Thursday, October 24, 2013

Without Giving Too Much Away #3
I took 2 finished pieces to members of Contextural at a Critique Night last night.
Feeling very possessive of this work, I am guilt-ridden, since Marjolein so generously shared her techniques with us… 
Who am I to want to hold on to this for myself?
The Contextural folks were very enthusiastic and reassuring to me.  
I am thrilled that people thought the work very much in keeping with my "body of work".
One remarked that this is a method that perfectly lends itself to my art.
Without Giving Too Much Away #1
I have had my wondrous introduction.
Now I go to the drawing board and start experimenting in my own way… 
Small samples to build up a library of possibilities.
It is very exciting.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A day out for Karin... work and play

Visited The Glenbow - in the hope of seeing some good graffiti artists' work  since the art room there has children creating graffiti text and pop art inspired by the work of Keith Haring and others.  They didn't have any Keith Haring on the walls at all... So a bit weak for a school activity for Grades 4&5 I felt.

Instead I moved on and spent time with the depressing world war 1 art of  Otto Dix and  and A Y Jackson....  and then to the Made in Calgary - 80s exhibition and then it was all alright.  I was inspired.  Yep there is only one word for it.  I now need to research the work of Eric Cameron, Mary Shanon Will, Sally Barbier and Gisele Amantea.  

(In a similar vein I enjoyed the work of Jeremy Hof in the Vancouver Art Gallery, that was on show there the previous summer. Layer after layer of acrylic on a cube.... then ?sanded, if I remember correctly, to reveal the inner layers and to me the wonderful depths of the interior via the centre of the holes, like Goldsworthy loves.  There were black holes in one of the 80s pieces in the Glenbow... so we have come full circle).

Jeremy Hof: The Cube from this blog

The curator, Jeffrey Spalding wrote of the 80s art of Will et al, "It is a Calgary specific; task-oriented art that is, in every way eccentric and idiosyncratic in appearance." Hmmmm. and " A significant component of experiencing works by Mary Shannon Will is their exquisitely manufactured surfaces.  paint applied and sanded and smoothed and overpainted a staggering number of times* creating a visual texture that cannot be otherwise replicated.
They were wonderful.
(*he doesn't say how many) 

Eric Cameron Begun August 24, 2008 - Thin Painting: Chris's Thread and Needle 100
Taken from 

(if you are not happy that I include these images in my blog please let me know via comments and I will remove.
Thread and Needle is a great piece AND a wonderful addition to this blog

Next post will have an image (perhaps part) of a felted piece I am completing after Saltspring.
 And it seems to me like I turned right on my artistic journey.

Friday, October 18, 2013

SDA Alberta Exhibition

What’s on the Surface?
First show by established and emerging artists and members of the Surface Design Association Alberta, (SDA), showcasing the talents of its members.
To be held at Atlantis Fine Framing and Studio Calgary, Alberta.
4515 Manhattan Rd SE  Calgary, AB, T2G 4B3
April 5 - April 30, 2014
Submitting artists must be Alberta residents and SDA members at the time of submission. If you do not currently hold a valid SDA membership please visit

Call for expression of interest
If you would like to take part in this show please email your intent by November 10, 2013 to
Please include:-
Your Name
Phone number

The formal submission process is detailed below.
Theme and Context
Exhibition Theme: What’s on the Surface?
There is plenty of room for interpretation of the theme. An artist may choose to produce a meaningful surface that inspires, intrigues, or may simply be viewed as beautiful, ugly, or thought provoking. Perhaps you prefer to respond to the theme in a conceptual way.  For example, one might explore the idea that what a person shows on the surface is not necessarily what the person feels inside.  Or, one might express how cutting through the unappealing skin of the passion fruit reveals the beauty within. There are innumerable ways to address the theme and your approach is completely up to you.
This is a contemporary show open to the original application of traditional as well as experimental techniques. 
For the purposes of this exhibition ‘the surface’ is to be a textile, fibre or thread-based work, where 'fibre'  and ‘thread’ are used in their broadest possible sense, from the more traditional materials of cotton/silk/wool to the more innovative: strands of polymer plastics, wire, paper shreds, fibrous minerals, coils of clay etc.

A maximum of 3 works may be submitted for consideration.  A small series occupying a total of 30 cm or less in any direction will be considered as one piece.
Works of art can be 2D or 3D and must be completed during the past two years.
Art works as individual pieces, or as a small series occupying a total of 30 cm or less in any direction, can be accommodated easily. Larger pieces will be considered in the context of the available space.
This is a curated show.  All works should be of professional standard and finish.
The curators, Linda Hawke and Karin Millson, have final say on inclusion.
There is no submission fee.

