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Local painter's work to be published in book

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Riding on cloud nine is an emotion Connie Cuthbertson can probably relate to these days.

For the first time in the local artist's career, one of her works is moving from the canvas to the printed page.

“It's so cool," beamed Cuthbertson late last week. "This is the first time I've been published in a book.”

The book, entitled “Best of Watercolour—Painting Colour" (Rockport Publishers) and due out in November, will feature select artwork from numerous North American artists, including Cuthbertson's painting, "Strands of Silk.”

“They received over 4,000 entries and only 100 artists are featured,” she said, noting Rockport specializes in printing arts and architecture themes—and has an international sales market.

The chance to vie for a spot in the book stemmed from her participation in art exhibits such as the Canadian Society of Artists Show in Toronto, a juried competition Cuthbertson has attended for the past three years.

But Cuthbertson also said making a buck from her paintings is no longer as important. For instance, she now does five or six shows a year—a far cry from the two dozen she used to do.

“I got to be a methodical painter and I didn't like that. I'm much more selective now. It's not my goal to sell anymore," she said. ”The whole slant on the thing has changed.

“I know my large paintings are not typically big sellers but I painted them for me,” she gestured.

Cuthbertson also said she gives herself hurdles.

“I always try to do something new, and this pushes me to new levels and opens new doors and is very challenging," she noted. ”My capacity for knowledge has grown tremendously.

“Selling [my art] is certainly not my main reason for painting," she stressed. ”It's not about financial success, it's to have the acceptance of my peers.

“Artists that seem to make it [have that].”

Meanwhile, getting published isn't the only reason Cuthbertson is on cloud nine these days. Tomorrow she's off on a 10-day trip to Switzerland and France with a longtime friend from Colorado.

The pair intend to spend four days in Geneva and then the rest of their holiday in Paris, taking special care to study the art and architecture of that city, including the Louvre, where Cuthbertson will get a chance to get up close and personal to the art of Claude Monet, one of her mentors.

“I want to really study his style and his brush stroke,” she enthused, adding she wants to bring the influence of the French painter's work to her own canvas when she returns home.

“Who knows what my Monet frame of mind will produce," she chuckled. "It will be a whole new ball game for my [art].”

Cuthbertson hopes to have a new collection of paintings, possibly using a combination of oils and watercolours or pastels, completed within a year of her trip.

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