Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Willow Tree

While at Artwalk I met many interesting people who stopped by my art display and chatted with me about my paintings. This is when I met Lori, a very warm and friendly lady from sunny San Diego. We began talking about my art, the colours and the style which then led us on to talking about California, my love of hot weather, the sun and how I was being commissioned to create a painting of Palm Springs.
Lori mentioned that she was thinking about an idea of creating a painting of her dear friend Arlene's property in Cars Landing (north of Kelowna). She began describing the property, a waterfront piece of paradise with a lone willow tree that sat on a point in Okanaga Lake. Lori described how at home her friend and her felt when they rounded a certain corner of the road high on the hill overlooking Okanagan Lake and could see the Willow Tree down below which anchored Arlene's waterfront property.
Lori told me of the history the two close friends had over the years, the joys they shared and the hardships they endured together.  We spoke about the symbolism of the tree and the meaning of home.
By the end of the conversation I was so moved by Lori and we parted ways saying we would keep in touch about a possible commission.
After the show Lori and I emailed back a forth a number of times with photos, descriptions and colour ideas. It was a real collaboration that focused on capturing the Okanagan and Arlene's property. I sat for hours one night sketching the sky, working the clouds and trying to capture more of a meaning of their friendship. This is where I came up with the design of the clouds wrapping around the sun and weaving through the sky and hugging the mountains, symbolizing their friendship and the ups and downs and support they have given each other from the stories Lori told me.
Now I just had to hope Lori would like it! She did and I was excited to get started on canvas.
Lori's painting was the first to be completed in my new studio and I loved every minute in there working on this beautiful piece. When it was completed I took a photo and sent it to Lori, hoping she would love it too. Very early the next morning I received an email back saying she was thrilled with how it turned out and I couldn't have been happier. The painting was packaged up and sent off that day to Lori in San Diego where it arrived the next week.
I have to say Thank you to Lori, this painting was more than I imagined and I loved every minute of creating it with her capturing the symbolism, meaning of friendship and the beauty of the Okanagan and Arlene's property.

Below are a few photos of the progress this commission took from photographs to sketches and to the final work of art.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Studio Visit

The following is a blog entry from the talented Wendy Alpine and her husband Rob from who came over for a Studio visit earlier this week. We had a great time and I am honored to be featured on her blog. ENJOY!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Art in the Park Opening Night

Last Saturday was the Art in the Park exhibition opening night at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Center. It was so exciting to see all the other artists from Mt Fidelity and the beautiful works of art that they have created. I was very honored to have my art next to theirs and Jackie from the RVAC did a fabulous job putting the show together. I met some wonderful people, including the artists from the Yoho Art in the Park and had a really great time. Below are photos from the evening courtesy of Jacolyn. Thank you to the Revelstoke Visual Arts Center, The Friends of Mt Revelstoke and Glacier National Park and Parks Canada for this incredible program and for allowing me to participate in it.
The Artists of Glaicer and Yoho Art in the Park

The fabulous organizers

A packed house all night long!
Husband Carl and our little Joni

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Art In The Park

Earlier this year I screamed into the phone as if I'd won the lottery, because that is exactly what it felt like. It was Jackie on the other end telling me that I had been selected out of 60 artists from across BC to participate in the Art in the Park program which meant I was to spend a week up at Mt Fidelity in Glacier National Park.
I was beyond thrilled and felt like a kid counting down the days until Christmas until the end of July came where I got to head up there (all expenses paid too!).
The time finally arrived and although I was sad to leave Carl and especially Joni for the first time I was very excited. I met the group of 5 other artists that night while we had a bbq dinner and the next morning we hopped in the 4x4 truck and climbed 1800m to the Mt Fidelity Research Station overlooking Rogers Pass.
 We spent some time exploring, getting to know each other and then eating an enormous dinner. We were treated like Royalty up there, meals were planned and cooked and wherever we wanted to explore we could. As long as we went, for the most part, in groups and had bear spray.
Zu was our Parks Canada guide, leading us to the peaks and valleys of Mt Fidelity so we could photograph, sketch and paint. It was absolutely incredible the scenery and thought that as this mountain is closed to the public, there was the sense that no one else has or would be standing in the same place I was sketching. I woke up twice during the week to watch the beautiful sun rise over Rogers Pass.
 We spent Sunday exploring Schuss Lake.
 This is the waterfall at the other end of Schuss Lake
Below are a few more photos from this incredible experience that I was so lucky to be apart of. I will never forget this and be forever grateful for the time I spent up Mt Fidelity.

Next post will be about the Art created from this trip and the opening night at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Center!

