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Last night on CBC National News the lead story was the crazy wildfires we are having.  There is one that started closer to the city but it is a bit away. Yes the roads have been closed intermittently due to fire but mostly due to heavy smoke in the area.  So I thought I would pluck some photos off Facebook. Thank you to NWTFires (a page on Facebook) and photographers Kyle Thomas & Kevin Klingbell.

07.16.14 The beginning Kyle Thomas

Kyle got this photo a few weeks ago at the beginning of the forest fire season.  I think that this photo was taken near Fort Providence (300 km away).  It is an amazing photo!

07.16.14 NWT Fires

07.16.14 NWT Fires 2

07.16.14 NWT Fires 3

07.16.14 NWT Fires Kevin Klingbell

This last one is Kevin’s photo which is the fire close to Yellowknife.

Now that you know we are not in imminent danger go and see what CBC had to say last night:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV%2BShows/The%2BNational/Canada/ID/2474049015/

What I can tell you is that we have intensely smokey dingy days that seem to suck the life out of me (I am definitely an energizer bunny and I do better with sunshine) and then we have days with beautiful blue skies like today!

07.16.14 Blue skies

Funny how precious blue skies are when forest fire smoke keeps blocking it out.
07.16.14 Enlarging

So I sat outside and started to enlarge a flower photo!  I have been painting a lot.

Tomorrow is Ian’s birthday.  Happy Happy Birthday Ian!  I hope it is a great one.

 07.16.14 Ian

I know our dessert party is going to be a lot of fun! I am off to finish the lemon cake…

337

This week has been one of feeling rather scattered.  I have done a bit of painting and drawing…but not much.  I have spent way more brain time researching and working out a range of business items.  I have my marketing stuff nearly ready to go to the printer.   I have spent a lot of time building pages on my website that are still private at this point.

07.04.14 Drawing YK I am  so reminded that my brain likes to focus on one job at a time!  Notice the crazy forest fire smoke at the Drawing YK on Thursdays event .  We are painfully dry right now.  South of Great Slave Lake has gotten a bit of relief in the last few days with rain…not us we are still hoping we will get some rain soon.

I was interviewed for our Drawing YK on Thursdays adventures. We have a lot of fun.

07.04.14 Drawing YK on Thursdays

Well I am off.  I will see you next week!  Hope you have a wonderful one.

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and then outside to PLAY in the gorgeous summer weather.  It is hard to sit at the computer for long these days.  I did spend 2.5 hours the other night sorting out how to send out a “reconfirmation” email for those who have signed up for my bi-monthly newsletter.  I had to do this because our country has a new law about electronic email newsletters ect.  Thank you to all who have reconfirmed.  I appreciate it.

I have been painting and drawing and I am really feeling like I am back in the groove!

On Saturday I spent a happy 4 hours drawing as a demo at a very busy event (I don’t draw people at this point…I am working on skill development) for the Aurora Arts Society.  It was a great afternoon!

06.26.14 Drawing1 06.26.14 Drawing2

I am leading a Drawing YK group on Thursday nights.  Here are a few of us.  There were more folks participating but I didn’t get a group photo of all of us.  Next time I will do the photo before we spread out to draw.

06.26.14 Shawna Joan Joyce Marcella06.26.14 Drawing YK Week 3

Here is the drawing I did tonight with the sailboats.  The wind was making them move…so I would wait patiently for them to get back into position and quickly capture as much info before they moved again.  A couple of boats I did that three or four times…the light was very flat tonight because of smoke from a forest fire south of Great Slave Lake.

 I have been painting away.  I have one more bday card painting completed (I hope another one will be done tomorrow after my morning session).  I don’t have a great photo of that painting yet but here is my first completed painting from Australia.  I am framing it and will be hanging it as soon as I get another small piece from Australia painted!

1120 Mallacoota Kangaroos 06.22.14

 

I have begun to work out some classes that I will be teaching starting in January.  I have the dates picked out and now I am working on the lesson plans. I haven’t done a lesson plan in many years.  I am very stoked about teaching here at the house.  Can’t wait to explore this part of being an artist. :)

Congratulations to Wendy from Australia.  You have won another set of cards.  I will be sending out some bday cards! Watch for them.  Only 20 more comments until I mail out another set of cards!   See you on Monday (if I can make myself sit at the computer) if not, next Thursday I will definitely make the time.

 

 

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Sorry I missed Monday. I just was so intent on getting this commission completed and I have a very special friend in town.

