Get back to basics in 2015!

Let the beauty of what you love

It’s not too early to make plans for 2015!  I will be offering a set of four classes, Introduction to Calligraphy, on Wednesday evenings 6:30 – 8:30 pm beginning January 14 – February 4.  I am renting the studio at the Paint Box School of Art located in the Fernwood Square off Gladstone Avenue.  I have rented Emily’s studio in the past for calligraphy classes and its a nice cozy place to spend time! 

The above image is a piece that combines the style we will study called Uncial (in bold) with other handlettering styles using fine-tipped pens.  This session is planned as an introduction to calligraphy where we will work on assignments in class then practice at home between each class to further ehance your skills.  It’s kind of like learning a musical instrument – you have to practice to become better!

To register and hold your spot you can either mail me a cheque to 2024 Shakespeare Street, Victoria BC, V8R 4E8 or make a payment to me through PayPal in the amount of $80.00.  Class size is minimum four and maximum eight.

Looking forward to seeing you at class in the new year!

Current show at Gallery 1580

 

Mixed Messages & Forgotten Dreams show invite

Above is the rack card for my current show and my artist statement below.  If you are in the Victoria area, please come to see the show!  I have been posting lots of photos of the work on Facebook so check it out there as well.

MIXED MESSAGES & FORGOTTEN DREAMS                 

Based on my ongoing interest in maps, charts and plans, I have created a new series of contemporary mixed media works on layers of translucent Mylar film. Included in the show is an installation of text written directly on the gallery wall with brushes and watercolour.

Mapping has been a constant throughout my life. My father is an Ontario Land Surveyor who worked in every corner of the province. We were always pouring over maps or spinning the globe to find the places where he was working, or when we were planning a family vacation, or dreaming of travelling to a distant land.

This current work began following a series of printmaking images I made using botanicals, found maps, decorative papers and monoprints. I was at a turning point with my work and chose to take a new direction strongly influenced by the mapping concept. The basis of the work comes from a compilation of tracings of marks and shapes that appealed to me from some of my previous work, from my immediate surroundings, parts of photographs, and some made-up shapes.

Lines blur in and out of focus and it’s not apparent whether you’re reading a road map, or a site plan for development, or a land survey document. Washed out grid lines lay down the ground work; patterns of dots and dashes or pooled ink appear to indicate water sources, roadways, vegetation, spills, weather patterns, or property boundaries. The work is small and intimate and needs to be viewed at close range.

Some images have collage elements which are torn from handwritten letters I received from friends and family over the years. Having lived in six Canadian cities, corresponding by handwritten letters was my way of remaining connected. The titles for most of the new works are taken from phrases within the letters I kept.

For many years I worked as a calligrapher and collected text I felt a connection to. Some of my favourites are on the wall installation done with flat and pointed brushes and watercolour.   

 

 

 

 

 

Layers of Mylar film

"Backroads of My Mind", 23.5" X 33.5" Mixed media on Mylar film

“Backroads of My Mind”, 23.5″ X 33.5″ Mixed media on Mylar film

The above image is a detail of one of my layered Mylar pieces for the upcoming show “Mixed Messages & Forgotten Dreams” opening on September 6, 7 – 9 pm at Gallery 1580.  The next several photos were taken of other pieces in the series.  The two 16″ X 16″ are completed and the others are in progress.

