The Backporch Gallery is where I sell my own art. I’m honoured as well to be represented by other galleries, so for a complete look at all paintings available, please also look here. The BackPorch Gallery is where you can buy paintings not yet seen in those locations. For the bricks and mortar version, read on…
In the late afternoon quiet I sit on my shaded deck. Just a few feet away, a robin teaches its young to hunt. The offspring must not be paying enough attention, because dad – I think it’s dad – hops over to the teenager and gives it a brief peck on the head. Listen up, sonny-boy. It isn’t me who needs to learn this. Then dad takes a few demonstrating hops, and junior does the same, following. A few more hops, and this time the young bird is right near dad’s wing. Dad pecks at the ground. A bug! The boy is beginning to get the idea. Now I see what he’s been going on about!
There’s a bright yellow goldfinch at the bird feeder, closer to me than I would have thought a bird would come, cracking black sunflower seeds in its beak and spitting out the hulls. When he’s had his fill, he flies away and is soon replaced by the female. They must have a nest nearby and are taking it in turns to eat.
A pair of wrens also uses this garden as its own. There’s a nest box on one of the tree trunks. When the male discovered it a few weeks ago, such a carrying-on he made. Music all the day and night. He must have been persuasive, and really, it was a beautiful song. So now there are the two of them, mom and pop, disappearing into the small opening at the front of the box. Maybe soon we’ll have wren babies. Like the robins and the goldfinch, wrens seem to find refuge here.
And in this spot, one of the quietest and most sheltered settings in a quiet, remote little town, you can find the Backporch Gallery. If you lean around the back porch that shelters this deck from the street, you can. Inside the porch, a space about nine feet by six, is the whole gallery, full of paintings by me, Laureen Marchand. All the paintings are for sale and there are no regular open hours. It’s a different kind of business. There are reasons.
From 2009 to 2014 I owned and operated Grasslands Gallery, here in Val Marie, gateway to Grasslands National Park, representing over 25 artists inspired by the Grasslands experience. I had a retail location and daily store hours and I designed displays and promo and I looked for expansion and worked well with others and I planned for the future. And as much as I loved doing it, I missed my real life.
So this is my real life. Home, studio, art, birds. The present. Refuge. And that’s why the Backporch Gallery was born and why it’s structured the way it is. There are signs on a tree and on the lawn to tell you that you’re in the right place, at the corner of 1st Street East and 2nd Avenue North in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, gateway to Grasslands National Park. The park visitor centre and the museum Prairie Wind & Silver Sage have my flyers and posters. There’s a tab on my website at laureenmarchand.com. The gallery is open when I’m at home and a poster in the window says so. Or call ahead at 306-298-7782 to be sure, or to make an appointment. The gallery accepts credit cards.
I’d love to see you here. So would the birds.