For more information on the program please visit

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Well I should have updated this a long time ago but deadlines made things a little crazy.
The Revelstoke Visual Art Center & Parks Canada's Art in the Park exhibition is November 12-December 24 and the paintings had to be delivered beforehand. I submitted the Northern Lights, Peak Flowers, Clouds Hugging Mountains and Mt Fidelity which took me longer than expected to complete. I am thrilled of the outcome of this painting and am really looking forward to the Opening night November the 12th.

Title: Mt Fidelity
Size: 36" x 36" x 1.5"
Price: $600

The Penticton Art Gallery has their annual Under 300 event which I really wanted to enter. It is a great event and the Penticton Art Gallery is one of the friendliest and inviting public art galleries I've been to. Below is the painting I submitted for the show, opening night is November 25th!

Title: Rattlesnake Island
Size: 24" x 24" x 1.5"
Price: $275

We spent 10 days in Vancouver and on the coast to celebrate our daughter Joni's 2nd Birthday and had a great time with family and friends. The last weekend we were there we rented a little cabin on Galiano Island right on the ocean. It was beautiful with the inspiring views, the warmth of the wood stove and Joni playing with her train set. I just love the Gulf Islands and can't wait to go back there again, hopefully in the spring.


I completed a commissioned piece for our friend Dan who has a place down in Palm Springs. This painting is of the house across the street from his that you can see balcony with the mountains towering behind. I love Palm Springs with the endless sun, hot afternoons and lounging by the pool.

Title: Palm Springs
Size: 24" x 36" x 1.5"
Commissioned Piece

In other news I've had a few studio visits, although at home as my studio is not yet complete and am working on a few commissions. The studio is almost complete, we just have to finish the ceiling and put down the floors which shouldn't take long. Now that these deadlines have been completed it's back to working on the studio and finishing it soon. It's getting cold out!!!
Stay tuned, I promise it won't be as long and hopefully the next post will include photos of a completed studio!

Website it UPDATED! Visit for more information

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Etsy Shop

Last year I started an Etsy shop and listed a few of my paintings. I received some views and a few messages but then I let it lapse and the listings expired. The past year was a BUSY one! I vowed that one day I would recommit myself to Etsy and be more attentive and active.
Well yesterday was the day. I listed 9 paintings and have started researching 'Circles' 'Favorites' 'Hearts' and everything Etsy to get my name out there. It is a little overwhelming, there are thousands, tens of thousands of talented artists, crafters and fabulous vintage items that it is going to be tough to develop a strategy that will help guide people to my little shop. I feel like a needle in a haystack. Unfortunately my first message I received was a spam one, at first getting me excited that I had a potential sale only to have wasted valuable studio time. Oh well, lesson learned.
There are many helpful forums, blogs and how-to guides for Etsy which I'll be reading up on soon. If anyone out there has any advise, I would love to hear it and please let me know what you think of my shop by visiting
Thank you!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Learning from Others

Spending a week at the end of July with 5 other artists was an incredible learning experience. Being a self taught artist I was not completely sure what I would take away with me from the styles and subject matter that the other artists specialize in but kept an open mind.
I first spoke with Shelley the morning we were heading up Mt Fidelity as we walked around Revelstoke for the morning. Shelley specializes in capturing wildflowers, lichen, moss and her knowledge of the plants up the mountain was so valuable. Her ability to focus on the minute detail of these plants amazed me as for me, I focus on lines and blocks. I learned so much from her and she influenced one of my paintings. I have never painted plants in my style and was very excited to try it with her influence.
Below, is a photo of these beautiful little wildflowers that were at nearly the peak of Mt Fidelity at 2200m and then my painting of them. I love it and am looking forward to painting more close ups of plants and flowers.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Studio Update

While I had to take a bit of a break from working on the studio due to Artwalk, but Carl has been continuing to put up eaves, trim and getting it to lock up stage while battling the wasp nest near the back. I've been painting the exterior and absolutely love the colour scheme. Red roof, white siding, grey trim and a set of purple french doors. YES! Purple!!!
The electrician is here this week and then we get to start the fun part, finishing. We're going to be much faster at this stage (I say this now) as we've done a lot of finishing renovations throughout the three houses we've owned.
I'm getting really excited about setting the studio up to work in and constantly searching online for furniture, lighting and an electric fireplace. I'm hoping to have my desk set up in the front left corner with a filing cabinet and a small couch (hide-a-bed for guests) on one wall, the electric fireplace on the other, a shelf/cabinet along the window and my easel set up so I can look out both the large window and the french doors.
I can't wait and I'm hoping the next update will have photos of insulation, walls and maybe some paint!

