Saturday, September 24, 2022

Week 28 - not in the Studio

 We are half way around the world since my last blog post and we have crammed a lot in as well as enjoying some downtime! Plus a couple textile and related exhibits that we enjoyed!

Our first stop was York to get over some jet lag and enjoy a bit of the city - its a lovely place but very crowded in the older, historic part. We walked at lot, got a new SIM card and slept!

We had hoped to visit YorkMinster but it was closed for the mourning period. We were able to attend Evensong - a lovely service with a wonderful choir. The steps and lawns were full of floral tributes - I read some of the notes, they were so moving and heartfelt.

 I was able to meet one of my online students, Marion and had a great visit. She gave me some ideas for things to see which really helped a lot. The world shrinks a bit  when we can make connections.

I went to the York City Museum and was entranced by the art of Ingrid Weyland, her series of folded and manipulated images kept me engaged for a while. Check her out online:

There was also a small exhibit in the cafe, titled Sketch by Origin. Two of the artists used textiles and I’d encourage you to check out their websites:

We are now ending our six days in the Yorkshire Dales, lots of walking along the Pennine Way and other paths plus checking out some galleries nearby.

One place that really caught my interest was near Sedburgh in a restored textile mill, now call Fairfield Mill - a fabulous textile exhibit by a group called Zero3 Artists (check out their website) Several pieces grabbed me both for their colours used and the textures that the stitching provided!

The mill had been set up over several floors with historical displays, lots of items for purchase and several art studios which could be rented by artist who then would create and showcase their art. I do wish we had something similar - I think its a great way to support local artists.

We visited the Ribblehead Viaduct and walked around:

And drove around narrow country roads, expecting to see James Herriot at any moment.

Another day was spent at Salts Mill - a restored….you guessed it….textile mill! An incredible show case of David Hockney, who was a “Bradford boy”. The best past was on the upper floor titled A Year in Normandie….a 90 metre mural of the seasons changing during his time in France in 2021 (?) and all the drawings were created on his IPad and printed on large pieces of paper. The scale of his work is amazing..
 And heres a YouTube video:

I am so fortunate to see these art works and I hope you enjoy, it’s worth while to follow some of the links!

Monday, September 12, 2022

Week 27- In the Studio

This is a different sort of blogpost as I've downsized my studio and packed it all in a small Tupperware box! Actually just a few items in the box and the rest of the studio is still where I left it!

Tomorrow morning we are heading to the airport to start a 7 week holiday in the UK, Paris and Greece...oh my I'm so excited....

At the end of week 5, I'll start an art residency in Crete for two weeks so I've had to pack everything I need into a small certainly make me prioritize what I'll need!

Some paints, brushes, fabric, paper, thread and tools. It doesn't sound like a lot, right?

Here are some of the items - strange how so many items seem essential! Stay tuned, some arty blogposts coming!

Watercolour set....

Gel plate and open acrylics

Hand dyed fabrics and linen

I am sure I won't use everything but just in case...😆

Otherwise this past week, my studio turned into a shipyard. Preparing for my exhibition The Industrial Shoreline, I am creating a 3D installation with created freighters over shibori dyed ocean:

Here's the ocean at the ocean!

I saw a ship a'sailing...

This was the view from my studio this morning...the wildfires on the mainland have made the sky quite smoky.

Well, my bags are packed and I have to run...there's house coming down the street.....yes you read that right, and it's a whole different story....

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Week 26 - in the Studio

We've had a couple of scattered weeks in the last part of August - lots of family times with a trip to Manitoba and a lovely drive home. 

During our time in Winnipeg, our tour guide took us to a residential area where the garage doors and fences in the back alley are painted with a variety of Arctic animals. The artist is Kal Barteski, she describes herself as an urban artist, check out her great website at:

It was a beautiful time of year to travel and the changing landscape through the prairies and mountains was delightful. Even though we live with mountains and tall trees, it's wonderful to enjoy the wide expanse of sky!

I found a pile of old metal beside the railway track....had to bring some home, there might be some rust
ing fabric in the future!

We saw the worlds largest truck (formerly) in Sparwood, BC, its called a Titan with good reason! There's more information here: 
That's me in front of the wheel!

And then returning home, I hit the ground running to prepare for an art show over the past long weekend. I had most of the work already finished but one piece had bothered me for some time. It was "square-ish" at 45" x 50" and it seemed an awkward size.
So I took a photo and cut the image up, trying for at least three pieces. 

So the piece went from this:

Into this and this:

There's one more piece that I didn't get a chance to finish but that will be done in a bit. I am much happier with the results and realize that if I'm not happy with a piece then I have nothing to lose to try a new approach. 
Have you ever cut something up and did it work for you?

I also got some screen printing done today...

And some new things are brewing at the studio...I'll be "on the road" soon, so stay tuned to find out where my studio will be next week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Week 25 - in the Studio

Like I mentioned last time, I learned to deal with some big disappointment and move forward. The time I spent in quarantine wasn't wasted as I was able to focus on some office work. 

My business coach is a big fan of a planning and content app called Notion. I've known for some time I needed something far more robust than my paper calendar , something that would hold everything from daily tasks to long term plans.... So, after watching some YouTube videos (and, trust me, there are lots of videos) I downloaded the free version of the app and while resting in bed, I started to build the systems and populate the templates I had chosen. Some of the things I love about this app are its ability to be on all my devices and I am work with both home and art all in one...

My approach is to do a big "brain dump" of every idea I have in my head and then move those ideas into different areas and populate them with tasks or just let them sit until I'm ready to use them. If you are looking for something like this, do some research and see if it fits:

I also finished and posted a new YouTube video, Colouring Cloth Check it out and leave a comment. If there's other topics you'd like to see covered, let me know.

In Colouring Cloth I focus on creating the cloth I use for my totes and sketchbooks, using raw art canvas - super inexpensive and so versatile to work and paint on. I think my technique in the video is loose enough that you could adapt and change it up for your style and mediums. You can also adapt it for other fabrics and by using textile focused products and I think it would work for clothing.

A couple weeks back I mentioned that I've been working with circles - I think one could spent their entire art life just focused on this shape - are you tempted? I designed more Thermofax screens for my Etsy Shop:

Speaking for circles, the grandies and I played with Spinner Art again, I love what they made and we turned some of them into cards:

I guess I'm feeling better now, I did have an Open Studio last weekend, it wasn't very busy and so very HOT outside. It gave me the opportunity to tidy up a bit and make some of my Art to Carry totes - the video I mentioned above is how I create the fabrics that I use.

Do you like the little labels I had made? I found a designer on Etsy and they make them from ultra suede - lots of colours and sizes, I'd recommend them:

So, I guess after the last blog post, I'm back on my art about you?

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Week 24 - in the Studio

I’ve been working hard for a great art show this past weekend, it was the first event to showcase two of my new series, Starting from Anywhere and Timeless Moments. It was exciting to plan the layout, make the show cards and get some great words together to talk about my work.


Then it happened, you know, the thing we’ve been living with for the last 2 1/2 years... not me, but in my household. Oh my, gosh darn, and several other expletives! There were a few tears shed, but I was offered Plan B. I was able to go early and hang my pieces, others volunteered to look after them...thank you dear friends! But it wasn’t the same....


So I’ve done a few other things this weekend, I worked in the garden, read a book and I started using a CMS or Content Management System to organize my ideas, plans and goals. It’s called Notion and the basic one (which I’m sure is enough) is free. And I’ve done a bit of research about dealing with disappointment... one source talked about 5 steps to work through it:

  • Let It Out - don’t let it fester, feel it - ok I shed some tears

  • Get Perspective - talk with your support network - ok, I dumped on my family

  • Know Your Own Heart - My art and I were not being rejected

  • Practise Self Acceptance - Like breath, disappointment comes and goes. So breathe into it and let it pass

  • Don’t Let it Fester - Winston Churchill said it best: “success is the ability to go from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm”


I appreciated these stages, disappointment will come and go, and there is always another opportunity and I will regain my enthusiasm. But I also remember to acknowledge all this and make it part of me.


So I spent time looking at different e-commerce sites to put up my work and I have some plans for videos. I was also totally thrilled with a piece I made for the Silent Auction at the show - I’ve been mulling over some small works for my Industrial Shoreline series and it I think I totally nailed what I had in mind.

Sailing into Hope

The piece is about 6" x 18" and is my response to the theme "Resilience in the Time of Climate Change". The board behind is a piece from my husbands family farm in Manitoba, I used a hand dyed vintage linen napkin, some indigo dyed fabric and paper collage. In the artist statement I wrote that "strength and focus will be two of the important components to making change for the future"

Here are a couple of closeup views:

This morning I pulled more barn board out from our shed to work on more pieces...any suggestions for a title for this sub-series?

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Week 23 - in the Studio

There is a lot happening right now - spring into summer and hit the accelerator! I did spend a couple days at the Gathering the Threads Conference and Exhibition in the Cowichan Valley - I had fun as a student taking an Advanced Gel Printing workshop with west coast artist, Jennifer Love. It was lots of learning with several new techniques and methods of working, including how to clean my brayer with Murphy's Oil Soap. It seems like there's YouTube video for everything:

I had a shift in the local gallery and took a selfie with my art work in the background, I didn't realize that I actually matched the pieces with my glasses and a new top!

While working on my book covers I grabbed some scraps of canvas and painted circles with spare paint...I like the heaviness of this canvas (12 oz) and the combination of simplicity and interesting colours...I wonder why we are so attracted to circles as a universal symbol?

I found this quote: "The circle is an omnipresent, universal symbol with extensive meaning. Without beginning or end, without sides or corners this geometric shape tells about perfectionunity,spirituality and life like no other form." The author went even further - considering a variety of cultures and faith groups and quoting Pythagorus that "the circle is the most perfect shape - no beginning, no end, it is infinite and stands for both non-existence and eternity". The website is fascinating and worth a read: In fact, spend time exploring the website, you'll be glad you did!Two treasures I've found this week: a pile of old sheet music ready for collage and other ideas and a walk on the beach produced a small collection of sea glass, do you see the little bit of blue pottery at the top?

My family came for a visit this past weekend and we spent a bit of time at the beach - I love the variety of textures that nature provides:

This coming week, I'll be prepping for an art show, stop by if you can!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Week 22 - in the Studio

This past week I've spent time getting pieces finished and ready for the show opening next week. I mentioned last week that I wanted to change the designs up a bit, adding new elements and playing with the designs.

I gathered a bunch of stuff and figured out the dimensions, combining painted papers and fabrics was a bit challenging, trying to stitch through heavily painted paper with out cracking it...yikes!

Here is the initial layout, strips of fused organza and linen with paper and a base of gessoed fabric

Finished and waiting to be mounted onto a wood panel.

You might notice that I've used a very controlled and neutral palette...a recent podcast had me considering the concept of scarcity and how it might encourage creativity. If we work with limited resources (paint, fabric, dye, thread) does that change our approach to our art? If we spend more time thinking and looking before diving into creating our work, will the art improve?

One study shows us that when we stop buying new things, we look at what we already have in new ways and come up with new uses for products we own. In other words, scarcity drives creativity. When we aren’t surrounded with ready-made solutions to problems, we have no trouble coming up with our own.

While I am not suggesting we ditch our stash, it might be worthwhile to experiment with limiting our selection for some approaches and see if our art develops in new ways. What do you think?

I am so happy with the photos I've taken on my new series Timeless Moments, its tricky to take good photos with glass - too much reflection! After several tries of taking the glass out of the frames, it seemed to work best to close my blinds, turn off the lights and photograph further away and crop.

Here are two of my favourites:

At the Still Point

At the Still Point - detail

Through the First Gate

Through the First Gate - detail

These works are 12" x 12", mounted on acid free matt board and then framed to 16" square. The paint, collage and asemic text are applied to vintage paper from an old photo album and have a lovely suede-like feel. Each title is from favourite passages in poems by TS Eliot. They are for sale, message me for details....

Every Wednesday until the end of June I am taking a Drawing class online, this past week we studied abstracted architecture - by working designs that resembled buildings but were not realistic - more representational. We used Conte crayons - a new-to-me product and not as messy as charcoal, working with value and shading....a great exercise and I think my work is quite "quilt-like"...