Sick Day = Paint Day

Well after a week of feeling a bit “off” I lost my voice last night, and it has yet to return. For those of you who do not know, I am a yoga teacher by trade and losing my precious voice meant cancelling classes today. I spent most of the day resting, but finally I couldn’t handle the boredom and decided to just “try” painting.

I managed to finish the iridescent clouds in “Ontario Summer” and now only need to add some Queen Anne’s Lace to the green fields. One more almost done! Then only four more to go (I only have 3 more painting days left). I also did my rough practice on the little canvas board for the Northwest Territories. Every little bit counts, right?

west coast sold
ALL THREE WESTERN CANADA HAVE SOLD!

Also, exciting news, I have now sold 3 of the paintings from this project! Do not fear, I am keeping them all for the show on December 16th so you can come see them. Remember, I am offering these paintings at my old price ($200) until December 15th. After that the new prices are instated ($250)- you can read more about that decision in my “Pricing Art Is Hard” blog.

If you think you might be interested in purchasing one of the paintings from this collection, please keep your eye on the Canada: Provinces and Territories page. I will continue to post the paintings there as they are completed, and will mark them sold as they go.

Hope to see you at the show next week!

 

 

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Canadian Custom Art | Rocky Mountains

Last year a friend of mine drove through the Rocky Mountains with her family (one year after I started pumping out my Jasper paintings)… when she returned and shared her photos, I asked to use one to do a line drawing. Which I did, and gifted to her shortly after.

This year, right before my art show Vast Lands, she inquired about having a custom painting done, from the same photo. I was thrilled! She said she like the colours in my “Gaia” painting, so right after the show I got to work! It was easy for me to envision…

The funny thing is… I decided to use “ultramarine blue” to give some depth to the “payne’s grey” I have been using in a lot of paintings lately. I had no idea it would turn purple when I added white. It was one of those miraculous accidents, because both of us loved the additional purple in the composition (and I feel like I will be using ultramarine blue a lot more in the future).

The finished project has been a hit on Facebook:

20246079_1031584953643431_1973381634198403362_n

Thank you Elayne for the custom project, and sharing your passion for our incredible Canadian Landscapes.

elayne photo

 

Summer Fun

Another art show was a success; and as always I’m left feeling so grateful and humbled from it. Last year our show “Earth and Sky”  brought friends out from Toronto to Belleville. This year our show “Vast Lands” brought old friends, some who I hadn’t seen in over a decade!

I even met a new friend, who ventured out from Toronto with her daughter just to meet me and see the latest paintings (Remember my cross-country adventure with my childhood friend? That inspired the hoodoo paintings and kicking horse river valley paintings… well those two ladies are friends! Hence the drive to meet me…)

 

This year, as soon as the show started at 1pm people were coming in the door! We were so busy, so early, we never had a chance to take photos of our set-up! So many people were coming through at once, I was trying to balance multiple conversations and sales at once. Jenn and I hardly had a chance to say hi to each other, until around 4pm, and it was just us- we finally stopped to take a photo!

 

Thank you to everyone who came out, said hello, and bought our work. We are so grateful for your support, and it makes every moment of this journey worth it! Stay tuned for next years show… In the meantime here’s a few pics of what we did get:

Jennifer Trefiak:

Jennifer Anne Burke:

The day before the show, I finished “The Invitation” and had prints made of the 10×10 inch canvas. I cannot sell the original, but if you are interested in a print please contact me. They are $15 each (with additional $5 for shipping if needed):

the invitation

The Invitation

Sometimes, as an artist, as soon as you see something you know you need to paint it. This has happened twice in my life now. The first time, was in August 2015, driving into Jasper (Rocky Mountains, Alberta) and I saw “The Chief” mountain range.

It happened again in November 2016 when I was walking towards “The Hoodoos” (Drumheller’s Badlands, Alberta). The Hoodoos are the main attraction in Drumheller, but it wasn’t them that had gotten my attention- it was off in the distance, in the smooth cream coloured rolling rocks, it looked like a woman walking into a cave. As soon as I saw this, I knew I would paint it. It was this feeling of being invited in, lead by this (imagined) wise woman, that stays with me since visiting this land (and sacred site in my opinion).

When I told a friend about the painting I was planning, and calling it “The Invitation” she asked me if I had ever read the book “The Invitation” which I had not. I recently looked it up, and found the poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

This powerful poem, goes well with this painting. It’s about going deep within: yourself, others, the earth, Life… Spirit. It reminds me of all my wise women friends, who have traveled with me and seen my wildness (A.K.A. crying at the overwhelm of this Earth’s beauty), and I feel so fortunate and grateful and humbled by their support. This painting is for all women, brave enough to walk into that cave. To walk into the unknown darkness, light a fire, and sit alone. You are my strength and my inspiration; and together we lead the way, inviting others to do the same.

