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On-line gallery of art and artists from the Okanagan region in Canada.
JUNE 2010 VOLUME 2 OF 1
OKANAGAN ART WORKS June 2010
Publisher, E.I.C.: Liz Burnett
and, until the right person walks through the door . . .
All content and layout: Liz Burnett
Okanagan Art Works P O Box 20084
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 9H2
Tel.: 250.215 0929
Email / Submissions /Subscriptions:
All rights reserved.
OKANAGAN ART WORKS is published monthly on-line.
Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.
OKANAGAN ART WORKS makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the
information it publishes, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences
arising from errors or omissions.
Artists published in this issue of OKANAGAN ART WORKS are granting us
permission to publish their work and images on the cover and throughout this issue via the internet as needed, to help bring attention to this publication and
their work. Copyright of all the artworks in this issue belong to the respective
This months cover: Boys Night Out by Lee Claremont.
See page 6.
Arts and cultural activities are at the heart of
communities they make communities more attractive
places to live, they help bring a community to life, they
define a communitys unique characteristics, they
attract tourists and they help communities compete
economically around the world.
The Canada Council for the Arts
The Vision of
OKANAGAN ART WORKS
is to nurture, encourage, promote,
and showcase the extraordinary talented artists
who have chosen the Okanagan region in
beautiful British Columbia, Canada
as their home studio for creating original art.
We also show appreciation
to those who support local artists by
collecting their work.
Welcome to the June issue of OKANAGAN ART WORKS. What an exciting experience this has been so far.
Our first issue went out a month ago under the name s2sSRTWORKS.com. The response was so phenomenal (see comments from readers on page 57), and the international readership so widespread, we had to change the name to OKANAGAN ART WORKS. Not only does this show the specific geographical region this magazine covers, but it also allows readers and artists to identify more closely with its contents. Let me know what you think of the new name.
To prepare this issue, I met and got to know a fascinating selection of artists. As diverse as their artwork is, a common thread came to my attention. During conversations held with these artists, three statements were made by most of them, almost verbatim: I have always had a passion for art, I have always been drawn to art, my art is about telling stories.
There is an understanding that when an artist walks down that road from inspiration to the finished artwork, a story is in the process of being told. Sometimes we keep it to ourselves. Yet, when we share this story with others, it builds a connection the new owner of that piece of art appreciates and enjoys sharing as well.
Therefore, this June 2010 issue is dedicated to the passion of art and the stories behind them.
Liz Burnett: Editor/Publisher [email protected] www.s2sartwokrs.com
Tel.: 1.778.478 7849
OKANAGAN ART WORKS INDEX
PG # ON THE COVER
6 LEE CLAREMONT
14 TREVOR MOEN
22 ANITA MCCOMAS
28 CHARLOTTE GLATTSTEIN
34 EILEEN SAWRACKI
40 MATTI MARTIN
46 LUCHO VERAFLORES
50 THE GALLERY
54 MARY WALKER
56 ARTISTS NEWS
57 COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS
Lee Claremont building a legacy
When you have worked years to develop your own artistic voice, your own style, you have already built a legacy without even knowing it. Lee Claremonts world recognition is not an overnight success story, but the struggle is now bearing fruit.
It could have started when Lee, as a young child, received pieces of barn wood from her grandmother to hammer woodlands designs into.
Maybe it started in Ontario, in the neighbourhood near the theatre where she grew up. The constant flow of beautiful wardrobe designs could have influenced her.
I cant say I was aware of my gift in a tangible way, Lee says. I married young and I was always too busy for art, but I was always interested. After my divorce, I signed up as a graphic artist at Okanagan College where it did not take me long to discover my interest was painting instead. I switched over to Fine Arts and that is when all that artistic gift that was given to me suddenly came out. I finished my degree in Fine Arts from UBC in 1991 and have been doing arts ever since.
Much like the wine industry in the Okanagan, where they had to get international recognition first before they won over the locals, Lee feels it has been the same with her art. She has built up a strong international clientele in the US, Germany, Israel and Dubai. Yet, it is only the last few years where she has gained a following from local residents. The reason could be that she is a First Nations artist and this could have narrowed her audience by putting her in a niche, but according to Lee, First Nation artists are much more accepted into the norm now than before.
Previous page: Grandmother, Corn Woman, Sky Woman Left: My Sister My Soul Artwork Lee Claremont
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Previous page top: What Price Freedom
Previous page bottom: Sunburst
Below: Sing you own song in your own special way
Artwork Lee Claremont
As an artist I happen to be First Nations, Aboriginal, Indian, whatever word you want to use, she states, and that does really influence my work, but I dont want to be put into that box. I want to be in a bigger world. We First Nations artists can do so much for our people by education through our artwork. So, if we are just in a First Nations gallery, it is like preaching to the converted.
My art does serve an educational purpose. I do not force this onto people, but some people want to know and ask questions and if it starts a conversation, I start talking about our culture. As a First Nations artist I have a huge responsibility and my art offers an opportunity to talk about our culture. The success of my art has made me indirectly adopt the role of spokesperson for my culture.
People enjoy talking to artists to discover the stories behind their art. Lee paints her peoples stories. These stories come from the land, their culture and from a spiritual place. She uses mostly elements from Mohawk designs and loves the use of vivid colours. She paints from the heart, likes pushing the edge, and sometimes the political undertones in her art is uncomfortable. But, this is what gives her work that special approach that appeals to international buyers.
I have worked years to develop my own style, Lee explains. I cannot paint any other way. I have tried to do different
things but realized I should not fight what works. This made me go back to the normal. As an artist I believe you have to keep yourself fresh. Your palette may be the same, but the objects change, from ravens to horses to women, and so on. I work really hard to paint for myself and dont paint what would sell in a gallery.
At the same time, I never know what a painting will turn out like, but I enjoy the process and the journey. Sometimes I know when it is finished. Sometimes this is a struggle, but when it is done and I put it up on the wall, I think, wow, how did I do that? People will look at my paintings and see things in them, like a person, or a bird, or an owl. I never painted
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that but when I look, I see it is true. I dont
Previous page: The Three Sisters and Kadinsky
Below: Self Portrait Mohawk Woman
Artwork Lee Claremont
that but when I look, I see it is true. I dont know how or where that comes from. The painting just paints itself. It will dictate what it wants. If I force an end vision onto a painting, it does not work.
