Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pastels and portraits with Joan Larson

This past weekend I spent time at one of my favourite places - Twincreeks - with some of my favourite people, doing my favourite thing - creating images of horses. Last spring I did a painting horses workshop at Twincreeks and mentioned to Deb that we should try to get some other artists to do similar workshops. Through good fortune, Deb and Launie were able to talk Joan Larson into doing the workshop to share her skills.
Now, I often say that when I buy a horse, I can tell a lot about the horse by the owner. I think I will extend that sentiment to artists as well. I have always been a fan of Joan's work and after spending a weekend with her, have even more respect for her. Generousity and humility are virtues that I value highly, and this lady exudes plenty of both. She shared graciously her own lessons, goals, tips and secrets. When I left, I truly felt blessed to have learned from her - to have benefited from her eyes and suggestions on my work and to have watched her in action. Sometimes in life, but rarely, the stars align for us. When they do, we need to be attentive, responsive and observant. I look forward to spending more time with her and the other artists I spent the weekend with. Thanks Deb and Launie, once again for your hospitality. I hope that the little gift of "Topper" graces the walls of your home and welcomes future guests for years to come.

My art goal this year was to learn pastels so this was great. Joan gave us a demo Friday night and I saw lots of ability to transfer lessons from drawing and acrylics over to this medium. So, I started with a photo of a filly of Linda and Tom Baxter's that I fell in love with this fall. That went well (fourth photo), so I moved onto another photo of Topper that I did this fall as well. I must admit that it was great to have good source photos of my own - helped me immensely with inspiration and quality lighting. The last one I tried (second shown) was out of my ordinary - pinks and purples - a horse that must be a Peruvian by the way he holds his feet - looks a bit like a friend Linda Warnock's horse Smoke so I called him "Pucka Pucka". The other shot is of me giving Deb the image of Topper - and we have Joan in the photo as well. So, lots to practice to learn this new medium but I love the way it works so am looking quite forward to adding it to my repertoire. Thanks Joan!

iphone shots - sorry they aren't the best quality!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mulled wine and art

This past four days was the annual Cedar Yellowpoint Artisan Tour. My second year on the tour, this one proved to be even busier than last year - so thanks to my friends Brenda and Lesley for helping out at the til! Six paintings, two commissions and lots of other art items sold - so by all means, a real success.

The idea of artisans working together to build a cluster and cooperatively market their goods is something I strongly advocate for in my "other job". Rural operators and those in the arts often have extra barriers to overcome to make their entrepreneurial visions come to life. So, I feel quite fortunate for where I am in terms of the artisans near me.

I had a two guest artisans - Lesley Lorenz, a friend who does wonderful acrylics and portraits (and who will be offering two workshops this spring), and Davis Hammer, who does amazing photography. Also, I had friends like Micki McCartney, Joan McCartney, Mary Carr, Sylvia Hall-Andrews and my sister Michelle Smith all contribute items to the mix. Thanks gang, everything was a big hit. We raised about $350 for the Big Heart Rescue via sales of painted animal ornaments and ""surf girl" soaps.

I am trying to use the Broody Rooster to inspire all things creative - and take in the many talents of the friends close to me in providing opportunities for others to find something that works for them. We have launched a fantastic workshop schedule for the 2012 spring season including everything from painting to photography, quilting, portraits, canning, furniture repair and pastry making. If you are keen to sign up, the entire schedule is on and you can also pay online too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gifts for the hard to give for...

We all have those special people in our lives that are super hard to buy for - they have everything or could just purchase it on their own. One gift to consider getting for these types is a gift certificate for a photo session or a commissioned piece of art. This type of present will last forever and capture the things that are important to them - memories.

I provided a special offer to the Take Five Magazine in this November's edition - so will make it available to people here as well as they are great discounts. I have these gift certificates done up in pretty packaging so you can give them in a stocking or as a main gift.

Photo session $125 (2 hour session with a CD of images in high resolution) Regular $200 value!
Commisioned painting $125 for an 11x14 or $200 for a 16x20. 15% off!

So, stop by the Broody Rooster during the holidays (open weekends til Dec 20 from 10 - 4 pm) to grab one of these for the hard to give folks on your list. AND - if you get to me in time, there is still a possibility that I can do the painting for you in time for Christmas! (happened last year as a surprise).

Hope to see you next week from Nov 17-20 during the Artisan Tour!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New workshops posted

Well, time to begin thinking about staying indoors and painting! One of my favorite art memories this past year has been in teaching acrylic art workshops. So, I decided to add a bunch more to the calendar starting in December and running once a month into April. So, take a peek at these and share them with friends. There may be one more three day workshop down at Twincreeks in Duncan in February on painting horses - keep posted for more details on that one. It will be worth the journey!

Time to get ready for the Cedar Yellowpoint Christmas Tour!

