fragile horizons on artbomb today

Up for auction today on ARTBOMB:

An aerial view of the Alberta oil sands, this is a different kind of Canadian landscape. There is something strangely beautiful about the way the earth has been damaged to extract oil, so I asked David Dodge of Green Energy Futures if I could re-interpret one of his photographs as a landscape painting, and this is the result: both compelling and disturbing.

This painting was exhibited once, at the prestigious Painting on the Edge exhibition, and hasn’t seen the light of day since. The auction closes at 11pm Eastern and 8pm Pacific. To bid:

studio images from july

The photo of Coco and me was taken by Laara Cerman in my studio, during a consult with Pennylane Shen. It took some guts for me to even book an appointment when I knew that my inability to focus and find a direction would be glaringly apparent to an expert in the field. And yes, I felt like a dilettante, but I think her insights and suggestions were the kick in the butt I needed to go forward, especially with the imminent closure of my gallery at the Crystal Lodge in Whistler. But on the side, painting canoe paddles has been a perfect summer fun activity and let’s face it, a girl needs a vacation from her creative angst now and then.


In every blog post I’m doing something completely different! I’m kind of freaking myself out at this experimentation-phase-gone-wild. It’s fun, but it’s not moving me forward very much creatively!

This latest idea happened on Friday morning. By the evening I’d bought a couple of canoe paddles at Canadian Tire and had done this little watercolour painting.

By Saturday I was sanding and priming and researching and trying to figure out how to do this. The actual painting came next, and I discovered that acrylic paint works well, but is just transparent enough that it takes two coats, which takes too long! I haven’t figured out how to solve that problem but have several ideas on how to hang these for display.

Yesterday I added the design details on the handle. Today is varnishing day. And tomorrow?

laser-cut wood art and art card sets

I am embarking on a little collaboration project with Adele Miller, owner of the new Just Be Caws Etsy shop, and a dear friend of my late son, Adam. Adele and her mother made the trip here from Seattle for his memorial service, and to read a beautiful poem that she’d written about him. Together we are making pendants and earrings, laser engraved in birch. I do the design, Adele creates the pieces. Since we both live in the Pacific Northwest — both sides of the Canada/USA border — natural themes engraved in wood seem like the perfect combination. Her shop is here.

I am also offering more art cards in notecard sets of four. I have listed a set of four different designs, plus more sets of one design in my online shop.

notecard sets

Hello Beautiful Things – notecard sets of four

I have been continuing to experiment with watercolour and gouache, and hate to admit it, but these small artworks often take longer to do than much larger oil paintings, sometimes a LOT longer, so they need to start paying their own way. I’m starting by offering notecard sets of the first one I did in this series. They are available here.

I am thinking of ordering the rest of the series-so-far as notecards, and offering them as sets containing one-of-each. Stay tuned.

HELLO series

a question of etsy

My compulsive experimentation has led me astray lately — into the world of small watercolour paintings/illustrations. These little ‘retro tech birds’ have been a fun and easy solution to not having large chunks of time to devote to oil painting. I have just updated my online shop and included them.

I must admit that I updated Etsy with some reservations. Way back when, Etsy was a great place for certain kinds of artists to sell online. If you got in early, kept your prices low and appealed to a wide range of art lovers, it could be the key to your success. Some of these artists have had enough momentum to continue their Etsy success to this day. For me it was one element in my toolbox that did fairly well for a couple of years, but I quit listing on Etsy when I realized that larger originals selling in bricks-and-mortar galleries was a better fit for me.

Fast forward to today, and I have been looking at different marketing options, including Etsy, as I start up a three-year-lapsed art career again. It looks to me like Etsy has become so huge that unless you have an established client base or a huge social media presence, your Etsy listings disappear without a trace into the behemoth that the sales site has become. I have read the articles and obeyed the advice about tagging, titles, attributes, etc., but still my work gets virtually no remote views via Etsy — only via me. Where do people go now to buy art online? Every step I take reminds me how things have changed and how much I have to re-learn about art marketing.