It's been a very, very long time since I have updated my blog. When you are trying to hold your head above water these types of things tend to go to the bottom of the to-do list.
For those of you that don't know, my family had a disaster happen in spring 2018. Our house flooded in an accident and almost 3/4 of our home was affected and this included my art studio. It took until just before Christmas to have the walls, ceiling, floors, cabinetry and counters replaced. The final issues were fixed after the holidays and I am grateful to the disaster relief and insurance company for the quality work that they did in putting our home back together again. It has been a stressful time and I lost a lot of productivity over it. That being said, I did manage to squeak out a few new pieces of art in 2018 and for those Collectors that purchased from my Home Collection or supported me in any way I wish to say thank-you.
Let me say it again, THANK-YOU!
Thank-you for your loyalty, patience, patronage, offers of help, support and words of encouragement. It means more to me than I can say and I couldn't have stayed creative without you.
It's now 2019 and almost exactly a year to the day that the flood happened. Our house is back together and I have been painting again. In fact, I will have a new collection released late spring/early summer and it is inspired by my epic camping trip to the North shore of Lake Superior last year. I really hope you enjoy it.
I also have a few other art events in the works so make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter to receive updates - my newsletter subscribers are always the first to know what I'm doing and to see my new art.
With Gratitude - Jennifer
I was asked to provide an update on the locations of the Little Library Project so that you can take a tour. I've done my best to find out where they are all located and this seems to be one of those projects that has passed many hands and so it is difficult to provide more information. If you can give me more precise locations or addresses, please email me!
Here are the locations for each artist:
Robyn Town's is outside a private residence at 94 Ward Street.
Allyson Demoe's is at the Alfred Street park (take a left on the side street at Petro Can & 28)
Mine is in the Memorial park (where the bandshell is)
Jennifer Anne Burke's is outside a private residence on King Street (I don't have the address, let me know if you find it).
Catherine Lynn's is outside a private residence at Strachan and Victoria streets.
Robyn's second library, unfortunately, has not been placed yet.
The libraries on private properties will be maintained by the house owners, otherwise the public library will be in charge of stocking them. If you see one in need of books please feel free to donate!
Wow, where do I begin?
Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been my best self lately. You see, over the Easter holiday weekend we had an accidental disaster happen in our home and we sustained water damage on both levels of our house. This includes where I usually make my art (and kitchen, dining room, living room, family room). Luckily, no completed art was damaged but unfortunately it has considerably slowed any works in progress since I now have to paint outside. It's also caused us tremendous personal stress.
Our house is still in the same condition but we now have a path forward with the insurance company and the disaster restoration companies. Hopefully construction will begin soon.
I hope that explains to you why I haven't been completely on top of my blogging, newsletters and website maintenance.
On a good note, my annual one-day art show with Jennifer Anne Burke is still happening ( 'Home' Saturday July 28, 12:30-4:30pm, St. Mark's Church, Port Hope, ON). Although, I will have less work to show you than I normally do, most of my new work is in oils which will debut at this show!
Thank-you all for your patience and support during this time.
This project was never completed due to personal complications. I think I got as far as 10 but never got around to posting them. I would like to try this again in the future and will let you if I do.
This is my Day 2 of the #30paintingsin30days challenge. I mixed my own colours for this one which I normally don't do with acrylics. I thought the colours would make a good beach scene so I went with it! I love how the colours seem to glow, especially that peachy orange. I have to work on my contrast but for Day 2 I'm happy and enjoyed the process of making this one.
I decided to give oil paint a try ( a real try this time) and after much deliberation and research decided to buy from Kama Pigments, a small batch company located in Montreal. I also decided that a 30 day challenge would give me the time and consistency to get a feel for my new medium. I will post my progress here, but also on my Facebook page and Instagram accounts. If you are on Instagram you can follow me and my hashtag #trefiakart so that you never miss my posts.
For my first oil painting I thought I'd recreate the moon from a previous painting I did. I had the same colours so I wanted to see how the oils behaved in comparison to the acrylics. All I can say is that they are completely different! Some of my observations while painting this were:
Please follow my adventure with oils. They won't be masterpieces, don't expect that. This is a learning journey for me and hopefully by the end I will have a better grasp of how my new paint works and how it will work for me.
Ahhhh the new year. It always starts off so fresh, new and exciting. So many lists! So many goals! I was really kicking it at the beginning of the month. I'd booked my standing art shows and included a new spring one. I figured out my theme for my July show and took lots of photos to support the mood I wanted to paint. My original little inks got an extension to sell at Polish House & Home in Colborne, Ontario.
I have an exciting announcement to make. For the month of December I have partnered with Polish House & Home in Colborne, Ontario, Canada. They will be carrying a selection of my original 5x7 and 3x5 inks. Polish House & Home is a new home decor store in the downtown of historic Colborne. They have a selection of new and vintage items, so grab your holiday shopping list and check them out!
