|Looking up the Okanagan Valley from Oliver; MacIntyre Bluff (Legend has it that it is an Indian Chief from long ago).|
The other big message (which I already kinda knew) is that being with family and really spending quality time with your family is good for the soul. I had not seen my parents for over 6 months and had not seen my brother, sister and their families for 2 years!
Family has always been so important to me. When I lived closer to them, I would get home at least every 3 months, so this was a big change for me after 20 years of being pretty close to them.
But still, I was pleasantly surprised at how the visit energized me from within and now I realize just how important it is to connect with them on more of a regular basis.
I was also encouraged and inspired by my first art show in Oliver (the wine capital of Canada). My family really helped make it all happen and it all came together perfectly. We had packed 16 paintings into our luggage and we flew from Toronto to Edmonton, took a bus up to Fort Mac to visit Mike's daughter and son inlaw, got a ride back to Edmonton 2 days later, then flew to Kelowna!
Happy news to add! The Quail's Roost Gallery has asked to keep 7 of my paintings to show and sell over the summer months and through the Wine Festival times this Fall! I am so thankful for this!
We were also able to make several contacts with other artists in the Okanagan who's art careers I have been following over the past 3 years. We stopped by Kindrie Grove's studio on Main Street, Penticton, and we visited Shannon Ford at her home and studio in Willowbrook (near Oliver) and see her beautiful rare horses and studio space up in the mountains.
And while we were in West Kelowna we stopped in to visit New Moon Gallery. I must say that Linda Lovisa has collected together a really nice variety of artwork from some really good artists!
When I first walked in and slowly browsed around the gallery space, it dawned on me that this was just a really nice collection, well put together. From jewellery to pottery to sculpture and paintings; everything fits together and is well done. Just a really special atmosphere there!
Linda has a studio in the back where she works and teaches art classes! My sister has taken one of her classes.
And as a strange twist of fate...Linda actually had submitted a couple of her paintings to the "Paint Ontario" Art Show that I had participated in also this spring! Linda is from Ontario and often paints landscapes from northern Ontario. One of those 'small world' moments!
Oh yes! And we visited several wineries while in Oliver. Wow, the landscape of Oliver has changed over the past 20 years! When I grew up there, it was all about "fruit"! Now there are wineries popping up everywhere! Amazing and beautiful all at once. This area has also been referred to as the "Napa of the North" (in reference to the Napa Valley in California also known for its wineries).