Leanne Spanza

Bold Colours. Simple Lines. Happy Art.

Canadian Landscape Painter

Artwalk Then and Now

The Friday night before Artwalk I can never sleep

 I'm up all night tossing and turning, going over and over my set up that I completed earlier that evening and buzzing with excitement. It's my biggest art show of the year and every year, it feels like I go back to 2010 when it was my first art show. Yes, Artwalk was my first ever art show. It was in front of 6000 people and it was terrifying. I had always wanted to apply to Artwalk but I only created a painting or two a year. In 2010 I was on maternity leave with Joni and I had painted five so with much encouragement from Carl I applied.  I had no idea what people would think, accept that the jury must have saw something in my art and certainly not in my CV (artist resume) because there was nothing there. I remember walking to the main building, under those flags that they have up every year with my stomach in knots and my head was spinning. What was I going to say to everyone who came by? What were they going to ask me? Was I really going to be able to pull off being an artist? Would people actually like my art? Besides my friends and family no one had seen it before and, well, they basically have to say that they like it right? I wanted to meet every artist possible and introduced myself as often as I could and then the show began. I started to get some positive feedback, lots of questions and about half way through I SOLD my first painting! I could not believe it and was just flying. Carl came by half an hour before the end of the first day with Joni, who was only 11 months old at the time. While he was there a couple came by that had been by before looking at my large 48" x 48" painting of Kelowna. I had listed it for $1000 which Carl and I thought was ridiculous, that no one would EVER pay that much.

'Kelowna' 48"x48" SOLD

'Kelowna' 48"x48" SOLD

Then they said they would take it. 

I remember trying not to faint, scream, cry and resist hugging them all at the same time. I remember looking over at Carl, who was behind them, who silently mouthed the words 'Holy Sh*t!' to me. That was my moment. That was when I knew I could do this. 

That Artwalk I sold a total of 4 paintings, which was half my work. I met some inspiring artists who I'm still friends with and chatted with as many of those 6000 that walked by. That Artwalk gave me the confidence and kick in the butt to say 'Let's GO, I can do this'.

After take down that year we got a bottle of Cipes Brut and after only two days of 'being an artist' Carl and I decided that I could go back to work part time so that I could spend more time with Joni but also to pursue this artist dream. I was very fortunate that at the time I was working in Mechanical and Refrigeration engineering and they were very supportive of my creative pursuits and I could be completely honest with them about it. When I went back to work in December 2010 I was the only part time employee in a large company with five different offices across Canada and into the USA. And I painted away like a mad woman, but I'll tell you more about my first year in another post. 

Until then, below is a little gallery of my past Artwalk displays. 

Artwalk 2010 (sorry for the bad angle)

Artwalk 2010 (sorry for the bad angle)

Artwalk 2011

Artwalk 2011

Artwalk 2012

Artwalk 2012

Artwalk 2013

Artwalk 2013

Artwalk 2013

Artwalk 2013

Artwalk 2014

Artwalk 2014

Artwalk 2014

Artwalk 2014

Artwalk 2015

Artwalk 2015

This year was fantastic. I was set up in the Foyer which had amazing light and allowed me to see everyone right when they walked in. There are so many wonderful art supporters in the Okanagan and the talent here is amazing. One thing I get most excited about is seeing the other artists and what they have created this year. Artwalk is almost like a 'coming out party' for us, we've been in the studio all year and that weekend is all about coming out and celebrating how we've grown in the last year. 

Thank you to everyone who came by and said hello, to those who took home original art and supported our dream and especially to all the volunteers and organizers of Artwalk. You gave me and so many others the opportunity to share, inspire and create. 

Below is a gallery of the paintings that sold at Artwalk and are now hanging on the walls of the wonderful people who support me and my art. Always grateful. 

'Two Lakes' 40"x30" SOLD

'Two Lakes' 40"x30" SOLD

'Big White Clock Tower' 30"x36" SOLD

'Big White Clock Tower' 30"x36" SOLD

'The Rockies' 24"x12" SOLD

'The Rockies' 24"x12" SOLD

'The Ski Village' 24"x20" SOLD

'The Ski Village' 24"x20" SOLD

'The First Swim' 20"x16" SOLD

'The First Swim' 20"x16" SOLD

'Hazy Summer Days' 24"x30" SOLD

'Hazy Summer Days' 24"x30" SOLD

'The Snowman' 10"x8" SOLD

'The Snowman' 10"x8" SOLD

'Arbutus Tree' 8"x8" SOLD

'Arbutus Tree' 8"x8" SOLD