And Spring Has Sprung, Or Has It?

In Alberta, you never know quite when winter has ended. You are enjoying a nice warm day walking on trails, no snow to be seen, and then the next day you’re searching for your winter jacket, boots, and mitts to do the same thing! But some of the best things about spring are slowly appearing. The pond has melted, reflecting the grasses that are slowly turning green. Our Canada geese are looking for nesting areas, and our white rabbits are turning brownish. And the talk about gardens and plants and flowers is real….yes I want to see some flowers! These apple blossoms were from reference and a demo of Dianna Shyne’s; part of the Acrylic University. My flowers seemed to decide to go their own way, but it was fine, not all flowers need to appear exactly as the reference! I can’t wait to see our apple tree blossoms and start planting flowers! Are you planting flowers yet where you are located?

Betty Schriver - Apple Blossoms in Spring
Betty Schriver – Apple Blossoms in Spring
Photo Ref: Jed Dorsey – Acrylic University

A Place To Remember – Boyce Thompson Arboretum 2022

Betty Schriver- A Place to Remember

A scene from a recent visit to Boyce Thompson Arboretum at Superior, Arizona, about an hour drive from Mesa. If you are in the Phoenix area and looking for a way to spend the day, this is a must see to capture all the feeling and beauty of desert landscapes in one place! It also shows botanicals from other desert locations. Beautiful trails including cliffs, waterways, manmade viewing structures. If you are staying a while in Arizona, I would get a pass and come multiple times!

Two more weeks in Arizona, so much opportunity for painting, so little time!

I Stand with Ukraine

Betty Schriver - I Stand With Ukraine
Betty Schriver – I Stand With Ukraine 11×14″ acrylic on canvas sheet, unframed. SOLD

I am a fourth generation Ukrainian Canadian. Despite never being to Ukraine, or meeting any of my potential relatives there, I feel a connection to my historical roots and to their struggles. I was lucky to have great grandparents that chose to immigrate to Canada before the turn of the century, and I grew up in a small farming community in Alberta where the Ukrainian heritage was prevalent, through language, food, culture and art. The Ukrainian identity was strong within Canada, even after 4 generations. Most Ukrainians left Ukraine with the opportunities Canada provided, but also because they wanted the freedom to live their lives as they chose. Today, my heart is full of pride for the bravery and determination the Ukrainian people have shown in their fight to keep their identity and country, but also sadness, for the price they are paying trying to keep a freedom that the rest of us already have.

This art piece was a way for me to see light amongst so much darkness. The underpainting starts with breaking composition rules with creating a skyline halfway through the painting. The design of is intended to represent the Ukrainian Flag, with further use of the National flower of Ukraine, the sunflower, as its subject. It is painted in acrylics on a 11 x 14″ Canvas sheet and named ” I Stand with Ukraine”.

In support of Ukraine, I will donate 100% proceeds from the sale of this art piece to go to the Canadian Red Cross – Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. I’ve attached a link below. You can contact me if you are interested.

UPDATE: Painting is sold and donation has been made.

https://www.redcross.ca/donate/appeal/donate-to-the-ukraine-humanitarian-crisis-appeal#9cfdcd2b-85a7-4899-ada2-f8bdae8d0939

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Happy New Year!

Here’s to a new year where we all can enjoy some of the old normals, spend more time with those we care about, and grow from this year’s life lessons. Last painting of 2021!

Betty Schriver- Morning Rays in Arizona
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Winter Warms

Betty Schriver – Apache Junction Sunrise

You often hear about artists painting winter cools, the soft blues and whites capturing the snow and crispness of the cool air. But what if your winters are in Arizona? Unlike the cool colour scenes often depicted in winter scenes, Arizona deserts come to life with flowers that begin to bloom and warm sands around the plants. The cool mountain peaks of Superstition Mountains frame the amazing textures and colour. This painting’s inspiration was from a picture I took during a sunrise in Apache Junction, near Mesa, Arizona. A snippet of Superstition Mountain is in the background. The beautiful shapes of the cactus are always a focal point!

Lest We Forget

While painting, I had plenty of time to think about the sacrifices made for me to have freedom today. Thank you to Terence Porter for the beautiful photo reference.

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When You Get to Meet Your Favourite Artist!

