Thursday 16 August 2012

Workshops? No - Playshops!

In the past, I was always sad at the approach of  fall, but that has changed as I've moved further into the teaching end of  the art world.

I love teaching - I get to play with new friends, share my toys, build something fresh and learn from my students.  What could be better than that?

This year the line-up includes Mixed Media,
Forest Floor  46 x 6 mixed media painting by Win Dinn
Colour Boot Camp,
Painted Colour Wheels - Colour Boot Camp lesson 1
Into the Mandala,
Changing Planet, Mixed Media Mandala by Win Dinn
Painted Papers 101,
Hand-painted paper
Painted Papers 102,
Paper objects created with hand-painted papers
and Flower Power.

Hand-crafted flowers created from painted papers
You'll see a full list of dates, locations and other pertinent information on the right side of this page.  As always, I encourage you to register early, as some locations are limited to a small class size. There are some spaces in the winter of 2013 that are open so if you're interested in having a workshop in your area, please email me at to request information.  I love to travel and play.

If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending these classes, please email this link to them and let them know - they'll be glad you did!

Sunday 12 August 2012

It's always about the colour

I know this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am a little bit obsessed with colour.  Even if I don't get into the studio as much as I'd like during the summer, I'm still excited about the rainbow around me, no matter how (and where) it appears.

The past five weeks or so, I've been reaping the benefits of John's garden and the fruit (domestic and wild) that grows in this wonderful valley.  My days of picking, stemming, boiling and jamming gladden my eyes and heart.

 From apricots and
 black currants mixed with raspberries,
Oregon Grape fingers in living colour
to hands stained with Oregon Grapes and then
Boiling Oregon Grapes
made ready for jelly, the kitchen is extraordinarily colourful (including the stove, cupboards and walls).
Raspberries mixed with saskatoons 
and saskatoons alone all make for richness in hue galore.
Heritage Tomatoes
John's no slouch in that department either, because he spent hours this morning canning his heritage tomatoes, with more to come in the coming month.  Can you just imagine how these will taste made into a redolent spaghetti sauce?

Oh, and then there are garden peas, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, carrots and blackberries to come, - have I missed any colour in the rainbow?

Thursday 9 August 2012

It's crystal clear

A favourite paper is one that I was introduced to in one of Nita Leland's books, Creative Collage Techniques.  Although the process is somewhat more time consuming than my painted papers, the results are clearly (pun intended) worth it.

I start by placing archival tissue paper on top of butcher paper, and paint carefully from the centre of the paper up to the top edge, and then from the centre of the paper to the lower edge with liquid acrylic gloss medium.  The tissue paper is fragile, so a gentle touch is required.  I allow this to dry overnight.

I carefully lift the tissue from the butcher paper, turn it over, and repeat the process on the other side, allowing it to dry overnight again.  In any of the above steps, I need to ensure that Opal the assistant cat refrains from any interaction.

 Here on the next day, I've crumpled the resulting paper, opened it again, sprayed it with a healthy dose of water and have the two well-thinned acrylic paints ready to apply.

 After paint application, the paper looks wild and woolly, and VERY wet.  I may add more sprayed water at this point, and possibly some glitter or other light elements before I leave it to dry overnight yet again.

I'm always fascinated on the fourth day to see the final results.  At this point I test the resulting crystalline paper with an assortment of bond backings (here white, blue and pink per the top edge, with the butcher paper across the length of the bottom edge) to check the possibilities.  I often use all (or none) of  the bonds I test, because the range of background creates different, yet complementary papers.

It's always a great day when I can play with colour - what have you been colouring lately?

Monday 6 August 2012

Painting papers...

in this manner is something that keeps me from being too controlled, since it is next to impossible to predict the outcome, although I'm invariably pleased with the results.

The start
I start by laying out a long sheet of palette (butcher) paper, covered by a nearly equal sheet of mulberry paper (available in rolls), with Opal the cat as paper weight.
Sprayed with water
Step 2 is to remove the cat and spray the mulberry paper thoroughly with water.
Adding paint
Step 3 - spray the cat with water to remove her from the paper.  Then mix a quantity of paint (in this case mostly light, because I'm running low on pale paper) in complementary shades and, using your palette knives, run them each gently (the mulberry paper is not very strong) over the sheet.  Keep cat at bay with harsh words, additional water sprays and frequent 'NO's'.
The very wet result
 When your sheet is 'covered' (next to an impossibility, and not required), spray more water to allow the paint to mingle.  At this stage, one can add sparkles, light bits of finely crushed leaves, threads, and so on, to add visual interest.  In the photo above, the brownish bits are areas where bubbles have formed, paint has run off, and the palette paper from below is showing through.  Allow paper to dry at least overnight.
Paper #1 dried overnight
 The next morning, the first paper is very pale in tones of off-white, and will be lovely both in paintings and in bonded hand-painted paper projects.  I did notice a few brush strokes (off-camera) due to a cat tail.

Paper #2 dried overnight
 I'm really liking this second, darker toned paper.  I intentionally used a palette paper that was covered with previous speckles of paint (I use my palette papers over and over to get interesting possibilities for palette transfers).  When I did the second spray with water I sprayed directly onto the palette paper that held the paint, dripping the results onto the mulberry paper, thus transferring some of the original paint along with the fresh.  Another new technique has been developed to push fun.

You can see another finish of painted papers here if you're needing a colour fix, too!

When I developed this method of painting papers some years ago, I was so very chuffed with myself - until I found a piece of paper in my stash that had obviously been created the same way.  There is definitely nothing new under the sun, especially when it pertains to colour and art!

Saturday 4 August 2012

To market,

to market, but buying no pig.

It was great to stop at the  Farmer's Market at Millennium Park this morning and enjoy the wide range of arts and crafts that are available there, along with the produce which is so plentiful right now.

Wynndel Lavender
Not only is the Wynndel Lavender booth beautiful (especially when it comes with colour-coordinated customers), it smells heavenly as well.
Eileen and Anne
 From paintings to scarves,
Jean and her flowers
 to flowers and hand-sewn goods
Pridham Studios pottery
and pottery, the market is a feast for the eyes.

I feel especially blessed to live in a community that is rich in so many of my favourite things.  From farm-fresh-from-the-garden produce to high quality artisans, we call a wonderful valley home.

What do you appreciate about the area in which you live?

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