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I am sure this snow will be gone by the time I return to the hills that inspire me! This will be my second year as Guest Artist in Residence at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Sask. as part of the Art in the Park program made possible through a creative partnerships grant funded by the Sask. Arts Board and Sask. Lotteries and administered by the Friends of Cypress Hills Inc.
I will be again offering arts programming to visitors to the park, running open studio times and working on my own art practice. It has been a goal of mine to complete a series of 15 paintings on copper in acrylic and water soluble oil in order to begin approaching commercial galleries for representation. The images shown above demonstrate the kind of planning that needs to go into this work. First a value sketch is created to lay out a good plan of light and dark areas in the painting. Then a colour sketch helps me determine where I will let the copper plate show through to reflect the light and how I will make the colour be harmonious. This new medium and subject has meant a lot more research and trial and error than my commissioned portrait work of the past 18 years. It has felt good to challenge myself. This residency will also allow me time to focus on the completion of that goal and to begin work on a series of symbolic figurative pieces in oil that will eventually be produced as a children’s book. I also hope to arrange a schedule of touring exhibits in Sask. public galleries for these figurative works.

This program has been beneficial to my growth as a professional visual artist. Besides the time to explore new creative paths, I have gained more experience planning and teaching various art classes. I think those who attended last year, both children and adults found it beneficial to their creativity and in strengthening family ties as they attended these classes together. I made new acquaintances as I met park staff, local business owners, golfers and a new collector of my work from Alberta! The park benefited by having activities of interest to offer, and through fees collected for classes The Friends of Cypress will be able to continue to make park improvements.  All Guest Artist participated in leaving a legacy of art cards produced to be sold through the visitor’s centre and benefiting The Friends of Cypress’ work.

If you go through the park, I do hope you will stop by the Artists’ cabin or take in an art class. I hear there may even be a new collaborative legacy art project this year which will include visitors art too!

Dates for my stay: June 28th – July 11th, 2013 & Aug. 30th – Sept. 11th, 2013

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