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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!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Everything is switch'n up...

Yes....lots of changes. Sam is retired - Yeah! Other than the snoring I love him being here. We are having fun and everything is pretty sweet. Had some parties, had some visitors, gone to some great youngest brother, Don and Mary in Squamish area were recently married. Now on to my niece's wedding -new couple, Lindsay and Ryan! Very much looking forward to seeing them tie the knot as well as all the Elder clan that will be there.

Trying to keep up with the yard work and painting but it does become difficult when there is soooooo much happening all around you. I have been in 4 art shows in the last month and am now in all the art galleries and also in the pottery shop at the Ringside market. Have also sold a couple of paintings and am totally enjoying all the support of the Hornby artists and gallery employees!

My latest endeavour is a bird house that will be in the Hornby Island Festival Auction - proceeds to go to the Festival for future events.... It was quite fun to do. It is called "House of the Dancing Lights"... I got my inspiration from the grain of the wood on the bare bird house.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer's a-coming!

Time really flies when you are having fun! Way faster even than when you are out-of-your mind and stressed to the max at work. Anyways, been a busy Spring and am getting ready for some art shows on Hornby Island. The first two shows we are only allowed 3 maximum and that would be small paintings due to the number of artists going into the show. The first one is coming up this weekend at the Community Hall and I still haven't decided which ones I'll be putting in. The second show is again at the Community Hall around the July long weekend. I believe it is for 5 days. The third is at the ARCS building (Arts Society) for the month of July and I think we get about 6 by 6 feet to display our works. Hence the busyness...

As you know I also painted a stool along with about 50 or so other artists who have done chairs, stools and tables that will be auctioned off at the end of July. This is a fundraiser to benefit HUGGS whose aim is to help the grandmothers in Africa who are dealing with AIDS/HIV.

My newest endeavour is to paint a birdhouse and this I believe is for the Hornby Festival Society fundraiser. Again artists involved and an auction at the end of the Hornby festival. All good stuff for sure!

On another very very positive note, Sam only has 14 more days to go! The time went fast for him as well as me but I know he is going to be thrilled on that day that he doesn't have to leave again. ME TOO!!! We are thinking of having a little celebration with whoever will come (completely informal) just to say Yeah, we did it! And....then the next stage of our lives will unfold TOGETHER! Yah baby!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day - better still rain at night and let the sun shine on in the morning! Yeah!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paintings are being shown at Arbutus Arts

Dropped off 3 paintings at Arbutus Arts yesterday and so we'll see how that goes. I believe the opening for the season is the Friday of the May Long Weekend although I think my paintings will be on display as of next weekend.

I am in the process of making up a little write-up about myself to go on the backs of the paintings and just completed my profile page so that I can leave a profile / artwork portfolio with the Manager, Nicki.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Becoming a part of the Community

I have now been living on Hornby Island the better part of a year. I'm still extremely in love with this place and have enjoyed meeting all kinds of new people. Although I already knew this, the one big thing that I'm amazed at is just how much community spirit there is here and how many people give so much of their time and energy to make this island the best it can be. I'm truly astonished at the generosity and caring of people here.

Just this week a new Medical Clinic was opened with over $300,000 fundraised by the community.......the building is absolutely stunning and even has an emergency room and lab. There is another project being undertaken which involves building houses for people that can't afford property here but may have grown up on Hornby and wish to stay. It should also attract people from off island that can work in a trade or other venture on the island who may otherwise have not been able to afford to do this. 20 acres of land was donated for this purpose by a couple on the island. The houses will be owned but not the property making it easier for people to buy into the market.

On that vein of thought of being a part of the community, I have now joined "H.U.G.G.S. "(Hornby's United Grandmothers and Grand Sisters). The focus of this group is to fundraise for and support the grandmothers living in sub-Saharan Africa who are bringing up all the orphans whose parents have died from HIV/Aids. H.U.G.G.S. is is one of many groups across Canada under the umbrella of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. My first project for them was to paint a stool which will be auctioned off at the Hornby Island Festival in the summer. There will be over 50 chairs and stools painted by various locals and well-known artists in the auction as part of this fundraiser.

I also just joined the Health Care Society and will hopefully join one of the Art's Societies or groups soon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring has Sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the birdies is........?