Sometimes I leave a painting for a while, maybe for a long time when there is no communication between the painting and me. Then something comes to me and I can continue. Those paintings turn out to be my best paintings. I have to be in a creative state for this to work and I love that. I dont think I would like to do it if I know what it is going to be in the beginning.
This is draining though. All artists will understand this. I can get so tired after a day of painting.
Lee is very humble about her talent. At the same time, she is very proud of acknowledging her art as a gift and the responsibility that comes with it. To get where she is today was like a book that has become a bestseller after being turned down by publishers many times. All the arts have this same language, whether it is music, or writing, or painting, we go through the same struggles. It was no different for her.
An important part of her career is her teaching at the Enowkin Center, a First Nations academic institution in Penticton. She has a deep passion for sharing the knowledge she has gathered over the years. It is with her experience at
Enowkin where it all came together for her. This is where she learned so much about who she is as a First Nations person. She is a story teller at heart. Her paintings tell visual stories and trying to understand herself better, she wants to tell the stories of her culture to the world. Her story and the story of her culture, they really are one story.
I am an Indian. That is who I am. I live it. I breathe it. That is my world view. I dont live in my community, but my spiritual believe is their way. Yes, I am an Indian. That is who I am.
With awards, recognition, and even a TV program to her name, and an incredible story to tell, you wonder where she would want to go from here.
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If anything, I live very much in the now, but I do want to leave a legacy. By nature I am a humble, modest person with art as a passion, but I aspire to be like Daphne Odjig. She is a great mentor for me. As a national treasure in the First Nations world, she has been recognized for breaking the boundaries of First Nations art. She has also broken the glass ceiling for women in the arts and has built such a legacy. She is definitely a huge mentor for me, as a woman, as an artist and as a friend. I would like to follow in her footsteps.
In case she does not know yet, Lee has already started her own legacy.
Opposite page: Boys Night Out
Below: Rainbow Ponies
Artwork Lee Claremont
Lee Claremont lives in West Kelowna and can be contacted by email at
More images of her work can be viewed at www.leeclaremont.ca
A biography of Lee Claremonts life and career was recently aired on Bravo TV
and on APTN TV. This was part of From The Spirit Season 3 produced
All images in this article supplied by Lee Claremont.
OKANAGAN ART WORKS 12
Trevor Moen the man with a bear of an
Life as a paraplegic undoubtedly is filled with serious challenges. Much of what we take for granted becomes an engineering obstacle when we suddenly do not have the use of some of our limbs. Trevor Moen lost the use of his legs in a car accident, yet his approach to his own world makes it seem as if his day to day existence carries on regardless.
`Before his life changed forever, Trevor ran a snowmobile business at the Big White Ski Resort during the winter months. During summer it was a boat rental bussiness from the marina at Lake Okanagan Resort. Both kept him very busy until the accident happened. It was eight months of hospitalization and an unflinching decision to manage this new challenge as best as he personally could, that helped with his recovery.
At the time his brother kept on urging him to try stone carving. Eventually Trevor agreed.
My brother talked me into buying my first piece of soapstone, he recalls how his career as an artist began. When I first started carving, I immediately realized I did not want to do anything else. I sold the snow- mobile business, kept the boat business, but on a smaller scale, and focussed on the carving.
Coming from a family who loves the outdoors, especially the rough unspoilt back country, it was obvious that Trevor would grow up with a great respect for wildlife. This is seen in his choice of sculpture objects. During their outdoor trips they come across many bears, both grizzlies and black bears, cougars coyote, and eagles, but carving bears has become his favourite.
To me the bear is the king of the forest, he says. I love how it is so strong, even when small. I love the power of the grizzly, its muscle definition, especially when they are full grown and in good shape. A griszzly bear knows what he wants, and, he knows how to get what he wants.
It is exactly three years ago, this May, that Trevor started his carving career. His skill as a carver developed quickly into an inseperable affinity with the stone. Practically, a stone should be a certain length, width and depth to be able to carve a bear from it. This is true even in Trevors case. However, he has the ability to see the bear in the stone before the carving has started.
Left: Long December, soapstone, measuring 6 x 3 x 8. Opposite page: Brutus, soapstone, measuring 18.5 x 12 x 9, 80 lbs. Art work Trevor Moen.
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Right: An abstract carving entitled Five Veils, soapstone, measuring 9.5 x 18.25 x 9, 80 lbs. Artwork Trevor Moen
When I look at the block of stone, he says, I already know in my head what the bear is going to do. Whether it will have one foot raised, all four down, lying down, sitting up. I can see the finished bear in the rough rock. All I have to do is to get rid of the rock that did not belong there for the bear to come out. Every stone is different, and every different stone depicts what the bears position is going to be. The bear is already there in the rock. I just have to release it.
Trevors first carving was an eagle with a fish, called The Food Chain. This first carving is still in his possession, as are the next twenty or so he carved in the beginning of this new career of his. His progression as an artist escalated rapidly. Fellow artists may wonder, as a successful self-taught carver, what choices did he make over the last three years that brought him such recognition so soon?
Developing his own style, was an important first step.
Smooth lines, my brother always used to say, Trevor states. When carving bears, the carving should have nice, beautiful smooth flowing lines. There are so many different lines in nature that are beautiful. My carving task is to put to stone the thoughts I have captured with my eyes. When I do abstracts again, the lines should be sharp. This is important with carving. The lines should be either smooth or sharp, not in between.
An important second step is to be unique. Each of Trevors carvings is unique in
its style, position, colour and stone type.
Once you have a good product, finding the right exposure is important step number three.
In Trevors case, he participated in all the art shows he could go to. He found out from an artist friend which ones were the best ones and applied to get in. This sometimes meant long road trips from Kelowna to Vancouver, and once a non-stop trip to be at a show in Toronto within three days. Trevors wife, Cora, would plan the road trips based on wheel chair accessible truck stops along the way. Their own truck is kitted out with sleeping
OKANAGAN ART WORKS 16
facilities and the carvings are pulled in a trailer from the back. The two of them share the driving and so far the most they have travelled in a month to get to shows has been a total of 15,000km.
