A couple weeks ago I began to tackle this drawing. I fell in love with this photo when I came across it last year. It depicts a choir in Paraguay in the late 40's. Both my Oma and Opa were in this choir, and it is because of this choir that they met and fell in love. They toured all around their region. Music is important in my family, thanks to the influence of both my Oma and Opa.
My family recently enjoyed a wonderful week away at Long Point Park. Of all our friends who camped with us (7 other families), we were the only crazy ones who camp the 'old fashioned' way... with tents and cooking over the open fire! I enjoyed working on this drawing.. which is of a very special photo that my family treasures. I will be using this image for a new painting in my upcoming series.
Recently two of my watercolours were published in The Herald, which is a magazine of the Mennonite Brethren Church denomination.
Over the course of this lazy summer I have been preparing for my new series, which will be featured in an exhibition next May. The purpose of these sketch certainly isn't for accuracy, but rather a chance for me to think about colours and composition. For me, the new series I'm planning is about acknowledging and celebrating my family's heritage. Losing the older generation is a great loss to me, as it seems to be one less 'tie' I have to my history - a rich history that I value. I see that in some ways, the expression of my Mennonite roots are fading with each new generation. I realize this is to be expected, yet I'm still saddened by it. I'm thankful for the sacrifices my ancestors made. I'm thankful for the faith and values they upheld. I'm thankful for the way they valued family and social get-togethers and the importance of a wonderful home cooked meal!
After a tough week/weekend, it was good to get in some studio time. I was thinking today about how it use to be a fun 'debate' in my Klassen family about who our family's propensity for the arts came from - Grandma or Grandpa. I see clearly now that it came from both. My Grandma was so creative in the kitchen, the gardens, at the sewing machine, and with us grandkids at the table making numerous crafts. I find it tough having lost both of my Klassen Grandparents now, but after the funeral service for my Grams yesterday, I see how their legacy is being passed on in my Aunts and Uncles, my cousins, my brother, and my parents -- a legacy of faith and love, a passion for good food and humour, and the enjoyment and practice of so many different art forms
Last week I spent four days up North at Camp Crossroads, which is just north of Gravenhurst. As a youth leader for my Church Youth Group, I get to spend this week each year up North as a part of our annual Youth Retreat. It was a great time of R&R. The week was filled with laughter, eating, and many late nights sitting around the fire with everyone. The highlight is always cross-county skiing. It was a beautiful winter wonderland this year! We had tons of snow, and most of the time the snow was falling in a picture-perfect way. Of course I found the woodland scene incredibly inspiring in different ways - namely, in an artistic way. The colours, the patterns of the trees in contrast with some of the remaining golden leaves... I felt like I was skiing through a 3-D painting. Then I thought, 'this is a real-life painting'! I love all of God's great creation. No one can create like He can!
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.