When Cookies Baking in the Oven and Gallery Opening Time Coincide

Right now my kitchen is filling with the smells of coconut butter, oatmeal, walnut cookies.

Meanwhile, the raised beds outside scream for planting now that the four days of torrential rain is on pause. The lupines are outrageously purple. Everywhere I turn in my garden is a potential painting. And my studio is calling me along with the unfinished paintings that wait to be dressed in glorious colour.

But instead of painting and gardening, I’m baking cookies and printing labels. Why?

Because in two days I am celebrating the eighth annual opening of the Bear River Artworks Gallery, the only artist-run gallery in town. (Which also means managing all aspects of gallery life including baking cookies.)

And I suppose some of my celebratory feelings are about coming out on the other side of a winter filled with wild ups and downs in our household. The BIG ‘up’ was the long visit from our amazing offspring. Our daughter and son brought the world to us and their vitality and their stories at a time when both Larry and I experienced separate pesky health issues. When the four of us spend time together I feel wrapped in a warm cocoon of love and life. Their presence was so kind and generous and unexpected and exactly what we both (and maybe all) needed.

And now, allow me to use that overused ‘roller coaster’ metaphor. It feels like our rattling car has finally pulled into station and we are disembarking just in time to hang three rooms of the gallery that we share with three other wonderful, supportive, and talented artists.

I am especially pleased with my latest painting of tulips. I started it when we first moved here over 10 years ago. I wanted a change in direction with my artwork, but I couldn’t quite pull it off. I needed more practice, practice, practice. And then, five years ago, I worked on the painting some more, but I was still not ready for it. And then our kids went back to their lives in Quebec and suddenly it was Spring. I pulled out the painting and new ideas had formed.  I loved the movement and the graphic design in the tulips, but they needed texture.  Also, it was essential to bring the hues of the tulips into the vase and the surface beneath them.

I’ve given it the title “A Change in Direction,” which alludes to how I’ve changed artistically and personally since moving here 15 years ago. But it also describes the tulips’ wavelike motion and curvature. Everything bends.

I’m excited to hang this painting at Bear River Artworks Gallery along with 20 of my works ranging in sizes from 6”x8* to 48”x48”.

So here’s to good health, to artistic collaborations with friends, to healing rainfall, and to the reopening of a charming little gallery in Bear River, where I and others can network with lovely people from all over the world while exhibiting and selling our paintings, photographs, jewelry and greeting cards.

The opening is on Sunday, June 11, 2023 from 1pm until 4pm. 

Regular gallery hours are 10am – 4pm.  Open days in June are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. In July, Aug, Sept and Oct Wednesday will also be an open day.

I live quite close to the gallery, and if none of those times work for you, please let me know and I will make arrangements to open it up for you.

There might be cookies. 

PS: Please let me know if you would like the recipe for Oatmeal Coconut cookies. They are pretty easy to make and are delicious.

The Healing Properties of Daffodils, Turtles and Goutweed

Something fairly profound happened for me this month.

I have felt quite sluggish this winter. Not actually depressed but just completely unmotivated, disinterested, lazy and believing that my strong desire to paint had completely abandoned me. This was quite distressing because there was absolutely no substitute interesting endeavour that came to mind. Nothing. Not writing. Not gardening. Not visiting. Not travelling. I wondered if this is how the end begins.

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Inventing a Blue Flower While Breathing

If you love flowers, you’ll know that actual blue flowers are rare. Horticulturalists try to develop true blue blooms, and sometimes they come up with a purple and call it blue. And even though some flowers are blue, like a Cornflower, a Delphinium or a Forget-me-not, you can’t find a blue Zinnia or Daisy.

Except if you are a painter, and you can imagine it. You can paint the flowers any colour you want to.

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Inside My Painting Studio

Do you also feel the unsettling psychological impact of the threat of Covid-19 and of the isolation from others?  Even though the rate of infection is almost nonexistent in my little province – we haven’t had a single case in our village. – it is that imaginary threatening future that always hangs in the air.

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How I Learned to Promote my Artwork while Living in the Middle of Nowhere*

“Left a good Job in the City. Workin’ for the Man Every Night and Day…” Proud Mary, John Fogarty 

Thirteen years ago,  my husband and I ditched our jobs in the big city and moved to this sparsely populated province. Our dreams were all about creativity and community.  I yearned for the luxury of having time to paint.  I yearned for nature. And I hoped I would be able to find a market for my artwork. Continue reading