January 16, 2017

Patience required

I've read so many lists and how-tos and bullet points, viewed countless videos... artist should. Or shouldn'ts.

Artist block? Check. We have a solution for that.
Artist techniques? Yep. Those in abundance.
Artist supplies? Oh HELL yeah.
Artist studios ... set up, wants, needs desires. There's even a magazine for that. (serious envy included)

And the one bit of advice I've yet to see is this...

As an artist it is IMPERATIVE that you have patience

Not very sexy maybe but I can't tell you the number of pieces I have ruined because all I needed was a bit of think time. To stop. Ponder. Live with the work for awhile. Tack it up on the wall, leave it on the easel or in my case, stick it on my "What now?" wall.

Sometimes they immediately let you know what's next.
More often though they remain elusive and shy. My work tends to be VERY quiet and needs time to find its voice. Or maybe I'm just a shitty listener. Regardless. I never regret hanging a piece and living with it for a bit.

So I'm here to tell you, "Patience, my friends. It's a Good Thing."

January 11, 2017

Pouring Medium magic

A few months back, I bought a bunch of Experiment Supplies. Included in this batch of stuffs was Goldens Digital Ground which I've been playing with, discussed here. Another product was Liquitex's Pouring Medium. I think, maybe, as a substitute for self-leveling gel.

But I can't be sure.
I hear about products all the time, think, 'hmm that sounds interesting', tuck it away in the memory file then burbles forth when I finally get into a bricks and mortar store. Forgetting, of course, WHY!

Pouring medium.
This shit ROCKS!
Originally used as a glossy, glassy topcoat. Cuz sometimes ya just need that.

But there are so many other neat applications.
For example, you can cut it easily with opaque paint, getting a wonderfully pourable drip.
Add just a titch of paint and you have a translucent layer. Because it remains quite thick (and dries really fast so be warned!) so you can easily draw through it or paint around parts of your work.

Case in point.
Had these small works that had gotten a bit darker than intended. A drop of white into some pouring medium, I painted over what I wanted lightened. Further because of the translucent qualities, the under layers still show through.

Another use ... when I add photos eventually parts will be obscured but until I do it, I'm never quite sure where or how it will work. Adding a layer of pouring medium over the top of the photo always means I can 'erase' what goes over. Think of it as the Ctrl-Z of paint. When I finally get right another layer of pouring medium seals the deal.

It looks particularly awesome over layers of stamped tissue paper or text, rendering those layers virtually translucent, like they're encased in glass. And a thin layer of matte medium or thinned gesso knocks back the gloss if SHINE isn't your thing!

And, learned just today, it takes transferred text so well! A swish of gloss gel medium, magazine text (coated paper works best, virtually NO paper or colour transfers. in 30 seconds!) Fwiw, I really like backwards text ... gives the illusion of words without discernable "meaning".

And I'm sure there are applications I have yet to discover!
Love the stuff!

January 5, 2017

A New Year

For the past few new years, I've chosen a word as a year-long focus. I'm not sure they WERE year-long but that was certainly my intention and that's got to count for something. RIGHT?! Yah okay so prolly not. Anyway. This year my intention not only came MUCH earlier ... Solstice time frame... but as a phrase.


A recurring theme in my recent life has been, "Just because you (I) know, doesn't mean you know". And knowing definitely isn't the same as doing. I've been thinking about this in conjunction with making a solid commitment to Art as Career.

Imagine my surprise when hauling out my daily diary ...NOT daily and lasted for just a (solid though) week in 2016... and I'd listed all the required steps to make this commitment LAST year. Eesh. Yet another knowing vs doing moment, fershur.

So many changes are coming down the pike ...new family business, moving from the farm, building our lakeside house including a dedicated year-round studio, I feel it's finally time to shove this baby into being. My tentative list includes:

  1. Becoming more immersed in my local art scene by going to openings and galleries.
  2. Identifying where my work fits.
  3. Creating more cohesive themes and series in hopes of securing representation and/or show opportunities.
  4. Make me/art a priority (take note familials! )

And finally Work Work Work!

On a side note, the piece below is none of those things!
It was created from all the bits and bobs from our summer cross-country journey last year. I honestly can't remember the last time I actually made something with ME in mind.

December 31, 2016

Reflecting back

I know it's popular right now to shit all over 2016, wishing all manner of nastiness as it exits. And don't get me wrong 2016 had some pretty dark moments ... mysogeny at an all time high, popular press completely dropping the ball, all the still-as-yet-unanswered questions for our neighbours to the south, so many influential icons moving to The Great Beyond and on a personal note, my mom'said death.

But there were also some personal Giant Beams of Awesomeness that I can't squirrel behind closed doors.  Like our amazing cross-country trip ... so many years in the making that at times I had to pinch myself to ensure it was actually happening. 

And we purchased a piece of property on our beloved Wentzell Lake where we will be doing a self-build which is hugely exciting (and terrifying!). But mostly exciting!

And the deepening of  relationships ... getting to meet IRL online friends and realizing how important and tangible they are. Along with the continuation of expanding those not-yet-met. And those closest to my heart.

