Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Whistler Street Banners

They're up and I have pictures (thanks, Mom!). In addition to all the other fun things I was doing this summer, I answered the Call for Submissions to design the Winter 2010/2011 street banners for Whistler. These banners will hang along the village streets for the next two winters, being replaced in the summer by seasonally appropriate banners and then coming down for good sometime in Spring of 2012. This series is called "Whistler's Winter Animals":

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Whistler Arts Council fundraiser

An artist I know in Whistler contacted me to see if I'd be interested in participating in a fundraiser for the Whistler Arts Council. The assignment? Produce a piece of art on an 8" x 8" stretched canvas. Since classes are over for now, and my studio has been put back together after having a ceiling installed (among other things), I said, "Sure!" Two Rivers Gallery in PG has a celebratory art exhibit on right now in honour of its 10th anniversary and all the artworks were completed in a 10" x 10" format. I was inspired by the piece submitted by Margaretha Bootsma, which uses a photo embedded into an acrylic painting. I tried my hand at that technique, using a "Whistler twist", and am quite pleased with the result.

I understand the fundraiser is on the 12th or 13th of September. Feel free to contact the Whistler Arts Council directly for more information: info@artswhistler.com.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


When times are tough, we try to protect ourselves as best we can. Sometimes we climb inside a virtual jar and close the lid, waiting for the storm to pass. Sometimes, we construct walls around ourselves -- walls to shelter behind while life's vagaries take their course. When a person is able to emerge from behind the walls and need not rely on them any more, life seems more pleasurable, less stressful.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another doll finished

In my little break between classes, I managed to put the finishing touches on another doll that I had started a while ago. I've fallen in love with her, but she was made for someone else and will be leaving me soon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another course finished

The latest course, Curriculum Theory and Art Education, is over. There was lots of information to absorb in this course, many readings to cover and many stories to listen to. In the end, in a simplified form, the concept that resonated the most with me was that "The truth about stories is that that's all we are" (Thomas King, Massey Lectures, 2003). By combining that concept with the concept of personal world views (frames of reference) and metissage (the weaving of different oral, written and visual media to bring forth new understanding), I created a blanket of some of my life stories that reflect my world views and braided the strips of the blanket with quotes and lessons from the course. Altogether, with images and objects woven into the blanket, Mystory embodies what we learned in the class on a level that is personal to me, but understandable and applicable to many. After all, we wear our stories like blankets, as they provide familiarity and comfort in many cases. Once in a while, we even invite other people to share the warmth and weave their stories with ours, making for a richer, more multidimensional comforter.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Drawing Retreat

I had a wonderful time this weekend at a drawing retreat: 4 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday. Although it wasn't nearly long enough for my liking, it was long enough to add more tools to my artistic toolbox of techniques! Held at Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George, and facilitated by Cat Siversten, the retreat offered the participants a chance to loosen up with their drawings, try new media and ideas and to have fun in the process.

And it was all about the process. We drew, and drew, and drew, with barely a pause between drawings. We drew with clay. We drew with ink. We drew with wax. We used our fingers, a feather quill, a chinese brush, our entire hands. We moved with the music, did collaborative pieces and learned to "let go" and just let the drawings happen.

Although these are not all of the drawings, they are the ones I enjoy showing the most (and the ones that were dry enough to bring home to photograph). The others were more about the process of making them, rather than the end product.

Clay and ink gesture drawings:

This was a collaborative piece with one of the other workshop participants:


Saturday, April 10, 2010


Every Thursday morning, before the Gallery opens to the public, staff has an "art" meeting, where we have a chance to play and learn. Last week, we made "masks" out of recycled materials, in the fashion of the KEAG artists (http://www.inhabitots.com/2009/11/17/adorn-big-kids-rooms-with-keags-colorful-recycled-bottle-masks). It was great fun, and we made some really interesting masks. I've posted mine here for you to see:

Can you guess all the items I recycled to make this wonderful face?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Conversations with dolls

Well, I took my dolls to class this weekend and received more comments and responses, which I turned into conversations with my dolls. Let's see if I can upload them....

They’re all over me – second conversation


I don’t want to engage with you
Don’t want to deal with your problems
Too much to deal with.

Misinterpreted and exhausted

Not my responsibility
– Get your life together
But don’t count on me to help you.

I just want to disappear for a while
Let it wash over me
And surface later.

Just do it –
No one is going to be able to do it for you.

Forced loneliness
Became what I was called
Wanting to be accepted.

Defeated by the labels imposed on you.

The thinker has been thunked
Way too tired to think any more
Embodying all negative labels.

Turn the other cheek!

Protective right arm shielding from emotions within and without
Left hand offering some protection and perhaps a little respite.

