Saturday, May 14, 2022

Week 19 - in the Studio-ish

 The last couple weeks have flown by and I've been able to spend dribbles of time in the studio...working on some new ideas, being challenged by framing work and making a very big mistake!

The large collages were completed and I am very happy with how they  turned out, but getting good photos is really tricky! It seems I can't get them straight and when there are several I can't get continuity in lighting and sizes....Several will be framed and others are wrapped in cellophane. If you have any suggestions on good, consistent photos, I'd love to hear them. Right now, YouTube is my friend!

This one is mounted on 16" matt board - I love the look!

I made some smaller ones, intending to frame those....the paper I used was very fragile and wrinkled terribly when I glued them down with PVA, an archival glue. It was so addition, the matt board was cut just a teeny bit smaller than the frame and it wouldn't fit properly. So best to call it quits on this and start again. I might be able to salvage some of the collage bits...

DH and I spent last week traveling up the Sunshine Coast in a rented RV. I thought it might be fun to try before considering a purchase - good thing! It was far too big to feel comfortable driving, next time we might rent a camper van, more our size. But we enjoyed some lovely days exploring Sechelt, Lund, and Garden Bay and I managed to squeeze some art making in!

If you're thinking about something to do over the may long weekend, plan a trip to Pender island, my studio is open and I'd love to see you!

And how has your week been? 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Week 16, 17 & 18 - in the Studio

 Time got away from me, as it often does, some good weather prompted me outside and into the garden...

But studio time has been a bit weird...I am moving forward into unknown territory and that can be frightening - in an art-kind-of-way! My series, the Industrial Shoreline, is evolving and I am on my (possibly last) piece of textile wall art. I enjoy creating these but they have become an easy place to be...pick a photo, change it around a bit, make the work. Interesting and appealing but not mind blowing, exciting stuff. 

I have some ideas for new ways forward with 3D work, collage and some smaller mixed media but the next steps are experimenting, trialing and foundational work - stuff that seems if it fails - then I fail. Realistically I know thats not true, but it's hard to push on through into new work - what if it falls flat and is terrible? At least I know I'm not alone - and I've been in a safe place too long.

So here's a bit of a start on that last piece, the long strips will be cut up as sky:

Speaking of sky...I just posted a YouTube video "Paint the Sky" on how I create the sky pieces...dyeing and painting a variety of fabrics:

So I mentioned some more collage pieces that I'm working on, using elements that I created in my Scan n Cut. I painted soft greys and blues on water colour paper and am auditioning different ideas that I could incorporate into the work. Still very much exploration and play - something I need to remind myself over and over doesn't have to be "finished" - it's about the journey, not the destination...yada, yada, yada!

On a totally unrelated note, some of our family gathered for Easter and we had a Lego contest. We made up bags of random Lego bits and had to create something using every piece! It was a fun activity!

Be Creative, everyone!

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Week 15 - in the Studio

Ups and downs this past week! The grandsons were visiting during March Break so it wasn't too easy finding time alone....

So we did a couple art projects together and had fun learning about "spinner art" - now I need a new salad spinner! After a couple YouTube videos, it was easy to tackle.

We needed:
  • card stock cut into circles to fit the inside of the basket - white and black paper
  • inexpensive craft/acrylic paints - we didn't use my Golden paints!
  • salad spinner, I have a cheap Ikea one so didn't feel bad about using it
Put the paper inside the spinner and dribble a few colours - just a little, we used too much!
Put the cover on top, make sure it's secure.
Turn the spinner handle one way a few times and then in the opposite way.

So simple...

And so much fun! We dyed T-shirts as well but no photos!

I did get some canvas painted for sketchbooks and totes - happy, spring colours! I'll be putting them together next week - an easy but repetitive job.

I spent this afternoon learning about WaterColour Grids with Wendy Welch, online with the Vancouver Island School of Art

Nothing fabulous was created but I did learn a lot and saw some possibilities for collage and maybe cutting some of them with my Scan n Cut - particularly this one, no redeeming qualities otherwise!

I quite enjoyed this one - one colour and then lightening and darkening and using analogous colours:

Wendy mentioned other artists who used grids in their work: Paul Klee, Ralph Lemon, Agnes Martin and Gunta Stoltz - a weaver during time of the Bau Haus whose work I find particularly intriguing!

You can see more of her designs here:ölzl&sortBy=Relevance&pageSize=0

Here is a couple more I made:

And that's about it! How was your week?

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Week 14 - in the Studio

This past week has been about finishing some work, I'm not sure why the latest in my Industrial shoreline series took so long to put the facings on...I just procrastinated too much!

It is smaller than recent work at 27" x 43", but the size seemed to work for the topic. It was a photo I had taken when we travelled to the north end of Vancouver Island and spent time around Port McNeill and Cormorant and Malcolm islands - a beautiful area I'd love to visit again. I was loving the linear aspects of a log booming area and took a few photos. 

The challenges of logging, clear cuts, forestry management and sustainable practises are part of my series - there are no right answers. I don't support clear cuts and tearing down old growth but we do need long term employment, especially for first nations in these remote areas, and properly managed, forestry can be part of this approach.

No title yet but it's 27" x 43"

I finished several collages that incorporate mark making and collage on vintage pages. I ordered packs of paper from Etsy and used them with white paint, acrylic inks, asemic text and marks...I love these! I'll be framing them soon and have them for sale - stay tuned!

Speaking of Etsy - I ordered some ultra suede labels from a vendor on Alberta - super quick service and very well made: Spotted Zebra and used them on my Art to Carry Textile Totes:

And I have a few available now HERE

I framed a little piece that my grand daughter had made a couple weeks ago:

And I took a monoprinting workshop today via Zoom, a different approach from what I have been doing but I learned several useful techniques that I can incorporate into my work. I'm taking a two day workshop on gel printing in June and looking forward to learning even more!

If you are yearning for an inperson workshop, have a look at the Gathering the Threads Conference in Cowichan Valley:

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Week 13 - in the Studio

I was thankful to get more time in the studio this week....I always feel that creative time lets me think life through in ways that I cannot in my home....some big thoughts, some little thoughts, some important and some not-so-much!

There was more gel printing - some landscape ideas that will need more work, or perhaps tearing them in strips for collage...hmmm. I've been watching some Youtube videos creating landscapes with gel printing - HERE 

But I did build a registration plate for printing which gives me a "fence" to lay my papers down for a more precise placement, the ones to buy are so you think the grandkids will notice some of their Lego missing?

I was asked for a photo of me, making art for the 2022 Sea & Cedar Virtual Art Exhibition through the Vancouver Island Regional Libraries. You can see some of the exhibition here:

So sitting in my studio, I gave the phone to DH and he clicked away for me...I think its time to get some new headshots!

I'm finally finishing some of the works on vintage paper that I've shown before....still haven't come up with a name for the series but very happy with them. I wonder if I am moving to the dark side - paper only? Yikes! I'm taking a couple into town this week to see about framing...

These ones don't have all the pieces fastened down yet, but I love the shapes and movement that is the indigo ink on some of them is right up my alley!

I spent a few hours in our local gallery and painted on some book pages, adding asemic text and a bit of colour - so enjoyable! I'll add a bit of collage and maybe some stitch - these are small and rather sweet!

In the midst of this, I finished a 3D group of vessels for "Food is Everything" a themed show at the Gallery. My work is three pieces titled "Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner" with paper collage, text, stenciling and button fasteners. Breakfast is yellow, with eggs as its focus, the text has every way that eggs can be prepared. Lunch is salad and is green with lots of "lettuce" words and then the large piece is Dinner with spaghetti words...

It was a fun experiment, but I am feeling its a bit too literal and not as refined as I had hoped. While I would like to explore the concept of "vessels" more fully and in far more depth, I wonder if this study is taking me further away from the focus in my art that I am striving for....I have a major solo exhibition this fall and I really need to work on more pieces for that (there is a part of the exhibition where I think vessels might play a minor role) so this experiment might (will) be shelved for the time being.

Thanks for being part of my creative journey...til next time!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Week 12 - in the Studio

 I missed a week in there somewhere, but with good reason! We took a trip to Tofino with our granddaughter during an unusually gloriously sunny week. I hadn't been there for about 15 years and we had a marvellous time, walking beaches and trails, enjoying seafood and just exploring!

Our granddaughter had a surfing lesson!

But then last week it was back in the studio....I spent one morning with a dear friend doing monoprints on a gel plate and channeling my "inner Rothko"! The simplicity of the lines and experimenting with layering and blending colours was so a textile artist its harder to get those same effects on fabric but I've pulled out some linens that I would like to try with the idea of using them in collage.

Many years ago I used to teach monoprinting and haven't touched the gel plates for quite some time. Back then it was all about using stencils and creating "pictures" but the ideas have developed and ideas of layering and using just small sections as well as for backgrounds and landscapes have been really pushed the boundaries! One artist I follow on YouTube has done some very interesting work that shows how subtle the ideas can be...

I've also signed up for a monoprinting online workshop with the Vancouver Island School of Art:

Here's the Rothko work: 

I find these oddly appealing - simple and yet there's more complexity than I expected....then I had the idea to cut slits into the back and add some weaving with narrow strips. That wasn't as simple as I had expected but I think this show some promise as I consider how I might show shapes on the front. I'm thinking of circles or crescents ...

I started the slits too low down on this one, they could be closer together.

This one is my favourite, I was trying for a circle but realized that it was more effort than I had time for that day.

I like that the shapes seem to float on the surface. I am wondering if I can use my Scan n Cut for cutting  the slits and I found its easier to work from the back for the cutting. And I need to work on the registration of the prints...I have some ideas about that!

And I got the lines stitched down for the boom on my new piece. The front is all finished and I have cut and pressed the facing strips ready for sewing down this week. I am happy with the size of this one, more manageable and still visually effective. I'll have a final, frontal image soon!