A bit of a challenge

A colleague of mine, while discussing some of my forest series, happened to inquire as to whether or not I would ever paint more “fall-like” colours-as in reds, golds, oranges. I must admit I have a fascination with, love of blues and greens which often translates into what I do. My forest series definitely reflects that, being mostly composed of those colours with the odd patch of yellow or red.

I thought on it, and the more I did, the more I realized that it would mean more than just a simple shift of colour palette. The trees and shapes I normally work with would have to be rethought as my version of “pine trees” do not normally change into those vibrant hues. Then too, there is the landscape and the overall vibe or mood.

Interesting. Very interesting. Somewhat frustrating. But it’s good to keep stretching, no?


Fiery Sunset Lilies

Fiery sunset lilies

The Museum The Brush Off

crowd shot Mid-point round 1 Round 1 starting off Round 2 mid point Round 3 final pictures Round 3 Set up The crowds at the brush off

The Brush Off: The review

What can I say about The Brush Off? It was a blast!

Artists started filtering in around 6 and final details were presented. The guests started pouring in, and then the fun began.

The first round was “open”, meaning the artists could paint whatever they wanted. In that round we were split up into two groups. Thank goodness I was in the first group, because at that point, I don’t think my nerves would have liked waiting the 30 minutes for the first group to finish. To get an idea of what we were doing, the artists were set up in clusters of 3 around the main floor. Guests could walk around from group to group, checking out how the artists were progressing. So, you have a spotlight from above, music pumping, guests chatting with each other, lots of movement around you and just a general crazy, intense energy in the room. At one point, it got so squishy with people that I leaned back on my stool to stretch out a sec and was leaning on one of the guests lol. My painting in this round took second place and I made the cut to the next round.

Rounds 2 and 3 were thematic…2 was “light” and 3 was “dark”. Again, the off the charts energy and just overall excitement took over and the artists were off. I didn’t make it to the “final 3” open round, but am damned proud for getting up to that point. All of the works were auctioned off immediately after completion to raise money for the Museum and am sure the party went on long after this tired artist drove home to bed.

All I can say is that if you have never been to this event, GO! Take a good look at the art that the artists bring with them to display. Some artists due to their techniques, might not be producing their best works in this medium and under such time constraints, and if you look at the “mini-gallery” you will see some absolutely stunning pieces of art work. I honestly wish I had more time to just sit and take in their talents as each and every one of the artists their were just phenomenal. It was fun; it was a party…it was damn good art!

So, given that I don’t work in acrylic (and yes, they drove me nuts and I had to limit my technique somewhat lol), given the stress, nerves leading up to the show, the fact that you really are putting yourself in a vulnerable place painting live AND having people standing around behind you talking, commenting on your work and voting (not necessarily great for the artist ego), would I do it again? In a heartbeat. It was well run, oodles of talent, pushed my limits, made me think, and with my old and new fans cheering me on and supporting me, it was a fabulous evening. Pics hopefully coming soon.

Something borrowed…something blue

Let me tell you a story shall I? Admittedly, I’m going to “age” myself right off the bat, but, oh well.

Once upon a time…way back in the day when there were “junior high schools” and classes were called “Home Ec” and “Shop”. This was when the “Shop” teacher was horrified by the mere thought of girls invading his sacred male domain. Mind you, I suppose that when I managed to somehow forget to tighten the little dowhatsit (you know, the thing that looks like a sewing machine foot” on the bottom of the jigsaw), turned the machine on and proceeded to watch in fascination the lumber go flying up and down thereby twisting the blade thingy into a pretzel-like formation, well it didn’t help his impression much.

Anyhow, back to the story. While faced with yet another troublesome piece of machinery-no not the table saw or welding torches, this would be about my nemesis, the sewing machine. After “stitching” wobbly lines, chewing up fabric, breaking needles, jamming bobbins and muttering more than a few choice words…I mean, after “learning how to sew basic stitches”, we were expected to complete a “project”. I would like to say that I almost looked forward to making my wood bread cutting board more, but I digress. I chose to do an apron. Ok, not a “girly” apron. I wanted to make a denim workshop apron to hold tools and such for my dad. I am sure I swore up and down, couldn’t get the stitches right, and probably stabbed my hand seven kabillion times, but I finished it. And drunken seams dancing on those front pockets, I gave it to him anyhow. Now, I can’t say I remember his reaction, nor do I have any distinct memory of him wearing it.

Here is the “funny” thing. Years and years later, not too long after he passed away, my sister and I were cleaning out his little workshop shed, where he puttered around on his wood projects, creating things with love for people he knew. There, covered in little bits of sawdust, hung in place with all his other well used tools…there was that denim apron. The strap that went around the neck was held together with a safety-pin, and dad must have kept on wearing it safety-pin and all.

I’ve been mulling over what to wear this weekend to paint at The Brush Off. When I paint at home, it’s a pair of pink track pants from yesteryear, and an old t-shirt, both with more holes than public decency allows. I’ll most likely have to “upgrade” to something at least in one piece. There is one thing that I am sure of, it doesn’t matter.  You see, the first time I painted my first painting, I set up my palette and brushes and knives. I took a deep breath. Then, I pulled the denim strap over my head, making sure the safety-pin still held, and have never looked back. My dad never saw me paint; I hadn’t started before he died. But I am bringing him along for the ride this weekend with something borrowed, something blue.

TAG Art Gallery Winter Show

For those of you looking to take a break from the January blahs, the fabulous TAG Art Gallery in St Catherines has their Winter Group show opening on January 16th. It is a lovely gallery with some brilliant artists showing. When I was dropping off my own submissions, Frank, one of the owners, gave me a tour and I felt like a small child in the candy store, just awestruck in wonder at the beauty of some of the pieces before me. I literally could have stayed there for hours just staying at some of the works. So, you can see my “Silenced”, “Bastille ou Boudoir”, “Like a Moth to the Flame”, “The Power of Nurture” and “Motherhood” starting January 16th. It really is worth the short drive out there, and who knows, perhaps you could arrange to make a day of it and include a few wine tastings along the way!




Bastille ou Boudoir    Like a Moth to the Flame