Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spring 2016 travels_ Part I - Kelowna, BC

At the beginning of this month I was off to British Columbia for the opening of my solo exhibition at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna. I was also invited to the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) by printmaker extraordinaire Briar Craig to make some work at the UBC print facility.
Since my husband's family is from B.C. I was able to stay with one of his cousins for the week. Fred & Kathy welcomed me into their home and it was a wonderful experience. Thank you!



Scott had to stay home for work. 


The Rockies are always a stunning experience even when looking through a dirty airplane window. 


My first stop after arrival was the Rotary Centre where I found some of my posters on their big poster walls. 


After taking care of some business at the art centre I briefly explored the area and visited Vibrandt Art Gallery and Studios across the street. 



The lovely Beverly Rein and her puppy gave me the tour of the space. Up the stairs is a loft space from which one has a great view over the space but which is also like walking into a magical fairy tale land with giant mushroom sculpture. 

 



 

This was their wall of affordable art pieces. A nice collection! 


After settling in and catching some sleep I headed to UBC Okanagan near the Kelowna Airport and visited the printmaking facilities in the creative and critical studies building. Briar Craig gave me a little tour of the facilities and I jumped right into mixing some inks and preparing to make some mini linocuts. 

 

I am always fascinated by various storage contraptions that are unique to each printshop I visit. I have never seen palette knife storage like the one above, just like a  big knife block.


I enjoyed this hard ground and soft ground roller storage rack as well. 


When in a pinch, and you don't have access to a letterpress, one can always convert an etching press to a letterpress. Briar Craig is quite the printmaking genius. 



By far my favorite was this rosin and talc box that closes completely so the mess doesn't continuously go airborne. The holes are to accommodate brush handles. 



A good afternoon's work. Mixing inks. 


I took my lunch outside on the edge of the parking lot, overlooking this stunning landscape of farmland and wildlife preserve. When I left Halifax the day before it was barely spring with 5C and when I arrived in Kelowna it was summer with 28C. A bit of a shock to the system. 

 

The opening reception for the exhibition was Thursday, May 5th. So this is the Galleria space. A gallery space with hanging system and a bar that one can attach nails and labels to. Thank you to Shannon Lester at the Rotary Centre for receiving, unpacking and installing the exhibition. 







My dear friend Kelsey (who modeled for this painting years ago), her cute baby bump and Brodie drove all the way out from Vancouver Island to see the show and come support me during the opening, thank you so much you two!!!


 



A kind thank you to Deb & Brett who drove from Kamloops to visit the show at separate times to make sure they both got to see it. Thank you to Fred and Kathy to whom I was a complete stranger until 2 days before who didn't just come to the opening but also brought very interested friends. You all made my night, without you I would have sat there from 5-7 waiting. ;).


Between the place I stayed at in West Kelowna and UBC out by the airport, the drive was beautiful every day. 

 

Before Kelsey and Brodie headed back home I got to spend the next morning with them. What a treat! After a delicious breakfast at the Bohemian Cafe we headed for a walk in the Kelowna city park. The weather was so beautiful! 




Once all friends and visitors had departed I headed back to UBC and unpacked this little box of treasure.




Ideal for travelling with my carving tools, mini 2x2 inch linocuts, this little box fits it all. 


Much proofing happened on this day, and only a little bit of editioning. But the next two days I printed relentlessly. 


First time pulling proofs of these little guys. Inking freshly carved blocks. 



Lunch break in the meadow and later a nice walk in what ended up being a private gated community with no tress passing signs everywhere.. ooops. It was also a wildlife preserve. 





On Saturday morning I decided to go for a two hour trail ride. Because what better way to explore the stunning landscape? I was lucky and it was just me and the guide exploring the hillside, so lots of canter and trot. My muscles were rather unhappy with this development later on. But it was heavenly!

 

This is Mercedes... 1 horse power. 


Little blocks being editioned. Since the press is so big and my blocks are so small, I would ink 4-6 of them at a time and print them in sets. 

 



I really need to get one of those skinny rollers by Takach it will make spot rolling on tiny blocks infinitely easier! 

 




Editions of tiny prints on delicate Eastern Paper. 


After a very productive week in a beautiful place with much sunshine, many great people, horses, fabulous food I headed back east already missing this place.. a little bit. :)  

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