March 26 from 3-6 p.m.: I will have a painting in the biennial art auction in support of the Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon. Learn more about the auction and how to get tickets here.

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


Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. For a limited time several of my large oil paintings are also available at
their new street front gallery on 21st Street (formally Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery).

Ongoing: a selection of my larger work is available at The Black Spruce Gallery at Northside on Highway 2 just before the turn to Christopher Lake.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Fire

On Fire
8x8"
acrylic on panel

If you are an artist, have you ever felt like you were "in the zone" and everything was just clicking? You were on fire, so to speak? That's how I felt on August 8 when I was painting at Spruce River. I drove up to Waskesiu, Prince Albert National Park the night before so that I was that much closer to the Kenderdine Campus. I was by myself and I spent my first evening alone priming my new boards, taking reference photos around the lake and then I went for an evening swim. The water was as calm as glass and very warm. It was peaceful, relaxing and just what I needed to shift gears and get ready for a week of painting. I got up early on Aug. 8 and took the old road (more scenic) to Emma Lake which took about half an hour. Along the way, I saw 7 deer and one fox which put me into an even better mood. I swear I get more excited than the kids whenever we see wildlife. Anyway, I checked in at the campus, found my cabin and quickly set up a spot in the studio. Then I was off to paint. I decided that since I still had a valid park pass I may as well use it, so I went back the way I came on the old road and found one of my favorite spots about 15 minutes later at a picnic area by Spruce River. Here the river winds away from the forest and comes into a meadow, and immediately turns back into the forest again.

Everything felt right. I grabbed a board I had gessoed and painted with black latex then settled into a great little spot under the cover of tall pines. The above is the first painting I did that day and the three previous reflections I posted came after. I think this is my favorite. I really love how it turned out. It is the most zoomed in I have ever painted a reflection and therefore it is likely the most abstract. When I painted it there was this little patch of the river near the bank that was glowing orange. I was spectacular. It must be the way the sun was shining and illuminating the dead leaves and debris on the river floor. I love the shots of orange with the blues. Hours later as I was packing up I glanced at the river and it seriously looked like it could have been on fire! What I saw was spectacular and absolutely messed with my head. I am including a few photos to give you an idea. 
 
Anyway, that first day of painting was, as it turned out, the most content I ended up feeling all week. The paintings from that day may or may not be the best I produced, but the feeling of peace and happiness was there with me and it felt so good. 

Now a small bit on another topic unrelated to art. It is the morning and both my boys are at school! It is so hard! When I walked away from the school all I could think of was, "Now what?". I know most people are thinking, "GO PAINT SILLY!" but somehow I didn't want to head to the studio. My life for the last eight odd years has been so entirely about these little loves of my life that I don't really know what I will do with myself now that they are both in school full time. Maybe part of the problem is that there are so many things I could do with myself that I don't know where to begin: go back to school, find another career, get a thousand odd jobs done that have been put on the back burner, work a few more hours at my part-time job, paint with more focus, the list goes on. For this morning, however, I decided to write on my blog and have a good cleansing cry! ...Now I have to come up with something to do this afternoon when the kids go back to school after lunch.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Forest Above

The Forest Above
8x8"
acrylic on panel

This is number three of the four reflections I painted while I was at Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus earlier this month. Again, this is from my first day at the workshop when I drove to Spruce River. I've been finding it hard to photograph these reflections. Not sure why.

I'm feeling a bit melancholy tonight. Tomorrow morning I will register the kids for school. I can't believe summer is coming to a close. And here on the prairies it really hardly felt like summer, weather-wise anyway. Very cold and wet and humid. But the climate is not the reason I am melancholy. The kids are getting older and it is happening too fast. My little morning partner is going to Grade One and will be in school all day- no more half days for him. When I said I would miss him he told me that if I got lonely I could snuggle his Stuffies. He is such a doll. And my oldest is starting Grade Three... he had a Dictionary on his school supply list! This is going to a bit of a difficult adjustment I think. For me, not them. I am going to have more time on my hands than I have had in years and years, which raises the question.... What now?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Clouds And Trees... and Road Trips!

Clouds and Trees
8x8"
acrylic on panel

Here is another of the reflections I did while at Spruce River during the week I was up north painting. The bottom right corner is actually more purple than blue, but for all my life I can't tweak the colour accurately. This is the closest I can get, so humour me and use your imagination! I really love doing these reflections and for the way I paint them, acrylic is just so perfect. Interestingly enough, for the remainder of the week I painted with oils which was a total shock to me, but I loved them. I'm not sure I would have loved them as much, however, if I hadn't also discovered Walnut Alkyd (borrowed from a friend) which made them dry much quicker. I did do an under-painting about mid-week in acrylic with the intention of painting oils over top, but that is a story for another day. 

