Category Archives: Photography

Illness, Art and an Interview

Autumn is here…..and with it, some cooler temperatures. Unfortunately, not entirely in my favour, as I sit here with ears floating underwater, and a small fire spitting flames in my throat. I guess my immune system got a little bored with all the good health.IMGP8275

Though it’s hard not to laugh-cough, when you catch yourself answering the “How are you?” question, with a cracking and squeaky “Good! You?”. Fun times.

So I apologize in advance if my words don’t make complete sense – my mind is a little distracted with, you know, not being able to hear, swallow, cough, breathe, move.

IMGP5760 But since all I’m doing is binge-watching Australian comedies resting the past few days, it’s a good time to catch up on the past month and a half:

…I finally got back into painting, after a bit of a hiatus. Lately, I’ve been leaning a lot towards landscapes, though I did squeeze in one portrait (note: not all of these are complete)

Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio

Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio

Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio…I’ve been working on some new sketches, preparing for a small craft show next week.

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Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio

…and I set up and took down an exhibit of landscape paintings in Market Square in Saint John (no pictures of this process, sorry. Horrible memory + easily distracted is not a great combination).

While there, I did get a chance to check out the market, where I discovered this amazing potter (almost looks like watercolor painted onto those wares), and checked out the Sculpture Saint John event, which involved sculptors from across the world.

sculpturesaintjohn

Lastly, I had an interview which was featured in a local magazine – it turned out quite well! It’s been strange but encouraging to have random people come up to me and compliment the artwork they saw in that feature. It’s rewarding, and somehow reaffirming that maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something right.

Next time, I’ll share a few of the reference photos I’ve been collecting over the past few weeks.

Summer Distractions

 

Summer is not conducive for spending time indoors. Each summer, I tell myself, this time will be different, it will be the summer of boundless productivity, but… it never seems to happen. There are just too many (inviting) distractions.

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IMGP8964Summer taunts you as you sit at your easel, glancing out of the window at the cool breeze, the robins and the sunshine that makes twirling leaves sparkle like confetti. Which leads to the present moment: being surrounded by a bunch of half-finished paintings.

I suppose I could also do some plein-air painting (which I have done in the past), but, unfortunately, most of these paintings end up in the paint-over pile, and are usually dotted with the remains of random insects…which isn’t exactly desirable.

IMGP8992Summer Reference Photos | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

 

 

So the compromise I’ve made with myself is to use these bright, sunny days to take reference photos for future paintings; photographs that will become useful during those dark winter months when I’ve forgotten what a field of wildflowers look like, or just need some inspiration that doesn’t include feet of white fluff.

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Summer Reference Photos | Saltwater Birch StudioSummer Reference Photos | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eel Ground Powwow

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio I took a day trip yesterday to visit the Eel Ground First Nation Powwow. It was (ashamedly) my first time there – and my only regret is not having gone sooner.

It was quite a stunning event, from the music to the clothing to the general atmosphere (which was a mixture of welcoming, celebration and respect).Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioEel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

I stayed for the Grand Entry, in which members of the Aboriginal community marched in, followed by a prayer and lots of dancing in bright regalia. Apparently several dancers and drummers were from different First Nations communities, many outside of New Brunswick.

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioThere were also quite a few vendors there, set up in a large circle surrounding the dance arena. They were selling everything from jewelry to rolls of deer hide to musical instruments. It was also the first time I had seen a triangle-shaped hand drum. Not sure how it may affect the sound, but it definitely was eye-catching.

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioEel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch Studio

 

The only downside was the weather – the Grand Entry began at 1pm, which meant the sun was rather scorching, with beads of sweat rolling down all sides. I can only imagine how hot it must have been for the dancers! Though I came to terms with the heat by choosing to see it as a free outdoor sauna. Mind over matter…it works sometimes.

 

Eel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioEel Ground Powwow | Saltwater Birch StudioOverall, it was a really great experience, and I will definitely be back next year…maybe even for the sunrise ceremony (if I ever find the willpower to rise at 4:30am). 

Note: For those who have never been to a powwow, they do announce during which songs you are allowed to take photographs, so just make sure to pay attention to the MC.