Posts Tagged ‘canada’

paintings. emotions. connections

November 21, 2011

Paintings can have a powerful way to evoke emotions, as I experienced yesterday during the third Sunday of the Lobby Gallery at the Lakeside Hotel.

Detail: We Are Not Alone

At the front of my table I had again displayed one of my latest paintings, We Are Not Alone, this time with a spotlight directed at it.  The light really brought out the textured  surface and the painting got lots of attention. Some people suggested another orientation and we had a lot of fun turning the painting upside down (looked quite good), or sideways, which was less flattering.

At one point a lady stopped and looked long at the painting; she seemed lost in thought, so I waited a bit with approaching to greet her. She then told me that the painting made her think of the gold rush, which took her back to the Yukon, where she came from.
Many years ago she had come to the Okanagan , on accord of some bad circumstances, leaving behind all friends and family. She then revealed to me she had been a victim of the Canadian Indian Residential School system, which  was intended to force the assimilation of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada into European-Canadian society. The purpose of the schools, which separated children from their families, has been described as cultural genocide or “killing the Indian in the child.”

She now was an advocate for the victims and shared her story through lectures to make people aware of the wronged indigenous people.

This all came pouring out her, because my painting had connected with her….we both were amazed at the intensity of our emotions and embraced as she left.
Bella, you made a big impression on me, thanks for sharing your story on accord of my painting!

On a lighter note: although I did not sell any paintings yesterday, I had great fun talking to everyone who stopped at my table. Carol brought over several people, who had seen her display, to introduce me to them as “the teacher”.

And at the very end of the show Barb Hofer and I exchanged a painting, so technically we both sold a painting!

This is the beautiful painting I got:

Barb Hofer, Similkameen Symphony, 14x18

In exchange Barb took one of my latest Hills & Trees paintings:

Thea Haubrich, Connected, 12x12


New! 8 small paintings + 4 little treasure chests

November 16, 2011

During the Lobby Gallery show at the Lakeside I painted a whole stack of small paintings as demos and some turned out quite well. Nice enough to put in a mat and cellophane sleeve; now they look like a million bucks!

The 4 little treasure chests are 7x5x3″ wooden boxes, which I decorated with encaustic. Each one is a painting by itself, don’t you think? I want to sell them at the next Lakeside show. Now, how to price them…??!


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Isn’t that nice? I just discovered this slideshow function on wordpress!


First night in Troutdale

September 23, 2011

It’s 7 AM and I’m already showered and dressed…we have a great room, but the bathroom is in the hall and we got up really early to beat the crowds! Did no get much sleep though…very loud, both inside and out, and much light from outside lamps.

Here are some pictures from our trip, McMenamin hotel and the exhibit opening:


Huge windmills and rolling hills

One corner of our room!

Eileen in front of her paintings

Ellen Koment's beautiful work

…and Bethany says “Hello” too!!!





Red Dots!

September 9, 2011

The turnout at the opening of  UNTANGLED yesterday evening was fantastic! Even with all that’s going on in town right now, people took the time to drop by and view our paintings. Thanks so much for everyone for coming; it meant a lot to us.

And what is even better: between Bethany and myself we sold 6 pieces!
There are still lots of nice paintings available, though, so come take a look if you could not make the opening.
Leir House is open Mo – Fr: 10 Am – 4 PM.
Below are some pictures of the evening, which my husband Peter took.

This is in the main lounge

It was practically CROWDED in the foyer!

The refreshments, and more art, were set up in the board room.

While chatting with Mike I apparently became distracted....

...and again, as I was supposed to be posing with Bethany (doesn't she look gorgeous?!)

That's better!!

Sharing a happy moment with Carol

Bethany with her parents. The painting behind them sold!

Hanging “Untangled”

September 4, 2011

Today Bethany Handfield and I put up the paintings for our joined show “Untangled” at Leir House Cultural Centre in Penticton. We had expert help from Bethany’s friends Tim and Michael and my husband Peter.

While Tim was busy hanging paintings....

...Michael and Peter took time for a little chat!

And here is Bethany, polishing her painting to a fine shine.

Both of us are not used to working large, so I must say I never thought we would pull it off to incorporate all those smaller paintings in the show. But we were able to make use of the wonderful old bookcase and I think that display looks spectacular.

