Painting for Big Hill Haven

Although Janet never "imajaned" anything quite like this. And credit must be given to the imaginative Cochrane community that made it happen.

Back in 2012, while an artist in residence at the Leighton Studio, Banff Centre, Jan created a large format work en
titled "Watcher of the Trail" for her Meadows to Mountains series.

Perhaps "large format" is an understatement, as the oil on canvas painting actually measured 68 by 78 inches, putting it, more or less, in the "huge" category.

The painting hung on the wall of the Just Imajan Gallery for several months, and was a popular attraction, especially with local art lovers, who recognized the depiction of the much loved Grandfather Tree that watches over one of the hiking trails at Cochrane Ranche.

A reasonable price tag of $10K put the painting out of range of some collectors' budgets, however, it was the size that deterred most. The dimensions were better suited to a corporate lobby than a living room.

The painting was eventually taken down and put into storage, much to the dismay of appreciative gallery goers, but the move was necessary to free up display space.

Over the years, Janet was approached by a number of Calgary businesses interested in acquiring the painting, but in the nature of business, deals were expected, and the offers made for the work were so low, she turned them down.

When it came to "Watcher of the Trail", Janet decided that if she was going to "give it away", she would give it away at a time and manner of her own choosing.

Fast forward to October 2017, and the fundraiser for the future Cochrane women’s shelter, Big Hill Haven. In support of the community project, Janet donated her painting to the live auction.

While she hoped "Watcher of the Trail" might be purchased by a generous somebody who would then donate it back to the shelter once built, she crossed her fingers that the work would at least raise $5000 for the cause, and she suggested as much when she introduced the painting during the auction.

What happened next was beyond even Jan's imajanation. As the bidding progressed, one of the bidders suggested something rather unusual for an auction: a cumulative bidding process that would allow everyone in attendance to pool their bids towards the purchase of the painting for the future shelter's lobby.

The suggestion was met with much enthusiasm and generosity of spirit. By the end of the bidding, the painting had raised $16K for Big Hill Haven. The next day, when all bids were officially tallied, it turned out the painting had actually raised $22,000.

Not a bad legacy for a "little" painting that refused to be sold because it clearly had some other destiny in mind, including a collaboration with a forward-thinking, giving community.
Watcher of the Trail

Watcher of the Trail
68" x 78" Oil on Canvas

Members of the Cochrane community who came together
in generous support of the Big Hill Haven fundraiser.
Painting for Humane Society

A Cochrane & Area Humane Society fund-raising event took place on November 5, 2016 at the Links of GlenEagles Golf Course.

Janet, a long time pet owner and supporter of the Humane Society,
contributed to the proceeds by painting live at the event, then donating her painting for auction.

Working from a thumbnail sketch, Janet painted on-site from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The painting, entitled "Mountain Path", was auctioned off during the live auction portion of the evening.

The winning bidder generously doubled her first bid to take home the painting and support a great cause "For the Love of Animals".
Thumbnail Sketch

The live painting begins with a
thumbnail sketch.
Work in Progress

The work in progress.

All proceeds were donated
to the Cochrane & Area
Humane Society.

The painting stopped off at
Janet's studio for some fine
tuning and dry time on the easel before going to its new home.
Mountain Path

Mountain Path
24" x 30" Acrylic on Canvas
Painting for Michelangelo

On March 2, 2016, gallerist Barbara La Pointe invited Janet to Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art in Calgary to paint on-site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It was a Michelangelo special event to feature one of its exhibiting artists painting live and completing an entire painting by three o'clock.

Throughout the day, the event was captured
by still photograph and video camera. Liam Kerr of Kerr Interactive then blended the footage into a two minute production showing the painting emerge from concept to finish. Adding a soundtrack by Vivaldi -- a composer whose music often inspires Janet while she paints -- the completed video was posted to YouTube on March 10th.

Janet's painting, entitled "Survivors II" is currently on display at her own gallery in Cochrane. Selected works by Janet B. Armstrong are featured at Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art.

Watch the Michelangelo video on YouTube here.
(Video produced by Liam Kerr of Kerr Interactive)
Survivors II

Survivors II
24" x 30" Acrylic on Canvas

Painted live in one sitting by Janet B. Armstrong at
Michelangelo Gallery of Fine Art and Framing,
Calgary AB on March 2, 2016.

Thank you to gallerist Barbara La Pointe
for putting together this special event.
Painting for PALS

PALS held their 30th Anniversary "Healing Paws Pala" at the Wainwright Hotel in Heritage Park, Calgary, on November 14, 2015.

PALS (Pet Access League Society) is a non-profit, registered, charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of individuals through pet therapy.

Janet Armstrong was one of five Canadian artists who painted life-size plaster-cast "pets" for the gala.

Jan's droll little bulldog with the drooling muzzle was aptly named "Tom Drooley".

The painted sculptures will be auctioned off in the spring of 2016, with all proceeds going to benefit PALS.

Janet meets the plaster-cast British bulldog for the first time when Diana Segboer, the director of PALS, drops him off at the gallery.

He heads for Jan's home studio where she'll decide how he should dress for the Paws Pala.

At the studio, the bulldog's features are sketched in... ...and his personality begins to emerge. Textures and fine details are added.
It's the bulldog's
characteristic drool
on his muzzle that inspires his name:
Tom Drooley.
A coat of
preserves the memories that
Tom keeps in his back pockets:
photos of long-lost beloved pets.

Much-loved, the imprint
of hugs remain.
A grand entrance. Tom and friends.
A discreet signature
by the artist, and Tom is ready for his gala debut.

Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio
Bay #3, 320 - 1st Street West
Cochrane, Alberta

(403) 932-7040
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