'Hats Off To All at the 31st Pelham Art Festival' - Participating Artist Barbara Simpson

It was my first time participating in the Pelham Art Festival and I have to say, given the opportunity again, I will definitely return.  It was a tremendously busy weekend and an enjoyable one at the same time. Many great comments about the calibre of art (many great artists indeed!) and how organized the event was (it was very well organized!) along with the entertainment, wine and Mother’s Day brunch, all well received.

I want to extend a special “Thanks” to all the organizers who made the 31st Pelham Art Festival possible, and to every one of the volunteers who made each of themselves known all weekend - for any artist who needed a break, plus, coming around with those delicious h’ors deouvres on Opening Night – thank you!! I met oodles of terrific people over the entire weekend with the chance to talk in great lengths about my exhibit ‘My Home and Native Land’. Being new to the Niagara Region, I felt really blessed for how kind and welcoming everyone was and for the many great discussions about my creative journey. I felt overwhelmed, in a good way, as new Collectors of my work came to be joining the diverse group who have been collecting my work across North America and in countries abroad over the past 19 years. 

The Canada 150 Challenge was a special event held at the Festival for artists who wanted to participate. I was very happy to partake in the challenge and although I did not win, how much fun it was to create for it, “Montmorency Falls”. My Love and I had visited Quebec City last October enjoying the city’s sights and restaurants, all in its radiant autumn spectrum.  And with plenty of opportunities to take in an adventure or few, including Montmorency Falls, while taking an abundance of photos, I researched these falls further (which many learned about at the Festival) and this scene became a part of my painting diary.  My Love and I are looking forward to visiting Quebec City again, and other areas of this amazing province in Canada.  Many Thanks to all who voted!! I learned that I received a great number of ballots and I feel humbly honoured.

My Love was incredibly supportive (as always) helping me from the very beginning, set-up and fantastic lighting, to accompanying me throughout the entire weekend. He knows how much my art means to my life, and I am truly grateful to have shared this experience together with him. He had a really great time also.

It felt really great to meet everyone who came out and engaged in conversation.  Many new faces (including artists!) sharing countless interesting conversations and stories about my art and art in general, and quite a few familiar faces too - thank you all!  Little faces too, like Lily who said she is six. Lily talked to me about her favourite colours and what she likes to paint. She really likes the colour pink, as she pointed to a couple of my paintings! Lily was so kind she even signed my guest book with her name and drew a flower next to it. How adorable, a young artist in the making!.. As well, devoted Collectors of my work came out, some traveling from Trenton continuing their support (thank you!!), local friends, and family too some of who traveled great distances throughout Ontario and some who I have not seen in four decades!! It almost felt like a reunion in some ways.

How amazing such an event can bring so many people together and create new friendships; feels good in the heart. Last, but certainly not least, I am so very happy to share that I actually had the pleasure of meeting 'the' original Barbara Simpson (of 91 years young) who initiated the Pelham Art Festival 31 years ago. What a remarkable woman she is indeed! We talked for quite some time on Opening Night, different conversations, each of us sharing stories of art and family – I was delighted and grateful for her time! On top of it all, we had many fabulous photographs taken together as shown herein (thank you to my Love for taking these with her approval). I am overjoyed to be adding these photos to my life as an artist in my Creative Journal.

I know my Mom would be proud (looking from the Heaven's above). It was my first Mother’s Day without Mom. Sunday was hard, but I got through it. I know, always in my heart, Mom was at the Festival, in spirit, encouraging me like she always did while she was here on Earth. While celebrating Canada’s 150th and moms too as it was the Mother’s Day weekend, I had dedicated my exhibit to my Mom. I had also created a book in Mom’s honour, St. Catharines Sunsets, a book she thought I should create from photos I showed her when my Love and I visited her in the hospital last autumn. I only wished she could have seen it, complete. ...The book was a hit and they all sold. Thank you to my Mom for her everlasting inspiration.

The 31st Pelham Art Festival was a fantastic time. I really encourage all artists, if they are not already a part of the Festival, to consider it as an option for showing their creativeness next year. Thank you Niagara for your support!

What’s next? Much is on my palette, ahem, I mean, plate. I have been painting again, always, a new series, “Heralds of Spring”. Aside from taking in the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit together with my Love (I am a HUGE O’Keeffe fan!), one new development I can share, I have been juried into the 12th Annual Art By the Lighthouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake being held over the August long weekend. Save the dates August 5 and 6 in your calendar. Rain or shine, the show goes on. More details coming soon!! .... Come out for a visit. I would be happy to carry on conversations and meet more people of Niagara. I will be in my covered tent with my art and, of course, my Love.

 Again, Thank You very much to Cathy and the crew at MyPelham.com for posting this earlier article 'Meet Artist Barbara Simpson - New Niagara Resident and First Time at Pelham Art Festival'. I am impressed by how truly welcoming everyone has been since my arrival in the Niagara Region. It really is a wonderful place to call ‘home’. Next to my Love and my family, my art is my greatest love in life. 

Make moments count.

Barbara Simpson

To learn more about Barbara Simpson, her creative vision and to view more of her art, visit her website at http://barbarasimpsonartworld.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Barbara.Simpson.Canadian.Artist.