2012 Melissa's artist opens show Saturday
This weekend should be a good one for Banff artist Wendy Bradley.
Banff-born Bradley is unveiling her new art show and sale – Artistic Journeys with W.J. Bradley – Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 22-23) and the 33rd annual Melissa’s Road Race is featuring one of her paintings on this year’s official T-shirt.
“I’ve wanted to do this for several years,” Bradley said Monday (Sept. 17) of the T-shirt. “It is a very Banff artist thing to do, to do the image for the T-shirt.
“I haven’t seen the T-shirt yet. I’m excited for the big reveal Saturday. For me it is quite an honour to be a local artist included in that collection.”
For the show itself, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at 211 Bear St., Bison Courtyard, Bradley is building on a spring 2011 show at the Whyte Museum, A Sense of Place by continuing along that thread, further exploring her love for the Rockies and her sense of place in these mountains.
“The paintings are depicting scenes in the area and places that I absolutely love and I’m also pulling in some work from a gallery in Victoria so people can see a sample of that,” Bradley said, adding that work features the West Coast.
Bradley’s two-day show and sale will feature 38 to 40 pieces, but not all of the work will be new. Some of it has never been shown in the Bow Valley and other pieces – specifically two watercolour paintings – reach back to the start of Bradley’s career as a painter.
But all of it builds on her connection to Banff and the Bow Valley; four generations of her family have called Banff home.
“Again, I’m building on the fact that this is my home and the sense of place that I experience here,” she said.
As part of that, Bradley plans to include stories, anecdotes and family photographs to complement many of the paintings and add an extra dimension, helping to explain why these are treasured locales.
“When I have the opportunity to do my own show, as opposed to a gallery show, it is a real delight to be able to do that, to include those family stories and those family photos,” she said. “That is typically not available to me when I do a show for a gallery, so I really, really appreciate that I can familiarize people with these things.”
Bradley began painting 20 years ago. She sold her first paintings in 1992, followed by her first solo show in 1995.
And the fact she is succeeding is no fluke. She has steadily worked on her craft and building her career and becoming, as a fellow Bow Valley artist wrote in a guestbook at one of her shows, an “overnight success that took 20 years.”
That 20-year, overnight success has been built on a determination to master her process: oil paints and glazes that give her paintings a remarkable luminosity.
And as her understanding of landscape and how she fits into this place has grown over the past two decades, so too has her understanding of her materials.
“I want to master the process I’m working in and I’m constantly pushing forward with that and I still haven’t attained where I’d actually like to be with my art and working with the glazes,” she said. “This is going to be a lifetime challenge. It will be a lifetime process and no matter how far I push forward on any of the work, looking back at it, I can see that I have grown from the last time. I’m encouraged by that, as long as that is growing, I’m going to be fine.”
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.