August, 2019     Volume 3, Issue 7.

Live from Haliburton!

Usually, I use my newsletter to promote upcoming art shows. This time, I’m using it to let you know that I’m actually at one, and you should really think of joining me.

Watercolours by Dwayne

Offering the following products and services:
Original paintings
Signed GICLEE prints
Custom framing
Gift Certificates and eGift Cards

Upcoming (& Current) Shows...

The Haliburton Art and Craft Festival is "Haliburton County's largest outdoor event celebrates all that's great about handcrafted and original designs by Canadian artists and artisans. Entry is open to Canadian makers. This is a juried event. The selection committee evaluates entries based on originality, identity of design, craftsmanship and use of materials. We strive to bring festival-goers a well rounded, eclectic and one of a kind outdoor craft show experience that will appeal to the seasoned collector and the first time buyer alike. Whether you live in cottage country  or visiting for a day, week or more if you value creativity and excellence you will not be disappointed."

The show runs for the rest of the weekend (July 27 and 28), from 9:30AM tomorrow until 6 and then from Sunday from 9:30 until 4. Admission is $4, and is good for entry all weekend.

So day one is in the books, but there are still two days left to get yourself to the Haliburton highlands. Here are some pictures of my booth set up this year:
Here is a list of my 2019 art shows, indicating which ones are still upcoming...

"Ol' George"

There’s no question that I’m painting a lot more prolifically of late. This is never more obvious than with my latest creation “Ol’ George,” especially when you consider that I took the photograph on which the watercolour is based in early June!

Here’s the official description of the painting from my website:

“Ol’ George”
Watercolour, 22” by 12.5”

My wife and I moved our family to the shores of Chemong Lake a few years back on the edge of a tiny bay on the north-east end of the lake not far from the intersection on Buckhorn Road that is Selwyn, Ontario. I had hoped that the environment would provide for plenty of experiences with nature that might inspire paintings (and it certainly has) but what I wasn’t expecting was that it would also provide the inspiration for a painting in the form of old machinery, in this case a derelict Volkswagen microbus that has been slowly sinking into the ground over the last few decades.

According to my neighbours, in the 70s and 80s, the property belonged to a man known simply as “Old George.” He and his wheelchair-bound wife would come up from Toronto every weekend and spend the nights in the little bus. During the days, she would tend to the beautiful gardens (that included lots of grapes apparently) while he would sharpen his scythe and keep the trees, reeds, and weeds under control all along the southern end of the bay close to the swamp. I’m also told that they dined frequently on turtle soup, sourced locally of course.

They’re both long gone, and the new owners haven’t spent much time there at all having done little more than put up a “No Trespassing” sign that itself is showing its age. I was struck by the romantic aspect of the stalwart microbus rusting away on a once immaculate property now well and truly overgrown. There seemed to be contradiction here for me: the juxtaposition of a vehicle that personified the free-wheeling, anything-goes attitude of a long-dead era with a sign rudely and firmly imposing limitations.
Here's a progress video of "Ol' George" that strings together all of the progress shots that I took while painting it.

I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of the microbus over the last few years with the goal of eventually painting it. Finally, in the spring of 2019, I finally got some pics where the light was at just the right angle and intensity. The light made the windows seen through the front of bus just glow, almost like the vehicle was full of water. 

It was a lot of fun painting the microbus, but not a painting session went by when I wasn’t secretly fantasizing about rescuing “Ol’ George” and restoring him to his former glory.

Here I am posing with the original painting of "Ol' George" framed in rustic barnwood.

My Good Luck Charm...

A few years back, my dad surprised me by visiting me at one of my art shows (the Fenelon Falls show to be exact.) We chatted for a while, but when I got busy, he said his goodbyes quietly and left. It was only afterwards that I found this note on my desk. It was torn from the little notebook he always carried with him, and says "Good luck with the Falls Show, Love Dad."

Less than a year later, my father had passed on and, once I was able to put myself back together and get back out on the art show circuit, I took his note with me, and I’ve taken it to every show since as a good luck charm. That was, until this year, when I started getting concerned that it was starting to deteriorate, so I put it away until I could frame it properly. Is it any wonder that my shows this year haven't been as successful?

So here it is finally in a custom oak frame, wedged between two pieces of glass so I can still see both sides of the paper hanging proudly on my wall at the Haliburton Art and Craft Festival. 

My Mail-order Catalogue

If you read the previous section, you may have noticed that I mentioned that my shows this year have not been as successful as they’ve been in other years, and I’m not the only artist to notice it.

Oh, there are lots of theories that I won’t get into now, but before this trend becomes permanent (or something that my good luck charm can’t counteract), I’m going to try and get out in front of it by trying to shift more of my sales online and branch out into new territories at the same time. To this end, I’ve created a mail-order catalogue with a selection of twenty-nine of my most popular paintings. I’m going to be sending out the catalogue across the country to gift shops, boutiques, or galleries and offer them a selection of matted prints at wholesale prices.

Here's the cover of my mail-order catalogue. The other pages are presented below.

I’ve completed the design of the catalogue (I’m attaching images of it below), and will begin its distribution in the coming weeks (I’m sending it out both digitally and in hardcopy). If you know of a business that I should be sending one to, please send me an email and let me know!

Suggest a business to send my catalogue to
The hardcopy of the catalogue will be shipped with an old-fashioned mail-order form that can be returned to me in the mail. I've also set up a web page to take online orders (see link below).
And here are some pictures of what the catalogue hard copy looks like, along with the mail-order form.

Your moment of Zen...

Here’s a thought that I posted on social media this week…

“The earth without art is just EH.”

I'm sure that, by now, you've seen this popular meme online somewhere. Well I have a revision I'd like to make to it.

Let me explain...

You see, each of us have some combination of masculine and feminine energy inside of us. Alchemically speaking, the masculine energy is the aspect within us that governs such things as logic, where the feminine energy is what gives us our creativity.

With me so far? See where I'm going yet?

Well, based on what I’ve just said, I’d like to propose the following:

The earth without art is just HE.

About Dwayne...

Watercolour artist Dwayne James lives near Lakefield, Ontario where he paints as often as he can, that is when he’s not spending time with his daughter, twin boys, and his very forgiving wife.

Dwayne studied archaeology in University, and as a result learned how to write creatively. “The most important skill I learned in University,” he says, “was the ability to pretentiously write about myself in the third person.”

With no formal art training, Dwayne has always preferred the self-guided, experimental approach. In fact, he taught himself how to illustrate archaeological artifacts while completing his Master’s degree at Trent University. Said his thesis supervisor at the time: “There might not be much in the way of coherent theoretical content in Dwayne’s thesis, but damn, it looks pretty!”

After working for close to a decade as a technical communicator, Dwayne chose to look at being downsized in January 2009 as an opportunity to become a stay@home Dad for his newborn twins and pursue his painting and creative writing. It is a decision that continues to make him giggle with wild abandon to this very day.

A self-taught painter, Dwayne’s  highly-detailed watercolour paintings have been described as “unconventional” yet “absolutely authentic.”

Fascinated by both texture and dimension, Dwayne channels nature to create personalised images that are not easily captured with conventional photography.

Dwayne seizes a moment in his paintings that shifts every time you view them. You may have seen watercolours before but, chances are, you have never seen watercolours like Dwayne’s.

Copyright © 2019 Watercolours by Dwayne, All rights reserved.

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