three books

three books

Monday, 27 February 2012

just a thought

I've been giving a lot of thought to the concept of "personal iconography" and ways of introducing repetitive elements to painting. The obvious is to use printing techniques like stamps but on a large canvas they don't work all that well so I am exploring some ways of transferring prints to the canvas.
 I've been using the Golden Open and I'm really happy with the way it is working - all these are from the same run. When the paint started to tack I added a few drops of the Open thinner and carried on. I actually got bored with the image before the paint dried up. I coated the ones on white plexi with clear gloss. When it was dry I was able to peel them off and stick them to the canvas with more gloss.
"Opens" (pardon the pun) up some new opportunities for play. Of course there are far too many opportunities for play and I tend to deviate cheerfully from one of the tasks I have set for myself  during this little time out from the real world and that is developing stronger drawing skills. Off I go to do some sketching. Chickadees today!

break time

I am taking a little break from my morning project which is hand stitching some new table napkins. Sounds strange yes but it is part of my new/old philosophy of making what I need (okay, want) by making use of what I have and it is extremely satisfying. It is a return to a world view that I wholeheartedly embraced in my years on the Island where I tried to promote the handy work of many local artists and artisans. Potters like myself as well as every other art and craft imaginable because I love them all. Not just the pieces but what they represent and what they reflect of the people who put their heart and soul into the making of them.
As I matured as a potter I found myself leaning more and more toward the Japanese concept of Wabi sabi which embraces imperfection and celebrates the individuality of the maker. At the time it was difficult to generate enthusiasm from the general public for products that "didn't match" and didn't look machine made. I think that is why I lost faith in the venture and when I moved to the city I kept only a few of the bits I had collected. For a time I was almost embarrassed to admit that I still had a passion for "handmade".
It took a few years of trying to find myself and my style in the city before I realized that no, I really hadn't changed and I want what I have always wanted - a fun, eclectic mix of treasures that speak to my heart.
Now, although I have been redecorating over the past year and thoroughly enjoying the results  I have to give some credit to the interior designers Mark and Sally Bailey for renewing my passion for the Wabi sabi in all things handmade. What I took from their book "Handmade Home" was the encouragement to just do, and enjoy not only the process but the result, imperfections and all. Why should something handmade aspire to look like it is not when it is infinitely more special as it is.

So here I sit on a beautiful sunny morning stitching mustard linen with red thread and feeling fine.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

time on my hands

Time is such a marvelous thing. There is no such thing as too much time, in fact there is never enough even now that I am not devoting the better part of it to working. I was afraid that I wouldn't know what to do with all this time and instead I am making myself crazy trying to decide what to do first.
The first brilliant thing that started to happen as soon as I had time and energy to think at all was an overwhelming number of creative ideas began to bounce around in my brain. I was trying to do six things at once - several at home and more at the clay studio. None of them well since I was busy thinking about the next six things and, since the creative energy by far surpasses the physical energy I was frustrated by my inability to keep up with myself. How funny is that. I was also feeling guilty about not spending every waking moment looking for a new job so I was sifting through on-line search engines and ads, all the time worrying that I might find something right away and would not have the time to finish up all these projects. Crazy making stuff! As fate would have it there does not seem to be as many opportunities out there as I initially thought so I'm not sure whether to be relieved or terrified.
While I was fretting about the paintings and pottery I had started I knit myself a new scarf, made a couple of new necklaces, sorted all the family photos and filed them into a steel box, organized cupboards and closets, did some repairs and painting around the apartment and started scraping the old paint off of the brass knob plates on the closet doors. Does that sound compulsive?

Next week will be different. Although I will still divide my time between two studios and two very different mediums I have promised myself that I will try to do ONE singular project, or rather type of project in each. I really need to settle in to a direction in order to discover whether there is a possibility of self employment in the near future. That would be a truly marvelous thing.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

another red neck reno

Other projects include another red neck reno in the kitchen and in the dining room/studio. I had another freebie frame come my way a while back so another cupboard got commandeered . This silly collection is getting a little out of hand.
Then I finally got round to painting the studio. I've really been having fun with this, what have you got and what can you do with it, mentality so I applied it to the whole concept of decorating. I happened to have 1/2 a gallon of paint left over from the kitchen and about 1/3 of a gallon left over from the living room, neither one of which were going to get used anywhere else so I dumped them together and started painting. Who would have thought that wouldn't be enough to do all four walls? Oops! My plan thwarted I trotted on down to the Home Depot with a sample which yes, they can match almost 100% by computer but, while I was standing there feeling slightly annoyed that I was going to have to pay $20.00 for a quart of paint, one of the lads put a quart on the mistint pile that just happened to be about the same colour as mine only several shades darker. Before you could say, "back to the seventies" I scooped it up, paid $3.00 and practically ran on home to complete my project with an accent wall. Happenstance is infinitely more satisfying than planned perfection. Now it's time to start painting something new to hang on these lovely walls.

muddy waters

Wednesday already and I've been so busy I haven't kept my promise here so I'm going to back blog a little to Monday and my first day back in a pottery studio in almost 10 years. I thought that I had forgotten everything I ever knew but the minute I sat down at the wheel it felt like home. I started with simple shapes, some nesting bowls and a garlic pot (I need a new one) and just let the clay center me.
The grand total for this week - 3 small plates, 3 small bowls and one garlic pot with two lids (for practice). Back in the day I would have accomplished this much before my first cigarette break in the morning but never mind, it feels good to move slow and ponder things.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Forgive me blogger for I have sinned

Forgive me blogger for I have sinned. It's been months since my last in session and my excuses are lame. I've been  battling a variety of health issues, some of which may have actually been improved by spending more, rather than less time in the studio but alas, I am not clever. Today however, I have taken a step back onto the righteous path by leaving my current employ and making a new, healthy plan for the future. This is my vow: come Monday morning my newly unemployed self will step into the studio with coffee in hand and begin the process of mending both body and soul. This blog will be me, talking to myself in an almost socially acceptable way but also my way of avoiding the completely hermetic life I could so easily fall in to.