Friday 31 January 2014

In and out...

The studio today is an amazing series of contrasts compared to the great outdoors.  There are stacks of paintings in progress lined up near and on the window sill,

 and a pile of tests and 'what if's' to follow on the easel.

There's a book cover painting that I thought was done and had tucked in an obscure place to do the 'catch me unawares' trick, and I see it's nowhere near finished.

A pile of leftover cut snowflakes are scattered across a stencil binder, next to another near-finished painting.

Some zentangles await spray gluing and photocopying for another 'what if' possibility,

and some journal pages cozy up to another 'Victoria womanhood' start from the recent workshop.

On one of the play tables sits a styrofoam head - thanks Andrea Revoy! - waiting for inspiration, time and colour,

next to a pile of papers and a roll of sari silk Andrea also donated to the mixed media cause.

Yet this morning at 6:30, the snow storm was blowing gusts against the windows, 

 and the view outdoors is a study in black and white, most unusual for this valley.

Is it any wonder that I'm addicted to my studio?  I HAVE to go where the colour sings, don't you? 

Tuesday 28 January 2014

A recent newsletter

A few days ago, I sent out my newsletter, below.  If you'd like to subscribe to it directly and see it all (apparently Mailchimp doesn't like to be copy/pasted!) , please email me to receive a copy in your Inbox.  I do one every three months or so, as a brief update on highlights from in and out of the studio.
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'Infecting you with the creativity virus.'

Where am I?

To see some current work, why not pop into the Creston Chamber of Commerce?   Their Art in the Chamber show runs until the end of February.  Or if you're in the Cranbrook area, you can stop in at the Key City Theatre Gallery - another show that's running through February 28.

What's new in the playhouse?

Check out the upcoming playshops for this season here.  If you don't see one in your area, email me and we'll see what transpires!

To see blog posts about some recent mixed media mania, check here, here and here.
To get in on the action in the playhouse, email me for further information!

Are you getting it?

The blog updates, I mean?  From playshop dates to artworks in progress, shenanigans of Opal the Studio Cat, works in progress, completed artworks and other blatherings, you'll get it all, especially if you subscribe and have the posts arrive regularly in your Inbox.  And the colour - you'll LOVE the colour!
Subscribe by using the 'Follow by Email' form on the upper right of the blog!
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Creston, BC, Canada
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Creston, BC V0B 1G1

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Sunday 26 January 2014

Tic-Tac-Toe Times Two

How's that for alliteration?

I thought I'd do some studio photo catch-up.  Even though I've had little chance to work in there this past week due to wrapping my head around some challenging (for me) computer programs, I did manage a wee bit of play time on these nine four by fours.  You can see the start of this project here.

Last week I managed some time to add a word to each canvas with a stencil stolen from my husband John (if he reads this I'm in big trouble . . . again).

I decided this week to sort through my extensive stash of palette papers,

and match them up with the appropriate colours, with several options for each.

I coated the canvasses with liquid gel medium using this method.  Working with a canvas, though, can mean the papers need to be hog-tied to get them to adhere, hence some wrapped and elastic-bound minis.

 After drying overnight, the results were mixed,

varying from the very subtle Now piece (definitely more palette paper transfer needed here before further layers)

 to the jazzy Yes! mini.

 Passion's getting pretty colourful,

and Love needs a sanding at the bottom just to the left of centre to get rid of that too-light purple, and likely more palette transfers as well.

The transfer on Laugh has faded entirely into the background, so something additional will be needed.

I'm liking the strong vertical transfer on Sing - makes me think of my too-loud musical errors at the Bow Valley Singers practice last week!

Play's transfer is VERY BOLD, and heaven knows what will happen with this one - I'm rather liking the upside-down partial head at the top, though.

 Spirit looks a bit lacklustre right now, so definitely more to go on this,

and apparently there's no hope at all for Hope, which got missed in the line-up of photos.  All in all, I can see where some of these will go - how about you?  Where would you take them? What techniques would you add to the mix?

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Rockin' the fun...

was this groups' motto, I think.  And as I mentioned in my last post, rebellion was the order of the day - both days.

