The thing with creating installation artworks, for me, is to allow the work to respond to the space. I don't want to just impose my thing, you know? The Leighton Art Centre is located in the foothills of Alberta. Rolling landscape with copses of poplar trees and more densely wooded areas,and also open vistas and wetlands. Thus, my plan for this exhibition is to create tree-feeling things and river-feeling things.
I also want to use materials found in those areas, such as twigs dipped in ink to make drawings, as above. Which by the way will NOT be displayed on the walls. Curious? Come out and see! (or wait for the blog post with photos of finished installation) :)
I will find ways to also incorporate my circles throughout the work, because circular imagery is so important to me, and relates very much to the landscape in balance.
walking above the river near my home in the evening
It's been a long time, hasn't it. Well, apart from the previous post which I put together in November, but only just posted a few minutes ago. Our sole computer kaputzed in mid-December. Rather than hastily buy a new one we decided to get the old one fixed, and then we had to wait for a part, because it's hard to source parts for older computers. Our wonderful tech person eventually found the necessary part and was able to fix our computer for a fraction of the cost of a new machine. How lucky is that? Very grateful we are. Overall we were without a computer for about 3 weeks. No screen, relying on our creative minds to keep occupied sans the go-to of the interwebs... it was bliss!! But really only because it was during xmas, with the pace of life (and work) slowed down. Now we are very happy to have everything back up and running, and I am finally making another blog post. (However also thinking that taking a week offline here and there might be a good practice to develop.) So... a few studio shots, shall we?
First thing this year I pulled everything off my painting rack, all those half-finished paintings, some of which have languished there many moons. Time to put the poor old things out of their misery, yes? And I did.
Because I am that kind of nostalgic, I photographed the backs of some before destroying them. Believe me, this drawing on the back is far more interesting than what was happening on the front.
New canvases on the old stretcher frames: grounds built, drawings begun.
That was January 2nd.
This week, a few finished, perhaps...
finished for now. :)
In March/April 2019, my friend Frances Vettergreenand I will show our work together at the Leighton Art Centre. I'll be making another string drawing installation, with a few further elements to be developed. More excitement!
Tension : No Tension at Artpoint Upstairs Gallery, 2018
I have proposed a 5-hour workshop day in conjunction with the exhibition. It is to be an exploration of sensory perceptions together with some fun art-making processes. I've never done a full-day workshop before and am very eager to try it, hoping enough people sign up that it can run.
I will be making a newsletter about this exhibition/workshop and other things, in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
November 2018 I was engaged with quite a lot of teaching.
Here are a few of the projects...
3D Abstract Art
In a nutshell, one way to create abstract artwork:
Begin with a simple shape, then respond to that shape, trying various angles and approaches to add (or remove!) the next bit. Repeat, until you have something you like. Your body's innate sense of balance will help you to know when it's right.
For this project, we made a unifying factor: each student's work had to have some sort of face somewhere on it.
Day 1: use cardboard to build forms
Day 2: apply papier-mache
Day 3: paint
Day 4: create exhibition
Hanging and lighting the pieces transformed them!
Our art gallery space was about 18x18 feet, contained on two sides with heavy black stage curtains, and a shadow screen at the front.
The white back wall was left exposed, to reflect the coloured lighting we used.
The class came up with a fun title for their exhibition
and they wrote about their work
it seems some students really got the "think through your hands" idea :)
Collage + Drawing
I taught this several times with various parameters
here, to create mostly-2D images
with a focus on prairie imagery
Here, collage + drawing to create a scrolling image for a crankie box. Before taking on this project I did not know what a crankie was. But then I learned, and built two crankies out of two old dresser drawers, a few pieces of dowelling and a bit of simple hardware.
Here is the larger crankie box in action, with the not-quite-finished image scroll.
A few kinks to work out, as you can see from that awkward bit in the middle. Turned out the collage was very thick and bulky in that spot, but I was able to pare it back some, and in the end the crankie functioned quite smoothly. The full image scroll was 15" x 12 yards.
The Bottle Project
...of which I have no images except this one:
2L pop bottles being washed in my tub the day before the class.
This was an interesting project, to create art with detritus that goes well beyond the "pile of garbage as installation artwork" one still sometimes sees in galleries.
I encouraged the students to really explore the aesthetic possibilities of cutting the bottles, drawing on them and inside them, filling them with various things, gluing them together, creating hanging chains of bottles, etc.
Another aim of this project was to address the reality of street bottle pickers who use this same detritus to earn income, to acknowledge that they are human beings who perform a vital function in their work.
The students' work was eventually installed outdoors as a temporary public art piece.
I also taught several Grade 3 printmaking and mask-making classes in November. It's a pity I did not take photos, because I got the students to push these projects beyond what I usually do with them, and of course they surpassed their own (and my) expectations in doing so. Sometimes I get so involved in the class that I forget about taking pictures! C'est la vie, next time I will remember. :)
I've been enjoying being back to work in my studio this month, and will write more about it in my next post here.