So I have caught a bug and although I don't feel entirely sick, I do feel seriously crappy. I'm not surprised because I was pretty run down after a marathon of activity and John was just sick. Here was my crazy schedule in August: in Calgary with my family over the August long weekend; next a week up north blissfully painting- not at all stressful and very hard to leave; drive from the camp and get home at 1:00 a.m; get up at 7:30 a.m., regroup, shower, get people ready and drive 2 1/2  hours with family to my cousin's wedding; enjoy the wedding and reception (Tommy is a very cute dancer), then get home the next day by late afternoon and go to my parent's for a family supper. What's the big deal you ask? Well, I then regrouped, repacked, slept and headed out for a road trip to Edmonton (5 hour drive) with three fabulous friends! We did West Ed. Mall, Ikea, Whyte Ave. and an Antique Mall in basically 48 hours! And after shopping hours we squeezed in "Eat, Pray, Love". It was hard core... and we are old!!! Well, at least I am. We all had various aches and pains by the end... I felt a little seized up in the back and shoulder area, and one of the girls had to go to the doctor when we got home! But it was soooo much fun! And may I just say that my pal, Nancy can pack a van like no other!

       Me babysitting carts in Ikea        

 Jam, Pack, Jam
(this is actually the name of a Cranium game)

Yes, it was a crazy time and yes, I had Mother Guilt about leaving again so soon after I got home from "art camp", but the girls and I have been trying for two years to get away. We found a time that was perfect for three of them and not the greatest for me, but it could work. My husband totally supported me and that's what matters most, even though I know some people thought I was being selfish. What do you do? And even if it was selfish, isn't that okay for a mother once in a rarely blue moon? Especially because we aren't talking about the type of selfish where people end up harmed in some way. I dunno. Maybe it's not okay...

And now it is school supplies and trying to get on a regular schedule. Easier said than done!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I See

What I See
8x8"
acrylic on panel
sold

Over the next several weeks I will be posting the work/studies I painted while at the Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake. As always it was a dreamy week that went by all too fast. I met some wonderful new artists and had a great time catching up with those I already knew. Mmmmm, and the food! Glorious home cooked food that seems to get better every time I go. The experience wouldn't be the same if the food was mediocre. Thank goodness the "Powers That Be" seem to understand that as fact.
I actually went a day early because I had to leave a day early. I didn't want to lose any precious painting time as I'm sure you can understand. I stayed at Waskesiu Lake the first night which is in Prince Albert National Park, then got up early and drove a half hour to the campus. This way, once I checked in, I had the day ahead of me to paint. I decided to head to Spruce River which is one of my favorite plein air painting locations. It was a beautiful day and all I my attention went to the beautiful colours and patterns in the river's reflections. I painted four panels while I was there... and may I say I love my panels!!! What a different feel than canvas; smooth and slippery. This painting was done on a panel which I gessoed, then coated in black latex. I settled into a state of complete and utter happiness as I painted for hours in a little nook under the pine trees. A little squirrel kept scurrying by and eventually got so comfortable with me in his environment that he laid down on a branch above me and had a snooze!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reach High

Reach High
8x8
oil on panel

I am extremely tired, so although I have been missing this place for a couple of weeks, I am too pooped to spend too much time on a post tonight. More on that later. At any rate it is still a special day... My one year blogging anniversary... and I turned 42! Eek!!! Apparently a good number of blogs fizzle out after the first three months, so I suppose making it to a year is a bit of an accomplishment. Starting the blog was the best decision I had made for myself in a long while. Here is a link to my first post... as well as a link to the one that sets the tone for what I wanted to explore through my blog. I am so thankful for the wonderful art and artists I have learned from on this cyber adventure... I hope you all stick with me for another year.

And I would love to give all of my Followers a painting, but sadly that is not possible. I did, however, make a draw from the list of names/aliases on the right-hand side and I will mail the above painting (done en plein air) to this special person as soon as it is completely dry. Here is how it went...


Congratulations Janie!!! You were one of my very first Followers and I have always appreciated the comments you have left for me. I hope you like this little painting and thank you again for the excitement you have shown for my art. I actually named this painting "Reach High" after I drew your name... I think it works for the piece and also, since you are a teacher, I am certain that you are always encouraging your students to reach their highest potential. I'm going to send you an email now... 

Over the next few weeks I will post more of the paintings I did at Emma Lake. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Northward Bound

I'm off for a week of painting in the Boreal forest. It is almost my one year blogging anniversary and to celebrate I will be drawing from the names of my Followers who will win one of the small paintings I create while I am at Emma Lake. I wonder what it will be? If you are not yet a Follower, I'd be happy to have you as one! If you Follow by August 18 you will be put in the draw which I will make on the 19th.

See you soon!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Quick Hello

The summer has been going so quickly and it isn't slowing down anytime soon. We just returned last night from a holiday to Calgary, Alberta. We were visiting family and had a wonderful time. We took the kids to Banff in the Rocky Mountains and it was so fun to see their reaction. As we drove west of Calgary the kids thought the rolling hills were the mountains because even they are more dramatic than the flat prairies where we are from. You can imagine their shock when they saw the real mountains! Tommy was especially amazed that the peaks went higher than the clouds. I thought I would share a few pictures since I don't have any art to post. I do love my country.



 On Saturday I am leaving everyone behind and heading off to my own little utopia for a week. I will be at the Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake for a glorious week of studio and plein air painting. I am in the midst of prepping my new boards with Golden brand GAC-100 and I can hardly wait to experiment. I hope to have lots to show you very soon. Take care everyone!