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2017 A Year In Review!


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A Year In Review!

With the wink of an eye, 2017 is almost over! I remember as a child time could not go fast enough. Now the year has passed and I only just started dating my cheques correctly. Due to a very busy year for us, we have missed a few blog posts so we thought we would do an end of year post to sum up 2017!

And what a year we had! Cheri and I continue to be grateful for the fortunate success we keep seeing each year and we sincerely thank all of you for that. 2017 was going to be a little different year for us. We had decided in 2016 that my time in the studio is critical for us to try to maximize, so in order to see that happen we scaled way back on the number of shows and festivals we would usually take part in. This was a very scary thing for us to do as that saw us with Calgary Stampede as our primary show this year with no fall back plan. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket! Thankfully this plan did have the results we were looking for, as I was able to spend the much needed time in the studio creating new work. Stampede was also really good to us this year, as we almost had our first sold out show! The success of that show has allowed us to continue with this new direction, meaning that instead of seeing us at the Christmas Markets this season, Cheri has me locked away in the studio painting like a mad man!

2017 also saw us take part in our first auction in the U.S. at the CM Russell Event in Great Falls Montana. Unfortunately I had to attend this event solo as Cheri was unable to go, but I had a fun time hanging out with a fantastic group of artists and friends that were in attendance from Calgary! A big thank you to Doug Levitt, who is an amazing artist and great friend, for showing me the ropes and introducing me to so many people. The auction turned out to be a much grander event than I had realized and the second I saw my painting go up on the stage the nerves hit me like a locomotive! What a stressful event to be part of! Thankfully all went well with the bidding which allowed me to relax and truly enjoy the weekend. We have had my painting ‘Vintage Red’ accepted in to the auction for 2018 and both Cheri and I are set to go this year. I already feel myself getting a little panic stricken at the idea of going through all that again but at least I’ll have my beautiful good luck charm with me this time!

We also had the great pleasure of creating 3 more coins for the Royal Canadian Mint this year! I always enjoy these projects as the subject matter I am asked to render requires weeks of research that sees us travelling all over to different museums and libraries in search for the elusive reference material for these historic subjects. The coins will be coming out in 2018 and I’ll be sure to share them with you once they do!

2017 also saw us get involved with the Artists for Conservation. This is a fantastic international group of artists focused on the conservation of wildlife and their natural environments. I was fortunate to have had one of my paintings included in their book this year, and have recently finished 3 small 8”x8” portraits of endangered birds for an upcoming mural the organization has underway for the 2018 Ornithological conference in Vancouver. I have always had a great affinity for wildlife and as a young boy I had always dreamt that my future would have something to do with working with animals. Life had different plans, but I feel very honoured and fortunate that I get an opportunity now to focus my time and energy on something that holds such a special place in my heart. As many of you know, Cheri and I do not have kids of our own, but have a house packed with animals, both furry and feathered! I have a few wildlife paintings coming up for 2018 that I am very excited by. One of them is already underway on the easel and I couldn’t be happier with how it is coming together.

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To wind the year up, I have just completed my largest painting to date. I was approached this summer at Stampede by an amazing couple who had been on the search for an artist to create a large painting of a Tall Ship for their home. I poured my heart and soul in to this painting, which took me 3 months to complete and I couldn’t be any happier with the results! The painting captures a steel hulled Barque from the late 1800’s sailing through massive swells with dramatic skies. It was a true pleasure creating this piece and I really hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it for them!
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Thank you again for your continued support and appreciation for our work!
We hope to see you all again real soon in 2018!
Original Paintings
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Copyright © 2017, NEIL HAMELIN, All rights reserved.
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