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 (http://www.revelstokevisualarts.com/about1.html ) 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 (www.artwalk.ca) : 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!