Hanging two paintings on a chain was another option, but tricky, while the top painting usually tended to be very crooked. Michael found the perfect solution and managed to get them all to look presentable.

Left: Bethany, right: mine

Two happy gals in front of their paintings! (Photo Tim Tweed)

Please come and celebrate the opening of the show with us on Thursday, September 8, from 7 PM!!

Poster designed by Tim Tweed!

More Basics: Flowers this time

April 27, 2011

After a rather busy weekend I was back in the studio today to re-visit some old instruction sheets. This time I found the write-up for my workshop Flowers.

Here are some of the images I did today. Mostly with the iron, with a bit of help from the stylus.

Dancing Pansies

Magnolia Study

Fantasy Flowers


Tulips in a Vase

More flowers in vases

I recently got a request for the tutorial on how to paint these flowers in a vase. Promised it LONG ago, but hope hubby has time tomorrow to shoot it while I paint. Another thing on my list is demoing working with stamps.
Don’t hold your breath, though….;-))

But I did paint the six images I promised for the last folks who had commented on the first post about the Basics. They will be in the mail tomorrow.

More art in my bedroom

January 1, 2011

Here are some more paintings which are gracing my bedroom walls:

More art in my bedroom

Karen Lehrer, Daniella Woolf, Donna Schnare, Linda Swales, Bethany Handfield, Linda Womack

From the top, left:
a lovely piece by Karen Lehrer. Again a painting exchange, this time from the recent IEA Advance/Retreat in San Francisco.

Next to it, in blues and yellows, a real Daniella Woolf! I bought it as I visited her studio during the 2009 IEA Retreat.

The beautiful landscape to the right is by Donna Schnare, a good friend from my Ning social network. She painted this on a tile and told me it was the first time she had done that! I’m very honoured that she gave it to me.

Below Karen’s piece is Linda Swales’s painting of winter trees. This work has a wonderful glow, which unfortunately does not show very well on the photo. Linda is one of my best friends here in the Okanagan. She attends almost all my workshops and circles. Hopefully I will be able to offer some again soon.

The fiery orange/red painting is by Bethany Handfield, another student and close friend. This one is called “The Eye of Pele”.

And below another lovely piece by Linda Womack, which she sent me recently as encouragement. She incorporated a photograph she took at Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., where she spend a few days with her husband after she had taught two workshops here in the Okanagan.

So at night I’m surrounded by all these inspiring artworks. Each from a fellow encaustic artist, whom I have met and often am very good friends with. Can you imagine my sweet dreams??

Finding Ones self: A short story by Hugh Wilson

October 13, 2010

This is a story sent to me by my friend Hugh Wilson from Toronto, who contacted me many months ago with a question about bloom on his encaustic paintings. We have  exchanged many emails since. I’m still pestering him to get his own website, so for now I’m lending him space here to tell his very personal story about how he found his voice with his art.

At the beginning of this journey I felt it would be rather simple, after all, my works have always sold from the Christmas Bazaar shows at $50 on through my $5000.00 corporate piece for an Ontario home builder! Heck, I was an artist! A sculptor no less! granted my tool was a chainsaw not a paintbrush.

So long story short, I make the determination that large format chainsaw sculpting is not something one can do as they age…although my maturity level is close to that of a 13 year old..ask my wife! My knees and back are somewhere around 103 ! So maybe the encaustic thing is the way to go? At first I was not impressed but after seeing some landscape stuff on a studio tour I was fully engaged!

So there I was pounding out the work!
Present a piece to Dustin Hoffman( I know his wife)
Pull together 30 pieces for my first show!

And presto I am famous…well, not really.

After doing the outdoor show this spring and selling a couple of my larger works for $800 each I felt this was the beginning of a prosperous career. I had also had a couple of small galleries say they would take on my work, but I wanted to explore other options…after all I was an artist!!

So I head for a prestigious Toronto gallery, knock on the door and can’t wait for them to say they have space for 10 to 20 pieces, how fast can I deliver!!! Well that was not the case, the curator listened to my hype, saw my work and proceeded to ”Gut me like a fish”

She said:
Its not a matter of skill, I can see you have that.
You have not found yourself.
Your work looks like all the other encaustic artists
You are a producer of art, not an artist.
You are more concerned with how much you can get for it before you even finish it.

