A Time to Create #4

A Time to Create #4

Abstract Art - Bringing Happiness

It is August and while COVID 19 has not gone away, the number of cases are staying stable and there is some hopeful return to some form of normalcy. Art can play a major therapeutic role during these times. Harvard Health Medical School in their article state “The beneficial effects of creating aren’t dependent on a person’s skill or talents. “It’s the process, not the product,” says Megan Carleton, an art therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).” They talk about how the process of creating art  help people with depression, anxiety, or cancer. And doing so has been linked to improved memory, reasoning, and resilience in healthy older people. (Reference: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/the-healing-power-of-art)

Melody Roth provided me with a picture of her recent painting called “The Blues”. She said “This painting was created to bring me happiness. The Blues represent the lakes and sky and the dreaming mandala keeps me going on our future plans when we can travel safely again.” Certainly would make me happy.

Melody Roth Abstract
Melody Roth – The Blues 24″ x 30″ acrylic $275

While I have performed no official studies, I do know for myself that art provides me with focus and a means to redirect my thoughts when difficult times occur. It allows me to be fully absorbed in the process and vision, to take me to somewhere where I remember and feel and my senses become entrenched in the moment. And it’s where I can see, how nothing can become something.

Even prior to Covid19, my life had hit some turmoils and I had mixed times of not being about to create, to fully being absorbed in the process. During Covid, my home wasn’t just where I was deemed to go, but where I needed to be, and I fully appreciated the serenity it provided me. Day by day, doing what needs to be done, the next right thing. It’s strange how despite there having been so much distress in my life this year, that I could feel calm and restored with the routines of home. The regular and repetitive cleaning felt empowering. The morning walks at different locations around the lake, strengthened me and fed my soul. The tending of gardens helped nurture life around me. Each task was simple and enabled me time to grieve and time to absorb the essence of life and my environment.

Hence much of my COVID 19 art is all about home.

written by Betty Schriver

Landscape Art
Betty Schriver – Copper Island from Reedman Point framed 8 x 8″ acrylic on canvas board SOLD
Figure Art
Betty Schriver – The Fisherman – framed 11×14″ framed acrylic on canvas $160
Landscape Art
Betty Schriver Shuswap Sunset 2 – framed 8 x 8″ acrylic on canvas board $78
Lake Art
Betty Schriver – Near the Wharf in Salmon Arm – framed 8 x 8″ framed acrylic on canvas board SOLD
Landscape Art
Betty Schriver – Reedman Point from the Highlands – framed 8 x 8″ acrylic on canvas board SOLD
Landscape Art
Betty Schriver – On Roadside Coming Home – framed, 11×14″ acrylic on canvas board $145
Landscape Abstract
Betty Schriver – Art in the Shuswap – 24″ x 36″ acrylic on gallery wrap canvas NFS
A Time to Create #3

A Time to Create #3

I love getting emails from artists in the Shuswap area, telling me about their adventures of trying to create art when things just are not the same routines any longer.  I recently received a photo of a beautiful art piece done by Janet Aitken during the pandemic timeframe.  Her story around trying to finish the painting amongst other activities was quite amusing and made me realize how our regular habits quickly reform to new ones, and we often have to figure out how to get things done even when we “think” we have more time.

Her email went like this:  “I have been painting a wee bit every day.  It seems the time evaporates when one makes time for exercise each day, lots of talking on the phone and ‘zooming’.  My biggest mistake was starting a sourdough starter. It is more time consuming and takes more care than your first born! I did finally get to make my first loaves of sourdough rye bread today… another marathon production with folding and stretching every 30 minutes. Paint for 30 minutes- stretch and fold dough for 10 – paint for 30 minutes… oh.. oh… time for lunch. And so it goes. I did manage to complete one painting last week.  By the way, the bread was pretty wonderful after all that. ”
“This painting was inspired by the view off our deck in Salmon Arm.  It will soon be green like this.  It is 24 by 36 Acrylic.  I painted it last week. ”

Beautiful work Janet!

Another email I received from my friend Jo Mills, in which she did a little project called “The Biography of a Painting”.  Here are her notes:

Creativity while staying home:

Not much creativity going on while making beds, doing laundry, but maybe some with planning meals. So, I huddle in my little craft/office room and try to make something new or work on a project painting.

I call this project “BIOGRAPHY OF A PAINTING”.

Blind Bay Painters are working on a group project focusing on lakes and streams

 My reference photo:     


 Now how to figure out how to use it. I sketched it out on paper so the composition suited me knowing that with acrylics I could paint over the mistakes.

step 1 sketch

I got out my watercolours and did a quick colour sketch.  I liked it, so thought I would do a non-realistic version of the reference photo.

Step 2 block in colour

I started with the trees at the top and blocked in colours

Step 3

Step 4 add details

Soon realized that I liked the realistic look of them. There went my vision of the ‘Group of Seven’ style.  Next I worked on the little land part and the rocks. Oh those rocks! I walk the beach every year at Magna Bay so I have seen lots of rocks. Over and over I dabbed those [da??ed] rocks. The foliage was the easy part. Then for the water and the salmon.  That took a few days and a few different tries.

Step 4b

Step 5 Step away and adjust

Up close, I still am not satisfied. From a distance it looks okay. But as this was just a trial, and this size does not fit the frame, I have to move on to the REAL painting.

Great biography Jo and it’s great to see the work in progress as a painting is developed!

If you live in the Shuswap area and would like to share your story about your painting processes during the COVID 19 time, feel free to email artintheshuswap.com with a pic and a bit about your art!  We would love to hear about it!






A Time to Create #2

A Time to Create #2

I hope everyone is using what techniques they have in their toolboxes to keep active, keep your mind strong, and stay resilient to the need for social distancing right now.  Part of what helps is staying connected and sharing whatever way you can.     This blog serves to share the stories behind some of the means and works that artists often use to help in this quest.

Melody Roth, the programs coordinator for the Blind Bay Painters group,

tried to figure out ways for the artists to continue learning during this time when they were no longer able to meet.  She recently sent the painters a few YouTube videos that shared how to paint animals in bright colours.  Using online sources to help teach new techniques of any craft is a wonderful way to keep your mind focused on positive with the added bonus of learning!  She herself used the videos to help her create these beautiful paintings!  You can view one of the videos at https://youtu.be/PXQWZwo24nw

Patricia Smith just recently joined the Blind Bay Painters group just prior to the self isolation occurred, so she is anxiously waiting to be able to meet with the group to paint with them again soon!  She is just finishing up courses at Thompson River University for the semester.  This is a piece of art she just completed for her Drawings & Painting class that was done during the lock down.  She’s loving seeing what everyone else is doing during this time!

Reflections and Tranpanency In Isolation resized


Vi Isaac indicated “Looking for a project that would help brighten my spirits during this troubling time, I chose to paint a scene similar to a calendar

page from a previous year. I had it taped to the freezer in my studio for many months, and every time I looked at it, I thought, “I want to paint that”. This pandemic provided the motivation to finally do it. “Sunrise” is a 16″ square oil on canvas that now adds a splash of color to my Livingroom.

Vi Isaac Sunrise

She’s also added a little fun spring art to some T-Shirts:
Vi Isaac 2
Judy McKenzie, has been busy working on completing yet another painting!   She says –  “Here is my newest painting.  It’s done in acrylics, 24 x 18, unframed, available for sale -$950.  It’s called “The Colours of Nature”
Judy McKenzie
We will continue to post Art that is being created in the Shuswap while everyone is self isolating and social distancing.  If you are interested in sharing your art, email us at artintheshuswap@gmail.com.