Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Fractured (First Day of Spring) Oil on Canvas
Crystal and I are back from my opening reception at the Shurniak Art Gallery in Assinaboia, Sk. We went down on Thursday with 28 of my paintings, arriving around noon.  Bill Shurniak met us and we had a lovely lunch with him and his staff.  Unfortunately he was feeling a bit under the weather, his doctor diagnosing acute bronchitis and probably a touch of this horrible flu that is going around.  Despite that he was the perfect host as usual and made us all quite comfortable and at ease.  After lunch Gail, the general manager of gallery, and Sandra helped Crystal and I get going on hanging the paintings.  Once they saw we getting into the groove of it they left us to our own designs and we managed to hang everything in an appropriate manner.  Hanging a show is an Art in of itself we found out!  Friday afternoon at 3 pm the reception got under way.  My friends Kevin and Michele Ackerman provided wonderful music with compositions for guitar and flute. The music set a wonderful ambience to the whole affair, thanks you two! Good friends Dean and Barb Bauche showed up a tad late but their  presence was greatly appreciated.  We estimate that around 80 people showed up for the lovely reception, which featured a wonderful variety of pastries and refreshments, something that never goes unnoticed by yours truly.  I managed to sample every delicasy at least once.
I am told that my paintings made quite an impression on the public, many people commenting on the colourfulness of the show.  I cannot say enough about the uniqueness of this world class gallery in the middle of the Saskatchewan prairie, Bill Shurniak has accomplished a wonderful thing here and I encourage everyone to make an effort to get down there and visit the gallery.  Thanks Bill for this honour of "hanging out" in your space!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Guitar Build

Cherry wood blank ready for edge treatment
Purple Martin inlay with shell

Routing done, almost ready for glueing
Body nitrocellulose lacquer wet sanded down flat, ready for polishing

So, I got it into my head that I wanted to have an electric guitar, but not just any guitar.  It had to be something that I felt played well and that was built well.  Thats a tall order for a first time builder but I can be kind of stubborn at times so I decided that since I couldn't find anything that fit my specs and budget I would build a guitar. This particular guitar is built around a 1962 Stratocaster plan I found on the internet. The body is made of Cherry wood that I've had lying around my shop for 30+ years. The neck and electronics came from a luthier supply house called Stewart McDonald based in the USA. The inlay is based on my love of the bird species called Purple Martin, which hang out at our house for a few months in the summer. I was a bit apprehensive about cutting into the neck for the inlay but I quickly got over it and managed a fair job of it.  The guitar sounds great and is now robbing time from my painting, largely because of the novelty of having it in my studio with the amp.  Besides, I would never be allowed to make that kind of ruckus in the house! The guitar is named Blue.  I am a huge fan of the Blues and am making a study of learning to play it well.  The name is a shortened version of a nickname for my daughters first child, which God willing, will be born this August! I know its a secret Sacha but not many people will hear of it through this blog post anyway and I can't stand secrets of this nature.
Close up of 1962 Fender Stratocaster replica by Darrell Baschak, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dusting off the Shelf

Its been awhile since I've last posted. Xmas season comes with lots of family and friends and little time for other stuff.  That being said I did have time to do some art of another kind, namely building an electric guitar but that is a subject I'll save for another post.  This painting found a home over Christmas in a round about way after laying about in a closet for a number of years.  It is now prominently displayed in a local home by a loving couple and I thank them for that!  I believe I called the painting "Bridge over Bear Creek".  Thanks Dave and Sharron.