2017-2018 Art Fiddles


A few short years ago our dear friend (and dedicated Board Member), Leslie Gotfrit, dreamed up a fundraising initiative that has since become a favourite with musicians and artists alike.  Old, unplayable violins are donated by violin shops in Calgary and are given new life by local artists who transform them into beautiful pieces of art.  These amazing Art Fiddles are displayed at various events in and around Calgary and are auctioned off each spring at the Calgary Fiddlers annual Sweet on Fiddlin' show.  All funds raised from this initiative go towards developing youth through music.


2017-2018 Feature Artists & Art Pieces

Larapio (Fiddle) - $650


Inspiration for this piece: 

My equine muse is Larapio a noble Lusitano Stallion from Barbier Farms.  I had an opportunity to photograph him playing at Liberty in California. A heart and soul Portuguese horse, the violin is a tribute to him in his elder years.

Taking on this project, I realized the violin carried a special vibration.  It was fun to speak to it in a 2-D language with paint and brush!  With a playful use of light and colour, the movement of the horse was translated onto the violin.  The magic of horses and music merge together. A delightful experience!

Artist Bio:  Williams has a Masters degree in Art Education from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and has been teaching art and photography to high school students and painting for over 30 years.  During that time she continued to refine her artistic skills at the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Vancouver Academy of Art and Sacramento's School of Light and Color.

Williams' work pulses with energy, colour and light.  Her true fascination is the dance between the human and the horse which stands as the inspiration behind the movement and playfulness of each piece.

Her adventures have led her to the wild horses of Sable Island near Nova Scotia, and recently to the wetlands of the Camargue with the semi-feral horses in southern France.  "Through my lens and brush, I paint to show the horse's spirit...so the viewer can glimpse the horse as soul".



Under the "C" (Cello) - $1400


Inspiration for this piece: 

I had recently seen some Underwater Dive Photos from a friends collection which were so beautiful with color and movement. Absolutely gorgeous photos of some  of the life in our seas. 

My idea surfaced quickly - Under the “C”, where I could paint a scene from a beautiful coral reef. This just connected so well with Cello music.  The sound of the Cello seemed to harmonize so well with the Shapes, Shadows. Movement and Beauty in our Life Under the Sea.

In this painted Cello, I used Acrylic Mixed Media.  Starting with Molding paste I sculpted some of the larger forms togive the composition a bit more 3-D effect and some texture on the fish.  Once that was dry I, I began layering in some of my base colours and sanding ONLY some areas of the Cello. I wanted to retain some of the original Wood finish on the Cello which worked so well with my design. This you will see in the Coral shapes surrounding the bottom and also on the back with a wave of original wood and some hidden Base Cleffs.    Tiny bubbles also rise up to the scroll of the Cello.

Artist Bio: 

Janet B. Armstrong (AFCA, SCA), was born and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. She resides in the Cochrane area with her husband of 35 years, with whom she raised three children. Her formal education includes studies at the Alberta College of Art, Burlington Art Centre, and University of Calgary. Frequent participation in artists' advanced workshops helps her to continually hone her skills. Her passion for the Arts continues through her studio and plein air painting, fund-raising projects, and her art gallery business in the heart of Cochrane, Alberta.

Janet has created paintings and murals for numerous corporate and themed events, and various private commissions. Her paintings have appeared on the covers of local magazines, and in collections throughout Canada, and in Europe, the UK, and Thailand. One painting, Morning at Ground Zero 2005, became part of an on-going art exhibition touring throughout Europe and the US, and onward to Japan.

Janet began her career at Gulf Oil in Calgary, where she worked as an artist for seven years. The desire to blaze her own trail tempted her away from the corporate scene. As an independent contractor she has been engaged by the Calgary Public Library, the Calgary Zoo, the Calgary Board of Education, Eastslope Studios, Silvermoon Productions, Studio Y Creations, Anne Murphy Designed Events, and Udderly Art, among others. In addition, she taught painting classes to aspiring artists at various venues throughout Calgary and area for eight years.

In 2012, Janet was honoured to be an Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre for the month of March. The following year she returned to the Centre to complete another residency at the Leighton Artist Colony. Janet is an Associate Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (AFCA), and an Elected Member of the Society of Canadian Artists (SCA).

Painting in her home studio or on location outdoors, Janet continues to create original artwork. She is also the creator and director of Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio, which has won consecutive "Gold" awards for Best Art Gallery from the annual Best of Cochrane - Reader’s Choice Awards.