There was a moment in my painting journey, where I really began researching Canadian art, and in particular, acrylic artists that loved to use colour in beautiful ways beyond realism. I found this Master artist – Mike Svob that really inspired me to keep moving in the direction I knew I loved – painting “abstractified” landscapes – that were still recognizable as Canadian landscapes. Mike paints with bold unexpected colours, and leaves interesting paint strokes throughout his paintings, so you are continuously exploring the painting and making the connection to the area, as you are viewing these interesting details. I have admired his work for several years now, and while I participated in an online painting challenge he created, I hadn’t had the opportunity to ever meet or take a workshop from him.

That changed this month, when I found out he was doing a 3 day workshop in Sherwood Park! I was so excited to be able to participate and learn from this master artist, one of my all time favourites! With pandemic cautions in place, twenty or so artists, all masked up and hauled their painting gear into the art building – Ottewell Centre. The three days there, I listened intently to the well lived stories of my favourite artist, trying to absorb all the life lessons he’d learnt during his journey. But ultimately, it was the quiet moments where he was focused on painting, and we were all focused on watching and learning, that I gained the most knowledge. He painted each of his paintings in a few hours, fully reflecting the years of practice, knowledge, and skill that he acquired from many years of a regularly painting. He told the story of how people sometimes ask him how long it took to paint that painting, and how usually it’s the paintings that come together easily without struggle to adapt and fix, that are the best! I have known this to be true as well.

We watched and then went back to sketch out our plans on thumbnails and paint our own paintings using either our own reference photos or one from the pile a hundreds of photos he brought along for the class. He strolled by the tables offering tips and advice along the way as we were working through the steps of painting our scenes. There were some fantastic artists in the room and sometimes it can feel a little intimidating when your painting is still working through it’s early stages and you’re not sure it’s going to get to the place you want it to get to. But remembering that you are trying new things and it’s an “exercise” helps you keep moving in a new direction instead of reverting to your old habits and helps keep those worries at bay. There is no point in taking a class if you aren’t willing to risk trying something new and possibly failing.

Ultimately, the day ended with several pieces of art being displayed around the tables and I was in awe of the beautiful art we all had created around us.

So what is it like to meet your favourite artist? I would say it was awesome to observe this master painter and learn some techniques/knowledge that I hope to incorporate into my own work and life. It was great to be out with other artists and focused on only art. But ultimately I learnt that even master artists have struggles and are human, and their stories are reflective of their hard work to endure the uneasy struggles of living a dream.

Begin Again

My name is Betty Schriver and I am an artist. It took me several years of creating art to actually feel comfortable calling myself that, because this idea of my dream becoming a reality was just too out there to imagine. So you know the saying, if it walks like a duck…..so if you are creating, showing, and selling art, then I guess you are an artist! I knew I wanted to create art well before I began, but life has a way of convincing you that other things take priority. And maybe they did, but now it has its time!

Betty Schriver - Begin Again

When my husband and I retired, we decided to move to little community called Blind Bay, B.C. It was the beginning of my serious exploration into the art world! I joined a group of artists called the “Blind Bay Painters” that met weekly to practice, share, and learn about art. There were extraordinary artists that had painted for years and regularly sold their works, and there were artists like me just beginning their journey and all of what is in-between. Diversified in style, medium, culture, we all had one thing in common, – a love for art. Great friendships are built from several people working together for a common goal and I became friends with several of the artists in that group. Art has a way of bringing people together! I soon began selling my work at community art shows, a little market called the Shuswap Artisan Market, and a local gift and artisan shop called “Love is Blind Bay” . I met even more artisans and art lovers and soon learnt about the “business” of art. Our neighbours and friends were supportive and it was a great place of inspiration on a daily basis.

But life takes turns and things change, and we soon found ourselves back to our home province in Alberta, this time in a small community called Beaumont, just on the outskirts of Edmonton. We love that we are back on home ground and able to spend more time with family and long time past friends and are finally settling into our new home.

So today my art life takes a new turn and I begin again, with the organizing of my studio, joining the Artist Association of Beaumont, publishing of my new website and hopefully filling the online gallery full of new art from a place I lived most of my life, and have fond memories of in the past and hopefully many new moments that speak to me in the future. The places I have travelled to will also always leave footprints in my art – they are special jewels that twinkle in my memory and have a special place in my heart.

So welcome! I hope you get a sense of the emotions I felt at these wonderful places and moments, and you connect with a special time in your life!

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