My cousin, Leah Seabrook, who is a very talented watercolor painter, invited me to come “up country” to Quesnel, B.C. and stay for ten days.
As soon as I arrived Leah said to me that we were going to pick up my invitations! I said, “What invitations?” And she replied, “To the Raptor Ridge Lawn Party next Sunday so that the Quesnel artists can come and get to know you!” Brenda Gardiner, with a very big smile, had the invitations ready for pick up and I was so happy to meet her! She is a joyful, caring person and also a very talented Crafter.
Later in the week, I visited Krista studio and viewed her new series of large abstract art works that really tell the story of a soul’s journey. While there, I also met two of her students.
After a day or two, we met her daughter Carla and Carla’s husband, Rick along with grandson Josh and great grandaughter Tina! I was definitely feeling the joy of Leah’s life and that great Cariboo energy!
Another afternooon, Elizabeth Waldorf, the art coordinator of the Quesnel Art Gallery met with us and opened up the main gallery so that we could view the solo exhibit of Jim Savage. Later, he invited me to meet him at the gallery and I was happy to critique his very dramatic landscape paintings.
I had a very enjoyable visit at the studio of Sybille Muschik who is an art educator, lithographer and painter. Thursday I was invited to drop in to the painting group at the Quesnel Art Center where Sybille teachs and I met several of her students. I enjoyed viewing the student’s artwork and chatting with each of them. Antoinette who arrived as I was about to leave gave me a gift of “Woad.” These are seeds and when I plant them and they grow, I will be able to harvest a blue color; the same blue that the warriors of Scotland used to paint their faces! Thank you so much Antoinette!
We went Quading on Leah’s property. So much fun – up and down ravines, across fields and right over little trees! I had forgotten how lush and green the landscape is around Quesnel. As we toured her property on the Quad, I met two horses, saw the beautiful ponds and delighted in the sparkling yellow leaves against their white trunks nestled in between the evergreens. I felt totally immersed in the beautiful Cariboo countryside!
Sasa, Leah’s Anatolian Shepherd is a gentle, white, fluffy giant and she did a good job of barking to keep the old bear away from the apple tree. Leah has a tread mill and a hot tub so I exercised and relaxed in the minerals that she puts into her hot tub. The wild Shaggy Mane and Parasol mushrooms were up, so Leah would go and pick a bucket full and we had lots of stir fries with these absolutely delicious mushrooms!
One evening, a good friend of Leah’s, Shirley Lawlor invited us to her ranch and we had a bonfire. I met more horses and had the most delicious fresh vegetables for dinner, prepared straight from Shirley’s garden. It was a great time and I found a new friendship with Shirley!
On Saturday the 19th of September, I painted a special canvas for Leah! Although we had been planning an abstract, as I painted the work evolved into trees and a stream. When she first viewed it she exclaimed, “It’s my beaver pond!” I am so delighted that she is pleased with her painting!
I also met Pat Hartley.from Nazko, B.C. and learned that she lives on the shore of a small private lake, has amazing cats and is another extemely talented watercolorist! I really enjoyed the time we spent with Pat and look forward to meeting up with her again! Another new friend!
On Sunday, September 20th the artists and friends came in the afternoon and I really, really enjoyed the welcome and especially I enjoyed viewing all of their unique creations.
The visitors to Leah’s Raptor Ridge Lawn party donated food for the Salvation Army Food Bank and we collected two big baskets full!
Attending the Raptor Ridge Garden Party were
Betty Anne Russell and her grandaughter and Emily (Alston) Scholen,
Kasandra Bardell (from Vernon) and her sister Jan
Pat Hartley and her mother Edna
The wife of Heinz J. Franzke (so sorry forgot to write down your first name!)
India Gordon, beautiful lady and another new friend!
Kevin Cougar and wife
and a wonderful guitar player. I did not get your name as I was too busy singing with you!
and I apologize for the others who missed signing my book. I also lost many pics due to camera problems when I was downloading but hope to take more next time! It was a real pleasure to view the many paintings and crafts that you have done. Quesnel is certainly abundant with a wealth of talent and creative experience!
Leah has asked me to come back next Spring and I am so looking forward to another visit! Thank you, Leah for making this visit such a special time for me and thank you to all of the fabulous artists and friends that I met for welcoming me! I hope to see you again next Spring! Until then….happy creating, ranching, crafting, cooking, eating….. and whatever else helps you to enjoy life!
Love and Light to all,
International professional painter
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
If you enjoyed this article please share it on facebook, twitter, linked in or wherever else you wish to!