Elaine Watts
Watercolourist and Printmaker


(posted on 5 Jul 2014)

Greetings from La Belle Province, Quebec! Many kilometres (7500, to be exact) have passed since I last blogged. It's been very inspirational for me, as an artist, to partially cross this vast country of mine and see exactly how beautiful it is. Much reference material has been gathered and I'll share a few of the highlights here.

Starting off with Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, in Southern Alberta. This 6000 year old archaeological site was where Plains Indians started buffalo stampeding over the cliff to provide for their tribe's survival over the winters.

There was lots of art there too--of a simple and beautiful and somewhat mystical nature. A sign of things to come....

We crossed Saskatchewan and Manitoba, having a wonderful time in Winnipeg where I visited the WAG (What a great name for the Winnipeg Art Gallery!). Mostly impressed by a beautiful Marc Chagall that was part of their regular collection.

And on through Lake of the Woods, Thunder Bay and to the beautiful North and East shores of Lake Superior. It came as a surprise to me, the striking nature of the biggest lake on earth--no wonder the Group of Seven painted that great freshwater sea and its skies.

Another fantastic discovery was the pictographs at Algoma in Lake Superior Provincial Park on the east corner of the lake. Imagine that these drawings were made from animal fat and ochre 300 years ago and still exist on a dramatic vertical wall soaring up from the lake. I was amazed to be able to visit such a site.

We continued on past Sault Saint Marie and Lake Huron's north shore and spent some time on Manitoulin Island then crossed on a familiar seeming ferry (it was rather like BC Ferries to Vancouver Island, however no mountains around and the lake was dead flat. No sense looking out for dolphins or whales, either!) Here's what Georgian Bay looked like--you could barely see the horizon line except for the headland in the distance.

After about 10 days in the Toronto area with family & friends, and a Blue Jays game (we won!) we pushed on to Ottawa for Canada Day in the nation's capital.

It was quite spectacular to see all the people, red and white and flags everywhere, lots of security but everyone was well behaved, as most Canadians are.

I think I feel some watercolour and ink paintings coming on!

We did get into the National Art Gallery and I was impressed by the breadth and quality of their collection--what we saw of it. Lots of my faves--the Impressionists and the Group of Seven, as well as some lovely Emily Carrs.

And now, on to a bit of my own art--while travelling I was most delighted to get an email that my work has been accepted into BIMPE VIII, a biennial miniature print show that will be opening on Granville Island in Vancouver on September 12--put it on your calendar and I'll see you there! After that the exhibition travels to Edmonton and Kelowna!

And my next local (ie Okanagan) show will be Devine Arts, at the Summerland Waterfront Resort, Saturday and Sunday September 27 and 28. Plan a visit!

And lastly, just to let you know that Canada has passed some anti-spamming laws and I want to ensure that I have your permission to continue to send you my (approximately monthly) blogs. Most of you have given your explicit permission by signing up for them, however if at any time you want to unsubscribe just send a return email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line and I will remove you from my list. All blogs and event notifications will continue as before.

Signing off from Quebec in a bit of a windstorm left over from Cyclone Arthur...will blog again next month!