"Role Model", 16" X 16", mixed media on Mylar film

“Role Model”, 16″ X 16″, mixed media on Mylar film

 

11" X 11" unframed displayed with magnets, mixed media on Mylar film, work in progress

11″ X 11″ unframed displayed with magnets, mixed media on Mylar film, work in progress

11" X 11" unframed, displayed with magnets, mixed media on layered Mylar film, work in progress

11″ X 11″ unframed, displayed with magnets, mixed media on layered Mylar film, work in progress

11" X 11" unframed, displayed with magnets, mixed media on layered Mylar film, work in progress

11″ X 11″ unframed, displayed with magnets, mixed media on layered Mylar film, work in progress

"Its Nice Not Thinking", 16" X 16", unframed, displayed with magnets, Mixed media on layer Mylar film

“Its Nice Not Thinking”, 16″ X 16″, unframed, displayed with magnets, Mixed media on layer Mylar film

11" X 11", unframed, displayed with magnets, mixed media on Mylar film, work in progress

11″ X 11″, unframed, displayed with magnets, mixed media on Mylar film, work in progress

Stay tuned, more to come soon.

New DREAM card designs gone to print!!

As I type this my 12 new greeting cards on the “Dream” theme are being printed!  They will be available for purchase at $5.00 each next Saturday, July 19 at the TD Art Gallery Paint-In on Moss Street here in Victoria!  My station is #69 and will be near the corner of May and Moss.  Please do come out and visit me and all the other fantastic local artists!  Also note that my current stock of greeting cards will be on sale – 2/$5.00!!  And now – here are new card designs:

Believe in Your Dreams

Believe in Your Dreams

On the Way to a Dream

On the Way to a Dream

Follow Your Dreams

Follow Your Dreams

When I Dream

When I Dream

Launching A Dream

Launching A Dream

Dream Deadline

Dream Deadline

Where Dreams May Go

Where Dreams May Go

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

 

My Dreams are Reflected

My Dreams are Reflected

Throw Your Dreams into Space

Throw Your Dreams into Space

Dream & Believe

Dream & Believe

 

Dream Big

Dream Big

I’d love to hear what you think of the new designs.  Send me a note to say which is your favourite!

The Paint-In is coming, the Paint-In is coming!

Hand stitched Field Note Book

Hand stitched Field Note Book

The most exciting art event of the year – the Art Gallery Paint-In on Moss Street – is coming Saturday July 19, 11 am – 4:30 pm!  Moss Street from Fort Street to Dallas road is closed to vehicle traffic and almost 200 artists will be stationed along the boulevard.  Mark your calendars and make a plan to come out with your family and friends to meet your local artists! 

I am excited to be a participating artist in the Paint-In for the fourth year in a row and once again I will be a palette station.  As well as viewing my art on site you will be able to assemble a “Field Note Book” using a simple handstitched method called the pamphlet stitch – all materials are provided – and it’s FREE! 

Stay tuned for more information as details are finalized and visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria at http://www.aggv.ca

 

 

 

 

Drawings on Mylar film

first studies on mylar

first studies on mylar

The above drawings are on mylar film, a frosted translucent plastic material.  I began these drawings this winter after showing monoprints with chine colle that included maps in the shape of my handprint .  After getting some critical feedback about those prints, I decided instead of using  found maps and decorative papers in my work that I would create my own maps/charts/plans.  I chose mylar film because it is translucent so I could overlap my drawings to give them depth.  I have used black sumi ink, pencil, fine black Pigma pens, white pencil, and gouache.  Some of the marks have come from tracings (pencil drawings on tracing paper) I have prepared for other projects.  These six are 11″ X 11″.  I like the square format as I can turn each sheet to find the best orientation.

increasing the scale

increasing the scale

I love maps.  I grew up with them; studying them, referencing them, being surrounded by them.  My Dad is a land surveyor so he was always referring to maps, field notes, plans, etc.  It was suggested that I try working on a larger scale so this drawing is larger, about 28″ X 34″.  Again I have used the same mediums – ink, pencil, gouache.  These are not pre-planned, I have intuitively chosen to make grid-like marks and other linework from my collected tracings as I move forward.  So far these are ambiguous drawings.  I have resisted adding any text which is tricky after working as a calligrapher for so long!

