In September of 2011 I had the pleasure of spending a day in the mountains with Robert Genn, one of Canada's most accomplished painters, and a group of workshop participants that had travelled from across western Canada to paint amid the Bugaboo Spires. The day was picture perfect - not a cloud in the sky and barely a breeze. The temps were comfortable in the mid-teens, the bugs had died off as a result of the cool nights and the mood was jubilant. It was, in our minds, the best place in the world that day!
Not a painter myself, I stood, mouth-agape, as I watched this group of talented artists at work. Within moments of the helicopter taking off and leaving the group to set up their gear, cameras were clicking, easels were erected and paints were already brushing across canvasses. Their only complaint: "With this paradise spread before me, what subject will I choose?!"
On the last evening of the workshop the artists spread their rough works around the lodge for the non-painters to ooooohhhh and ahhhhh over. Four months later many of the artists have taken those studies created at the lodge and developed more refined works and have been kind enough to submit them for inclusion here on our blog. It is my pleasure to share with you some of the pieces created as a result of the Robert Genn Painting Workshop, 2011:
Janet Armstrong, owner of Just Imajan, her studio/ gallery in Cochrane, AB created this 12 x 16 painting in oil on the group's final afternoon in the Bugaboos in an area called Pearl.
Georgina Hunt is an artist who describes herself as "a hiker and self-taught artist who loves the mountains and rainforest and all that it encompasses". Her works, including Rocky Point below, can be viewed online or at the Rustica Gallery in Cochrane, AB and Gallery 88 in Vancouver, BC.
Jaana Woiceshyn works at the University of Calgary but outside of her day job, she strives for daily painting, inspired by landscapes in the mountains and elsewhere. Contact Jaana directly to see more of her works like Bugaboo Spire below: email@example.com.
Don Hodgins is a Salt Spring Island artist focussing on portrait and figurative artwork, landscape and a mix of sports action in a representational style. This painting is entitled Bugaboo Spirit.
Diane Langlois, a two-time Bugaboo workshop attendee submitted this painting, A Cobalt Flight. Diane is an enthusiastic globe-trotter always searching for the most extreme place to paint, the Bugaboos being the tamest!
Liz Wiltzen co-instructed the Bugaboo Painting workshop with Robert Genn in both 2010 and 2011. Liz knows these mountains well after spending many seasons here as a hiking guide and massage therapist. Althought she's now a professional artist and life coach, we still consider her 'one of us'. This painting of Tamarak Glen was created on this perfect day in the Bubagoos.
As I look at this collection of artwork, I am taken back to that glorious day in the Bugaboos. I can hear the silence, feel the warmth of the sun on my shoulders and the creative energy of the artists that surrounded me that day.
If these paintings piqued your interest, I encourage you to follow the links to each artists' pesonal collections. Many of Robert's works from 2010 and 2011 can be seen on the website for Canada House Gallery in Banff. If you are inspired to join Robert Genn and Liz Wiltzen for their third annual Bugaboo Painting Workshop, more information can be found on our website.
Many thanks to the artists for submitting their images for use in this article.