Today my month long solo show “Courage My Love” opened at Lucky Rabbit’s Artist House Gallery in Annapolis Royal where 21 of my paintings are on display until May 28, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10am till 4pm.
Paintings on display is an exciting opportunity for me to show you and others my paintings in a gallery setting. And it’s a thrill for me too because it is a time when I can go beyond the studio chaos and look up and see the efforts of my work. That saying of “she can’t see the forest for the trees” applies here. There is tremendous satisfaction and sometimes even relief when a painting is resolved, finished and done; sometimes after years of returning to it and struggling with it! And what a wonderful place to have a show. Lucky Rabbit is a true ‘art house’ with studio galleries of 4 exceptional artists working in various mediums.
I show my natural surroundings in my paintings – filled with old fashioned and wild flowers. And this idea of reflecting back the natural world is also very present in the works of Deb, Janel and Marianne. I’m in great company at Lucky Rabbit.
Yes, showing in this location is one of my many fulfilled dreams since coming to Nova Scotia 15 years ago. Let me tell you the back story!
If I could time travel to 2005 I would whisper to myself “Guess what? If you move here, one day in the future, 21 of your paintings will hang at Lucky Rabbit amongst the beauty of the pottery and vases overflowing with flowers.“
I was still a tourist on my first visit to Lucky Rabbit in 2005. In those days Lucky Rabbit was principally a working pottery studio with a showroom in front. Potters Deb and Ray lived upstairs.
The moment I stepped into their pottery, I felt joy. The colours and creations that greeted me took my breath away. Deb and Ray, potters extraordinaire, displayed enormous, hand built and hand painted vases that overflowed with garden flowers. Each pot, cup, bowl and vase was a work of art on its own. Most were decorated with animals, birds, and flowers. The colours on the walls matched the beautiful blues and magentas and greens of the pottery.
Standing in that show room I wondered if it could be possible for Larry and me to move to Nova Scotia and realize a decades long dream of working fulltime as creatives. Could we finally transform our lives?
On that first visit, I was so overwhelmed with the pottery that I only brought home a small, beautifully painted tile of flowers. I took it back to my workplace in Toronto and placed it beside my keyboard. It held my endless cups of coffee along with THE DREAM. Nearby on the wall I pinned up the Bear River Artist Studio Tour map. For the next 2 years, I dreamed of moving to this wonderful part of the country where working as an artist was an actual thing.
And yes, we finally stepped through the looking glass into that dream in 2007 and we haven’t looked back.
Now, 15 years later, my big beautiful studio in Bear River Is filled with wonderful art supplies and many paintings in various stages of finish. My work is represented in the Bear River Artist Studio Tour brochure that Larry now designs. We are co-founders of Bear River Artworks Gallery that is entering its eighth season on May 28, and hundreds of my paintings are in collections of many people near and far.
The ability to paint full time these last 15 years has definitely improved my work and surprisingly, the process is still a challenge. Every painting is a puzzle that teaches me something new. There is still so much to learn. My process is intuitive and driven by an impulse to paint when a scene or flower presents itself. That urge is unpredictable. And when it’s there, it’s so exciting. Like a rush of endorphins. Like the feeling I had when I first visited Lucky Rabbit.
Today, Lucky Rabbit in Annapolis Royal has expanded to include jeweler Marianne Brown who combines silver, pearls, gems and woven silk to create her exquisite jewelry.
Janel Warmington’s strong sense of colour and design show up in her print making, collage, and painting. She often uses animal themes. She also sews beautiful one-of-a-kind purses and bags out of leather and gorgeous fabrics.
On my wall at home I treasure a linocut of a leaping deer by Janel. I wear silver earrings by Marianne and I drink coffee and tea out of cups made by Ray and decorated by Deb.
Aren’t I the Lucky Rabbit?
My paintings will hang at Lucky Rabbit throughout May and I will pop in on Saturdays to visit with them and with you.
For a virtual showing of all the paintings I have on display at Lucky Rabbit, including sizes and prices, please click on the image below.
Throughout the summer and fall, my work will be at Bear River Artworks Gallery. Six of us are set to open there on May 28, but more on that in another post!