Archive for the ‘Art for your Lifestyle’ Category

Risk vs Reward

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Wow, it’s been a whole year since the last day of my teaching job. Last year in February I gave my notice at the Digital Art School where I worked part time, so that I could paint full time. With the Olympics a year away I didn’t want to be stuck marking projects, I wanted to be in my art studio painting Whistler mountain scenes!

Giving my notice at work was a financial risk for me and it paid off big time, but maybe not in the way you might expect. You see, after a whole year of painting full time with the end goal of the Olympics in mind, I ended up not selling one single painting during the Olympics. This was a huge disappointment to me of course, but when I look back at what I have gained over the last year, I have to say that it was definitely worth it.

Having the time to paint full time gave me the freedom to express myself creatively. My painting time was no longer limited to a few days every couple months. When I paint sporadically it is like starting from scratch each time; the first few paintings never quite turn out. However, when I have the chance to paint continuously for a longer block of time then I am really able to get on a roll. The paintings just start to flow.

It was such a great feeling to go to my studio every day. I feel like my paintings jumped up to a new level of colour and intensity. So even though my year didn’t quite turn out the way I envisioned, the creative rewards were definitely worth the risk.

Do you have any stories of a time when you took a risk and it paid off, financially or otherwise? Share your comments, I’d love to hear from you!

My Artist Statement

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I have always had a bio and more recently a mission statement, but I have never written an artist statement. It is something that I have thought of doing for a while now and I finally got inspired to take the plunge and create an artist statement for myself. Please feel free to comment with feedback. Thanks!

I am a professional artist, designer and workshop instructor. I paint original acrylic and watercolour paintings ranging from the whimsical to the realistic. I have my father’s eternal optimism and it comes out in the light in my work. My watercolour paintings are filled with light and life and love.

My paintings are mostly of nature which touches people’s heart in a place that brings them back to their childhood. The promise of an escape into nostalgia makes us smile and fills us with hope.

I love watercolours because of their purity and luminosity. The transparent watercolours allow the light to reflect off the paper which can make a painting glow. My favourite scenes to paint are in the snow which is pure and elegant on its own. Snow is natural to paint in watercolour because it is mostly the white of the paper. I’ve found a lot of joy in finding all of the different nuances of colour that you can actually find in snow and then making them come to life by painting in the shadows.

My acrylic paintings have a different nature altogether. I use vivid colours and paint brightly coloured flowers and leaves as my main theme. I like to start with the colour of my subject as a ground on the canvas and then paint the background around it.

While my painting styles are different for the two mediums, all of my work is about discovery. I am exploring the nuances of nature and discovering new ways of seeing the world. I often paint in the quiet. As my right brain takes over, time can pass without me even realising; when I get into the zone and I’m laying down the perfect wash, it makes my heart sing.

If you are interested in writing your own artist statement, you can check out these awesome resources:
How to Write and Artist Statement ~ by Molly Gordon
How to Write a Wicked Artist Statement ~ by Miranda Aschenbrenner

Attracting People with Watercolour Magic

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Tomorrow night I am a guest artist at the Sun Peaks Winter Wine Festival during their progressive wine tasting event. I had no idea until the other day that they were going to be selling 600 tickets for this event! I also found out that I wasn’t going to be giving an introduced presentation like I did this summer at the Wine and Culture Festival where I had everyone’s undivided attention for 5 minutes. This time everyone will be meandering to and fro at their own pace between wine venues. It is going to be up to me to attract people over to my table.

Oh my gosh! At first this made me very nervous. I had visions of me calling people over to my table to see what I am doing. Nervewracking!

Then I had an idea… what if I could ATTRACT them to my table without having to say anything. What if I could peak their interest and make them just curious enough that they might come over to my table on their own accord?

Brilliant! … but how to do this? I decided to make a big poster with a schedule of demos on it so people would know when I am doing what. But is this enough to attract them to my table? Not everyone is interested in learning how to paint. Maybe if I demonstrate the watercolour secret tricks of using household items to paint landscapes it will intrigue people. Maybe I’ll even attract a few who don’t have any interest in learning how to paint, but simply want to know how the heck I am going to paint a birch tree with a fork!

This is what I have so far:

Unveiling the Magic of Watercolour5 minute demos showing how to:

6:15 Make a Birch Tree with a Fork!

6:45 Turn Salt into Snowflakes!

7:15 Paint under water with cellophane!

7:45 Use a candle to make a moonlit reflection!

8:15 Turn a carrot into a person!

8:30 Win a Prize! Enter the FREE DRAW before 8:30! Lots of prizes to be won! Grand prize is a limited edition print of Sun Peaks village valued at $270.

I am still nervous, but now in a good way. Even if no one comes over to my table, at least I have a plan. I won’t be painting aimlessly for 3 hours! And if people aren’t interested in my demos, maybe they’ll be interested in my free draw! Everyone likes to win a prize!

So there you have it, this is how I am going to attract people using the magic of watercolour. I’ll let you know if it works. Now only if I knew how to attract people to my art show on Saturday…

To read my follow up blog post about this event, go to “Unveiling the Magic of Watercolour”

Paintings En Route for Jasper and Whistler

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Whistler After Dusk

Whistler After Dusk, Whistler, BC. Watercolour painting by Kendra Smith. Available at Mountain Galleries.
I am so excited. I just sent the largest number of original paintings to Mountain Galleries that I have ever shipped at one time. I was so nervous to let anyone take my parcel. No one will insure art! (Now maybe if I had purchased the art they would insure it for me, but since I painted it, there is no such luck.) So here I am trying to find a company I trust to take 23 of my original watercolours to Jasper. I was going to send them by priority post but Canada Post uses Fed-Ex who contracts out their work. I didn’t want my paintings going through so many hands. It took me a while but I finally couriered them by ground which insures they stay in the same cage the whole trip.

This shipment was momentous for me. Firstly it is a huge honour to be an artist in Mountain Galleries along side amazing professional artists such as Alan Wylie, Jerry Heine, Gail Johnson, and the list goes on. (I’m in the same gallery as Robert Genn, Brian Atyeo, and one of my favourites, Jack Reid ~ who taught me how to paint snow in 2002!) As well, this was the first time that the gallery accepted every piece I showed them!

Some of the paintings will stay at the Jasper Originals gallery in the Jasper Park Lodge, which was the original gallery opened by artist and film maker Wendy Wacko.

Peaking Over at Mount Edith Cavell from Whistlers, Jasper, AB Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper Alberta. Watercolour painting by Kendra Smith. Available at Mountain Galleries.Others such as these Lake Louise paintings will be sent to the Banff location of Mountain Galleries in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel:

Lake Louise Love

Lake Louise Love. Watercolour painting by Kendra Smith. Available at Mountain Galleries in Banff, Alberta.

Lake Louise Lakeside Path

Lake Louise Lakeside Path. Watercolour painting by Kendra Smith. Available at Mountain Galleries in Banff, Alberta
Eleven of the paintings are being delivered at the end of December to the Whistler gallery in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler by Wendy herself. This is the part I am most excited about.

In March I gave my notice for my teaching job so that I could paint full time. I had just recently been accepted into the Whistler gallery and with the Olympics less than a year a way I knew I would regret it if I spent my time marking papers rather than painting. I am so glad I made that choice.

Heading to Could Nine

Heading to Cloud Nine, Whistler, BC. Watercolour by Artist Kendra Smith. Available at Mountain Galleries in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Painting continuously has given me the chance to grow as an artist. When you paint in spurts it often seems like you are always starting at square one. This summer and fall I had a chance to get on a roll. It was a glorious feeling.

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I can’t believe that I forgot to take pictures of my art show this year! However, last year I took pictures and I forgot to post them, so maybe I can even it out by posting last year’s photo of Carrie and I at our annual Christmas Studio show.

Thank you to everyone who came to our show. It was wonderful to see such a great turn out. The studio was full for 4 hours straight on Friday night, and we were busy for most of Saturday too! We really appreciate your support.

