Saturday, 31 October 2015

Art drool.... currently very deep in the studio, because I got a fabulous package this week, all the way from Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith in the UK.  We've been connected on Google+ for a while now, and I admire her wonderful style and colour sense so much.

 As you can see, both sides of the package were a feast for the eyes

 and the contents even more so.  Our 'tag exchange' for the month was themed Gelli prints  (yup, I LOVE 'em), and Zsuzsa sent me four full sheets of them!

I'm a great fan of paper napkins as well, and the ones that Zsuzsa included in her gift were a delight. I know that Alice Saltiel will love the bottom right one especially!

 The tags themselves were so rich and colourful (apt, too, I might add)!

I can't thank you enough, Zsuzsa - I could see that you'd had me in mind the whole time you were putting this together.  It had me even more excited to tear into the Gelli print playshop I'm doing at Puffin this week!

Speaking of learning, John and I both did some of that this week.  We took a 3 hour Illuminating workshop by Bart Bjorkman at Puffin  and I was stunned to actually complete a lamp in that time.  If I can do it, so can you, and Bart's running another one on November 25.  Do register (at Puffin) if you're free that evening.  John's lamp (below) is gorgeous, and mine, not shown, is pretty amazing too.  I'm thinking about making another for a Christmas gift.

Do tell me in your comments how you're gearing up for the holiday season.  Are you making your gifts this year?  Are you creating new things?  I'd love to hear about your forays - do feel free to add a link to your post about it!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

It's been a roller-coaster ride... no other these last couple of weeks.  My studio is chock-a-block full of partly finished projects (what else is new, right?), from this bottle awaiting a final coat of varnish

Mermaid's Song

to a journal loosely packed with paper and ephemera additions,

a gooey layer of Kroma Crackle medium on top of a gessoed box,

some tape waiting for a Gelli printing session to be reborn as washi tape,

and a video workshop in the making.

It's no less crazy at my Puffin workbench either, where another bottle is in the works (not sure what ghoul is at play here, but there is certainly some Halloween in the air),

and a book sculpture starts to take form.

Add caption

And just in case you think this has been a rather colourless post, I'll leave you with some close-ups of the bottle...

That Kroma crackle certainly looks different when it's dried and painted, right?

I hope you're having as much fun in your playroom!  If not, consider joining me this next while here in Creston - we've got some fun sessions for you here.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

On the road... Castlegar yesterday, we found an autumn cornucopia of texture and colour.

We were heading to this Kootenay city for two reasons.  First was to change out some work at the Kootenay Art Gallery and the second was to view the Sixth Annual Castlegar Sculpturewalk, another texture/colour feast for the eyes.

The King of Spades by Heather Wall of Powell River, BC

Gangsta Raven by Dave Dando of Nelson, BC

V Formation by Nathan Smith of Nelson, BC

Sympatico by Pokey Park of  Arizona, USA

Serengeti by Lawrence Starch of Colorado USA

Beaver by Dale Lewis of Minnesota, USA

Beaver, detail

Focus by Osamede Obazee of California, USA

Notes of Nelson by Teyana Neufeld, Nelson, BC
Normally, when I head out on an art date, it's with my artist friends but this trip was shared with my husband John, a history buff.  That meant a trip to the Castlegar CPR Museum was in order.  John, trouble-maker extraordinaire, wound up in the jail there...please, don't ask for details.

Apart from the bail money lost it was a great day, and one of those perfect artist dates to tickle the muse.  I'm wondering now where I can find 11,000 three-inch rusted nails to create my own sculpture.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

It's a long way...

to Tipparary, wherever that is.  It's also a long way to go to put a book together, but it's finally done!

The second in a series of mandala colouring books for adults - Colour from the Centre - has arrived from the printers and I'm delighted to share it with you.

I couldn't help but do a happy dance when some four months of work arrived on my doorstep!

This 8 1/2" x 11" book holds 23 images to colour, printed on one side only so they can be framed, turned into cards, or added to the perfect (colourful) art piece.  Also included is a cheat sheet so you can photocopy the points and create your own mandalas, over and over again.  The first colouring book, now near sold out, is a Canadian best seller, and paved the way for the current craze of adult colouring, having been on the market for some years. Well, at least that's my theory!

Mandalas are a universal design found in every culture on the planet.  The word itself is Sanskit, meaning sacred circle, and the mandala fosters a sense of well being and wholeness.  Adults colour these images for recreation, as a way of connecting with their children and grandchildren (please - do purchase two so there's no fisticuffs involved!), to create a time for personal meditation and as a colour-full way of expression.  Oh, and play, of course, because we all need to play.

Just in case you'd like to do some colouring of your own, why not print the mandala above? Warning - colouring mandalas can be addictive and one should be prepared to accept possible consequences including lost time, relaxation, movement towards right-brain thinking, and a stress-free life, among other things.

Looking for more info?  The inside front cover above provides some, as well as the back cover below.
You can purchase this book here on the blog (see the right sidebar Buy Now button) or at fine independent book sellers in Western Canada.  Enjoy!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Mucha, forever...

...or at least that's what my friend Alice and I believe.  His images are so beautifully designed and executed that one could eat them (and judging by the chocolates that Alice recently brought back from a visit to Prague, people do!).

Alice also brought me back a gift of a deck of cards when she was there, thinking that they would, like her decks, have the same image on each card.  To my delight and her chagrin, the deck I received had a different image on each, so a few days of hilarious hide and seek ensued as she tried to sneak them into her stash instead of mine.

Of course that meant that her birthday gift HAD to incorporate these cards, hence a Mucha Mini-Manuscript was in order.  Coincidently, the cards fell out of the pack on the perfectly coloured stack of Gelli prints scattered on my worktables.

Back and front covers of the mini-Mucha book

Just because I could, I turned the whole thing into a game, so her card had to specify rules.

I was much entertained by the whole process, and I still have half a deck of Mucha-image cards in my possession.  Hmmmm, I wonder where they'll go?

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