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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mother Nature is really teasing us now....

It's not nice Mother Nature!  Just two days ago we had temperatures up in the 24 degree it is 13 and I feel like I'm freezing out there.  The wind is just chilly enough to warrant a few layers of clothing. 

So Spring has sprung and the first official art showing for the Island Gallery took place on the May long weekend.  We, however, were off island and touring around in our motorhome. Luckily a friend put a couple of my paintings in for me.  We visited Hope, Penticton, Vernon, Watch Lake, Alice Lake and then headed back home.  Great to see our moms and good friends and family!  
Me and Momsey in Vernon
After 3 days of gardening and weeding, I am still way behind in this department.  Also feeling like I need to get really cracking with the painting in order to keep enough stock for the summer shows.  Went to an Island Gallery meeting and was asked to coordinate a big art show in August at the Anderson Road winery.  Firstly I better figure out what I need to do.  

The herring season was pretty amazing this year - Sam was right there watching when all the hallabaloo broke out at Helliwell Park this year.  Unfortunately I was away trying to get a tooth fixed in Sooke but check out some pictures that Sam took and you'll see for yourself how exciting it was.  Okay, I forgive you Mother Nature!  

This guy reminds me of Sam....LOL
Well, I continue to paint and had a very good month with sales of 14 paintings for the month of best ever by far.  Let's hope it is a trend.  Just finished a few more paintings this month and am almost finished a 30"x 36" painting of a very dynamic old arbutus tree. 

Sam also continues to practice at the folk music workshops, music theory and ukulele and recently played at New Horizons as part of the Hornby choir performance!  Go Sam go!

Actually got to the beach and layed in sun the other day which was amazing!  Even played some frisbee with Sam.  Ha ha.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Still waiting for Spring.....

Picture from Ford's Cove the other day....during a break from the storm.

What can I say....the weather has been horrid in the last few weeks and we have seen rain, wind, snow, hail and sun. As usual, during the big winds power outages are the norm. This time we had 34 hours without power and no ferries for most of it. For some reason, they still have the summer ferry running which does not do well during wind storms. Nellie and Mojo are not enjoying the storms much either and they both get quite freaked out when there is a power outage which then drives us somewhat insane.

Nellie at 13 1/2 (which makes her about 98 years old if she were a human) and Mojo at 10.

Sam is continuing with his ukulele club and is also partaking in a folk music workshop and music theory lessons with Marc Atkinson and is loving it. I have quit Tai Chi due to the fact that I wasn't practicing and forgot from one week to the next what I was doing but have done a few painting workshops with Tara Ireland. Sam and I have also joined the wine club and plan on making lots of wine in the near future!

My painting workshops have now ended but a couple of us from the group including the teacher will be participating in a show at the Island Gallery during Easter. These are some of the paintings that I have been working on in my studio/alcove (in the house) in the last few weeks. I also have a another 10 paintings in a bag from the workshop that just need a little tweaking.

Well, time to go. I hope the next time I post we are really into Spring! Please.....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Oh well! On a good note I have been doing some new paintings and yes, my style changes as I go....somewhat. I'm really enjoying oils and also doing still life paintings which in the past I haven't been all that keen about. Not now! Here are a couple of oils that I recently completed. I have done many more in my painting workshops as well and some of the better ones will be on display in the Island Gallery for Easter along with other artists who have also been painting at the workshops put on by Tara Ireland.

This next one called "Plate of Grapes" has been sold....
I am currently working on 3 more paintings....2 are almost complete....and I will be starting another probably tomorrow. With drying times for oils it is best to work on a few at a time, so stay posted.

Unfortunately we have not had the privilege of going anywhere south for the hot and sunny weather which was kind of in our retirement plans. Poor old Nellie, our lab/retriever is having geriatric issues so figure it just wouldn't be fair to leave her in the hands of anyone else....for her sake and their sake.

Springtime is definitely on the horizon as I have been able to spend a few days out working in the yard. Many spring flower bulbs are now up, the clematis is starting to bloom and there are flower buds on the ornamental trees!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas and then the New Year began...

We had a great Christmas with my Mom, Dustin & Brodie and then brought in the New Year at the Hall listening to Gypsy Caravan music with Marc Atkinson and his band as well as Daniel Lapp. Most people were dressed in gypsy attire including myself.

Life was fairly busy all through the season but I did get the painting done for the Co-op and submitted paintings in two Island Gallery shows.

I have also finished a 20"x 24"Acrylic painting of Lisa and Doug's backyard path through the trees. I was very happy with it and they both loved it!
Unfortunately I had some very sad news in January that my good friend Wendy had passed away. She will be missed by many but especially her children Jodi and Ryan. R.I.P. Wendy.

I recently started some more painting lessons with Tara Ireland who I hold in high regard. My last lesson I decided to paint with oils for the first time and was mildly surprised to find out that I was really impressed with the medium. The class is such a great time and it is so much fun painting with some very interesting artists. I plan to try some flower paintings using this medium starting this week.

I am also very happy that my old childhood buddy that I have known from the age of about 6 is moving back to Canada from Singapore. Really hope that I get to see Karen and Christer more often now that they are home.

