Friday, November 19, 2010

Art Show Opening Tonight!

If you happen to be in the Penticton area come by and check out our show!  This is such a fun group, and quite varied.  I was at the Leir House last night while Glenn, George and Paul were hanging the show, and it's a really interesting range of work.  I submitted three lino cuts done from my plein aire sketches into the show.  A bit of a stretch on the plein air theme, but I'm happy with them.  I did them at Laura Widmer's studio.  Laura is a wonderful print maker I met in Wells this summer.  Check out her work here.  She has a beautiful old press in her garage.  I took seven lino plates up with me, and we bundled up and spent a chilly day pulling prints.  Thanks for the help Laura!  The ones in the show are all images of Apex.  I'll post some photos after the show.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sketching Hibernation Over

Somehow a month has passed without me sketching or blogging.  I went into a little hibernation when my dad died, doing nothing but hanging out with my mom and zoning out playing my new mandolin for about 25 hours a day (yes, I have blisters on my fingers).  Funny, sometimes sketching is the only therapy that works for me, and this time it was the last thing I felt like doing.   It took having to go in to the art gallery to lead a workshop to get me to get my brush wet again.

I'm SO grateful that they invite me to do that!  Thanks Glenn.  Sharing my love for watercolour sketchbook journaling is always an honour, and always feels good, but especially this time when I needed the nudge to get going myself.

We had a great group.  Small (only three people plus me), but fun, enthusiastic and talented.  Thanks ladies for coming out!  The class was supposed to be en plein aire, but it was a blustery, gloomy day.  We hit the tearoom at the art gallery instead and, as usual, I used feet to demonstrate perspective and same-sized drawing.

It's thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  We're heading up to our ski place and I'm cooking a big turkey dinner tomorrow.  Mom is coming, along with my brother and his family, and of course our boys.  And Yogi, the giant lap puppy.  I'm looking forward to it all, and to kicking off the season up at Apex with a good family feast.

Thanks to those of you who left messages and sent emails, popped in to my blog, and ordered books this month, in spite of my disappearance.  I'll try not to go dark for so long next time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Beautiful Dad

Sunday was my birthday, and I got to spend it holding the hand of my beautiful dad.  The following day, yesterday, he slipped peacefully away surrounded by people who love him.  He was larger than life, with a voice that was warm and rich and full of magic.  He lived 86 adventure-packed years, the last 58 of them married to my mom.  He was a pro ball player (a 'Roughie'), a ski racer, a coach of almost everything, but above all a family man.  He was always there for all of us; would quit a job if it created a conflict with some event we wanted him at, would drive across the country to pick us up at the drop of a hat if we needed him to (not theoretic, factual).   He loved his wife, his kids and his grandkids to a fault, and we loved him back with the same ferocity.

It's hard saying good-bye, but what I think makes it easier is the fact that he left nothing on the table.  There's no void he forgot to fill for us, no question about how he felt, no lingering need to resolve something or have him acknowledge or offer support.  He was there for us full stop.  He thought we could do anything, and he'd tell anyone who stopped long enough to listen.  He kept his dignity in his illness, and even on his very last day, after a panicked ambulance ride back to the hospital, he took the time to give a warm sympathetic smile to the nurse trying to take a blood sample from his failing veins.

He was a great man, and the best dad ever.

I did this sketch of him during the 'every day in may' challenge.  I thought many times of sketching him in this past month as he lay in his hospital bed (he was still beautiful even then), but that would have involved letting go of his hand, which I was not prepared to do.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Hooked On Books

Hooked on Books, Main Street, Penticton
Sketched this over my morning coffee, Yogi at my feet.  Hooked on Books, here on the right, is the newest store to carry my book, and they've invited me to do an event in their wonderful shop!  On September 23, 7-9 pm, I'll be doing a talk on waking up your creativity.  I'll be selling books, including handmade blank sketchbooks and covers.  Admission is by donation, proceeds going to 'Raise a Reader'.  I'm very excited about the whole thing.  If you're in Penticton come on down.

I haven't been blogging much lately.  My dad hasn't been well.  He's in the hospital in Kelowna, an hour away, and we've all been taking rotating shifts sitting with him.  He's 86 and has had a wonderful life.  It's hard to see him struggling now, but we're glad to still have him with us.  I've been so busy between working, sitting with dad, and putting together my new book proposal (more on that soon) that I've forgotten to go sketching lately!  Today was the first time I've dipped my brush in water since the Wells trip.  It felt good.  Sketching is always like a little brain holiday from everything else that's going on.  Love it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Travel Sketchbook Videos!

OK, making the video tour of Wells prompted me to go on a video making SPREE!  Here are some of my favourite old sketchbook journals, made into videos on youtube.  Fun!  Click on the journal cover and it'll take you to the video.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Walking Tour of Wells Sketchbook Video!

There's a new video on youtube of my time in Wells.  It's a sort of a 'Walking Tour' of the town, in sketches and drawings.  I hope you check it out.  It's about four minutes long.

Click here or on the Journal cover to view


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Panoramic View of Wells - Pooley Street

Here's another almost 360 degree view of Wells, this time from just outside the Island Mountain Arts Gallery on historic Pooley Street.  These images all connect.  If you include one of the panels from my Wells sketchbook it'd make a continuous loop around the scene.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writing an Artist's Statement

I've been working away on my Artist's Statement these past couple of days, and guess what, it's hard work!  I found a great online guide  that I thought I'd share with anyone going through the same pain at the same time.  Here's the link:

How To Write An Artist's Statement - Molly Gordon

Molly Gordon is a small business coach for 'reluctant entrepreneurs'.  She puts out an eZine called 'Authentic Promotion' that can have some good info in it for artists and other creative professionals.

