One of the things I love about this time of year is creating gifts for friends and family. Though I am also working on a couple of commissions, I always make sure to make time for this as it is so important to me. There is something that I absolutely love about handmade gifts, both giving and receiving them. There is an energy and sense of something special and unique in an item made by hand.
I've also been enjoying Joseph Boyden's latest book, 'The Orenda'...it's absolutely fabulous! I have loved everything I've read that was written by him. The only problem is that I've been staying up far too late as I cannot put the book down. The novel is set early in the European trade and spotlights the Hurons, the Iroqoius and the Jesuits with a focus on three main characters, Bird (a Huron), Snow Falls (a young Iroquois captive), and Christophe (a Jesuit). I'm especially taken with the descriptions of the Huron and Christian beliefs, both so similar and yet, they keep the main characters at an impasse.
Snowy days often make for the best creative days so needless to say I've been enjoying the snow we've been experiencing. Here's to a beautiful winter.
This piece has rapidly become a favorite for two reasons...using pages from an original but deteriorating copy of 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' in my work gives it a new life and using the image of an arachnid (a suggestion from Colleen, one of my oldest and dearest friends, who lives in the Okanagan). This particular spider is known as the Western Black Widow.
I never thought I'd paint a spider and yet, here he is in all his glory. The handmade lace I was using in clay last week became a great counterpoint to this image, a lovely interpretation of a web. Something soft and feminine against something that could be considered quite masculine but also seem so fragile and delicate.
In many Native American traditions, the spider represents Grandmother as a link to the past and future as well as wisdom. They also represent the weaving together or beginning of creation, of mankind. Spider reminds us to use our creativity and weave our dreams into our destiny. There is also an interesting story of Spider Woman that I remember being told by Cree Grandmothers:
"In the beginning, there was the dark purple light at the dawn of being. Spider Woman spun a line to form the east, west, north, and south. Breath entered man at the time of the yellow light. At the time of the red light, man proudly faced his creator. Spider Woman used the clay of the earth, red, yellow, white, and black, to create people. To each she attached a thread of her web which came from the doorway at the top of her head. This thread was the gift of creative wisdom. Three times she sent a great flood to destroy those who had forgotten the gift of her thread. Those who remembered floated to the new world and climbed
to safety through the womb of Mother Earth."
Adirondack #2 is finally finished! I love that it's complimentary to Adirondack #1 but still different and it's interesting to me that the first was completed almost exactly a year ago.
I've been pretty excited of late...have tickets to see Stuart McLean's Vinyl Café Christmas live at the Jubliee Auditorium in December. Vinyl Café is one of my favorite CBC Radio programs, it's always on in my studio on Saturday mornings and I end up laughing and crying over the antics of Dave, Morley & the kids (and their friends & neighbors, too!).
I've also shipped off new work to AyrSpace Gallery in Ontario and am happy to say that they have arrived safely. I wish I could be there to see them in that beautiful space.
Here's to a lovely (but perhaps blustery - perfect for reading) weekend!
Today was a day of play for me...actually, gift making, but play all the same. Once upon a time I was a potter's studio assistant and also had my own kiln. There are days I really, really miss it and this was one of them. I have always been a hand-builder, though throwing clay on a wheel is very meditative I just love the intuitive process of molding and building something new with my hands. I also like being able to use household tools, another way to connect with the work of the hands of the generations that have come before. A marble rolling pin from my mother, china passed down to me, old flour sacks that were a gift.
It's especially meaningful for me to incorporate the handwork created by my mother and grandmother...a collaboration of sorts. There is something about creating something from scratch...knitting, crocheting, sewing, baking, canning, all those housekeeping arts that nurture my family...and incorporating these things into my artwork is so meaningful for me.
I've been inspired by a new book 'Handmade Pottery at Home' by Frida Anthin Broberg. When I brought it home my daughter said, "Mom, that looks like what you used to do." Quite a compliment. And it got my creative juices flowing. Those are the best kind of books.
I have decided to find myself a home
in the mountains, somewhere high up
where one learns to live peacefully in
the cold and the silence. It's said that
in such a place certain revelations may
be discovered. That what the spirit
reaches for may be eventually felt, if not
exactly understood. Slowly, no doubt, I'm
not talking about a vacation.
Of course at the same time I mean to
stay exactly where I am.
Are you following me?
~ Mary Oliver
We've been hit with a ton of snow which is absolutely beautiful and despite the blowing snow the birds have been busy flitting from branch to branch in the evergreens outside our bay window. It's such a pleasure to watch them. I especially enjoy the robins, their chubby breasts and cheery warbling.
As a totem animal robin symbolizes new growth and the necessity to believe in yourself for in that the obstacles will seem to disappear. They are associated with spring equinox and are a harbinger of change, reminding us honour the new seasons in our lives by moving forward and trying new things.
Deb Klics was born on a farm in Southern Alberta and currently resides in Strathmore, Alberta. Her inspiration stems from the vast array of texture and colour in the fields and rolling hills throughout the
seasons. Her artistic pursuits began in early childhood with painting and dancing. After high school, she attended the University of Lethbridge, completing a Bachelor of Education degree with a major in Art.
Deb enjoys plein air painting, the process of painting on location out of doors surrounded by the landscape, and her emphasis is on painting those places she would like to relax with a cup of tea while listening to the cheerful song of birds, the rustling of autumn leaves and the babbling of water against rocks. Art for Deb has always been a form of self-expression, focusing on the forms of landscape painting along with abstract mixed-media collage using tissue, acrylic, writing and pastel. She believes that painting and collage are a way to connect to nature and to her inner self.
She continues to refine her skills through membership with the Wheatland Society of Arts of Strathmore, through working with Kindergarten students, and through the exhibits she enjoys with other artists in and around Calgary. Her work will be exhibited at the Airdrie Public Library until December 31, 2013.
AIRdirondack Art Project