On Feb 14th I was pleased to give a demonstration of pastel painting to a small but eager audience as part of the Sensuality Exhibition sponsored by the One Flower, One Leaf Gallery in Gibsons. I enjoyed the interaction with the audience--you asked great questions!--and was reasonably pleased with how the two works developed. here are a few shots from the demo, and the finished pieces after some final polishing back in the studio.
I was pleased to have two pieces in a recent 'Works on Paper' show at the Federation of Canadian Artists' gallery on Granville Island, and even happier that one of them, Knock Three Times, received an Honourable Mention award. Both works are now back in the studio and available for purchase.
For over thirty years, my parents had an Airstream trailer dealership which, in accordance with our family's love of puns, they named Totem Trailers (towed'em, get it?). Perhaps it was a childhood surrounded by the logo of a totem--on the road sign, their letterhead, their business cards--but I've always had an affection for this iconic image.
Recently, I noticed a billboard ad for one of the four (?) pet supply stores in our small village. It featured a Golden Retriever with a bird perched on top of its head, and the store name was "All For Pets." It got me thinking about the role pets play in our contemporary households. Research indicates that, in 2015, Canadians spent $4.1 billion on their pets. Somehow the image of the dog/bird, and my thoughts on pets, and the totem image, all came together and I imagined a totem of pets. This idea has little to do with First Nations totems; rather, it represents a message about what we revere, what we spend our time, money, and resources on. Please note, no judgement of pet owners is intended (I have had many beloved pet companions myself!)--just thinking about our value system...
So here's the first result, which uses some of the same techniques as my recent Pacific Northwest bird series:
Having completed this image, I found that the idea went further. How about another totem of the 'wild' equivalents to these pets? Do we give as much value, time, and money to these animals as we do our pets? Something to think about...
I'm still thinking--perhaps a totem of agricultural animals (chicken, pig, cow, horse?) and one of endangered animals (elephant, panda, cheetah, gorilla, condor?). Not sure where this series might yet take me...we shall see.
An Update on these two pieces--they were selected for installation at the brand new Gibsons Public Health Unit (located opposite the Wheatberries Cafe, on the Sunshine Coast Highway in Gibsons). I hope they bring much enjoyment to the staff and patients for many years! At the official opening on January 11, I was touched by my conversation with the Squamish Elder who blessed the unit--he supported my message about valuing animals of all kinds, and generously sanctioned my use of the First Nations symbol of the totem. As he said, "It's all the same thing, the same message!"
Again this year, The Landing Artists (the Sunshine Coast Artists Cooperative) will stage a Christmas show and sale at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. Come by and meet one of the artists any day (11-4) from December 5-23. I'll be showing paintings, including a few new works based on recent travels in the BC Interior and Vancouver Island (surfers!), but I and my fellow artists will have a range of giftable items such as baskets, scarves, and cards along with our larger works.
I'll be at GPAG all day on Dec 13 and 23. Come by and say hi!
I am pleased to announce that three of my works have been accepted into the Federation of Canadian Artists MIX! Mixed Media show (Nov 14-26). Hope you get to the Gallery at 1241 Cartwright St. on Vancouver's Granville Island to see the show.
Here are the accepted works. The two women are part of my 'princess' series that examines the impact of Disney princess movies on young girls with regard to their beliefs and expectations about women's roles. Both are a combination of soft pastel and applied fine art paper collage elements. The third piece is one of my recent series on Pacific Northwest fauna--this salmon is a mix of printing ink, acrylic, and oil pastel on canvas.