Wow! Wow! Wow! I had an opportunity last Friday to volunteer at the Federation of Canadian Artists and assist other volunteers to fill envelopes with the latest edition of the May/June edition of Art Avenue. As we all busily wet gum edges, stuffed envelopes, put piles of finished envelopes together, we started a general dialogue of "hi", passing our names around to each other. Carol and Betty and Barbara were sitting closest to me. Barbara was interested in Betty describing her style of art and stenciling on stone. Carol and I happily listening until the conversation was interrupted and comments were made on the upcoming Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver. Suddenly, I realized that the Carol I was talking to was actual Carol Mcquaid who's painting was on the cover of the magazine. Then the dominoes started lining up and I realized I had first met her last year at her booth at the Harmony Arts Festival. I had been so inspired by her willingness to share her painting and stenciling processes and all about her past and upcoming residencies. I remember coming home and immediately googling her.
Well, from our continued conversations while we wet and pasted envelope edges, in between coffee breaks, we found out that "Betty" was actually Elisebeth Sommerville SFCA who does stone lithograph. Her lithograph is also displayed in the magazine we were stuffing. She was heading back to her studio, the Malaspina Printing Gallery, a co-op gallery on the otherside of Granville Island. She invited Carol and myself to visit her and she would show us some of her work and her technique. My mind was just a buzz with all these new concepts being talked about - studio spaces that I didn't know existed, printing presses, stone etchings and just being among these great artists!!!! I wish I had had more time to talk to everyone there - each would have had another story that would have been inspiring!
Out of this wonderful event, I asked Helen Duckworth - director at the gallery if there were any more mini residences that could be available and I put my name forward for one. Hopefully for the middle of June. I mentioned it to Carol and she got onto it too. Then it was a quick walk over to the printing gallery and the most interesting 15 minutes ensued! Just too touch the stones used and to really see how heavy they were. Then to see that actual machinery and the lithographs that Betty had in progress. She then showed us a book that she had produced to show the process that she goes through, because to demonstrate this is impossible, given the complexity of machinery and inks and the stone. However her owls, rocks and lithography that she showed to us was amazing and with such detail! I truly had a great "art" experience all just from a moment of volunteering!
Happy painting and sketching or creating whatever your heart desires!