I stood there and felt myself deflate. I did feel a small bit of fire in my belly….pompous gallery owner!!! But deep down inside something was aching. I loaded up my paintings, got back on the road, and headed for the nearest Tim Hortons(that’s what Canadians do) I needed coffee and time to think.

Problem here was the gallery owner was completely and totally right!!! I had not figured it out! I had not found myself. These paintings did not come from anywhere…..I was just a producer of art, not an artist.


Northern Lights - Hugh Wilson


This was the beginning of 2 months of no painting, 2 months of thinking, 2 months of saying over and over…what would an artist do? Well it did take some time, every moment behind the wheel (that’s where I paint without a brush) was spent think and formulating. The it came to me! I might live just outside Toronto but that’s not really what I am…I grew up 700 miles north in a small Alberta town called Grimsahw…2000 people, no street lights…I was northern! I was rural! We used to lie on our backs and stare at the sky! The horizon went on forever! The northern lights were there every night!!…..that’s it! It hit me!! The Northern Lights! The Sky! The Horizon! I could paint those from my heart! That was where I came from….that was who I was!!

So enter my most recent work, the Northern Lights series, I am fully engaged, totally happy and can’t wait to paint every spare moment . It does not matter in the least how long it takes, or if it will sell or not…my soul is in the work. The rest will come.

I am happy! I am an artist now, not a producer of art!

Hugh Wilson

Note: This entire journey was made possible by the constant trail of e-mails between Thea and I, she was a constant source of information and inspiration…she really knows her stuff!! Thanks Thea!

P.S. from Thea: here’s an article about Hugh in the local paper how he rounds up old doors to paint on!

Linda Womack Seminars

September 17, 2010

From September 9 – 12 Linda Womack from Portland, author of Embracing Encaustic, was in Okanagan Falls to teach two seminars.

The classes were held in the Kenyon House, a cute little building with a fantastic view of Skaha Lake, a tiled floor, kitchen, 2 bathrooms and an upgraded electrical panel to run at least 7 griddles. We also had a big fridge and a coffee maker. What more could we want!

Great setup at Kenyon House

Linda came with hubby Bill and he and my husband Peter really hit it off! After setting up and testing all the griddles we went to visit one of our local wineries: See Ya Later winery. Unfortunately the weather was not great, so we had to sit outside with some blankets and enjoy our cheese platters all bundled up, but the wine was good!

Wine tasting at See Ya Later winery

On the first day of the classes I was really relieved to see everybody arrive in time. We had many of my old students, some from all over BC and Micheline even came all the way from Virginia!

Patt from Parksville and Grace from 100 Mile House

Linda showed a plethora of techniques at a steady pace, but even the newbees managed to keep step and a good time was had by all.

Micheline traveled all the way from Virginia!

Attentive students....

Propane gas with your cookies, anyone?

The second day was reserved for image transfers, textures and of course: the much-anticipated propane torch! But first a few examples of work from our first group:

Jan Kreut's work

Patt Scivener

Lunch time: What a great spot!

Here are some pictures from the second group:

Bethany showing off her work

Linda and Maggie

Tina reading backwards text in washroom mirror!

Lesson in torching

Mandy's beautiful piece with the shellac

Bethany brought appels for the teachers!

Finale RipOff Project Mount Lefroy

July 4, 2010

Well, we did it again! After a frantic day of working (for some, Russell and Barb had already completed their piece) we planted the flag on Mount Lefroy. We had tons of visitors over the week; I counted about 150 names in the guest book!

Here are some impressions of our last day:

Marion finally started to warm to Mount Lefroy!

Enid was in her element all the time!

Barb with her woven garment + scarf

The last stitches for Dianne before the 3 PM ring of the bell!

Russell with "Lawren's painting", times two

I’ve even made a video of his photographic installation!

Poor Terry felt still very sick and has a lot of yarn to be knitted before completion.

Kurt: Installing the installation

JoAnne's finished CD cabinet

Leo's 3-D piece in wood

My encaustic piece

And then we had a baby Quail visiting the Quail's Nest!

't was hard to fit all artists in the picture! Kurt's missing here...

After the photo shoot, a toast and some well-deserved goodies we all went our separate ways. Watch for the RipOff display at the Fall Art Show in Oliver, Oct. 2 and 3. And next year at Handworks Gallery and Leir House Penticton.

That was it for this year! Will we do it again? Of course we will!!