This kind of dedication and hard work paid off. Trevor has just been accepted into the 2010 coveted Calgary Stampede Western Art Show, a show held every year during July. One of his bears, called Arthur, was chosen to be part of the auction. Trevor was also chosen to host his own display booth for the duration of the show. This is a remarkable achievement for such a new artist. Some artists struggle for twenty years to get into this show. This is a true acknowledgment of his creative gift.
An important step number four,
and sometimes forgotten by artists when success comes walking through the door, is to give back.
Boulder Mountain near Revelstoke, BC, had a tough winter of fateful avalanches this year. This affected back country snow mobillers, more so than skiiers. A friend of Trevors was caught in the second large avalanche that occurred. Fortunately his friend survived. Trevor came up with a mission to show his gratitude to those who risk their lives rescuing people in snow related distress.
Still an avid snowmobiler, he decided to snowmobile up Boulder Mountain with a few members of his family and his dogs. He took a 275lb block of soapstone along, all his tools, and a generator for his Foredom as well. At about 6,200 ft above sea level they camped for five days while Trevor carved Boulder Mountain Bear out of the soapstone block. The mission of this carving is to have the finished bear cast in bronze and with every bronze copy sold, $1,000 will be donated to avalance awareness in Revelstoke. This is his way of giving back.
OKANAGAN ART WORKS 17
In the mean
Opposite page: The 125lb Boulder Mountain Bear carved by Trevor Moen at 6200 ft above sea level on Boulder Mountain. The original weight of the soapstone rock was 275 lbs. Below: An abstract work in progress depicting the tree of life. All artwork Trevor Moen.
The 125 lb carved Boulder Mountain Bear is on display at the Rotary Center for the Arts on Cawston Street, Kelowna.
The success of Trevor Moens art career makes it sound as if stone carving is an easy technique to take on. On the contrary. It takes long hours of experience, a good eye for perspective and a keen awareness of definition to be able to carve anything appealing out of stone.
Soapstone is a relatively soft stone, about a number 2 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Basic tool requirements to work with soapstone would be hammers and chisels, and sanding is done by hand. Working with marble, or granite, requires different, more powerful tools such as air tools and diamond coated sanding pads.
To start a soapstone carving, Trevor cuts the rough shape out by hand using the hammer and chisel. This is followed with a riffler file to smooth away the chisel marks.
Once the basic shape is done, and he is happy with the lines, the sanding starts. Sanding is a major process in shaping the carving. This is where lines get accentuated or destroyed.
Sharp lines, like those found in the abstract designs, are the most difficult lines to sand, Trevor says, as you have to be so careful not to accidentally sand off the sharpness. The technique is to sand the surface without touching the corners, otherwise they will flatten. This is hard to do on carvings. Soft lines are just so much easier.
Sanding starts with course sandpaper of 36 grit and gradually moves through finer levels of grit until 200 grit is reached. This is when
wet sanding starts by adding water to the process. There are different ways of doing this, either by pouring water over the carving, or by dipping the sandpaper into water, which is how he does it. The important step to remember is that from this point on, everytime the sandpaper is changed to a finer grit, the water must be changed to fresh water too to eliminate scratching.
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The finishing sandpaper should be either 400 or 600 grit, depending on the silkiness of the surface desired.
The final stage of creating a beautiful stone carving is to heat the carving and add a clear wax over the stone. As soapstone is such a soft stone, it is relatively porous and therefore absorbs the oil when heated. This is what reveals that warm glow and rich colour of the stone.
One last step is to seal the carving with a clear coat to prevent accidental scratches.
This is all hard physical work and quite obviously a labour of love, but when the passion is there, the beauty gets revealed.
Having come so far in his art career already, one wonders what the future goals would be.
I plan to do more special location carvings, he says, like taking a trip to Italy to carve a bear out of Italian marble, or carving a bear in Greece, or taking a helicopter ride up into the mountains during winter to carve
another bear up there. Every year I want to do a big project like this.
Then there is finishing the gallery and outdoor carving booths on our property at Joe Rich, and looking for my own gallery space in Mission
The list seems endless, but for Trevor Moen it will surely happen. Afterall, here is a man with a passion, who, like a grizzly, knows what he wants, and knows how he is going to get it, regardless of his restrictions.
Opposite page top: Two views of the abstract carving Deep Within measuring 10 x 22.5 10, 60 lbs. Opposite page bottom: Big Bad John started out as a 265lbs soapstone rock. The finished bear weighs 120 lbs. Below: Arctic Bear, Chinese soapstone, measuring 17 x 9.5 x 7.5, 70 lbs. All artwork Trevor Moen
Trevor Moen lives in Kelowna and can be contacted by email at [email protected]
To view more of his work, visit www.soapstonesculptures.net
To view a slideshow of Trevor Moen carving Big Bad John, visit this YouTube page:
OKANAGAN ART WORKS 21
Anita McComas lets her canvas tell the story
Every painting has a story, but, you do not need the detail to be able to tell the story. Anita McComas feels the secret is in being able to say more with less, that you can tell the story without all the detail.
Every artist knows how interested buyers are to find out the story behind a painting. Whatever the story may be, they enjoy hearing what was behind the creation of a piece of art. This turns the painting into something more than just a pretty picture. It gives the painting a form of attachment, a connection that the buyers carry with them, and repeat when they show the painting to their friends.
Anita understands this very well. As an example, she enjoys painting people, but instead of doing the classic portrait of a person, she would rather paint a life scene. A young girl feeding ducks, or standing on a dock looking into the water, tells by far a more interesting story of that person than what a portrait would say.
Trees and flowers are another favourite to paint.
I have this tree thing happening in my world, she explains. My clients will ask about the history behind a painting and I will tell them about the trees and their personalities. Once I did a painting showing the devastation of the pine beetle infestation on group of trees, but I dont want to focus on the negative. I paint what is beautiful instead.
Anita has always had a passion for art. As a career she thought of becoming a graphic
artist, but soon found out it was not for her. To her that was all about drawing boring straight lines. She moved on to Marketing and Product Development, enjoyed the creative component it had, and spent the next 20 years of her life pursuing this as a career. Yet, her art was not forgotten. In her spare time she did commissioned pieces and personal pieces. However, it was not until 2008 with a move to the Okanagan, that her career as a full time artist started.
