Monday, November 23, 2015

Watercolour: The Blooms of the Southwest Desert

 My newest completed watercolour paintings. Looking at them, I can almost feel the warmth of the sunny desert. The 'Argentine Giant' blooms are very fragrant, open at night and close during the day. In certain places in the southwest desert you can see the agave and the prickly pear growing naturally. That is a treat in itself but when they are blooming, well, that really is something very special.

Watercolour: 'Foothills Agave' - off to a new home

Watercolour: 'Argentine Giant' - off to a new home
Watercolour: 'Prickly Pear in Pink' - off to a new home

You may have noticed I haven't been posting as regularly. Below is a sample of what has been keeping me so very entertained. More info as things unfold.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Canmore and Nelson Quilt Shows

A few snippets from the two textile shows I attended, as a vendor, this month (Oct 2015).

 Canmore Quilt Show: 

I introduced my shibori folded, ice dyed fabrics at the Canmore show. Note them hanging on the pegboard.

Lynne Howard (right), McGown Rug Hooking Teacher and Supplier of Hand-dyed Wools, from Calgary was at the Canmore quilt show along with her twin sister Linda. The hand-dyed wool scarves they were wearing were very popular and several people came to my booth to purchase clay buttons to go with them. The clay buttons were from Blue Moon Pottery (Andrea Revoy, Creston, BC).
Didn't I tell you those buttons and scarves looked great together.

Another vendor, Keith Kepke from Creston was at the Canmore Quilt Show selling his meticulously crafted wooden quilting accessories.
The Canmore Quilter's Raffle Quilt

The Nelson Quilt Show:

Kootenay Quilters, Nelson, BC
Part of my booth in Nelson. I must make some more of the hand-dye painted panels featuring the feather weight singer sewing machine, such as the one in the wall hanging. I always get asked for them.
Dorothea Houseworth, was one of the 'Featured Quilters' at the Nelson Quilt Show. She so kindly brought in some of her grandfather's art work. It decorated every letter he sent from overseas. It was very moving to see the care he gave to his correspondence.

Janet Jone's was another of Nelson's 'Featured Quilters'. She had stamped additional designs onto the sashing of a quilt after it was sewn. It was very successful and she did this because the contrast was too great in that quilt and was detracting from the quilt as a whole. Janet you are brave and it worked!
Win Dinn's Colouring Book is popular with quilters too.  Check here for her new colouring book, 'Colour from the Centre'.
My, hand dye-painted squares ready for quilting or framing.  I needed more red maple trees, fish and bicycles as they were the most popular!
Thank you to all the quilters, quilter's friends, art appreciators, quilt show organizers and fellow vendors for making our time at the Nelson and Canmore quilt shows, this October, so rewarding. It keeps me painting.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Quilt Show: Canmore

Quilt Show in Canmore, Alberta. Oct 17 & 18/2015.  My booth will be in the Vendor's section  and if you are in the area please stop in.

Mug rug / wine mat sales were so successful at the recent Nelson Quilt Show, that the lights in my studio have been on well into the evenings catching up. If you are looking for gifts that mail well these are a great option. Here are a few samples I will have at the market this weekend.

This one was influenced from my recent month of painting in Alberta.

Oh, our Creston apples are so... sweet right now!

Another Alberta influence. We painters can't resist those red farm buildings!

Mauve. I am seeing a lot of purplish fall flowers right now.
New since the last Canmore Quilt show I attended, I have paired a local artisan's handmade buttons, from Lavender Lampworks with my artwork to create a card and gift in one. They are such a great gift for those that sew.

Another choice for a card and gift in one are these one of a kind textile bookmarks. They are removable from the card. Oh yea, the card can then be used for colouring too.

Quiltable hand painted squares in 3 sizes are popular for using in quilts, wall hangings and pillows. If you are looking for something specific, be sure to ask me. Maybe I can create it for you.
Larger quiltable panels are also available at a special market savings.

 Buttons  by Blue Moon Pottery look great with my hand dyed fabrics. I picture purses and pillows.

I will be bringing Win Din's mandala colouring book. Great for colouring and stitching pattern ideas.
 I have been dyeing and sewing all summer and will have a selection of the frameable textile cards. These have always been my most in demand item. 
Sat Oct 17 & Sun Oct 18,  you can find me at the Vendor's Market of the Canmore Quilt show. I hope to see you there.  If you can't make it but are looking for one of the items mentioned you can purchase them by contacting me directly at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

And the Winner Is......

'Autumn Overlook'
Watercolour by Eileen Gidman
Winner was LM from Creston, BC
Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog, newsletter or Facebook page. Your comments encouraged me to keep painting on location everyday during my art residency in the Crowsnest Pass, AB. I looked forward to my down time on the internet to see who was commenting.
Ready for the draw

The winner is number 44: LM from Creston, BC

Here is where I sat to paint that last painting,

right beside an animal's den. See the bone out front! Luckily no one was home.
Displaying the watercolours on the wall in the Art Residency Cottage

Our paintings were transferred to the Gushul Studio for the Open House
Off to a new home! Thanks for the purchase. You may not be able to tell but the wind really got blowing there, where it comes over the Livingstone Range. Those clouds had to be captured quickly as they were really blowing around. This area was one of my favorite places to paint but the weather here was definitely the most challenging. One day two other artists and myself huddled on the leeward side of a snow fence to paint.

