It’s been three months since our family pulled up with our two-car convoy setting off to our new home in central Alberta. Although the landscape we travelled was awe-inspiring, we arrived pretty exhausted after months of packing, saying our goodbyes, and dealing with twenty years of accumulated stuff in my barn and studio. It was a challenging time for everyone, but with our arrival, the tearing down of one life, which we had been performing for many months ended, and we were set to begin building a new one.
We now live in the little town of Penhold, just outside Red Deer, in the province of Alberta. During the first summer month, when we weren’t unpacking, we explored, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, the Prairies, and the Aspen Parklands where we now live. Everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve seen more examples of how stunningly beautiful the Western landscape is here.
With the coming of August, we found ourselves growing a new life on the Prairies. Schools were visited, local jobs were hunted for and secured, but for the studio, it began with creating a new studio space in the shop behind our home. Although this space was in fairly good shape, there was a lot of work to do. We added windows for light, built walls to separate the painting area from the dusty woodworking space, and then finished it with a new durable floor and freshly painted walls and trim. If you were interested in seeing some of that construction work, I’ve shared a few photos on the Wet Paint page of this site.
Now, as the winter snows begin to erase the landscape from view, the studio’s work begins in a new place. Of course, there’s still so much to do. Every day, as I begin work, completing the task before me seems to require a bit of building or unpacking yet another box in search of a specific tool. I’m also behind on a couple of commissions, but over the next couple of months, I hope to settle in more fully and catch up, too.
In the meantime, there are a couple of exciting announcements coming soon about two projects the studio is planning, so stay tuned.
There are so many people to thank for helping us over the months of our move, from long-time friends like Henry, who rebuilt our old trailer so it could make the journey as a farewell gift; to our amazing Real Estate agent, Jackie Wall, who tirelessly worked to help us sell our home in Conestoga; to the invitation to take one last swim in a particularly cold lake with my mentor and friend Roumen.
Then there was help from all the Knights of Columbus from the St. John Paul II Student Centre, who cheerfully helped pack up the studio. And, of course, all our many family friends who helped us pack, offered much-needed words of encouragement, or nourished our whole family with food and rest during an evening’s respite. The list of names is too long to write, but thank you all for your love and generosity.