list goes on.

One of my other dimensions is my garden flowers. For the last few years I have been harvesting my own seeds and starting my own bedding plants. (I often collect more than I will plant so I can use the leftovers in my mixed media art.)

I collect around 20 different kinds of seeds in the late summer and early fall, dry them, separate out the chaff and store them till January.

I start my plants in the house in January because it is too cold here to run the heater in my little greenhouse until April.

By the time it is warm enough to move my plants to the greenhouse I often have a few flowers blooming.

 I don't know if starting my own flowers this way is cost effective but I enjoy the doing and the end result.

  It is so nice to have all the bright color surrounding us all summer that the work involved becomes insignificant

 Of course, I have to take a few steps to reduce the depredations of the deer that wander through the property.

Besides enjoying the beauty of the flowers, I have abundant subjects for my painting. The rock walls make an interesting background and some of the pots add an extra touch of color if used in a painting. Of course, I usually take some photos for reference during the winter months.
A few years ago a friend and I sat outside while we added the blue pots and their flowers to a painting. 
It was fun to do - one of the few times I have enjoyed plein-air painting. Gardening and painting - two activities - two joys!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Expanding my Reach

I have expanded my reach by opening an Etsy shop. Here is the link that will take you right to it:

 One of the reasons I did this now was some encouragement from fellow artist Sherri Ann Strikwerda. You can see her art at:

I didn't just jump in, I checked out a few shops hoping to figure out how it all works but I can't say that was overly successful. One thing I did find out was that people are selling their art which was encouraging. So, with the help of another fellow artist, Laura Leeder, (, I filled in some blanks, added some art and voilĂ ! I have an Etsy shop.

To start, I decided to just display some of my smallest paintings and to keep the prices down. Even after looking at what others have sold, I can never tell what might make the grade.
Winter Grove
Little Daisies

Rosy Glow
I also added a few slightly larger paintings although I kept to the same medium - watercolor. I have two reasons for just displaying watercolors: they are easy to ship unframed and I have a lot of them. I hope to add different media as I expand although all of my art can be purchase right now through the webpage.

Floating Flowers

Now come the hardest part - letting people know the shop exists! I have posted the link to my shop on Facebook and the website: added it to my emails and will add it here. I am trying to connect with other Etsy shop owners as well.

Once again, here is the link to my Etsy shop, I hope you will check it out and share it with your friends.