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July 28 2013
Grande Prix d'art
I spent most of the day yesterday at the The Old School House Gallery's "Grand Prix D'Art" held in Qualicum Beach.

It was a rather serendipitous day all the way along. I had selected 2 large canvases to bring. One which I almost left at home, a 12x36 long rectangle, and another, a 24x24" square. I wanted to force myself to paint out of my comfort zone so I decided against using the standard sizes that I normally use for such an occasion. I found a parking spot right close, which was not an easy thing to do with the Art market, the St Marks fair and the Grande Prix on all in the same day. I then walked into the school house and pulled a location blindly out of the box. I was to set up in the QF walkway, which happened to be just across the road from where I was parked. Lucky. I went to scope out the location. I had a bench, some shade and lo and behold! On the lamp post was a banner I had painted for the town. I felt like I was being directed by some unseen force to paint just that scene. It was like "Hey! Look over here! How obvious can I make this for you!!" I knew I had to use the narrow canvas. Good thing I listened to that little voice this time and threw it in the car.

After all was said and done, I was judged by 3 respected artists as a first prize winner. I did not react as a winner in a lottery, but was filled with relief and introspection, thinking that my years of hard work was beginning to pay off. I actually felt like I knew what I was doing. The whole thing is encouraging. Very encouraging.
What also topped the day off, was that a couple purchased the painting right then and there.

Perseverance is a wonderful tool. It goes hand and hand with patience. Eventually you shall be rewarded.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 09:30 0 Comments


July 24 2013
Fish fish and more fish!
For some reason I have been painting alot of fish these days. Maybe it has something to do with going fishing? I do not like fishing....but I do like to paint fish it seems. I have also been painting hermit crabs. One in particular. I was at the VIU Deep Bay Research Center and was watching and photographing the creatures in the large saltwater tank when a good sized hermit crab worked his way from the back up to the glass where I was photographing. Maybe it was the red of my camera? Or maybe he was just bored. I cant blame him for that. We live in an amazing place with many amazing creatures. Looks like I may be exploring that. Note: I do not say "I WILL" explore that, any of you that know me also know how fast I can change direction. So for now...its ocean creatures!Rock FishThe Hermit

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 05:14 0 Comments


July 22 2013
Summer in Full force!
Summer! Isn't it wonderful! As you have noticed I have not blogged for quite awhile. I have been busy. Summer does that to you. I thought it would be ok because readers would probably be too busy themselves to read anyways!

I have a few important dates coming up.
This Saturday, the 27th I will be participating in the "Grande Prix d'Arts" in Qualicum Beach. This always promises to be a fun event that draws a huge crowd into the area. Its great exposure for artists. A participant draws a location just before it is time to start, they zip over to that location, set up and begin painting at the bell. I believe we have 3 hours to work. We have an hour to present the work framed or ready to hang. The works are judged in an outdoor display and all work is for sale.

My next date is "Art and Photography in the Garden" at Milner Gardens in Qualicum Beach. This is a two day event August 10th and 11th. I will have a tent set up with paintings for sale and will be painting as well.

Then is my favorite, "The Island Expo", which is held in Qualicum Bay, 240 Lions Way, closer to home for me. The event is not until November 2nd and 3rd but I am already thinking about how I am going to display this year. I will be in my favorite spot, booth 24 once again this year.

I have recently finished two commission pieces which are just a little different than my usual style. The first one I had actually given up on and decided to take a day and play with it. Voila! It worked once the pressure was off. Off it went to Alberta. I was then commissioned by someone else to paint another much like the first but tailored towards the recipient a little differently. I enjoyed them and who knows, I may do a couple more in this style. They are Westcoast after all! I have also uploaded two new Chrome Island paintings to my Westcoast studio page. The Salish Sea Market loves to receive these lighthouse paintings. So do the tourists and locals alike.

Enjoy your summer!
The Great Westcoast Starfish AdventureThe Great Westcoast Starfish Adventure II

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 09:02 1 Comments


July 03 2013
Fishing and Painting
Yesterday I spent the whole day on an open 19' aluminum boat at the south end of Hornby Island. I packed up my paints determined to keep myself busy with the many landscape opportunities all around me. I took my watercolors and my acrylics. This was new territory and I had no idea what I would need!
My husband and I were up at the crack of dawn. 4 AM. We were on the water by 4:45. We were greeted by a magnificent sunrise as we churned through the black silky water leaving our bubbly wake to dissipate back into darkness. Chrome Island with her crisp red and white buildings stood washed in a light purple /blue shadow against the orange and maroon sky. The day was promising to be perfect.

My husband busily set up his fishing gear as I snapped photographs and marveled at the beauty before me. I dug into my backpack and pulled out my small watercolor cases and haphazardly laid them around myself attempting to organize them for easy access. Cramped but loosely set up, I began a small painting of Hornby Island. No sooner had I put the colors onto the paper, I had started to feel "green" myself. The constant rocking of the boat was messing with my annoyingly sensitive equilibrium. Impatience quickly set in and that was the end of that for a bit. We moved closer to land to a smoother surface and I tried once again, this time working quickly with pen then finishing with watercolor. Much better, but I was still feeling off.

A little later after watching the horizon and actually relaxing and just "being in the moment" , I tried my hand at acrylics. I was feeling excited about setting them up and found a workable area in the bow of the boat that was comfortable. With my easel in front of me I pointed out to my husband the area I was going to paint and asked him if he was going to continue in that direction. Yes. That would work for me. I began to put down my under painting of orange and red and sketched quickly in the lines of the mountains. Not an easy task with the boat moving. I decided it was not important to have straight lines anyways! It was feeling good. BUT every time I looked up, there was a slightly different scene than the one I was painting. I had to turn my head a little more each time. The longer I stayed working on my painting before I looked up again, the worse the shock was. It may sound like I am being melodramatic, but when I go into that creative space, it is important to keep the "zone" constant. By using the logical "left" side of my brain to find where I was at, I was going in and out of the creative space and getting frustrated. I have to be honest… I ended up plastering the F-bomb across the sky on my canvas. It made me feel better. My husband noticed my wonderful artwork and asked the question, "You having some troubles honey?". Ummm…is it that obvious?
So, I decided to put it all away and forget about it. I then just sat back and absorbed the sun and the scenery, played with my camera, my umbrella and my phone and even steered the slow moving boat for awhile.

Next time I will go, as it is nice to spend time with my husband, but I will be dropped off on the beach with my paints while he fishes on the water.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 08:53 0 Comments


July 01 2013
Just need to do what I want to do.....
I have learned to follow my instincts and feelings. When I haven't, I have looked back and wished I did. When I have followed my instincts I have been glad I did and it was always for a good reason that comes to light after the fact.
I still have an urge to retreat. I have been working on a gradual retreat for a few years now, by leaving a group studio I was involved with, and a great critique group I was a member of. I have pretty much stopped going to federation meetings, which as a member I really should be involved with more. Its like I have some force holding me back from going and it has a choke hold on me. Maybe I am trying to tell myself something. Come to think of it, I have never been a team player. Only in the last 8 years have I joined any kind of group and I did it to find out what was going on out there. In this day of the internet I can find out what is going on without stepping out the door. Most of the time that suits me perfect.

Time to evaluate. What I need to do now is to figure out what I want as an artist and as a person. I have to figure out what rules I want to follow and which ones I want to ignore.

I just want to paint from my heart. I just want to do what I want to do....thats all I have ever needed to do.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 01:16 0 Comments