One of the many subjects that inspire me is the beauty of Saskatchewan’s northern lake country. I rarely leave our cabin without my camera or at least my cell phone to capture what I see. My husband and I enjoy spending leisurely days canoeing along the shoreline of East Trout Lake as well as some of the smaller lakes close by. Filtered sunlight from behind the trees, the reflection of rocks and reeds in a secluded cove, the movement of water when a breeze is stirred up can all take my breath away. My husband has to pick up the slack when I drop the paddle and pick up the camera (he does a lot of the paddling). I really like to paint little children too. I love their natural, expressive movements. I find myself smiling as I’m painting because I’m usually thinking of how cute they are.
‘Shallow Cove’, Acrylic on canvas
Painting in watercolour has inspired me to stop and enjoy all things bathed in light and casting interesting shadows. Red poppies in my garden, I have never had as many, and moments from a special trip to Nova Scotia, are among the subjects of my work for our group show at Grace Westminster Church auditorium, April 13 to 15. Look foreword to seeing you in the spring!
What inspires me to paint is usually something nearby, whose shape or colour interests me. Highlighting those bottles or shells or flowers with focussed light brings out the elements of those items that intrigue me. As a result, I collect things – old bottles, old silver, shells, glass floats, leaves, seeds, everyday things – and find interesting fruits and vegetables, and raid my garden for inspiration. Then I assemble them to play with colours, shapes, reflections and textures. Some end up in my paintings, which I hope you will come by and see, along with all of our group’s new works, at our upcoming April show, April 13 – 15 at Grace Westminster Auditorium (details coming soon; watch our Facebook page too).
‘Peaches and Copper Pot’, Oil on linen panel
You can see more of my work at Redberry Art.
I am a professional fibre artist specializing in freestyle embroidery. My creations are expressions of my love for the prairie and originate from my own photographs and personal experiences of Saskatchewan. I am constantly amazed at the texture and intricate beauty that can be achieved by working with thread and yarn. When I head out with my camera, I am looking for things to stitch. Big open skies are translated to hand dyed fabrics. When I see fields and ditches full of flora, I imagine them as threads and yarn. Each stitch represents a brush stroke of colour and I find great joy in recreating scenes I love in this medium.
In 2010, I was juried with the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Since then, my work has found homes locally, nationally, and internationally. As a self taught artist, I am very grateful to be a part of the Artists’ Workshop. I enjoy this circle of supportive artists and bask in the opportunity to expand my creativity every Monday with them. Having the dedicated time and space to become more expressive with my sketchbook phase of creating is planting the seeds for some wonderful new works in the future.
‘Winter at Jackfish Lake’
Inspiration comes from close up or far away. In the last year my close up inspirations have been found in backyard gardens and beautiful planters in cities we have visited. The distant inspirations are the old elevators, barns and houses that we all see as we drive around our province. I’m not usually driving so I bring my camera and it is amazing what I can catch in these “drive-by-pictures”. I wonder about our ancestors, what lives were really like when these structures were built. So, flowers to bring cheer into my studio and old architecture to make me reflect on our history.
“Shirley’s Poppies” – Watercolour Batik
“Apple Blossom Amarylis” – Watercolour Batik
“Gull Lake Pool Elevator” – Watercolour Batik
One of my favourite things to do is set out on a road trip just as the sun is coming up and photograph the ever changing landscape as the sunlight spills over it. Then I can’t wait to honour that beauty in a painting back in the studio. My photos are snapshots used as a reference point to start the artwork from rather than something to copy directly. In my lifetime, it will be impossible for me to use all of my paint-worthy images. There are thousands. Each time I choose a scene to paint from, I relive the feeling I had standing in that spot or driving through that countryside. I hope that my paintings will remind people of a time when they enjoyed something similar.