There was so much to see on this holiday. The Spanish people are friendly, quick to laugh and love their food, wine and beer. We averaged 18,000-20,000 steps a day, enjoying all the sights and history. I loved the food and beer. I have a cow dairy allergy and loved that it was mainly sheep or goat cheese and very little butter in their meals. We did finish our holiday in Amsterdam but the only sketch I did was of the family's home that we stayed in. They had a mother-in-law suite (think high end boutique hotel room with mini kitchen, a bathroom and own entrance) that we rented on the north side of Amsterdam. We took the free ferry that runs 24 hours across to the north shore and walked about 10 minutes to their Air BnB. They had a beautiful guest book and someone had skipped a page so I sketched their home as part of our write up (bottom picture). Our private entrance was through the gate on the right.
Two favourite activities combined; a holiday and sketching. This trip was shared with our son for the first week and my husband and I continued on for 2 more weeks. We were so busy visiting the sites, food and weather that my sketches were drawn but painted later. I usually like to do them to completion and if possible on site. Our son Curtis and I hiked the 8 km El Caminita Del Rey which for me was one of the highlights of the trip. Rhonda, Nerja, Frigiliana, Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla and Malaga were all walked, hiked and as many sites/sights taken in that our time would permit. I toured the Picasso Museum in Malaga and many castles. We travelled by rented car with Curtis then by bus and train for the rest until we flew from Malaga to Amsterdam for our last 3 nights. We really enjoyed our time there as well seeing the sights, a canal boat tour, renting bikes to go into the neighbouring towns but was to busy to sketch with so much to see and do. Stood beneath a windmill on our bike ride, not realizing how big those blades are!
This is the third year my friend Ev and I had a wonderful 3 night holiday at this beautiful Beaver Lake Mountain Resort last month. The accommodation was perfect, this year we were in the Bear cabin. Ev is a superb cook and I do well cleaning up and keeping the wood fireplace burning so when we were inside the ambiance, warmth and light was relaxing. I managed to plein air paint standing on the shore and our private dock. We spent a good part of one day paddling around the lake in the resorts kayaks, even having our lunch of charcuturie board we picked up from Intrigue Wines on our way up to the resort. Our feast was spread across our kayaks while we enjoyed the stillness of this fishing lake and the scenery surrounding us. There was enough for 2 lunches! Once again, we had a wonderful, relaxing, fun filled stay in our delightful "Bear" cabin. The morning coffees at the office were a wonderful start to the day (thank you!). The joy, laughter, paddling, scenery, reconnecting and even a memory lane dance party were just a few of the (to many to list) highlights of this holiday. A special thank you to Daniela from both of us!! The painting of the 2 red chairs was happily gifted to Ev's father Tony.
Our intrepid Eagle Valley Arts Council is having an evening and matinee with the first theatre production in quite a number of years. Cindy MacKrell is the director and energy behind this evening (SCAT - Sicamous Community Amateur Theatre) with the play "Working Stiffs". Also organized by the Arts Council is a painting challenge showcasing 3 artists painting "live", a talent show, the photography club's presentation of a photo show, karaoke etc. It will be a fun evening of celebrating the wide range of arts within the Arts Council and the surrounding area of Sicamous. Grab your tickets for this Saturday evening or Sunday matinee. Your invitation is below with my donation of original mixed media painting called "Dance Moves". Thanks in advance to everyone that is participating and volunteering their talents and energy!
With a very busy summer, I decided to make a sketch book out of random discarded papers. I had been tossing interesting used papers in a basket for collage work. Instead, these were gathered up and made into a unique sketchbook. I watched a Youtube video where random flowers were rolled up and steamed to make beautiful marks in a sketchbook. Well that did not work for me but I decided to keep going and make it a playful floral sketchbook.
Some of the pages were tracing paper that I had used to transfer drawn images on canvas, tickets, music sheets, book pages, used painters tape on paper, palette papers, BC Ferries ticket, lottery ticket, water colour paper pieces etc. for a variety to work on. This book was meant to be pure play! I worked on random pages with left over paint, cut outs, anything I had handy and are still working in it.
On the top left photo you can see the left hand side of the unpainted page and the right side is painted. The second page shows the flowers that did not leave a bright mark when I tried to steam them in and on the right of that photo is actually tracing paper I used to transfer a dog portrait I drew onto canvas - it is turned sideways but the design worked well. Discarded paper cutouts on the bottom left and a negative painted flower on the right (I drew the flower and painted around it, not in it).
