awkward moments

Having my paintings on display in the cafe where I work has it's ups and downs. The up is that it's in a very public place where lots of people can see it, especially people who don't normally venture into galleries or aren't necessarily looking for art at all...but see it in such a setting and think; "Wow....that's stellar! I want that!". Plus, the paintings can be a great conversation starter. Before caffeine in the morning we can't ALL be annoyingly chipper. It can be difficult to get more than one word out of sleep customers while making them their first coffee of the day. I hand them their coffee....they take it over to the counter where the lids, cream and sugar reside, and then while lazily stirring their coffee (which sometimes they didn't put anything in, but they are on pre-coffee auto pilot) the gaze up at the painting I've hung there. They look. They look some more. They see the name of the painting and then suddenly they have questions. It reminds them of a place they've been, or they want to know who painted it. Hooray new fans and friends! But then there are the times like today. Saturdays are nutso busy in Garneau. It's only a few blocks from the U of A and the area has a dense smattering of awesome hangouts. It was 3ish. I'm off at 4. I'm tired, things are caught up.....I'm doing a bit of extra tidying and there is a line up at the till. A co-worker's friend took a business card and my co-worker asked if I could come and say hello to her. I went out front, but it was still so busy and then someone had a question about our menu and then there was another question about something else.....all I could manage to say to this nice girl after she told me she loved my work was: "Thanks." and then my attention was drawn to something else. It was a very tired thanks at that. Blerg. (So if you are reading this blog because you took my card....I'm sorry I didn't have more time for a real sentence OR conversation....but thank you for the wonderful compliment!)

Sigh.

The night has been spent recuperating from the aforementioned nutso day by cleaning up the leftovers in the fridge and making soup and working on the big tree canvas. Here it is so far:

mixed media on canvas, 30" x 36"

I'm not sure what to call it yet. It's from my photos of our trip to Haida Gwaii two summers ago. A lovely weathered cedar forest. We were on our way to Cape Fife when I took the photo for this...I'll post it alongside the finished painting. Between painting this and booking the ferry ride in July from Prince Rupert to Skidegate, I am very much looking forward to going back and bringing my sketchbook, digging for clams, learning to fly fish, picking agates on the beach, hanging out with friends at our favorite place.....yay summer!

And as I look out the window, it's still gently snowing. Springtime in Alberta is one continuous awkward moment, with interludes of puddle jumping and snow shoveling. Dear oh dear.