Community Art Events & Volunteers

Art making in its self is usually a solitary activity BUT somewhere along the line we must get out and connect with other creative beings who could encourage us to keep flourishing adventures of the creative soul.

Artists tend to hide away and I am no different then anyone else. Moving to Nova Scotia and not knowing anyone has its few blessings, as I have little interruptions in my daily life but it was time for me to get out of my comforts zones and volunteer with other creative people in my local community.

Battle of the Brushes posterMentioned in the local newspaper, was a FUND RAISER competition called Paint it Out- Battle of the Brushes during the summer at THE OLD SCHOOL. Its about time for me to challenge myself so I made that phone call and signed up right away before I talked myself out of it. It cost me FREE0$ and just had to bring my own brushes, easel and lots of COURAGE. 

The OLD SCHOOL supplied a few dobs of acrylic paints and a fair size canvas to paint for each competition. Artists where set up at the front of the room with their easels and a side table for paints & brushes. The audience filled up the room fast with standing room only which made for a lively spirited auction of all the art works at the end of the day, raising much needed funds for the Old School...awesome!

'Bee Nice' 20 minute acrylic painting on canvas by Minaz Jantz
'Bee Nice' 20 minute acrylic painting on canvas by Minaz Jantz 
Theme 'Natures Dance' (photo by Tobbi Dyer)

'Bee Nice' 20 minute acrylic painting on canvas by Minaz Jantz
Theme 'Natures Dance'; 'Bee Nice' 20 minute acrylic painting on canvas by Minaz Jantz at the Old School. 
(photo by Tobbi Dyer)
Seven brave artists showed up for the Battle of the Brushes who where a mix of ages and levels of artistic abilities. To start the competition, 3 themes (Vibrant Community, Tangled Gardens & Nature Dance) where written on paper slips and then drawn randomly out of a hat. Each idea is destined for 2-20 minute challenges and the final 2 remaining artists gets 30 minutes to paint for the win and $50.00! 

Its good times for the audience to be entertained, watching the frenzy and flurry of paint brushes, slapping paint on the canvas for 20 minute sessions. After 20 minutes of painting, there is a vote from the audience to list their favorites with each session eliminating two artists until the last 2 artists are competing for the win! I was voted OUT on the first round and was OK by me as I got to have fun watching the rest of the artists in the competition and had time to connect with a few people in the audience! What a fun day for all and will certainly sign up for next years 2017 Battle of the Brushes!

'Dog Day Afternoon', soft pastel by Minaz Jantz
'Dog Day Afternoon', soft pastel by Minaz Jantz
My favorite local paper, the Eastern Shore Cooperator, had an interview by Richard Bell of a local artist from the OLD SCHOOL Gallery in Musquodoboit Harbour.  I contacted the artist Karen Schlick as mentioned in the article and was pleasantly surprised how much she had to offer with various programs at the Old School facilities such as the fine art gallery, live music performances, author reading, art classes, etc... all put together by mostly volunteers for The Old School Community facilities. 

MOM was a huge advocate of volunteering for many community organizations and events such as making XMAS FLOATS where the family helped make BOXES of kleenex flowers and then there was the fun community event fund raisers dance and banquets with 'OHH' count the buckets of coleslaw prepared from her BRAUN chopper!  Mom also served on the board with art councils for years to promote the arts. Her solution for self healing of loneliness, depression and boredom is to find somewhere your talents could be useful to empower others and to feed the soul by doing SOMETHING to improve our communities. I grew up to be a volunteer for  various organizations such as the arts, animal welfare, children programs, community garbage picking, etc. 

Dog Day Afternoon  pastel by Minaz Jantz
Dog Day Afternoon
 pastel by Minaz Jantz
Being an artist by trade usually means some where along the line there will be times to volunteer for group art shows. I was very pleased to be accepted by the OLD SCHOOL Art gallery group and I was just in time for the SEASON OPENING! It was joyful to connect with a few local artists who I have since met at various other functions. 

The Old School art group has such an impressive range of talent & painting styles to suit many tastes in art and craft. The volunteers do a great job with the art & craft displays, that show well in the ambient lite old school room which is a charming place to showcase art for the community & tourists to view and to buy local art & crafts. 

What I liked is THE OLD SCHOOL gallery changes the art through out the season so it encourages us artists to keep bringing in fresh art which is more enticing for the local people to regularly drop by to engage in the latest art display.
This year The OLD SCHOOL gallery also has offered one dedicated wall space, FEATURING one artist to show case their series of art works. The feature wall changes every two weeks with another artist's series. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I took the opportunity to go to as many featured artists' openings as I could, to say hello and to talk about their art work.  

