Another wonderful week

It's always a wonderful week when one sells not one but two paintings!! So happy! So grateful.  Life is good.  Mystic Blues sold at the RNS Art Show & Sale this weekend and so did...

Helen with Mystic Blues

..."On Watch",  painting of a raven keeping a watchful eye on me - while sitting on top of the coolest rock formation I have ever painted. 

The good news continues

Earlier in the week I received an email about my "Magenta Magic" poured painting.

Congratulations
We are pleased to inform you that from 320 paintings submitted from 32 countries worldwide, our Jurors, Anne McCartney CSPWC, AWS, TWSA; Peter Marsh CSPWC, OSA, SCA, TWS; and Rainbow Tse have selected the painting on the labels below as a finalist for the IWS Canada & CSPWC/SCPA’s “A Symphony in Watercolour” Exhibition

This is all so very cool. The universe really does send back good karma when you live with the spirit of giving.  I recently donated a large painting to the IWK Ladies Auxiliary for their Kremese Art Show and Sale next weekend.  And also a bunch of cards to an environmental group for a fundraiser.  And then there is that ginormous window I am painting for ProKids.  Not that I have give to get back other than the feeling that I have done something good.

As an artist,  you have to be selective on how/what you give, how often you give and decide whether or not the cause is near and dear to you - we are asked for donations a lot.  I  have a few favourites that I donate to each year.   

Shideler paintings

New work in progress

A yet to be named poured watercolour.  It still has a long way to go.  The slideshow below takes it through the ugly duckling stage to the point where I have removed the masking compound.  I hope the magic happens in the next step of the process. 

Click through to see the progression so far

WIP Winters Light Through the Glass

We have a wonderful hanging stained glass window that was given to us 

Over the years we (really me) watch with fascination of how the right changes with each season.  Winter is particularly beautiful with the deep colour of the sky and the reflections of the snow.  You can see the effect of winters light through the glass!

I have taken oh so many photos of the stained glass

Knowing eventually I would be going to paint it.  The invitation to participate in “Stained Glass revisited” coming up in September provided just that opportunity. This was interesting. I always saw this painting as a thick acrylic work.  That was, until I tried to get started and now with a close deadline.

I started to work out the details and realized that the shape of the canvasses I have on hand were the wrong proportion.  Too square a shape meaning that I would have had to paint more background.  And that really would not work.  My artistic eye would not let me proceed and the fact that I do not have time for a redo!

I pondered what to do. 

I really wanted to get started and could not afford the time of shipping in another canvas.  Then it hit me.  Rather embarrassing really.  Watercolour.  Duh!  I could cut the paper into whatever shape I needed!  Oh my.  Sometimes I baffle me.

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Then I got real excited. 

On a recent trip to Arizona to the Plein Air Convention and Expo (PACE), I purchased a few tubes of Daniel Smith’s Prima Tek paints. And now I have a really exciting painting to play with them.  And I am loving them!

The glass represented in this painting has texture and is not smooth all over.  These granulating paints are working beautifully to help me simulate the glass. Some of the colours are luscious (not there is a word you do not get to use everyday). 

Lessons Learned

You have to be really cautious when you mix the Prima Tek  colours with regular waterolours.  They can get muddy fast

I highly recommend you paint an under wash first rather than mixing the colours together.  Now when I mixed two Prima Tek colours together, they worked fine.  But the wash had to be under not over these paints

Wonderful summertime stuff

Ahh, summertime and life is good.  Time for family and friends.

This week I had the chance to meet a long time artist friend in person.  We were both member of an on-line art community "Art Colony" for a long time until the site wrapped up.  Most of us still keep in touch on-line.

Helen Shideler and Christianne Fortin

Christianne Fortin and I were able to spend two evenings together getting to know each other in person and immersing ourselves in art talk.  And all things creative.  I am so happy and grateful we had this opportunity to get together.  

And these guys.  I sure miss them.  Vancouver is so far away.  Looking forward to all the family visits we have planned for this summer!

Family time

A few of my favourite things

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KCST June 11th and 12th

The Kings County Studio Tour is coming up quickly - next weekend to be exact.  This is  the "Getting to know" post published for me 

Helen Shideler Canadian artist

What is your favourite time of day to work – are you an early bird or a night hawk?

It has been said that an hour in the morning is worth two in the afternoon.  I hear the crack of dawn and want to get up and at it

What would your dream project be?  If there were no restrictions with time or money, what would you create?

A series of large canvases with some in oils and some in acrylics.  Time is my biggest challenge trying to fit in all of my ideas – there is so much to do. I am never at a loss for inspiration.  Sometime I stress myself out trying to do too many things at once!

What is the one tool of your trade you would not be able to do without?

Well I have an art supplies addiction.  I love them all – so many possibilities, so much potential.  And then someone comes up with something new.  Oh my! Probably leaning towardswatercolors though.

Tell us about that one special piece of work that you would never part with and why? 

A poured transparent watercolor painting of a seagull in flight  "Coming in for a Landing".  I wanted to keep the foggy sky without the typical “legs” that pouring paint can create.  This was tricky and I was breathing funny throughout the painting.  But it worked.   Although this painting may look simple it was very difficult to execute on.  I am unsure most can appreciate the effort it took to create – so it is mine!

© Coming in for a Landing by Helen Shideler

How do you recharge your creative juices?

Sunshine. Go outside, take a walk, sit at a beach, look at the sky, watch it rain, watch it snow, bird watching, look at colours, garden.  Sit outside and breathe.

What would you do with a million dollars?

Honesty, first order a Hughes easel and then retire and travel with my husband.  There would be some sharing with our family and some charitable donations as well.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you are creating?

It changes a lot but generally uplifting, fun and no too loud

If you had a superpowerwhat would it be and why?

Probably fly.  When I was a child I used to have a recurring dream that I would be running and then take off and fly.  In these dreams I was really soaring and swooping.  They were glorious dreams.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Yes, on apple crisp please

Great News "Call of the Raven" Won an Award at the CPSWC Open Water Show

I received an email the other night notifying me that... 

Dear Helen, we are thrilled to inform you that your painting Call of The Raven has been awarded theD.L Stevenson Award, (Gift certificate award)....
Congratulations on this prestigious prize.
"Call of the Raven" by Helen Shideler

Pretty exciting.  Especially since I embarked on a project to paint ravens with the CSPWC Open Water juried show in mind.  Last year when we visited  Yellowstone National Park there were a number of particularly friendly ravens in the parking lot at Artist’s Point.   They were walking around the travel trailers looking for hand-outs and cawing their hearts out.  One raven in particular was following me around and without being intrusive, I was able to get many really nice reference photos.  I was literally on my knees looking him in the eye and chatting with him.  I knew he would be the subject of numbers paintings :)