Submission Deadline: February 14, 2014
Submission is via email, to and should include:-
digital images of a maximum of 3 works proposed for exhibit; (max 3 images per piece, 300dpi sized to a maximum of 800 pixels per side).  Image files should be named with a number and the last name of the artist, eg: 1_smith
a correspondingly numbered list of works including title, size (cm), media, year completed, value (or price, if for sale)
brief explanation of each work (50 word maximum)
artist’s bio, detailing your history as an artist and the philosophical approach to your work (200 word maximum)
Transportation and insurance of works is entirely the responsibility of the artist.
All works must be supplied ready to hang, clearly and securely labelled with artist’s name, title of work, directional arrow, and price on the back or bottom of the work.
Any special installation instructions should be included with the work.
Expression of Interest:              November 10, 2013
Submission deadline:                February 14, 2014
Artists will be notified by:        March 14, 2014
Delivery of works:                   March 31, 2014
Finished artworks must be with the curator (Karin Millson, 4519 Coronation Drive, Calgary, Alberta, T2S1M5) by the end of the above date
Exhibition dates:                       April 5, 2014 – April 30, 2014
Opening reception:                   April 11, 2014
Pickup of unsold works:           April 30, 2014

All works must be removed from the gallery by end April 30, 2014. 
If you cannot be there yourself to remove your works, please arrange for another person to collect on that date.
It will be possible to sell works from the gallery.  Atlantis Fine Framing and Studio will take a 25% commission on any works sold during the show. Sold works will remain on display for duration of the show.

Contact Karin Millson for further details or clarification: -
403 453 1823

Monday, October 7, 2013

Post Felt:Feutre

I am fortunate to have a very supportive other half.
He encourages me to spend time on my Professional Development.
I travelled to Saltspring Island to attend Felt:Feutre and 2 workshops with Marjolein Dallinga.
The images above and below are of a piece I made in the second workshop and finished felting at home.
Marjolein gave many pieces of advice which I have taken on board. One was not to go public with work you are not happy with.  Well, this piece makes me happy, so I figure that is more or less the same thing. It might be the first piece of what I am now calling Free Felting where I really let my hair down and see the journey as the message, as Marjolein taught me.

By coincidence I had called the workshop I am facilitating this coming Thursday "Freedom in Felting" and to get my creative juices going today, I took this new (to me) philosophy to a 6" square pocket-shaped prefelt. Just look what happened.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Just back from a week's felting with Marjolein in BC, but so much to do, I miss having the wool on my hands, but a little admin. this morning for SDA

Just back from a week's felting with Marjolein in BC, but so much to do, I miss having the wool on my hands, but a little admin. this morning for SDA.
Here is a publicity shot. No fancy evite... yet... Just the raw data and lovely photo.

Surface Design Association - Alberta, October meeting
Non-Members welcome

“Spend an evening embroidering with visiting Vancouver artist Lois Klassen! Participate in her new project that celebrates the slow pace of traditional handwork and uses it as a metaphor for the progress of the equality of the sexes.”

Lois Klassen, Margaret is a verb: A Tribute to Margaret Dragu (from a blind contour drawing by C. Mochizuki), 2013

When: Thursday October 17, 7 - 9:00pm
Where: John Snow House, Calgary
Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members

On Thursday October 17, spend an evening with visiting Vancouver artist Lois Klassen. Participate in her new project that celebrates the slow pace of traditional handwork and uses it as a metaphor for the slow progress of feminism. 
"Slofemists" (2013) on the inception and under guidance of artists Lois Klassen and Lori Weidenhammer, is a project that enables unhurried production of feminism. Starting with found linen fragments, the project invites participants to materialize through needlework particular feminist voices and feminist moments from  their own experience. A library of supply packets that include material and relevant textual and media resources will be part of sewing events or accessed through a lending system.

This project has just started. By October 17 it will include a small collection of embroidery patterns derived from feminist inspirations, by the hosting artists.  Those patterns will be available on paper and printed onto a few 16 x 16" linen squares. The artists have amassed some "found linen" swatches from a high quality drapery supplier. Many of them already feature machine embroidery and elaborate surface prints. The hand embroidery is like/will be another layer of intervention, making them mixed media collage. Participants can make their own patterns, recommend topics and resources for the kits, or work on the squares that have already started. The materials in the kits can be looked at and discussed during the sewing event or they can be borrowed and taken home by the participants. Lois will have mailing packets for participants to send them back by project end. (Date to be announced.) Over 100 squares will eventually become an ornate patchwork cloth that will serve as a couch cover to form a mobile artwork: "Slofa". "Slofa" is expected to be a prop to enable and engage with the public in discussions and performances about the slow pace of feminism, and the tireless work required to materialize it in one's everyday life.
Lois Klassen is an artist and writer based in Vancouver. She is particularly interested in participatory art in the city, and the social life of crafts. Her on-going social sewing project is documented at

Lori Weidenhammer is a performance-based eco-feminist artist and educator. She prefers to make art in “galleries without walls”, i.e. gardens. She is part of the Second Site Collective and a founding member of the Slofemists. She blogs at

Klassen and Weidenhammer are past collaborators on Means of Production Artists Raw Resource Collective (with Sharon Kallis, 2009) and CornerFarm: Repurposed Planters for Avant Gardeners (2008). Lori and Lois have collaborated on a number of projects concerning ecology and sustainable lifestyles.

Embroiderers are invited to bring a hoop, needles and any extra floss they are happy to share. Lois will have more supplies, including drawing paper for patterns, the linen and some patterns. The meeting/gathering will also be a time to talk together and share ideas about crafts and feminism.