I have lived a very crazy life, Anita says, with young kids and working crazy hours, it was my painting that rescued me. I never did the vacation thing, but did take time to paint.
Having lived such a busy life for so long must have set a trend as Anita is not the kind of person who can sit still and wait for something to happen. Instead, she is an initiator.
Previous page: More Than A Memory, 40 x 30 Below: Oliver Farm 22 x 28 Artwork Anita McComas
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If you want something done, give it to a busy person and they will find a way to make it happen. This is Anitas look on life.
Quite often she is the busy person who is making things happen. The art events at Little Straw Vineyards in West Kelowna are good examples. This vineyard will be hosting a series of 10 two week art shows throughout this summer, featuring a host of local artists. Each show will have an opening reception on a Saturday afternoon with the artists in attendance.
It also happens that Little Straw
Vineyard is releasing their 2009 Riesling and Tapestry wines with a new label, a painting by Anita called The Work Begins, Spring at Little Straw
Other than this, she is an active member of the
Federation of Canadian Artists and the Treasurer of their Central Okanagan Chapter. She loves attending art workshops, paints with a group of artists at the Rotary Center for the Arts every winter, and exhibits regularly. Some of the shows she will be
Previous page: Weathering the Storm, 42 x 24. Below: Layered Beauty, 16x 20 Artwork Anita McComas
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participating in this year are:
Arts Without Borders 4th Annual Fine Art Juried Show, Lloydminster, AB, June 10 13.
Leighdon Studio Gallery 2010 Juried Competition, Vancouver, BC, June 26 July 3.
20th Annual Potters and Artisans Summer Invitational Show, Kelowna, BC, July 17 18.
The Company of Artists, West Kelowna, BC, August 16 29 and November 4 6.
Anita was also a finalist in the Canadian Brushstroke Magazine Still Life Competition.
It is hard to be an only artist in a show, she says. I prefer to exhibit in a group as I enjoy the support networks that comes with this. When I am in a show, I want artist friends to come, not to buy, but to support the effort of making art. It feels good to have peer support and to know how your work is received by a community.
The feed back from a community helps her find her target market. Coming from a marketing background, it is inevitable that Anita would want to match her art with her customers, as well as with the galleries showing her work. Her market research is part of her success.
Another reason for being successful as an artist is that Anita is not restricted by her subject choice. She paints what inspires her. It could be vineyards, flowers, trees, mountains, teenagers. She cannot be categorized as a landscape painter, or a portrait painter, or a still life painter. She feels there is no limit to what a person can achieve when you follow your passion. So, she paints what inspires her and with the right research, finds the customer to match with the painting.
Anita is driven by her passion. She is known to say: As an Okanagan artist, I am inspired by the magnificence of the landscapes that I live in. It is incredible the amount of inspiration I draw from the mountains. I still cannot believe that my path in life has led me here, where every day I feel the energy to create, create, create!
Previous page top left: Light on the Kitchen Counter, 36 x 36
Previous page top right: Mountains, 24 x 24
Previous page bottom left: High Season in the Okanagan, 24 x 24
Previous page bottom right: Shine Softly By Me, 30 x 24 Right: The artist, Anita McComas Artwork Anita McComas
Anita McComas lives in Kelowna and can be contacted by email at
More images of her work can be viewed at www.anitamccomas.com.
All images in this article supplied by Anita McComas.
OKANAGAN ART WORKS 27
Charlotte Glattstein in love with clay
There is no holding back an artistic imagination. Add whimsical humour and a great technical understanding of working with clay, and you have the unique hand built sculptures, tiles and vessels of Charlotte Glattstein.
Charlotte comes from a rich international background and we would expect to see distinct signs of perhaps Jerusalem, or Panama City in her work. Yet, what we see is everyday nuances of life, laundry hanging on a line, flower baskets, apartment windows. These are all scenarios we can relate to, and at the same time, also find in any city around the world. It is only when we look at the title of a piece that we get the idea that Charlotte may have been inspired by a special place in a far away country.
This is what puts her work in that special niche of being unusual, different, and most of all, worth collecting. Her pottery is delightful and fun, brimming with tongue-in- cheek humour. . There really is no better way to describe this other than whimsical. Her forms have a lot of movement, her figures have
momentum, and when her ladies dance, you can almost feel the movement of their rhythm.
I am not a hobbyist, Charlotte says. This is my profession. I like to work with clay, just like a painter who uses his paints to communicate what he feels, this is how I communicate.
Sometimes what I have to say is bold, sometimes not. It all comes from the head though, more so than from the heart as the technical side of my art requires that I think ahead. When I have an idea of what I want to do, I have to figure out how to do this. It is not always the idea of letting the material dictate the engineering, like the concept of a pot when you sit at a wheel. I trained as a potter, in fact for the first three years in school I was throwing pots, but everything I do now is hand built.
It can be difficult to separate the concept of pottery from my working with clay. My vessels are not always waterproof, for instance. I have to feel very strongly about a vessel when I know it is not going to be waterproof, or suitable for food because I did not use the right glaze for food. I have to convince myself it does not matter as it will look better this way. But, I dont make everything to be useless . . .
Opposite page: Cinderella, 12 x 21 Left: Avenida de los Flaquitos, 1.10 x 5 x 10 Artwork Charlotte Glattstein
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Charlotte has always been drawn to the visual arts and from an early age this was her primary means of communication.
She is also fortunate to have had a selection of different cultural influences and training in her life. She was born and raised in Panama City where Spanish is the spoken language and cultural influence. Her formal arts training was taken in Jerusalem where Hebrew is the spoken language. Additional training was taken in Brazil where Portuguese is a strong influence, and also in Canada with English as the spoken language.
With so many cultural influences in her life, it is easy to understand the freedom in her artistic style. There are no restrictions but rather the open liberty of form and adaptation,
as seen in her playful and humorous style where human figures border on the fantastic. In summary, Charlottess clay work is focused on the hand building of sculptures, murals and other non-utilitarian subjects, using primarily low fire clays in raku, pit, gas and electric kiln firings.
As a confession she states: I am in love with my art material. I have worked with clay now for 30 years and I am still fascinated with this material.
