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

You win some & you lose some!


Ribbons at the fair and big payout!

All in the same day I found out that I placed 2nd, two thirds, and a honourable mention in the Art Show at the 145th Annual Saanich Fall Fair, August 30 – September 3 and then received an email to say my piece was not accepted into the juried show for Visions of Metchosin, opening September 7, 7 – 9 pm at MAG in Metchosin west of Victoria.  (I entered a lovely, delicate monoprint with embossing and calligraphy – my own words too!)  I must point out there is quite a difference in these two shows/venues and I entered the same high quality of work in both.

“Metchosing Afternoon” Monoprint

So goes the ups and downs of working an artist.  The jurors have a job to do which is to choose great art/craft to make an engaging and cohesive show.  Entering these art shows can become quite expensive.  It begins with your art materials, the framing (whether it’s custom framing or do-it-yourself frames and the time to do the framing), then the time you spend mulling over the project, the time you spend doing roughs, making sketches, writing notes, taking photos, making a mess, starting over maybe several times, and finally the time you spend creating the work.  There are adjudication fees and hanging fees and sometimes you have to drive quite a distance (30 km X 4 for example) to drop the work off and pick it up if it’s not accepted or if it was accepted but not sold at the show return to pick it up.  Then you have to package the art and store it.  The venues take a commission on the sale if you happen to make one.  It can be as low as 20% and up to and including 50% if you are fortunate enough to be accepted as a commercial gallery artist and showing on a regular basis.   So I’m just saying …

But today is a new day … the woman that purchased my calligraphy piece which won a 3rd place ribbon at the Fair came to pick it up today and was very excited to see more of my work here in my home and in the studio.  So that has lifted my spirits and encourages me to keep on making art!

25th Annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In


Demonstrating lino cut prints

Yesterday I participated in the 25th Annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In, or as the locals know it as, the Moss Street Paint-In.  I was one of the palette stations which meant that I was to have an art activity available for the public to try.  I decided to keep it simple and used a lino cut design I created a few years ago of apples and a jug that the visitors printed onto a shipping tag using Acqua Wash Sepia Ink.

Lino cut prints on shipping tags

I inked up a brayer and allowed the visitors to roll up the lino plate, lay the tag down, burnish it with a barren, and pull their own print!  Many were very thrilled with their results.  I was surprised at how many adults wanted to try it.  It’s usually just the kids and the adults shy away.  Several of the adults commented that they had done this in their high school art class … a little trip down memory lane maybe?

It was a great day to meet new people and see old friends and neighbours – even our former neighbours Adrienne, Mike and their little girls all the way from Calgary stopped by to make a print!  The Paint-In gives the artists an opportunity to bring our studios out to the public and show them our materials, talk about how we create our work, and offer opportunities to learn more about our art.  Thank you to Mary-ellen Threadkell and her crew at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria!

Vancouver art tour

"Painting No. 1" 1964 by Ronald Bloore

Last weekend we made a dizzying trip to Vancouver and Whistler and back to Victoria in 36 hours!  On Friday we waded past the “4:20” folks setting up on the corner of Hornby and Howe and made our way into the VAG (Vancouver Art Gallery) to see the current show “Lights Out!”, Canadian paintings from the 1960s.  Above is a photo of me beside one of Ronald Bloore’s white-on-white textured paintings that he was well known for.  “Although Mr. Bloore never went to art school, he was one of the so-called Regina Five, a group of painters who outraged conservative Prairie sensibilities and stimulated public opinion.” (Alan Hustak, The Globe and Mail, September 12, 2009).   We saw many other significant works from that period but had little time to linger as we were meeting my nephews for lunch then heading up to Whistler to make dinner for John’s parents!

Fred Herzog Exhibit at Equinox Gallery's Project Space

On our way back from Whistler stopped in Vancouver again and found our way to Equinox Project Space, set up by the Equinox Gallery to see Fred Herzog A Retrospective.  This space is at the Great Northern Way Campus (four schools share this campus).  We have seen Herzog’s photos before at the VAG and were excited to see more.  He emigrated to Canada from Germany in 1952 and found his way to Vancouver in 1953 and began to take his photography more seriously.  “His work focuses primarily on “ordinary” people, the working class, and their connections to the city around them. He worked primarily with slide film (mostly Kodachrome), which limited his ability to exhibit, and also marginalized him somewhat as an artist in the 1950s and 60s when most work was in black and white.” (Wikipedia)  The cool thing about this exhibit is that with new technology his slides have been reproduced as high quality prints.  And there were a lot of red dots; even at upwards of $4,000 per print!  Way to go Fred!

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