Within half an hour of drinking coffee at Umbellula Café, Deanna Slonski had said hello to seven people.
“Well, with the kids growing up here and volunteering and my line of work …” she says with a shrug and slightly embarrassed smile. She hadn’t realized she knew so many people there this morning.
And many of them can be forgiven if they didn’t know that some of the paintings on the walls were hers.
You see, some of them were not iconic Slonski flowers.
“I like doing other things,” she says. “I don’t want people to get bored and it keeps me inspired.”
She came about it honestly as her art career began with paintings of flowers back in 2003. Her daughter had moved into a room while at Ryerson University, in Toronto, and had asked for some paintings of flowers.
“Someone saw me on Main Street with them and said, ‘Oh, I love these paintings. Can I buy them?'”
She couldn’t sell them, but did accept a commission to paint three more.
With no formal training in art, but a natural talent and experience that reaches back to childhood, Slonski says it is only with the support of her family that she is able to call herself a full-time artist.
And it helps to have a contractor for a husband – Steelwater Contracting — who built their home in Porter Creek with a studio.
She says nothing special was done with it, but it does have two large windows, a cathedral ceiling and walls painted a bright apple green.
To keep every day different, she has a different line of art called, “Rock My World”. They are pictures created with stones from Tagish Lake and rocks from a friend who owns a gold mine.
“They are black and shiny … and …” She can’t quite remember the name of them. So, she calls over to another table – to two men she knows, of course – and finds out they are a type of mica.
Slonski will be selling these at Spruce Bog and at the 12 Days of Christmas Market at The Old Fire Hall Dec. 11 to 22.
“I love rocks anyway and am always picking them up, so this is fun for me.”
With the birth of her grandson two and a half years ago, another new venture was founded. Momma D is her line of children’s paintings. These are shown at Kutters Hairstyling.
Meanwhile, at Lilli Pie Lotions, her flower paintings are rotated on its walls to keep them fresh.
“They are happy images,” says Slonski. “People feel good when they see them.”
At Umbellula Café — “It’s a happy place with big walls” — her show has no name and is a mix of art. It will be up to the end of November.
Also up until the end of November is her show, Skyscapes, at the Chocolate Claim.
It is a show that makes people come in and say, “Hey! Where are all the flowers?”
Obviously these people don’t know that Slonski also makes dolls and costumes and jewellery and carvings and sculptures.