Below: Yoga Team, D:3.5 x H:6 each Opposite page top left: Holding On, L:12 x H:13 Opposite page top right: Basket, L:12 x H:13 Opposite page bottom: Two views of Twinkle Twinkle, W:4 x H:7 Artwork Charlotte Glattstein
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All of these pieces are murals and the predominant colour black is due to the raku process of firing. The large ones are mounted in old window frames that Charlotte has collected over the years.
Left: The Walnut Tree, 28 x 21.
Bottom left and right: Building Structures #1, 14 x 17. Building Structures #2, 13 x 16.
Opposite page top: Sonando, 28 x 21.
Opposite page bottom left: Watching the tomatoes grow.
Opposite page bottom right: Charlotte Glattstein
Artwork Charlotte Glattstein
Charlotte Glattstein lives in Osoyoos and can be contacted at
9106 Clay Studio 9106 - 74th Avevnue, Osoyoos, BC, V0H 1V0
[email protected] More images of Charlottes work can be viewed at www.charlottesclay.com
All images in this article supplied by Charlotte Glattstein.
Eileen Sawracki doing what she has always
wanted to do For most of her life Eileen Sawracki worked across Canada as a nurse, always taking art workshops and classes over weekends and evenings, never really having the time to paint. Now that she is retired, she enjoys every moment of her new career as an artist, doing about a painting a week.
From as far back as Eileen can recall she liked to draw, copying cartoons when she was in Grade 1 to painting stage sets when she was in high school. Yet, when it was time to choose a career, she chose nursing. This did not stop her love for painting. During her vacation time
she would take week long painting workshops, during her working time, she would spend weekends learning about art.
Previous page: Autumn Bouquet, 12 x 24. Below: Yesterday, 16 x 20. Artwork Eileen Sawracki
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Above: Early Fall, 24 x 36. Artwork Eileen Sawracki
By the time Eileen retired in Vernon and started painting full time, all those years of workshops and courses became valuable knowledge.
At first she started out by painting in watercolours. As much as she loved it, she felt a need for brighter colours and textured surfaces.
Eileen started experimenting with acrylics, trying out new methods, playing around with different ways of creating surface textures and using mixed media. Slowly her own style evolved.
What she found worked best for her was to cover the entire canvas with a base colour, then roughly draw her lay out on to this background. She would then decide where and
how to cover the canvas with texture. She would take a molding paste, with a density almost like cold cream, and apply this to create a texture, wait for it to harden, then paint the image over all of that.
This may sound as if it is very easy to do, but Eileen has her own unique and artistic way of making it all tie in together. Sometimes she would take diluted black paint and cover areas of her painting with this solution, wipe it off to let some of the solution stick to the raised textured areas. Sometimes she would accentuate certain areas with Pitt pen ink. By the time she is done with the painting there may be up to five different layers on the canvas. Whatever her technique, what is marvelous about her paintings is the way light plays on the textured areas, and how this interacts with the shadows in the image.
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Having attended so many art workshops and courses throughout her life, it makes one wonder how this has affected her particular style of painting.
I once attended a Robert Genns Painters Keys workshop and this influenced me a lot, Eileen explains. It motivated me into developing my own style. At first other artists workshops made me paint like them, but I dont want to paint like everyone else. Now I pick out what I want to use from a workshop and absorb only that into my own style.
and absorb it into my own style.
Artists paint because they enjoy the art of painting. They also enjoy selling. This is a form of recognition and acceptance of their work. Eileen feels no different about the business side of being an artist.
I am always looking to improve my work, she says. I gained a lot of confidence by being in Art Walk. I have sold a few paintings there and this will be my fourth year exhibiting at that show. I love to paint. I also love to get paid, but if I had all the money in the world, I would still paint. If I do not paint for a week,
would still paint. If I didnt paint for a week, I feel the need to paint. It is a need, a passion. I I
Below: View from Grey Canal, 24 x 30. Artwork Eileen Sawracki
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I feel the need to paint. It is a need, a passion. I came into the game a little later than others, but, I had all the knowledge and now I can use it. Now I have to do this and I will paint till the day I die. I dont know where it will take me. No artist can ever say they have arrived where they want to be, I know I am never there. I constantly strive to do something different, something better.
It has taken a long time for Eileen Sawracki to be able to enjoy life as an artist.
She sums up her life with a smile: During those nursing years when that was my full time job, the creative energy just was not there. Now I do about one large painting a week. I paint it, leave it, study it, go back to it, finish it. Painting stretches the brain and even though it keeps me busy, you have to have a balance though. I am retired now, so, I play some golf, I socialize a bit, and, I do my art. It is certainly more interesting than doing the crosswords . . .
Below: Bx Creek, 16 x 20.Artwork Eileen Sawracki
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Above left: Spring Time in the Okanagan, 8 x 10. Above right: Winter Magic, 16 x 20. Below left: Eileen Sawracki in her studio. Below right: Spring Time, 16 x 16. Artwork Eileen Sawracki.
Eileen Sawracki lives in Vernon and can be contacted by email at [email protected]
Matti Martin offers his own
interpretation of style Tucked away near the end of Ellis Street in Kelowna is a small boutique style jewellery store with an aspiring young goldsmith creating elegant designs of jewellery. Always drawn to the arts, Matti Martin has tried many of them, but kept on coming back to goldsmithing.
Previous page: Sterling silver & 18k yellow gold ring with turquoise. Sterling silver & 18k yellow gold ring with rutilated quarts. 18k yellow gold ring with Manitoba agate Below: various Mokume Gane rings Artwork Matti Martin
Most of Matti Martins training as a goldsmith was done in Winnipeg. It started as early as taking an arts program at high school, then workshops with renowned Karen Schmidt, then entering the jewellery trade as an apprentice with Sutton Custom Smithworks.
As an apprentice he had to do the usual donkey work of mainly sizing and repairs. Eventually this led to the make-up of custom designs. This job taught him how to be proficient in wax carving, casting, stone setting, in fact, how to do everything, whether fabrication or wax or a mix of both. He was forced to perform and do good work very quickly. The company had very high
expectations and produced high quality products and this set the ground work for his own goldsmithing career later on in his life.