Celtic Knot (Fiddle) - $650



Inspiration for this piece: 

Calgary part-time artist, Dave Hills (aka Farrellhills) is more at home with pastel drawings, digital art, and photography, but when the Calgary fiddlers handed him a violin, he chose a completely different direction.  “Although I am most comfortable with pastels and paints, I felt carving a design would have the best impact” explains Dave. “The form of the violin is ingrained in our minds, so seeing one altered makes us do a double-take”.  The Celtic Knot motif, cut into the back and sides of the instrument was a natural fit for the elegant curves of the violin, and strengthened the ties between the fiddle and Celtic music. 

Working in this medium posed some challenges. “Here is an instrument that has been cherished for many years, and it is my job to make a piece of art that is worthy of the original craftsmanship” said Dave, adding, “and I’m cutting it up, so no pressure there!"

Artist Bio: 

Dave Hills is a geologist, photographer and illustrator working in Calgary.  Dave has a varied repertoire of subjects, including among others, photography from is old home in London, mural paintings for the walls of children’s clinics, pastel drawings of Alberta landscapes, digital illustrations for oil companies, and a very silly movie about the discovery of an oil field.  He has yet to try oil painting, as he thinks he is still too young.



Home Sweet Home (Fiddle) - $650



Inspiration for this piece: 

As children, we all learned the call of Chickadee!  Cheese-bur-ger, Cheese-bur-ger!  But did you know that they have quite particular housing requirements? Chickadee needs a 4 inch x 4 inch nesting box and a 1 1/4 inch hole that is 6-8 inches above the bottom of that nesting box? (I learned a lot doing this project!)

Although this Chickadee House has been coated with an UV Archival varnish, a fiddle was never intended to survive outdoors for long. So it's a good thing that a 1 1/4 inch hole also accommodates loonies and toonies to make this a perfect indoor Piggy Bank as well! 

Enjoy and keep Fiddling! 

Artist Bio: 

Julie has playing with art all her life. Painting has been her release, her balance, for her speaking on Workplace Safety.  For her, there's something magical in the solitude of her studio, a place where shapes dance, colours sing and real life slips away. 


Emerging Artist Category

The Calgary Fiddlers Association is proud to showcase the work of talented young artists (21 and under) who have generously donated their time and talent to support our musicians.

Spring (1/4 Size Fiddle) - $500

Artist:   KLERVI DORFSMAN (19 years old)

Inspiration for this piece: 

When I saw this small, well-loved violin laying in wait on the table among the bigger ones, I knew it would be the perfect match to the young and rambunctious Welsh pony foal who had just been born a week prior.

Children are not yet occupied by an uncertain future, and live very much in the present, just like this foal who is soaking up every ray of sunshine and every passing breeze, never stopping to think about anything other than the nap he is taking. I can imagine the way this violin was played before landing in my hands, clumsily, imperfectly, but without doubt or fear. To be fully present and engaged in the moment is necessary in order to create art that encapsulates the emotion and feeling of the artist, and although it can be difficult for us to do, it comes naturally to the young of all species!

Artist Bio: 

Klervi Dorfsman is an enthusiast of all things equine and an amateur artist. She loves to paint them in various mediums, including oils, pastels and digital art. She is also a hoof care practitioner in the Calgary area, and through this job has learned to become more in tune with horses, which has made her more adept at capturing their expressions.


Black Hearts (Cello)

This item will be available for auction soon.  Check back for more details!

Artist:  HENNESSEY R. KRIVAK (9 years old)

Inspiration for this piece: 

Her piece is inspired by “Dia de los Muertos” (the Mexican Day of the dead) as there is a strong connection between cellos/violins and the Mexican culture. Painting on a cello was a new experience and her determination and commitment to helping others is evident through her work.  Her motivation to paint has always been to help other children and she is proud to donate this piece to help other youth in Calgary.

Artist Bio: 

Hennessey Krivak has been painting since she was 7 years old.  Her gift with the brush and canvas is her true joy and is second only to her deep compassion for other people.  Her artwork has raised over $30,000 for “Zero Hungry Kids”, an initiative started by The Brakemen Foundation whose goal is to see no child in the Calgary school system from Kindergarten to grade Six go without nourishment (breakfast, snacks and lunch) during the school day should they require it.


Check out past Fiddle Art!