Thanks Molly for the guide to writing an Artist's Statement.  Your questions are good; they get the brain rolling, and it was actually fun to follow the steps.  My statement isn't finished, but at least it's started now!  I've 'Filled the Pot', and now I'm 'Simmering the Stew' (it's in the guide).

Hope that helps.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wells Sketchbook 2

The Wells Sketchbook:  I know I posted a few of these while I was en route, but the images were from snapshots and not that clear.  Here's the whole book scanned.  This is such an amazing place, I could have stayed and filled another three books if my real life weren't beckoning me back home.

Front Cover Wells 2010 Journal

back cover

Wells Community Garden Panorama

These ten images all link together to create one 7.5 inch by 112.5 inch scene.  I did two of these panoramic scenes during my stay here; one here at the Wells Community Gardens, and the other at the intersection of Sanders and Pooley Street.  They're each a full 360 degree view.  If you took the last panel and moved it over, it'd line up with the first.  It was a real challenge, dealing with changing light and perspective, dogs, kids, mosquitos and moving cars (although in Wells they really don't move that often).  I always seem to be a little bit invisible when I'm sketching on location, sitting there overhearing all the goings-on in the neighbourhood, children playing in the playground, people gardening, strolling, enjoying life on their street.  It was kind of funny how the locals had all been stepping around me for days, but when they came in to view our work at the end of the project they were surprised to see their homes and all their familiar buildings around town captured here.  Their delight at having their homes captured made me very happy!

I had a couple of real challenges while doing this piece.  The first was, after laying it all out and doing most of the initial sketching, I discovered the paper I though was watercolour friendly was not at all.  The first drop of water made it puff up like one of those compressed sponges getting it's first dose of moisture!  Normally I would have panicked, but here in Wells everything is so laid back I just sort of stared at it and thought, 'hmmm'.  Good thing I happened to grab a box of pencil crayons just before I left Penticton.  It was much slower than it would have been in watercolour, but I think it was a good exercise.  Next 'argh!' moment was after I discovered this cool sepia pen and ink on a side trip to historic Barkerville.  I was having great fun with it, had sketched maybe a house or two in this lovely ink, when I dropped the pen and bent the nib.  No more pen.  Again, I could have freaked, but instead decided to  head back to Barkerville to buy another one.  It meant packing up my camper in order to get mobile, something I hadn't banked on doing during my stay here.  On my way back to where I was parked, I popped in to one of the little galleries on Pooley Street.  I told my tale to the woman working there, an artist I met up here last year at a workshop.  She walked in the back of the gallery and came out with a fist full of pen nibs for me to use.  How nice is that!   I just seemed to meet so many generous people here.  I can see how people come here and decide to stay.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Wells Trip Part 1

I'm here in Wells, more than halfway through the artist's project.  I finally found internet, and I'm too tired to write anything, but here are a couple of pages from my sketchbook.  I'm working on a big series that I'm having fun with, but I'll save it and post once it's all finished.

I'm off to grab a bite and then go watch an arty movie with the rest of the group.  Hope I can keep my eyes open.

More to come soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Folding Hard Cover for Handmade Sketchbooks!

I recently switched from using hard-covered watercolour field sketchbooks to making my own flip sketchbooks out of watercolour paper (how-to video here).  I love the books, but the one drawback was that, without a hard cover, the books weren't protected and would get a little beat up with use.  The other challenge was that I no longer had a hard surface under my paper to work against.  So... I made this cool cover!  The folding sketchbooks just slide in under an elastic on the spine.

When I finish one, I can take it out of the cover and pop another one in.

Both sides have flip-out panels, so no matter which way the paper folds out, there's a panel underneath it.  There's a silver elastic down the centre spine to hold it in, and a white ribbon to hold the whole thing closed in my bag.

This fabric was a dress I bought (cheap) for a French themed dinner party.  I never really wore it in real life.  Looking at it now, it's kind of funny how much the sketches look like Yogi and me.  They are even the kind of outfits that I wear (when I'm not in paint covered sweats).  The dress looks much better on a sketchbook cover than on a person.
I learned a few things that I'd do differently next time, but overall I'm totally happy with it.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Wells!  The camper van is packed full of art supplies and fun toys (guitar, good books and music).  I've prepped a ton of canvi.  Ten days of sketching/painting/yogaing/camping.  Beam me up!

Monday, July 12, 2010

One New, One Updated

Fib's Open Mic

Did this from a sketch made during the Sketchcrawl last November (blogged here).  This place has such a cool feel.  There's always something going on; open mic, movie night, live music.  The painting over the table (which isn't really there) is of a carving I picked up at the JJ market in Bangkok.  I wanted to bring something home that carried a bit of the serenity I found tucked in between the chaos and the angry demonstrations in Thailand.  I love this little yogini.  I have another half-done painting that I think she may find herself in.  She sits beside my bed, and is one of the first things I see in the morning, reminding me to breath and relax into the day.

Speaking of yoga, I'm in a good yoga groove right now.  I signed up at and have been doing a different practice pretty much every day for about a month now.  It's great, because I don't have to leave Yogi at home, and there's no travel time, and at about $10 a month, it's pretty bargainous.   The videos are good quality, and there's a huge range to choose from.  If you're using streaming video you can use any of them for that $10.  You can download the ones you like for a fee, which I did with a few of them so I can practice outside when I'm camping.  The Jivamukti ones are my fave at the moment.

This other painting is one I did quite a while ago.  There were parts of it I liked, and parts that made me wince when I looked at it, so I just 'adjusted' a few things.  I'm much happier with it now.

Gun Barrel at Night