Sunday, September 19, 2010
Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the ambient lighting, fading flowers and changing leaves. Eating a crunchy, fresh apple whilst rambling slowly down a leafy wooded lane is a must. These images were taken in my rather neglected (but pleasingly so), overgrown garden. We picked seed heads for my daughter's school project and I was chuffed to see the little brown bouquet. How pretty they collectively look in a simple white creamer vase.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Have just made another tea cozy featuring my favourite little bird. Same recycled materials and theme (sitting on a raffia nest awaiting his little 'cuppa). Love interior fabric - faux bois - perfect to represent a hen house. This tea cozy is on its way to GreenCraft Magazine - fingers crossed they will like it as much as I do.
Monday, September 6, 2010
We spent Labour Day revamping my "studio" space to make it more child friendly. I brought in a two big tables - one small, perfect for little people and one large table, perfect for spreading out supplies and large projects. Two orange old school chairs that a neighbour gave us lent themselves to comfortable seats for the children. I hope we can spend hours of creative time together this autumn.
I organized the space to better serve our needs filling baskets, boxes, and a wonderful old trunk full of great supplies. The old trunk was a perfect vessel to house all of my old coffee sacks and packaging, corrugated cardboard and miscellaneous bags. It has a great old sticker from 1926!
I love September - it inspires new beginnings and fresh prospects.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
We are still following the art show "Work of Art - Finding the Next Great Artist" on tv. The challenge for the contestants was to spend 30 minutes in a warehouse that had discarded electronics. They could gather and take any items they wished to make a sculpture.
Our at home challenge was easy - head to the basement for some bits and bobs to create our own smaller scale sculpture. Ironically, the day after viewing the show we were leaving the library where I found a crunched cell phone in the parking lot. Perfect! Found, free and fitting to my attitude about cell phones (I won't go there at this time!). Other items I gathered were a packet of wire Christmas hooks (for hanging tree ornaments), a small lamp shade frame, corrugated paper from cookie packaging, an old light that one would affix to a book, an old light bulb, sandpaper, a metal thingy, two large bolt type screws, a poppy seed head and some coffee sack burlap.
My artistic process is to not plan ahead and just see where the supplies take me. A sculpture of a female with a broken cell phone head and Medusa like wiry hair materialized. She wore a hessian dress and a tag with her name - Collette 604A around her inverted light bulb neck. Some rough, natural coloured twine added to her hair and attire. The bendy part of the light acted as a microphone or mouth piece making the piece look both futuristic and rustic simultaneously. She looks good in the garden and I found the perfect bit of smooth driftwood to mount her on when she comes back inside.
My husband went scrounging too. His sculpture was a wire man walking a dog constructed from an old bicycle light, an over sized spring for a body and nail legs. A length of random chain acted as a lead and a two bits of Styrofoam insulation made great feet to anchor this small sculpture.
Challenges such as these are fun, inspiring especially using all found objects with nothing more than a glue gun to assemble the piece.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I have been very excited to receive the latest GreenCraft Magazine, especially because one of my burlap pillows has been featured in it. I absolutely love and adore this publication - it showcases recycled and reusable materials made into inspiring new things. I answered a call for pillows made from burlap and they chose my bird themed cushion for their pages - many thanks GreenCraft!!
It is a real honor to have my work selected and showcased for other "garbage" enthusiasts to enjoy and hopefully glean inspiration. There is a full write up with detailed instrucions on how to create your very own burlap pillow. These coffee sacks and shiny plastic coffee packaging has become a favourite material to create with. The twist ties (used for the birds legs and table legs) were from our local grocery store (again, free supplies). I also like to incorporate bits and pieces that I've collected or found and are just laying about my (messy) studio.
I encourage everyone to purchase this latest edition of GreenCraft magazine - it is full of projects and beautiful photography and will provide hours of inspired reading.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My husband and I have been diligently watching (and enjoying) Bravo's latest reality tv show - Work of Art - The Next Great Artist. The premise is a group of artist's have gathered and given a challenge each week. They have a limited time span and funds to create a piece of art that they then show in a gallery setting to be judged by a panel of art critics, gallery owners, artist and the like. One contestant is chosen as the winner and gains immunity towards the following week challenge whilst one contestant is eliminated.
We have decided (with much excitement) to play along at home and create our own works based on the same challenge featured on the show. The first week the contestants had to do a portrait of their room mate. Any medium was game from digital, watercolour, oil and print making. Some were true likenesses based on how the artist viewed their subject. Others were so abstract even the judges had a hard time critiquing the work.
I chose a small 8"by 8" canvas for my portrait (of my husband) which I then treated to a coat of sky blue acrylic paint. I then added some fluffy white clouds and did a VERY simple line drawing of what I thought the essential lines of my husbands face consisted of using a litho crayon. He is very much a dreamer, therefore, I thought it fitting to do a portrait of his head "in the clouds".
John's work is a pen and ink line drawing filled in with colouring markers. He chose not to do a classic portrait, instead selecting elements of my interests to fill his page - Buddha, light and the garden.
This has been a really fun challenge to push ones creative process. We are already working on the next challenge....stay tuned!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
These are the most useful storage units....buckets made from canvas and recycled coffee sacks. My latest is super sized to accommodate all of our Duplo blocks (there is actually room for a few more sets). The inspiration was instantaneous when I saw my daughter's newest Playmobil lady. I loved the graphic pattern on her jersey and immediately hit the recycled stash to make my own version of this bold design.
I cut loads of circles (loose definition) and arranged them in pleasing colour palettes and sizes. Together they form the nine circles that I sewed onto the burlap before assembling the bucket. I used some old burlap ribbon (again loose definition) for the handles which melds into the small hands that drag it around the house.
Fabric buckets make clean up time easy and they are a viable alternative to plastic containers. Any design could be put onto the bucket using old packaging with your sewing machine - just look at your toys or nature for sources of potential artwork inspiration.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Today officially feels like the first week of summer as there is finally sun and heat combined. We hit the library and stocked up on books and DVDs (because, in all honesty, we need downtime after the water park and beach!). I hope we can spend many afternoons lazing in the hammock reading our favourites. I intend to be diligent in filling out the children's library reading program forms to acquire stamps, stickers and perhaps a chance prize. Our fave author remains Julia Donaldson and Robert Munsch, meanwhile, I am currently re-reading Eclipse before going to the theatre in a few days (extreme excitement!!!!!).
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Today we walked at Neck Point - a beautiful waterfront sanctuary in the heart of a residential area. The lighting was magic with bruised skies and filtered, ambient sun. A subtle breeze created tiny, gentle waves. Cottonwood floated through the air like a well orchestrated ballet.
As usual I took lots of photos and noticed a linear quality to them all. The "neck" beach cut through the water while jagged rocks jutted against smooth little pebbles. The sky was layered with fluffy clouds lending a softness to the distant mountainous shores. Meanwhile a small boy spends a pensive moment on a seat carved from a giant log.
Nature is inspiring as always... I wonder what creation might arise from today's outing.