Friday 30 December 2016

As we await...

...the arrival of 2017 it's a time of quiet reflection, and what better colour to accompany that than the peaceful ease of the colour blue.

From journal pages

 to Gelli prints,

blue peeks out everywhere in the studio.

 I've turned hand-painted papers into blue flowers,

 and created Wingdings with it.

 It shows up in heavily textured pieces

 and in those that are quietly behaving themselves.

 Blue philosophizes

 and plays well with green and a host of other colours.

What a perfect colour with which to end a chaotic year, don't you think?

Here's hoping that all your wishes for 2017 come true, in a big way.  xo

Thursday 22 December 2016

You're probably wondering...

...what my focus word is for 2017, right?

These reminders are  going to be EVERYWHERE!

Each one sports a feather, so the lesson is light and easy.

Rich, isn't it?

I love the beauty of this organic leaf and feather combination.

Orange and red has a LOT of punch.

Like a flower, opening is filled with grace.

It's possible books might be involved.

I love the word opening; it speaks to me of new possibilities, travel, creativity, abundance, gifts and gratitude flowing into and through my life.  It is filled with the awareness, understanding and discernment I welcome for 2017.

Have you chosen your 2017 focus word yet?  I'd love to see it in the comments below.

Thursday 15 December 2016

I'm baaaaaaak,

exhilarated, confounded, exhausted jet-lagged and even educated, so you know it was a wonderful China tour.  

You asked for photos, and since I've just started to edit the first 200 of 1275 in total, I'll give you some teasers from day one in Beijing:

Temple of Heaven dome;
 the Temple is constructed using no nails, apart from the tiles on the roof to ensure the roof stays on!

Brother Neal and I in front of one of the Temple outbuildings; note our colour coordination, both with each other and with the building signage.

Ornamental roofing area on Temple outbuilding

I'm pretty sure this script says 'Thank you Neal and Judith'

The promenade as we headed back from the Temple area

The promenade is lined with knitters, weavers, card-players, and gamesters of all kinds, and even in the cold weather it's a crowd!

Note the ornamental pieces on the corner of the roof  in the Forbidden City - the number of pieces indicates the level of  importance of the occupants or building use.

I think this is Falkor the Dragon from The Neverending Story, forever frozen in stone in the Forbidden City's courtyard.

You can see I paid attention to this sign

The rich colours everywhere had me totally captivated

And what would ancient buildings be without some artsy craquelure?
I was mesmerized by all the intense colour and the opulent patterning on every building.  Colour in China is deep with meaning.  Yellow is the most prestigious colour, being associated with emperors. Red is the colour of luck, joy and good fortune and is to be found everywhere, in all its permutations. Green means good health and connection to the earth, while blue is indicative of the heavens.  You'll note the tiles on the roof of the Temple of Heaven are all blue.  White is a colour representative of gold (and much less costly to paint), so many houses, particularly in the countryside, are painted white.  

As I move back into my Creston, BC life, I suspect this trip will keep showing up in whatever creativity is to come.  In the meantime, please catch me up in your comments below.  What have you been up to while I was away?!

Thursday 8 December 2016

It's a small world...

and I'm still on the other side of it.  In the meantime, you can check out this post from 2015 about repurposing bottle caps -  beer, wine and liqueurs, for upcycling.  It's surprising what can be done with them.

They make fabulous flowers with the addition of buttons or brads.

Of course, the bottles can be used as well, after removal of the labels,

a thorough scrubbing

and a coat or two of gesso.

In fact, there's hardly any part I don't use.

As long as I have my trusty hammer, some round nosed pliers, tins snips and acrylic medium, my garden blooms all year round.

I don't want you to think, however, that I am totally responsible for emptying all these bottles - the staff at Jimmy's Pub here in town graciously saves them for me, although I have been known to have a glass or two of wine occasionally to assist them.

Let's talk about recycling, upcycling, art reduction and reuse.  How do you turn 'throw-aways' into art?

Thursday 1 December 2016

Yes, I'm still...

... away playing in China, but I thought you may have missed this tutorial on playing with alcohol. Done in 2014, it's a favourite on my YouTube channel.  You could always subscribe while you're over there too. 

You can find a written tutorial on the technique here as well if you prefer to read instead of view. 

