Thursday, 29 June 2017

I've been on holiday... the studio, doing nothing but playing.

I've been doodling up a storm with gel markers on black paper.

While the metallic ones photograph poorly, they're fun to use and give the original pieces a good deal of sparkle.

Even the white pencil on black has some great impact, and with the coloured ones, I've already incorporated some into a journal cover.

I can't seem to stop; I worry that my family will starve, the rivers will dry up and dust bunnies will creep out of the house and take over the world as I work my way through this current obsession.

I also spent a couple of afternoons this past week playing with Lynne Mizera in her studio...we got heavily into her supply of Pebeo products, testing the Vitrail colours (check out that intensity!!!!)

as well as the Cerne Relief, the Prisme and Moon paints.  While this test project is pretty butt-ugly, I had a lot of fun doing it and could see how one could get addicted given the possibilities.

I tested both the Vitrail and the Relief on a panel that had been sitting around waiting for action.  I first added six different sections of mediums over top of a red cheesecloth monoprint including (clockwise from top left) fibre gel, no addition, texture gel, bird seed in heavy duty medium, clear tar gel, white opaque flakes and glass beads.  I scrubbed the sun yellow Vitrail over all and added a splash of red to the bottom.  The black Cerne Relief, while adding nothing to the overall composition (what WAS I thinking?), was fun to do!

I also rolled some printed paper scraps into fake beads and will incorporate them into something sometime in the next decade.

All in all, my Meandering Muse kept me well occupied this week, even if it was doing nothing that but playful exploration.  These are the things that lead to the 'something more' that leads to the bigger and better.  I 💖💖💖  studio play.  How about you?

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Are you an ATC fan?

I most certainly am, and I trade with other artists as often as possible.  When I had the opportunity to trade with one of my all-time favourite artists, Deann Williams of The Whimsey Asylum, I was practically over the moon.

Not only did she send me 10 ATCs, she also sent this gorgeous hand-crafted card and a lovely note as well.  Since Deann no longer creates anything but digital work, I feel very fortunate to have received such a cornucopia of physical pieces.

This ATC, 'A Kiss to Build a Dream On' is truly the image that I most equate with Deann.  It always makes me laugh.

'Highway in the Sky' has my mind wandering over the heavens as I accompany the butterfly on that delightful zebra.

I can't stop laughing at  'Mona and the Fly', and given that this is not the only 'Mona' she's done, I think you should check the rest of them out too.

The soulful 'Angel Eyes' has a little bit of Win Dinn in the background...I love seeing my photos appear in Deann's work.

'Snow Papa' is particularly apt given the package's arrival so close to Father's Day.  This was the last hand-painted ATC that Deann had from her pre-digital days, so I feel fortunate to be the recipient!

'Sky Music' thrills me with the thought of celestial delights...can you imagine what music would come from that instrument?!

'Puffin Magic makes me think of my friends over at Puffin Design - they'd LOVE this one!

'Breaking Out' reminds me of my son Barry as a child...always trying to get out of the box and into something different!

'Uncle Steven's Fantastic Flying Machine' is like nothing I could imagine - which is exactly why The Whimsey Asylum gives me such pleasure!

My favourite, 'Contemplating Bubbles' has my dryer sheet curtains in the background, and the ethereal quality of the girl child is pure delight.

For sheer visual pleasure, I recommend you stop to visit The Whimsey Asylum.  I never know whether I'll be roaring with laughter or be blown away by exquisite beauty, but it's always amazing.

On another note, I managed to attend a fabulously fun workshop with Lynne Mizera at Fly in the Fibre this past week, and had a lovely afternoon creating a couple of small paintings, both of which were started on canvas boards covered with mop-up paper towels.  Lynne's a whiz at using unconventional materials of all sorts, and much fun.

Because we were such hard workers, we had time to create some spray backgrounds as well...I'll let you know what happens with these!

I also managed to start the free online Women Unleashed  Retreat.  It's not too late to start, so do pop over and have a go.  You can do as much or as little of it (and there's a huge variety covered in the 10 days), and if all I manage is the journal start, I'll be happy.
Front Cover of 'Palimpsest' journal for Women Unleashed Retreat

Back cover of Palimpsest journal for Women Unleashed Retreat
The ten days of doodling over the last couple of weeks came in handy for this cover, and now I'm totally obsessed with patterns again.

And just in case you've not had enough visuals in today's post, do stop in to see the Material Change show in Kimberley, BC.  It features Darcy Wanuk, Alison & Bart Bjorkman of Puffin Design, and yours truly in an amazing collection of repurposing, recycling and reinvention of the art concept.  

Here's hoping you've had a terrifically creative week too.  Let me know what you've been up to in the comments below please, and do provide a link to your own doings.  We all know how to copy and paste.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

It's curtains for me...

....and for you as well.  I've been promising the follow-up on this story for a while, and now is the time.

The curtain project was an ill-conceived thought, the execution was painful, and the results were so haphazard it's a wonder the project was ever finished.

As you can see from the beginning of the story, they were designed to fit a tight-cornered bathroom window and I'm glad to say that they really fit well there above those colourful heels.

'I Should Have Listened to Mom' cafe curtains
 ©  Win Dinn
The range of painted dryer sheets is extensive, running from lemon yellow through several shades of gold and sienna, dancing briefly on a tint of burgundy and accented with so many shades of red, yellow, gold, sienna and orange embroidery floss it's hard to count them (Thank you for that, Alice).

