The Alberta Society of Artists fundraiser is now online.
If you are interested in purchasing this piece or any of the others available, please visit the ASA website here.
This is the final week to sign up for the online Art is Magic: Creative Retreat where my contribution includes creating backgrounds and completing a landscape. For more information please visit here.
In college there was a huge focus on starting work with objectives & intent. I understand that and also recognize the value of commitment and hard work, you can't just wait for the muse after all. But I often find that daydreaming and starting the work intuitively, meaning without a particular end in mind, is often the beginning of something new and wonderful. For me that doesn't mean that it comes without its challenges and confusion, but I find that as a visual person I find my way to the clarification of my thought process through the physical labour of it. The chairs (Simple Pleasures), canoes (Sacred Vessel), year-long projects (52 WEEKS) and now these Fashion Plates all came from following what drew my attention and during the work I've slowly been able to put down in words my ideas & inspiration. And then writing about it to create a statement about the body of work helps to clarify what exactly it was that drew me to the subject matter in the first place. If that makes any sense.
I love the 21 SECRETS online workshops and have been very fortunate to share some of my techniques in a few. For the next few days, November 14 to 16, there will be a sale using the coupon code FLASHBACK! It's a really neat platform as there are 21 teachers sharing some of their favorite tips and tricks in each workshop. The ones that I contributed to in this series (Tell Your Story plus The Best of 2014 & 2015) are both part of this sale. For more information or to join, please see my Workshops page here.
There is something to be said about chasing ideas. There are often so many rattling around in my head and I try to pursue several at once. Even though the results or even the process might be less desirable than I had initially hoped for, in the end I tend to learn something valuable. More often than not, just having several projects in progress feeds other ideas and allows me to problem solve on something that might not be connected in any way. Currently I am attempting to make a hat for one of my daughter's projects (The Modiste) and as I found myself stuck I decided to clean my studio. There I found something in progress that triggered a solution and it also inspired me on another project that I've been stalling on. None are directly related - a hat, an altered book and a painting - but they are all creative. That's how my portrait project came about and also my current Fashion Plates.
"Ask anyone doing truly creative work, and they'll tell you the truth: They don't know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up and do their thing. Every day." ~ Austin Kleon
It's not always easy to do the work every day. A lot of days I feel like I'm taking many steps back instead of moving forward. And that is very, very hard on the creative psyche.
But then, after sleeping on it for a night, I can get back into the studio and look at everything with new eyes. Refreshed. Try new things. And it is then that I can see the connections I had made the previous day (or days) and know where I need to make adjustments. That is why it is so important for me to work on several projects at once and to keep slogging through. It can be very disheartening when I'm stuck.
I've noticed recently that my style of working on canvas has shifted. I'm still working with layers of colour and pattern, but instead of that becoming the central focus of the work, it's become the background. This is interesting to me as this was exactly what I tried to do many years ago, without success.
And though it feels as though this has happened organically and without trying, without struggle, it has taken 10 years to get here. And over a thousand paintings. It's this that keeps me creating year after year.
I can never get enough of these ladies...they make me so very happy. I'm blessed to be surrounded by an abundance of women who want to lift each other up and understand when things are low. Lucky, lucky me. I'm also very fortunate to have my husband in my life as he has been my biggest supporter. And that of our girls', too.
We met over 30 years ago just by chance when I made an unexpected quick trip. I never knew that we would end up here with our beautiful family so many years later. I'm not saying it was easy, in fact, it was far from it. Not only have we each had our own personal challenges which we had to work through together but forces outside of us that we had to bond together to beat. I really don't know how I got so lucky.
All I know is that he is my best friend. I know that all I have to do is ask, and he'll drop anything to be there for me. We talk and laugh still. He's got my back and I trust him implicitly. And I still think he's the cutest guy I've ever met.