July - September, 2018: A selection of my artwork is now available for the summer season at Evrgreen, a charming coffee shop in the townsite of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park!

Representation: I am honoured to have my work represented by these well-respected professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street- a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Painting...Finally!

Elevated Blues
oil on canvas
I went to the studio today! Yay! It felt great. My goal was to get something done so I could actually post some artwork. I pulled out this 7x7" canvas, did a quick base coat of cobalt violet (never tried that before) in acrylic and then painted some sumptuous clouds in oil over top. You can especially see some of the cobalt violet above the left cloud at the edge of the painting. So much fun. I think if you click on the image you will get a really large close-up of the colours and brush strokes in the clouds. I think this is done, however, after seeing it on the screen I am not sure about the diagonal line of sky between the clouds. Feedback is always appreciated if anyone sees a problem zone.

After I finished playing with this one I worked on the large canvas I started awhile ago which I am doing in acrylics. What an entirely different sensation going immediately from oils. I actually think it caused me to treat the acrylics in a more loose manner. I think the layers of this painting are starting to come together and by the time I left today I think there was a real sense of depth happening in my two-dimensional forest. And I listened to a disc I haven't heard in awhile... it was greatest hits by Simply Red. I loved that band back in the day. Hmmm...Mick Hucknall- not a conventional singer to have a crush on, but I did. I see from their website they are doing a farewell tour that would be pretty fantastic to see, but it doesn't look like they are coming to Canada. They have pumped out some great music in their time.

Although I was away from the studio, my creative spirit was in full gear the last couple of weeks, albeit in an entirely different way than usual. As I mentioned the other day it was Tommy's 6th birthday and for months now he has asked if he could have an Indiana Jones party. I thought that was so funny because he has never seen the show, but he knows about  the Lego toys and we saw the stunt show at Disney Hollywood Studios when we took the kids last year. I had the goal that for the first 6 years I would do parties for them at home as opposed to going out somewhere. Until they were about three the parties usually just involved family and maybe a litttle playmate, but for birthdays 4, 5 and 6 they have always had a theme and more friends. Although they have not been particularly expensive to do, they have been about putting our imaginations to use and as a result the planning and execution of them has been time consuming! So Tommy's request for an Indiana Jones party felt like the last "kick at the cat" so-to-speak. Tommy is six and this is the last creatively intense party I will do. It was bitter-sweet. 

Here is the low-down (just so you don't think I completely slacked off on my blogger vacation):
The invitation (which was made by my brother-in-law) set the whole thing up...it was Tommy's face photo-shopped onto an image of Indy with all of the details about the party, which was called "Indiana Ault and the Quest for the Black Widow's Cave".
A clue was included with the invitation and the kids had to bring it with them to the party. When they arrived we went to Barnett College (our basement) to see "Indiana Ault's" office (our desk area jazzed up with maps artifacts, and worldly postcards- thanks Auntie Karen) and do a scavenger hunt for things they would need on their adventure. They found things like a satchel, a piece of a map, markers/stakes for the archeological dig they were going to do, a flashlight, Indy's whip, a container of "bow darts",etc. We also put all the clues together that they brought with them which spelled "Black Widow's Cave" and that got them excited. 
Next stop was base camp which was set up on our deck in the back yard. That's where they found the big map that had the missing piece which they found on the scavenger hunt. From there we did the "adventures"  coming back to base camp after each one.  They had to:

1) swing over Snake River:
2) do an archeological dig for copper (rolls of pennies which became part of the loot bags) and mark where they found their treasure:
 3) shoot blow darts at Mola Ram (Q-tips with one end dipped in paint and then put in the end of a straw and blown at a poster):
 4) knock over a Tiki tribe (aluminum cans covered in paper with tiki heads drawn on) with the whip:
5) Retrieve the golden Buddha from the Temple of Doom (fort with green crepe paper strewn about for vines) and try to escape the boulder (exercise ball rolling down the slide after them):

6) discover the Black Widow's Cave (Little Tike's house covered in camo tarp with Halloween spider stuff around) where the final treasure would be found (loot bags):

After that it was cake, presents and playtime! Speaking of cake... thank you Auntie Jannie for your fantastic creation:

I was super stressed last week wondering why I put myself through all of this...especially a party that is so dependant on decent weather... and we had a crazy gale force sleet storm on Friday, two days before the party. However, it all came together in the end, even the weather, and it was sooo worth it. Tommy and Sam loved it. I hope these parties will be a source of great childhood memories. If the boys don't completely remember them I hope they will still enjoy the photos and scrapbook pages I will make of these memories. Like I said, it was not an expensive party to put on (thank you Dollarama)... it was really dependent on creative use of things I already had, imagination, the power of play and the rare commodity of time to plan and execute it... plus a bit of help from family!

And now that I am done tootin' my own horn I will make a disclaimer for any die-hard Indy fans that may read this... I realize this party in no way followed the true Indy adventures.... this is where the imagination thing came in! :) 


-Don said...

Wow! I wish I'd been invited to that cool party... What fun!!!!

"Moving Slow" looks like it was a lot of fun. What an excellent way to warm up your painting muscles as you prepared to work on your large canvas. I think what makes that diagonal line bother you is the fact that the darkest blues are behind the brightest clouds, - in effect, framing them - which draws your eyes to the diagonal.

Happy Creating,


Nicki said...

Thanks Don, I think you are right! I may tweak this area at the studio tomorrow... thanks again!