Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bizarre Bazaar 2012

Well, here I am in Whistler, BC, at the Whistler Arts Council's Bizarre Bazaar! Yesterday was the first day of the Bazaar and I had a great time! Saw many old friends and did lots of visiting. Oh, yes, and I sold a few things as well! I also made a great "trade" with a young boy at the end of the day. He'd been selling soaps at his table at the Bratz Biz and had a few left over. He traded me a lemony looking soap for one of my banner cards. We were both quite excited.

Today is another day of greeting and meeting and, with any kind of luck, another sale or two!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Chugging along

No pictures to post today, as I am working from someone else's computer. Things are chugging along here, but I have slowly come to the realization that I really cannot accomplish all the things I would like to do in the 24 hours I am given to use each day. Nevertheless, I shall persevere -- the Bizarre Bazaar is coming up fast and I have a few more things I would like to get done (but much fewer than I had originally planned). I've emailed a few friends down South to come visit me at my booth when I am in Whistler. Quite a few have promised to come. It will be good to visit with them all once again.

The banners are up on the poles along the roads in Whistler. A relative sent me pictures from her iPhone and it was quite exciting to see them up already. I'm really looking forward to seeing them in person this time and hope to get some good photo ops while I am there.

Tried something new tonight, as part of my daughter's birthday celebration: making a Steampunk pendant. There was a workshop at the local bead gallery and we spent over two hours sorting through vintage jewellery, watch cogs and other bric a brac until we finally had made our masterpieces. We'll go back tomorrow to pick them up and fit them for necklace chains. It is good to try new things once in a while. Gets you out of your mould and frees you up to think differently. Now the question is -- can I do something similar with a doll or two?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Banner Samples

I had a chance to view the banners in person this week. The printing company, ADG Projects, sent up the proofs for viewing. I hung the banners in my backyard on the clothesline while the sun was still out and took a good look at them. On the whole, they turned out as I had hoped, but some changes will be made to the colours of the closest two banners, as they turned out quite pale when printed onto nylon. WYSIWIG on the screen doesn't always translate to printed/dyed product, especially when backlit by the sun!!! Bill was great, though, and agreed with me on my suggested changes, offering suggestions of his own that will help greatly on the impact when the banners are hung on the streets in Whistler. There won't be an opportunity to do a second run of samples, so fingers are crossed that the changes do what we hoped! Can't wait to see the final product in person in November, when I am down for the Bizarre Bazaar!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Banners, Dolls, Twitter and more

It's been a bit of a hectic month and a half. I answered a call for submissions two months ago and was awarded the contract to design the Whistler Winter Street Banners for the 2012/13 seasons. My "vacation" in August consisted of a crash course (self-taught)in Adobe Illustrator software so my drawings could be reproduced by the printing company in the way I envisioned them. Although the final proofs still need to be made, the bulk of the work for me is over and the results will hopefully be hanging in the Village by the American Thanksgiving weekend.

That weekend also coincides with the Bizarre Bazaar, which I will be attending this year as a vendor. I am quite excited by the prospect -- both of being at the Bazaar to show my wares and reconnect with old friends, but also to see this set of winter banners in person. Now I just need to knuckle down and work hard at making the dolls and other products for that weekend. Somehow time always seems to slip away from me -- an old story, I know!

Today I attended a workshop at Two Rivers Gallery entitled Social Media for Artists facilitated by Brenda Johima. It was quite informative, if all too short, and I now have a Twitter account: @amlawrieart. Given my track record for regular updating of this blog, it remains to be seen how twittery I will actually be, but the audience is world wide!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Artists in the Garden

Today was the 10th Annual Artists in the Garden tour, hosted by Two Rivers Gallery. It was also my first time participating as an artist. I was situated in a lovely garden with plenty of shade on this hot summer's day. Linda was a gracious hostess and has a wonderful garden with many beautiful flowers and other plants to see. I scrambled for a few weeks before the tour and right up through this morning, trying to get some more dolls ready for showing. I did manage to get the bulk of the work finished, but was still working on the dolls during the tour. They made great conversation pieces and I got to talk to many interesting people today. I also brought my "labels" dolls and invited people to have conversations with them. Not sure how many responses I got, but will look tomorrow, when my eyes are not so tired. The weather was fabulous, the mosquitoes relatively polite (to me, at least) and the thundershowers held off until well after the tour was over. All in all a really good day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Doll

Well, that piece of fabric I constructed from cotton, tissue paper, cheesecloth and acrylic paint was transformed into a doll. She was a bit tricky to sew, due to the stiffness of the cloth, and turning the fingers right side out was impossible! I had to pick apart the seams, turn things around correctly and then resew the hands from the right side. Despite her rough exterior, she still has an intrinsic beauty all her own -- just like all of us!

Hmmmm. I guess this qualifies as my June project, eh? Now I'm only missing March and May?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inspired by students

I've been facilitating another adult class this term, entitled "Picasso's Playgroup for Adults". Our last few weeks have been spent pouring paint onto paper through filters, such as cheesecloth, coffee filters, diffusing paper, yarn, and more. It has been a wonderful experience, seeing the results of everyone's experiments. I was inspired to try something similar with fabric, layering tissue paper and cheesecloth on fabric and then pouring and spattering watered down acrylic paints over the entire works. The acrylic "glued" the paper and cheesecloth to the fabric, which I expected. Yesterday, I took my fabric oil pastels and worked through stencils to add some more texture and finally ran the entire piece through the sewing machine with mulit-coloured thread. The results are seen below:

Entire piece:


I was then faced with a conundrum -- what to do with the resulting piece of cloth?