This was followed by a short stint in Victoria where he was signed up as a jewellery arts student at Victoria Camosun College. These were evening classes and during the day he made himself useful at a blacksmiths workshop. That is when he forged the ring mandrel he used as a goldsmith for many years.
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By taking the end of a jackhammer, the piece that gets replaced every now and again, he heated it up to temper the steel. Then he forged this into a ring mandrel. It was quite obviously hard work, especially the hand filing of the mandrel into a round shape. The mandrel worked so well that he used it for the first four years of his life as a goldsmith.
After Victoria it was back to Winnipeg, this time as a Fine Arts student. Yet, all this time he made jewellery on the side.
We asked him about those early years looking for the road that led him to where he is today.
OAW: You seem to have always been searching for a direction to follow.
MM: I have always been drawn to the arts, but in the end I realized I needed something more technical, something like blacksmithing, goldsmithing, silversmithing, something that had a lot of thinking involved. When I painted it was often experimental with no direction in mind. However, it is the opposite with making jewellery. This can be very specific as you have to think about the whole process and know how it is going to end up before you start. This almost becomes mechanical.
There is a lot of thinking involved with goldsmithing. It all starts by being challenged by an idea, by seeing something from a distance and as you get closer it becomes more real.
OAW: Anything in particular about goldsmithing that appeals to you?
MM: I like to discover new interpretations of stone setting and design styles, for instance, how to employ a channel setting without really seeing the setting. This is about pushing the
boundaries of a setting. Some settings do not work very well, for instance, take invisible setting. This is not a practical way of setting gemstones. Often stones will pop out and to find replacements is a headache. It really causes all sorts of problems. I am much more intrigued by pav and the other more classical styles of setting. Pav is not an easy style to set. Historically pav was, and still is, the epitome of the goldsmithing craft. If you can set stones well, you will be able to do everything else very well. Some goldsmiths specialize only in stone setting. I have always followed the design taste of less is more, like you will find in bezel or flush settings. This is so clean and lends itself to modern designs. I used these setting styles for years. But recently I have come to enjoy all setting styles.
OAW: Modern technology has changed goldsmithing from what it used to be. How do you feel about this?
MM: Modern technology has advantages and disadvantages. Take CAD (Computer Aided Design) as an example. The disadvantage is that it allows everything to become generic with very little evidence of handcrafted pieces. Most jewellery today is mass produced. Yet, from a designers perspective, I am quite intrigued by the ability to design unusual pieces with a program like that. In CAD you can design a ring with all the seats marked accurately and the shank is cut by a machine. Before, all of this had to be done by hand.
Opposite page top left to right: 18k yellow gold ring with 2.01ct marquise cut Canadian diamond 18k white gold ring with Pole cut Rose quartz Opposite page bottom left to right: 14k palladium white gold ring with aquamarine 18k white gold/palladium, 14k rose gold ring with Madeira citrine with sterling silver mokume gane accent. Artwork Matti Martin
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The disadvantage is that it takes away the uniqueness of individually made items. But then, it makes you work harder to create that uniqueness, to create that item that is distinct and modern technology can assist with this.
OAW: As a designing goldsmith, what are your thoughts on copyright of jewellery designs?
MM: I have mixed feelings about copyright of designs as I work hard to be different. Today you can go online and a virtual inventory of anything and everything is available. To me creating a design is more about a process of discovery, about something I have discovered. I get inspired by other peoples work but when I feel I am infringing on copyright I pull back. I have to have a strong conviction to make a piece when a client comes in with a magazine photo of a ring. If it is a general design with no originality to it, it is a business sense to make it. If it is a unique design, then its different.
You cannot protect your designs everywhere in the world. I know other people have used my designs and made them at a lower price and I have mixed feelings about that. Part of me gets offended, but when such mixed feelings arise, I have to take the better feelings.
It is up to ourselves as designing goldsmiths to come up with designs that are hard to copy. This is an alternate way of protecting a design. When it really comes down to it, we are all influenced by other designs. At the end of the day you have to have an ethical morale about copying someone elses designs.
OAW: Where else would you find your inspiration?
MM: Furniture and architecture. I can see a design in a piece of furniture, for instance a
beautiful table with a smooth surface can inspire a pendant with similar aspects. Just by looking at interesting architecture endless amounts of ideas can be inspired.
OAW: You have been involved in so many different art genre, what made you choose goldsmithing?
MM: I never intended to become a goldsmith. I wanted to be a monumental style sculptor, but I went into a jewellery making program and found that I was good at it. Everything came to me easily and I find it very enjoyable. I can be artistic and technical at the same time and it paid my way through art school.
Right now there are technologies available that are exciting for small shops like mine. There is the CAD CAM, induction casting, laser welding, etc. There is equipment available that with the press of a button a perfect cast can be made. This new technology allows a small shop like mine to continue as a one-man-business.
OAW: Where to from here?
MM: I see myself going larger and having employees, people to help with manufacturing and retail. Working by myself is boring, lonely, over-rated. I look forward to having employees. One person can only do the work of one person and employees will open up more potential for my business. This will allow me to focus on my own strength and let other people fill in my weaknesses.
Opposite page: Textured bangle, 55 gms argentium sterling silver
Matti Martin lives in Kelowna and can be contacted at 110 1289 Ellis Street, Kelowna
Tel.: 250.860 9181 [email protected] www.mattimartin.com
All images in this article supplied by Matti Martin.
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Lucho VeraFlores and his gentle touch of
art restoration The conservation of art is a way to connect the future to roots in the past and in so
doing, leave a lasting legacy. For Lucho VeraFlores each piece rescued has a story, often unknown, but open to the imagination.
Left: The impressive organ in the village of Andahuaylillas conserved by Lucho and a team of restorers. Below: The chapel where this beautiful organ is installed.
Born in Cusco, Peru, Lucho stems from the Tahuantinsuyo culture. Raised in a traditional Inca society exposed to strong colonial influences, he grew up being familiar with baroque art and music. When it was time to choose a career, he signed up with the School of Restoration in Cusco where he specialized in the craft of restoring master pieces. This is not an easy profession, plus you have to have a certain personality to be able to work on such old paintings.
It takes a long time to restore a painting, Lucho explains. You have to be very patient and be able to concentrate for a long time. I am fortunate that I have the right personality to work like this and I have also
been trained how to be calm. You also have to be very careful working with old paintings and plan how the repair will be done. Part of this is to test how certain chemicals will react to the paint in a small section in a corner of the painting. All of this takes time.
