I'm working on a couple of new carvings in hopes that my daughter will find a way to incorporate them into her fabric designs. The way I begin these specific projects is by researching anatomical drawings and then creating my own less detailed version using a Sharpee and a rubber Speedball carving block. Since I like to work quite loosely, I don't create preliminary drawings as I know that I can cut away anything I'm not happy with and I tend to like the sketchy kind of feeling of the finished product. The nice thing about these projects is that they're fairly small so I can work on them anywhere, even while I'm preparing dinner.
I had fun creating this postcard for the upcoming "Dreaming of Canada" exhibit at the Art Gallery of St. Albert. This has been such a great year to contribute to celebrations of Canada's 150th anniversary and this particular submission was fabulous as I got to mix up my media...ending with spray paint (one of my greatest pleasures these days!). Can't wait to see all of the artwork.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone.
Aspiring costume designer wins scholarship
by Christina Waldner, Airdrie CityView
Katherine Funk has been named this year’s recipient of the Karin Simpson Memorial Scholarship for Creativity. The 17-year-old said she plans to pursue a career as a costume designer.
“I’d like to go to school at Olds (College). They have a Calgary campus for fashion, so I’d like to stay in the area,” she said. “I’d love to be a costume designer.”
Karin Simpson was a well-known Airdrie artist and founding member of the Creative Airdrie Society. Simpson passed away in 2014. The $500 scholarship is awarded each year to an Airdrie graduating student who is pursuing a post-secondary education in the arts, including visual arts, drama, music, musical theatre, film, new media, literature, design and dance.
Costume design is a natural choice for Funk, who said she’s always had a love of history. She began making costumes for her dolls, gradually progressing to making costumes for herself.
“Historical drama is my passion. Depending on the time, I always have different favourite eras, but at the moment I’m really into the 1860s,” she said. “I really love the crinoline underneath (the skirts) and the really huge, fluffy style of the time – they’re just so extravagant and I really love that.”
Funk’s mother is Veronica Funk, a nationally recognized visual artist. Funk said her mom has been a source of inspiration.
“She helps me out and we work on projects together. Right now I’m making a bustle dress so she created a stamp for me so I could stamp my own fabric,” she said.
For Veronica, her daughter winning the scholarship has special meaning, as she and Simpson were friends.
“I've been rather weepy about the whole thing; that it's my girl and the beautiful way she thinks about fashion and self-esteem, and that it's the Karin Simpson scholarship as she was a friend,” Veronica said.
Funk said she was thrilled to be chosen to receive the award.
“It means so much because I know it’s really tough to get into the arts and to succeed. It’s just really, really nice that so many people have been supporting me,” she said. “I wasn’t actually expecting to get this at all.”
I've been having a great time collaborating with my daughter, and this one was especially neat as she wanted an anatomical heart to stamp on fabric for a current project she's working on. Even though her work tends to be more detailed, she still likes a bit of a raw look, like I do, which is a real treat for me. This is just the beginning...I can see much more of this happening in the future.
I enjoyed leading a group of grade 6 Calgary Waldorf School students recently and it's a privilege to see all of their pieces exhibited at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. This is such an honour for me as an artist, not only to be able to work with the kids and see them inspired to follow their own vision but also to see the work exhibited together. And in such an amazing space, too!
I never realized how caked with paint my brayers had become...I thought they were red and was pleasantly surprised to see that they were white after a good clean. Over the years I have struggled to find a solution that would clean them gently but also well until I read something about Murphy's Oil Soap. This was an easy process as I placed all of the brayers in a stainless steel bowl, filled it with hot water and then dumped some of the soap into it. I'm afraid I didn't measure the amount I used but I'm guessing it was about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the soap to about 4 cups of hot water. I allowed the brayers to soak until the water cooled and then began peeling the layers of paint off each one. Some of the colours were more tenacious (like the reds) but others just came off in a large chunks, which was terrific. I highly recommend this process to anyone. I wonder if it would work with paint brushes, too?
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’s-eve view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, this Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.