Today, I decided to transform the piece into another doll. The fabric, though, is quite stiff now that it has all those layers. Sewing the body parts went OK, but they were difficult to turn right side out. I've actually had to take the hands apart to turn them right side out, which means that I now have to try to sew them back together from the outside and hope the stitches will be strong enough to cope with the stuffing process that is to follow! Good thing I had decided on a rather threadbare look to the doll (with the cheesecloth, it is hard to do anything but threadbare)!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brought to completion

Another month, and I finished it at last. Or, perhaps, I have run out of things to put into it and don't want to overwork it. On the whole, it matches what I imagined:

The changes from the previous version are subtle, for sure, but I think I finally got it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Another painting session

Two weeks later, but at it again. After cleaning a kitchen (half-way) and doing taxes, I decided that the third day of the Easter weekend would be devoted to more pleasurable activities. Pushing paint around the canvas was one of those activities. I am one more step closer to being finished, but still have a way to go:

It is always a bit nerve-wracking starting up again, and after an hour or so, I have to walk away, or I'll niggle at it too much! More tomorrow, perhaps. The right hand side needs a bit more work.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Project

Resolutions -- good to make, hard to keep, sometimes. I had resolved to create one finished piece per month for the 2012 year, and already I am a month behind! Rather than create excuses, let me present what I have been working on and hope to finish in the next couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune to attend a landscape painting workshop facilitated by Annerose Georgeson. She has been painting her most recent landscapes in a very loose style and refers to them as drawings, rather than as paintings. Her "Field Notes" were on display at Two Rivers Gallery for the last three months and were wonderful to see.

During the workshop, I painted diligently on one piece in the manner and style that I usually do and only really loosened up in the last half hour when I began two additional canvases (15 minutes each!!!). While I didn't even come close to finishing either of them, I did enjoy what I had done and resolved to finish both of them before the Rick Cepella workshop that is coming up on April 14 and 15. Looking at my current time constraints, I will be happy to finish only one in that time frame -- two would be a bonus.

Anyway, I haven't had time to work on either of them for the last two weeks, but set aside a bit of time yesterday to push the paint around. Take a a look at the progress from what I left the workshop with:

to what I added yesterday:

I have to say that I am quite excited by the direction this painting is going and am looking forward to a bit more playtime with it. It still has a ways to go and the trick will be to keep it loose! Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February's project

I finally had some time to stitch into my Inukshuk batik. As a matter of fact, I had the entire day today to devote to it and managed to quilt the entire thing -- with time for a walk and another trip out of the house, as well! It was a good, relaxing day and I haven't had a stitch-full day in a long time.

Tomorrow night is another night of batik for the ladies in my class. I hope they'll be as happy with their creations as I am with mine!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I did make some, despite what everyone said. I enjoy making a yearly resolution or three (or ten) and then seeing at the end of the year what I managed to accomplish. I don't ever beat myself up about missing out on some of them, though, as I know I set myself far too much to do in a year!

My artistic goal was somewhat simple this year -- produce one artistic piece per month. So far, I have managed to paint the nutcracker (see previous post) and am working on another project via the art class I am teaching on Monday evenings.

The class is called "Picasso's Playgroup for Adults" and mimics my daytime Picasso's Playgroup (designed for 2-4 year olds and their caregivers) by offering a variety of art activities each week. It is a chance for adults to get out and play without the pressure of creating masterpieces. So far, we've splashed around a lot of food colouring and paint, done a faux stained glass picture on paper, used an Itajime dyeing technique on paper and made some wonderful placemats. A larger project, started just last week, is batik and I am basically one step ahead of everybody else! Rather than go for the traditional batik, which asks for dye baths and a variety of safety equipment and chemicals, I decided to try painted batik, using fabric paints, which all clean up with water and soap. The wax we are using is soy wax, which is biodegradable and washes out in hot water. I like to iron out as much as I can first, so as not to send too much down the drain (even though it is not supposed to clog the pipes, according to everything I've read). After that, I can wash out the little bit of residual wax in hot soapy water. The advantage to this method is that ironing out the wax also serves to heat-set the paints!

Here is the piece I batiked last week -- it is still a work in progress and is asking to be stitched into, once I've shown this stage to my students, who saw it as a wax-encrusted piece of "something" last Monday night:

Back again

Time flies when you are having fun, resting, relaxing and catching up on projects! I spent the Fall working on a doll for a friend and a quilt for a daughter, both of which were fun, time-consuming and allowed me to take a good break from the demands of school, not to mention the self-imposed expectations of "getting on with it", now that I'm done with school (whatever "it" might be).

At Christmas, I was given a lovely nutcracker to paint by my son (who made it himself from blocks of wood), and that took most of January to do, as I was by then teaching classes again at the Gallery and putting in more hours in preparation for a turnover of employees. The painting went well, though, and was a nice break from the routine of work and chores. The nutcracker will be on display at home until after next Christmas, when it can be stored away with all the rest of our Christmas decorations:

Now that I have had my break, though, it is time to figure out the definition of "it" and "get on with it"!