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; $1500

Merry and Bright; oil on deep canvas 30 x 60; $1500

Thanks to the Crawlers!

Thank you to all who took the time to visit my studio during our recent studio tour (the Art Crawl). It was great to meet so many art enthusiasts and have a chance to share my work.  Thank you for your kind comments, your enthusiasm, and your purchases! Thanks to Linda Williams and all the Crawl committee members who worked so hard to make this event a roaring success, yet again.

And a special thank you to Jan DeGrasse, our arts reporter for The Coast Reporter, who chose to feature me in her report on the event.

http://www.coastreporter.net/entertainment/arts-entertainment/notes-from-the-art-crawl-1.2377604

http://www.coastreporter.net/entertainment/arts-entertainment/notes-from-the-art-crawl-1.2377604

Aaand...sixty paintings DONE!

Just in time for the Art Crawl (see previous posting) I finished the last six of my series of sixty "Beach Bits" paintings. While I set out to complete sixty of these as a recognition of my having turned sixty this year, I suspect there may be more yet to come. I am still enjoying each and every one, and continuing to learn from the process. Here they are...

Testing the Waters pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Testing the Waters pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Daring the Tide pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Daring the Tide pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Wait Up, Mama! pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Wait Up, Mama! pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Days of Wonder pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Days of Wonder pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

By the Deep Blue Sea pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

By the Deep Blue Sea pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Standing His Ground pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Standing His Ground pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

What have I learned?

  • to plan the counterpoint of values in the composition (dark against light, light against dark) before beginning to paint
  • to consider the effect of colour choice, using equal value complements (blue/orange; red/green; yellow/violet) for maximum glow
  • to PLAN everything first, so that the first coat of pastel is correct and can remain--multiple coats result in muddiness and a loss of the sparkling clarity I was seeking in these works
  • to vary the placement of figures within the confines of the composition--sometimes very near the top, bottom, side or even "dead" centre can be the right place, depending upon the stance and attitude of the figure(s)
  • to sometimes work on new colours of paper--for these works, I discovered that a dark navy blue paper created a nice texture and contrast with the bright/light beach colours

I will continue to do commissions of "kids on the beach" in this style.  Here are three I recently completed:

Katie's Choice Collection P. Allen

Katie's Choice Collection P. Allen

Dune Buddy Collection P. Allen

Dune Buddy Collection P. Allen

The Young Naturalist Collection P. Allen

The Young Naturalist Collection P. Allen

I'm considering a new series of children on the slopes--skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, building snowmen--I guess a few photo trips to Dakota Ridge (the closest place that has snow in the winter) will be needed.  Or perhaps I'll try to arrange a photo shoot at a local dance school and pay homage to Degas with a series of pastels of young children practicing their ballet postures. Inspiration galore!