Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am useless at writing Christmas cards but yet I like to write so I guess I will do my best to summarize 08 in my blog today and wish everyone a Merry Christmas at the same time.

Its been an amazing year. 2008...what a wild ride!!

I turned 40 this year on January 8th and decided to try something new. I wanted to make a difference in some way this year so I began a series of 8 events leading to 08/08/08- the day of the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics. It was a great project and was so rewarding in so many ways. Throughout the year I created shows that brought artists and musicians together for events all designed to bring unity. By the end of the year I had worked with over 75 different musicians, artists, dancers....and not to mention had a great art contest with submissions from artists from all around the world.

The spring of 2008 also gave birth to the beginnings of the mural Le Cadeau Du Cheval- The Horse Gift and my 12th annual Night of Artists festival. The NOA Festival was one of the best ever and had some amazing moment and lots of great images to treasure.Combined with the 8 events it was a busy time but a wonderful time too. I also released my 5th edition of NOA magazine. Everything was really well received and the spring was rockin' with good times and lots of excitement.

In the spring I had to make some tough decisions as well. After three years of hard work I had to make the difficult choice to step away from the Guitar Woman project. I had worked hundreds of hours helping create shows across the country, lining up media coverage, designing logos, posters, arranging photo shoots, video coverage for documentary usage, helping align web design and helping contact women for interviews. Unfortunately new directions pushed me on to different projects.
As the summer neared the 8 shows continued to gain momentum and once again I was immersed in fun times doing the Taste of Edmonton, Capital Ex and even the Artwalk. I had a wonderful year with my own personal artwork which was amazing because I barely had time to do any. The summer was very busy assembling the last few pieces of the mural The Horse Gift. Trying to locate artists, find paintings that hadn't been returned and lining up venues for the mural to be toured to once it was completed was a non stop adventure.

Also during the summer we lined up two more major mural projects for 2009!! So we are very excited about the future!

On a personal note I had a great year hanging out with my great friend Jennifer who I traveled to Vegas, Vancouver and Calgary to name a few. We both had started new projects and her support for what I was doing made things that much more enjoyable and she also had great success with her business. It was fun to watch the growth of both our projects.

MY BROTHER ALSO GOT MARRIED!! How exciting was that! He married a wonderful beautiful gal and also welcomed two new children into his life. Then to end the year off he announced that they will be having a child of their own in June of 2009! EXCITING... I love the fact I will have a little one to hang out with here in Edmonton. I miss my sister and her kids dearly and of course miss seeing my folks as well. They all live on the coast so the time I get to share with them is limited.

Sadly on another personal note I lost my best friend in the world. My little friend Roscoe died suddenly. He was the best dog I could ever have imagined. I still miss him today. Probably will for a long while.

Once the fall hit the excitement really began. The mural The Horse Gift was unveiled at Spruce Meadows in Calgary Alberta Canada. It was an instant international hit. The mural was featured in international magazines such as Cowboys and Indians, Western Horseman and Horse Illustrated and so many bigger newspapers and smaller local features in various publications.

Also we were featured on various TV Programs. Cowboy Country TV did a great feature on the mural. Also CITY TV did a segment called Celebrity Chefs where Lewis and I actually cooked while talking about the murals. Good for a laugh :-). Not to mention we worked with William Shatner, spent time with world renowned horse whisperer John Lyons, and were part of a private concert with Corb Lund.

We also did live radio broadcasts in various cities around North America. Two shows were over an hour long and were a lot of fun to do just talking about the murals.Can you believe the website ha shad over 20 million visits in one year??? WHOA!!!

As the fall progressed I toured with Paul Lavoie and the always entertaining Len Kozak with the mural to Calgary,Alberta- Las Vegas, Nevada -and Columbus Ohio. Lots of travel time but fun at the same time. The only thing that was missing was having Lewis Lavoie along with us as of course- he is the one that brings the murals to life. We hopefully represented him as well as all the other artists in a way that they would be proud.

As the year finishes off I sit here by my new little fireplace in minus 30 degree celcius weather in the house I have lived in for 20 years and prepare to head off to visit my family for Christmas. How blessed I am to have the incredible family I have around me again for this year. Truth is...all the other stuff I talk about is just icing on the cake. All that really matters in my life is my family and friends and the rest is my recreation. But in that recreation I have extended my family and friends.

2008 brought so many new people into my life and it has been truly an astounding year. The artists that helped with the murals and the Night of Artists shows, the musicians who believed in me and performed at all my events, the fans of the shows and the people that put everything together for me when i needed a good a year.
To all those that take the time to read what i write- thank you. I hope to have many more great stories in 2009. Maybe I'll take up ballroom dancing while I develop my guitar skills and work on a new series of charcoal drawings. Maybe I'll write a book on top of my annual magazine...Maybe I'll have that surgery on my shoulder I have been avoiding for 10 years.

Maybe I will just live my life day by day and treasure every moment that comes my way. Yep...thats what I will do. So for now...this is me and this is my year. Life is it up!!


Sue Kroll said...

Merry Christmas, Phil! Thank you for including me in your whirlwind life as one of the Mural painters.

May the next year be just as crazy and fulfilling!


ApaulO ARTik Agrinaut said...

Oh-9 will be fine...

TrottierJS said...

Merry Christmas and Here's a wish from me to you for a even better, more successful and creative year in 2009!! Stay well and keep on blogging !!