I would also like to express a special thank you to Mountain Galleries. It was the opportunity of showcasing my work in Whistler this winter that gave me the inspiration to quit my job in March and paint full time. I feel that with my two trips as artist in residence with Mountain Galleries in Jasper, Banff and Whistler I gained confidence and developed a new palette. My paintings have new colours in them which brings them alive. I have learned so much this summer and I feel that my paintings have taken a leap since last year. I’m very grateful for this experience.

Kelowna Fires

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

My studio partner Carrie Harper is having an art show in August at A. Woodside Design Gallery on Pandosy Street. Her new collection is an exploration of the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire and it’s regrowth.

Carrie writes: “Every spring a bit more color fills the spaces that were black and grey and then, even the burned spires reach to the sky symbolizing sacrifice. That day I was there facing the black trees against the white snow and fog, I was able to see not the past of burning and fear and loss but the spaces in between where color exists. My hope is that our community can look at my paintings and see the spaces in between.”

It was unknown to her when she painted the series that the 2009 fires would soon be blazing. Last week I could see flames in the trees across the lake and a huge plume of smoke behind the hills from the Kelowna and Fintry fires. For many it was a very scary experience and also a very real reminder of the 2003 fires in Kelowna. Some of my friends were evacutated from their homes or on alert.

At Carrie’s reception on Thursday, August 6th she will have a draw at 5:00 for anyone affected by the 2003 or 2009 fires. If you or anyone you know was affected by the fires, please come to the reception. The recipient will be able to choose a painting from the collection.

Carrie’s “Burn Out” show runs at the A Woodside Gallery, 1561 Pandosy St. (downtown), from August 1st to 31st. Please come to the opening on the 6th from 5pm to 9pm, everyone is welcome.
Further info: 250 862 3817.

Whistler Painting Trip

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Next Tuesday I am heading to Whistler to paint for a week! I have been invited by Mountain Galleries as part of their artist in residence program. I am excited to travel to Whistler to paint for a gallery. Mountain Galleries is located in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. It is an honour to be represented by them, as well as a dream come true.

Laying the Foundation for the Future

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

For many artists, designers and art galleries, sales may be down this year. Even though the sales aren’t as high, many people are still looking and this is what we have to take heart in. Many of the orders that I got this November were from people who had been to one of my art shows from FIVE years ago! In these slow times we must remember that we are laying the foundation for our future.

When I lived in Fernie, BC I noticed that the whole town’s mood was dependant on the weather. When it was summer and sunny everyone was happy. When it was winter and snowing everyone was happy. Those were the busy times. Those were the days when people were making money. At all other times of the year and in bad weather, the whole town seemed to sink into a mini depression. It was a very interesting experience.

A phenomenol thing happened to me during these slow times: I would buckle down and get to work. Hooray! Finally some down time when I could paint and produce! Refill the shelves, stock the galleries, build up my inventory. For me it was a big relief to have the off season. I was never bored. It is such a blessing to have a passion and to live such a creative lifestyle.

So for those of you who are feeling these hard times, relish in the fact that these are the days for you to go to work. Creativity is good for the soul. Laying the foundation is good for your future.

New Paintings on the Way

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I love spending time in my art studio. It is away from home and I can paint without distractions. Sometimes I get into a zone and the time just goes by without me realising it. There are two huge windows in my art studio and we only get direct light in the early morning so it is perfect for painting.

I really find that the more I paint the more I get on a roll. If I only have a few hours to go to my studio I barely get set up. When I am able to paint for several days in a row then I can complete my paintings while I’m still on the same thread of creativity.

My favourite way to paint watercolours is three at a time. I paint the background of one painting and then set it aside to let it dry. I paint the sky of another painting and toss it on the floor while I start a third. By this time the first painting is dry and I can go back to work on it. Sometimes I work on three similar scenes but most often they are three different paintings all together.

Right now I am painting a landscape of snow ghosts (trees caked in white snow against a blue sky), a picture of a skier hiking and a painting of the mountain peaks in Whistler, BC. I can’t wait to have another studio day so that I can work on them some more.