I love the way that the dropped alcohol (use a mask please!) looks over the spray-misted alcohol.

These backgrounds lend themselves easily to journal pages or paintings, as you can see in this progress photo.

It's a fun technique and I encourage you to give it a go!  Just remember to use full-strength (non-drinkable) alcohol, and keep it away from your mouth!

Thursday 24 November 2016

Since I'm playing...

on holiday in China with my brother (thanks Neal & Judith, for the amazing gift!!) for the next while, I thought I'd give you a smile with another look at the Crazy Heads pieces from the Rotary Wine Art in 2014.  The collection of heads was beyond amazing!

This Day of the Dead head is Andrea's homage to the Mexican celebration.

I ‘Ave an ‘Ead Ache
Ceramic, LED lights and a wee bit of gritted teeth
by Andrea Revoy
I very much enjoyed this dual brain head from Brandy Hunt.

Left or Right? by Brandy Hunt (left brain side)
Left or Right? by Brandy Hunt (right brain side)
And I can see that Alison has a darker side to her - caught me unaware!
The Grim Reaper Hits the Road
Scarf, upholstery materials, really big earring
by Alison Bjorkman
 This luscious silk head is yummy - I LOVE the hair!
Screwed, Blued and Tattooed.
Head;  Silk, screws, string, indigo, logwood and myrobalam, dyes.  
Base; mixed media, fused glass.
by Anne Fetterly (head), & Janet Holder(base)
Maureen and Audrey obviously had a blast with this one.
Bird's Eye View
Vintage birdcage, feathers from a boa and a whole lot of sex appeal
by Maureen Cameron, Audrey Herridge
 Words just cannot describe - must be seen to be believed, and appreciated!
Dahling! If you must!
Extreme mixed media awesomeness by
Jacqueline Wedge

Nightmare Nightlight
Ceramic by Sandy Kunze
This 'nightlight' really makes me smile - can you imagine a child waking up to this?!

These heads and more (you can check out my Roadside Crosses entry here) were such an eclectic bunch for a tiny town we were all in awe.  Well done, my crazy artist friends!

I'll be catching up with your posts and comments about mid-December.  In the meantime, do let me know what your craziness has been!

Friday 18 November 2016

It's a mixed bag...

today, rather akin to my mind, I suspect.

I'm in the midst of preparing for a full weekend mixed media workshop in Kimberley.  Are you going to join me there?  Please do - we're in for a crazy play-ful time!

I'm also working on three pieces for a show in Kimberley - this one is in June, and I'm already starting to  feel the push.  Don't you love doing shows for the kick-start they provide?  This small table leg is a just the start of a project that's going to take a good deal of time.

 This wood panel will sport layers of snowflakes of all outcome TBA!

Here I'm using a technique I love - gessoed cheesecloth and organics for a background that will eventually be puddled with more than a dozen glazes of colour.  It's a tiny area of a large mirror that's in the works.

All three pieces are being created with cast-offs - furniture, wood, dried leaves (Mother Nature is so very giving!), etc.  The name of the show is Material Change, instigated by a fabulous textile artist Darcy Wanuk of Kimberley.  It will feature her work, the work of Puffin Design owners Alison and Bart Bjorkman, and mine.  I hope your Art Appetite is fully engaged, 'cause it's going to be a knock-out!

Of course, that's not all that's on my mind...there's always more.  In the studio and in my life, I expect the unexpected, so stop in next week to see what else is happening!

Thursday 10 November 2016

Guests... the studio are always fun, and this past weekend proved the rule.  Louise Olinger, a consummate watercolour artist, and her sister Kelly LeBlanc spent three days playing with me, and we got up to the usual chaos that ensues when one is hooked on play.

Kelly's been tearing into the Gelli prints - can you tell?

Louise has prints everywhere

The scene before Saturday (day 2) start

Stacks of prints

Louise paints while Kelly prints on fabric
The intent truly was to do mixed media for the weekend, but we got so far into the Gelli printing that somehow we finished nothing at all.  The up side of this, though, was that we were blissed out on colour, texture and pure, unadulterated fun!

I hope you've have as much enjoyment in your studio this week...if so, we're both on the right side of overdosing!

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