What Will You Celebrate?

Everything is possible…

Blog-Swift-Current-Art-Gallery-HarwoodExhibition reception, Legacy, AGSR, with four paintings by Laureen Marchand on the right (photo: Robert W Harwood)

For two days the sky has been white. We’re in permanent twilight. The trees are thick with hoar frost, so full there is little distinction between branch and air. Heavy fog reduces visibility to almost nothing. Yesterday power was out in large areas of southern Saskatchewan, because the beautiful frost causes power lines to oscillate so forcefully that poles and cross-arms break. In rural areas, no power means no heat, no running water, no Internet. The temperature is -6 C/21 F and the humidity sits at 97%.

This time of year in Saskatchewan we run on weather. The days are drawn in and dark is lengthy, and whatever the conditions are, they always makes drama.

Last weekend I had planned to celebrate. The Art Gallery of Swift Current, in my nearest centre, is hosting a final art exhibition of the city’s centennial year and the gallery’s 40th. It’s called Legacy: A Swift Current History of Visual Art. The exhibition surveys the artists who have shown in Swift Current over the past 40 years and allows the community to reflect on the artists’ legacy and inspiration. I’m delighted to have four pieces in the show and the gallery was hosting a festive reception.

And artists need to enjoy these occasions. We have so much solitary time, so much wrestling with angels, often so little feedback, that we need to commemorate all the outside affirmation we get. So graphic designer and photographer Pamela Woodland, writer and photographer Robert W Harwood, and painter Catherine Macaulay, who also has work in the show, and I had planned to make the 125 km/75 mi journey to attend a party.

Not this time. December weather is itself. Freezing rain, fog, bad highways. It wasn’t my preferred kind of travel day.

Pam and Bob were feeling braver.  With some last errands to do before escaping Saskatchewan winter for a two-month house sitting tour in the kinder regions of British Columbia, they went anyway, finishing their afternoon at the gallery.

As Bob said about their driving experience, “It wasn’t a great ride, with ice forming on the road as we approached the town, and areas of pretty intense fog both there and back – visibility of maybe forty feet in places. I kept a wary eye out for deer…that drive [home] took about two hours.”

Two hours to make a trip that normally takes an hour and a quarter. I was very glad Pam and Bob had been there in my stead and equally glad I hadn’t tried.

But still, I feel like celebrating. My artwork is in the world, there are good people who see it, and amazingly, I have the opportunity to make more.

What will you celebrate?

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8 Responses to What Will You Celebrate?

  1. Antoinette Herivel December 19, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    Hi Laureen
    Stay warm and take care- we may have rain but that can be treacherous too! I will be celebrating the return of the light on Sunday .
    Congrats on pieces in that exhibition. I have had an exhibition at Swift Current in that time period but did not hear anything about it-not even information !!

    Best wishes for 2015

    • Laureen December 19, 2014 at 1:42 am #

      I think the gallery went with artists resident in the southwest – otherwise there would be too much good artwork to manage 🙂 Best wishes in 2015 for you also, and for the return of light.

  2. Jeanne Apelseth December 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Laureen,

    I am celebrating that there will soon be a better tomorrow and that I have a wonderful family to share it with and that I have friends like you that inspire me to keep aiming for the light!

    Oh, and and that I have a wonderful, bulging journal full of art project ideas, dreams of exhibits, sketches and scrawled notes of inspiration to keep me in the arts until I am at least 101. It is my “Book of Dreams”!

    Congratulations on your show and on the legacy you are building.

    Hugs and Happy Holidays.

    Jeanne

    • Laureen December 20, 2014 at 4:12 am #

      A list of art projects to keep you going until age 101 is a great thing to celebrate! Happy holidays and many more years of dreaming and doing to you.

  3. Cyndi December 20, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Congratulations Laureen! I am celebrating that I finally have a couple of weeks to dedicate to my family and my art. Also that my art is growing! It will be nice to be over the winter solstice “hump” of darkness in a few days!
    Cyndi

    • Laureen December 20, 2014 at 4:13 am #

      And congratulations to you for taking the time that presents itself. Here’s to light!

  4. Minnie Joldersma December 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Congratulations, Laureen! it’s “in the nature of the nature” that inspires you as artist, isn’t it – the breathtaking beauty of southern Saskatchewan grasslands necessitates remoteness that can make travel difficult, especially when that nature does what it is supposed to do, in winter… but wonderful that you know that you were part of this show.

    • Laureen December 21, 2014 at 3:41 am #

      Lovely thing to say. Thank you.