Friday, 28 November 2014

Another look...

at brayer paper (aka leather paper, gesso paper) seems to be in order.

I uploaded a video on making this luscious paper in my last post, and that engendered a good deal of interest.

The papers can be incredibly rich,

simple and chic,

double sided,

or painted on one side only.

 What can they be used for?  Anything!

Beautiful as a background start, marvellous in collages, wonderful focal points in a painting, elegant as a wrapping paper

and oh-so-delicious when you need a colour hit in the middle of a snowy day.  I must admit to keeping a stash just for that very purpose!

Thanks for stopping by, and please do tell me what lifts your creative spirits in these winter days? And Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers - may you be enjoying an excess of turkey and gratitude!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Settle down?

Not likely.  Every day I move from project to project, like a crazed hummingbird in a field of exotic flowers.

Recently I tracked my progress through the day with my camera, moving from a collection of tags in progress

to a stack of  papers and antique cards recently acquired as a gift (thank you Bill), 

 to Christmas cards-in-the-making

and then to finish burning a new watery stencil.

I watched myself in amusement as I ran off a couple of Gelli prints with it

and then moved to play with some Derwent Inktense pencils loaned by a friend (thanks Linda)

before finishing a video shoot of a technique

and photographing the results.

 Finally, I 'painted' some white-on-white wallpaper with alcohol inks,

barely noticing a recent addition to the studio.

John, after many years away from artwork as he immersed himself in creating tomatoes, has set himself up again.  Perfect, no?  Yes!

Friday, 21 November 2014

I'm feeling a bit bookish...

...these days, and as a consequence, I'm making them.

Squaring the Circle is one I've recently created as a door prize for the Gelli plate demo I did in Claresholm, AB.

It consists of an explanatory page at the beginning,

and a series of eleven different concentric circles.

I've studied, drawn and painted mandalas for years (mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning 'sacred circle'), and am compelled by the beauty of them, in any form.

 These ones are created from a range of papers that have been painted,

 Gelli printed,

cut from book sheets,


 covered in painted dryer sheets,

 and more.  I've used crystalline papers

and law books,


 and ink to enhance them.

Although I can't say what it is about circles that draws me in so completely, I do know there will be more of these in my future.

What forms are you drawn to?  What motifs repeat themselves over and over again in your artistic play?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


...anywhere is perfect, but in Claresholm it is perfect-er!  We made a flying trip there this past week, and the trip was packed to the max.

Alice Saltiel Marshall hosted us for my birthday, and then talked me into a Gelli demo while I was there.  What fun.  I was obviously being terribly bratty, playing the violin at someone I'd just met!

Julie chooses paint and takes the guff!
After pulling some prints, I encouraged those attending to do the same.

Alice watches, as Julie gears up for the first pull.

Marjory shows her pull from a blue jean template.

Kim pulls the ghost print after using the house wrap stencil.
Alice was so enamoured with the colours she chose that she forgot to add stencils, textures or templates - and look at that lovely print!

I was delighted that Marjory won the door prize (more about that in my next post), given that she drove an hour and a half to attend the demo!

And of course, no visit to the Marshalls would be complete without some hi-jinks, as evidenced by this photo.  If John were a seamstress, he could be checking the length of his woolly gift to me, but that's definitely not the case.

Our day ended with a fabulous dinner party, topped with a birthday pie (thanks for remembering I'm not much of a cake fan, Alice!).

As always, a wonderful visit, tremendous food, fabulous company, and the occasional glass of wine - how could life get any better?

Friday, 14 November 2014

Paper, glorious paper...

I can't get enough of it.  I've got it in in so many places in the studio it's a wonder the place doesn't collapse under the weight of it.

My stash for images and collage
'Scrambles' paper pinned to the wall

Gelli prints piled high on the table
Oversize paper in slots of cardboard

Cardstock stacked on shelves in the cabinet
Painted papers in rolls of varying sizes
It's my belief that one can never have too much paper in a studio, so I've created a video for you about a great method for painting papers.

Will you join me in my addiction?

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Blog Hop Around the World?