I'd say do this - and invariably they'd do the opposite.  After our painted papers dried,

Painted paper,  waiting to dry overnight
I mentioned they could be wrapped around a canvas, in stages, by first securing the paper with medium to the front of the canvas, waiting for it to dry, and then doing the same on the sides, around to the back.  No more than ten minutes later, I saw one of the brattiest ladies (you know who you are) covering the WHOLE of the canvas, front and sides with the papers, and managing it without any issues at all.  Don't you just hate it when students prove you wrong?  And don't these look amazing?  They don't need anything else to make a wall shine.

I thought I'd show you a few more 'in progress shots', which I suspect were taken the morning of day two.


Don't these just get the creative juices flowing?

It's wonderful to see so many pieces so well on their way to completion.  The hope was that each participant would take home a completed painting, and by the looks of their drying areas, most of them would be carting home their own gallery-full!

A lovely cobweb piece
Using a foam roller wrapped with elastics (or maybe string)
A clear tar gel drop & resist technique

A gesso drop technique

Utilizing self-leveling clear tar gel, tinted with paint

Drywall compound, over-painted with washes of colour.
Paint, stamps and more stamps

Paint, string wrapped brayer, and over-stamping

Love those layers of paint, splatter and elastic-wrapped foam

Paint, elastic-wrapped foam roller, gesso drops, fabric and goodness knows what else! - YUM!

The participant who created this luxurious background was not too fond of it, until she had a happy accident with a broken skin, which just made it sing.  Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo of that stage, but I love this one without it too!
Here I am, elegantly attired and perfectly composed, pontificating, while nobody pays any attention - typical for the weekend!
Did I say we had fun?  More than you can imagine!  Check out the playshop page for one coming to your area, or email me to discuss the possibility.

Monday 20 January 2014

In the Playbox...

The Kimberley Mixed Media II playshop at Centre 64 should have engendered a visit by the fun police, 'cause we had WAY too much of it.

With 10 rowdy participants, all of them total nutcases (yes, you were!), we painted, stretched, threw, splashed and mucked with nearly twenty techniques.

Here's what it looked like near the start,
The centre space is where I got to do my happy dance.
and here's what it looked like near the finish.
The centre space is where the participants were too pooped to happy dance!
Back Row:  Carol, Donna, Marjorie, Rob, Louise
Front Row:  Virginia, Juanita, Ilene, Jeanie, Sue
The interim was sheer chaos, with 'sharing' of supplies,

Sue (left) and Jeanie fight over some holey ribbon
mucking with drywall compound (really!),

Juanita gets a groove on
 slicing and dicing,

No idea what Ilene is taking those scissors to, but it looks lethal!
 and wrestling cobwebs to the ground.

Virginia ties one on
 We sprayed paint,

Rob sprays his cobweb start while Donna attacks her piece in the background
 tested colours and acrylic properties,

Louise, a consummate watercolourist, tests acrylics for the way they work with salt
 and painted crushed, wet paper, among other things.

Jeanie on the attack with a loaded paintbrush
With so much talent in the room, it was inevitable that someone else get into instructor mode.

Here Louise Olinger demos a salt technique for the group
And because everybody loved it so much (HA!), we spent a lot of time on skins and transfers!

Ilene scrubs and scrubs, and rubs and rubs to clean the back of a 'skin'

Everyone got into the act, and rebellion was constant (did I say they were like a bunch of kids?).

Marjorie even tested pipe cleaner wrapped around a brayer!
The floors behind the participants were covered with masses of drying pieces, from painted paper

Wet and luscious painted paper
 to skins and mat board starts,

 to resist techniques and painted dryer sheets,

 in all sorts of permutations.

 It was endlessly fascinating, and ever-changing!

Check back in the next day or so (it'll take me that long to download, edit and choose) for more photos of this fabulous weekend, including some close-ups!

In the meantime, check out the Playshops, and consider joining me in Fernie on February 8 & 9 for the Mixed Media I weekend - you, too, can have this much fun in the playbox!

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