Wings of Hope donation

This was donated to the silent auction for the Wings of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation’s Wild West Auction – A Night In Support of Women with Breast Cancer, being held on June 17, 2006 from 7pm to Midnight at the Big Rock Brewery in Calgary.

Wings of Hope is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that raises funds for Calgary area patients living with breast cancer. With no staff costs, virtually all dollars raised go directly to their Endowment Fund which is used to provide immediate financial assistance for everyday living expenses and medication to those in need who are undergoing traditional cancer treatments at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

Tracy Quon, treasurer of the Wings of Hope approached me asking if I had anything I would like to donate to their silent auction. I didn’t have anything on hand, but after a brief discussion, we agreed a Phoenix would be the perfect symbol and emblam for this organization and the spirit and determination it represents. The problem was I had 5 days to paint it to meet the donation dead line. But for Tracy, and for this cause, I’d do just about anything.

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The Gardner family presents their paintingsI tend to not paint very much between January and April. I don’t know why. It just sort of happens that way each year. Maybe to give my hand (and head) a rest, maybe just the winter blues tampering with my chi and dampening my motivation. Then as the snow melts so does my hibernating mind, and the ideas start to flow. Then more and more ideas come, and my head explodes into torrent of inspiration and I can’t get to a canvas quick enough.

The catalyst that sparked me out of my winter coma and into my painting frenzy this year was Lori and John. I am very fortunate to have so many people who believe in me (through acquaintance or just word of mouth), that (similar to a few other clients), when they purchased their new house, they told me to come over before they had moved any furniture in and “pick a wall.” They didn’t care what went up on the wall, they just wanted me to paint “them” however I saw them.

Their entire house has marvellous deep taupe walls and rich hardwood floors. For me, taupe is the “universal donor” of back-drops because not only is it calming and “earthy” (along with the hardwood), but it goes with just about every colour in my personal paint pallet.

The name for this set of paintings came from a song I listened to (repeatedly… of course) while designing the five individual paintings that represent this extraordinary family. Yeha-Noha is based on a chant of the Native Americans meaning “Wishes of Happiness and Prosperity.” It could not be more appropriate for the new house under whose roof these five amazing spirits now reside.

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