Friday 28 February 2014

A studio time ending...

is something that normally pleases greatly, but the upcoming one will be difficult.

A recent diagnosis of FeLV  for Opal the Studio Cat means that her time with us is coming to an end. She has been part of my studio life, and family life, for the past 15 years, and it will be a wrench to see her go.

You can read about some of her exploits in the studio here, here, here and here.

Opal as paper weight

Opal imitates a sloth

Opal packs herself for the next playshop out of town
From the time she was a kitten,

 she has graced our home with a cattitude bar none.

Her gentle loving nature has made her friends far and wide, with repeated requests for cloning constantly being made - oh how we wish we could!

Monday 24 February 2014

Going out to play... always a fun thing to do, and a weekend trip to Claresholm to visit Alice Saltiel-Marshall and her husband Bill was no exception.  

When John and I visit there, I spend an inordinate amount of time wandering their lovely home, salivating over the artwork and generally soaking up the atmosphere.  Alice's studio, a tiny room (aka The Anne Frank Room) tucked under the stairs in the basement, fairly quivers with opulent colour and visual candy.

As you walk towards the door, the light jumps from the lime green walls to frame a feast for the eyes.

To the left, a shelving unit holds a photo of Bill, a pair of tiny cowboy boots gifted Alice by her muse, Kari Lalek, and a field of butterflies dancing in a painting-in-progress.

On the right, the wall sings with a trio of lilies, a jazzy cat (Alice's own) and a mountain panorama by Meg Nicks.

Around the corner to the right is a shelf hosting more in-progress paintings next to Alice's desk.

The shelf above the desk is another visual feast, filled with colourful tools, photos, mementos and more paintings.

How could one be anything but inspired as one views a collection of the 'who's who' of Alberta fine artists everywhere one looks?
by artist Sarah Kidner

by Alice Saltiel-Marshall

by Alice Saltiel-Marshall

by Liz Wiltzen
I count myself lucky to have spent some time in this wonderful studio while we visited, although I must admit I spent much more time viewing than playing.  Watch for some studio action in the next post.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

A friend in the studio... always welcome, and the recent visit of Meg and Paul from Canmore was no exception. Meg and I spent Monday painting together while the other halves did an antiquing tour south of the border.

I love having other artists in the studio (or working in theirs) because it's so educational to see the way they create.  Meg showed me a trick to iron skins on to a painting (involving the use of release paper - we found that palette paper does not work as well!).

I got a sense of her process for creating one of her beautiful organic pieces from early on in the work.

I watched her experiment with Derwent Graphitint pencils on a new range of vellum she was testing for the Sunny Raven Gallery art supply section.

Meg's artwork  is richly organic, invariably including images or subtle iconography related to Mother Nature.

And while our circadian rhythms are vastly different (here's Meg working well into the evening),

we know that any chance we can get to play together will be a wonderful time.  Thanks for taking the time from your schedule to play here in Creston, Meg and Paul!

Friday 14 February 2014

This week in the studio...

... looks less like a travelling salvation show and more like work in progress, although that may be deceiving, too!  As always when I'm in town, it appears as though someone dropped a bomb in my digs.

I got into cutting some new stencils to use on the Gelli plate,

and couldn't get myself to stop.

I've a couple of Victoria pieces on the go, this one started with a sheet from a tax package in the Fernie workshop.

 This one has been added to since the demo start at Kimberley, and hopefully will be completed by month end.

The lovely black and white transfers came from this gorgeous book that John scored for me in his travels.

I've been doing some more on my visual gratitude journal, so these two are essentially complete...only 20 more to go before mid-April and putting-together time.

 This pile will eventually become M for music/Mozart and munchies maybe!

The tic-tac-toe pieces await another layer, totally ignored by The Head, who seems to have gained some colour since last week.

A timey-wimey background ( you Dr. Who fans will get that one) waits not-so-patiently for the skins-in-progress to be finished.

 And a couple of drywall compound demos wait for something to make them sparkle.

Since it gives me heart palpitations to look at all the in-progress 'stuff', I'll stop there, ending with the hope that you and yours have enjoyed a happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

The No-Fear Gang

Fear?  No such thing in The Arts Station this past weekend!  Those ladies took to the playbox like they never got out of their childhood.

Jordana and Kathleen tear into it

Becca and Anna are intent on their play
The floor of The Arts Station was covered from one end to the other with a stupendous range of starts,
Clockwise from bottom centre - plastic wrap, music skin, plastic wrap, alcohol drop, who know's what, more alcohol (can you see a pattern emerging? - wine was a big topic on the weekend) and a UFO on black.  In the centre, an artist's 'sandwich' made with mulberry paper and strips of painted dryer sheets.

each one a uniquely different interpretation of the techniques covered.
Love that blue/green tartan start and the beginning of something fishy!
I know I added 15 pounds to my weight with all those colour calories exploding in the room.

Every time I turned my back there would be another layer of mouth-watering colour on something,

 or another start (or ten),

or someone praying for release from the agony?

Becca gets right into it - on the floor!
Want to see some close-ups?

Luscious, mouth-watering brayer paper (aka leather or gesso paper)

Oh those palette paper transfers!
Drywall compound goes upscale

Plastic wrap technique

Another version of brayer paper

And a version of the drywall compound that happily repeats a complex pattern

The artist tissue technique goes soft and abstract

Layer upon layer - one technique over the other

Plastic wrap technique, with a palette paper transfer over top

Doesn't this say jazzy to you?

Collaged mammoth meets tea and coppers
The palette paper transfer on a start just energizes it all
I suspect that their mixed media play days will not stop here - they're all too much addicted to the 'What if?' possibilities now!

Kathleen, Jordana, Anna and Becca display a small amount of their weekend output
Of course it wasn't all fun and games - I had to eat real calories in Fernie too!  If you're visiting there, I highly recommend the Tandoor & Grill Restaurant at the Stanford Inn (The Arts Station had arranged my accommodations - lovely place)...the food is beyond amazing;  I'm now totally addicted to their mushroom pakora and the vegetable curry, along with the chicken tikka masala I had the last time I visited.  It would be impossible to recommend this restaurant highly enough!

So here's to lack of fear, and calories in Fernie - bless them all!
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