The Fashion Plates series is now complete! Twenty-two paintings that have been a pleasure to create and have given me a lot to think about regarding what we wear and why. The entire series along with the statement about the body of work can be seen in my portfolio here.
Besides being a very a very creative elementary school teacher, my daughter Alex is also an artist. Her favourite medium is printmaking, which she does using carved rubber for cardmaking. but she also carves wood-block prints which she sells. Last weekend I had the privilege of sitting at the Hawk & Harvest market at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge and it was such a pleasure to watch her work and also interact with people. She's an excellent teacher so I'm not surprised that she enjoys others so much. Anyway, her work can be viewed on Instagram at @thefunkystudio.
My daughter needed a pair of steampunk goggles for a costume and I was excited to try something new. I took a look around the house & garage and these are the supplies I used:
*milk jug (for lenses)
*two mason jar lids
*brass belt buckle
*copper plumbing strap
*scraps of leather
*liquitex ink (red & blue)
*metallic craft paint (copper)
*shoe goo (heavy duty glue)
*needle & thread
*ruler/self healing mat
I cut two circles out of a clean milk jug and painted them roughly with liquitex ink. The mason jar lids and copper plumbing strap were given a coat of black gesso, followed by rough layers of metallic craft paint. Everything was left to dry well over several days then given a couple of coats of spray varnish. Once dry, I bent the ends of the plumbing strap and used shoe goo to glue it to the mason jar lids as well as adhering the milk jug lenses to the lids. I cut out a couple of pieces of leather to fit the lids, wider on the outsides and narrower towards the nose piece and also glued them into the lids. After drying for three days, I finally cut out two straps which I sewed to the sides of the leather on the goggles and sewed on the buckle as well as punching holes into the opposite strap using the awl.
It was a time-consuming project in that there was a lot of waiting and drying time for paint, varnish & glue but the process itself was very simple...and fun! Can't wait for the photo shoot with my daughter.
My current email address has been glitching, which unfortunately means that I'm not receiving or able to access all of my emails so if you need to get in touch, please do so here. Thank you!
Why is 21 SECRETS retiring?
After 11 years of being online as Dirty Footprints Studio, this June 21st host Connie will be launching a brand-new website and business.
During this transition she has decided to scale down many of the 21 SECRETS editions that are currently for sale to make space for new work and projects to unfold.
So this May 8-11 there is a 50% off retirement sale on all of the following editions:
21 SECRETS Best of 2014 & 2015
21 SECRETS Tell Your Story
21 SECRETS emBODY
21 SECRETS Color, Color, Color
21 SECRETS Tools & Techniques
Once Sunday, May 12th arrives these editions will no longer be for sale on DirtyFootprints-Studio.com. Though all owners of these editions will still have unlimited access to the content and videos. SAVE 50% with coupon code: RETIREMENT.
My workshops are included in Best of 2014 & 2014 as well as Tell Your Story:
21 SECRETS The Best Of - 21 SECRETS is an online course where a variety of artists combine mixed media and art journalling for creative expression. Each teacher uses art to explore many vital topics that impact their life and creativity, all while sharing a potent peek into their approach and mechanics behind their own creative process and perspective. My contributions focuses on Connecting With Your Wild Spirit through painting your own totem animal. Click here for more information.
21 SECRETS Tell Your Story - In this session of 21 SECRETS you will find a talented team of teachers who are excited to share with you the powerful way their art, writing and personal experiences connect. We will be combining mixed media and art journalling to express what it’s really like to Tell Your Story. Each teacher will use art to explore many vital topics that have impacted their life and creativity, all while sharing a potent peek into their approach and mechanics behind their own creative process and perspective. For more information, please visit here.
In the past few days I've received several tidbits of wonderful news. I met with the Director of Calgary Reads and had a lovely tour of the Children's Reading Place in Inglewood...what a magical place! They make sure that every child leaves with a book - it would have been lovely to have a place like this for my girls when they were little. I'm looking forward to future collaborations with them along with exhibiting artwork and altered books. There is also planning in place to exhibit my Fashion Plates series which makes me very glad as I was certain where it would head. I love it when these opportunities present themselves in these ways. I feel so blessed.
Number 19 in this series is coming along quite nicely and though I am only 4 paintings from the finish line I'm still uncertain about the title 'Fashion Plates' for this body of work. I do love the idea that this is a vintage label which much of the fashions in the series relates to, but typically my work delves deeper than just a physical image for me. It means a lot, something that I have addressed briefly in the Artist's Statement which I have currently written for it:
After studying Art & Design in Alberta many years ago, I was on my way to Toronto to study Fashion Design but met my husband in the prairies and didn't continue. Over the past two years my daughter has been designing and creating beautiful clothing from a variety of eras which I have been photographing and now have been drawn to utilizing those photographs in this body of work. I believe fashion is about pursuing a life that is not about appearance but rather self-empowerment. It is a form of self-expression, a way to share who you are without words. It also documents the history of the women in this region. On its own the clothing we choose to adorn ourselves with and the way it moves can convey a feeling. This is a way to remember my personal history and to collaborate with a new generation of woman. To view my daughter's work please visit her website here.
But it feels like it still means so much more than I have captured in words. I think this is the most I have struggled with a statement about the work and I'm not sure why. I keep thinking of the psychological connection that the clothes we wear has on the wearer. I also think about history and it's influence, socially and culturally, and how our clothing influences others' opinions of us. I would really love to hear some feedback if you'd like to share.
Though I am becoming quite excited about this final leg of the Fashion Plates project, I am also a bit sad, too. My goal was to paint 22 pieces, I'm currently on number 19, as I had that many canvases prepared and I want to create another tarot deck...this time focused completely on women. The title of the deck will either be 'Nasty Women' because of my 100 Day Project or, because I do prefer to focus on the positive 'Heroes' based on my first 52 WEEKS::Heroes portrait series. These pieces will be the Major Arcana in the deck. It's been so nice to be able to collaborate with my daughter in this way even though I have still experienced doubt along the way (why does the creation of art always feel this way?). Anyway, if you're interested in viewing my True North and Sacred Vessel tarot decks visit here. To see the Fashion Plates portfolio visit here. And to read more about my Nasty Women here and Heroes (as well as the other four 52 WEEKS projects) here.
AIRdirondack Art Project