You can also contact me to visit my home studio. I'll show you what I have available and you can see where I spend my days painting. I'll assist you in finding the perfect piece for your home or office. I also take commissions if you want to customize your art further to suit your needs and budget. I'll make the process as easy as possible for you.
I'm getting several appointments a week for studio visits right now as people finish (or begin!) their holiday shopping. If there's a piece you have your eye on then please let me know.
Wow, it's been a whirlwind of a summer! Not only did I have to prepare for my annual summer art show with co-host Jennifer Anne Burke and a juried group exhibition at the Colborne Art Gallery but I had been really ill in June with bronchitis. To all of you who came out to either (or both) shows and had to put up with my coughing and gravelly voice - thank-you!
This year's annual art show was as much as a success as last year's Earth & Sky show. A lot of people came out to view the artwork. Some people just came for a chat and to say Hello (which is totally encouraged). Some people came out of curiosity from the newspaper advertisements. Some people came specifically to purchase a piece of art (or to pick one up that was purchased in the show preview). Some people came as a show of encouragement and to give feedback. All of those reasons are acceptable and I encourage it all!
One of the reasons I love this show so much is that it is a chance for Jenni and I to show off a collection of work in one easy to access format. It's all laid out there to see. We, as artists, are also accessible for your feedback and questions and many times it is an invaluable learning tool. I learn something new at every show I do.
For example, at last years show I had people that wanted to pay by credit card and I couldn't accept them. I made sure that I had that option available this year by registering with Square. One of the things I learned at this year's show was that some people wanted art that was smaller (and more affordable) in compliment to my larger paintings, so I am working on a project for that as we speak (stay tuned).
I sold quite a few paintings that day (as did Jenni). Some (but not all) are featured in the photo collage above. There are still some paintings available from the show and you can check them out in the Vast Lands 2017 tab in the navigation bar above. Thank-you for your continued support and encouragement, it means the world to me.
I'm so pleased to be able to tell you about the project that I recently completed for the Port Hope Rotary Club.
Last autumn my friend from high school, Robyn K Town, was asked to paint some little community libraries for the town of Port Hope. She realized that it was too much work for one person and so she enlisted a group of local female artists from Northumberland County to collaborate.
I was honoured to be one of the artists that was asked to participate along with Jennifer Anne Burke, Allyson Demoe and Catherine Lynn. These Little Libraries will be installed in various locations around Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.
Hover each photo for artist info and click for website links
This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Northumberland Hills Studio Tour. It was my first time in many years to be free on this weekend and the thought of seeing other people's work spaces was what really motivated me. Well, that, and art and the chance to speak with the artists. I did not visit every site listed but I marked off the few that were of interest to me, in particular, painters. Since I work out my house I really wanted to have a good snoop around those studios in particular. I was NOT disappointed. We have so very many talented artists in our area and the fact that so many can make a living with their art speaks volumes to the community we live in. I enjoyed every artist and studio that I visited but the following were my favourites (in no particular order):
Stephen Gillberry based in Cobourg, has a beautiful studio built into his home. His work is abstract and in sizes from tiny (bookmarks) to large. I loved looking at his paint splattered floor and easels and was happy to see that I'm not the only artist to get paint all over my bathroom light switch. I was very taken with his use of texture in his beach and water scenes. I also really LOVED that he didn't offer prints but instead does small originals in a 'print-like' way so as to offer more affordable art for those that can't purchase a larger work at that time. I may have to steal that idea in the future!
Betsy Miller based in Cobourg, works from her home like so many of us do. She told me she painted in her laundry room (a perfect spot to make art) and she turned most of her house into a gallery for the studio tour. She paints large pieces in an abstract expressionist style and I very much enjoyed chatting with her about technique and influences. She uses palette knives for her work (yes! one of my loves) and her artwork is as bright and colourful as her personality. (I hope you enjoyed your wine after the show Betsy!)
Dorothy Siemens based in Port Hope, has a studio in her home (or a home in her studio?). It is a beautiful light-filled space that showcases her artwork perfectly. From mandalas to soft florals and natural images, her work reminds me of fabric or tapestry. It is richly textured to the eye but only slightly textured to the surface. I have to admit I was extremely taken with her work. We talked at length and I liked her calm energy as she explained to me how she uses wax, paint, and oil sticks. I urge you to see her work in person and not just on the computer screen, it really looks much different. I am so glad I did!
The next time there is a studio tour in your area - go! Just by attending you are supporting the artists. Go, have fun, make a day of it, tell the artists what you think of their work and ask questions. That is what these events are for. Maybe you will find a new piece to take home (or save up for), maybe you will learn something new, maybe you will find a new artist to follow. You will definitely see some beautiful, interesting, thought-provoking art. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I will keep you updated on my latest work and perhaps some insight into my creative process.