Copy of Latest Commission Work - Part 1 of 2 - 842 Stockwell Avenue

Amanda had contacted me earlier this year inquiring about my commission work. After some back and forth, she was torn over which building she wanted to have created. Both Sturgeon Hall and this home on Stockwell Avenue hold very special places in her heart. Rather than having to choose — because honestly, who actually only has one singular place that holds space in their heart? I can name countless wonderful places that hold meaning for me - I suggested we do two smaller paintings on wood panels. 

I’m always excited to do commission work. I love a challenge and feel like I get to make a deeper connection with someone. The email exchanges that followed, and the reference photos Amanda sent had me filled with excitement, chills and butterflies all at once. I could literally feel how much she loved these places right from the emails. 

842 Stockwell Avenue 

842 Stockwell Avenue - 14 x 18 Acrylic on Wood Panel

842 Stockwell Avenue - 14 x 18 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Typically, I work on at least two or three paintings at a time. However, there was an intense magnetic pull calling me to complete 842 Stockwell first. Amanda had mentioned that she had lived in this home and it held very special meaning for her. She had mentioned her friend was in the band Fields of Green and he had passed away and would like some mementos worked into the painting. When I had asked for a couple of reference photos, she sent me an entire album of pictures! Inside and out of the house, the front yard, and the stunning back garden. All of this had me light right up! I couldn’t wait to get started on this piece, and I thought about it constantly when I wasn’t working on it. 

Ceramic cats, FOG logo in foundation

Ceramic cats, FOG logo in foundation

While in the initial stages of sketching the draft, a friend of mine passed away. I spent the entire duration of this painting processing this loss and really through myself into it. It is incredibly hard to have to say goodbye to friend, especially when the loss is so unexpected. Tessa was an inspiration in so many ways, from her yoga practice, her healthy lifestyle, the way she followed her dreams and how she loved her baby girl. She was full of love and sass and could light up an entire room when she walked in. After the funeral, I went home and painted for hours and thought of Tessa watching over me, singing along to Janis Joplin. I was honestly so grateful for the timing of this painting because it truly helped me work through my grief. 



There were so many wonderful details in the album of photos Amanda sent, and I probably could have done an entire series on its own of the house. Some homes just hold incredible energy. The placement of ordinary, everyday objects becomes an art in and of itself. For example, the ceramic cats in the window sill, the bikes against the fence and stairs. As an amateur gardener myself, but living in an apartment, I was blown away by the immense lush garden in the back yard — literally a field of green. I imagine sitting on the steps having coffee, or drinking a cold beer in the yard after a good few hours of gardening on sunny May afternoon. 

Dreamer - “that fat coloured cream guy”

Dreamer - “that fat coloured cream guy”

The front yard of the actual house, holds the most magnificent tree, with the largest canopy of green that covers the entire home as you move into summer. In the trunk you’ll find RIP KT in a heart, as well as the Fields of Green logo noted in the foundation of the home. I added the ceramic cats, the bikes, and though I painted the front of the house, I needed to represent the garden some how, so I layered a garden in front of the shed. While none of the reference photos included chairs, I thought they would be a nice little touch, because I honestly can’t think of anything more satisfying than a cold beer in the yard after a successful day of gardening. Knowing the homes musical ties, I added a guitar to the front door. When I sent a progress photo of this piece to Amanda, she made one small request to add a cat somewhere in the painting. In front of the garden by the shed you’ll find “that fat coloured cream guy.”, his name is Dreamer, and he was a frequented the home on a regular basis. 

Songs selected for this piece include a mixture of songs that remind me of Tessa and helped me process the loss as well as songs from Fields of Green. 

