This week I learned the results of the 2020 Signature Status application that I did at the end of February with the Federation of Canadian Artists. I am honoured and thrilled to have earned my Senior status (SFCA). :) The young woman who called to tell me that was very thrilled for me and she told me that I accomplished something unusual…I bypassed the first level and went directly to the highest level for their organization. She said that doesn’t happen very often.
The other notable thing is that I am the very first artist from the Northwest Territories to receive Senior Signature Status with the Federation of Canadian Artists!!! How cool is that! Totally.
I started this process 4 years ago. There is a very developed process to be able to earn the Signature Status with this Canadian arts organization , which was founded in 1941 by a group of professional Canadian Artists including: Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, and A.Y. Jackson from the Group of Seven. :)
I have worked hard to create works that would be accepted into whatever the eclectic theme of the show was. The first painting that got accepted was for the 2016 from Life show was 'Castle Dragon'. I was over the moon to be accepted. I set up this painting which I painted directly from life when we were living in a very small apartment and I had an exceedingly small room to paint in. Kinetic sand was a revelation! :)
Over the next number of years I had more paintings rejected than accepted. :) But I finally made the 7 juried Qualifying Exhibitions. Below are the successful juried paintings. Can you see my skill progression?
For the Signature Status application I had to enter 10 images to be screened in. I chose to focus in on my bird paintings in acrylic. My flowers are strong but watercolour paintings require framing and are so much harder to ship. Of the 10 paintings, they required that 3 paintings be created in a small series to be physically sent to FCA.
I chose to do one of my favourite birds - Yellow Warblers. I spend a lot of time in the spring and summer doing bird photography. I realized to create cohesive series that I needed images that had the same kind of light. Thankfully I found these three images to work from that I captured on the same day but different parts of Niven Lake here in Yellowknife.
The next decision seemed to be what size. Do I do them all the same? Or do I do them different sizes? How can I unify the paintings beyond the subject matter?
I chose to have all the paintings be 16 inches tall. Each cradled board would be the same height. I think that this was another interesting element to the paintings. I lined up the boards right beside each other and did the background at the same time with it lighter at the top to slightly darker at the bottom. I think this also connected each piece to the other.
I found that working in series requires a very different thought process and was an interesting challenge. :) I started these paintings near the end of January and finished the last one just hours before the deadline at the end of February. It was nip and tuck whether I would make it. Thankfully Vancouver is an hour behind us. That was helpful. I had everything uploaded and paid for just 1.5 hours before the deadline. :)
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the 33 other artists who also were successful earning their Signature Status! Check out the on-line show aptly named SUCCESS here!
So far I have done 19 days. Some of the themes has been 'How I got Started', 'Tools I Use', 'Studio Space', 'Courageous Moment', and todays post is 'Newest Work'.
It has been an interesting exploration of my artistic career over the past 25 or so years. Some of the photos (like the one below) are from the late 1990's.
So you can see my work started out very simply. I was learning to draw, how to dye fabric, and how to create compositions. This particular piece is at my parent's home. My Dad actually complained about how bad the mosquitos were. And, if you knew my Dad you would know that was highly unusual. He can be outside working in all kinds of conditions and with all kinds of bugs for hours on end. So if my Dad was complaining it meant that the mosquitos were beyond intolerable. So I made a quilt for my first show and gave it to my Dad as a reminder of last time the mosquitos were abundant.
This piece was later in my textile art career. It is part of a 5 part series called "She's Coming Undone" that I did . This one represents the period of time in which she is starting to heal, she is looking towards the new possibilities of life though her feet are still on the path she was on...she is at a crossroad and she has some decisions to make. Does she continue on the same path that brought her to this point of crisis in the first place or does she follow the rainbow hopeful new path that is unknown and veiled and somewhat frightening? Change for human beings is really hard. We like to understand what to expect even if it is difficult and repetitive and we don't want to be working so hard to alter our perceptions and ways of reacting. I know people who continued to smoke even after a cancer diagnosis, or remarried a person who was comfortably like the one before, or whatever the crisis was whether it be health, relationship, work related by continuing on in similar ways so as to be comfortable and not do the intense work of change. But what if there is small changes that can bring sufficiently new ways of perceiving the world in ways that are helpful and can provide a enough of a deviation not to fall back completely into what precipitated the crisis in the first place.
Yes I spent a lot of time creating work that looked at various life difficulties with my art quilts. I loved the challenge of these works.
