Tuesday, March 10, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 10 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week

“Usually if a cougar comes to town, there’s something wrong with them. Usually they don’t want anything to do with us.”

- John Clarke  
- on cougar safety   

 

A Fragile Lens- Nathen GallagherLet me tell you a secret about myself. I trust you not to spread it around. The truth, you see ... is that I am really not very artistic.
So when Val Beasley, of Val’s Ceramics By Design, contacted the Pass Herald about taking part in this year’s plate auction to benefit the Crowsnest Pass Food Bank (see photo on Page 2), I had no idea what I might do. Combining me, paints, and a plate will normally result in a plate covered in messy smears of paint –– and while that might count as high art in New York, I don’t think it would cut it on this occasion.
I showed up at Val’s studio in Coleman without a single idea of what I would paint. Maybe I could paint it all blue, I thought, and call it the sky. Everyone loves the sky.
Thankfully Val had everything covered. She had picked out a design I could paint onto my plate, and of course she had all of the colours, brushes, and assorted arcane equipment required for this dangerous foray into the world of art.
Girded with nothing but a drinking straw, I tackled the paint-speckled art-beast. Metaphorically, I mean. Tackling things in a ceramics studio would not lead to me ever being invited back.
 
The design chosen for me was a pair of tropical fish defined by my own handprints on the plate. The art project included sponge-painting, finger-painting, drawing, and using a straw to blow bubbles in a mixture of soap, water, and coloured glaze.
Not the way I usually spend my evenings, by any means.
Guided by the patient Val, I set my paint-smeared hands to the plate in order to create the colours of my fish. It’s safe to say that I haven’t put my painted handprints on anything since the second grade, when I did so for a piece of carpet that became a gift for my mother.
With the bubble-glaze in place and the fish-colours hand-stamped on the surface, I carefully attempted to paint in my fish and my seaweed. Let it be known that I am not the most confident drawer at the best of times. Smooth lines, bold strokes –– these are things I have only heard wild tales about, the mysterious whisperings around a campfire late at night, the bedtime fairy tale that surely cannot be true.
Translation: drawing lines is hard. Turns out that drawing lines on the curved surface of a plate is even harder.
... See the full version of this story in the March 10 issue of the Pass Herald
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   Volume 79 - Issue 10 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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