Why not!?  I was invited by my online friend, Vicki Ross at Axully to participate in this round robin. The basis for her blog is solid (knowledge), useful (things to read) and beautiful (gallery), and it's all of that, and more.  Do check it out - you'll be glad you did.

'White Rose' © Vicki Ross

You'll find more of her work on this page.

I've invited my good friends Alice Saltiel to join this hop,

'Midnight Magic' 12 x 9 © by Alice Saltiel

along with Eileen Gidman,

'Autumn Waters of Kootenay Lake'  Mug rug (or wine mat? :D) © Eileen Gidman
and you'll find the answers to the same questions on their blog posts next Monday, November 17.  However, you won't want  to wait until then to check out their blogs - there's so much to see!

The premise of this world-wide blog hop is to answer four questions (thank goodness it wasn't more - this took a LOT of thought!  If you're not into answers, just skip to the end for some more colour!

1.  What am I working on?  Right now I`m working on about twenty projects, including mixed media paintings, altered childrens' board books, folded books, enhanced Gelli plate monoprints and creation of new playshops.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Because I tend to approach everything in my studio from a point of view of play, I feel like I am open and receptive to the unexpected.  Process driven, I am constantly making stamps, stencils and prints that are uniquely created from my play-brain.  Like a child, I allow my curiosity about methods and materials to have free rein, following the 'what if' question constantly.

3.  Why do I create what I do?  I believe that as children we are highly creative, imaginative creatures. Yet it is a rare thing to find those traits carrying into the adult phase of our lives.  However, a sense of playfulness is what feeds a living connection between the physical body and its soul, rather like the umbilical cord feeds a baby in uterus.  My studio time and the playshops I share with adults are both designed to foster that re-creation of childlike curiosity and creativity.  I love paper, books, texture, and any and all variations of colour, so I'll follow them anywhere.

4.  How does my creative process work?  My play-brain is wide ranging, and I follow where it leads.  'What if' I take this material (house wrap, for example) and use it for something else entirely (like burning it as a stencil)?  'What if' I use drywall compound to create a texture plate?  'What if' I recycle dryer sheets?  'What if', what if, what if?  I'm up for some crazy challenges, like creating a spotted pony with my husband John for a silent auction (Horsefeathers), doing a head piece, curling papers until my hands fall off and anything else that makes me wonder what would happen if...  I want to know how new products work, although not always do I care what they are supposed to do.  I'm more interested in what I can do with them, regardless of the original intention.  I had alcohol inks for over a year before I actually tried them on metal, which is what they're really designed to do.

This has been more verbose than my usual post, so I'll end with some more colour just to brighten it up a bit!
À Case for Gardening` altered book   © Win Dinn

`The Eye of Ra` © Win Dinn

`Wingding` © Win Dinn

`Wingding` © Win Dinn

`Alien Portal` mixed media on mat board  © Win Dinn
Tell me, what drives you and your creativity?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Have a Heart...

is still niggling at me, and I just had to do another set of these fun 4 x 4's.

I'm so addicted to these buttons by Andrea Revoy that she may have to go into major production to supply me.  Oh wait, she already has!

'Enviro-Love II'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
Each of the canvasses starts with a Gelli print background,

'Heart Bubbles'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
includes at least three Gelli print scrap hearts,

'Heart Garden'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
and often incorporates a ribbon,
'Heart Song'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
and on occasion, two of them.

'Love Letters'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
 Sometimes I throw in a piece of newsprint,
'Of My Heart'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
 a metal embellishment,

'You Hold the Key II'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
or a wooden one.
'You're the Gift'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
And if a trio of commercial buttons finds their way into the mix, who am I to argue?

'You, Me & Three'  mixed media on gallery wrap canvas  4 x 4"  © Win Dinn
These little goodies will be wending their way east next week for the 'Deck the Walls' show at the Fernie Arts Station, which runs from November 27 to December 29, 2014.  If you're in the area, be sure to check out the show.  All work is under $100, and you're sure to find something suitable for everyone on your list!

The first nine canvasses from the Have A Heart Series I can be seen here - they've gone to the Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar for their Christmas at the Gallery show which opens November 14/14, so if you're in the area, do stop in for a peek!

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