When one gets to the close-ups, you can see why I feel like they may last only a nano-second or two, even with the plain dryer sheets holding them together on the back.  The embroidery helps to tie them somewhat (or at least it would if I had had any idea of means and methods in that regard), and I'm pretty sure the extensive amount of mop-up paint does the same.

I have to admit that I was intrigued by the massive number of YouTube videos on the subject of embroidery stitches - there are literally hundreds of them, and when you consider the combination possibilities of the stitches the variety is endless.

 As always, it is the colour and texture that does it for me.

 When one looks closely, there are worlds within worlds in each dryer sheet.

From raw edges to flawed embroidery to daisies, stamping and endless hours hunched over an embroidery hoop,

I can only be pleased with my lunacy tenacity to see them hanging in the Material Changes show (see the previous post) and know that soon they'll be home again.

While I take a break from the purpose-driven creative activity of the last few months, I'm going to enjoy the feeling of making something that is so totally senseless, and possibly incubate something at least as crazy.  I could turn those pieces of painted cheesecloth into tiny jackets for the hummingbirds I see out the window (they're shivering in the rain right now), or paint a fuschia horse (oh, wait - I already did that!).  I'm sure I can come up with something.

How about you?  What's on your incubation list?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

You've had your sneak...

...peek, and the Material Change show is open now.  Maybe you'd like to see some teaser vignettes as a second appetiser before the main course show?

Darcy Wanuk's 'Green Scene' reconstructed work on the back left is dynamite, right?  It's two sweaters combined and accented with handmade buttons.  The Vintage Lime shirt on the right is actually two shirts and some of  'Grandma's closet lace'.  The 'Fire From the Centre' occasional table in front is my contribution to this grouping, and Bart Bjorkman's (Puffin Design) Grain Scoop Lamp is on the bottom right.

Here's Bart's Snare Drum Lamp, The Impossible Clock (a co-conspiracy by Bart and I),  my 'Squaring the Circle IV' above, and Darcy's 'Like a Rhinestone Cowgirl...' denim jacket on the right.  What wedded bliss!

Alison Bjorkman's (Puffin Design)  'Fat Bottomed Girl Swivel Chair' is dynamite, especially next to the 'Lineberry Railway Luggage Cart' concrete-topped coffee table by Bart.  Above is my 'Glimpsing Autumn' repurposed tabletop mirror, Bart's 'Handmade Metal Funnel Lamp', and Darcy's glorious shaggy sweater the right.

Here's an array of Darcy's deconstructed/reconstructed jackets from her Denim Series I, ready for trying on at the Puffin Design mirror.

You were no doubt wondering whether those dryer sheet curtains ever got finished.  I'm amazed to tell you they did, and here's the proof.  I'll do a post about them soon, but don't they look terrific with 
Bart's Bistro Table (love that industrial base topped with the decorative concrete)?  Alison created those 'Graffiti Bistro High Stools', and the 'Red Crab Trap Lamp' above is Bart's.  My 'Muse on Fire' vase and 'Who Let the Genie Out?' mini bottle are currently behaving themselves on the table.

And yes, that's my totally crazy 'Ukulele Gone Wild' hanging next to Darcy's  'Denim Romance' jacket...those pale pink silk accents are beautifully subtle (jacket, not ukulele - it wouldn't know subtle if kicked in the teeth with it).  My 'Good Fortune' journal is on the table, with 'Eileen's Flower' just behind it.

The 'Industrial Chic Coffee Table' by Alison and Bart is a favourite of mine, and the 'Coffee Lamp' next to it is a knockout.  Alison just recently completed the 'Tub Chair' - the wrapped metal back on it is just amazing to see.  On the coffee table are my 'Pick Up a Six Pack' coasters, 'Who Needs Gucci?' cocktail boot, and 'Midlife Crisis' book sculpture.  On the wall behind the table is a coffee bag burlap hanging called Retired.  I used a host of too-well-used teaching tools and leftover goodies to create this piece.

Please take the time to stop and see the Material Change show at Centre 64 in Kimberley.  Details are on the poster, and we'd love to see you at the artist opening this Saturday, June 10 between 2-4 pm.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Here's a sneak peek...

... for you.  And trust me, it's really sneaky because they're closeups of some pieces I've been working on over the past while months.

This one is part of a book sculpture called Expat from Arcturus.  It's created from a science fiction anthology, and every time I look at it I giggle (how very mature, right?).

If you've never seen a rosette made from a dryer sheet, this piece could remedy that.  Who Let the Genie Out? is a tiny altered bottle.

You know I have a thing for shoes, so when I found a cocktail boot in a thrift shop, Who Needs Gucci? was born.

 Another book sculpture, this one is Midlife organic-looking considering it's made of something nobody wants!

Do you know what those little medallions on top of wine bottles are?  They're part of a supply called wine bottle shrink capsules, and yes, I had to google that.  They're really fun to use in mixed media when they're part of something called Squaring the Circle V.

Distressed toys call to me - always - so how could I pass up a Ukulele Gone Wild?  I think this piece would be a great addition to a child's room!

This is all in aid of an upcoming show at Centre 64 called Material Change.  The brainchild of Darcy Wanuk, an extraordinary textile artist, all work in the show features upcycled, repurposed items. From the fabulous design stylings of Alison and Bart Bjorkman at Puffin Design to Darcy's deconstructed/reconstructed clothing and my crazy mixed media incorporating all sorts of items that were headed for the landfill, it's an amazing array of new from old.

While the show is running from June 6 to July 1, we'd love you to join us for the opening reception on Saturday, June 10 from 2 - 4 pm.  Meet the artists, and be amazed!

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