Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Canmore Sunsets and sound of coffee

Well.. we've made it to the halfway mark (nearly) of the week. This was the last picture I painted this weekend and while its not going to win any awards, I'm excited that I've started to remember how to paint again. Last year I think I maybe painted 7 or 8 pictures (and that might be the last two years) and of them maybe 3 or 4 of them were not embarrassing. Watercolours can quickly take a turn for the worse resulting in blurry muddy messes. My step-grandfather could look at a photo and paint something that was a very good representation in watercolours. This is a skill that is utterly beyond me as even in pencils and pencil crayons I have a hard time drawing something that represents what I see - in particular making 3-D representations usually go poorly for me.

That said, of all the awards I ever got in school, I think I'm most proud (and shocked) that I tied for the art award in Gr. 8. I can't remember what we did in art in Gr. 8 - although I did some work that I was pretty proud of in Gr. 7. (In grade 7, I had Ms. Jaakkimainen who was easily the best teacher I've ever had and a fantastic artist and bought us real brushes and inks for doing print making. I assume that Gr. 8, Mrs. Johnson taught us art, but its been a long time to remember anything short of Ms. Jaakkimainen class.) Still, regardless of limits on my ability, my philosophy of art is that as long as you enjoy yourself then you are successful and that the only way to get better is to practice. For me, painting or drawing completely focuses me and always afterwards I feel more relaxed even if I end up with something ugly. Its part therapy, part brain workout and currently making up for a shortage of photo taking opportunities.

This sunset was taken after an already magical night of seeing the musical ride and some excellent drum dancing by the local Stony Cree Group in Banff. As an added bonus, we were able to watch to choppers dumping water to fight a fire on one of the mountains. The fires were probably the source of ash that led to the amazing sunset we saw as we were driving from the Three Sisters Exit into Canmore - filling the valley with a soft orange glow. I'm so glad we stopped to get out and take pictures although even the pictures don't really capture the full magnitude of the beauty. I'll post the photo above.


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