Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's been a busy 10 hour/day paintfest every day this week...

This is a detail shot of the harlequin pattern.

I took a break from the studio this afternoon to hang the With Sturdy Shoes show at Gallery North in Delta.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thank goodness I'm not serving dinner tonight or tomorrow

because there's no way I'm moving these canvases until I finish adhering text clipped from magazines to every pale diamond. I've been cutting up magazines over the past several years and filing away letters and words for future undertakings - this work has seriously diminished my collection of adjectives. If you have any old magazines - I can put them to good use (eventually).

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Layer 2 completed

Today I finished the second layer of paint in nearly all areas and now I'm working on the third layer (white). I painted for 12 hours yesterday and today I'm feeling it in my arm and shoulder, but I'm on a roll and don't want to stop!

Here's a detail photo - the numbers in the "white" diamonds acknowledge the 28-day cycle that is one of the patterns that inform a woman's life.

The underpainting is finished

I finished the underpainting and worked on the second layer yesterday, adding black and white numbers cut from magazines.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The underpainting

Last night I continued to work on the underpainting for the 3-way-mirror-like canvas for Girl Before A Mirror. It's been my experience that the uglier the underpainting the better the finished painting: as you can see, this one's shaping up to be a real beauty.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's begun

Those big canvases are filling up quickly with images larger than life ...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

On the art of recycling ...

I am a staunch supporter of recycling and have created many works of art incorporating recycled elements. I have even recycled my own recycled-object-filled artworks and here I am doing it once again.

The work on the far right of the photo is made from a dressmaker's mannequin wearing a paper dress that has been adorned with tiny objects. The piece is entitled 'Slip' and is a self portrait I created a few years ago for a collaborative work created with Leap Visual Artists called 'Circle of Journeys'. The paper I used to create the dress came from my calendar, journal, artist statements, contracts, letters, prescriptions, newspapers, recipe and greeting cards, paintings, sketches, children's homework assignments, etc. and also from photographs of my family, historical images from magazines, books, and postcards, and a few pieces were made from articles of clothing belonging to myself, my children, and my grandmother. The papers and fabrics were cut into diamond shapes and stitched together in a harlequin pattern. The machine stitching was then enhanced with hand stitched embroidery, and where each corner of the diamond shapes meet, I used needle and thread to attach a tiny object from the drawers, floors, cupboards, pickle jars, beautiful but cracked teacups, and other storage areas of my home/life.

I used the harlequin pattern to symbolize myself as the clown in my life story; the patchwork and stitching to symbolize my traditional role as a homemaker/mother/salvager; the embroidery symbolizes my traditional role of the family member responsible for "making nice" and for attempts to improve or "pretty up" the banality of routine household life; the flotsam at intersecting points represents the infinite number of tiny but important decisions mothers make on a daily basis with regards to "do I keep this, toss it, store it for future use/reference or for sentimental reasons, for just in case or just because?"

Needless to say, Slip was created by means of a laborious process and was truly a labour of love/insanity, and as it says a lot about who I am and where I've come from, I am only too delighted to be recycling for forthcoming artistic efforts.

Slip will reappear as an element in a new work I'm creating - 'Girl Before a Mirror' (title and concept borrowed from Picasso). This work will be exhibited in October at Place des Artes in Coquitlam in Leap Visual Artists Collective's Memory & Narrative exhibition, and again in February at the Firehall Centre for the Arts as part of my solo exhibition 'After Picasso'.

I've just finished stretching and priming the three tall panels in the photo - they will be hinged to represent a 3 way mirror and I'm rubbing my hands together with the excitement and challenge of painting upon them a distorted reverse image of Slip.

I'll keep you posted as to the progress I make over the next 3 weeks.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

An evolving work of art...

I have been grandly rewarded for my past month of intensive TLC in the garden. The incredibly talented Mother Nature and I (of much lesser talent) have been collaborating on the evolving work of art that is my garden. Yesterday my heart sang when I saw these tiny exquisite blooms in all their delicate finery and amazing detail and the original meaning of that now sadly diminished word rang true - AWESOME!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Preparing my altered book for the upcoming Memory & Narrative show with Leap Visual Artists Collective

Here I've made it to page 998 of 2500 of the book I'm altering for a show in October (my hand hurts!). There are 9 artists in the group: me, Roxsanne, Frances, Liz, Anne, Laurel, Jeannine, Marcia, and Andrea (our newest member - wooo-hooo Andrea!) Most of us have been exhibiting work together for several years. We usually embark upon one major project a year where we agree upon a theme and each create a few works for it or together create a gallery installation. It's an exciting group to work with as we're all game for a challenge - and challenge ourselves we do! - and we each bring something fresh to the collective with our varying backgrounds, interests, mediums, and art practices.

For Memory & Narrative, each artist is altering an existing book to make it her own and is also creating two to three other works. The show will run for the entire month of October at Place des Artes in Coquitlam.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A sign ...

I received a sign from the powers that be to inform me I've been absent from my studio for far too long - it was a spider web stretched across my easel! In the meantime my garden is looking lovely, however, clearly it is time for me to get back to work in the studio.