Elaine Watts
Watercolourist and Printmaker


(posted on 10 Nov 2013)

The final Studio Tour weekend event is wrapped (except for a couple of people who are yet to come and claim their draw prizes) and I'd like to welcome a lot of new people to my (usually monthly) blog and newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading about art, travel, life in the Okanagan and what's new in my studio and where I am showing--take a look at past blogs and you'll get a flavour of what I write about. If you decide you're not interested just send me an email and I can easily remove your name from the list. That won't preclude you visiting me at my studio or events, never fear!

This month I've been busy finishing off old commissions and getting ready for Christmas events, and getting my 2014 calendars out (they are moving quickly so let me know if you want one reserved--same desktop style as other years, same $12.50 and I'll sign them if you like!). I've now got a couple of new commissions on my "easel" (actually it's a board, as watercolourists don't usually stand to paint as do oil or acrylic painters). And I've got a couple of other paintings on the go--a mixed media moonlit lighthouse is coming along, and those winter birches keep showing up too. I also put a small winter creek painting into the Summerland Art Gallery Christmas Card contest.

What do you think? It could be on my 2015 calendar as my winter painting--boy, I got that one out of the way earlier than usual!

The leaves are still falling in Summerland, the apples have mostly been picked, the grapes are definitely off the vines, there is snow on the mountains and passes and the wind is chilly. The hazelnuts and walnuts are on the ground, waiting for us to go and pick them up to dry. Nature's bounty for the year--the harvest is over.

Winter will be quickly upon us and I hear Australia calling. For me it's either migration or hibernation! This time of year my body wants to do one or the other--what about you? How does your body & mind react to the changing of the season?

Luckily there are a couple of shows I'm in for the rest of the month, to keep me motivated and working.

The first is the Authors and Artists Faire at the wonderful Shatford Centre for the Arts in Penticton.

I decided to enter it as the Canadian Federation of Artists have a booth there, and I love books and reading. When I dropped in to check it out last November it was a Christmas show with a different flavour and while it's not quite as busy as some other shows I've been at, they are very good to their artisans and I look forward to hobnobbing with some of the local talent.

For you, it's free admission and a great chance to check out the Shatford Centre in all its glory. They do a great job supporting not only visual arts, but music and performing arts in the whole of the South Okanagan. I get their weekly newsletter about all the cultural events and it is full to bursting. Just another of the surprisingly great things about living in the Okanagan Valley--the amount of activities that are going on is amazing! In the week leading up to the Faire I will be at no less than 4 other events--Life Drawing at the Shatford (Live models every Wednesday night, drop in for $10, and there are some very talented artists practising there), a play, and not one but 2 art openings downtown.

I've been going to the life drawing sessions fairly regularly and I've been thinking about my upcoming print-making workshop in Australia in January. All my figure work prints from last year are gone so I have some ideas about what to follow them up with, and I also want to incorporate some portraits into my etchings this year.

Interestingly enough, the original work that sold or was chosen by prize draw winners at the Studio Tour event was all prints--so that was encouraging to me.

But, I'd better not get too far ahead of myself, I still have a couple of big shows to do before I take off to Australia for my annual walkabout. The last (and biggest) show will be the Coquitlam Christmas Craft Sale which I have been going to for a few years now. I'm in the same location as last year, just near the stage in the centre of the biggest room. Come out & see me there!

This show has always been fantastic for me--and I love seeing previous customers, and previous neighbours and friends from the Lower Mainland. It's great to have a pre-Christmas visit and chat with people, and see what they've been up to in the last year. I do miss my regular lunches with friends down there, our favourite restaurants, and get-togethers. However, I don't miss the rain and the traffic, and the crazy pace of life lived by most people in the city.

Summerland is becoming home, after a year here, and I'm happy to be surrounded by a vibrant and creative community, and live in such a beautiful place. Did you see that the Okanagan Valley was rated as #1 in the top 10 wine touring places in the world?

Well, I'd better get back to work--no rest for the wicked they say! Lots to do to get ready for the Christmas shoppers who want to surprise someone special with a gift of original art!

Hope to see you one way or another, before Christmas and the end of the year. Or, if you're one of my Aussie readers, I'll be there early in the new year until the first day of our spring, March 21. Then it gets too cold down under and I'm forced to return!

Cheers to you all.