Getting our fill of inspiration: Timid Turtle Creative News October 2021

Yay, it's October! Time for us to share some art-related things you might find interesting! (If you’d prefer, you can read this newsletter online here.)


Here's what we're covering this month:


Team Timid Turtle (Diana and Paul) at the Stanley Glacier in Kootenay National Park. Almost too beautiful for words!

Getting inspired in the Kootenays

Autumn means it’s time to fill our artistic inspiration banks in preparation for the long winter to come. Last month we filled those banks with a multi-week trip through B.C.’s Kootenay region, staying in Slocan, Kimberley and Radium Hot Springs and visiting innumerable communities between and around them.

Why the Kootenays? One simple reason is that autumn starts a little earlier in the mountains and we can’t wait to dive into the gorgeous colours and cool, crisp air. But more than that, the Kootenays never fail to impress us with their amazing mixture of nature, wildlife and recreation. During this year’s trip we were able to cycle, canoe, swim, hike and (of course) visit art galleries, breweries and coffee shops. We came home tired but definitely charged up and ready to create!

If you’re interested, follow our Instagram accounts (@dianaskelhorne and @paulskelhorne) over the next few weeks to see some of the photos we captured of our adventures and of the art we’re developing. And let us know what you think — have you travelled in the Kootenays and been inspired? What was your favourite location?


Invermere: A small town that's big on art

For a town with a population of only 3,500 people, Invermere, B.C. sure has a lot of art. On a recent visit we were impressed to find no less than five galleries — and we found out later there are even more that we missed! (So we’ll be back…) If you happen to be in Invermere, or if you feel up to making a special trip, check out the galleries and art spaces we visited on Main Street: The Artym Gallery Representing more than 65 Canadian painters, sculptors and jewelry makers, The Artym Gallery bills itself as Invermere’s premiere art gallery. It’s easy to see why: the gallery is beautiful, welcoming and eminently browsable. At any given time the gallery has about 100 works on its walls and it keeps the presentations fresh by rotating the art every week. (If you’ve ever worked in a gallery you’ll know that’s a lot of work!) Definitely worth a visit. While you’re there, say hi to the Rusty the Moose sculpture (pictured above) just outside the front door. Art on 9th A newcomer to Invermere, Art on 9th opened this spring, relocating from Calgary. Good move, as far as we’re concerned! The gallery is airy, open and features wonderful works by a collection of Western Canadian artists. We were particularly taken by the paintings of Doug Swinton and Perry Haddock — and several other artists! So much great art in one place should be illegal. Effusion Art Gallery + Glass Studio While we were happy to simply appreciate the art on Effusion’swalls, we were interested to learn the gallery specializes in helping clients create their own unique spaces with art they love. Clients can email photos of their spaces and the gallery will work with them to find suitable art. Although it’s hard to pick favourites, some of the most striking pieces we saw were created by gallery owner and resident artist Heather Cuell who crafts custom glass pieces in her onsite glass studio. Black Star Studios Black Star is a little different than the galleries covered above. For one thing, it has a working artist studio in the gallery and regularly features art workshops and classes for both adults and children. Plus, they feature the handmade creations of more than 70 Canadian artists. A beehive of art and activity! Village Arts Located in an attractive corner building, Village Arts features works in pottery, glass, fibre, metal, photography, fine art and more. The store includes works by 45 artisans — all selected through a jury process. Unlike many galleries, Village Arts is incorporated as a non-profit society and operates as a collective of artists. An interesting model that’s obviously producing some great work! If you’re interested in learning more about Invermere’s art scene be sure to check out the Art Spots Invermere website and related social media accounts.



You might enjoy: 10 tips to immediately improve art

If you’re like most artists, you probably want to get better at your craft. But how?

In this short video, YouTuber Robin Sealark offers 10 tips to help you improve your art. And they’re actually really good! Robin calls her tips “hacks” and presents them with a big dash of humour but we found them seriously useful.

For instance (not to give away the whole video), Robin suggests taking photos of your works-in-progress to give you a different perspective on them. That’s a tip Diana has offered as well in her videos on Make Art With Diana — it works really well and it’s nice to see others giving it the stamp of approval.

Give the video a watch here on YouTube, try a few tips and let us know which one is your favourite!


Our favourite thing this month: New canvas options from Opus

You might enjoy: 10 tips to immediately improve art

Don’t believe us? Consider that we once bought several “premium” canvases from a major Canadian art supply company (no names mentioned, of course). The price was good and the product seemed well-made, with heavy material, thick, braced stretcher bars and several coats of gesso. Sadly, soon after we began painting on them, the canvases began to twist. The “warp-resistant frames” were nothing of the kind. The canvases looked more like canvas tacos than painting surfaces. We had to screw the canvases to metal frames to ensure they remained flat.

Given that, we were excited when Opus recently introduced Fredrix Pro Dixie Canvas to its lineup. It’s a heavy canvas (12 ounces pre-primed versus seven to 10 ounces pre-primed for other brands), its wooden stretcher bars are sourced from sustainable forests and the bars are 2.25 inches deep (versus 1.5 for other brands). Being made of such robust materials the Fredrix canvases are more expensive, of course: a single 11x14 deep canvas is just over $37, while a normal 11x14 Opus Exhibition deep canvas is only $13.

Interested? Check out the Fredrix Pro Dixie Canvas here, at Opus. And if you use one, let us know what you think!


Thank you for reading! Please get in touch if you have feedback, questions or want to chat.


If you know anyone who would enjoy or benefit from the content in this newsletter please forward it to them.


Diana and Paul

Timid Turtle Creative

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