I am kind of excited about this! The Historic Downtown Cochrane Visitor Information Centre commissioned me to do a series of flour sack clothes that will be on sale at their downtown location!
These are special Cowboy Boot designs with "Cochrane, AB" hand stamped on each. I won't be producing this design for sale anywhere else but for them. You can check them out in person - click here for address and hours.
Here is the full variety of designs available - each a one of a kind piece of art!
I've been feeling cooped up lately. A combination of bad winter roads and extreme windchill temperatures has kept me mostly housebound for the past week. One of my regular outings is with my dog where I tend to let my mind wander as I soak in the various colours that can be found in the piles of white snow everywhere.
This painting is from a reference shot I took at one of my all time favourite places, Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. We moved partly to be a lot closer to this beautiful places like this and I am looking forward to nicer days where I can explore again. When I was looking for my next subject, this image struck me because of all the blues and golds found in the sky and the snow. It felt bright, windy and cold to me.
I have a habit of collecting tiny little cups, bowls and plates on my travels. If it has a hand painted pattern, I find it very hard to resist adding it to the odd sized stacks in my cupboard. Many of these things get used for tiny amounts of sauce or to hold pieces of a craft projects. I like that they they step in to be used in a variety of ways.
I don't think I've ever painted this little cup (or bowl?) before. I bought it in a market in Istanbul a few years ago. Although the walls look nice and sturdy, the glaze is fragile and chips easily. I unearthed it the other day in my art supplies where it was holding odd pieces of chalk. I decided I needed it out in the open so I could trace it's pattern and see the effects of different light hitting it. I gave it a new use, sitting near my chair where loose buttons and hair elastics land. It has brought me quiet joy in the past few weeks.
As I have been pushing into this new series, I have realized that I have been craving pattern and technical detail. This piece was a tricky delight to paint all the light hitting the plate underneath my little cup. Phthalo blue has an unashamed starring role in this piece. I feel like I've embraced my flaws by using it so much!
Winter has really settled in and a few days ago I found myself looking through my reference file for my next painting subject. All the pictures of crisp late summer mountain forests were calling to me. There is something magical about the greenish mountain waters - they seem somehow more ancient than the same river miles away on the flatland.
I took this picture a few months back up in Canmore, on the path that flanks the Bow River. This was a fun family day because we took our kids and our dog, Ivy, on this path. The dog was entertaining to watch as she crashed around the bushes trying to find the resident elk that were grazing nearby.
I am still enjoying this limited palette. I did use phthalo blue again, but I've learned to accept my rule bending. I have really been challenged in a good way to really pay attention to the values in each piece. I'm continually struck by the harmony this small choice of colours brings - not only to each piece but to the whole series.