Our second day of Open Studios at KIRA

Today was a great day. No other way to describe than ‘Great’. I’ve been waking up before my alarm clock lately, up around 6:25am; alarm is set for 7am. I planned out my day, dressed and went down for breakfast. The other artists, Vim, Chantal and Ginger joined soon after. Eric and Nadine were either up hours earlier or slow to rise. I think I may be the only artist that is excited for the open studios here at KIRA, but I love the interactions with the public. The TD Art Gallery paint-in is my favourite time of the year. I love chatting with hundreds (thousands) of people in a day. I headed to the studio and began to clean and plan my morning.

The view from my studio. Not today though. Today the fog was so thick I couldn’t see fifty feet in front of me.

The view from my studio. Not today though. Today the fog was so thick I couldn’t see fifty feet in front of me.

The open studios run from 10am to 1pm. Due to the thick fog and super fine mist like rain showers people didn’t arrive until closer to 10:30. For such wild weather a fair sized group came in to see our progress through the week and quite a few people from last weeks open studio session returned as well.

Below are some images from this morning before I worked on these during the day. Usually, I am not very forthcoming with pictures of my pieces in progress. It feels weird to show them before they are done. That said, take them all in!

On that note. I’m exhausted. I’ll have more to show tomorrow and some exciting news to share as well. Thanks again for following along.

Kristofer

Kingsbrae Gardens

Again I have to apologize for the long time between posts to this blog. It has been a very busy few days. Firstly, thanks to everyone that is following along with my New Brunswick Adventure. The main reason I wanted to do this blog was because I wanted to stay off of social media while I was here, this format allowed me to update my progress in one central location.

This week started off poorly with a long bout of food poisoning. It was horrible. Luckily I am surrounded by caring and compassionate people and I was well looked after. It must have killed Nathan that he wasn’t here to look after me.

I was then visited by two old friends that made the trek out from Ottawa to see me and some other friends on one of the many islands around this neck of Canada. It was a wonderful evening. We had dinner at the Kennedy Inn, where they stayed the night, and then we walked along Front street and the pier and then we said our goodbyes for the evening.

Front Street Pier - Should I paint this?

Front Street Pier - Should I paint this?

This beautifully done renovation just outside of downtown St Andrews. If I could get something like this I’d be down to live here. I really really really want to paint this.

This beautifully done renovation just outside of downtown St Andrews. If I could get something like this I’d be down to live here. I really really really want to paint this.

 

The next day, David, Steve and I went for a drive and discovered some of the beautiful areas around town. We hit Katy’s Cove, it reminded me of the beach at Camp Crystal Lake. We then went to Ministers Island, but the tide was coming in way too quickly so we ended up at the St Andrews Blockhouse National Historic site. The beach was amazing. Looked like what a beach on Mars would look like.

The Red beach was awesome to see. So very different from the beaches on the West Coast.

The Red beach was awesome to see. So very different from the beaches on the West Coast.

After that, the three of us headed up to Kingsbrae Gardens to check out the grounds. It was so beautiful. My pictures do not do it justice but I wanted to share with you the splendor of the gardens. Check out a video i found online of the gardens below.

I promise this will only be an introduction to the gardens. I will share with you some pictures of the gardens in the next few days. Tomorrow is another open studio for the public. After tomorrow I will share with you some of the art that I have been working on and some that I have finished,

Check back soon for another update in the days to come. Thanks for following along.

Kristofer.

Open Studios

The open studios on saturday went awesome. During the week I was able to get quite a bit of drawing done so that the visitors could see what I am working towards and hopefully get an idea of what is still to come. I think there was about 45-50 visitors that day. It was a good turn out. Later saturday night, there was a concert at the Amphitheatre that is literally in my backyard. One of the contestants for this years season of the Voice was here for a fundraiser for Katies cove. He name was Lisa Ramey, she was one of John Legends proteges. Her voice was amazing. I was lucky enough to be able to sit in my studio and draw and create to her music. So cool. I am lucky that a large part on my artistic process is involves music.

