I feel so fortunate to live by the Rocky Mountains because, although we do get snow and hail at the most unusual times of the year, we get Chinooks. The temperatures can fluctuate by over 20 degrees in hours which leaves balmy days for spray painting outside. This Chinook has come at the perfect time as my painting is at the point where I need to add lovely pattern and I just picked up some new SUGAR spray paint in a gorgeous vibrant orange. Yum!
Over the years I have to admit I have had a bit of a spending problem when it comes to art supplies. Whenever I walk into an art or craft or hardware store it can be so difficult to walk out with more than I had intended but I have learned to reel it in a bit compared to the past. Previously I learned very quickly that though I am drawn in many different directions as far as arts and crafts, practicing everything from sculpture to pottery to sewing, I always come back to paint. So I do allow myself to dream and plan for other projects and media but try to control the urge to purchase the supplies until I'm certain that I will use them again and because I've been teaching more over the past nine years, there are particular supplies that definitely come in handy. There are so many projects on the go in my studio at any given time at any rate, and I prefer a fairly tidy environment to work in..
Today my baby is no longer a baby and I am grateful to be able to spend this day with her. I am so proud of the young woman she has become and cannot wait to see where her journey takes her. At a young age she began sewing, is now continuing to pursue her dreams and I am glad whenever I can contribute in any way, such as carving the anatomical heart that she used to create the fabric for her 'Frankenstein' bustle dress (above). To view more of her beautiful creations, please visit her website here.
The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.
There is something so pleasing about stacks of completed paintings. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the results of months of work...and months of joy. At times I feel discouraged when it seems I do so much but at the same time it feels like not much at all. And then, when I get to view all the work together, I get to see how far I've come. Several years ago I attended writing workshops thinking that I might focus on writing more than painting, and though I have written published articles and poetry, there was no giving up painting. I prefer to see the results of my labours. And the explosion of colour always gives me so much joy.
Recently it feels as though I have spent much more time working on smalls than the larger paintings I typically focus on. And it has been therapeutic. What I love about the smalls is that I can work on them anywhere but I especially like seeing them on my work table in my studio. This painters' drop cloth has been a necessary part of my studio equipment for many years and I'm loving how it looks with all the layers of colour that it has received through time and use. There is something special about new tools, but I think the older, worn items are even better, full of character and a history. And these four little cabins look so pretty on this backdrop.
It is always such a wonderful privilege when people respond to my work and I really love seeing my work on tea tins at The Naked Leaf in Kensington. So far there have been mountains, three different canoes and now this cabin which makes me happy as I included moons in this piece - I am a moon child after all. This time I selected a carrot-orange tea with ginger which smells divine and tastes even better. Like Christmas has come early.
This year's 52 WEEKS project is almost complete and six pieces have already found new homes. What has surprised me the most is that after all the previous years I haven't been any more comfortable than I was previously. I'm at the end of my fifth year on this project and I think this one has been the most challenging for me, but I am finally loving it! I cannot believe it took me so long, but it may have to do with the fact that I have pushed myself even further out of my comfort zone this time around. Illustrative work is something I haven't really worked on since studying Art & Design in college but it is something that fascinates me. As several pieces have already been claimed, and because this was really new to me, I am offering these pieces for an introductory price of $100. They each measure 8x10 inches on gallery deep (1.5 inch) canvases and can be viewed here...just click on the image to see a larger view and to read the quotes. Please feel free to get in touch and I would be happy to make arrangements to have them out before Christmas.
The Kite Runner is a shattering story of betrayal and redemption set in war-torn Afghanistan. Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan’s decent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan’s father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras.
Lately I have been working on several different projects, most of which I have planned for the past year and am now getting to and that has been very nice. This means that my shoulder has been healing very well and that my other obligations have slowed down a bit. One of my favorites these days has been creating these little travel sketch/notebooks inspired by Traveler's Company. The one on the right I had created for my husband out of leather and then decided to create an artistic one with canvas I had gessoed and painted for myself.
Inside the covers I have placed three 5.5x3.5 blank and lined kraft moleskine journals and I am hoping to add squared (graph paper) and dotted grid (used for bullet journalling and technical or 3D drawing) ones as well. My husband uses his for travel notes, mileage, books he's read or wants to read and other notes while I use mine for sketching and journalling. The great thing about these is that booklets can be added and removed as required and I can have several booklets with me at a time. The cover also protects the edges and corners of my papers as I carry it in my purse or backpack. I'm also drawn to these kraft moleskines because they're based on the notebooks Hemingway and Picasso used, they feel very traditional and are small enough to carry in my back pocket.
Instead of going into detail about how I created mine, here is a link to a youtube video. Instead of creating the holes like she does in the video, I punched three holes along the top and bottom so that I could use a longer elastic loop to create four strands down the inside center for holding the booklets. The center hole I used to add a separate elastic which was used to keep the travellers' sketchbook cover closed. I also rounded the corners of my cover by using a pen lid as a stencil to draw around and then cut them out with scissors. In order to add more than 4 notebooks, use an elastic which would be wrapped around the center of both of the notebooks then slide them underneath the other notebooks (also shown in video). I'm thinking that I will also include watercolour papers that I will cut, fold and add in this way.