Donna Kriekle - About Anatomy of a Saskatchewan Saskatoon Pie in the Sky
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Anatomy of a Saskatchewan Saskatoon Pie in the Sky is a series of 11 watercolour paintings. And it was a bit of an invitation, in a way. I was doing some workshops at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, and, I thought why am I going to do a bunch of little demos, why don’t I do a series? Why don’t I make this into a series about process, and that will get me thinking about process. I was also pregnant, quite. So I was very much engaged in process, and growth. Anyway, my work is very cyclical, so, in the 11 works, they start out with ideas and drawings. So, drawing, that would be a warm-up, a gesture, a contour, tonal study, details…they’re all in that one first work. And the next work goes into colouration, but it keeps part of the first, so in each of the successive works, there are trails of the other works. There are thumbnails which are probably a half an inch high, maybe an inch high, and then there what I’ll call thumbnails which are about three inches high. And that line runs along the bottom, and that’s really the map of what I’m doing. So, I didn’t conceive of the whole piece at once, but I conceived of probably two or three and then I thought we’ll see what happens. And over the course of a week or two, working at the MacKenzie, I got things, well, I guess they’re not things, got classes of teenagers, those bored teenagers, that everything is so passé, and I thought what am I going to do with them? I got there and I thought “I’ll make them fly” I don’t know, whatever. Pie in the Sky, I think took off with the teenagers. Which gave me another perspective because it’s the growth of through the seasons from summer through fall and winter and spring and again. So they move through the seasons a number of times. They move through baking pies…there’s a no-fail pie pastry shell recipe I believe. There’s also a list of the materials I used, which colours, ultramarine, probably the three primary colours, and the brush, the tools, and I’m not sure if all the tools were in that series. They may have come in the next several series which I painted about creation. So, this was one series that started a bunch of series happening. And there are many layers – it’s an anatomy of creativity. Of the thought processes that go into painting, or anything, any creative endeavor. So, part of it is highly real, realistic, and part of it is imaginative. And the last painting appears to have nothing in it, but it has a very small saskatoon. It’s a very dark sky, and if you don’t look, you don’t see it. And it’s really the seed for the next thought. And I was going to get into political pies, then I thought, oh no. Pies are a way of dividing things up - dividing up the good things in life. It’s also about eating. It’s also about the joy of going out and picking saskatoons in the summer, with my family, as a child, and my children, and, so it’s a memory bank of my past, and in a way, it’s a promise of the future because I’ll do it again. So it’s integral to my way of life. I like to be outside in the woods, I like to be in fresh air, I love saskatoons, I love pies, I love painting.

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On What Got Her Started in ArtOn Her Sky SeriesOn the Relationship Between Art and PlayAbout Anatomy of a Saskatchewan Saskatoon Pie in the Sky
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning