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"...

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Week 21 - in the Studio

Some art and some business this's surprising to me that the "business of art" is, well, all about business, go figure!

I've been updating some images of my work on the gallery pages, Pinterest and a couple other sites, my old profile picture, taken in 2016, needed to be retired, so I'm gradually replacing it and a few others. I had some professional images taken of my Industrial Shoreline series, editing and resizing takes a lot of time (and patience) but the lighting is so much more vibrant and real - such a difference.

I have a paper taped to the wall in my studio, I keep meaning to get it typed up and made "pretty" but I rather like the rough and ready...

Can I tell you how many times I see it each day? It's very obvious and very visible and a very important reminder of the "why and how" of my art practise!

Show Up - I'm fortunate to have an outside studio, away from home. When I am there, it's about BEING there, not doing laundry, gardening or anything else. My space is special and and the work gets done only when I show up!

Do the Work - It's only me, no one else can "do my work" and I am there to work. Sometimes I play, experiment and try new ideas but much of what I do is work! My husbands joke when I get home is to ask "did you get your work done"? He's right about the work part...but is it ever done?

Take Risks - experimentation and trying out those ideas is the only way to grow as an artist, its easy to go with what sort of works, but the best work is done when I stretch myself.

It's not Precious - during my Open Studio a couple weeks ago, a visitor complimented me on a piece and how easy I made it look. My response was to mention the stuff that went into the garbage before the  successes. Stop hanging onto the stuff that doesn't work but remember that stuff is the foundation of success!

So I keep looking at the list!

Are you wondering about the Focus on 4? It's to remind me not to go after the "shiny stuff" and only have four projects/series/pieces going at one time.....if an idea or adaptation comes to me, I might make a small prototype or make some notes or sketches until I have completed one of the 4 and am ready to move on it!

So...what art stuff happened in the Studio this week...

A pile of scraps cut from new work! Our Gallery on Pender Island has one show running through the summer and my Salish Sea pieces usually sell well. The first one I glued to wood panel was a flop...if it doesnt adhere completely, I have to tear it off and start second chances. My fault as I used the wrong glue, thinking I could take a short cut!

Here's a video of the pieces that are ready for glueing to the panels, this time I'll wait until I have the right product. (you might have to hit the full screen button for it to show) Here's a link to how I do this:
And there are several YouTube videos explaining the same process.
Here's one of Our Salish Sea that I made last year:

So what have I learned about working on this series? 
  • its good to go deeper into the composition by repeating some of the same elements in each piece.
  • it can get boring doing basically the same composition over and over again.
  • the recent pieces are more challenging since I've added more collage elements and changed up the  strong horizontal lines.
  • I like using both paper and fabric in my work.
  • these are basic but very important lessons to remember for the future.
On Monday I delivered new work to the Current Threads exhibition at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery. I hope you'll take the time to see the exhibition - on until the end of June: