Archives for October 2011

Rose petal chine colle


I’m still working on the prints for my Dad’s 90th birthday project.  When I started these prints in the summer I didn’t realize what a huge job I was taking on.  (this is typical of me!)  There are several steps before I even think about putting ink on a plate.  I must copy the photos onto the “chine” paper, trim the photos, cut pieces of the map, cut symbols from the Thai mango paper, make a mock-up of the page composition, and a stencil of how all of these elements will be laid down on the press bed (everything is done in reverse which makes you stop and check and double check that all is in order!) 

Anyway, I am plugging along each week creating a new set of nine prints of each page.  If you can recall, I am incorporating a photo from my Dad’s life, a piece of the map of Ontario (he’s an Ontario Land Surveyor), a cut paper symbol, and of course a print image. 

In the page above I have used a small etching of a rose printed in sepia (I’m not happy with the drawing but the show must go on), a photo of my mother taken about the time she and my father began courting in the 1940’s, a piece of map, and a pressed rose petal (usually I am cutting a symbol from the Thai mango paper but I felt a rose petal worked best here). Yes, it is a real rose petal!  I was very pleased with the final outcome.  Lastly I have added a Christopher Marlowe quote in pencil.  The support paper is Stonehenge; a nice kraft paper colour.

Looking at art

This photo of me was taken on Monday in front of “The Execution” 1967 by George Segal, part of An Autobiography of Our Collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery.  These human plaster sculptures were one of his most powerful works conceived at the height of the anti-Vietnam War crusade.  (Coincidently I had just read an article in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about another human plaster sculpture he’d done to commemorate the Stonewall uprising in 1962 surrounding the gay liberation movement in the U.S.)  Another exhibit I enjoyed was a delightful video installation titled “Here & Elsewhere” 2002 by Kerry Tribe.  To quote the VAG brochure, “… a charming conversation between a father and young daughter … asked to speak about time, space, memory and being …”   Ah, to be young again with fresh ideas!

On Tuesday my friend, Janice, and I toured many of the private galleries in South Granville as well as a few in Yaletown.  Some of my favourites were recent works by Gordon Smith.  These huge oil canvases reminded me of the hidden ponds and creeks we’d discover as kids when we trampled through the Northern Ontario bush in search of adventure. By the way, Mr. Smith is into his 90’s and is still working which gives me great encouragement.

 I feel it’s important to go to art exhibits, support the public galleries, and attend local art happenings.  So the next time you get an invitation to an art event, make the time to go!  You won’t regret it.

Art & sport


You may not know that another passion of mine is running.  This past weekend I raced the 8 km which is part of the Good Life Fitness Marathon Event held every Thanksgiving weekend here in Victoria and placed 5th in my age group with a finish time of 39:22.  Not bad for an old gal!  Above is a collage I created last year with images from running magazines and my 5th place ribbon.  This was a personal best for me in the 8 km event and I credit my coach Jim Finlayson for his knowledgable coaching, the consistent inspiration and encouragement from members of my run club, Apex, and my husband, John, for cheering me on from the sidelines and basically telling me to run like hell! (that’s not exactly what he said but close!).

Building up layers

I’m writing this from my cozy little home studio preparing to begin working on more pieces using the wood cradle, collage and acrylic technique that I used for the above piece, True Strength is Delicate (detail)This is one of the mixed media pieces in my current show, Unforeseen Circumstances still on here in Victoria at the Collective Works Gallery through October 12th.

During the opening of this show several people were asking what my method was to create this piece.  I began with a 16” X 16” wood cradle that I sanded on the top surface and sides to smooth out the sharp edges.  I coated the entire cradle with a liquid matte medium three times then I started gluing down torn pieces of artist quality white tissue paper and other “rice” papers such as Unryu, Ginwashi and Thai lace using the same medium.  The colour palette I worked with included Stevenson Naples Yellow Light, Liquitex Parchment, Golden Graphite Gray, Raw Umber, and both Golden Titanium White and Zinc white.  Then I started to paint, wiping with a cloth sometimes, painting more, letting it dry, painting again.  I created stencils of leaf shapes that I began to incorporate.  Oh I forgot to say that I used my electric sander again every once in a while.  Sanding at this stage seems to bring up more of the hidden textures created by the layers of paint and paper.  After many layers and the decision to stop, I coated the entire top surface of the cradle with several coats of Krylon Matte Finish.

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