So January is upon us and the remaining winter months will go fast. We've had a smattering of snow but more is expected this week. We've had a few good walks up Mount Geoffrey and Helliwell Park. Sam is taking many pictures that are pretty amazing. Our good friends Pat and Peter were just up from Brentwood Bay and we had a great weekend with them. I finally created the ultimate yorkshire puddings for our roast beef dinner the other night but unfortunately the oven had to be cleaned afterwards.....BIG mess!

Well, life goes on and what more can I say other than I'm still loving being retired and being able to do what I want (most of the time). HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Website Update and other stuff...

I have decided to take my paintings pages off this blog because they are now on my new website....
I was happy to sell my first painting from there in October to a lady in Grande Prairie! I have added a new painting to my website and have completed six 6"x 6"paintings for the Christmas ringside event and art show at the Island Gallery on Dec. 8th. I am hoping to also get a big painting done for the Co-op Art show at the end of this month although it is not looking that promising at this time. We can only hope.

The Fall has been very busy indeed and we have now taken down some more trees on the far side of our property to make a space to keep our Motorhome as well as a site for the new studio. It won't be that big but will provide more space than what I have and I won't have to worry about getting paint on the floor, cupboards and window. I will miss the space though as it is pretty handy being right off the living room. I don't expect the studio will be built for a year or so but it's in the plans!

On another note, we've had some pretty wicked storms lately and a few power outages. We had no ferries for a couple of weeks while a Vancouver company completed a new ferry terminal. Once it was back and running, we went to town to get stocked up on meat and other items. Unfortunately we had to go back a few days later as our poor old dog, Nellie, is having some major problems that are causing us a little stress as well. She can't settle down at night and paces, pants and whines. She is now on anxiety drugs but even those are not working all the time.

On a better note, Sam has now joined a ukulele group and I have joined Tai Chi which we are both enjoying.

So, as of today, we are almost a month away from Christmas. I am happy that my Mom is coming here for Christmas and New Years. I'll be picking her up in Victoria in a few weeks and we'll spend some time there and hope to visit my uncle in Nanaimo on the way up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bent Tree Studio..... website complete!


I have just created a new website for my artwork. Unfortunately it takes awhile to get the search engines to find my website so in the meantime, I will keep my artwork in the pages included on this blog site.

The new website will be updated on a regular basis so keep coming back. Already I have received very nice comments about it and have had an enquiry about prices. I am hoping to have a new studio detached from the house sometime in the next year or so but for now working in my alcove off the living room suits me fine.

Happy Thursday! Cheers, Karen

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where does the time go????

Well summer just flew by and I can't believe it's already October! Time was spent with family, friends, concerts, faires, beach trips, hikes, weddings, yard work and wood cutting. I submitted work into about 5 art shows and at the Island Gallery at the Ringside market. The old gas bar building was renovated in July to become the new Island Gallery. It is very beautiful and allows all the artists in the Artist Co-op to submit smaller paintings which were changed up about every other week. About 7 of my paintings have been sold since Easter and these proceeds are keeping me stocked in paints, canvasses, brushes, etc. in order to keep going. I was happy to hear that my stool was auctioned off for $175 and my birdhouse $190. Currently the Island Gallery is closed but one of the the real estate ladies has a display of 9 of my paintings in her office at the Ringside Market.

We only got out kayaking once in September but the weather was great and the water was perfect. The weather was so great in fact that we were still going to the beach in mid-September and still swimming!!! But everything turned around quickly and Fall was upon us. Sam went fishing at Watch Lake in the Caribou with our son Dustin and my brother Cliff and friends. It was windy up there but they caught a few fish. I stayed home and endured 5 days of torrential rain and wind with a power outage of a day and a half. Sam no sooner returned home and we went on a mini-holiday to Telegraph Cove, Cortes and Quadra Islands. We did some superb whale watching at Telegraph Cove and saw many humpbacks who put on an excellent show, some sea lions and seals. It was a great little "get-away" for a week and we are looking forward to doing another trip to check out grizzly bears next Spring.

Last week, I visited my kids in Victoria and stayed at their place which was a 1st for me....role reversal...Yeah! I had a great time and also visited with friends, got my car serviced, my hair cut, my nails done, my teeth cleaned, went out for dinner a few times and did a bit of Christmas shopping. It was another little mini-holiday for me and probably the first time in a long time that I actually got a break from my other kids...the dogs!

Nellie - 13 years old
Mojo - 9 1/2 years old
So on that note, we are now well into the Fall and things are slowing down somewhat. I am looking forward to taking an art course on Hornby that is being put on by one of our excellent artists here. I also bought some amazing new paints that I am excited to try out and am looking forward to doing some 6"x 6" works to put into the Gallery show in December. The 1st painting that any artist sells will go to the Gallery as a fundraiser.

On an aside, Sam is looking wonderfully rested now...he is very relaxed and happy and loving this new life. Didn't take him long to get into the mode!

HAPPY FALL DAYS! Enjoy the colourful season!