06.17.14 Henris Cats copy“Sultry Dalliance”, 11x 14, Watercolour

Last summer I got a lot of cat items from a very special friend.  I was commissioned (1/2 Laurie and 1/2 me) to create a painting.  Janice came over and we did a still life set up lesson in my backyard using all of Henri’s cat items.  I had so many options but this one I liked because the cat shadow on the pitcher and the long shadows and the flowers complementing the decorations on the ceramic cats.  It just worked!  I had so much fun painting it.  And tonight Laurie and I  took it to the birthday girl!  Who was completely thrilled with how the painting turned out.  :)

Henri and painting

A little iPhone photo…forgot my big camera!  (Notice the orange flowers in behind Henri…some were the same as the ones I used in the painting)

06.19.14 1899 buggy bike car

I had some time to draw this morning while I waited for a friend.  I started this drawing in Fairbanks Alaska at the very cool antique car museum.  This is an 1899 “car” built with two bicycles (without the seats) and a buggy body.  It even still runs…much the way it did in 1899…not very well!  ;)

Tomorrow I have a toddler for the day which means I will be up a little earlier than normal and there won’t be any art production.  I can’t wait to spend the day with Miss Prudence!  Let the fun begin!!!!!

See you on Monday.

334

Sweet Secret* Shawna Lampi-Legaree

My quilt “Sweet Secret*” is down at the CQA juried show in St. Catharines, Ontario at Brock University.  The hours the show is open for the next two days is from 10 am to (Fri) 5 – (Sat) 4.

Click here is a map to the show.

Tonight I went out with  some of the members from the Yellowknife Watercolour Society to draw plein air…which is a fancy way to say we were drawing outside! 06.12.14 View from City Hall

Here is my little drawing.  We met at City hall.  I drew our museum!  It is really this late in June before it is nice enough to be able to sit outside and do this kind of event.  Last week it was hovering at 4 or 5C which is the temperature we have in our fridges!  ;)

See you on Monday.  We are suppose to have sunshine and heat for the whole weekend!  I hope your weekend weather is lovely where ever you are.

 

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1117 Prairie Luster*

“Prairie Luster”, 33x48cm (13×19), Watercolour, $350.00 Available here.

Last summer my husband and I drove across the country.  As always I was watching for flowers to photograph.  Many, many years ago we lived in the southern Manitoba and all around us were many fields of sunflowers, corn, potatoes to name a few.  There is nothing more fun to watch the sunflowers follow the sun! They are truly “happy” flowers.

Since I didn’t have many images of sunflowers to work from I was watching for them.  Actually I only had one image of a sunflower that I took in my son Stephen’s garden and I had already done a painting from it.  We were a little early to see the sunflowers in bloom as we drove across the prairies…if we had found any fields of them.  We only saw one field. :(   Thankfully when I was walking around Sherbrooke Quebec doing a walking tour I lucked out and found a lovely front yard garden filled with these beautiful sunflowers.  I have a few more images to work from.  :)

This morning I sorted out floral images that I have already done and that I have printed ready for me to work with them. I have some totally amazing images to work from.  I just can’t work fast enough to keep up with my wished production level!

See you on Thursday!  Have a great couple of days.

332

After a 6 month hiatus I started back to watercolour painting  with the little 5×7 tulip painting that I finished earlier this week.  I  just had to see if I actually remembered how to paint!  Thankfully, though I felt a bit rusty, I realized that I didn’t totally forget how and maybe its kind of  like riding a bike. :)

So what did I decide to do as soon as I completed the itty bitty 5×7 painting …I decided to leap into a 33x48cm (13x19in) painting of a sunflower.  It is coming along.  I am working to build up my concentration levels again.  What I am noticing after such a long break is that I have to “think” a lot more, which is slowing down my painting.  When I paint every day for hours, I flow better.   I stop having to “think” about how to mix the colours, or how to capture the nuances of the sunlight and shadows on the petals.   Also when I paint a lot I find that I can paint for 4, 5  or 6 hours without much of a break and I am not tired.    I have to say I am really looking forward to getting back to that kind of rhythm again!   Right now I seem to last 2 hours, tonight I did 2.5 hours but I am really tired at the end of the session…slowly it will get better.  So here is where I am with the sunflower.  If you are on Facebook you have been seeing daily updates as I do bit by bit.

06.05.14 Sunflower

Sorry about the quality of the photos. I  was snapping them quickly just to see how things were going.

06.05.14 Sunflower2

Value is the biggest challenge when working with yellow!  See yellow looks like it is a lighter value than other colours but often if you take a photo of the colours side-by-side and grey tone it then you can see that the yellow is close to the same value.  It is an optical illusion that yellow is lighter.  It makes working with yellow completely fun!  This painting is larger which means the centre is large enough to really have fun with.  I can’t wait to get going.  Some day I would love to do a 22×30 inch sunflower…but my patience level isn’t there yet!  ;)

The days are getting lighter as we head into the summer solstice…but in true Yellowknife fashion the first week of June has been rather chilly!  The full moon will be here soon and hopefully some warmer weather will follow.  I don’t do grey gloomy weather very well.  I am a sunshine girl.  Thankfully I am painting a flower that represents sunshine…glad I am painting the sunflower!

