As is true for many folks, it has been a season of illness and our holiday season was enjoyed on a more subdued scale. I had planned to give myself a reading week which initially included a sense of ‘getting away with’ not working! Hah. Turns out bronchitis and a dash to Comox for emergency tooth extraction on the last day of the year were the reasons for my ‘reading week’. It is hard to fully comprehend and enjoy the printed word when you are coughing every ten seconds. My heart goes out to all whose Christmas was less than joy-filled, and I offer my best wishes for a better one in 2019.
Highlights of 2018 are hard to dredge up due to the fact that it was just a blur of activity from the first day to the last. I began with a five-week writing and painting sabbatical from Feb. 4 as a guest of Marilyn and Gordie Graham at Telegraph Cove Resort. Marilyn and I walked several times a week, and I wrote every morning three to four hours (on my forth-coming book) and painted every afternoon. I missed being at home; however it is much easier to focus without all the activities and tasks needing to be done, all calling my name! My Hercules' name was called a lot as he replaced cedar house posts with concrete, replaced our old jumble of batteries for a nice set of twelve new red ones, fired the kiln several times, worked on the dock and tore out the front deck access to the studios. He will be rebuilding that this spring. So no shortage of things to do. You know we love to have helpers come, right?!
The arrival of Tjasa from Slovenia,in late February and then Magnus from Germany in May kicked off the wwoofers (World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming) helping us with firewood and garden work. We had a few more helpers all of whom worked very hard with us; the last one of the year was Stacey, a Canadian, also an artist. We had fun together going out to the islands to sketch.
Summer sunshine predominates when I think of the mid-year mood. Here on the coast the summer sun was bright, yet there was enough rain to keep the water tank full, and we were spared much of the forest fire trauma the rest of the province suffered. Visitors from all over brightened our lives, as usual. Kayakers and boaters of all stripes arrived at our studio for a visit and tour. If they didn’t make it to SeaRose Studio, they almost without fail made it to Billy’s Museum. His fascinating Museum is the highlight of any visit to the Broughton and often visitors who do not already have the studio on their ‘must see’ list are inspired to drop by.
The largest group of visitors are the summer boaters; guests coming through Pierre’s @Echo Bay, Paddler’s Inn, on tour boats such as Maple Leaf and Columbia III, from Knight Inlet Lodge, Nimmo Bay and Telegraph Cove. I had vowed that this year I would have the studio all tidied up and the garden in good viewing shape and my efforts were well-appreciated. I never once had to apologize for the mess!
I had an art show at the Filberg Lodge(May), gave two watercolour painting workshops at Pearl Ellis gallery, Comox, in September and Al and I took a table at the Sointula Winterfest in Nov. So been busy.
At Pierre’s @ Echo Bay we enjoyed the music of my daughter Theda Phoenix, accompanied by Don Fife on trumpet at the July 4th evening. Pierre once again hosted Al and me for a three day display mid-summer on the breezeway between the Post Office/Store and the Dining Room. Super fun hanging out, chatting, doing demo’s on the wheel and ad hoc painting lessons for people. www.thedaphoenix.com/
As usual I struggle with the technology to do the ‘internet marketing’ end of things. Like many artists I am approached on a daily basis by various global group art marketing websites, shows and galleries from the US, Britain, Amsterdam, Dubai etc. It is challenging trying to tease apart the differences in cost and the effectiveness of what the sites have to offer. It is a necessary aspect of an artist’s life these days as most ‘store front’ galleries are disappearing. The plus side of this work is that entering shows has been enormously simplified in terms of time frame, cost of entering, and cost and distance to be traveled or to ship entries for juried shows. You can just upload an image (once you have figured out how to make the file size of the image acceptable to the uploading program) and enter all the particulars of medium and size etc. and poof, you have entered.
I did enter a peer-juried show hosted by the Online Catalogue of Professional Artists and gained an Honourable Mention (@150 entries) and a years’ free membership! So that pleased me, and has inspired me to further participation with this site.
I plan to add ‘the square’, a fearsome device which purports to enable the use of credit cards to make sales, presumably wherever you have a phone signal. This, of course, is one of the elements of life in the coastal wilderness that can render modern technology ineffectual! Going to give it a try in any case.
I added a Mail List signup form to my artist Facebook page. I send out a note two or three times a year, if you subscribe to this list you will not be bombarded!
I welcome you all to SeaRose Studio, if you plan to be in the neighbourhood, I would love to hear from you ahead of time so I can plan to be here, especially if you are interested in a lesson or two!
So goodbye for now, see you sometime in 2019!
Yvonne @SeaRose Studio