Yesterday I met with fibre artist Kathleen Long of Birchblanket Workshops to work on a collaboration combining my birch trees with her quilting techniques and I'm very excited to seeing the outcome of this project. Collaboration is one of my favorite things. As a working artist, there are typically many hours spent in solitude so I miss those times when I can connect and feed off of another creative spirit.
I also love those conversations that amble and connect from one point to another, one interesting topic which leads to another...effortless and enlightening. That's how I feel every time I meet Kathleen. And her vision is incredible, inspiring. I could chat with her for hours.
I'm currently working on my third piece in this ROOTED series...this time a triptych and this time with a focus on summer and new growth. Excited to see the direction it travels.
This piece in the 52 WEEKS PROJECT was SO. MUCH. FUN. I grew up with indigenous stories of ravens as being Shape Shifters or Magicians. Love that.
I've also been enjoying the creation of my own stencils so this time I decided to create NEW MOON. Originally it was meant for a larger project (another canoe, it will show up again) but it ended up near my pochade where I had a canvas ready to begin piece number 23 in this project and so it became part of this piece. I love her gentle face.
Ravens are clever birds, helping us to remember our inner voice. They are the communicators, connecting endings to beginnings. He inspires introspection, acting as a guide to bring clarity.
Does Raven look a little wicked? I think yes, which reminds me of my youngest daughter when she was a toddler. That glint showed up in her blue eyes and we knew we were experiencing a visible representation of her thought process...which was usually followed by trouble of some sort (she didn't think so). I still see that glint in her eye at times, but fortunately she now puts it to use in a creative project. Thank goodness.
I just got back from the post office and LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL!!! Not only has my article been published (on page 26) of the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES magazine but...MY PROJECT IS ON THE COVER!
My life seems to leap from one amazing opportunity to another and I cannot believe my good fortune. I feel blesses beyond abundance and for that I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone I have had the privilege of having in my life. It is because of all of these fascinating, talented, creative, inspiring women and gentlemen that I know that give me the courage to keep moving, keep working, keep trying.
The article is titled 'TELLING STORIES' and, once again, was inspired by reclaimed material (items that would have ended up in a land fill had my neighbor not thought, "Hmmm...
Veronica is an artist, I wonder if she could use this?"
After a time of melancholy, which always seems to happen after a season of joy and fulfilling work, things manage to turn around in a big way...so I encourage anyone who is struggling to hang in there. It does get better. I promise.
So, here is my letter for Canadian Artists for the Poor which will be up on Stephen Avenue for First Thursday Artwalk that begins this week and runs throughout the summer. I'm really excited to see the rest of the letters.
It was so much fun to create this little project (it measures 11x14 inches) and was the impetus for the Jr Artist workshop I taught the kids at the library. I'm so glad the kids enjoyed the class so much. It looks like I may be teaching an adult class on this technique as well, though we'll be working on large canvases. I'll let you know once I know more.
This week has been all about working on a commission as well as painting my cabinets. Now I realize why I have avoided this task for a couple of years...painting cabinets is a ton of work! But I'm down to the last quarter now, though I will still have to finish waxing the entire thing.
And the sun is shining...I think I'll bring a drop cloth out and focus on working on my canvases...and so the cabinets will wait yet another day. Oh well, it's supposed to rain (again) this weekend...
This is my tribute to Benjamin Chee Chee, an early member of the Woodland School of Art who died tragically young. I was exposed to the Woodlands artists in my northern home town, whose strong use of colour and line and story telling was a huge inspiration. Every time I walked into the Exhibition Centre I became so excited, my heart would beat rapidly and I couldn't stop smiling. I'm sure the ladies thought I was a little goofy, stopping by every day after school, grinning from ear to ear while I sat and stared at the ever-changing exhibit on the walls. His was the first original artwork I saw, this was the work that inspired me to become a painter.
Number 22 of the 52 WEEKS PROJECT also honours the Canada Goose. The street I was raised on in my northern town was Nisku Bay which is Cree for 'goose'. When I was a senior in high school, my father transferred across the prairies to manage another mine, this time in Alberta. There we lived on a acreage that was surrounded by a creek and small river. Every year, in spring and in fall, the geese would spend a few days on our property, enjoying the creek and the field of wild grasses. They were loud and boisterous and oh so beautiful.
Canada Goose represents nurturing and honouring partners, sharing in all duties. They represent a journey, either physical or symbolic, working together with others.