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Owl Magic

At 7pm November 3, 2023 at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery I participated in the Battle of the Brushes, painting in front of an audience along with 4 other artists. We had 45 minutes to paint a 16X20 blank canvas or paper. Music was playing, people chatted as they watched with a glass of wine and some delicious snacks, and we artists entertained the viewers through our creation processes.

Owl Magic - November 2022 - SOLD

Owl Magic was born and displayed, then put aside for the second set of artists. I joined the viewers, had a glass of wine, some snacks and chatted with others who had enjoyed my painting process, my choice of subjects. And I got to see seasoned artists create their art, watch their process as their paintings unfolded in the 45 minute time frame.

45 Minutes

It should have been stressful, it should have felt rushed, I should have been nervous or terrified. But the atmosphere was full of joy and music and support - and I was more peaceful than I had been painting at home during practice sessions. And at the end of the 45 minutes my work was completed.

This wasn't my first time painting in front a group. I have been painting with my art group for more than two years, sometimes demoing a technique, and more recently working on mastering the owl within that time frame. I had also taught a paint night where I had demonstrated a painting over 2 hours. And while that class was longer, it felt like I had less time to paint as I was mostly up helping others.

But what really made the difference was taking time - before the event - to settle what I was going to do, and what I could actually accomplish. Time, paint and paper. Lots of all three.

Below is a composite of all my attempts - from reference photo to finished results - with some comments about my process.

Within that process I discovered the colours that made my art sing for me, learned that when it comes to large paintings - the quality of the paper truly matters (I had to upgrade from 140 to 300 pound paper to handle to water load) and which strokes were necessary to get the results I wanted.

I am so grateful for the experience. I received so much encouragement, connections with other artists, and couldn't believe how much my painting sold for during the live auction part of the event (the proceeds of the event went to support children's programming at the art gallery). And you know? In talking to the organizer the focus of the event is about letting people see an artist's process, to give them a window into what happens to create a finished painting.

Here is your window into my day taken by Trent Ernst at high speed. 45 minutes condensed into less than 2 minutes - fasten your seatbelts!

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