16" x 12" acrylic on canvas board, #20102022
This is the end result of a fun teaching day about negative painting with the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club. I saw this on Robert Burridge"s weekly "Bob Blast". We each picked 3 colours (a red, blue and yellow) and splattered, smudged and finger marked these colours randomly all over our canvas. Rigmor brought in different shaped vases to help us decide on what our vase would look like. Negative painting (painting the background, not the "thing") around the splattered paint to carve out a table top, vase and flowers. Then going back in to add details, refine shapes and shadows and "Ta da....lesson completed!" As usual when I teach, this one was finished in the studio as I find walking around talking to participants and answering questions fills my time.
I was to host on September 24 in the Courtyard Gallery in Enderby B.C. I arrived to find the power turned off for the whole town (planned outage). It took me a little while to figure it out and I finally came across a couple people next door who let me know. First of all, the drive from Sicamous was beautiful and peaceful and I thoroughly enjoyed the splendor and with little traffic.
I was celebrating my birthday that day and had made mini cupcakes to share with gallery visitors; neighbours and my husband enjoyed them instead. I posted on Facebook and Instagram as I had written a blog and told friends and family I would be there and now was not. As well, my sister Shannon and my Mom were going to drive up to surprise me so glad I posted that I wasn't going to be there.
Another Courtyard Gallery artist, Cynthia Langford had left a message on my phone the previous day but due to my phone notifications being accidentally turned off, I missed that key piece of info (thanks Cynthia!!).
A beautiful afternoon hike with my husband and the stunning lake and Sicamous views was another wonderful way to celebrate! Thank you to those we had planned on celebrating with me!!
Below is another painting sold at the Courtyard Gallery in Enderby and views from our hike.
Plein Air, Oil, 10" x 8" SOLD
I am going to be the host this Saturday September 24 from 10am until 4pm and would love to see you. I am also the Featured Artist for the month of September and have the full wall when you come in of my paintings, unframed art and frameable greeting cards. It is exciting to see my "painting" face on the Courtyard Gallery website under "Exhibition" tab. https://courtyardgallery.ca/#exhibit
Finally digging out my plein air paints and set up in the spring, I painted a scene of a decorative mailbox and the flowers around it in the flower garden. I did not do any thinking about the design, just wanted to paint. When I was done, I was happy with the experience but not the painting, sigh. While on my shelf drying, it continually annoyed me with the extremely poor composition but I loved the colours.
Finally a thought came to continue with the flowers that drew me to the scene to begin with. I am so much happier with this painting (bottom) and love the contrast of the warm earth tones and the cool blues.
"Spring Fling" - flinging the paint!
8" x 10" Oil on canvas board
These were painted in my homemade 5" x 7" watercolour sketch book on our Vancouver Island holiday. The views were excitingly fresh and new to me along with the colours. A new positive traveling experience always seem brighter and exciting. I sketched the scenes around me and even had time to sketch while awaiting our lunch at a lakeside pub. The final paintings were at the ferry in Powell River awaiting our ferry and even a sketch of the man ahead of me. I thought his hair was fascinating and he sat still while looking out the window. For that sketch, I used a black Elegant Marker calligraphy pen and added water with a water brush, what fun!
I am grateful (and doing a happy dance!) to be the Featured Artist for the month of September at the Courtyard Gallery in Enderby, B.C. As you go in, the large blue wall contains my paintings and below it are some unframed works and greeting cards. It really is an overwhelming feelings to see a body of work together. I also have a few pieces in the regular area of the gallery. The poster below has been posted around town as well as emailed to all members. Please check it out. I will be hosting in the gallery on September 7 and 24 this month.
The photo below is of my paintings and artist statement on the wall. Yup, still doing the happy dance!!! Please come and see my work and all the other artists beautiful paintings, glass work, fibre art, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, cards and more.
I am so delighted that some of my art cards are now being sold in 2 boutiques in Sicamous, B.C. Diane at Wild Beauty Wellness Bar + Apothecary is carrying my hand drawn "Colour Yours" cards as well as a variety of others. Val at Lily of the Valley Floral Boutique is now selling my floral cards. They both have them beautifully displayed in their lovely shops. If you are in Sicamous, please go check them out, they are wonderful to talk to as well as shop at.
Courtyard Gallery in Enderby, B.C. also has a large variety of my art cards as well. All the cards are based on art I have painted. The cards are blank inside to be used for anything you need.
Above, an assortment of floral cards (blank inside) at Lily of the Valley Floral Boutique (say hi to Val and check out her beautiful work).
