Anyone who knows me well knows my love of autumn...the weather is moderate, the colours are vibrant, and I can wear my favorite wardrobe of turtleneck sweaters and jeans. Plus the sun sits so much lower in the sky so the sunsets and sunrises are stunning and everything is touched with shades of gold. Since I'm a Canadian I decided to incorporate a maple leaf into my journal, though they aren't common here. Our last property came complete with a Japanese maple tree which was so beautiful but we don't get to enjoy the massive leaves that are in abundance out east.
I'm especially missing autumn at this time as the temperatures are hitting 30 degrees celsius (86 farenheit), I prefer it around 20 which is anticipated...even with a forecast of rain, I'm really okay with that. Along with fall comes the energy to create more and bake more and pretty much do more of anything as I am wasted in heat. I had heat stroke as a young girl and it still takes me for a loop. Which is why I generally prefer living near the mountains as we tend to experience moderate temperatures almost year round. Lucky me.
I am so pleased that my birch trees were included in the new Artists' Alley banner project on First Avenue in Airdrie. There are 33 banners in total, including the work of children, which makes me so happy. I love to be able to contribute to the beautification of my community, it really is an honour.
Last week I was invited to join in an interesting blog hop by the artist Galia Alena in answering a few brief questions about my creative life and to share three other bloggers whom I admire...
1) What am I working on/writing?
Currently I am working on a new exhibit for August titled 'Sacred Space' which entails of acrylic painting on canvas and features the canoes & tipis & landscapes of my youth in northern Canada. I am also working on a series of art journal entries, a Gratitude Project of sorts, illustrating a word a week for each letter of the alphabet. And finishing up a couple of articles for publication in fall as well as working on an online workshop for 21 SECRETS Fall.
2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
For many years I created several bodies of work, one being abstraction which I didn't generally share publicly...but then, as I was creating a series of canoes to honour my childhood growing up in an Aboriginal community, I saw how the two could connect, including the pictographs and petroglyphs I encountered not only in my youth but also in my adult hiking life.
3) Why do I do what I do?
Life as a professional artist can be very solitary and yet extremely rewarding but in order to maintain my sanity I need to be involved in my community (I sit on several arts related boards, curate exhibits at our public library and organize youth art programs), collaborate with other artists, and share the information that I've been privileged to gather through my education and connections in the arts community. I have learned throughout the years that artists are extremely generous.
4) How does my writing/working process work?
I begin every morning very early (around 6am), make a pot of tea, light a beeswax candle and turn on CBC Radio in my studio. If I have a plan, I begin working directly on my canvas, if not, I begin by sketching (doodling really) or writing in my journal. Or I'll begin by stretching canvases. I find that just being in my studio and getting to work causes ideas and time to flow. Not always effortlessly, but always forward. There is certainly something to be said about the creative brain/hand connection...even manually writing out ideas begets more ideas. In art college I learned that a quick way of getting into the creative brain was to use the left hand as it's directly connected to the creative side of the brain.
And now let me introduce the wonderful artist, Galia Alena, who asked me to join this blog hop as well as 3 artists who are an inspiration to me - they will be publishing their blog hop posts next Saturday:
Light chaser, wanderlust gypsy, clay slinger, paint splasher, word crafter, sacred journaler, beauty unveiler, adventure seeker and soul feeder… Galia Alena is a “coeur”ageous pioneer artist with a poetic vision exploring intuitive wisdom. Her images evoke tranquillity and infinity, coaxing the viewer to participate into the self-exploration which successfully ties the lyrical to the universal. They reflect an understanding of mythical and archetypal wisdom common to us all, yet from a supremely vulnerable individual perspective. “It is through my creative practices that I feed my soul and return to myself always afresh.” Galia lives in Sydney, Australia. Find out more about her art on her beauty-full blog, her Facebook page, and her artistic website.
