My old french easel (Van Gogh's Magic Carpet) travels again, this time to Effusion Art Gallery in Invermere for a painting demo.
Effusion Art Gallery is unique in its strong representation of mixed media artists, sculptural paintings and glasswork created by owner Heather Cuell. Gallery Curator Daryl DaCosta hosted the event and set the upbeat tone for the day. Invermere bustled with the Family Day crowd as Panorama was receiving fantastic snow. The gallery presented both myself and fellow Artist David Zimmerman, a gregarious fellow who creates sculptural mixed media paintings.
Fascinated with new processes, I looked over David's shoulder as he layered fabrics, paint, ink and gold leaf, building up an image of a bear. David is a resident of Bragg Creek and is quite familiar with bears. He shared a few stories of his encounters. We both agree that these magnificent creatures endeavor to avoid humans, despite the media hype.
The subject of my canvas that day was Canal Flats, part of the Columbia River Wetlands. The first time I drove by on my visit in the fall, I knew it was something special. It is the longest continuous wetlands in North America, important for many critters and migratory birds. In September I stomped around in the rain, shot many photos and set up my easel in the hatchback of my car making soggy plein air paintings.
My demo canvas "Canal Flats-Early Bright", was a result of studies from the photos gathered, I was happy the painting seemed to paint itself after having struggled with the preliminary sketches. Underpainting with red can shake anyone out of a creative funk.
A world of strange rock formations and ancient spirit embody Writing on Stone Provincial Park in southern Alberta. Off season visits provide snake free paths and quiet reprieve at this popular heritage site, making it my favorite winter hiking destination.
Something new is discovered each trip including geology, petroglyphs, animals and plants; yesterday’s trip did not disappoint. Our adventure took us hoofing our up an old trade route of horse and wagon tracks in the canyon. A clear view of the Sweet Grass Hills of Montana in the near distance was our constant companion.
Bizarre lunar rock textures on sandstone formations baffled. The discovery of a tiny fanged jawbone had me scratching my head until I identified it on Google as the skull of a mouse. The trail was a highway of animal tracks revealing busy coyotes, raccoons and deer in the valley.
These small adventures are fuel in the long days of January and are refreshing.
Click the picture below for a short video of this special place: