Saturday, May 26, 2012

Take your inspriation where you can get it.

I just finished reading a steampunk novel featuring a time travelling H.G Wells and Jack the Ripper, called The Map of Time (Felix Palma). It got me thinking about this week's art prompt: look through art books for inspiration. But why limit yourself to art books and magazines when the whole world of literature lies at your fingertips?

"Steampunk Louie"

The origins of Steampunk Art were born from the writings of H.G Wells, Mary Shelley and Jules Verne.  Steampunk melds aesthetics from the late 1800's with scientific discovery and it's mechanical objects. Steampunk is the love child of Jane Austin and H.G. Wells wearing a rivet studded corset and aviator goggles.

Steampunk art uses found mechanical objects. Here I've used a motorcycle sprocket and an old compass to create a time travelling instrument.

There are no boundaries to the imaginations of writers and artists. Take your inspiration from wherever it comes to you. I took mine curled up with a good book and a cup of tea on the left side of the sofa.

If you'd like to know more about Steampunk Art, check out the book "1000 Steampunk Creations" by Dr. Grymm.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One White Crow

My art prompt this weekend: create a piece of art and send it to somebody. Anybody who knows me well, knows how much I love giving away home-made gifts.  This weekend I created an encaustic piece to send out into the world, depicting "One White Crow".

It all started when a friend sent me some reading about a philosophy regarding the one white crow; the idea that it would only take one white crow to prove that not all crows are black.  And if you've never seen one? You have to have faith that something could exist, even if it hasn't been proven yet.

Sometimes in art, you also have to have a little faith. Especially when you are working with an unpredictable medium, like melting wax. I layered Japanese papers and wax until I had almost completed the piece. And then I covered the painting in a thick layer of lacquer and lit it on fire. And this is where faith comes in. You just have to know that, when the flames die down, everything will work out. This unique smoky, crackled patina is proof of that.


I do not follow religion and am not spiritual in a traditional sense. The closest thing I've ever felt to religion was becoming a mother. I had complete faith the moment I met my first son that we were meant to be together on this journey; that we had always been together on this journey. Here is my favorite line from my favorite book: 'He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke." (The Road by Cormac McCarthy).

I hope my little white crow has good luck in his journey and meets the one he is meant for, even though they haven't met yet.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Art Journaling

This week's art prompt is to decorate the cover of an art journal. I did this one a year ago, and what I love about it, is that it is my first art journal.

  I've never been one to keep a diary, and the thought of creating an illustrated diary didn't really appeal to me. I am one of those people who doodle on napkins and draw tattoos on my kids' arms with ball point pens. The creative process would eventually be scrubbed off with soap or unintentionally laundered in the pocket of my jeans. And then my friend Cheryl showed me her collection of art journals and I was smitten.  I went straight home that night and created this journal. In it I keep notes on upcoming art shows, sketches for new works, favourite quotes and inspirational images. I can't believe how often I thumb through this journal looking for an old sketch, which then often becomes a larger pieces of work. And although my kids still beg for a goofy tattoo once in awhile, I now concentrate my creative process in a journal. I can hardly wait to start my next one.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Join an Art Group

There are many ways to belong to art communities.  Today's art prompt suggested I join an online art group.  I already belong to Ravelry, the best online knitting social network! Online groups can be great, but for me, there is no substitute for joining a local art group. I have belonged to the Stinking Fish Studio Tour for 12 years now. Recently, my mother (and fellow artist) came up with the great idea to hold a pre-Mother's Day sale in her home with me.  From there, the idea spread like wildfire, until we had a group of 12 talented artisans making up the "East Sooke Fine Art" group. The wonderful thing about this group is that we are all good friends; we are family.

Jaq, Ang and Trinita on the front porch gallery, backed by the art of Peg Heywood.

The Art of Angela Menzies

Checking out a painting by Peg Heywood.

Kathy Johannesson's kelp baskets are delightful!

Bonnie Coulter creates frescoes, canned salmon art and lately, abstracts.

One of the garden galleries featuring pottery by Alice McLean and sculpture by Trinta Waller.

Metal sculptures by Bev Petow.  These are just a few of her wonderful pieces. You have to come visit and wander the garden to see more of her outdoor garden sculptures.

 An art patron checks out art prints by Kay Lovett, alongside weaving by Jaquetta Nisbet and sculpture by Trinita Waller.

One of the musical paintings offered by Kay Lovett this weekend.

Beach crockery vessel by Noreen Schmuck, metal and driftwood mobile by Bev Petow.

Art by Angela Menzies, Peg Heywood and Noreen Schmuck hang in the porch gallery.

Val Speed and her daughter Leslie Speed offered up some treasures from their shop "The Wren House". The Wren House was the second location for this weekend's art sale, featuring lino prints and embroidered felt, as well as a sampling of all the other artists' work.

Inside the Wren House

And if all that shopping worked up an appetite, you could stop by the bake sale held by my sons, Matty and Mason.  If you were lucky, you got to hear a few guitar tunes by Mason.

Believe it or not, this was just a small sampling of the works available for sale this weekend. Five unique gallery spaces housed the art of Bonnie Coulter, Angela Menzies, Peg Heywood, Kay Lovett, Valerie Speed, Leslie Speed, Trinita Waller, Bev Petow, Jaquetta Nisbet, Noreen Schmuck, Alice McLean, and Kathy Johannesson.

And if you are reading this Sunday morning, there's still time to come on out.  Wander the seaside garden, enjoy a baked treat to the musical stylings of Mason, and of course, buy some fabulous art for your mom.  Mother's Day is just around the corner!