Monday, 12 September 2011


This past weekend was the 17th Annual Artwalk in Lake Country! After weeks of preparation, late nights finishing paintings and organizing Friday arrived and it was time for set up. I always get nervous and excited about set up, not knowing where I would be besides the 'Large Gym'. I was at the end of a row and had some room to play around with and within two hours Carl and I had it set up and it looked great.
Saturday morning arrived, I brought some fresh flowers from the garden and was dropped off. The morning was full of excitement, you could feel it from all the artists there and people started streaming in. There was so much great feedback and compliments I received and I made a few sales out of it too!
Overall, it was a great experience yet again and I hope to make it into Artwalk next year. I look forward to working with the people I met who would like a commissioned piece and the networking with other artists was fabulous. I look forward to seeing everyone soon.
Now that Artwalk is complete, it's time to start preparing for the next show in November in Revelstoke for Art in the Park ( ) and some upcoming deadlines for Christmas shows, and yes finishing my studio!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

My Style

A common question that people ask me is, 'How do I come up with my style?' It's taken me awhile now to come up with a simple answer to this and I thought I would share with you the answer without getting too caught up in the artsy world.
Basically I start out with an idea of a certain area, city, or landscape in mind. If I have photos, great. If I can do it from memory, better and most of the time it's a combination of both what is there and how I can interpret it. Next, I strip everything about that area away. Keeping the simple lines of the mountains and then adding shapes of trees, houses, and buildings, if any. I am a HUGE fan of water and try to incorporate it into all of my paintings and  balance it with the sky. The sky, I feel is every changing and therefor I feel like I can make it whatever I like! That's why sometimes the sky is yellow, purple, blue, red or orange and I always include the sun, or the moon, to my paintings. I sketch it out, usually many times until I feel like I've created a good flow and I take some notes along the side of my sketches. Afterwards I sketch it out onto the canvas and after then I get to paint!
Sketches of 'Kelowna North'   

My Artist Statement is as follows:

Capturing the Simplistic Beauty in our Everyday Landscapes.

I believe it's important to slow down from our hectic lives and appreciate the simple things that surrounds us. Whether that be family, a good glass of wine or the landscape you see daily, stop and take it in. I spent some time on a little Island called Caye Caulker off the coast of Belize in 2006 where the island slogan was "Go Slow". I've always tried to remember my time on the island while painting and the meaning of this phrase and I hope you can see it to.
'Kelowna North' KGH Foundation Juried Showcase Winner

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Building My Studio

It's always been a dream to have my own studio, a place that can be completely mine, left as it without worrying about someone else bumping a fresh painting, or sticky fingers reaching up to touch it. I used to have my own room in the house, it was small with lots of light but it was during a time where I didn't paint all that much. In October of 2009 our daughter Joni was born and my painting room soon became Joni's nursery. Since then I've been painting in the kitchen, living room, our bedroom and the back porch during naps and after she's gone to bed. Once she wakes up the painting gear is tucked behind doors, hung high up on walls and locked in cupboards.

This summer my darling husband decided to turn our old, dusty full of wasp nests and spiders shed, into my new studio. At first I was a little skeptical but when I came home from my artist retreat at the end of July and saw that he had already ripped off the old roof and was replacing it with new (red!) shingles I was thrilled.
Over the last few weeks I've been searching online for used building materials and constant 'how-to' guides and it is definitely taking shape. New siding is up, a new-to-us 6 foot window is in ($25!) and a pair of beautiful french doors that overlooks our vegetable garden are installed. The electrician is coming soon and we're hoping that by the end of September I'll be in there painting! I can't wait, and am so grateful for my husband who has been slaving away with me in the heat of summer creating this beautiful oasis for me.

 Below is a set of photos taken a few weeks back now to help document this process.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

9 More Days

Artwalk ( : The largest juried art show in the Okanagan begins in 9 days and I still have to get together my portfolio, cards and yes I still have to complete a painting. I've always been like this, rushing for deadlines but it stirs creativity and commitment.
Last year I entered into Artwalk as it being my first ever show and I had so much fun. Meeting other artists, interacting with locals, tourists and the opinionated, I had my first taste of what it would be like to be a professional artist. I LOVED IT. I had great response from so many supporters and sold half my works which enabled me to stay at home with my daughter Joni for another month on maternity leave. It also gave me a huge kick in the ass to really push myself to get out there and live the dream that every artist has.
As my one year anniversary as I'll call it comes to a close I am proud of what I've accomplished and excited for the possibilities of year two.
I had an artist critique night with two other local artists last week to go over our paintings that we will be displaying, our sales tactics and any other questions we had. It was extremely helpful and I'm looking forward to attending another artist meeting the Monday following Artwalk.
So as I count down the days, stay up late painting and hope that I'm organized I decided to start up blog while I'm at it. It's been on my to-do list for months, so here I am.
I hope you like it and I promise to be committed!