Above was my last art quilt that I created in 2013. You can see the influence of learning how to paint had created an impact to my quilting work. I now understood how to build layers of value from dark to light to create the illusion of form. Fabric that looks like plastic bags...that was a challenge to create and I think I did pretty well. :)
I hope you will stop by Instagram (Click HERE) and check out the April challenge days. I still have 11 more days to go.
Thanks for stopping by on this sunny spring day. For those who celebrate Easter I wish you a Happy Easter!
So a couple of weeks ago I was getting ready to drive to Edmonton for a friends/family visit. On Saturday night I received an order for three canvas prints and it was heading to Edmonton too. Normally it take a week to 10 days but i thought I would ask the local company 'Signed' owner Janet if she could get them done by Tuesday afternoon...and she said 'Yes'.
I picked them up Tuesday afternoon, wrapped them up and then called Sherry who ordered them to see if she would be around on Sunday afternoon. It was so fun to hand deliver the prints and get to meet Sherry.
Thank you for the order and for the lovely visit Sherry! I can't wait to see where you hang them. :)
I have started a 100x100cm (40x40in) painting of a Great Grey owl. More on that next week. See you next Friday. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope spring is springing where you are. Thanks for dropping by.
Explaining my art in just a few seconds is not easy. Every artist needs to figure out what is called an “elevator” pitch. How can I hook someone in a very short period of time so that they will be interested enough to go and check out my paintings? It is not so easy to do.
Part of my challenge is that I like to paint such a variety of themes. Flowers, birds and still-life’s make the top of my lists…but other topics sneak in randomly.
It took me awhile to codify my watercolour flower paintings to I ‘paint summer sunshine all winter long’ (as winter is very long in Yellowknife). I think that works quite well to explain in a simple way what painting flowers make me feel like. I am quite happy with that.
Now birds are relatively new to my painting life and I have yet to come up with that perfect phrase that captures how I feel about painting these amazing creatures. I love their antics and how sometimes we don't even notice them around us as they go forth creating new life and living their lives.
Maybe you can help me to find the perfect phrase to explain my bird paintings. Check out more bird paintings HERE and comment below what strikes you when you first look at them.
Thanks for dropping by. See you next week Friday.
A number of my watercolour flower paintings have collectors who lived far away! This painting called 'Grandma’s Garden' was transplanted to Nova Scotia! I love the frame and matting. I love how each person makes the painting their own with the framing and matting choices.
I do my watercolour paintings on 140lb Arches cold press paper which allows the painting to be carefully rolled for shipping. I can ship paintings anywhere in the world in a tube. Makes transplanting my watercolour paintings so much simpler.
Now the frame that this painting was displayed in is needing to be filled at Visual Effects with another pretty flower painting. Watch for that in the next few weeks. Still working on the commission. Got a bit stuck with it but I have figured my way around it.
Below is the step by step process I do to get to the final painting. I layer very pale washes until the value is correct on each petal. The lighter the petal the more careful I have to be and often they take more layers to get to where I want them to be. This painting I did the background last...which is different than I normally do. But it works.
Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.
A year ago I just took a deep breath and entered two paintings into the Richeson75 Still Life and Floral. Much to my amazement one of my paintings was juried into the show. So this year i go over to enter and look what I found!
The letter R is my flower! Wow. Wow. Wow. So amazing. :) Sometimes being brave has its rewards.
Lol I entered again this year but I will tell you that I have no expectation to be juried in. I think last year was just an aberration.
Thanks for stopping by on a Saturday! I just had to share and it couldn't wait until Friday.
We traveled a fair amount in 2018. The second trip we took last year was to drive from Yellowknife, to the Yukon for Arctic Winter Games meetings (my husbands), then all the way to Tuktoyaktuk and back to Yellowknife.
We stopped the second night in northern BC at the Liard Hot Springs. Ian is a hot spring kind of guy… me not so much. My oldest had lent me his 300mm camera lens to use until he came to visit in July and I just walked around looking for birds.
I noticed this robin with a beak full of grubs, of course I took some photos. Then it flew to its nest. So cool. Because the area is a park there were boardwalks and stairs to protect the flora and fauna. I just walked up the stairs and was eye level to the nest! I spent a long time photographing the parents coming and going.
Sadly, by the time we came through two weeks later the chicks had already fledged.
Thanks for stopping by. I will be back next Friday! See you then.
