Two pieces of studio equipment, if that's what you can call both, that are of utmost importance to me these days are my rolling cart from IKEA and a tin bucket that holds my paint. The cart is phenomenal as it stores all of my supplies - paint tubes, inks, spraypaint, brayers, brushes, stencils, sketchbooks, rags, water, variety of media, varnish, palette, rulers, xacto knives, paint markers, stamps, carving tools, watercolours, scissors, and whatever else I need. The tin is amazing as I can see all of the colours and reach them easily, plus it's fabulous to grab whenever I want to paint elsewhere, like in the living room, kitchen island, dining table or patio. Adding s-hooks around the edges increased the storage capabilities and allows items that I need to be easily accessed. And the fact that the cart is on wheels means that I can move it to wherever I'm working. Practical and pretty, too. :)
Currently I'm altering three more books...one a board book to create a sample for my eldest daughter's grade 2 classroom, one for a workshop I've been leading, and one just because I liked the shape of the book. Plus it's just fun. I have completed 4 altered books through the years, though I seem to have misplaced one, and each time, just like any art form, I like and dislike it in turns. One of my favorite things about working in these books is that I experiment with media, colours, composition and then can bring those lessons back to my work on canvas...particularly when I'm struggling with something on work-in-progress. I don't necessarily have that purpose in mind, it just seems to happen. Kind of like magic. It seems that the process of working just works to make connections in my mind even when I'm not aware of it. It's quite wonderful, actually, especially when I feel really stuck. I think that's the beauty of moving between media or projects and why I need to have several things on the go at one time.
One of my favorite things to do in the mountains is to walk along the river and sketch or photograph images to use in paintings. I definitely utilize artistic license when I paint the pieces inspired by the scenery, but love to capture that magical feeling of being in the Rockies. Because I usually spend my time in the mountains with my husband, I wanted to add two canoes to the painting to represent those special times that partners spend together. The spray painted patterns represent creating a home in a cozy mountain cabin while playing homage to the graffiti culture in the present time and also symbolize light filtering through clouds and evergreen branches. This was such a pleasure to create.
No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.
Another amazing group of ladies at last night's Wine & Paint night at the Bert Church Theatre. The northern lights painting workshops have been especially popular for all ages and, as always, my hope is that the participants become a little braver in their own creative endeavors and realize how little is required in order to start learning. I organize my workshops to include the bare minimum of materials including one flat brush that can be used to create both narrow and bold lines (and the handle can also be used to make marks), a canvas (paper works, too, especially paper canvas), four tubes of paint - red, yellow, blue and white - which can be mixed to create a variety of colours, along with a cup, a plate and paper towel. A glass of wine is always nice, too :)
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.