Monday, September 28, 2015

Creston Experimentation

Black gesso everywhere and days later I've still got stained cuticles

Anyone who knows me well, knows I loath having dirty hands. This, I'm told, isn't normal for an artist (now there's an oxymoron for you). In Win's studio getting your hands dirty can't be helped and I have learned to roll with it because, well, the experimentation is just that much fun. This past visit to Creston (September 20th - 23rd) was so highly charged and what with Win's studio being adjacent to the master and guest bedrooms those of us sleeping on site didn't get very much owing to all that wild energy flying around the premises!

Meg watches Win demonstrating how she colours the embossed foiled pieces

Win graciously adhered silver foil (from a hair salon) onto masses of card stock and ran all theses pieces through her embossing toy so that Meg and I could black gesso then colour them.

My embossed pieces
Following Win's examples, I made a fun foam plate to print using her Gelli plate
My fun foam plate

Impressions made from the fun foam above were disappointingly faint, so I won't show you them. I need to go in with the stylus to press deeper into the lines, to get a print with strong contrast.

Bill (who has made original prints before) gave Gelli plate printing a try, but it didn't last long as the boys were just passing through on their way out the door to find their own kind of fun.

Meg, Win and John, Paul and Bill

Below Win observes as Meg creates a painted piece of "sun paper" using all sorts of wild and crazy colours, leaves, lots of paint and tons of water.


Once saturated, this paper needed overnight to have all that water evaporate ...

Somewhat of a garish dog's breakfast
But oh, the reverse side is an amazing sight to behold

Meg used other "sun papers" that she had created on these twin panels (in progress) ...

We did come up for air to spend some time outdoors. I had an urge to meander among the grapes, so we walked from the Dinn's to the Skimmerhorn vineyards ...

And oh the maple trees on the Dinn's front lawn are in their autumn splendor right now.

Thanks to Win and John, it was another magical stay in Creston. Good times with good friends in the beauty of one of BC's most charming valleys.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lake O'Hara 2015

This expedition, from September 7th to 10th, gave us three nights and four days there. We were five painters and three spouses tossed in with other random Lake O'Hara enthusiasts staying at the Elizabeth Parker Hut (it holds 24). Joining in last year, for the first time in several, had me realise just how much I missed being there. While Bill has visited the area many times, he has accompanied the "painters" group only occasionally. It was a delight that we were both on the trip this year. 

My one and only plein air painting from this trip.   Sargent's Point   oil on panel   9" x 12"

Day one, we arrived to a fair bit of snow ...

Just off the bus, Bill on the shore of Lake O'Hara shore at Sargent's Point

That afternoon, as I painted, Bill hiked to McArthur Lake with Dave, Bob and Patti. There, at a higher elevation, they encountered considerably more snow ...

Bill at McArthur Lake, thanks to Patti Dyment for this photo

Thanks to Pat Allin for this photo

The snow gradually melted as I painted

Meg Nicks, sketching on a rock along side of me, stopped to snap the photo above of me at the easel
Another day, Patti Dyment was found tucked under some evergreens painting the classic Sargent's Point view

And, on the last day, Jan Chalupnicek and Sharon Williams painted it as well

Pooling food, we always eat well, exchange stories, laugh and sing together. It doesn't always happen, but on our last night, all the other folks staying at the hut joined us in song facilitating a most memorable hootenanny. 

I don't live close to the majority of the group anymore, so being reunited with everyone creates a homecoming feeling that is very special to me.  Here is our entire gang enjoying a happy hour ... 

Dave, Bill, myself, Jan, Meg, Bob, Pat, Sharon and Patti

The WiWaxy Hut comfortably sleeps eight, so we commandeered it for ourselves.

Meg, Sharon, Pat, Patti and myself having an end-of-the-day hen party on the lower bunk in the WiWaxy Hut

People wander off solo, or in smaller groups, to hike or paint, but on the one especially dreary morning (with the exception of Jan, who sped ahead and lost the rest of us) we hiked to the Crystal Cave together ...

Bob, Bill, Dave, Sharon, Patti, myself, Meg and Pat - thanks to Bob Allin for this time exposed shot

... and to Meg for this very special one

It was very cold, the weather was truly uncooperative. The intermittent rain helped to wash the snow away but we didn't see much blue sky or sunshine. Still, when you are in paradise and nature throws you a curve, you just make the best of it.

Bill, and some of the gals, partook of a decadent tea one afternoon in The Lodge, something I've never done before ...

Pat, Meg and yours truly 

With Bill and Meg, on day three, I hiked up to and on the Opabin Plateau to enjoy the pools and changing larches  

On the last day, I convinced Bill to hike to Victoria Lake, again, because, you just never know if you're ever "going to pass this way again."

Happy place to have lunch - at Victoria Lake

Myself above the magnificent Victoria Falls

Huge thanks to Patti for organizing yet another expedition. God willing, I'll be back, for more magic at O'Hara, next year!