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Creative couple coming on the train

“He won’t be doing too large a piece, cause it’s difficult to haul a big chunk of soapstone on the train,” said Eveline from Edmonton, where the Garneaus make their home. It was through their close personal connection to Artist on Rails organizer Marianne Garrah that the pair found out about the opportunity.

“I had heard that it was in the works, but I hadn’t ever considered myself or my husband for involvement,” Eveline said. “Then Marianne approached me. We’re very excited to be doing this.”

Claude will be working somewhat outside of his element this weekend, both on the train and during demonstration sessions during the evening at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre. Typically, he creates his pieces out of glass, sometimes combining soapstone and glass together.

“His work is usually quite representational,” said Eveline. “He does a lot of animals, wolves, whales and they are very life-like, but he has his own style in there as well.”

For her part, Eveline’s favourite subject as a painter are living, breathing human beings.

“I don’t like doing landscapes. My favourite thing is painting children, but for these demonstrations, the paintings have to be very quick so people don’t have to stand there watching you for hours, so I think I’ll be doing leaves.”

While Claude has been pursuing his art full time for the last five to seven years, Eveline paints because it’s her passion.

“I do art because I love art, not because I have to make a living at it,” she said. “I’ve been involved in art almost all my life in a way. We started an art supply store 20 years ago, but we’ve also had a sign shop and run an art school.”

Having taught art before, Eveline is no stranger to painting in front of an audience, but admits that it’s quite a bit different in the context of a public demonstration rather than in a classroom setting.

“When you’re painting something as a teacher, it’s all about the technique or the style, but when you do it like this, the subjects are ones that you care about and the message is something you feel strongly about.”

You can catch Claude and Eveline putting it all together at the Sawridge tonight and tomorrow night (Friday) at 7 p.m.  

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