May 5, 2012
It was an honour being asked by Lynda Jones to share her spotlight as Featured Artist at our Old Courthouse Gallery here in my city of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Lynda is a potter whose studio is in Falkland, B. C.– a potter of ever-increasing recognition, most notably for her astonishingly beautiful smoke-fired pottery which can be seen in more detail here: http://www.okanaganpotters.ca/ljonesgallery.html.
Our Opening on May 1st came off well even though the wall socket we’d plugged the coffee and tea into was busted and we didn’t know until we were due to serve it. But once extension cords were found, a good time was had by all.
That same day, a quarterly magazine, ‘Currents’ published this very generous feature . . .
Publicity like this is very helpful and makes it all the more necessary for me to remember that watercolour is my hobby, and a medium I struggle mightily with. All I can hope for is the chance to keep learning from my continual mistakes, while trying to improve in incremental steps.
Yesterday I was very happy to learn that the owner of the ‘Dr. M. S. Wade House’ (see ‘previous entries’ below) is very taken with my rendition of her home. She’s lived in it for more than 35 years and rues the day she’ll ever have to move out–but says if and when she does, she’ll now have my painting to bring back the memories. And as a painter, it just doesn’t get any better than that!
April 25, 2012
D Day for me is May 1st. That is when Lynda Jones and I are teaming up to be The Featured Artists at The Old Courthouse Gallery here in Kamloops. Lynda is a rare and amazing potter who specializes in highly burnished smoke-fired pieces and counts among her collectors the former U. S. President Clinton.
Here is the fantastic poster she has designed:
The Local Cliffs subject I’ve been doing studies of has finally been completed as a work I’m satisfied enough to allow to be matted and framed.
One thing I’ve learned through doing it, is that this small size of 7.5″ x 9″ is very pleasing for me. It is large enough to include a good amount of detailing, and small enough to get finished in a timely way.
And now it is on to getting painting #2 for the show done before our May 1st opening. Thank you for your previous comments which helped me in producing the final result!
February 26, 2012
The landscape of Kamloops, British Columbia, (native word meaning ‘dividing of waters’–the Thompson River divides mid-city to create the North and South Thompson), varies remarkably.
Think of a city at 1132 ft. elevation with homes built in terraced-layers down one mountainside and up another, all finding bottom along the broad Thompson River which attracted the attention of The Hudson Bay Company in 1811. Since then Kamloops has become a train hub, a location for gold prospectors seeking their fortunes, and more recently a centre for the forest industry.
It is arid here. Summers are hot and dry, and rain is an event. Winters are cold, windy, with average amounts of snow, and a major spot for skiers and snowboarders at the highest elevations. When I walk the dog at 5 a.m., I always hear owls and sometimes coyotes, and occasionally spot a few deer searching for something in the yards below the mountain ridge we hug up against. I’ve also come across black bear in the car port, and seen the evidence of moose.
This painting is of what’s locally referred to as The Silt Bluffs. They feature hoodoos, free-standing rock formations caused by wind erosion.
The most prevalent raptors in our area are the Red-Tailed Hawk, Golden and Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Turkey Vultures.
January 21, 2012
To look up the face of Mount Peter– (the sibling of the larger Mount Paul), the signature mountains overlooking our city of Kamloops, B. C.–is to look upon the core of a mountain. These are mountains so ancient, all that remains are the inner cores–their souls. Time and erosion have scarred and left them displaying a beauty it takes the eye a while to appreciate.
The roads about their base feature yellow diamond warning signs cautioning drivers to watch for Big Horn Sheep.
As a watercolourist, it took me a good two years before I attempted the challenge. They are unusual subjects, and not easily rendered. It was wise for me to wait, simply because I was so accustomed to the forested peaks of the Coastal Mountains that I regarded these as ugly. Until they finally become beautiful to the newly-arrived, these ancient and weather worn heights are probably best not attempted at all by art enthusiasts like me.
January 8, 2012
It has been quietly thrilling to once again become reaquainted with the four seasons. Vancouver–my city for over twelve years–effectively enjoys a very prolonged Spring and a very prolonged Autumn. Indeed, on rare occasions there are days of snow, and days of oppressive heat, but they remain rare.
Moving to the Interior–specifically to Kamloops–in December of 2007, was a sudden re-introduction into what Winter truly is all about. The day of our move turned into the biggest blizzard I’ve ever experienced, then or since. Driving up the Coquihalla Highway was treacherously risky, its two lanes effectively reduced to a cow path. And from that moment on, I have learned to love all over again the unique characteristics of each of the Four Seasons, for Kamloops is surrounded by a wonderful and distinctly different landscape which has captivated my artistic spirit!
Above all, it is Winter which I’ve come to revel in the most. . . .
January 5, 2012
My home, Kamloops, British Columbia, goes back as far as 1811 when the first of several trading outposts were established, later to be consolidated under The Hudson’s Bay Company. The word, Kamloops, is native and means ‘the joining of two waters’ which refers to the dividing of the Thompson River into North and South.
This happens below the twin iconic mountains named Peter and Paul. The mountains of this part of the Interior are not the heavily-forested, jagged-peaked ‘Alps’-type mountains, but rather some of the most ancient mountains to be found anywhere. They are worn to the point where their cores are visible, and therefore feature few trees, much wind-etched character and wind-eroded, free-standing forms known as ‘hoo doos’.
At first I regarded Peter and Paul as barren and ugly. Four years later, I’m continuously fascinated by their craggy power and rawness. Like Jerusalem and the Old City, our mountains turn golden in the setting sun and their surfaces mirror the face of the sky.
My first venture into depicting Mounts Peter and Paul was done with trepidation. These are exceedingly difficult subjects because of their rocky nakedness and unusual markings. On a dull day they simply look like the leftovers of a beach-washed sand castle, and what I needed to do was capture their spirit when worshipped by the sun and caressed by the moon.
another in moonlight . . .
Still another painting of Peter and Paul was done from their rear, featuring Fort House which is the subject of a moonlit snow scene earlier in this blog . . .
And then there is this dramatic depiction of Peter and Paul in the height of summer . . . .
The only one still available is this last one. But definitely there will be more in the works!
January 3, 2012
Kamloops (a native word meaning ‘the joining of two rivers’) has evolved from an c1812 outpost of The Hudson’s Bay Company and an early Railroad and Gold Rush centre into the largest city in the Thompson-Nicola Region of British Columbia’s Interior.
One of our most distinctive houses situated near the North Thompson River, was built in 1907 for a farmer, Archie Davis, who had purchased land originally belonging to Fort Kamloops. It sits at the corner of Fortune Drive and Fort Avenue, and is simply referred to as ‘Fort House’. No longer in the Davis family, its acreage has been reduced to a lot-sized yard, and its classic box design has been altered so that now it is a rooming house with various entries and stairs added.
Wanting to depict it as it once was, this painting imagines a moonlit night with one lone window indicating activity, perhaps Archie Davis preparing to get up–pre-dawn–to attend to his animals and daily chores. It was purchased almost as soon as it was displayed, by a young couple who have a fondness for this familiar Kamloops landmark.