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Did you know that Robins sometimes use string to build their nests? Or that chickadees can lay up to 9 eggs?
Like most authors, I wrote about something that interests me. Nesting Grounds is about birds and bird's nests. Furthermore, it was a throw back to my childhood. I would be perched in my Dad’s crossed legs - what he affectionately referred to as ‘the Bird’s Nest’- and watch the birds in our garden.
It’s Canada Day weekend, and I suspect that most of us are at our “getaway places” taking in the comforts of familiarity. In much of Canada, it is your ‘cottage’. In New Brunswick, it is your “camp”. In Newfoundland you are going ‘uptadacabin’ (all one word as she says with a smile). Whatever you call it, it is typically your place of refuge to get away from it all, and yet, it is a haven where ‘it all’ seems to collect.
My daughter casually said to me recently, “I love our cottage, but it’s not how I would decorate it”. I took this statement under consideration before I responded. I’ve thought about it for a while, and now I’m ready to reply.
As if leading a life as an artist wasn't challenging enough, I decided to become an author and wrote Nesting Grounds. What was I thinking?
I was fortunate to be at-home while raising my children. However, when the evenings came, I was eager to get a break and wear lipstick for the first time in weeks. Signing up for a local drawing class 2 hours once a week was a start. When hubby came through the door, I was gone! Watercolour, acrylic, and oil classes were to follow. For the last 15 years, I've worked with water-miscible oils and have never looked back. I'd like to say I was born to be a painter. I was not. It's hours of dedication to the canvas. But in this self discovery, art became my sanctuary. And it was a lot more fun and cheaper than therapy! It continues to nourish and feed my soul. I love what I do. But as rewarding and fulfilling being an artist is, it often challenges the delicate ego. So why wander into the labyrinth of the book business?
German artist Gerhard Richter laughs in front of one of his artworks at the Fondation Beyeler on May 17, 2014 in Riehen near Basel.
Gerhard Richter, born February 9, 1932, is a driving force in the art world, and one of the most expensive European artists alive. His works walk the line between paintings and photography, one of the most important developments in art in the past century. He has never really adhered to a specific style or movement; nor has he stuck to a single medium. Richter has made art that is aware of its own limitations, and played with the idea of chance in photography and painting. His impact on the art world is undeniable.
I'm often asked, 'what are water-mixable oils?, and 'why do I use them?'. I've been using these oils for 10 years. The solvents were causing headaches and the clean-up was labour intensive. My brand of preference is Lukas Berlin Water Soluble Oils. They are very buttery, and 'behave' like regular oils. The 'medium' has been added to the tube of paint. However, I cannot get the 200ml tubes in Canada. The 200ml tubes are only available through Jerry's Artarama in the U.S. (Apparently, they have a North American Monopoly!) When the dollar is favourable and the sales are on, I end up paying about $15.00/200ml tube. (This includes shipping and customs).
I'm thrilled to announce the launch of my first book: Flying Colours
Flying Colours: An artist's description of backyard birds through her poems and paintings.By Sarah Jane Conklin
In this charming artistic interpretation about birds, Sarah Jane invites us to re-discover backyard birds through her eyes. Her poems and paintings identify birds by colour and unique traits. Each bird has a dedicated full-page oil painting. Ten familiar birds are featured: Chickadee, Blue Jay, Robin Redbreast, Goldfinch, Hummingbird, Song Sparrow, Cardinal, Piping Plover, Nuthatch and Crow.
From the Blog: Wide Entertainment. Collection of interesting articles.
Possible meanings and symbols of Bird Oil Paintings. Among all the wildlife creatures that are commonly portrayed on any particular painting, birds are one of those animals that can easily capture the attention of viewers and painting enthusiasts. Since this particular animal has a fascinating body structure and very distinctive ability to fly and soar, it is not surprising if many would have the interest and are willing to spend an extra amount of money in order to grab their own animal bird paintings that will be hanged on the walls of their houses, offices and any type of establishments. But apart from its marvelous physical features, there are other factors that make animal bird paintings a suitable artistic product that anyone can invest in.
ABOUT ART: 'It feeds my soul'
She is one of the sweetest and most talented artists one could ever meet. Conklin is featured in the book ‘From Land and Sea, Nova Scotia Contemporary Landscape Artists' by Truro author Dee Appleby (Nimbus publishing, 2009), and her paintings are full of vitality, much like her personality.
This artist creates motion and mystique through deliberate entanglements of brushstrokes, rich colour contrast, the chance effect of impasto, and the innate luminosity of oil paint. Each of her paintings exudes it's own energy and excitement.
How did you start making art?
Being creative has always been part of who I am. In the early 1990s, I was fortunate to be an ‘at-home' mother. In the evenings when my husband came home from work, I took the opportunity to take community art classes. I started out with drawing, then slowly made my way through all the mediums, watercolour, acrylic and oils. Now I've settled on water-soluble oils and it's part of my passion to discover something new about them everyday.
Robert & Sara Genn Twice-Weekly Letter
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The artistic alternative
November 11, 2014
Dear Sarah Jane,
At no time in our progress do we stop wondering what the secret is. Sometimes I think just knowing that there's more than one way to paint a tree is the main part of it. The idea is that every work of art has to be worked out in its own way.