Friday, January 16, 2009

Mute Swans on Salt Spring Island

click on picture for enlarged image

We are back from our brief vacation on Salt Spring Island, which is one of the Gulf Islands in Canada. Even though it was cloudy and rainy the whole time we were there, it was still a great get-away! The grass is green, there are still plants with color on them, and it is mild enough that we could be out and walking each day as long as we were dressed for wet weather.

I took my new beautiful camera along to test it out (Canon EOS 50D). What fun to set up along the only public-access beach of any size, and shoot picture after picture of these beautiful Mute Swans. They are really huge birds, with a wing span of between 8 and 9 feet. The bright orange beak with the black bulb at the top is the distinguishing feature of these creatures, as well as the fact that they are eerily silent as they float past, feeding close to the shore. You can bet that I have plans to paint these graceful birds from some of the photos I caught. They are just so beautiful!

As I was on the beach with my camera and tripod, my husband stayed up on the road. After a while, I looked back over my shoulder, and he was talking to a man who had a GIGANTIC lens on his camera, also photographing these swans. I continued with my photography until Syd came down onto the shore to talk to me. The person he had talked to was the art agent for Robert Bateman! He had just come across on the ferry, and stopped to take some pictures of the swans as he is also a photographer. He was there to pick up a new Bateman original, and so was in a bit of a hurry... That is as close as I came to this very famous artist. :-)

Another of my favorite watercolor artists, Carol Evans, lives on Salt Spring Island. Later, in Sidney (on Vancouver Island), I was able to see some of her work up close in a beautiful art gallery we visited, Peninsula Gallery. I also purchased a singed edition of her book, Releasing the Light. The gallery had originals of Bateman, Carol Evans, and another artist I admire, Pino.

 Pino is an Italian oil painter who sells out of big galleries world wide. His originals are very expensive, but his embellished giclee prints are under $5000.00 for those of you not on a budget.  Pino is going to be at Peninsula Gallery in May. How I would love to meet him and have some of his genius rub off on me!

All in all, our trip was very relaxing and we had time to just talk, dream, and plan for our future. My goals for 2009 are fairly simple, divided into 3 categories: artistic goals, personal goals and spiritual goals. Under artistic goals, I have 4 things I will attempt to achieve:

1. Paint 50 paintings.
2. Find 2 galleries to represent my work.
3. Enter a painting  into a juried show.
4. Enter a photograph into a juried competition.

There are so many other things I want to do this year with my art, but these are the MAIN things that I have determined to achieve. Goals are points to work toward. I am not bound by these, but rather guided by them. If I paint more than 50 paintings - great! If I paint fewer, that is okay too... I will probably paint more paintings with this goal than if I had not set a specific number. It's just the way my mind works! 

Speaking of which - I have some watercolor sunflowers on the easel. I may post some work-in-progress pictures this weekend, so please visit again. For those of you who were disappointed that you missed out on my last sunflower painting - this one is looking awesome already, even if I do say so myself.

Have a great weekend.


Michelle said...

Those are some pretty big goals but I have confidence that you can reach them!

Great photograph, not the type of image you would capture in many Canadian places this time of year.

Joanne said...

Hi Michelle,

I too think these are big goals, but I like a challenge - and I have assured myself that it is okay if I don't quite make all 4... I guess the point for me is to have something definite to aim for. I am also thinking that I will need to do quite a few SMALLER paintings in order to make the number 50. We shall see how it goes. :-)

Some of the pictures of these swans that I got were amazing. They are so graceful - what a treat it was to see them in January!!!

Have a great weekend, Michelle.

artbyakiko said...

How wonderful to talk to an art agent for Robert Bateman! He is one of my most favorite artists. His works are just amazing.
50 paintings sound like a lot! I will definitely be checking back to see your new creation! :)

theresamillerwatercolors said...

I love those swans - you did so well capturing the beautiful atmosphere of the water. Also, I can't wait to see those sunflowers you mentioned - they are my favorites! Smiles, Theresa

Joanne said...

Hi Theresa! Glad you are back safe and sound! What is the weather doing in your part of the world??? Looking forward to seeing some new work on your blog soon... happy painting!

Joanne said...

Hey Akiko! That latest painting is astounding... you have such a gift!!! Yes - 50 paintings sounds like a lot, but even if I get 30 done, I will feel successful. Still, setting the bar high makes me want to try harder, especially after making it public (LOL). Take care, and talk to you again soon.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I like those goals and I say do it!
One step at a time.

Joanne said...

Hi Mary!

So nice to see you! You are right - it really is one step at a time to achieve goals! Even if I don't achieve them all, at least I am moving forward and on my way. :-) Have a wonderful year, Mary. I look forward to seeing your work throughout 2009.