Have a wonderful weekend.  I can’t wait to show you the final piece on Monday. See you then!

331

What could remind you more of spring than tulips?  Well I guess crocuses might win over tulips!  ;)

Sweet Spring 5x7

“Sweet Spring”, 5×7, Watercolour, $90.00 (free shipping) Click here to purchase!

 

1115 Sweet Cuddles 05.26.14 small

“Sweet Cuddles”, Good Night Moon Book, 8×8, Acrylic on board, SOLD

The was the second part of the earlier commission but I didn’t get it done in time…but I just had to paint it because it is so darn cute!  In the book “Good Night Moon” has a little mouse on each page.  It is fun to figure out where it is as the book is being read.  I was so thrilled to find a white mouse stuffed toy at the local second hand store.  It makes me curious as to who would buy a white mouse toy (other than me) and why they did so!  ;)

I have to say it is a fun idea to take treasured children’s books and do a still life set up to create an interesting visual “story”.  Did you have a special book when you were a child or that you read to you child?  What book was it?

I had a painting go sideways on me this morning…had to cut it off the board and re-stretch a piece of watercolour paper.  So I will get started again in the morning.  So annoying. Thankfully I wasn’t too far into the painting so I didn’t lose too many hours.  Off for a bike ride…it is cooler today!  Oh well it is only the beginning of June.  ;)

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05.27.14 Daffodil Gallery Bruce Allen Show0

For the first time ever, I have been in Edmonton long enough (without the long “to do” list) that I  was able to tour around and checked out various galleries in Edmonton.  I found this lovely gallery that was having an opening of a show while I was there.   I was thrilled to be able to go.  There were a lot of people. Bruce Allen had a series of paintings from around Edmonton. I loved the ones that were the back alleys.   I liked how he captured the light and the buildings.  I was very impressed with his work.  Below are some photos from the opening!
05.27.14 Daffodil Gallery Bruce Allen Show

05.27.14 Daffodil Gallery Bruce Allen Show3

05.27.14 Daffodil Gallery Bruce Allen Show2

 I had a great chat with both the gallery owners Karen and Rick.  Karen, I look forward to seeing you in March!  :)   Rick, I like your white series!  Cool stuff.

 

11.17.12 Bluebell

“Bluebells”, 5×7, Watercolour

And so is the final 5×7 I am sending out from 2013. Max won it at the end of December and she very patiently waited for me to get home and get sorted.   Max the painting is on the way!  I took this photo when I was in Atlin BC near the Yukon border.  I wish we had these pretty flowers grow here but we are too cold.  Atlin is right on a lake but close to the ocean and it really does moderate the temperature there in the winter.  It is a beautiful town with a long history that goes back to the Gold Rush. The energy in that little town was amazing.  I have a friend who moved there long after I had visited and was there for a long time before they moved to warmer Vancouver Island.

See you all on Monday!  Have a wonderful weekend.  Spring sprung right into summer here on Monday.  We are at 18C today.  So happy.

 

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It certainly takes a while to get back in the swing of things.  I am back to painting…more below.  But before that I thought I would tell you about the end of our journey!

I got to babysit Burke for two days!  We enjoyed our very windy walks.  And I even got him to say “Granny” once.

2014-05-01 09.58.06

 

My parents came out to visit and for Sean’s Graduation.  It was great fun! Nice to see them just after we got back and our trip was fresh and exciting.

This is the favourite photo I took of my whole trip!  Very precious.

05.27.14 GG and Burke

05.27.14 GGs and Burke

Both GG’s with Burke.

05.27.14 Aussie Hats

All four of my guys with their fancy Australian Hats!  I think Burke’s is the best personally!  ;)

05.27.14 Seans graduation

We ended our trip with a wonderful 8:30 on a Saturday morning graduation of our youngest son Sean!

05.27.14 Sean and parents

We are very proud parents!  The best part is that he got a job as a Software Developer and began working a few days after his graduation.  The last child is launched! There is a great deal of satisfaction in that statement.

I mentioned that I am back to painting. Between ending my contract work and leaving on our trip I completed one part of a commission but I didn’t have time to do both.  05.26.14 Commision Salutations

“Salutations”, 8×8, Commission
05.24.14 Commission Painting

So before I left I set up the still life so that when I got back to painting I would be ready to go without much “thinking”.  Here is the second one.  I am still working on it but I am pleased with how it is turning out so far!

It has been cold since we have been home…our first night it was -22C.  Thankfully we are warmer than that now. Tomorrow we are suppose to have spring finally arrive with sunshine and some heat.  I hope your week is filled with great weather!

Wendy from western Australia won a set of cards and she blogged about it!  Check out Wendy’s blog here.

I can’t wait to send then next set of cards out.

 

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