Whistler Art in high Demand

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I just received an email from Wendy Wacko, owner of Mountain Galleries at the Chateau Whistler. (She also owns a gallery in Banff and one in Jasper and she is a successful artist and film maker in her own right) She sold THREE of my watercolour paintings already and they have only been on display for a few days! Hooray!

UPDATE: When I talked to the gallery I found out I sold FOUR paintings in December – my first month at the Whistler Mountain Art gallery! :)

Whistler Gallery

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Mountain Painting of Blackcomb at Whistler BC by KendraArt
My dream to be in a Whistler art gallery might come true this fall!

I drove to Whistler yesterday so that I could meet with the curator of The Gallery at the Chateau Whistler. The gallery is owned by Wendy Wacko who also owns a gallery in Banff and in Jasper and is a well known artist in her own right.

Eight years ago I sold some art cards to Wendy at her gallery in Jasper. When I came to see if she would like to reorder she said that I have a lot of potential but that I had some work to do as an artist and I needed to explore my artistic expression.

I approached her again this spring and showed her all the work I had done. I sent her an email with a photo of the paintings I sold her eight years ago and then another image of my more recent paintings.

Here are the art cards Wendy bought in 2002 for the Mountain Gallery at Jasper Park Lodge:
2001 watercolour paintings Kendra Smith Here is some of my work from this past year:
2008 paintings Kendra Smith
Wendy called me that evening and said she was very proud of me and that I had done a lot of hard work. She said she would like to take me under her wing and nurture me as an artist. I was thrilled when she invited me to her studio in the spring, but unfortunately she had to cancel since she was so busy. I was hoping to see her this fall; however, she is currently painting a commission for sixty original paintings!

I am happy that I was able to go to Whistler and show Mike Warren my paintings. He liked my bright paintings the best; the ones with punch. He took 10 originals and he is going to show them to Wendy for approval. If she accepts my work into her gallery you may see some of my watercolours hanging in the her Chateau Whistler gallery by the end of October.

Here is one of the originals that the gallery is taking for consideration:
Painting of Whistler ~ Black Tusk Tempest ~ by Kendra Smith
PS They took my biggest watercolour painting too!
(see photo next post)

Compute her dependence

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I am totally dependent on my computer. I just realised how much I use my computer when it stopped working after a lightning storm. I have a power surge bar, but the lightning hit very close to my house and my computer wouldn’t turn back on. I was really worried about my data until my boyfriend reassured me that hard drives are usually not affected in a power surge. Whew! Then I was worried about when I’d be able to use my computer again. Especially when I realised how much I depend on it for my teaching job, my art business, emailing my friends, managing my hockey team, keeping track of my income taxes and business expenses, custom graphic design work, the websites I make, my banking, my entertainment, all my photographs, digital copies of my watercolour paintings, everything!

I am so happy because it turned out to just be the power source and it was on waranty. Hooray! It is strange but it feels wonderful to be at my computer. I was so happy to see all my data was safe and back in my hands.

Art for your Lifestyle

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

KendraArt Watercolour Paintings by Canadian Artist Kendra Smith
My KendraArt website has been updated. The design has a fresh new look and the links and titles are all html text rather than images. This should give my website a clean feel and improve search engine optimization.

You can check out my website at

Art Studio Space

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

KendraArt Studio ~ Kendra painting in Kelowna, BC
Studio space is a dream for most artists, myself included. This summer the elements in the Universe aligned and I was lucky enough to get a shared studio space. It is in downtown Kelowna with big heritage windows and looks out at the tree tops above Bernard Street.

The space has a good feeling and it is an inspiring place to make art. I have already had a couple of painting parties which are great fun. You can see photos of my studio space on my friend’s photo site.

Love to have a painting party of your own? I can host one for you and your friends. If you are interested in painting parties or art workshops, let me know. My watercolour workshops are fun and full of tips and techniques. Learn more at my kendraart website.

My First Blog

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

picture of meHi! This is my first blog.

Here you will be able to see what I am up to… like,

I am working on my new website which is officially set to launch on July 1st, 2007. You can preview it as I work on it at