I lived with a visual artist for 17 years. My mother, Margaret Bremner, is the most dedicated and diligent artist I know. She is a painter, an illustrator, and a calligrapher, and she currently works primarily in mandalas and zentangles. She is also a framer, a mother, and an excellent cook.
An art show is a fine and dandy thing if you like strolling and appreciating the creative efforts of others. My mother’s latest art show took place at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan, and it seems to have been a great success; she sold thirteen pieces—a little over a quarter of the work showcased.
Here’s a little taste of the experience:
You might think that being a professional artist is a fluffy occupation, but it’s hard work. When you live with an artist you learn this, because family members are as good as roadies; we carry heavy paintings, musical equipment, boxes of books—you name it. Hanging art—especially large pieces—is also a challenging and time-consuming task.
Home for the Take-Down
I haven’t lived with my parents for a long time, but I happened to come a-visiting just in time to help take down this particular show.
We got to the gallery at about 9:00 AM. To be honest, I spent most of my time taking photos while my mum took things off the wall and wrapped them in bubble wrap and brown paper (this is okay though; she wanted me to go with her mostly because I hadn’t seen the show yet).
While she dealt with the purchases, my dad and I carried the big pieces out to the car. One in particular didn’t fit.
We wrapped it in an old flannel sheet (that white one) and carried it on the roof of the car. Luckily we didn’t have far to go: just a five-minute drive to my uncle’s house. The painting made it safely, but dad and I were waylaid briefly by a fresh pot of Turkish coffee—I rarely drink coffee, but the cardamom smelled delicious! We brought some back for mum, of course.
Take-downs are much easier (and faster) than put-ups. We finished at about 10:30 and drove the paintings home before going to visit some friends at a weekly study group (this week they happened to be reading Forces of Our Time by Hooper Dunbar, another amazing painter, and I’m very glad I was able to participate).
To learn more about Margaret Bremner’s work, take a zentangles class with her, or ask about commissions, see her website artistsincanada.com/bremner (the Web design is outdated but the artwork is beautiful). Her work has also been covered in numerous papers, magazines, and periodicals; most recently she was featured in the Saskatoon Sun (Sunday, 13 June, page 29), and in the June 2010 issue (page 28) of the Saskatoon Express.
My mom is a real life artist.
Update (November 2010): My mama recently started a blog that makes up for its old-school design with beautiful artwork in almost every post. It’s called “Enthusiastic Artist” and it’s in our blogroll (see right-hand frame).