To Santa Fe and back

This trip had been loosely planned for a year.  I mean we all registered on the last day of PACE 17 when we hear it would be in Santa Fe.  Other than that, we waited until January to book flights and the hotel room for the trip home. And maybe just maybe, we should have really scrutinized the schedule first.  Who has time to be that planful?

PACE18.jpeg

On the road again

Two friends and i planned to meet at the airport in Albuquerque, rent a car (really really expensive) and drive to Santa Fe. I Googled the satellite maps to look at the roads to mentally prepare me for the drive.  And although I thought I was ready - but absolutely noting can prepare you for that type of traffic - unless you live in San Francisco, maybe... The car agency rental person warned be, but frankly I thought it was a ploy to sell more insurance.  They spoke of inebriated drivers, reckless drivers and crazy drivers.

We persevered and make it safely to our destination.  Only, I speak in kilometres not in miles.  Jeepers creepers the drive was a lot longer than I anticipated- and the resort was off the beaten track in a place called Buffalo Thunder.  The resort was wonderful.   Only there was nothing else in the general proximity other than a couple more casinos.  No grocery stores.  No place to shop. 

Santa Fe.jpg

The PACE 18  sessions were amazing.  Brienne Brown.  Barbara Tapp. Cindy Baron. And so many more.  They talked of throwing the paint down with out a drawing (gasp) and maybe draw later (again gasp).  But being there to learn, I decided to throw away everything I thought I knew and try it. Well, it kinda sorta works.  With a lot more practice it may just really work.  Above are my attempts.

View from behind

PACE included paint outs in various locations including El Santuario de Chimayó.  While we were there the wind was quite strong to the point I decided that setting up my easel may be a bit risky.  I found a bench and noticed all the painters painting in front of me.  And I love sketching figures. Had a lot of fun with there.  And yes, there will be a painting soon!

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Cheers, until next time

Update 3 Amethyst Shades of Blue and picking and packing

And then it happened!

I am excited with the completion of each petal.  Then I look to see where I should take my brush next. Drawing further.  Analyzing and looking to understand the negative spaces between the petals. Then getting brave enough to go in with my brush.  

And then it happened. I had my brush fully loaded with a deep shade of blue.  Went to the painting and for some unexplained reason, my brush flicked out of my hand and landed on a light coloured petal. There are words for moments like these.  None that I can share here, but boy-o-boy I moved fast! Fortunately I was able to lift the wayward paint and work the stain into the petal.  Jeepers Helen!

WIP Amethyst Shades of Blue by Helen Shideler

Picking and packing

It always amazes me how fast time goes.  Last year at this time, I was already at PACE 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. Facebook kindly reminds me each time I open it up, greeting me with last year at this time photos. AND here I am, getting ready for PACE 2017 in San Diego! Five more sleeps!

I think the hardest part of all this is getting organized and making decisions.  I spent the better part of this weekend trying to figure it all out.  I took out my amazing Soltek Easel only to realize what I have to keep learning.  It is too heavy to fly.  Then I took out my Plein Air Pro for watercolours. And decided this trip would be about watercolour!  That decision made it easier to get packing.

Anxiously Waiting by Helen Shideler

Donation Kermesse Art Show & Sale IWK Auxiliary

One of my favourite charities is the whole world is the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax.  My beautiful son lived there for much of his 3 1/2 years. Although life did not take us down the path I so hoped and prayed for, I hold the hospital and the care team is such high regard. Each year I donate a painting - this year I donated this painting to their upcoming Kermesse Art Show & Sale in May.  The painting is called "Anxiously Waiting" and I think it personifies all the emotions that I felt and that most parents feel when one of their children is unwell.

Hurry up and Wait and Anxiously Waiting a tough code to live by. And April is the Cruelest Month also resonates.  Anniversaries are tough. Maybe just maybe I am finding comfort in all these Amethyst Shades of Blue with two paintings of blue hydrangeas on the go.  

I have a profound love for spring. A promise of new beginnings and fresh starts.  And it has finally arrived on the Canadian East Coast (although please do not look at the weather forecast for tomorrow night).  Five more sleeps and may I not hear the snow wor again until Christmas!