On Saturday I helped out at the Cumberland Lodge Christmas Bazaar that my students at the Lodge wanted to do. I did four sessions with them, making cards, ornaments and things to sell. They decided that all proceeds would be put towards art supplies for future classes and raised enough money to do just that. I was thrilled! Staff at the home also contributed baked goods to the bazaar. What a great team!
We did it the same day as the Cumberland Farmer's Market Christmas event. This has become quite the event in the village as other organizations and churches also open their doors to sell crafts and foodstuffs etc. There were cars and people everywhere!
Special thanks go to Dan Blais, owner of Weekly Flowers at 5303 Canotek Road, and http://www.WeeklyFlowers.com, who printed and donated the signs to point visitors to the village in the direction of the bazaar. Great job Dan, and they worked really well! Much appreciated! By the way, if you need flowers this holiday season, these are the people to call. They have a team of excellent designers and shop staff that take great care of each and every order (613-748-0000).
From the bazaar I dashed over to the New Edinburgh Square retirement residence in New Edinburgh to give a Silk Scarf Workshop. We had almost double the number of attendees that I was expecting, causing a bit of a scramble for me, but it all worked out in the end and everyone made two beautiful scarves that they were all pleased with. I also had some inquiries asking if we could do another Scarf workshop after Christmas. No problem, but I have to restock my totally depleted scarf inventory first!
And if you are a last minute shopper, like me, I have a suggestion for you... Why not give an art class or a gift certificate towards a class? Art classes are a gift that lasts a lifetime. Once a person has been exposed to art it becomes a part of their life, forever. Even if they don't practice art for years, most eventually go back to it after a change in their lives... retirement, an illness, a tragic event or something else, because art is a way to express feelings without words... just colours, strokes of a brush and emotion. The gift of art classes is truly a caring gift!
This Week's Painting Tip:
As an art teacher I often find that my students want to duplicate a photo on their canvas. In fact I used to do this so successfully that people who saw photos of my paintings just assumed that they were photographs not paintings. When I did the art fair circuit people would come into my booth and exclaim that my work was amazing... then go to the booth next door and purchase a more "painterly" piece.
While working in the studio I often tried to remind myself that, "Susan, it's a painting, not a photograph. It doesn't have to be an exact replica." I was finally able to break the habit by embracing abstract art.
Now, I tell my students that they are the artist and they can improve on the photograph that they are working from. As photographers we are limited by what is before us, or spend hours, days or eternity waiting for the conditions to be perfect to get that once in a lifetime image. As artists, armed with the knowledge of colour, perspective and composition, we can take a ho-hum photo and turn it into a spectacular painting and to illustrate that I have one of my student's paintings and original photograph to show you. Cathy Dempsey did this amazing painting from the photograph shown. She definitely improved on the photo, wouldn't you agree?
This week I did the backgrounds for the two appliquéd maple leaf paintings. The first background started out with the last of my tube of Prussian Blue, but there wasn't enough so off to the art supply store I went, and picked up a jar of Phthalo Blue, a very similar dark blue "cold" or green-blue colour.
The first canvas I did in a traditional rippled water pattern, while I did the second with a more textured appearance. The ripples and texture were enhanced by using interference blue paint. I love interference colours. They add a shimmer and life to my work, although they should be used judiciously as there is a very fine line between an interesting piece of art and kitsch. Trust me on that one!
Next week we will see what happens when the leaves fall from the trees and land on the watery backgrounds. I hope you will join me then!