Reflections of 2011

Absolutely fabulous face painting has actually had an absolutely fabulous year, when I look back on it. I love my job so passionately – I have encountered and come into contact with so many wonderful people. Gentle souls who invite me into their homes and their families to be part of special celebrations where everyone is happy to see me! In addition to my regular home invasions….I have been lucky enough to enjoy several festivals and public events where I have worked with amazing colleagues and fabulous clients. This summer brought a number of exciting painting and travelling opportunities…..

At the very beginning of the summer I went on my first roadtrip, to paint at a privte event in Jasper. I travelled to Jasper with colleauge Michael Stretch the very talented and funny Balloon Artist. Between us we managed to almost fill an 8g photocard. What a trip – over one weekend we saw bear, elk, mountain goats, mountain sheep, deer and a WOLF!!!! see why I love my job!?

Then came the Calgary Stampede. I was giddy as a kid to be able to paint on the Parade Route so that I caught a glimpse of Will and Kate on their tour of Canada, which was momentary but quite the thrill…then I got back to work and painted lots of colourful creations to brighten up the day. I love Stampede, Calgary turns into the ultimate Party Town for 10 days, and I get to play with paint on almost every day of the festival

After Stampede, I went on another Road Trip. This time, with Lucie Brouillard my dear friend and fellow face and body artist, to Salmon Arm in BC – to attend the first “Sturgis North” biker gathering…..with the intention to face and body paint at the event. As a business opportunity….it was a wash-out in every sense of the word! it poured with rain, threw hail at us, fogged us in, you name it, it did everything but snow! In late July, Salmon Arm is usually white hot! But the weather didn’t stop us from having lots of fun. We met some of the most interesting people! I met a beautiful girl from Turkey, and practiced my rusty Turkish on her, painted her for her husband, spent hours chatting with this group of guys who were sooo cool! Three of them had ridden their bikes all the way from Ontario to BC. They were awesome dudes, with stories which delighted Lucie and I, tales of the Navy, of families, of bikes and we had one of the most entertaining afternoons of the year, even if we barely used a dab of paint! We camped in Lucie’s van…and slept soundly having dined on cold meats and lots of wine. We joked that I wanted to complete my set of nature photographs from my recent trip to Japser…I only needed one more to complete my collection….a Grizzly Bear. I must have put the right vibes out to the universe because up he popped!!! Lucie and I laughed till we cried, and loved our trip, and returned to Calgary so much richer in spirit than in pocket. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

The next trip…which had nothing to do with painting all was to the UK, but I managed to squeeze in some colour there too….little family members and friends pleaded and the paints came out and we all had lots of fun!

Back from the UK to Calgary…..sad to leave, but happy to be back home and back in the early autumn swing of things. Before I knew it..Halloween was on top of us. Painted one of my favourite customers, as a a TINY dress…and the rest of her was ALL tiger! – last year, she won first place in Cowboy’s Avatar competition when I body painted her from top to toe in a freeeeezing room – we drank wine and laughed a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening….I love Halloween for that stuff.

The next thing I know, I am on a plane with Lucie again… Japan. To meet up with old friends and to paint the beautiful faces of Shizuoka, at the 20th Daidogei Festival. Despite the tragedy and horror faced by all those in Japan this March, the enthusiasm and infectious joy of all those who came to the festival was astonishing. For me, there was something extra special about the festival – the performers who had come from all over the world, were, without exception a delight and we were sad to leave to return to a snowy Calgary.

Now as I write this, we are in the throws of the Christmas face and body painting season..with Christmas parties and corporate events every weekend now until the big day.  Its been such a pleasure to make people happy with paint this year, and I want to thank everyone I have encountered on my 2011 journey, for making it a positive and enriching 12 months professionally.  I hope that 2012 is just as exciting and rewarding!

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