Yeah!!! A daffodil flowered today and there are lots more where that came from. My crocuses have been up for awhile. Yes.....a time of rejuvenation and aren't we always ready for it? Started weeding last week and digging today and had a lovely walk around Helliwell Park today with no jacket and felt like I should have been in shorts. It won't be much longer - I'll be breathing in that beautiful ocean breeze whilst wiling away my days sitting in my beach chair, people-watching, swimming, walking in the sand and drinking in that vitamin D that all us northern folk so cherish. The best part is in 2 1/2 months, Sam won't have to leave after the weekends - he'll remain here with me where he is supposed to be. I know he is soooooooooooo looking forward to this! I am also looking forward to him being here but I have to say I have also enjoyed my time alone during the last year. It's gotten me into a better space and I'm actually finally starting to act like a retired person and just don't give a sh** most of the time. Way more laid back and calm - it's the only way to be.

I've also enjoyed my winter at Hornby and it just didn't seem as long as usual....most likely due to still getting outside and walking rather than sitting in an office all winter and hardly seeing the light of day.

As the days go on, I meet and chat to more people on Hornby. I'm definitely starting to feel like I belong to this community. One sure sign is that on Monday, I joined H.U.G.G.S. (Hornby's United Grandmothers and Grand Sisters) - a group that fundraises and supports Sub-Sahara African grannies who are bringing up orphans whose parents died of HIV/Aids. There are apparently over 3 million orphaned children in that area. I believe this is a very worthwhile cause. My first project is to paint a stool (artistically) so that it can be auctioned off at the Hornby Island Festival. I am actually quite excited about it and am figuring out my design this week.

Well here's hoping you don't get too fooled tomorrow (Happy April Fools Day) and that all the little birdies are singing in your life wherever that may be!

(P.S. There are lots of young and old eagles flying around and the herring are currently spawning which is causing much ado amongst all the birds on the beaches). HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!

Friday, March 4, 2011

& then the Storm came!

It was supposed to be a hurricane level storm. We battened down the hatches, lit all the fires, filled pots with water, put all the lose lawn chairs behind and in structures. It came, it took out the power, shut down the ferries, lost the best radio station ever, and swirled around from every direction but it wasn't all that bad. I've seen a lot worse here. Anyways, my cold came back again for the week and boy was I not well but am starting to recover and feel almost like my old self. Another painting is in the works of some lilies. I find flowers a little difficult but so far, so good. After that I'll start working on some Hornby scenes.

Crossing my fingers and toes for Spring to come soon. At least for my birthday. In the meantime, better go grab some more firewood ~ it's getting awfully cold in here!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's snowing!

Actually, I'm posting this on Wed., Feb. 23rd....

Anyways, go figure... Daffodils are up about 6 inches or so and crocuses have come out and it decides to snow. Huge flakes today for awhile. I love looking at the snow but was kind of looking forward to the Spring. Oh well, won't be long and I'll be very busy out in the garden..... digging in the dirt and anticipating all those gorgeous flowers coming into bloom!

I'm back at Hornby after spending about 10 days in Victoria. Was great to see friends and family as always but now am looking forward to using some of my new art supplies. Finished another painting about 10 days ago so am just posting that to my acrylics page today. It is a painting of the Sooke River just above where it starts flowing down into the potholes.

The owner of Arbutus Arts Gallery was over before I left for Victoria and is interested in putting some of my paintings in her gallery. I am very happy about that and will be focusing on Hornby Island scenes so that I'll have a few ready for May. Am also thinking of trying a few flowers and maybe some ducks and other birds as Sam has taken some pretty remarkable photos on our recent walks.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

& then I watch "Lord of the Rings" that same night....

And, yes, no doubt to others, our ways seem quaint, but, today of all days, it is bought home: It is no bad thing to celebrate the simple life. ~~ Bilbo Baggins

Monday, January 24, 2011

The simple life.....

I wonder why a change of location makes such a difference in someone's life. Here I was in beautiful Victoria with all the amenities a person could want and hanging out with my husband when he wasn't working. I should be really happy, right....but instead I was antsy, bored, lacking motivation, uncomfortable and just not feeling like I was in my element. Our suite was very nice.... a little small but very nice.

Since I've returned (only 3 days ago), I'm feeling so much better, relaxed, at peace and comfortable......and all because of what? I believe it's the air, the ocean, the trees, the eagles, the relaxed mood of the whole community, and the peace and quiet. For me, it's where I'm the happiest.

The simple life is what allows my spirit to feel at peace.. The end result is my happiness and that brings about my desire to the simple life!

Guess where I am.