I had an interesting conversation with someone who was checking out my work during a “Meet the Artist” event in town last week. It is not the first time I have been asked if I am working with a “paint by number” illustration or just coloring someone’s drawing from a coloring book since “adult coloring books” are all the rage these days. I create my illustrations from ideas I have seen on the internet or a word someone may have mentioned such as a “tugboat” or “dirty laundry” or events that have happened in the past such as a squirrel hiding sunflower seeds in my gardening boots or the sheep getting into the cornfield when we had a hobby farm. So many triggers can inspire my next illustration but ultimately they are a combination of ideas that come into my head that I put into a piece of “happy” art. They do not always work out and those I save to remind me not to try this or that again. I start with an idea, rough it out in pencil, fine tune it in ink and then comes the color which I love. Each illustration takes me from 15-20 hours to complete and then comes the scanning, making cards, prints and more. I have just updated my gallery to include the last few illustrations.
It is great to see summer arrive along with the flowers and the hummingbirds. Nothing is more delightful than seeing those tiny little hummers buzzing around your feeder and bathing in your fountain. Spent the long weekend in May shopping for plants and getting our deck ready to enjoy some downtime. It has been a hectic spring with preparations for the Artist Studio Tour [coming this weekend], getting ready to participate in Creative Chaos [just finished] and helping to create labels for our Art Show at the Vernon Community Art Center. Check out the great artwork on display from the members of the Okanagan Artist of Canada for the month of June. I had a great time at Creative Chaos meeting old friends and having the chance to display my artwork. When I think of how often I was afraid to call myself an artist, it was great to hear people say “your artwork is amazing” “so happy”. So I finally feel comfortable calling myself an artist after all these years. One artist I would like to brag about is Jeanette M. She asked permission to use this piece to create a quilt for the Children’s Section of the Vernon Library.
We had a great opening night for our exhibition. The seniors were thrilled with all the attention and the Art Center had an amazing turnout. Lucy Brett, the senior who I have been working with all summer showed up in a red suit and a red hat. She looked lovely and reminded me so much of my mom. She has lent me the quilt she had crocheted and the red hat she wore while a member of the “Red Hat Society. These are both on display along with the artwork created based on Lucy’s story. I will post some pictures as soon as I get them of the display but if you are close to the Vernon Community Art Center between now and October 25th, stop in and read some amazing stories given to us by the seniors we have all worked with. What a pleasure to have had this opportunity. The following pieces of artwork tell part of Lucy’s story. The “Quilt of Many Colors” shows Lucy’s quilt work. The “Happy Hats” shows a hat shop with the hats Lucy loves to wear and “Birch Bay Summers” is my interpretation of the trailer that Lucy and her family spent summers in at Birch Bay. I have created cards and prints of these images and have also included a copy of the artwork in a book I published on Lucy’s “Stories of the Past”. The book will be given to Lucy at the end of the exhibition as a thank you to her for sharing her story. “Quilt of Many Colors”