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WINTER 2015 Studio News

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Merry Christmas!

At the end of another amazing year I would like to wish you all the best for the holiday and the year ahead...wishing you a very Merry Christmas from our home to yours!


LIFE: Local named Artist to Collect

By Dawn Smith, The Airdrie Echo; September 30, 2015

Airdrie artist Veronica Funk has been honoured once again.

The prolific artist was one of 10 artists featured in the summer edition of Arabella, a Canadian art, architecture and design magazine.

Funk is no stranger to accolades, but she is thrilled to have the 16-page spread in the Artists to Collect section of the magazine.

“It’s pretty special,” she said. “It’s such an honour; it really is.”

The magazine featured 18 of Funk’s paintings from her Sacred Vessel and Totem Animals collections.

Funk grew up in northern Manitoba in the community of Leaf Rapids and her childhood was filled with images of the boreal forest and First Nations people she shared her community with.

Funk, a mother of two who has turned her creativity into a career, got an early start in the world of art.

While still in elementary school, she was exposed to the arts of beading, mocassin making, weaving and photography through her involvement with 4-H.

Several of those teachers were Cree “grandmothers” who inspired her in many ways, as did the beauty of her environment: the rivers, trees and animals that made up her surroundings.

One neighbour shared her wisdom with the young Funk.

“She told me, ‘We have to stop looking backwards. The only way we can heal is to move forward’” said Funk.

Funk, whose parents were Mennonite immigrants from Paraguay, named her after the Veronica in the Archie comics series, so it’s only natural that the artist began recreating those characters.

As her abilities grew, Funk began specializing in portraiture, noting it was her drawing ability that got her a spot in Red Deer College’s art department after her family moved to Alberta when she was in Grade 11 due to the failing mining industry in her beloved hometown.

But drawing was a difficult taskmaster.

“ I used to get so frustrated sitting for hours and working on a drawing,” said Funk, who eventually pursued a career in bookkeeping as an alternative to becoming a professional artist.

She also had several bad experiences in the art world, pushing her into a deep depression.

But her talent still pushed Funk to create, and she was inspired during a workshop by a leader who told the class to “do what you love.”

When Funk realized that art could be freeing, she began to once again create, this time just to please herself.

“When I had a whole bunch of work I decided to put it out there,” said Funk.

She fell in love once again with painting and that passion still shines through in her current body of work, which feature highly saturated canvases with abstract backgrounds teeming with the images and symbols of her youth.

Her Sacred Vessel collection features images of canoes or teepees.

“The canoes started because I missed [my hometown] so much,” she said, noting her first canoe painting sold before she even completed it.

Funk said the joy of splashing large swathes of colour onto her canvas and the freedom of not knowing how her paintings will end up is fulfilling.

The prolific painter is currently challenging herself to create 52 canvases featuring wildflowers in a year, much like the challenge she completed last year with her Totem Animals collection.

In addition to her large quantity of paintings, Funk does art journalling and writes for her numerous publications, such as Artful Blogging, Somerset Studios and Cloth, Paper Scissors.

She also puts on workshops, is employed at the Airdrie Public Library and is an active volunteer on numerous committees in Airdrie.

Her past work, Simple Pleasures, which features images of chairs, was featured on television, in magazines and at galleries around the country.

This time around, Funk is more selective about where her work is shown.

“I am only dealing with people I respect and admire,” she said. “It is just wonderful.”

Funk’s work is sold in Ayr, Ontario; Invermere, B.C.; and at four Alberta galleries, the closest being Inglewood Fine Arts in Calgary and Cochrane’s Just Imagan Art Gallery & Studio.

North of '56

For those who were unable to get a copy of ARABELLA magazine, the entire article written by Sam Amos can be read online through Inglewood Fine Arts Gallery here.

I had the privilege of speaking about living creatively with the lovely Jamie Ridler...you can listen to our conversation here.

Asked to write a guest post I wanted to share a few things that I wrote about in my book.  Read the article here.

21 SECRETS Fall Retiring + New Public Art

21 SECRETS Fall, an online art journaling workshop, will be retiring after December 18 and is being offered on sale.  For more information visit here.  Also, I had the great privilege of creating another piece of public art, this time a painted picnic table where apparently a boy exclaimed that he "would pay a million dollars for this table!".  It is currently being displayed in Genesis Place for the winter.

Galleries

Inglewood Fine Arts in Calgary, Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Just ImaJan in Cochrane, Effusion Gallery in Invermere, and once again at Evanescence Gallery in High River just across the street from 'Maggie's Diner' where I saw an episode of 'Heartland' being filmed.  Also small paintings are  now available through Delree's Native Art Gallery in Didsbury.

Gifts

For those who have asked, there are still a few prints available which are printed on paper that measures 8/5x11 inches for $25 each.  For more information, please visit here.  There are also four Christmas ornaments available for $15 each.

ENTER TO WIN::Sacred Vessel

Instead of a tip, this time I have a copy of my book Sacred Vessel::A Painter's Handbook to share. Please connect with me on social media, on my blog or via email to enter the draw to be held on January 15.  It is also available to purchase online through Blurb books.

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