Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Holidays - a great excuse for self indulgence

No photos for fear of breaking copyright law... see the links below...

Al and I have had a great day in downtown Calgary. I was so disappointed that we had missed the exhibition Experimental Art and Culture at the Calgary Art Gallery (it finished a couple of days ago - just my luck) but actually this was no bad thing as they were completely closed for exhibition change and we were forced to go to the Glenmore Gallery and Museum - where we were lucky enough to see the Joe Fafard exhibition of sculptures.
We took the (free) audio guide and Aliya listened to every entry - we found the works amusing, disturbing, beautiful, complex and were in awe of the techniques.
We then (had a drink of course) went to the hands on make your own art (ARC discovery room) - Al did a water colour landscape (Fafard was a farm boy) and I had a go at a pastel drawing of a horses head (he loves his horses and cows!) and we watched a video of him discussing his work.
Comment to say with me - 'If you go into your studio and you say to yourself "I don't have any idea of what to do." Then you should leave the studio straight away.' Creativity should be a natural process and not a struggle, it should be a joy that comes from you and isn't forced out of you, then I guess it is pure pleasure.
Of interest might be the upcoming Sew City: a community project for mending and making May 23 & 24th and the Celebrating Quilts May 1 - July, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Holiday Boredom - I don't think so

Easter holidays are for being with the children and Aliya and I have had fun making gifts. The large block is a gift for us I think.

The rectangles are brooches for her school friends.
Heat transfer inks and foils on table cloth plastic, with Golden gel medium. Clever girl Al!

Then reward yourselves with an afternoon out to Nakiska, Alberta. I am the slightly taller one on the right! Wonderful spring skiing by the way.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Non-stitching the hoodoos with thread

I added stitching to give an impression of joints and bedding planes on the hoodoos' surface . I realised why I didn't like the result. My shibori pieces take on delicate forms with the play of light and shadows being very important as well as the composition of shapes and the interplay of the coloured lines which are echoes of the line of the thread used in the negative tied die method. Added stitchery can so easily detract from the beautiful shibori forms.
So I thought I would just do minimal stitching... very 'in' at the moment.

Then I remembered the effect you can get by having threads within a 3D surface... 'Non -stitching' was invented at that very moment. Non-stitched lines are blue in the two samples shown above. Maybe I will go with this.
The non-stitching creates the very muted lines within the hoodoo. Sometimes the colour reaches the surfaces just like the lines of veined rock surfaces.

By the way these are the first images taken using my new camera... I was very lucky that my older camera packed up within its warrantee period. Of course they didn't have another camera of the same ilk to replace my camera... (all this done across the 1000s of miles owing to the fact that the Omani warrantee doesn't extend to Canada) so we paid up another $100 and they sent me (successfully via DHL) a new one, and it is an upgrade. I think the macro will do, don't you?

Die dye dye

That is - "Mum why does the kitchen smell of burning plastic...?" It doesn't dear it is just that I have let the steamer pan run dry and you can smell the over-heating metal. This was unlike the previous time Daniel alerted me to potential danger in the kitchen when a plastic box lid had slid out onto the element of the dishwasher and filled the room with blue smoke. However it was at this point that John informs me of his concerns for our health with all this dyeing I am doing.
Things to dye for right now:-
Corals, toadstool and hoodoos.... I have a production line going.
Here are some interwoven gloves to prove I do attempt to take care of myself during the process.

Which reminds me of the tie dyed glove installation.

ACAD - with Arlee

Check our Arlee's thorough and excellent review with her thoughts on the student exhibition we went to on Thursday night at ACAD - the Alberta College of Art and Design.

The exhibition felt like a student group's body of work, with exciting pieces that one just willed the artist to develop... they are after all just starting out (says the old and wise one :-)) but there were pieces in the silent auction that were more advanced, since they included past students and friends of ACAD's work. Little pieces priced at $15-100 which quickly rose to 150, 200 or more, money was donated to furthering the textile department... very nice.

I had a shocking migraine and so wasn't thorough with my note taking but I do believe I got the impression that the course does a better job, than I was exposed to, of preparing the students for an artistic life where they will need to make money... even the tiniest of piece in the auction was thoughtfully displayed, in a marketing sense.

One piece (by a past student, (alumni in US speak) sorry no name) was an egg wrapped in a single strand of cotton (?DMC) was this reference to Easter... and clever marketing.... Afraid it did nothing for me. But the teddy creature by Siri warmed my heart.

I went to the talk, primarily to hear Joanne Staniszkis and was not disappointed. She has been a prolific artist for many years working in Linen (Polish) then silk (mostly the coccoons which were home grown) and is now successfully running a small store selling her work, which includes clothing and jewellery. Not a terribly exciting or stimulating speaker, but it had interesting content about the history of Polish Linen mills and the silk train that ran across Canada in the 20's.

The thrust of her technique is to photograph the fabric of her choice (linen or silk) in swirls of the textiles in monotone - then screen print this onto the same fabric (linen or silk) and create huge, planar repeat patterned wall hangings or screens, or create large sculptural forms with the surfaces held on armatures (eg., coccoon shapes made of plastic nets).

She concentrates on her theme - drawing anything and everything together... eg., silk coccoons as fixings for her armatures, or the shapes of the mulberry leaves as a language for printing onto clothing.... and this was the message she wanted to share with us... Have a strong source idea and develop it throughout the exhibition, this is what makes a successful show.

Do check out Arlee's blog for more wonderful detail.