"Spirit of Life"
So here I am in my studio and finally finding time to look through all I have collected from my recent USA tour. Whilst I look through the paintings and collection of amazing photographs many happy memories flood back of the very special people I have met on my courses. All because of my passion for painting in watercolour and I suppose my zest for life.
I'd like to share two very wonderful people in this blog post as I aim to catch up and recall very magical moments from my book signing and watercolour workshop tour of Spring 2016.
Some time back I received an invitation to teach in Vancouver. This all came about as I would be teaching in Seattle and I was told that Vancouver was so very close and could easily be added to my trip. As many artists had been asking me to teach in Canada I leapt at the opportunity and hastily agreed. I was invited to hold workshops with Artescapes, run by an incredible lady called Janice Blore. How amazing this connection turned out to be.
When I arrived in Vancouver I was warmly greeted by Janice and shown the room where I would be teaching. Janice takes great care in looking after artists attending courses that she organises. Even down to the refreshments which seemed to continually magically appear every time I turned to look in that direction. The venue is unique in that it seems to carry an amazing atmosphere which even my husband noticed. I can't describe it really but one group, out of the three I taught there, will relate to this blog post very well as they too felt it. Something wonderful happened in the room as everyone created. A peaceful feeling. Actually it was quite beautiful and a memory that will stay with me forever.
Another wonderful surprise was meeting Janice's Mother. On the wall in the room was a gorgeous print of a Bearded Collie. Everyone who knows me well will know I love the breed and have owned two. Taffy previously, and now I feel we are owned by Bailey my gorgeous four legged companion. Also a Bearded Collie. Lorna, Janice's Mum has beautiful work that she has created of my favourite breed. And she also very kindly made me a felt brooch of the breed when she heard me say I had always wanted one but couldn't find one anywhere to buy and it is gorgeous.
I met many people in Vancouver whilst I was teaching there. Many have left a lasting impression on me and one in particular may be surprised to read my words here. Jamie, your reaction to how I paint and teach is still very much with me. I know my use of colour touched your heart and gave you a new approach to seeing how you paint. With light, life and energy. To watch as you discovered a whole new life force from painting with a new approach was wonderful and a joy to witness. These moments are so special in life. And you very kindly gave me a bear made of watercolour paper that I so carefully carried everywhere but it got damaged at our last hotel the night before we left for UK. Which really upset me but I think of it and how you made it for me often. Thank you. I also love the story of spirit bears and the photo you gave me which I have created an interpretation of above. I genuinely felt the spirit of this creature with me in my studio as I worked and it made me stop and think of folklore and stories I have heard over the years. How certain animals carry good luck, are seen as omens or magical creatures.
Something so simple as painting a subject new to you like this bear made me stop and think today. It made me take stock of my own life and art journey. I am loving giving to others, far more than thinking of dreams of my own. In my way of teaching I can make others dreams come true. I can do so much that is good rather than simply thinking about colour on my brush or a painting that may be for sale.
I love painting in watercolour so very much. I love the art journey that I am on and I love where my workshops are taking me to meet new and inspirational people who have become a part of the tapestry that is my life. And I love the love they give me in return.
How blessed I am.
I wish everyone could find the joy I do when I create.
That's my wish in this blog post.
That every ones dreams come true. maybe this spirit bear can help that happen.