Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

I am pretty excited about the holiday season this year. I know, it is early to talk about the "C" word, but I have been busy getting ready for a new step in my art career.

We have a beautiful little cabin on our property which we have rented out over the years. This year, our long term friend and tenant is moving out and we have decided to convert the cabin into a gallery and guesthouse. The business model will utilize the space in the fall winter and spring as my gallery and studio. I will program the space to inspire all things creative. There will be art classes, workshops, and other gatherings - keep your eyes posted for things to do in the space. The summer months, when I am on holidays - we are going to rent the cabin out as a guesthouse by the week for folks who want to experience this great place.

We took a long time coming up with a name but this summer - it all came to be. The cabin will now be known as the "Broody Rooster Gallery and Guesthouse". What is a broody rooster you ask? And why did I select the name? When we arrived at this place in 2003, we inherited some "residents", one of whom is an old Gray rooster that I call the old man. He is a blue silky who is blind in one eye and I keep him sheltered in a little barn and pen so the others don't pick on him. He must be at least 8 years old now, but you'd never know it. This spring, I had a hen in with him and a few chicks. To my surprise, when the hen started laying eggs, he became broody and started sitting on the eggs. I kid you not! I had to google this to see if there was such a thing as a later life gender transition in chickens but found nothing. I figured this was a sign of something, and loved the way it rolled off my tongue so it became the Broody Rooster. To me, I am a bit of a broody rooster - I love all things homey but am also have a bit of a cocky, bold male energy about me. This Gallery is about "strutting my stuff" so to speak and so - the name has stuck.

I will be designing a new web page soon and getting marketing under my belt, but for now - the effort is on transforming the cabin from a residence to a funky gallery, getting all my products ready for sale and preparing to be on the Cedar Yellowpoint Artisans Christmas Tour. If you have never been on this tour - you need to come out and see all the different vendors in the area. It is a great example of cultural tourism and business clustering in the area and I am super excited to be involved.

Come by on November 18-19, 20 and 21st. Plan to spend your Christmas budget and stock up for everyone on your list. Spread the word, bring a friend and enjoy. I will have paintings, art cards, canning, Santa sacks, purses, stockings and other goodies for sale.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Summer shots

This summer I was lucky to spend some time with my nieces who are horse crazy. I am glad this "gene" made it into the family pool and is being passed along a bit. It is like a common language when talking to someone who loves these four leggeds - and a nice glue to these girls.

On those occasions, we have a couple of shots that are fun and worth sharing. The first one is my little niece Jordan and I on one of my horses El Nino. She came back with me from Alberta to spend a few days and then her mom and step dad came out a while later. When she was here we borrowed a neat little rig - a saddle that fits behind a saddle - to create a safe space for traveling tandem. She was a trooper - hung on for dear life and we even loped with her on. Needless to say her little butt was bouncing off the saddle but she had her fingers looped through my belt loops so she stayed on.

The other photo is my brothers daughter Caitlin and her horse Jade. We had a family gathering out at their place in the summer and she went out to bring the horses in - on bareback with a halter - just like I remember. It reminded me how courageous we were when we were younger and trusted horses. As folks get older, I find that a lot of the women I see with horses are so timid and intimidated by horses that it gets in the way of what they can do together. Luckily I still have a high tolerance for risk and love to push the boundaries like this. I took lots of shots with folks but this one is one of my favorites.

Gives me more inspiration to paint. Now it is fall, I will transition from being behind the lens of the camera to the canvas. I feel the inkling every night now and want to get ready for the opening of my new gallery this fall - watch for more on "The Broody Rooster Gallery and Guesthouse".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An appy a day

Last spring during the "Just horsin around" event in Nanaimo, I painted for a couple days at my booth to pass the time. I decided to try something different and had a photo of a little appy that was worth a try.

The photo is a bit brighter than the painting so you miss a bit of the pink shadows on the face, but in the end, I was quite happy with the outcome. I put it in a think dark frame which worked to bring out depth in the painting.
This painting, done in public, taught me a bit more about blending of light colours, which I find difficult. Paint goes on lighter than it dries so it can be difficult to get depth when using colors that are similar to one another. I typically go for contrast and lots of it, but need to work on these more subtle skills - so will try more of the same this fall.