the Prairies to the Rockies
"Paha Sapa" Sentinel
GROWING UP ON THE PRAIRIES
I was born on the prairies in the farming and ranching big sky country of southern Saskatchewan, 35 miles north of the Montana border (North of 49), a product of "The Dirty Thirties". This area is unique geologically as it is one of the four areas in North America unaffected by glaciation.
Mine was an interesting childhood exploring the rolling hills and coulees on horseback and collecting petrified wood, fossils and interesting stones, as well as sketching, painting and writing poetry. This area "where the dear and the antelope play" was the true west, and brings back nostalgic memories of growing up there and riding horseback to that "little one room school house on the prairie".
"Bison Memories Engraved on Stone"
The area is also steeped in important Canadian history. Notably, in 1876 following "The Battle of the Little Big Horn" ("Custer's Last Stand"), the legendary Leader of the Sioux Nation "Sitting Bull" (Tatanka Yotanka), and his Tribe fled to the Wood Mountain area located 40 miles northwest of where I grew up, "as the crow flies". He remained on the Canadian side of the border for four years, and today a small band consisting of the remnants of his followers reside in the area on the only Lakota Sioux First Nations Reserve in Saskatchewan.
Summer's Glory Personified
FROM THE OIL PATCH TO SLATE STONE ART
I spent 37 interesting years in the business world (mostly in the "Oil Patch", Calgary, Alberta), before I moved to the Columbia Valley of British Columbia.
While in the oil patch I
As a secretary in the oil patch one had to do, and did, it all --- I worked for engineers, geologists, landmen, personnel, lawyers, and accountants -- but for the most part I was secretary to petroleum engineers and that is where I had my major petroleum experience. Those were the days! Flowers on my desk and a paid for parking spot. My bosses treated me like family -- inviting me home for Christmas and joining me in skiing Banff, Sunshine and Lake Louise. I still exchange Christmas cards and have special friendships with some of those San Antonio and BP (now Talisman) people.
Being the sole supporter of my
two children I was fortunate to find long term work with such fine old companies
in the oil patch. I was also blessed in that I had my youth, eternal
optimism, a zest for learning and a hard working Saskatchewan farm
background with a "never say die" attitude to see me
through those many challenging and ultimately rewarding
Having a "Free Miners Certificate" I hand pick the slate stone from the Mineral Claims I staked in the Findlay Creek Area of the Purcell Mountains ----"Up the Findlay", as we locals say.
Call it a Creek " - Findlay
HOME IN THE COLUMBIA VALLEY
The beautiful Columbia Valley, endearingly called "The Valley" is a visual paradise. My home is near picturesque Columbia Lake from whence the mighty Columbia River has its source. It is here that I experience stimulating creative energies and the feeling of belonging.
"Columbia Lake in April"
"Blue Tranquility" - Columbia Lake
"Purcell Mountain Monarch"
On some evenings one can hear a chorus
of coyotes and wolves howling to the moon. So truly, there is much
inspiration in this magnificent area ---"My
THE SLATE STONE ART PROCESS
"Slate Stone Art" is an excellent example of a true cottage industry as I do everything myself.
As a registered prospector holding a BC Free Miner's Certificate (FMC) , in the late 1980's I staked, and still maintain, mineral claims in the Purcell Mountains (½ hour drive from home) where I select and hand pick the slate stone. I then take the slate home to split and clean each selected piece and drill holes for hanging. Next comes the creative process to bring out that "special creature" waiting there. This is done by individual and/or combined processes of engraving, relief sculpture and oil. I also engrave the reverse side with Title, Latin name if applicable, my name and signature, creation date and Fairmont BC Canada. The surface is lastly sprayed with preservative, when required, and the piece is hung with matching leather lacing. After this I take pictures of each piece with my digital camera and/or scanner to make individual business cards, studio portfolio pictures, art records, and website images. The new Slate Stone Art pieces are then displayed in my cottage studio.
OWN DOMAIN -
Stone Art dot ca
"The Feathered Fisher"
I was also an enthusiastic
participant in the "Community
Futures (CFDC) Self Employment Program", which provided me with the initial
encouragement needed to
see my dreams into successful fruition. The word is:
WATER COLORS FROM THE PAST
The Vintage Watercolor below was created in 1958.
It all started at 4:30 p.m. with Bison Burgers, corn-on-the-cob, and all the trimmings. At midnight as we all stood around a blazing campfire we were awed by a low flying V-formation of migratory honking geese flying directly over us, silhouetted under the picturesque full moon, on their way to nearby Columbia Lake. A good omen for a great Happy Birthday Year!
returned to the campfire, the guests sang another: "Happy
birthday to you, Happy birthday to you!...."
Elaine Sell Prefontaine:
a.m., September 16
MEMBERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
PARK COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (CPCA) Volunteer
Visit this site for news our very own "Columbia Valley Wetlands", Columbia Lake Provincial Park, Lot 48, and much more!
WILDLIFE FEDERATION FEDERATION (BCWF)
in Canada Directory