Elaine Watts
Watercolourist and Printmaker


(posted on 8 Nov 2021)



Hello everyone, it's been a while and the world has changed, hasn't it?

I hope you are all making the best of these times, such as they are. Perhaps this is my generation's world war. Certainly we have been fortunate to live in prosperous, healthy and relatively peaceful times and places, and so the last 20 months have been a bit of a shock. That the pandemic has impacted us for so long, and in so many unimaginable ways, has been even more stunning. And that it continues still, and likely will, until we can get global solutions in place, is confronting to our confidence in thinking we know it all.

But I digress from the general tone and purpose of my blogs, which is to keep you posted about my work and have you thinking about art, instead of the state of the world! 

I'm pleased to be able to invite those of you in the Vancouver area to the Coquitlam Christmas Craft sale which will resume, after last year's cancellation, on December 3-5. Same place on Poirier, Friday night 4-9, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-4. I'll be bringing lots of new work and hope to reconnect in person with many of you!

I am in the middle of a year long, 52 lesson online course in encaustic painting, which is working with beeswax to paint, collage, embed objects, and mix with other mediums. It's very versatile and with 26 fabulous instructors from around the world, you can only imagine the variety of styles I've been exposed to. One of the instructors embeds her photos in wax and I thought I would reimagine my Faerie Woods image into wax. The pieces below are the result and I will have some for sale in December. They are 6x6" squares on a panel, $50 each. I like them and may try bigger pieces in this style. 








I've also been doing a lot of plein air painting in the beautiful Okanagan. Some of the watercolour and ink paintings made it into the 2022 calendar and some have sold already. This one, From June near Osoyoos, at Nk'Mip Winery, is one of my favourites. 


And I've also been doing my regular life drawing practise--during the early days of the pandemic online direct from Barcelona, which had the most amazing models and started off each session with 5 one-minute poses, then 10 3 minute poses, then 5 5 minute poses. You learn to draw VERY quickly with that kind of intensity--not to mention that the models can do the most amazing poses when they only need to hold them for 1 minute!

I was happy to get back to our live sessions (2 minute, 5 minute and 20 minute poses) once the vaccinations started to allow gathering in person. This drawing below is one that I'm happy with. I called it "Standing Strong".

Lest you think all I did during the absence of blogs was art, I'll let you know that I had a huge creative project on the go from the moment we finally (after numerous booked, cancelled, rebooked, ad nauseam flights) returned from Australia in late March, 2020. The foundations for our new house were in the works and during our 14 day quarantine we were able to watch the house come out of the ground, and it became a great project to concentrate on when we were unable to travel, meet with friends, or do any normal activities. We moved in just over a year ago but of course the outside finishing still needed to be done, so as the pandemic continued this year we still had lots to keep creatively busy.

The new house is right next to the original house, and I maintained my studio, which is again open "by arrangement or by chance ", in its same location. In the long term I will move it into a space above the new garage but perhaps that will wait for a few years.

That's about all the news for now. I have a few other Christmas shows on my calendar: in Summerland at the Arts Centre, starting this Friday, November 12; a piece juried into the Peachland Artists of the Okanagan from November 20 to January 23; a fun Winter Market in Kaledon November 20, in a friend's garage; and 3 paintings in the Penticton Art Gallery's Under $500 Sale, until Christmas. That's enough to keep me out of trouble...I think!

We sure hope to get travelling again soon. I'm missing my beloved Australia and hope that I can return there in February. I hope you are all well and that I can reconnect with you in person sometime soon.