In The Artist's Studio With Marianne Aspinall Acrylic & pastel artist

I would like to introduce this lovely lady to everyone in High River who hasn't had the pleasure already...

Please meet Marianne Aspinall - acrylic and pastel artist

Marianne Aspinall and her husband Ray retired here from Saskatchewan after selling their organic grain business, Daybreak Mills. Being flatlanders all their lives they had a desire to live closer to the mountains. What better choice than to settle here. Their timing could have been a little better as they had lived here less than a year before the flood of 2013. That did not dissuade them however, they rebuilt and recovered and are now true High Riverites.

As any farm family member knows the work ethic runs deep and it wasn't long before Ray found himself gainfully employed leaving Marianne with time to return to her old love of creating art. She had always had an interest in the process and was known for entering art pieces in local fairs and events - the feed back was positive which inspired her to keep learning and developing her art.

Like so many people these days Marianne is a student of U. of T. aka YouTube, where the videos posted by other artists, willing to share their teachings with the rest of the world, are available when you are. Being an avid lifelong learner, Marianne is constantly learning and developing her craft. Unlike some students of UTub she takes their lessons and converts them into her own unique style. I already can see a piece of her art and say "Marianne did that." That identity can take years for an artist to develop.

In the Artist's Studio is an excuse for me to visit artist's creative places. Without exception I have found artists of the painting persuasion to have a collection of brushes. Brushes of every imaginable shape and size. All have their own unique purpose. Some become trusted old friends - those are the ones closest at hand.

A collection of old friends
And some have very specific purposes.
Even a well used old toothbrush can find a home in an artist's container of brushes
But wait - there's more to it than brushes
there's paints - containers upon containers of paint
As a painter you can never have too many brushes or too many containers of paint.
There is also colour - lots of colour
These pastels are just full of colour waiting to make their way into a piece of art.

I happen to know Ray Aspinall as well, and I know him to be a fine woodworker, so imagine my surprise that Marianne's shelves are cardboard boxes - come on Ray, you can do better. Wink. She assures me Ray is working on a set of shelves for her. I thought the repurposed boxes were a testament to Marianne's creativity and neatness. She is a very neat person. In fact her workspace may possibly be the neatest and tidiest I have visited.

Everything has a place and everything in it's place.
Even her acrylic pencils are precisely sharpened and lined up neatly
A few more of her well loved old friends that reside close at hand.
The greatest challenge for an artist is to not accidentally drink the brush cleaning water.

Even a collection of sponges, of every variety can have a use in the creation of that next piece of art. The next piece that is created from an ever-growing list of ideas that she keeps adding to faster than she can get them painted. Which is good news as it means she will continue to create her work for the gallery.

When admiring many of Marianne's pieces the word nostalgic comes to mind - memories of times gone by. I am also enjoying her love of hummingbirds as she challenges herself with recreating these beautiful little birds

Stop by the Highwood Gallery & Gifts to experience works by Marianne Aspinall or check out her gallery on their website at www.highwoodgalleryandgifts.com/marianne-aspinall

Until next time - stay safe and healthy.

Created By
Cathy Bennington


C. J. Bennington Photography