An Award for Touch the Stars!

I am excited to announce that my small beach painting Touch the Stars received the Terry Ludwig Second Prize at last Saturday's opening reception of the Pastel Artists Canada exhibition at Vancouver's Granville Island Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery.  Juror Richard McKinley mentioned that the piece 'transcended the cliche of kids at the beach, and exhibited the characteristics of good design and mark-making' even though it is small.  I was thrilled, and then even happier when the piece sold by the end of the reception, as well.

Appropriately, the prize associated with the award was a 90-piece set of Terry Ludwig pastels, colours selected by Richard McKinley! I can't wait to try them out when I'm back in the studio.

The PAC show continues to June 4th.  Two more of my pieces are available at the show--and of course there are still many 'beach bits' available at the studio--browse the 'figures' section to see what's still on offer.

Pastel Artists Canada annual juried show May 22-June 4

I am delighted to announce that I have had three pieces juried into this annual national show.  The show will take place at the Federation Gallery on Vancouver's Granville Island from May 22 through June 4, with the opening reception on Saturday May 27 from 2-4 pm.

It is especially gratifying to me that juror Richard McKinley, whom I consider to be perhaps the very best pastel artist working today, chose all three of my submitted images for this show.

Hope you'll come by and see them and all the other wonderful pastel pieces in the show!

Surf Splash pastel on sanded paper 8" x 8" $225

Surf Splash pastel on sanded paper 8" x 8" $225

Touch the Stars pastel on sanded paper 8" x 8" $225

Touch the Stars pastel on sanded paper 8" x 8" $225

Three Redheads pastel on textured panel $650

Three Redheads pastel on textured panel $650

Sunshine Coast Artists Co-operative May Pop-Up Event

The co-op artists will stage their next pop-up event, A Spring Landing, at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery on the long weekend.  Open hours will be Friday May 19 through Sunday May 21, 10-5.

Come and see some new artists who've joined the co-op (Leif Freed and Brian Romer) as well as lots of new and classic work from our other members. I am working on some other laundry scenes, given the positive comments I got last weekend at the Rotary Auction (see previous post).  

Hope to see you there!

Laundry Day at the Rotary Art Auction

On Saturday April 29th, I again participated in the local Art Auction and Wine Tasting event, targeted at raising funds for the Rotary's good works.  This is the second year I've been asked to be the 'live artist demo' and I had a lot of fun.

The venue this year was the brand new Gibsons Public Market building (they had their grand opening that same afternoon!)  It's a beautiful building, created through a great deal of community support in terms of both funds and sweat equity, and it was great to see it hosting such a gala event.

I decided to challenge myself to do a large acrylic painting (2' x 4') in the 90 minutes I had available--quite a stretch!  Instead of trying to work 'cold' from a photo, I chose a motif that I had previously done a small pastel of: a whimsical scene of blowing laundry.  The photo was taken at the Hobbiton film set in Matamata New Zealand during our recent trip.  I was utterly charmed by the attention to detail--little hobbit-sized clothes were arranged on rustic laundry lines outside many of the hobbit hole homes tucked into the hilly landscape. (Don't know what a hobbit is?  Look up Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit!).  Here's the original photo:

And here's the small pastel (it's 10" x 28.5"). 

A Hill to Dry On pastel on sanded paper,  collection V. Nufer

A Hill to Dry On pastel on sanded paper,  collection V. Nufer

I pre-gessoed the canvas in black, and sketched out the basic shapes with a yellow pencil crayon. After that, I simply dove in and went for it! The room became crowded, noisy and very warm!  It became almost impossible to step back and view my progress from any distance, so I positioned my devoted husband halfway across the room and had him send me signals if I was going badly astray.  As I painted, I chatted to the onlookers and handed out business cards by the handful. Time ticked on and then came the word--"Your painting is the next item to be auctioned!" 

A few last minute flourishes, and I signed the piece, titling it "A Good Day to Dry".  The winning bid came from Melanie Gibb, who expressed great satisfaction in obtaining the piece for her home.

Here we are with the finished painting:

It was again a fun and stimulating challenge, and I was glad to support the Rotary. See you at next year's event!


Happy New Year!

It's been a great year in my art life, with lots of new ventures, new collectors, new students and, of course, lots of wonderful times in the studio both alone and with students. I am most grateful to the many people who have supported and participated in my successes.

I am not one to make New Year's "resolutions" but I do believe in working with conscious intent toward artistic goals. So, in the coming year, my goal is to create a series of large works celebrating the sea, sky, and mountains of my west coast home.  Every day brings a new and beautiful view out my front windows, and my travels in the province and beyond inspire me with grand motifs as well. A recent reprint of a Robert Genn newsletter item urging artists to aspire to grandeur motivated me to begin thinking about this, and after a year of concentrating on the small and domestic in my "Beach Bits" series, I am ready to lift my eyes to the bigger picture.

I'll be traveling in New Zealand for several months this year, which will also no doubt provide plenty of resources for grand vistas. I look forward to responding to these in a variety of media: pastel, acrylic and oil.  In fact, my most recent work is a large oil (30 x 60) completed in December.  The first grand view!


Merry and Bright; oil on deep canvas 30 x 60; $950

Merry and Bright; oil on deep canvas 30 x 60; $950