There’s an artist who is quick on the draw for the draws at the 2020 Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Okotoks.
Okotoks artist Paul Rasporich was working on a blue-ink sketch he called Hold the Line – an artistic rendering of skip Casey Scheidegger while she is squatting at the back of the house, giving instructions to her teammates as they sweep a rock down the ice on Jan. 23 at the Murray Arena.
It is a challenge – Scheidegger wasn’t exactly posing as she led her team to victory on Thursday night.
“You have to work fast and rely on your memory,” he said with a smile. “It will take me about 35 to 40 minutes to do one. You have to watch for when they return to the same spot. She (Scheidegger) will return to the same spot (at the back of the house) in about 10 minutes."
Rasporich was approached by Cheryl Taylor of Lineham House Galleries about submitting some curling art. There is an art exhibit from Foothills area artists at the Okotoks Recreation Centre for this year’s provincial Scotties.
“Coincidentally I have been working for three years on an art exhibit which is all about the dancer as an athlete – it’s about the National Ballet,” Rasporich said. “This is very similar to that.
“I like the visuals and I like the motion of live sketches. It’s fun.”
He called himself a figurative artist.
“It’s all about movement, motion and emotion,” Rasporich said. “This (the Scotties) is all very visual and intense.
“I also like it because you can see the psychology of the game when they are discussing strategy.”
As Rasporich fills in the dark part of the rings and Scheidegger’s jacket, he smears the ink carefully, kind of like a kindergartner finger-painting – which is kind of fitting.
The former teacher at the Alberta High School of Fine Arts is now teaching art to Kindergarten to Grade 2 students at Blackie and Cayley schools.
“I teach kids this every day,” Rasporich said. “And we draw from life.”
He said he enjoys the challenge of working with ink – adding it’s like curling – you can’t erase your mistakes.
His grandmother – who lived to be 100 – was an absolute Scotties fanatic, which is one of the reasons he wanted the assignment
“I don’t know much about this, it’s different,” Rasporich said. “But I am enjoying it. I will know a lot more about curling by Sunday.”
Artist Jennifer Stables was taking a more humourous approach to her acrylic painting she was doing at the curling venue on Jan. 23.
“My work is a more whimsical illustration approach,” Stables said. “Sort of getting the vibe of the tournament itself and having fun with it.”
Her creation on Jan. 23 was a Canadian curling team – a moose, a polar bear, a Canadian goose and a beaver.
“They are all holding an old-fashioned straw broom with a curling rock in front of them – like it was taken in the 1970s,” she said.
She also played on the word "Scotties" – one painting has a Scottie dog curling.
Unlike Rasporich, she does have a curling background. While she did not curl competitively, growing up in Bow Island curling was a way of life.
“It is a really big sport in the town I am from,” Stables said. “If I was still living there I would be part of the curling team there.”
Other artists include Russell Thomas – whose Birdsong studio, like Lineham House Galleries, is on the artistic Elma Street in Okotoks.
The artists’ works are on display and on sale at the Okotoks Recreation Centre, just outside the curling venue during the Alberta Scotties.