Q&A: Theresa Eisenbarth, Artist


Theresa Eisenbarth’s first solo show, Essence, is in defiance of artistic snobbery. The Medicine Hat native, who studied fine art at the University of Calgary, has applied abstract expressionism to the more familiar subject of flowers. The result invites viewers to look deep and reconsider cliché.

Why did you quit a successful career in business to become an artist?

Every day I would drive to work thinking, “What am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing?” It’s not that I didn’t have a great job. But I asked myself, “When I’m 60 years old, am I going to want to start a painting studio?” I realized that I had to start now.

What does it take to be a working artist?

You have to paint every day. It takes studio discipline.

What’s it like to be an artist in Medicine Hat?

People said there wasn’t a market for original art. From the response I’ve had, there is a hidden art market. Individual collectors are supporting original art.

How do the arts contribute to the life of the city?

The arts are critical. I always think of downtown Fort Collins, Colorado. Their downtown is the same as ours – same age, same buildings – but it’s been redone to focus on arts and culture. I always think, if they can do that there, then why can’t we do that here?



Results: 108 Sun Salutes #8

Two years ago I had a crazy brainwave to do 108 sun salutes, 108 times, to help families affected by addiction and violence.  Read the original post here.

108 Sun Salutes #8 on June 21, 2014 raised $420 for the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society. Way to go everyone!

It feels so incredible to be part of an event that is doing so much good in the community.  I feel honored to be part of our local yoga community.  An extra special thanks to Farren at Garden of Breathin’ for her continued support.

The grand total raised since September 22, 2012 is $1,970 plus assorted supplies, food and other donations. Here’s a full breakdown:

# Date Location 108’ers Donation Charity
1 Sep 22, 2012 Downtown YMCA 3 $50 YMCA Strong Kids
2 Dec 8, 2012 Garden of Breathin’ 7 Giant pile of toys MH Santa Claus Fund
3 Mar 21, 2013 Lotus Yoga Studio 18 $205 plus 140 lbs food MH Food Bank
4 Jul 20, 2013 Esplanade 45 $570 MH Women’s Shelter
5 Sep 22, 2013 Elevation Place 50 $400 Canmore flood relief
6 Dec 21, 2013 Esplanade 15 $150 MH Women’s Shelter
7 Mar 20, 2014 Garden of Breathin’ 14 $175 MH Women’s Shelter
8 Jun 21, 2014 Central Park 25 $420 MH Women’s Shelter

Thanks again to everyone for participating and see you at 7:00 pm on September 23, 2014. Save the date!

108 Sun Salutes #8

I’m on a mission to do 108 sun salutes, 108 times, to help raise money for families affected by addiction and violence. 

The next one is on June 21 at 10 am.  Here’s the poster:

108 sun salutes on June 21

Those of you who have been before know how much fun it is.  Those of you who haven’t been, here is some more information.

What’s a sun salute?

It’s a yoga thing. You move through a series of nine postures using your breath as a guide. Inhale, you do one posture. Exhale, you do the next posture. Until you finish. And then you start again. Of course there are a million videos on a YouTube. Here’s a really good one.

It’s not that hard

You might be thinking that 108 sun salutes is too hard. It’s not. In fact, it’s surprisingly easy. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes and the time flies right by. If you can do one sun salute, then you can do 108 sun salutes.

How 108 sun salutes is different

You don’t hold down dog for five breaths in 108 sun salutes. Instead, you hold down dog for one exhale and then you move to the next posture. This makes it easier to do 108 sun salutes.

One other thing. You break the 108 sun salutes into “sets”. At the end of each “set” you hold down dog for five breaths. This is a good way to keep count and it helps you get into the flow.

Other modifications

  • Step the feet to the front and back of the mat
  • Child’s pose or bent-knee down dog instead of full downward facing dog
  • Cobra pose instead of upward facing dog
  • Bent knees or knees-chest-forehead to the floor instead of four-limbed-staff pose

Taking breaks

It’s OK to take a break whenever you feel tired or at a loss for breath. You can rest in child’s pose or by standing at the front of your mat and rejoin when you are ready.

New to yoga?

Don’t worry. 108 sun salutes is safe and fun for beginners. I’m an experienced yoga teacher with a daily home practice. I work with highly qualified teachers who encourage you to work within your limits, breathe, and do what feels good.

Why 108?

According to yogic tradition, 108 sun salutes are held on the solar equinox and solstices, as a way to embrace the changing season. The numbers “1”, “0”, and “8” refer to one thing, nothing, and everything. And the Tibetan mala, or rosary, has 108 beads. Learn more here.

108 sun salutes is a special event. It makes for a fantastic local fundraiser. It’s a fun way to build community and make connections.

108 sun salutes is a very cool meditative experience. It takes mental strength and focus to overcome inertia and lose yourself in movement. It’s also a really good workout. It strengthens your hamstrings, shoulders, chest, and triceps.

Sign up

Just show up on the day of the event, June 21 at 10 am in Central Park with cash, cheque or currently needed item for the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!