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Unfortunately I have come down with a horrible case of food poisoning. I think it is from the fried clams I had on Saturday afternoon. All saturday night right into sunday afternoon I was down for the count. I didn’t leave my room for 18 hours. I then ate dinner with the other artists last night as I was feeling much better. The meal was amazing, braised Lamb shank, mushrooms and these amazing mashed potatoes. Bad Idea. It is now Monday morning and I am still in my bedroom resting, staying near the bathroom. Its tea and toast for me for the remainder of the day. Lucky for me, Ginger, one of the other resident artists made me some chicken noodle soup, folded my laundry and is looking after me. We have begun to call her Mamacita. All of the artists that I am sharing this spectacular opportunity with are amazing! Each and every one of us will leave here in three weeks knowing that we have had such an amazing opportunity given to us.

The other artists, Chantal, Wim, myself, Masha (Art Programme Coordinator) Nadine and Eric. Ginger is taking the picture.

The other artists, Chantal, Wim, myself, Masha (Art Programme Coordinator) Nadine and Eric. Ginger is taking the picture.

My next entry will be showcasing the Kingsbrae Garden next door. I cannot wait to explore it later today.

What a whirlwind!

The last few days here at KIRA have been a whirlwind of adventures and new experiences. I apologize for not spending more time at writing down my stories here. I promise, going forward, to put aside a little time every day to document my time here.

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Today I wanted to share with you some of the pictures I took from inside the Kingsbae mansion.

This home is magical. This experience is indescribable.

This morning is the first of three open studios here at KIRA. Check back for my next post on how it went today.

A little about where I am going...

When I land in St John NB this coming tuesday afternoon, after a long five hour layover in Toronto, I will be picked up by a Kingsbrae Gardens employee and driven to my new home for 4 weeks in St. Andrews by the Sea. I should get there around 5:30-6:00pm. Just in time for dinner. If you don’t know where St. Andrews is or what is so great about it, check out the video below.

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Victoria BC to St. Andrews NB is 5700km’s.

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Eleven Days

 
My husband Nathan and I at the Paint-in on July 20th, 2019. Always such an amazing experience.

My husband Nathan and I at the Paint-in on July 20th, 2019. Always such an amazing experience.

Now that the TD Art Gallery Paint-in is done and a success I can now focus all my attention to my impending trip to New Brunswick. Since January, I have had a plethora of projects and events that took precedents and priority of my available energy and focus. Now that I am free and clear of any projects, my obsessive laser-like focus can zero in on my trip.

My biggest stresses for this trip include the shipping of my art supplies and the flight to New Brunswick. I purchased my supplies from two locations. Opus art supplies, where I work part time, afforded me a wonderful discount and free shipping on the majority of the items I needed. I also had to get some of these amazing long, thin wooden cradle boards (3”x18” and 3”x30”) from Island Blue Print. The supplies from Opus have already arrived at Kingsbrae Gardens. Island Blue is scheduled for a Monday delivery. This is definitely a load off of my mind as I was prepared to encounter shipping issues.

The flight to St. John NB was purchased back in February. I upgraded my seats to emergency aisle ones and paid the extra fees to do so. Since February there has been 5-6 itinerary changes. Each time they make a minor change I have to recheck the seats that I have reserved and ensure they’re the same ones I paid extra for.

On the bright side, instead of a 4 hour layover in Toronto on the way home, I have a two hour layover in Montreal and two hours in Vancouver before I get back home to Victoria. It will be a thirteen hour trip home. I’m already exhausted.

Sixteen days till New Brunswick..

 
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Back in September 2018 I applied for an artist residency at the Kingsbrae gardens in St. Andrews on the Sea in New Brunswick. The Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts (KIRA) takes place during the months of June through August. Five to six artists stay on the property for a month and create art in an amazingly beautiful location. I applied to the residency and didn’t tell a soul for a few months. I didn’t want to jinx the whole thing. In early January 2019 I received an email from KIRA asking me for a mailing address. I was convinced I was going to receive a rejection letter in the mail. I decided I did not get in. The very next day I received another email offering me the residency. I am pretty sure I screamed out loud and jumped around my studio. When Nathan, my ultra supportive and loving husband, got home I instantly began to cry and couldn’t stop happy dancing. Over the last seven months I have been planning for my trip. Lists have been made, checked, re-written and re-checked and I am now sixteen days from departure. Art supplies from Opus Art Supplies and Island Blue Print are on there way and will meet me in New Brunswick. Everything is accounted for and on schedule. Why then am I so stressed out?