One of the biggest jobs Lucho has worked on to date was the restoration of an organ from the 1636 chapel built in the village of Andahuaylillas in the Andes. The pipes were so badly aged they were bent like pasta, and the bellows were rotten and torn (see images on next page). It took more than eight months to restore this enormous instrument piece by piece back to its original beauty. This organ is so huge, it takes three people to play a tune. While one person plays the keyboard, two have to pump air. The restoration done to the organ saved it for future generations. Today it works again but is only used for special ceremonies.
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Above: The before and after images of the bellows of the organ in Andahuaylillas.
Below: Luchos current project a damaged oil painting from Scotland, approximately 200 years old. View some of the basic steps of restoration of this painting on the next page.
There are many reasons to have old paintings restored:
The varnish may have aged giving the painting a yellow look. Cleaning and re-varnishing is probably the most common reason.
The painting may have nicotine tar, or other type of smoke damage.
The painting may be scratched or torn. This needs major restoration requiring patching, filling, sanding and repainting.
Some of the paint may have fallen off and these areas need to be filled and repainted to recreate the missing part.
The painting may have crazed in places.
The painting may have mildew damage.
Some of the original canvas may be rotten and needs to be re-lined.
The canvas may have sagged or wrinkled and needs to be re-stretched.
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A special type of transparent tissue paper is glued on top of the painting
Tears are taped, a special frame is built around the painting and glued to the table and when dry, the back is prepared for cleaning.
Years of build-up on the back is gently scraped off with a scalpel. The back is systematically cleaned in a chessboard pattern
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Without giving away too many of his trade secrets, Lucho agreed to share some of the basic steps of restoring a damaged oil painting. Please note, do not
2. The surface on both sides is wiped off.
try this on your own. 1. The painting is carefully inspected under a microscope to determine the type of damage as this will determine the type of restoration.
3. A special type of transparent tissue paper is glued, with a special type of glue, on top of the painting to cover the image. Wait 24 hours till it is dry. This is a really important step to take before removing the painting from the frame as this protects the paint from popping off during restoration process.
4. The painting is carefully taken out of its frame.
5. The painting is put face side up on a table on top of a paper cushion made to the specific size of the painting to keep the painting from touching the table.
6. A separate piece of paper is put over the painting as protection and low heat is applied to the painting. This warms up the oil to allow it to re-penetrate the canvas. This is ironed on from the center out to avoid deformation.
7. The painting is turned over.
8. Any canvas tears are secured with masking tape.
9. A special frame is build around the painting with paper and a flour-and-water paste. This frame is glued to the table. When this dries, it will create tension in the canvas.
10. The back of the canvas is cleaned carefully with paste and a scalpel. Pieces of canvas are
used to patch tears. All of this is done in squares like on a chessboard.
11. Holes or cracks are fixed with a creamy past with chalk added to it.
12. Matching colours are blended and used to repair paint.
13. The frame is restored, but first another band of canvas is added around the painting before reframing is done as this will strengthen the painting.
14. The paper glued to the front is removed by using humidity.
15. The painting is re-varnished.
16. An important point for any restorer is to first conserve what remains intact, as a priority, before starting with damage repair.
As you can see, this is a time consuming and difficult task. Again, do not try this on your own. It is a known statistics that many valuable paintings and art works are destroyed each year by unskilled attempts at restoration and cleaning.
Painting conservation is a serious matter. It is best left to trained professional restorers like Lucho VeraFlores, who has his own complete workshop and the correct tools for this type of specialized task.
Lucho VeraFlores lives in Lumby and can be contacted at
Tel.: 250.547 9364 Or by email at
[email protected] All images in this article
supplied by Luchos VeraFlores
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The Gallery a delightful surprise on
Highway 97 Many of us have driven down Highway 97 from Kelowna to Penticton, or back, and have unknowingly passed one of the most surprising treasures the Okanagan has to offer. Simply called The Gallery, it hosts a wonderful collection of original art made by local artists.
It is easy to not notice the gallery as you drive by as the building is quite an ordinary ranch style building. You may be under the impression it is there for a different reason other than that of an art gallery. Yet, the sign outside says Gallery, enough to make an art hound stop and investigate, and what a surprise once you enter.
The Gallery is a seasonal gallery, open during the summer months and exhibiting a wide variety of art work created by a select group of local artists. Well known artist names
and not so well known names, both groups are represented. Whatever your art preference, it makes no difference, the work on display is fabulously beautiful.
The Gallery does have an interesting history though. Built in either the 1960s or 1970s, it was used as a potters studio by Peter Flannigan during the early years, then abandoned for a few years before a group of five artists took over the building. After extensive cleaning, the five artists opened a gallery of their own work. Unfortunately this
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co-op arrangement dissolved and it looked like the building was going to be abandoned again. That was when Ruth Munro stepped in. Ruth was one of the original five artists who exhibited at the building.
Not wanting to let a great opportunity go by, Ruth approached the landlord with the idea of continuing to use the building as a gallery. They agreed with one condition, use it as it is until the land is scheduled for development. This is an unfortunate business situation to operate from as you cannot plan much ahead of time. However, undeterred by what the future may hold, Ruth approaches every season with deliberation to make it the best season ever.
This year The Gallery is showing a
collection of work by nineteen local artists. You will find work by Marilyn Bury, Grace Flemming, Dianne Schnieders, Grace Shaw, and many more. This includes paintings in a variety of styles and media, pottery, fusion glass, woven baskets, and so on. The selection of artwork is quite diverse and the quality is of a very high standard.
Over the period that Ruth has operated the gallery, its reputation has grown and many clients from past seasons return. Part of building up her repeat clientele, is Ruths personality. Friendly and bubbly, it is obvious that Ruth thoroughly enjoys her interaction with visitors to her gallery. Her clients respond warmly to her welcoming personality and her genuine passion for the arts. Ruth also has a natural affinity with colour and this can be seen
in the way she breaks up the display areas in her gallery. Colour groups interplay harmoniously with each other in each display and this is especially appealing to the eye and of course a subliminal attraction to the mind when searching for a painting to purchase.