Wild Beauty Wellness Bar + Apothecary has a wide individually drawn art cards "Colour Yours" for you or your receiver to colour in, as well as some funky others. Diane's friendly greeting and the wonderful smells and visual displays are worth the trip. Wildbeauty.ca @wildbeauty
The Courtyard Gallery in Enderby, B.C. has a wide assortment: landscapes, waterscapes, animal, people, floral, "Colour Yours" and still life.
My husband and I went on a camping trip to the Sunshine Coast, B.C. for 3 nights. It was a feast for an artist's eyes! I brought my homemade water colour paper sketch book and tried to sketch and paint on location although a couple were finished from a photo. The 5" x 7" sketchbook was perfect for sitting on the edge of the water with the tide creeping closer.
The Courtyard Gallery hosted the Enderby Arts Festival yesterday. I borrowed a canopy tent and couple of tables and set up shop with cards and paintings for sale. I had only done that a couple of times a few years ago so had to figure it all out again. The challenge was painting a plein air (outdoors) still life with 2 wonderful artists; Dawn Scott and Marg Froess, both gallery artists. The three of us had never done this before. The first one was at 9:30 with a still life of flowers from Dawn's garden and we painted for about half an hour without worrying about finishing it. The second was at 11:30 and we painted a still life of small beach toys for about half an hour. Yesterday was really hot so I quit before I was done. I also had a canopy and tables that I attended to as well; during and in between. Marg and Dawn had so many people visit and chat with them, it was difficult to get the painting in!
We each painted different sizes and Marg even painted the second one on a black canvas. I painted both of mine on a 20" x 16" canvas in oil. Marg and Dawn painted in acrylic and struggled more than I did with the paint drying so quickly in the heat. One of the interesting aspects for passerby's is that although we were painting the same thing, we had different views and interests as well as styles. Can you guess which ones belong to each artist?
@courtyardgallery @enderbydistrictartscouncil #enderbyartsfestival #pleinairpainting #paintingdemo
I will have a couple of tables with paintings and art cards for sale tomorrow. For extra fun, artists Dawn Scott, Marg Froess and myself will be doing a still life demo at 9:30a.m. and 11:30a.m. just outside the Courtyard Gallery. It will be fun to see the same still life set up painted in our own individual ways. It is not a contest or race but more to show the variety of colours, views, set ups and painting styles. The paintings will probably not be finished in the time given, hence it being a demo. Please come and join us to cheer us on. This is something new for all 3 of us. There will also be other artists painting en plein air at various locations. The street in front of the gallery will be closed to traffic making it a fun, friendly and safe family activity.
I bought this online class at the end of 2021 (Merry Christmas to me!) and really enjoyed following along. I think I was not only drawn to the scene but also to the beautiful colours. Painting along with the few colours I had brought on a holiday was both challenging and fun. I love the thick texture in the front poppies that really made them "pop". I have so many photos of roadside poppies in England and Spain that I will have to paint a series. Oh my, my list just keeps getting longer!
I happily participated in the #OpusPleinAirChallenge this year. It was fun as you could participate in events, with friends or alone as long as you were enjoying yourself with art supplies outdoors. These are photos of some of my adventures.
Below left - Gardom Lake, B.C.(painted on a dock), The next three are drawn in one continuous line each while travelling in the passenger seat. The bottom two are sketch book pages painted under a canopy while camping in the rain.
For this year's show, artists have painted a round canvas with floral designs, colours and patterns that are in the style of the embroidery on the Ukrainian national costumes. 100% of the proceeds of these artworks will go directly to local Ukraine refugee families. The round paintings will be displayed on the stage of the Red Barn Art's Centre in Sicamous, B.C. Please come and enjoy the wonderful local art and crafts (hours below). The fundraising painting that I painted is below. There will be around 16 for sale by different artists as well as the regular annual Art Show and Sale. Come and enjoy the air conditioning while enjoying this years art and craft show. I will be there Wednesday night 7-9pm (meet the artist open house), Thursday June 30 and Friday July 1, make sure you say hi.
I enjoyed a beautiful day painting along side the Rail Trail during the plein air event organized by the Vernon Community Arts Center and sponsored by Opus Arts Supply. Painting anywhere along the Rail Trail between Lake Country/Oyama to Coldstream/Vernon. My lovely sister Shannon met me for the beginning and we enjoyed our lunch after the first painting, then I moved onto Keluki Bay area for the next two.