Minaz on the far right talking about pastels!
Minaz on the far right talking about pastels!
(In the meeting room at THE OLD SCHOOL photo by Harry Hamm)

Another event came up for me to volunteer at THE OLD SCHOOL this summer season... I signed up for the Petals & Paint event where artists join with local gardeners who feature their gardens' GREAT petals, all set up in artsy arrangements for the competition. I truly do not know how they can judge flowers as I see they are all winners!

Karen Schlick decorating clay pots for 
art demonstration at The Old School. 
(photo by Harry Hamm)
Mean while, back at the room is Karen Schlick, Barb King, Betty-Ann Gaetz, and me at our dedicated tables, demonstrating various painting mediums for people to watch and to ask any questions. I showcased soft pastels and various pastel papers to enchant people with the beauty and versatility of soft pastels. I have not talked so much in one day since moving to Nova Scotia! I had a delightful time in such an easy going venue. 

751 West Ship Harbour Rd.Lower Ship Harbour,  Nova Scotia. 
This was going to be my dock to paint from for the day!
The weather started out with menacing heavy dark clouds, but it turned out to be a sunny hot day without winds which is unusual for being on the ocean.

The Deanery Project   organized by Kim Thompson the Executive Director of the Deanery Project, decided to try out a spontaneous Plein Aire event, sending word out to as many creative persons they could find. I got an email from Karen Schlick and signed up right away for the weekend event. This years personal goal was to do one plein aire painting session with oil paints and here was my opportunity. The day of painting was free to attend with a FREE vegetarian lunch for us hard working artists. Could say that all of us who attended where not only inspired by the natural gorgeous views but most enjoyable was gathering together to talk and do art. What a treat to also have FREE homemade snacks & a vegetarian lunch to share with us all.

The Deanery Project at Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia.
The Deanery Project: One of the small building projects on site.

'The Deanery Project is a not-for-profit organization with a focus on the environment, youth and community, natural building, and the arts.  We are open year round offering programs and projects connected to a wide variety of learning, recreational, and research opportunities, especially those related to energy, forests, health, active transportation and rural living.' from their website here..

The Red Cottage at Ship Harbour NS', oil on canvas board... by Minaz Jantz
'The Red Cottage at Ship Harbour NS', oil on canvas board... by Minaz Jantz
I started out with moody dark clouds and it was high tide when I started to paint but at the end of the day it was low tide showing off the bright yellow sea grasses and lots of bright sun! I was chasing the days changes of scenery and trying to get it onto the canvas! 

Usually I have used pencil and pastel for a plein aire painting but thought to challenge myself with a minimal oil paint palette used by 1800's French landscape painter, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot. His paintings had that defused glow of natural earth tones of soft blues, yellows and one green. 

Portable Palette by Mijello
Cottonwood Canvas painting boards in a booklet.

Portable Palette by Mijello
Minimal paint palette with Titanium White, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Chromium Oxide (green) and Alizarin Crimson (red).

What a glorious day once again with a group of artists sharing the joy of painting outdoors. All of us donated our paintings for a silent auction to raise funds for The Deanery Project. 

Portable Palette by Mijello
Minimal paint palette with Titanium White, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue, 

Chromium Oxide (green) and Alizarin Crimson (red).
Photo by Jeffrey R Fish

Minaz Jantz & Kim Thompson, Executive Director of the Deanery Project
Photo by Jeffrey R Fish

Spinderella Soap...read more here

'Fall for Books' was the final event for me to challenge this year. I was invited to join the list of authors to read from my illustrated adult story book 'Spinderella Soap'. I tell ya, it was nerve wracking for me to get up front of people and performance read after being reclusive for several years but I DID IT and kept saying to self, " I will not DIE and will live through the experience, so smarten up, you've done more life threatening things then this!". 

Spinderella Soap #12 Sand Castle Shrine by Minaz Jantz
Spinderella Soap #12 Sand Castle Shrine by Minaz Jantz
read & view more illustrations here
What a surprise to be in a room full of seasoned published authors. I had no idea how the day was going to transpire as I have never been to a writers reading and was engaged in listening to them share their writing styles, personal struggles and insights to the writers world. Another inspiring day for me and I did not die of fright!

Its been a beneficial year for my creative pursuits by getting out of my comfort zones to connect with other local volunteers & participants who all helped to exhilarate my creative soul! 

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