 

 

Vast Lands ~ Art Show

Mark  your calendars for July 15th, when Jennifer Trefiak and I introduce our newest collection of paintings at “Vast Lands.” Please drop in anytime between 1-5pm at St.Mark’s Church in Port Hope.

The show is inspired by Canada’s water, land and skies. Paintings will include landscapes from the Great Lakes, Georgian Bay, Frontenac, Gatineau, and Drumheller.

You can follow our Facebook Event Page for regular updates: Vast Lands.

We look forward to seeing you there! Last year “Earth and Sky” was a wonderful success. We are so fortunate to live in a small community that supports the arts. Remember we always have something for every budget; and if you just want to come say hello, and talk art, we appreciate that too!

You can also follow our Facebook Pages: Jennifer Anne Burke and Jennifer Trefiak.

See you soon!

Georgia O’Keeffe | AGO

On Friday, June 2nd I traveled with a friend into Toronto to explore the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). I have seen so many art exhibits over my lifetime (Klimpt, Van Gogh, Lawren Harris (lots of Group of Seven), Mystical Landscapes (which had so many famous artists) and this was by far the largest, and most enlightening for me. Also, the first woman artist where the exhibit was fully her own (even the Emily Carr exhibit I saw in Vancouver, was paired with modernist artist Wolfgang Paalen).

We were not allowed to  photograph any of the art, so I don’t have a whole lot to share visually. Just a few key points to share about her work, that have re-inspired me.

  • She worked with tons of charcoal, chalk and oil pastels on paper.
  • She has an amazing ability to make oil paints look like water colours.
  • Her lines are both soft and hard, crisp/clear yet blended so perfectly into her subjects and compositions (she played with abstract and expressionism, and created some very surreal paintings).
  • She painted in Canada, Quebec’s Gaspé!

georgia in gaspe

 

HER LIFE AND WORK:

I knew so little about this woman before the show. She is an artist who others have said my work reminds them of, and I never took it as much of a compliment (all I was familiar with were her flower paintings, which I always find a bore). It wasn’t until I saw her “Red Hills” painting at the Mystical Landscapes exhibit, that she really intrigued me:

georgia red hills

After this I started reading more about her, and her love of nature, the desert, and her connection to the earth. Her move to Ghost Ranch later in life is what really resonated for me (I can very much relate from my personal experience of Jasper- something about the air, the land, the lines, the energy… it feels like home, like I belong there. But to move there? Not yet, haha…) – she is incredibly strong, brave, and so independent. One of her famous quotes:

“I have been absolutely terrified of everything in my life, but I never let it stop me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

So few people do what they want to do in life, yet here is a woman, born around the turn of the century, who uprooted to New York, married a photographer, and traveled. After her husbands death she uprooted again and moved, alone, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lived almost an entire century (1887 – 1986), painting and never afraid of living life on her terms.

MY PERSONAL INSPIRATION

This exhibit reminded me of the value of different forms of exploring in art- I used to do a lot of oil pastels and line drawings, but moved away from those materials as my paintings started to sell. My focus moved fully to acrylic on canvas. I can feel myself transitioning back to oil pastels, and charcoal sketching. I miss working with the simplicity of lines on paper. Georgia’s work looked so stunning framed, that I’m inspired to try.

Since my last show in December, I had already decided I wanted to start “softening” my lines in my paintings. However, I have been struggling with this. Once I saw this exhibit, something clicked for me. I could physically see and visualize how Georgia was able to create contrast and dept through sharp lines, and blending. I’ve been playing with this and you might be able to see the difference between last years painting “Silver Sun, Lake Superior” where I was starting to soften and blend, and this new one I’m exploring of “Killarney, Georgian Bay.”

I am feeling a bit desperate to start working in oils. The more exhibits I see, and more professional work I observe, and the more I paint with “sticky acrylics” the more frustrated I become. I’m still unsure how or when I will transition, but for now I will keep working with my acrylics on canvas, and explore more oil pastels on paper.

ANNUAL SUMMER ART SHOW – Vast Lands

So the ball is rolling for the next art show happening Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Port Hope, Ontario. I will be displaying with Jennifer Trefiak again, and we are very excited to share our new works with you. Please drop by if you can, between 1-5pm.

Vast Lands” will include paintings from a variety of Canadian Landscapes, with Trefiak’s focus on beaches and skies, and my focus on Badlands (Alberta) and Georgian Bay (Ontario). I am trying to figure out how to make a 2018 Calendar for special orders too! If you have a favourite painting you’d like included in this project, let me know ASAP.

We look forward to seeing you there!