The Christmas tour is getting close - mark your calendar for November 17-20th for the Cedar Yellowpoint Christmas Tour. If you have not been on the tour before, it is well worth the trip to come out and see the 27 or so artisans who let you into their studio space to watch them work but better yet, to buy their wares! What better way to support local purchasing this Christmas than to do this?

This will be my second year of the tour and the Broody Rooster Guesthouse and Gallery is soon transforming into a Gallery again, after hosting visitors during the summer as a Guesthouse. I am inviting some other local artists to place their items in the Gallery too - but expect to find paintings, cards, santa sacks, stockings, horse calendars, prints, glass art, iron work, canning and more!

Hope to see you there - and tell your friends.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Competitive Trail event - cover shots!

This weekend I took photos at the Sasquatch Scurry Competitive Trail Ride in Courtenay, home of John and Karen Eigler. Their site was just beautiful and the fall colors with their hay field created a great backdrop for photos of the riders. I have ridden in CTR for years but seldom do we have a photographer in place, and even when we do, there are seldom good action shots. So my goal was to get great action shots of riders with their horses doing what they love to do the most - TROT or LOPE through hay fields. Well done ride managers and riders.

For more images of the weekend - see my website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Agility at Twincreeks

This weekend I was asked to travel down to Twincreeks to take photos of the Agility clinic with Adiva Murphy. The fall weather held for the participants and I was able to capture some great shots of folks. This activity looks like it has great promise for the horse world based on the smiles from those involved. Another score Deb, and great work Adiva!

To see more shots in a short video = see my website

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Misty Morn

Last Friday and today I gave another painting workshop to Joanne Pollard and Tammy Mercer here at the farm. Once again, my students have done me proud.

Tammy was stuck on a portion of a painting she was doing on Morocco - trying to get depth or contrast. She played with the colors and contrast until she was happy with her results - as she should be. Now she has two painting done - one more to go of her little guy Beemer. We took some great shots of him running in the field so maybe she can get started on the next one now!

Joanne was given a gift certificate for a workshop for mothers day from her daughter. She decided to paint from an old photograph of her horse Misty Morn and her foal. The source photo was difficult - had fence posts in front of her face and was hard to see the contrast, but it was enough - with her memory to paint a wonderful first acrylic for her wall. She did a great job and was bold with her color choices - giving the illusion of the horses coming out of the mist. I hope she is happy with the outcome and enjoys it for years to come.

Make sure to brag ladies! I am planning to set up some dates for summer and fall workshops for those who are keen to attend, just send me a note or keep posted on the website for more details. I am always happy to do a workshop for folks if they have 2-3 people available as well.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kids horse camp at Maple Leaf Meadows

Last week I was out visiting my family in Alberta and decided to take one of my horse crazy nieces to a riding camp. The camp was offered by Maple Leaf Meadows, a short drive from the city on the southwest side. It was a perfect week to build her skills around horses and to get introduced to the facility. There were about 13 kids in the camp, of all skill levels - all with the same goal - to spend the week around all things horsey.

I have offered painting workshops for kids at camps on the island before so thought I would offer to do the same here, and the camp staff took me up on it. So, Wednesday I taught the kids to paint a horse using acrylics. They did a great job and Kirsti, the leader, commented that she was amazed at how long they remained focused on the task! I find that once folks start to paint, with the right supports, they can get lost in time for hours.

Here are a few photos of Jordan, my niece with her painting and showing her new skills on one of the horses at the camp. I was very impressed at how light she was with her hands, and the big guy seemed to be quite responsive to her. Hope that she is happy with her week and her new friends and skills.

I was very impressed with the camp, the instructor and the facilities - highly recommended for those near Edmonton.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A+ to my students

This past weekend I spent down at one of my favorite places, Twincreeks Bed, Bale and Breakfast in Duncan. Deborah Flinn and I partnered up to offer a Painting Horses weekend where folks could bring their horse and their paints for a weekend of fun.

I had Jackie, Bonnie and Launie take part in the workshop - all of them did fantastic work and completed not just one entire painting, but two! I was quite impressed with their efforts - they just didn't put the brushes down! See the photos here of their work. I had a tough time keeping up with them!

This sort of getaway works well - bring your horse, get fed deluxe food, socialize, learn and leave with some great artwork, of your own creation for your walls at home. Deborah and I will likely plan another one and make it three days to allow more time for some riding too - so if you are interested, let me know and we will keep you in the loop on the next one.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pinky Tuscadero

I was lucky to finish a few paintings at the recent art workshop here - one of a filly that is just too much fun - a bit cheeky and fit the color pink (which I don't normally use because I dislike it almost as much as purple!). But the color fit for her. I wanted to contrast the light colors hitting her back and mane with something and the pink helped that pop out, which drawing less attention to her legs.

The other painting is un named right now - not 100% sure I am done, but he came along nicely at the workshop. I like to choose a contrasting background to help the horses pop out and I usually do my backgrounds first - a few layers at a time with subtle additions of color to provide some depth. These don't always come out in photos (especially on the web), but this has contrast near his nostrils to make it appear like you can see his breath.