And witnessing our granddaughter's transformation from baby blob to little girl with a wicked sense of humour and sense of self.

And my son and daughter-in-law's crazy Surprise Wedding.

So 2016 ... not all bad.
You've given me some really good... meaty... moments.
Thank you.

November 17, 2016

Art Happening Fundraiser

Really pleased to be able to help out Art Happening in Bridgewater NS by offloading ..er.. DONATING some of my older pieces.

Good prices. Great art. Most excellent cause. Win-win. My favourite!

November 7, 2016

Coming back...

It's been just about 6 weeks since we came home from our Cross-country trip and I have yet to get back in the studio.

I wrote that at the beginning of October. Returning to art practice ... any practice really... after a long hiatus is difficult. Made even more so when you're being told ... and telling yourself.... the best remedy is to Just Do It, act as if, fake it 'til you make it. Doubly hard when feeling like a giant failure, not worthy, what's it all for anyway. And yet. One's  saving grace really is getting your hands dirty, pretending that the work is enough, and you really are worth the effort.

I have been in the studio.
I've even finished some things I like.
But I still haven't got my groove back.
Until then. I'll put my grotty apron on, swish paint around and make big ol' messes. Y'know. Practice.

September 23, 2016

Paused for Station Identification

July 26, 2016

Reflections while waiting

As we sit waiting for Myron to fix our van, I figured I may as well write out some of my thoughts so far, on this Epic Roadtrip:

  1. You can make do with much MUCH less than you think. Our van is less than 100sqft and yet we still have space for other stuff. Stuff we don't need. But still.
  2. Murphy's Law of Road Signs: The more signs you see advertising something, the less impressive it will be.
  3. The Corollary: Sometimes the Best Fritters in Canada really ARE the best fritters in Canada.
  4. You'll find out more about your partner than you ever thought possible. And love him all the more.
  5. Who the hell is the Willow Bunch Giant?!?
  6. While you can't control the weather, you can find an alternative. That's why camper vans have wheels!
  7. The Natives always get screwed.
  8. Ontario is massive. I repeat Ontario is M.A.S.S.I.V.E.
  9. Small kindnesses go a long way. 
  10. There needs to be more urban green spaces. They don't have to be epic or expensive. A few trees, some green grass and a bench or two. People will be much calmer. Urban Planners take note.
  11. Three things every town needs: An information center, public washrooms and free WIFI. 
  12. The world is an amazing place. Never ever forget this!
  13. Buffalo kinda remind me of dinosaurs. And they're really REALLY noisy.
  14. And on that note, wildlife sightings so far: 
    • Raptors galore
    • Songbirds aplenty
    • Canadian geese up the whazoo
    • Oh. And ducks too.
    • Coyote
    • Deer, moose, elk, mule deer
    • Buffalo!
    • Meerkats or prairie dogs or marmosets (note to self: google later)
    • Bear cub. Didn't see the Mama. Didn't really want to.
    • Domestic horses, cows, long-horn steer. And llamas. Or Alpacas. I can never differentiate.
    • And squirrels that totally looked like monkeys. (if there are squirrel monkeys why can't there be monkey squirrels?)
  15. If a campground tells you not to set up your tent outside the electrified fence, then don't fucking do it! I don't need to be half awake all night worrying that I'm going to hear you get ripped apart by bears. (and no, you can't come in my safe camper. bitches!)
  16. Lakes can look like the ocean.
  17. My brain is (almost) full to capacity of "different".
  18. Every campsite has something good. Yep. Even the crack-ho/meth dealer ones. And yep, we've stayed in a couple.
  19. Smile. It doesn't cost extra and you'll get a much better campsite.
  20. Our van has become the 4th "person" in our travels. I didn't quite expect that. I hope Myron can fix you Old Faithful. I miss you!

June 21, 2016

Summer arrived!

Just in time too, as we head out for our epic (finally!) road trip.
I'm sure there will be photos aplenty.
Check instagram for those.
Be good while I'm gone!

June 9, 2016

Throw back Thursday #TBT

My friend Miss Katie, made an observation the other day about a collaboration we did "back in the day" which got me thinking about collaborations in general and this one, specifically.

Started by long time online friend Judah, Freakwerkx manifested over many different platforms over the years. It has languished on FB most recently, but at the time of this project was squeaky clean with that brand-new group scent.

mmmmm. breathe it in!

Collaborative art groups online often comprise of  "the usual suspects" along with new-to-you (and me) folks keeping things cozy but interesting. Y'know? Like a good dinner party, enough known with just the right hint of mystery. As many of the Freakwerkx folk were unknown to me, I guess maybe *I* was the mystery.

And so this project was about getting to know each other ... The Self-Portrait Zine. Everyone made a self-portrait and answered some questions, sent everything to me and I colour-copied each portrait and the list of questions/answers and bound them using old Bingo cards for the covers. Each person received their very own "Getting to Know You" zine.

Have you participated in an art collaboration? What was your favourite?