So, next time you drive down Highway 97, look out for The Gallery just south of Peachland. Stop and pay Ruth a visit and enjoy exploring the art on display in her gallery. You will most certainly leave with a smile on your face and probably with a beautiful piece of art on the back seat of your car.
The Gallery is open from April 15 to September 30, every year for as long
as the property remains undeveloped.
The Gallery can be found on Highway 97 just south of Peachland and can be
contacted at tel.: 250.768 3116.
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Mary Walker all coiled-up about quilling
For centuries quilling was used to illustrate and decorate book covers and religious
items. At first nuns and monks, and eventually gentle ladies of leisure practiced the art. The earliest suggestion of quilling goes back to the Egyptian period, but better known recorded examples are from the Renaissance period. Today the art of quilling is continued by Mary Walker, right here in Kelowna.
Quilling is an art form that involves rolling up a strip of paper around a quill or a feather to get a coiled shape. The coiled designs are then arranged in different designs such as leaves, flowers or any other type of image.
In the early days once a strip of paper was quilled, the exposed edge was also painted in gold or silver. This distinguished it from the art form called Filigree, the same coiled shapes but without the gold or silver trim. As nuns and monks did the quilling in those days, they would tear the gold trimmed edge from the pages of their religious books to do the quilling with.
Historical figures who practiced quilling were Queen Charlotte and Queen Elizabeth. During the early 1900s quilling was allowed to be practiced by the middle class, but working classes were still not permitted to participate. Today there is no such separation of who may, or who may not practice this art. It still is, however, an elite group of artists who have the patience and agility to create images with coiled paper.
During its earlier period quilling was used to decorate tea caddies, wine coasters, jewellery boxes, cribbage boards, ladies purses, pictures and picture frames, etc. Some
furniture was especially designed with recessed surfaces to accommodate quilled decorations.
The quilling as seen in modern times is still done the same way, but instead of using quills for the coiling process, a simplified metal tool is used. Quilling in olden times were all two dimensional, modern quilling can also be seen in 3D items. Modern quilling can be found on wedding decorations, birth announcements, greeting cards, gift boxes, etc.
Opposite page: Winsome Wowls, 2D quilled image on encaustic background. Donated to Owl Sanctuary. Artwork Mary Walker. Below: Mary Walker is a local Quilling Artist. Her specialty is 3 dimensional and wearable art.
Mary Walker lives in Kelowna and can be contacted by email: [email protected] Image of artwork supplied by Mary Walker.
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Local Artists News
Little Straw Vineyards, 2815 Ourtoland Road, West Kelowna will be hosting a series of 10 two week art shows throughout the summer, featuring a host of local artists. Each show will have an opening reception on a Saturday afternoon from 3:30 until 6:00 with the artists in attendance. We have shows which feature individual artists as well as groups; so there will be an ever-changing look to the winery. The first show will be held June 7-20, with the opening on June 12 and the last show will be at the end of October. This "artists in the vineyards" series is another example of Little Straw's connection with the art community and one which makes them unique in the area. Their new releases (Riesling and Tapestry wines) feature a painting by Kelowna Artist, Anita McComas. The original painting is currently on display at the gallery.
DIANNE KORSCH and BARB HOFER: Red Roosters upstairs gallery, 891 Naramata Road, Naramata the month of June, 2010.
THE NARAMATA ARTS STUDIO: Lang Vineyards, Gammon Road, Naramata - from now till early August 2010. The Naramata Arts Studio is currently hanging their original artworks in the tasting room at Lang Vineyards. For those wishing a unique piece of art, there is a choice of 25 lovely pieces in a variety of mediums. Call for open hours. 250 496-5987, or visit www.gobc.ca/okanaganart
UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS AND ART EVENTS
NARAMATA BENCH ART STUDIO TOUR: Saturday Mar 20, 2010 - Friday Dec 31, 2010 - Nine Naramata artists have put together an exciting art studio tour. Pick up one of their colourful brochures at most wineries or the Penticton Visitor's Information Centre. Then choose which studios you would like to visit. For further information, call Dianne at 250 496-5188.
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Here is a selection of the many comments received from readers about our first issue:
When you sent out your first addition I visited immediately both your site and the magazine which I read through completely and thoroughly enjoyed ... Wendy M Penner Congratulations on getting your first edition online. It looks very good and I think is very easy to navigate through. It is wonderful the way you are able to include such wonderful images and I learned about a couple of new ventures that I have to check out more about now. Dorothee Birker, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission The publication is absolutely spectacular... So many congrats indeed!!!! Peter Shrimpton, Barrister & Solicitor, Notary Public, Mountain Law Corporation, Whistler Great, exactly what is needed. Irene Gray What a great idea!!! Sandra Henderson I just finished reading through your new magazine and I loved it. Thank you again for creating such an informative, interesting magazine for our part of the world. I can't wait for the next issue! Holly Smith and Jack Smith
A long time coming to the Okanagan where such art talent exists. Yvonne Morrish Your magazine is absolutely beautiful and brilliant!! Congratulations on all your work.... in every department!!! It's really marvelous and i'm sure it will be greatly welcomed by ALL who's interests are the arts! I will pass it on and be reading it again! Kenna Graff Your first issue looks great and the fact that Peachland is well represented is a bonus. Very well written, easy read, good pics, great links to artists etc. Richard & Sherrill Smith I look forward to future copies of this magazine. Thea J. Haddow Hohenstein Congratulations on a great new magazine. Sharon McCoubrey Thank-you for creating a wonderful connection for Artists in our valley. A timely, and
creative work of Art in its own right. I wish you every success. Lorna Guild We have the great good fortune of living in one of the most beautiful places on earth and it attracts artist of great talent. I am so glad that you have decided to found an art magazine featuring these talented people. Theresa Heinrichs Hi! really enjoyed your magazine. Laila Campbell Looking forward to the next issue. Donna Kerbes
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where we are
1. COVER June 20102.bluepage ads3.masthead4.editorial5.index6. Lee Claremont7. Trevor Moen28. Anita McComas9. Charlotte Glattstein10. Eileen Sawracki11. Matti Martin12. Luchos VeraFlores13. The Gallery14. Mary Walker15. Artists News June 201016. Comments from Readers17. back page