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