Monday, May 30, 2011

ACAD Residency Day 1

Yesterday was check in for the residency - we unloaded all our supplies and did the safety tour with Tara.  Met old friends (great to be with you Arlee) and new folks.  And ate tasty waffles, fresh fruit and whippy cream stuff from a can (Oh yes, I did).  
Today was a settling in day for me - Prepared dyes using the dye box - working in gloves too big for my littly hands and a box too big for my littly reach - after about an hour I had prepared what I do at home in 15 minutes, but here I did it safely without ingesting any powder at all!  Powder that the supplier says is only harmful in large quantities.

Then worked on a few small designs to get my hand in again... based them on scanning electron microscope images of bacteria and the like.  Colours based on what scientist use as filters to pretty up the SEM images that are actually in plain old black and white. The images being taken via  microscope lens of a sample coated in gold!  Any colour the specimen had is therefore hidden by the gold.
The later-applied colour filters can be imitated quite well with disperse dyes whose colours are rather out of this world anyway.
One transfer created before I left today... just to give a taster
Wonderful... a text book example of a counterchange design on the side of a truck outside the Art and Design College!
No college for me tomorrow as I am teaching (English this time not stitching).  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mid-Spring holiday

Back from time off for good behaviour.
Can't believe that with my friend we visited Alberta, British Columbia, and The USA (by crossing Waterton Lake! in the Peace Park) in our short holiday. We packed a lot in.
Here are some arty highlights in no particular order:-

Whyte Museum and Art Gallery

Reckonings: Michael Cameron and Karen Maiolo April 9 - June 12
This is a brilliant exhibition which we both enjoyed.  We talked about on the way round. My comment of "wouldn't it be great to discuss this with the artist" was overheard and we found ourselves chatting with Karen about how the joint show and the pieces evolved, their  technique and nods to other artists such as Banksy (and, I thought, Damien Hurst).  It was a pleasure, thanks so much.

High Fashion in the Rockies - not normally my cup of tea to look at costumes, but this one was just the right size and I find myself taken with 1950's and 60's styles and Mrs Luxton's taste.  Dresses date from 1920 - with accessories on show too.

Inglewood Fine Arts
Charles Carson - of the "Carsonism" technique.  I found the work exciting and inspiring.  In terms of stitches it reminds me of the work of Julia Caprara - although Carson's work is very thickly applied paint not thread. His work is abstract with naive imagery - amazing that he gets away with it really - his pieces sell for 10s of thousands of dollars... so there we are. Message for me - "Lighten up, girl!"

Banff Park Museum
Loads of stuffed animals! in a more than 100 year old museum (that's old for Canada remember).  Architecture of the, building inside and out, is stunning.
We went in to see the Robert Bateman works that they have in there - about  5 of them, and good to see if you want to give a taste of Bateman to a visiting European. Breath-taking imagery of wildlife.

Apart from these official art stimuli, there was springtime in the Rockies, stunning flowers - here a Shooting star - shooting right out of a pile of dung in Waterton Alberta (thanks for the image - Robin, what a gift)
OK OK this is it without the scats.  And I am giving publicity to the festival, so am I forgiven my wicked sense of humour.

..... and also wild weather up Sulphur Mountain, cultural awareness at Head Smashed In, the beauties of Canada's wildlife from furry caterpillars to furry bears and references to the Japan Earthquake at Frank's slide (meaning we viewed a small rock slide and, very sadly, my thoughts were taken to the same on a  massive scale as I thought of the devastation in Japan).
Lovely art-work on this leaflet for the folk festival in Calgary- Artist unknown (sorry).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Standard sort of resist to colour a surface - with digital printing (that most definitely is not printing through sequin waste which is sooooo passe) .... Hmmm... This IS getting interesting....  Would this work on silk... I ask?  Give it a go I answer.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weirdly this isn't quite what it seems...

So this is two layers of skin and quite strangely now looks like a view through two trees into a wood... yawn.....
The stitching (red) is visible through the top layer in the middle of the image... where it looks like more copse between the trees.  Quite effective... at marrying the two layers together.

Today has been an off day.  Yes I do get them.  And I really do want to throw out the samples with the bath-water.  I didn't sleep well as I was turning over in my mind just how to manage all the ideas above and below (blog entries) at ACAD where I can't possibly re-create my own studio.  Also so little time so much to do scenario again...
Thinking maybe I need to do something different at ACAD after all..... Something smaller... and more tightly constrained.
Also - perhaps I am trawling the old same-same... and need to put my own spin on all these digital surfaces... collage, skins printing on metal, double yawn - I need to evolve... how will it work out? my mind is in overdrive.  It hurts.  "Bursting with ideas" is no metaphor.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Growth of Bark 1

This is a layered and manipulated digital image printed on acrylic skin.  In this image it sits on an acetate sheet lying over a cotton fabric.
I want to work more into this now... Be not afraid.

My Pile - After Arlee 4/2011

All around the province people are busy preparing piles of stuff to use during the ACAD Residency.  Here is my pile so far... today I hope to stitch, stitch and be merry.  My daughter is studying "Much ado about nothing"... I think it is having an effect on me.
This is the opening of the exhibition at Framed on Fifth... when everyone had left and we could actually see the paintings (it was well-attended).  Mine are tucked in near the window a little hidden by easels and rather sun-blocked, but I hope they are more open today as things will have been moved back into place after the 'show'.
It was a lovely evening where I met a wonderful community of Calgary and local artists.  I envy their skills - Photography, sculpture, painting, encaustic... and cooking.

Which brings me onto why M&M's has an apostrophe.  
For answers to this puzzling question you can do no better than starting here... 
and now I go to work - if I can with the skunk smell pervading the house.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paint Preps...

This should be interesting...
Tune in tomorrow to see what happens...  I am thinking tree bark.

Exhibition Framed on Fifth - for the month of May

Where I am going tonight?
I have a few pieces up in this very diverse show.... where my work is lucky to be juxtaposed with the work of very talented fine artists.  See all the works tonight at the Artist opening.... 5 - 8pm see you there.

For now, here is one of my pieces that is going up and looks just gorgeous in Hannah's framing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Not The Stig, the Stud and Contracts

Creepy - Oh yes.

Just one more to do for a series of 5 creatures.
For today though I am planning a lecture/demo. at Bow Valley College that I will give on Tuesday for the Culture Kids as I like to call folks who are learning English by means of enjoying culture, arts and so on.  I am going to give a slide show and have some samples to hand that everyone can hold and talk about - I hope.  I think it will be great fun.
On another subject:-
Anyone out there have any experience of selling your work via graphics companies.  I have an iron in the fire and wouldn't mind some insiders' tips.  What to ensure is in a contract, and how much is the normal rate for royalties? and really anything that anyone would like to share.

Creature 4-The Stud

Keeping stitching going along with the skins...
This is the skin of Creature 4 for the miniature exhibition - or exhibition of miniatures with Contextural at Epcor in October. It is very reptilian with its metallic articulating ossicles.  After making this for a 3 x3x3 inch site, I would love to make one  sooooo big.... with 1000's of press-studs but my lack of $$$$$$ puts me off.
Any willing sponsors out there?
If no-one comes forward I will have to carry on and dye this creature ready for stitching.  It is soooo scary already, heaven knows how I will feel if I were to come across this on a dark UV-lit night.