Preliminary Developement Plan #1

Preliminary Developement
Plan #1

 

Preliminary  Development  Plan #2

Preliminary
Development
Plan #2

Preliminary  Development  Plan #3

Preliminary
Development
Plan #3

 

The above three drawings are finished works 7-1/4″ X 7-1/4″ unframed.  I framed them with a wide deep red matt and black wooden frame.  They are currently on show at Gallery 1580 in Victoria until May 31.  These are best viewed close up and in person.  I have many more hanging in my studio space at the Gallery so you can see them when you come by!

me in the studio!

me in the studio!

First print of 2014!

 

hand print 2014

Here’s my first print of 2014!  It’s a monoprint with chine colle and a work-in progress as I think I need to add some black line work somewhere.  It’s good to take photos of your work to be able to view them at a distance and mull over any changes or additions.

I am printing at VISA (Vancouver Island School of Art) this week.  Last spring in lieu of payment for some calligraphy work for the school we made an arrangement that I could use their press for a few days.

Giving Back Over the Holidays

making fox cards

This is my drawing table in my home studio when I was making cards for my nieces and nephews before Christmas.  Instead of sending them gifts this year I made a donation on their behalf to the United Way and specifically for the “All that Kids Can Be” assistance program.  I think they were good with that!

fox & rabbit cards

The words on the cards are part of a Winston Churchill quote, “We make a life by what we give”.  I was having trouble drawing a decent fox so I had one of my “visiting artists”, Kayla, draw a few versions for me!  (FYI both my children are awesome at drawing!) I chose this one and cut it out of several of my own handpainted papers.  The rabbit is a copyright-free image from the internet cut from gift wrap.  The other papers are bark paper with the fox and chiogami paper with the rabbit.

 

bookmarks for david levi

These are bookmarks I made for the staff at David Levi Salon where I get my hair cut and coloured.  I cut my own leaf stencil then used some of my own handpainted papers or various other papers from around the studio and tied them with some silver cord I bought at this adorable shop in La Jolla, CA called “Sweet Paper”.  I used the same words on the bookmarks as I did on the cards above.  I also made United Way donations on behalf of the two stylists who do my hair.

 

 

Family Connections Collage Works

The first collage in this series which includes a photo of my Mom as a child, my Dad in his RCAF uniform and a drawing of our son Read

The first collage in this series which includes a photo of my Mom as a child, my Dad in his RCAF uniform and a drawing of our son Read

Last month I accompanied my husband on a business trip to the Okanagan in central BC.  I managed to throw a few supplies together to bring with me (which included my file of photocopied family photos) with the plan to play around with some ideas on printmaking with out a press.  For some reason that didn’t really happen and I began assembling collages using the family photos, telephone book pages, paint, inks, pencils, etc. 

The one above with the brown leaves is the first one I made.  My choice of photos was intuitive (and that remained throughout the series) as well as the other materials used.  The drawing started out as a tracing of our son Read.  I couldn’t see very well through the tracing paper and ended up finishing the drawing off by using the photo as reference.  It’s a good likeness of Read but it’s not perfect.  Hence I will call these tracings/drawings in the following descriptions.

Kayla with a leaf print

Kayla with a leaf print

Here’s where a small amount of printmaking came into play in this one with Kayla (above) and the next two.

My sister Sandy on the beach and the drawing is me as an infant

My sister Sandy on the beach and the drawing is me as an infant

Drawing is my Mom as a child and photo of her in the centre with her friends and a leaf print

Drawing is my Mom as a child and photo of her in the centre with her friends and a leaf print

is this one too busy? Drawing of my Grandmother, photos of baby Richard and my Mom's friends

Is this one too busy? Drawing of my Grandmother, photos of baby Richard and my Mom’s friends

I’m back home now with the rest of these.  If you read my last post, I mentioned that I have been using my old sewing machine to stitch linework into a piece.  So the next three all have stitching as a common element.

