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Gift Ideas - for any time of the year - 12 of Karen's top picks

So - because I've been asked this question a lot this past week, I offer you a list of some of my favourite art that is in the gallery right now!  This list is not ranked - the order is random.  

And of course this is a partial list - as, afterall, I do choose everything that you see in the gallery!  I could make another list tomorrow, and every day for a week, and come up with so many more "favourites!"

(Dear Artists who are not on this particular list - please know that your work is also very special to me - it's always a bit dangerous to highlight a few works when there are so many pieces that I love!) 

1.  Early Autumn Laundry, by Steve Coffey,  Oil on canvas,12 x 18 inches, unframed

This image has become one of the most iconic in Steve's repertoire - the ethos of the prairie, can you can see the wind?  

2.  Wolf Willow Bowl, by Jim Osenton, 4 inches high by 12 inches in diameter

In Jim's own words "This bowl was made using Wolf Willow harvested in Calgary several years ago. Wolf Willow does not grow to a large enough diameter from which to turn a bowl. These pieces were set in an epoxy and cherry & purpleheart sanding dust blend, in a sacrificial poplar form. It was then turned away and the Nogal rim & foot were added, and the bowl was finished with Danish Oil.


3. Resonance 23, by Verna Vogel mixed-media stitching and acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches

I love the word - resonance - and this series by Verna creates that feeling for me.  Each piece sings alone, and also harmonizes well with it's fellow if placed in a series...  Also - I adore the grid when the wall is full of these pieces!  


4.  Porcelain Vases by Christine Pedersen

New to the gallery, Christine's handbuilt work appeals to my love of the perfection of irregularity.  You can see the hands of the maker in each bit of texture.  And such presence! Each of these vases are such a thing of beauty, with or without flowers!  And a grouping of them. Oh my!


5.  Large Patio Tray by Crys Harse, 11 x 18 inches, recycled stainless steel and copper

This beautiful, functional tray appeals to my love of pattern... And the way these beautiful redeemed metals sing together just tickles me! 

6. Past Meets Present 2, by Simon Wroot, Bronze, Copper, German Silver, Enamel, 3”w x 2”h, mounted on 6”x6” steel

I don't remember when the buffalo roamed here, but having lived in the Calgary area long enough to remember when Calgary tower stuck out on the horizon, which now is dwarfed by the new office buildings downtown, this piece is for me a good reminder to remember how precious this life is and to spend it well.

7.  Buttering The Sky, by Dirk van Wyk, Mixed Media on Paper, 20 x 30 (approx.) FRAMED

"Slipping on my shoes/ Boiling the water/ Toasting the bread/ Buttering the sky/ That should be enough contact with God in one day to make anyone crazy." Hafiz

One of my all-time favorite poets.  And Dirk's work really speaks to me - in all kinds of wondrous ways.

(Also available as a poster.)   

8.  Art Tiles by Karen Gimbel, set of four, 4 x 4 inches each

OK - this is a first for me, and I love how they've turned out.  Each of these pieces are images I've loved, originally created as monoprints (ink on paper), and they have long been gone to their forever homes.  I took inspiration from other artists and selected these four for printing on art tiles.  I'm very pleased with how they turned out - they make my heart sing!  And that, my friends, is why I make art, and why I love pouring my life energy into this gallery.


9. Cowboy Trail, by Mary Joyce, watercolour on paper, 11 x 11 inches, framed

I love this piece - the looseness...the wandering "trail", the hint of the foothills, the mountains which stay in my imagination - the best place.  


10.  Lena Skadegard jewelry

Anything Lena makes - because her jewelry shines with the beauty of the stones she sources.  And I've got a very big soft spot for natural stones.  On this piece - look at that rutilated quartz!  Gorgeous!  And she puts them front and centre to glow in their beauty - with nothing to distract.  Strung from a strand raw aquamarine stones - what a pairing!

11. We are all together, by Tammy Hudgeon, Mixed Media on Panel, 12 x 36inches, unframed

This piece makes me smile. That's an important function of art.  And it reminds me of our individuality and our oneness.  The particle and the wave.


12. Reach of the Ridge, by Maryanne Jespersen, Oil on Canvas, 12 x 48 inches, unframed

And finally - THIS is why I love living here in southern Alberta.  I never get tired of this view.  And Maryanne does what she does very well in this painting.  


December 19, 2015

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