A friend recently shared this photo of the cushion covers with my artwork and I absolutely adore it! I've been receiving such great comments on the quality of the items created by Society6 and am so glad. The items I ordered were fantastic, so far I have used the travel mug, pouch and tote bag, my husband has two styles of t-shirts, my daughter has leggings and I have heard wonderful things about the shower curtains, phone cases, mugs, and comforters. It's been good to hear that so far anything that has been tried is really nice. Thanks Society6!
Several of the women who were great influences in my life touched me at a very young age. Cape Dorset artist Kenojuak Ashevak is one of them. In my small northern community we had a wonderful facility called the Leaf Rapids Education Centre which was the place I was first introduced to original artwork, including her original prints of fantastical animals. Kenojuak was born in an igloo on Baffin Island and at the age of six lost her father, who was a shaman, to a brutal assassination at a hunting camp. After this terrible experience, her mother moved their family to her grandmother's who taught her traditional Inuit crafts. She began her creative career by drawing and painting, then went on to create stone carved prints. She was a founder of Cape Dorset's famed printmaking co-op from where Inuit art was introduced to the world. In spite of her success, Kenojuak always remained humble and gracious, always being grateful for receiving this gift of creativity.
Last year I ran a search on the nine best liked photos of the year on instagram which was a fantastic reminder of some of the great experiences I had that year and so I decided to do it again. Each year I alsodownload a terrific workbook that is offered online to review the year and to consider how I intend to spend the year ahead (available here). So, this year I decided to go through my workbook and see if what I wrote about the top nine highlights of my year compare:
For those who have asked, I have created a small guidebook for my True North Tarot and it will also be available at Bluerock Gallery along with the cards. I didn't want to instill too much of my own interpretation of the cards, because I do believe that is very personal and based solely on our own experiences. But I have expanded a bit on each card (a brief sentence or two) and on how I use the cards myself.
This is the second year that I have had the privilege of teaching a week's worth of grade 5 students at Muriel Clayton Middle School and it was just as much fun as the first time. Both my daughters attended this school many years ago, and the eldest is currently completing a double major in Art and Education so I think of them every time I visit the school. I'm so glad this school has always had an art classroom and especially grateful for a bank of sinks as that seems to be one of my greatest needs when painting with children. Of course, they hear different directions when I demonstrate but I'm just grateful that they enjoy themselves. I also get the funniest questions when I work with kids...Can I have your autograph? Are you famous? What kind of paintings do you do?...that one's especially interesting since I bring samples to share. My goal is to give them an opportunity to play with paint and canvas, to teach a few principles of art, and to ensure that they have a good time. In the end I hope that they take these classes and continue to have fun with art.
Mary Cassatt was probably one of the first female artists I was introduced to as a woman who exhibited with the early impressionists like Degas, She was born in the United States and travelled extensively in order to study, but, like me, also considered giving up her creative career at one point and also could not help herself and returned to it. I was especially drawn to her work for her use of colour and her representation of educated women, known as 'the new woman'. She was another woman invested in supporting the women's suffrage movement and inspired many Canadian artists who were part of the Beaver Hall Group - an exhibit currently taking place at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.
First of all I want to thank everyone who has sent such beautiful messages about my tarot cards. This really has been a work of my heart and it is such a privilege to share this piece of myself with others. And I want to thank Mary for letting me share her lovely words. And, finally, a special thank you to Bluerock Gallery for sharing this work of mine. They are also available to purchase online here.
The weather this autumn has been as beautiful as the year my youngest daughter was born 17 years ago which has been wonderful for spray painting. I prefer to work in sunshine so that everything dries more quickly and that meant working on our front driveway instead of the back garden as the sun sits so low these days. Sometimes it seems as though when I work, everything is so random, without giving any thought to the process. But, that isn't the case at all. I always consider the elements of design - colour, shape, texture (even implied texture), space, form, harmony, and balance. Patterns and colours are repeated with the overall feeling of harmony and balance in mind. I always consider the fact that odd numbers are more visually appealing than even, and how colours contrast and compliment one another. This doesn't necessarily mean that the same pattern is repeated, even though that is often the case,but sometimes a matter of using the same colour on different patterns (stencils or marks made by hand or by utilizing other tools). I also like to repeat patterns using different colours. In the end, it has to 'feel right'...I think that trusting your intuition comes with practice. So, you see, there is a method to my madness after all.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +