Elaine Watts
Watercolourist and Printmaker


(posted on 26 Jun 2013)

The Studio Tour kick-off went well and since then I've had a few more visitors in the studio...and there's been an unexpected bonus of the Shatford Centre in Penticton putting a show up for the next month including artists on the studio tours in the area. Tomorrow I'm going to take in a couple of paintings to hang there for July, as we are away for most of the month. If you can't see the paintings in person, here they are!

Genie's Dream--Watercolour, ink and Acrylic inks

And "Tello's Lotus", another of my signature pieces.

While these paintings are happily hanging in the Shatford, it's confirmed that the Calgary Stampede, the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", is going ahead come hell or high water--which they have certainly had! What an amazing crowd those Calgarians are--2 weeks before the show starts they have the biggest floods ever seen, the Stampede Grounds were under water and the stadium too--up to Row 13--and they are working like dogs as I type, to make sure that they can be prepared to entertain about a million people. Meanwhile 75,000 people were evacuated and they are trying to get their own houses back into living order as well!

I'm hoping that they are able to put on the amazing art exhibition and auction that they hold annually, as well as some other favourite events. The parade takes over 2 hours, and runs through the downtown area,where there are still some buildings without power this week. We have tickets to the rodeo, chuckwagon races and my favourite band Blue Rodeo is playing in the Cowboy Tent (now that's an experience I've never had and have been forewarned about!)

After a few days in Calgary we're heading for some Rocky Mountain time, hiking around the beautiful Lake Louise area and camping with our trailer. Just a little practise trip for next year, when we plan to drive across this beautiful country with our home behind us all the way.

The other show this summer, for those of you in the Vancouver area, is a re-entry into the juried Minnekhada Art in the Park event in Port Coquitlam, Saturday & Sunday August 17 and 18. Minnekhada Park is a Greater Vancouver park which houses an old hunting lodge of BC's Lieutenant Governer in the 1920s. It's a beautiful building and grounds, with lots of hiking--and bears! Come on out and see it--it's the park where I surprised my husband by proposing to him, one Sadie Hawkins Day almost 10 years ago. I'm hoping to be inside the lodge as I was the other two years I exhibited there.

I've also been working away on a couple of commissions--a beautiful old Queenslander house from Bundaberg and a huge diptych "Winter Birch" which will be almost 6 feet long by the time it's framed up. And on the print-making front, I've started collecting supplies and materials to use an old printing press donated to the Penticton Art Gallery by one of my favourite BC artists, the late Toni Onley. Funnily enough, I have a connection through the Minnekhada Park with him too--on that fateful day I proposed to my husband, we saw him doing his last float-plane take-off and landing circuits on the Fraser River, just south-east of the park. Sadly while flying there that day, he had a fatal heart attack and the plane was found in the river. I have always loved his landscape watercolours, and it turns out he was a print-maker too. If there as one person who I'd like to meet, it would be him--along with Claude Monet. (By the way, another item on my bucket list is to paint in Monet's garden at Giverny, and a couple of weeks ago a new South African friend had a tea party at the Linden Gardens in Kaledon, just south of here. When I walked in I was stunned at how beautiful it was, and determined to do some warmup painting there!)

Meanwhile the Summerland Studio Tour artists are open year-round, so if you're in the area, find a brochure or check on-line (www.studiotour.wordpress.com), and head out to see some great art, along with great wineries, beautiful scenery, and fantastic beaches. I think I've died and gone to heaven, living here--come and see me, and check it out for yourself!