Likely taking a break here in the new few weeks, but will get back at it with the next drop in. Enjoy...

Painting horses workshop

This past weekend I led a workshop on Painting horses at the Broody Rooster. The workshop gave me a chance to package some of the ideas I have been developing over time and teach those to an audience. The photo shows Tammy Mercer painting her boy Whiskey – which she completed and brought home by the end of the weekend.

If you missed this one, I am having another one down at Twincreeks on April 2-3rd. For more information on that event or to sign up – see Deb’s calendar of events . For hers, come and stay the night, bring your horse and fit in a ride or two or a private clinic with Deb who does amazing Natural Horsemanship work.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Haflinger Hoofbeats

I just finished this painting of two halfingers galloping across a field. I love the energy and colors of these horses and the image of two buddies running in unison inspired me. I ended up working on it for sometime – at my drop in sessions on Thursday nights. I bought a few new brushes which are working out well, and allowing me to keep loose when painting – this gives more movement to the horses, especially on a small canvas.

If you are so inspired – the painting is now added to the Gallery and available for sale – so think about it! I am also going to continue this series and get myself set up for some art cards for the Gallery.

Onwards to the next one!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good bye to the Old Man

Well, it is with some sadness that I write that the Old Man, or the Broody Rooster, has past this weekend. For a 9 year old guy, he had nine lives and a good one. He recently became quite frail and lost body mass – and we think he succumbed to cold (despite the heat lamp). He had a good life, and a long one – but his crow is certainly missed in the morning already.

This old man taught me a lot about life – about survival, the will to live, simplicity, transformation, beauty, family and quality of life. He wasn’t a rooster, but some sort of other spirit in the body of a beautiful blue silky. For whatever reason I was blessed to have him in my life, I am grateful. And I look forward to seeing and hearing the old sage someday again – along with all the other various critters that have graced my presence over time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Drop in nights

I am trying to develop opportunities at the Broody Rooster that assist folks to come together and inspire creativity. One of the things that would have helped me when I began to paint again was an opportunity to meet fellow artists and to swap ideas and tips. Sometimes I would pay $300 or so for a workshop that I took very little away from – and I’d leave with a sense of disappointment because what I needed was often something quite informal.

So, I decided to put on the calendar for the Broody Rooster some Free drop ins for fellow artists to come together, bring an appy and paint for a few hours. It puts it on the calendar and encourages us to create. The first one was held in January and I met Amy Moore, a local artist with an education background from the University. Last week we had four of us creating – using water color, acrylics. Even though I am so busy right now, I am finding that the Thursday nights are just the thing I need to slow down and create.

If you are keen to come out, just let me know – every second Thursday til the end of March. Bring an appy, your paints and your creativity.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Art classes and workshops

For those who have added "being more creative" to their New Years resolutions, you may want to take advantage of some of the upcoming classes, workshops and drop ins at the Broody Rooster Gallery. A full list of the offerings can be downloaded here.

When developing the schedule, I tried to think of what I really need as an emerging artist. I am self taught, a journey that always leaves a sense of doubt about one's art. Having my work on a wall somewhere where people, other than my friends and family, could comment - was an important part of my growth. Meeting other artists to watch them paint, talk informally about techniques and expose myself to new ideas would also have been very helpful. And, being in a space that inspired creativity would have helped me too.

I thought of these things in the 2011 calendar - so you will see classes where students have the opportunity to display their art publicly. You will see drop in classes every second Thursday where people can come for free (with an appy and beverage) to create in whatever visual medium they would like. Folks can paint, draw, observe, chat, connect or just be inspired. Starts January 13th at 7 pm at the Broody Rooster, come and check it out.

Classes and workshops are taught by me and other artists. If you have a creative talent that you want to add to the list, send me some ideas and we will keep adding to the calendar as the season progresses.

Merry Christmas John

Seasons greetings to everyone. I hope folks were able to do things they love with those they love.

2010 was an interesting year for us. We received things at all ends of the spectrum, memories that will always bring a smile to our face and others that will always bring tears. It challenged us, shaped us, taught us and blessed us.

In August, we lost our beloved dog Belle - a little Australian cattle dog, mother of Copper Cowgirl and lady friend of our male Mr. Beau Jangles. She was definitely John's girl - always was. Her loss left our home very empty. Her incessant desire to play ball, looking up and trying to convince us into throwing it just a couple of times was hard to escape.

As a Christmas present for John, I tried to get a painting done of her when he was away at work. Her coat was very difficult to get, so it is a bit abstract - but overall, was happy at how it resembled her. He says it is the nicest thing I have ever done for him... (guess I could kick it up a notch!). Now we can be reminded of her large presence in our living room with this painting.

In January we will be receiving Belle's little baby sister - 8 years later her mom Cayenne and dad Oliver had one more litter. The little pup will not take Belle's place but will fit right into the family where she belongs.

We look forward to a 2011 full of blessings and wish the same for everyone.