This was my very first show at Visual Effects since they started representing my work. It was such a great experience. For the first 5 years I held the show at my house, which meant that we had to prepare the space by moving furniture into other rooms which transformed our living/dining room into a gallery. I have a great hanging system so that was very helpful. I had to stop painting much earlier so that I could get everything prepared and be ready. I had to plan everything and do everything except on the last day before the opening when my husband would take the day off to help.
This year I brought my watercolour paintings to them by the end of September so that they would have time to frame them. Though a few of the larger paintings I still used my exhibition frames so that folks could choose their own framing. I was able to continue with my acrylic painting right up until Tuesday, just before the opening on Thursday evening. After my last painting was varnished Ian delivered it on Thursday morning to the gallery.
My husband took the Thursday day off, like he usually does, but really, he didn’t need to this year. As everything was all under control. Peter and John did all the preparation of the show on their end. We just came with food and wine at 4:30ish.
Thanks to these two fabulous guys! I really appreciate all the support they have given me since my work has been in the gallery.
Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.
Well it has been a while. I am glad to be back.
My art show was in the middle of November (time is rushing past). It was a wonderful event. After 4.5 months of intensive painting it was wonderful to walk in and see all the work hanging as a collection. All fall I work away and never really get to see the work as a whole. Once a piece is finished, I hide it away to protect it and then I am off to the next one.
I have done this process now for 6 years equaling to 6 annual art shows. Each year there is a point during that I feel overwhelmed, tired and unsure if I will have enough work. This leads to me wondering about my sanity and why I do this to myself every single fall. That is until all the work is hanging and then I absolutely know why I work so hard. It is very satisfying accomplishment (after the fact).
Getting ready for a show is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication, organizational skills and a willingness to retreat from the world nearly completely for months on end. Those painting days, which if you get a postcard invite to my show you already know that I count them down rather obsessively, as each and every one of them are fleeting and precious. As they go past I worry about how I am going to create enough work. But I have learned to just tuck my head down and focus on today…tomorrow will come and then it will be today.
I was pleased to have created 6 watercolour paintings and 8 acrylic paintings of birds. Not a bad amount for a show.
Here are a few photos from the opening. Thanks for dropping by. See you next week.
I have gotten to the point in my painting development it seemed logical to start a new challenge, to take the next skill expansion steps and to be brave! I have been entering into juried shows with the Federation of Canadian Artists out of Vancouver BC over the past 18 months. I have had about a 30% success rate so far. The competition is pretty stiff as there are now 2900 artists registered with FCA and they are now receiving about 500 entries for shows that only have space for 60 pieces.
So the logical next step is to start to expand into different kinds of shows in Canada and the USA. Well logical to me anyway. I made a list of 6 shows (beyond 2 of the FCA shows) I would like to enter a painting into. I focused all of January and February on painting for these shows. I only was able to enter into 3 of the 6 shows. LOL it takes a long time to do these paintings...always longer than I hope for.
So on April 16th I received a message from an artist friend congratulating me for having a painting accepted into the Richeson75 2018 Still Life & Floral exhibition. This is the response that I had below. I was completely stunned, super excited and completely breathless. See photo below! Thankfully two of my sons and my parents were willing to listen to me being crazy excited for a long time that night as my husband was in the midst of Arctic Winter Games prep.
I really thought it would be 3 to 5 years before my paintings were at the level to be accepted into these big shows...and I am pretty sure that I am not completely mistaken in that expectation. But, here I am with a piece accepted into my second big show I entered. Wow universe thanks for the message that I am going in the right direction and for the total incentive to keep my nose to the grindstone and paint. (lol too bad I am traveling a lot for the next 4 months...of course)
'Glow', 15x22in, Watercolour (Sold) - juried into Richeson75 2018 Still Life & Floral Exhibition (on-Line)
Today the link goes live to the Show. Click HERE!
Over the years I have been following a number of the artists who were also accepted and I am amazed and humbled to be part of a show that they are in. There are an amazing range of artists from all over the world in the show.
So what am I doing now? I am finished up one commission and getting the second commission set up so that I when i get back from visiting our oldest then I can start painting it before I head out on the next trip! Then I am packing and sorting and getting ready to head out. So all this exciting energy kind of not going to get used...darn but isn't that what life is like, isn't it.
Thanks for stopping by to share my fun news. Tell me what you think... :)
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Yellowknife watercolour and acrylic artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree’s latest venture can best be summarized as capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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