842 Stockwell Avenue - Playlist

1.Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin

2. Back on the Chain Gang - The Pretenders

3. Flash of Light- Fields of Green 

4. Trouble - Cage the Elephant 

5. Sister Golden Hair - America 

6. Frozen In My Shoes - Fields of Green 

7. A Liquid Mouth - Fields of Green 

8. Above It All - Fields of Green 

9. Star Witness - Neko Case 

10. Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix

11. Love For My Peggy - Valentino

12. Bye Bye Baby - Janis Joplin 

Latest Commission Work - Part 2 of 2 - Sturgeon Hall Restaurant

Sturgeon Hall Restaurant

Sturgeon Hall - 14 x 18 Acrylic on Wood Panel

Sturgeon Hall - 14 x 18 Acrylic on Wood Panel

I could probably write a short story compilation on all of my most memorable moments from sitting in Sturgeon Hall. Some hilarious, some happy, some sad. 

Patio Pallet Plants

Patio Pallet Plants

Funny moments include; the time my best friend decided we were going to go on a last minute Plenty Of Fish date with a couple of doctors on a Saturday night. Halloween weekend when a blind man hit on my friend dressed as a deer and told her she was the “prettiest girl in the bar.”. The night my friends and I celebrated the success of my first entry into Art on the Line and all three of my pieces were raffled off to new homes. 

I experienced a string of family losses through 2014-2016 and Sturgeon Hall felt like my safe harbour at times and I flocked there regularly. For peace, for memorial beers, and for chicken pitas. While I never managed to make it up stairs to Bordello’s Pizzeria (but I strongly recommend the pepperoni), each section of this restaurant had its own unique atmosphere. The patio in the warmer months, attracted many young folks for hair of the dog and hangover brunches. You had the old man regulars drinking at the bar, watching hockey while the neon Molson Export sign glowed, and a sign counting how many days since the Leafs had won the Stanley Cup (it’s been well over 18,000 days if you’re wondering). The restaurant itself was a great place for families and for dates. Or to sit in a corner and cry into a beer after a particularly touching art show for the Hospice. 

Fields of Green in the alley

Fields of Green in the alley

Sturgeon Hall reminded me of my uncle Jake’s man cave in Lanark, Ontario. This was a small dark room under the house, where he hid from his wife to drink beer, watch hockey, talk about Canadian politics and write angry letters to Ontario Hydro. Sturgeon Hall, though much brighter  and tidier than the cave, just felt authentically Canadian. From the music they played to the wall of iconic black and white Canadian celebrity portraits. The old men at the bar, drinking their beers, yelling at the tv and griping about city council. The paint by numbers photos across the restaurant had a nostalgic feel of the 70’s and also could transport me back to visiting my family in Ontario. 

I had wanted to paint this place for a while now, especially now that it has closed. Naturally, I perked right up when Amanda had suggested it. As with 842 Stockwell, I could easily paint an entire series inside and out of this pub. The were so many great colours, angles and corners to this little pub, both inside and out. 

Front Window Plants

Front Window Plants

While I’m really excited to see how BNA transforms this space, I am deeply saddened at the loss of this pillar in our downtown community. There has been so much change in Kelowna over the past year, and it’s hard to see staples like this go. Sturgeon Hall will always have a place in my heart. 

The songs I picked for this pieces were mostly a trip down memory lane, both happy and peculiar— from fighting with an ex-boyfriend before a trip to Hawaii to the ridiculous adventures with some of my most favourite people and many nights of celebrating or remembering loved ones who’ve passed

Sturgeon Hall Playlist

1. U N Me - The Watson Twins

2. Otis - Kanye West and Jay Z

3. Cat Power - Lived in Bars

4. The Constantines - Soon Enough 

5. Rural Alberta Advantage - Terrified

6. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

7. The Weight - The Band 

8. It Wasn’t Me - Jenny Lewis 

9. Sick as a Dog - Hamilton Leithauer & Rostam 

10. Breakdown - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

11. So Good at Being In Trouble - Unknown Mortal Orchestra 

12. So Long, Marianne - Leonard Cohen 

I’ve had quite a lot of conversations with friends recently about special places and wonderful ways to commemorate them. If you want a great memory of your grandmother’s house on the island, your Mexican beach house, the first house you rented or even your first home, I would absolutely love to work with you and create something special! Please email me for more information. I would love to hear from you!