A piece of boating chart, a woodcut stamp, seed pod drawing, machine stitching, and photo is me on the beach

A piece of boating chart, a woodcut stamp, seed pod drawing, machine stitching, and photo is me on the beach

 

Not my favourite - with stitching, flower tracing, stamp, photo of my family hiking, and more ...

Not my favourite – with stitching, flower tracing, stamp, photo of my family hiking, and more …

I like this one with the drawing of Kayla and photo of her as well as photo of Read in the mountains

I like this one with the drawing of Kayla and photo of her as well as photo of Read in the mountains

In the next four I incorporated lace paper and the tracings/drawings are on parchment paper that I “stole” from our friends kitchen in Naramata.  I need to find more of that paper! 

Photo of my Mom and drawing of my nephew Simpson

Photo of my Mom and drawing of my nephew Simpson

 

Read with shovel and drawing of my Mom as a young woman - remember I chose these intuitively - very interesting!

Read with shovel and drawing of my Mom as a young woman – remember I chose these intuitively – very interesting!

I'm not so sure about this one either but I like the drawing me before I was married and Read and Kayla by the tree

I’m not so sure about this one either but I like the drawing of me before I was married and Read and Kayla by the tree

 

There's more going on in this one but I think it works with photos of my Mom as a child and my sister Tracy and drawing of my sister Sandy

There’s more going on in this one but I think it works with photos of my Mom as a child and my sister Tracy and drawing of my sister Sandy

Les Petits Sacs

Three petits sacs

Three petits sacs

Tiny "sacs" made from intaglio prints

Tiny “sacs” made from intaglio prints

Last month before the TD Art Gallery Paint-In that was held on Saturday, July 20, here in Victoria, I decided to create some new work using old paintings on paper.  It was fun to reuse these student assignments that were taking up space in my home studio.  I will post several photos of the different pieces that I call “les petits sacs” as well as the artist statement to go along with them.  I sold quite a few at the Paint-In and I have about nine still available!  You can view them at Gallery 1580 located at 1580 Cook Street, Victoria.  You can also email or phone to make an appointment to view.

Artist Statement

The opportunity to sublet my friend’s art studio came up fairly suddenly and I decided to give it a try.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  It would allow me to see what it’s like to work away from my home studio and be in this space entirely devoted to art making.

As I gathered up my supplies to bring to the new space it seemed a good time to clear out items in my home studio.  I sifted through stacks of paintings on paper and board and recalled the suggestion by an art instructor to keep your student work for a while.  Good idea if you have a warehouse to store it in.  Some of my works on paper were okay at best but why was I keeping them.  That’s when I decided I could reuse them in another form.

Instead of making new wall pieces with my old paintings I liked the idea of something three dimensional.  After experimenting folding and rolling these pouches came together.  I call them, “les petit sacs” which are created from acrylic paintings and intaglio prints on various papers.  It appealed to me that these papers were covered in marks already.  The lines, brush strokes and collage gave them some history like a life that is painted and layered with experiences and memories.  Repetition in design and form is important in my work and the notion of making a lot of these “sacs” became my intention.

Including words in my work has been common practice for years and I scribed quotations that resonate with me inside and outside of the “sacs”.  Random line work has been created with machine stitching like a journey through life with loops and waves made from the old Singer sewing machine my parents gave me when I was 12.  The thread is from a basket of sewing materials our daughter left behind when she moved away from home.  The handles are made of garden twine from the back shed.  Some papers were too pretty and delicate for the twine so I chose fancy ribbon or shiny cord.  A few of the “sacs” called for a finishing touch such as resin button with a letter stamped into it.

Buttons were added to some of the "sacs"

Buttons were added to some of the “sacs”

Pretty yellow and blue "sacs"

Airbrushed with satin and crossgrain ribbons

Airbrushed with satin and crossgrain ribbons

More made from intaglio prints

More made from intaglio prints

 

Love these with painted flowers, silk ribbon and double-sided satin ribbon

Love these with painted flowers, silk ribbon and double-sided satin ribbon

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