Over the years, my husband and I showed our paintings in many different locations. One of our favourite places was Stanley Park.
The Vancouver Parks Board required us to form a group. So what would we call this group of artists?
I came up with the name… Teswallulwit, Indian (Native) for Stanley Park! I even wrote the Charter for the group, using another organizations charter as an example of what was required.
The Parks Board imposed some rules, the main one was “no Agents.” And that included a wife or husband could not show the other one’s paintings. Good rule. But of course, some got around the rule.
One couple… the wife was the artist. Her husband would come, too, with a group of paintings, very similar in style to his wife’s. We painted on location to prove they were our paintings. This husband would have a partially painted one on the easel, and every once in a while would put a brush stroke or two on it. Their kids were with them one day, and my husband said to one of them, “That’s a nice painting your Dad is doing.” Their son said “My dad can’t paint, mom did that.” Out of the mouths of babes!
Another rule was first come, first served, as to where you could set up. If you wanted a certain spot, you had to go early. We were in the park at 5 AM on weekends! We would set up our easels, and go for a walk. The park is more beautiful early in the morning when there are few people around.
After our walk, I would make coffee in the van, and maybe share it with some of the early arrivals.
I really got carried away with this post. I started setting up the background for the real story… about feeding the squirrels.
My husband sat on the bench, and this one squirrel would take a peanut out of his hand, and run off across the open space to hide it… then head back for another one. The distance he traveled got shorter and shorter, because there was another squirrel in the vicinity. Finally, it took the peanut, and hid it under my husband’s coat! Why waste steps?
If I cooked bacon and eggs for our breakfast, or onion soup or hamburgers at noon, the other artists got pretty hungry just from the fragrance coming from our van! The concession stand didn’t open until much later than our breakfast time.
We were working, but we did have a lot of fun interacting with the people who stopped to enjoy the paintings. Some days there were no sales at all, but other days made up for it.