The Banff Springs Hotel was my studio for a week; September 14 to the 21st. Wendy Wacko and The Mountain Galleries hosts the ‘Artist In Residence’ program throughout the year at the world famous hotel. It was a great opportunity to immures myself in the Rocky Mountain culture 5 star style (I’m back in my studio now and the bubble has burst… but then the good life can kill you too.) There’s ghost in the “Castle of the Rockies’ roaming the ancient hallways. So the legends go. A family, a bride and a mountaineer has been seen. For me it’s the Edwardian artist John Singer Sargent, Group of Seven, Marilyn Monroe and many other famous characters that graced the place over time. A twitch of the imagination and you’re back there inspired by the fine turn of the century architecture. The 1888 CP Railway’s flag ship sits in the midst of the most majestic mountains in the world…the mighty Rockies. My task was to paint paintings and meet people as they visited the ‘Doris McCarthy Room’, my studio gallery. This room may have the best view in the hotel. The massive windows looked out over the Bow River Valley and the Sanson Range beyond. It made for excellent plein air painting without going outside. Every morning I started the day with a small 8 X 10 in. oil sketch. I could have painted that view the entire time. A few weeks before myself and Charlie Easton spent time up in Lake O’Hara where the mountain gods reside. It was a prolific trip as I made plenty of field studies to draw from; twenty or so sketches in all. I enlarged two them to 36 X 48 in. canvases which I managed to complete along with two 18 X 24 in oils. It was a productive week regardless of all the hotel patron visits. There’s a lesson here…perhaps more people should party with me at my studio….could I get more done?
The artwork is presented in the Jasper and Banff Mountain Galleries.
visit the gallery website http//www.mountaingalleries.com
‘Across Lake Louise’ 36 X 48 in. oil on canvas http//www.mountaingalleries.com
‘O’Hara Evening’ 36 X 48 in. oil on canvas. Mountain Galleries at Fairmont http//www.mountaingalleries.com
‘Spirit of Maligne’ 18 X 24 in. oil on prepared board. http//www.mountaingalleries.com
‘Athabasca Gate’ 18 X 24 in. oil on prepared board. http//www.mountaingalleries.com