"When the true essence of creativity flows from me, I believe it is my muse’s creation which is being portrayed and birthed into the world. My passion is mixed media works, in which I create using primarily encaustic medium, collage and/or altered books. Each piece I create, I see as a container for the unfolding of a story with layers of narrative which serve to delight, provide meaningful insight and/or provide the viewer a place of comfort and connection whether it be joyous or melancholy. "
~ Supria Karmakar http://supriasdesigns-encausticmusings.blogspot.ca/
Jill is a mixed media artist from New York City, who creates her art with a combination of her photos, ephemera, found objects and items of significance to her. She often has hidden meanings within her work, often time includes bits of her poetry, either easy to read or buried within layers of her work. Jill has participated in altered book projects from artists across the globe, has been a guest artist for an Italian blog challenge and received first prize for her work in the National Arts Program. You can find her artwork published in Pasticcio Quartz 13, The Pulse of Mixed Media, within art-zines created by Alicia Caudle of Altered Bits as well as in the premier issue of the Art Magazine titled Featuring. You can follow Jill's artwork, photography and poetry in her blog
~ Jill Zaheer http://www.jazworks.blogspot.ca/
"I am an artist who can’t choose a favorite colour, a recovering perfectionist, professional procrastinator, and a mom of twin girls and a boy. Although I’ve been an artist my (almost) whole life, I started painting again in 2009 to help heal myself physically and emotionally. I hope my art brings beauty, colour and happiness into your life."
~ Belinda Fireman http://belindafireman.wordpress.com/
I was a little confused yesterday so I posted the final draw give-away opportunity for 21 SECRETS yesterday and here is this week's Thankful Thursday. Thinking of my gratitude image for the letter 'E' was a little challenging...but I decided that I am extremely thankful for my eyes, for my vision which allows me to see my daughters as they grow, to watch the changing prairie and mountain skies and the colours of the seasons, to draw and mix colour and add pattern to canvas. I was twelve when I received my first pair of glasses...a difficult experience for me as it was the 1970's (four eyes was a term bandied about) and my mother delivered them to my classroom. I was painfully shy and to have everyone's eyes upon me as I tried my new glasses on for the first time was not easy...but, oh, to see again was such a treat. Throughout the years I've always valued my sight above everything and so I am grateful for my eyes.
This is the final week to enter for the Fall 21 SECRETS online workshop give away thanks to Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio. So, these are the final instructors I'm introducing...a total of 21 teachers (including me) will each be sharing different tips and techniques that they use in their own work. To add your name to the pot one more time, please leave a comment along with a way to contact you after the draw next week.
You are welcome to place your name in the draw every week (only one more week to go after this one)...if you would like to add your name to the previous weeks' draws just comment here and here and here and here to quadruple your odds of winning.
And, if you just want to register for the program to make sure you reserve a spot, you most certainly can, just click HERE. This is the final week to add your name to the mix...I'll be pulling the winner next Thursday!
I've had so much good news this week...an image has been accepted for the third annual Art in Motion project, I'll have work in a group exhibit at The Daffodil Gallery in Edmonton in October titled Introducing..., and am looking forward to a couple of interviews in the future as well as another magazine article, plus my exhibit at Inglewood Fine Arts in Calgary in August. Yesterday evening I got to see my birch tree banner up on First Avenue's Artist's Alley. It's a good thing inspiration keeps coming as I have a lot to do in a very short time. And for those who have wondered...yes I turn my work upside down occasionally as I work and no, I don't always have a plan, in fact I rarely have one. Sometimes seeing things from a new perspective makes all the difference.
It's always interesting where my inspiration comes from...when I stop to think about each painting I've created I can usually remember where the ideas came from each step along the way. Today I was hanging a sweater in my closet when I saw my lime green raincoat and suddenly felt the need to add green to my work-in-progress. Unfortunately Walter (the cat) also decided he'd like to feel a little green, too...the other day he was pink, and last week blue. Last night as I was browsing through my sketchbook, I knew I needed to add pattern to the elk antler on this piece...and so what was eluding me is finally coming together.
Previously, on my hazy Sunday, I chose to add sunshine to my piece, along with the large evergreens in photos taken in the Rocky Mountains last weekend. These thoughts often don't tend to to me come immediately, but rather in fits and starts while standing in front of my easel...it's as though a light bulb clicks. This is when the value of walking, of looking, of reading, and of interesting conversations are realized in my work. Everything I experience becomes a part of what I do.
So, I think I'm on the home stretch with this one...and that excites me. Now I'm off for tea with a friend...ahhhh, life is good.