Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Student Life

About 7 years ago I asked an 11 year old girl named Zoe to draw a dragon for me. I didn't know her very well yet. We were both shy. But when I shyly explained that I would like her to draw a dragon for a homeschooling project I was working on, she shyly accepted. I was blown away by her drawing. I still have that dragon by the way! Several years later I again asked her to share her art with me. I proudly purchased a pen and ink self portrait, as well as asked Zoe to hang some of her art in my studio. Patrons of the Stinking Fish Studio Tour were delighted by Zoe's whimsical, thoughtful and sophisticated style of drawing.

Today, Zoe's work hangs in various private collections as well as in an upcoming gallery show entitled "Small Treasures" at the Coast Collective. I encourage you to come by the gallery this Saturday from 2-4pm and meet Zoe. Zoe has two pieces in this wonderful show of small works.
needle felting
"Liquorice Cat"
acrylic on canvas
Here's what Zoe has to say about herself:
Zoë Larsen is a self-taught artist who has a passion for creating art
full of colour. She is inspired by many things such as music,
literature, dreams, nature, people and animals. Zoë loves to learn
new techniques and get her hands dirty in the process!
Zoë has explored a variety of mediums with local artists…
Encaustics and mixed media painting with Angela Menzies,
Pottery with Vincent Fe,
Soapstone carving with Kate Woods and
Glass bead making with Nicole Valentine-Rimmer.
Zoë has enjoyed having her art in the Stinking Fish Studio Tour as
a junior artist in 2010.
Zoë lives on a hillside farm in Sooke BC with her family and many
If you need to take away an art prompt this week, it would be this:
support a student in any way you can. Buy their art, offer them an
art lesson, give them wall space in your studio or visit them at
gallery openings. You won't regret it! You just might meet your
new favorite artist.  Artists, especially the young, are brave
people who put their hearts and souls out there for you to enjoy.
If you live on Vancouver Island, come out to see this show.
And good luck to my talented dear friend Zoe this weekend!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

This time of year, I'm usually up to my neck in painting, knitting and sewing projects for my family Christmas presents. I'm always amazed at how grateful my family is for this. But not this year. This year my teenage boys have discovered electronics and have thrown over handknit socks for video games. Can't say I blame them. We had a good run. But admittedly, I did panic. How could I instill in my boys the true meaning of Christmas by buying them video games? I tentatively approached them with the idea of making 24 gift ideas, and then randomly giving them away. They loved it! An hour of brainstorming later, we had a list of 24 ideas. So this year, my family and I are counting down the 25 days of Christmas with Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

Hand drawn book marks to leave at our local library.

New copies of my favorite books to leave on coffee shop tables.
Fresh made cookies to donate to local care homes. This delicious plate of cookies landed on my doorstep recently (thanks mom!)
 Just this morning I was reading on facebook about a lovely friend of mine who just baked 2 dozen cookies and trudged them across the street in the snow for the construction crew across the street! That's the spirit!
So rather than give you a specific art prompt this week, I'm going to ask you to hand make some random acts of Christmas kindness this upcoming holiday season.
 Honor your librarians, teachers, care workers and the homeless.
Kindness in giving creates love.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Circus Freaks

So last week I was blogging about my life as a three ring circus when our little dog Echo made one of her famous breaks for it out the front door. Some days, I can't even blame her. Who wouldn't want to throw out the rules and make a break for freedom; to run away to the circus. Or in Echo's case, to run away from the circus. This week, I wanted to break some rules for our art prompt. I decided to use clay on a 2-D board. A sculpture that would hang like a picture. So go for it. What art rules can you break to create an unexpected piece of art?

"You'll Never Catch Me, You Circus Freaks!"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

visit local fine art and craft shows

Yesterday my mom and I spent the day together visiting local art galleries, gift shows and collective art centres. What a day! Interspersed with hot cups of tea and home baked goodies, touring local artisan craft shows is an art prompt worthy of the gift giving season almost upon us.

Some of my small paintings and prints from $50 up
The Stinking Fish Studio Tour group of artists has just the thing to get you started. The Metchosin Art Gallery is currently showing our impressive array of fine art for sale: from paintings, quilting and printmaking to woodworking, metal working, stone sculpture, jewelry and pottery. Head upstairs for a cup of tea, fresh baked cookies and even more fine art and crafts perfect for gift giving. I hate to say the "C" word already, but there is no denying that "Christmas" really is just around the corner!
More of my felted hand knits and art cards.
Bonnie Coulter's paintings and art cards.
Pottery and hand made specialty soaps by Ann Semple.
Print maker and poet Chiarina Loggia's beautiful prints and hand made booklets.
Warm up with one of Jaquetta Nisbet's woolly hats.
Stone carver Lesley Foreman offers beautiful art cards of her work.
This weekend, get out into your neighborhood and enjoy the many arts and crafts sales available to you. And if you live in my neck of the woods, swing by the Metchosin Art Gallery during the month of November. One of a kind gifts can be yours for the giving.