The wind-up was held at the Vernon Arts Center with drinks, snacks and judging. A final chance to meet more artists, talk shop and share our experiences. It was wonderful to meet artists of all ages and abilities! I would highly recommend to put this on your calendar for next year. There were no fees or rules, just bring your supplies out and enjoy the ever changing views.
I managed to get three plein air pieces done. The first two were painted in oil, 10" x 8", 8" x 10" and the final 5" x 7" with an Elegant Writer calligraphy pen and water. The spots are small bugs. I've already marked my calendar to watch for it next year! Hope to see you there.
@vernoncommunityartscentre @opuspleinairchallenge #paintwithjoy #paintingmakesmehappy #onlocationlandscapeartist #oilpleinairpainting #pleinairpainting @karenoliversfineart #karenoliversartjourney
The water colour painting below is part of a fund raising initiative "The Ukrainian Refugee Fundraiser Through Art" at the Enderby Arts Centre at 617 Cliff Avenue. This fundraiser will be on display and sold during the month of June. My painting depicts a crow flying away with a national costume head dress following other crows. The crows on the line with their backs to the viewer behaving like there is nothing unusual happening (the world's initial response). A group of crows is called a "murder". All proceeds are donated.
I also used my drawing for a fund raiser in Sicamous, B.C. I painted this one in acrylic on a very large board, 4 feet x 4 feet, sealed for exterior use. This is part of the Communities In Bloom initiative. It is designed to hang on the outside of a building or fence. If interested in purchasing it, please contact Eagle Valley Arts Council.
Last Friday I took out my plein air gear at the Brush and Palette Club meeting to get reacquainted. It had been over a year since I had the whole kit out and my oil paints were sealed shut. I found soaking the lids in hot water worked best and finally got them all open. I was surprised as I usually put Vaseline around the rim then put the lids on and have no problem. Well I used up all my painting time just getting myself organized. Today was another opportunity to give it a try but deep dark rain clouds were looming so I thought I would try painting flowers outside. It felt great!! My friend Ev showed up with a house gift and as we laid on the grass, we had some fun with the camera, what a wonderful way to spend some of the afternoon.
Pre-covid I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful day painting outdoors in an event that welcomed all artists of all ages and abilities to create along the Rail Trail between Cold Stream (near Vernon) and Lake Country. My sister Shannon accompanied me with a wagon filled with chairs, lunch, drinks and my art supplies and off we went. Lots of people walked and biked by, some stopping to chat and share encouragement. It was a really fun day as we enjoyed each other's company, Shannon finally had a day off to sit and read while I happily painted away.
Paintings were then on display at the Vernon Art's Centre for a couple of weeks, what fun!! I am certainly planning on going again and hope Shannon can join me. It was certainly a surprise to see a photo of myself on this year's advertisement! If you are in the area (biking, walking or participating), hopefully you will find me to say hello!
I was watching the hockey playoff game between our Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers with our family. In between what I call cheering (our daughter calls "yelling at the TV"), I pulled out a piece of paper and started doodling zentangle patterns. Then, because there was more game left, I started colouring them in with pencil crayons. The irony here is that zentangle is suppose to be a meditative practice and perhaps that is exactly what it was doing for me as I kept my eye on the game and my ears on high alert.
What I found interesting when I took photos for this post is that in the black and white photo, the lighter colours did not show up at all - a true lesson in viewing values!
More fun and learning in my homemade sketchbook. Week 15 (top left) with Dina Wakley was mixed media, abstracted figure and really worked wet! (@dinawakley). Week 16 (top right) PLACEMENT - Angela Kennedy This was fun using a very old image and reworking it anew. The whole piece was painted in a watercolour background with salt drying to make the pattern. Ink, black and white gesso were also used. (@pennystamper). Week 17 (bottom) Tara Roskell had a fun, abstract and colourful story-telling class. She abstracted the face, shifted features and used them to tell a story. She did hers with neocrayons (water soluable) and I did mine with watercolour pencils. This was certainly fun! (@tararoskell)
This art gallery of surrounding area artisans is a hidden gem. Just a block off the TransCanada highway, it is certainly worthy of a stop. Artists brought in new work to the gallery and the design and hanging committee is hard at work setting everything up. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The hosts are artists or artisans so questions and "art speak" is welcomed. My five paintings below are in this show. Enjoy a visit!
Update: Lower left painting is SOLD (Thank you!!!) The purchaser has decided to leave it in the Courtyard Gallery for a period of time for others to enjoy (Another thank you!).
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.