32 people braved the threat of a fierce winter storm on March 9, 2011, to attend my demonstration for the Kanata Art Club at March Central School near Dunrobin…a very good turnout indeed. After introductions, I gave the audience a choice between 2 pencil sketches on 24 x 30 stretched canvases…one of buildings based on some I’ve seen in Montreal and the Toronto Spadina Chinatown area backyards , the other of woods, rocks, snow and trees. They chose the buildings in Chinatown.
I proceeded to show how I go over my sketch with India Ink, how I clean my brushes, the various colours I use, the use of transparent paints, my disposable paper palette, my favouring of Windsor Newton oil paints, and my choice of technicolour fences. I mentioned preferring synthetic brushes for their strength as I find sable too soft for me. I use Barriere Art Guard on my hands before starting to paint. I told them about my final coat of Alkyd medium to make the reflectivity across the entire painting uniform.
Questions were asked as we went along. After a break, the group decided they wanted me to work on my other sketch of woods. It was said that I looked like Pope John with my flat black circular hat on. I also wore my haute couture home sewn painting apron. Everyone, including me, seemed to have a good time. Beth and I packed up, loaded the car, brushed a lot of snow off and very slowly, drove home in the heavy snow.
Photo credit: Yvan Delisle
Longer drive than usual to attend the grand opening of the Sienna Gallery in Rockland, Ontario, 7 to 10 pm. Curator Karen Charlebois and her husband Denis have done a superb job getting this new locale for art up and running. The lighting is great. The walls are on casters so they can be relocated. They have really made maximum use of the space without creating a cluttered appearance. A few comfortable chairs are scattered throughout. The refreshments were wonderful and beautifully arranged and served by many friends. I have my own wall with 7 oils presented as well as several smaller pieces on easels in other locations. In all, Sienna has 18 of my oils. The vivid colours I use show up well under the lights. The event was well attended in spite of a snow warning. Rockland is growing so let’s hope this brand new showcase for art will be a huge success. Visit Unit 2 at 2865 Chamberland St. Hey, there’s a new coffee shop right next door.
I participated in “Art for the Heart”, an exhibition of art and a fundraiser for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute on Sunday, February 20, 2011 in Barrhaven. Approximately 250 people visited the show. The Heart Institute was very pleased with the amount they received in donations, and the commission from the 9 artists. This may become an annual event. Beth and I got first class assistance from our son, Bill, his wife, Joanna and our granddaughters, Sophia and Helena who were visiting us for Winterlude from New Hampshire. This was the first time the family were with us for the setting up of an exhibition. The girls demonstrated great skills as art installers and were able to make solid suggestions for improvements in the overall appearance of my booth. It was a fun day and we enjoyed meeting the many visitors.
I donated this 36″ x 48″ oil on canvas painting to help the efforts to save the South March Highlands. The painting was auctioned on eBay from Dec. 5 to 15, and the $4,000 raised was contributed to the cause.
You can see the auction link here.
You can learn more about the efforts of this group of citizens and the status of the project at their website southmarch.wordpress.com.
A very special night for Beth and me. Mayor-elect Jim Watson presented me with the Lucille Broadbent Award for Artistic Achievement at the 2nd Annual Ottawa Art Expo. Jim said some very kind and generous things about me in his introduction. The fact that we have known each other for quite some time made it very personal.
As I stood at the podium to thank Jim and the organizers of the Expo, I looked out over the audience and realized that for the most part, half the audience were people I’d known for over forty years. Then there was my daughter, Kirsten, my surrogate daughter, Wendy and her husband, Dave, and, of course, Beth. A great swell of emotion hit me and I had to pull myself together to finish my remarks. It was Beth’s diligent efforts that brought all these friends out. They all said they wanted to share this wonderful event with us. I think only about five invitees couldn’t make it. One of our guests brought me roses. Lots of congratulatory emails rolled in and are still coming.
David Johnston a freelancer from Kanata EMC interviewed and photographed me and his resulting article was excellent. The Kanata Kourier-Standard also did an article which included an image of one of my oil paintings. Coverage like this is worth so much.
Sales at the show were good and I have been enjoying brisk sales since. Ottawa Art Expo is an exhibition and sale for artists run by artists and it shows. I love the eight feet high Modu-Loc fencing that is used to display one’s work. This year black draping for the display grids and lighting were added for everyone. There is a real effort to present a uniform look. Only original art is allowed. Not even cards are permitted.
Next year, the plan is to have name signs for all artists’ booths. The Gala for the awards evening is very well done with wine and hors d’oeuvres for all. Some of those who couldn’t make it on Friday for the Gala came on Saturday and Sunday.
Our neighbor helped us load the car and set up our booth. More friends helped us dismantle the booth at the end and load the car. They even helped unload the car and bring everything back into the house. They made it so much easier for us and we are very grateful for their assistance. So, tired, but not as tired as we might have been, a fantastic event came to an end.
Enjoy the photos, and also check out the articles below.