Off to a new home! Thanks for the purchase. The day was so perfect, warm but not hot as Fall can be. I enjoyed painting this watercolour so much. Those old signs are so captivating. Someone at the show mentioned I had captured the roughness of the old buildings. I took that as quite a compliment.
In another post I am working on, I will tell you what the other artist and myself gleaned from the Art Residency. Hopefully you will be inspired to set some time aside to follow your own passion.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gushul Art Residency: Open House

 To Win a Watercolour Sketch painted in the Rocky Mountain Foothills: comment on my blog or Facebook posts during Sept 2015.  I will make the draw the first week in October. Good luck!

Gushul Studio Open House, Blairmore, AB
 Sat, Sept 26 from 4-6 pm
Karen Arrowsmith, myself (Eileen Gidman), and Kristen Lyttle warmly invite you to attend and view their art:
watercolour paintings, painted textiles and Maori weaving
I'm in the third week of my art residency and I continue to paint plein air everyday rain or shine. This week it seemed to be about cows.

The DU ranch has a preserved log homestead on their land. After painting for the morning, it was a delight to walk down the hill to the log cabin for a close up viewing. Can you see the cows far in the distance?
Yesterday, in order to get the cows this big in my painting, I had to sit on the edge of a secondary highway. Amazingly when you are painting, it is easy to ignore the distractions of the zooming vehicles. Someone from Washington stopped to ask for directions and I am happy to say I was able to help them. I'm getting to know this Crowsnest Pass. They didn't even ask to see my painting. Hmmm..... 
This is what I painted today. I thought I would switch the colours up and I chose a split complement: purple with yellow-green and orange-yellow. What do you think?
After a three hour painting stint, look who decided to show up!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rocky Mountains Plein Air Series: Aspens and Fernie Art Station

To Win a Watercolour Sketch painted in the Rocky Mountain Foothills: comment on my blog or Facebook posts during Sept 2015.  I will make the draw the first week in October. Good luck!

 Completing a Painting on Location:

Yesterday I finally completed a watercolour painting on location. Well... okay it was 99% completed on location. I glazed back a few white trunks in the studio to draw attention to the aspens in the front.

 Monday's Plein Air Painting:

After visiting the Fernie Art Station on Monday, I decided to try a change of location and plein air paint in Fernie. Here is my set up: a folding chair and a TV tray. I was near a well used biking trail and had many bikers and dog walkers going by. Lovely to experience such an active community. 

This is as far as I got before the rain started. When beginning I thought I would sit for an hour and see how far I could get. Two hours went by before I could even consider it done enough to finish in the studio. I completed the painting in the studio this afternoon.

Title ? (I am open to ideas)
11" X 15" (fits a 16 X 20" frame with mat)
Watercolour by Eileen Gidman

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rocky Mountain Foothill Series: Field Patterns

To Win a Watercolour Sketch painted in the Rocky Mountain Foothills: comment on my blog or Facebook posts during Sept 2015.  I will make the draw the first week in October. Good luck!

Plein air painting in the Rocky Mountain Foothills:

Another longgg... view. The patterns of the far fields were captivating as were the dusty silver coloured shrubs in the foreground. This 11 X 15" watercolour painting is, so far, untitled. I'm happy to hear ideas.

Set Up for Plein Air Painting:

I had a comfortable set up for painting on one of the days last week as the other painter and I were parked along a road and thus close to our vehicle. It was very windy so I huddled down beside the car for some protection. This folding chair has a little table attached which fits my palette and water dish. On the ground you can see a metal case that holds my supplies. Once I get everything out, it makes a nice table for extra things. If I don't take an easel, I rest the board with the watercolour paper taped on it, at an angle, on my knees. To the left of the photo are other essentials: rain coat, water and bear spray!

Dusty silver coloured leaves dotted the foreground so I chose to highlight one of them in my painting.

The fence post was smack right in the middle of my view. Why didn't I move? Well the wind protection the car provided that day was really necessary. After awhile though, I totally forgot about the fence post.

 Another Day's Set Up:


A different set up on another windy day. As we packed into this field searching for a view and protection from the wind, we found it was best to sit low to the ground. The one flattish spot, on the side hill where I was, had two dry cow patties on it. I decided it best to place my foam insulated square and my cushion on one and my hard side case on the other. The case on the ground then became a table for my palette. I am pretty sure that was a long john day.

The following paintings, shown in previous posts, are now titled and ready for sale. For further details, email me at

Watercolour painting: 'Nestled in the Rockies' - 11 X 15
by Eileen Gidman

Thank you to the viewer who gave me a title that I think perfectly suits this painting.
Watercolour painting: 'Tree Tessalations' - 7.5" X 11"
by Eileen Gidman