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I don’t write as much as I did before. There was a time when you’d see a blog post from me almost every day, back before my painting life, when I was a politician and professional communicator. My creative energy these days is focused on my painting.
As March comes to an end, I will complete my 100th painting of 2021. That’s a crazy output owed in large part to the Covid restrictions and the long winter. In other words, I had nothing better to do. As soon as the weather warms up I tend to spend more time outdoors, working on the yard, and going for nature walks and mountain hikes with Heather. I appreciate the walks for the exercise but also for the photographs I get to take....like the one above, that will eventually become a painting.
This will be remembered as the month when I started painting trees. I’m working on another stand of trees, feeling in my gut that it is leading me somewhere important. People are also interested in owning these colourful celebrations of nature. Selfishly, they are also fun and relaxing to paint. And should they never sell, I’d happily hang them on our own walls and enjoy them.
This month will also be remembered for great sadness. A dear cousin of mine was killed in a workplace accident a few weeks ago. Marc was a beacon of light and goodness in this world, and is being remembered as such by hundreds who knew and loved him. I’ve also accepted a number of commissions memorializing precious friends, family members and pets who have passed on.
I’m very excited by the volunteer work I get to do with the Okotoks Arts Council. I’m slowly learning about the organization and the communities we serve. As an example, I travelled to High River on the weekend to meet with Michael and Lori of the High River Performing Arts Foundation. They have purchased a downtown lot and have plans to build a wonderful theatre and arts centre. In the meantime, they have a temporary structure built that hosts outdoor performances during the summer months. It is super cool.
The other thing that happens on our property is that we host AirBnB guests. We offer two different accommodations: the loft above Birdsong Studio and our entire basement. Both spaces have been in high demand and have given us the opportunity to meet some wonderful guests.
While our older son Dylan completes his final year at National Theatre School in Montreal, Ben is finishing up Grade 12. He’ll close out his high school academic journey with Physics next semester. In the fall, he will begin his post-secondary dream of becoming an architect at the same time that his older brother jumps into the world of professional theatre.
Heather continues to build our business and her painting career, over and above all the other things she does. Together we feel blessed to be where we are and do what we do. Life is good in Okotoks.