I’d say to this one:

Believe in yourself
Stand up and shake these [labels] off
Your hair is still vibrant
Blue-green symbolizes the ability to heal.

Depending on your point of view – 2nd conversation

Who is this?
How might I inform myself of this person?
Full-figured, she embodies it all
Negative and positive connotations
Which is “correct”?
What each sees, she becomes.
Something different to each person she meets.

Can’t see you clearly…
You know what?
You piss me off!
You are so letting others control you.
But that is the message!
Until we learn that,
The social labels will continue to fence/cage/imprison us.
The lens makes a difference.

I dance around her to see her.
Centered in the amphitheatre of life

Spinning self-pity pedestal!

There is nothing rational about the labels others put on us

Stand up!

There she sits,
holding out her hand in expectation and offering.

Sticks and Stones, Second Conversation

Nice to see you

You are my favourite.
You hold your head up high;
You are the writer and the erasure;
You are whole.

Who am I?

It doesn’t matter who you are
You are stuck with labels from the time you take your first breath
So very much tied to our gender.
Do not fret, as you get to decide
Which, if any, you respond to.

Detached… tattoos upon tattoos.

Can I trust you?
You don’t let me in
Difficult to read
Too difficult to figure out your words
And when I do, they make me nervous.
Why is it so difficult to get a handle on you?

But… but…but…

receiving strong support:
The ability to erase/rewrite your labels is hopeful.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Making dolls

Well, another semester is almost finished, and I have spent the past few weeks making dolls for my research project. Yup, dolls. It all started during a classroom discussion on the way we label people. It was a very animated discussion, looking at the pros and cons of labelling, when a classmate said, very upset, that the labels were falling so thick and fast that he/she could not pick them off fast enough. Wow, what a moment!

I started to think more about our labelling tendencies, and whether or not people could subscribe to the children's verse of "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me". As I looked around and listened to people (in real life, on the radio, in the newspapers), I realized that so many, many people are affected by their labels. How does that happen? Do they not realize that they can choose for themselves what labels to wear?

There were so many angles to view this tendency of being overwhelmed by one's label, but I finally settled on three: someone overwhelmed by labels; someone able to control what labels she wears; and someone demonstrating that the labels seen on a person (or by a person) depend very much on the observer's point of view. After my three dolls were made, I showed them to a few groups of adults and was given valuable feedback from all of them. The dolls were catalysts for discussions that shed new light on labels and gave me new lines of inquiry to follow. I'll be making some more dolls in the future on the topic of labels and identity or self-perception and hope to show them to more people. How will different groups of people respond and what new discussions will ensue from viewing my dolls?
They're all Over Me!

Sticks and Stones

Depending on Your Point of View

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


After two months of work, it has finally been finished. This is my son's new quilt, done in time for his birthday!

Exhibition Opening

It's official, and my name is on the list :-)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


"Back so soon?" you ask. Yup! I thought you might like to see the details of "reDefining herSelf". Can't wait for Feb. 18!!!!

If I didn't mention it before, this piece is constructed out of cotton thread sewn (by machine) onto unbleached cotton and is stretched over a triple-primed wooden panel. For anyone who is interested in purchasing it, drop me a line at info@amlawrie.com. I haven't had time to post the picture onto my website yet (www.amlawrie.com), but will get there eventually.
My next/current project is a turtle quilt for my son's birthday, which is coming up soon. Can't wait for the weekend with uninterrupted sewing time! The top of the quilt is finished -- I just need to construct the back (from his favourite old T-shirts).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Sometime" blogger

A friend and I were talking on the phone tonight, discussing our lives and what we've been up to. She apparently is a regular visitor to this site and expressed her disappointment that I haven't been keeping up with my blog entries. She wondered what art I had been making and what's been happening in my classes. I guess I am not good at being a regular blogger (at least not at this point -- too busy "doing" to post).

I successfully completed the Embodiment course and am on to the course covering Drama and curriculum -- more specifically, we are looking at and learning about "performative inquiry". It has been an interesting course so far and very thought-provoking. I see more artwork arising from it. I have already completed one "art doll" on the subject of the labels we wear during our lives (more along the line of identity of Self, which is what the last piece concentrated on). There are a few more doll ideas bubbling around in my head, ready to be made into something tangible.

In the meantime, I leave you with a photo of last semester's art piece, reDefining herSelf, which has been accepted into the group exhibition "Drawn" at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George. Opening night is on February 18, and the exhibit will run until the end of April.
The piece is a sewn drawing (48" x 27"), stretched over a wooden frame. All the figures are from grahpite or charcoal drawings I have made in the past few years.