Wednesday, 27 July 2016

New Art Supplies!

I have some new art supplies! Now, these aren't any you will find at your local art supply. These are from Mother Nature. Many of the plants in our area have flowered and are now producing seed. The leaves have been gathered in the fall, the pansies from my garden all summer and most of the tulips are from fresh bouquets (the deer are much too fond of tulips I have tried to grow and I finally waved the surrender flag!) I have used these beautiful 'art supplies' to make cards and larger artworks. First I dry the plant material using Lee Valley's microwave flower press - worth every penny - is fast and preserves the colours of the petals and leaves. I then use beeswax and encaustic wax medium to embed these natural objects into the substrate. Gathering and drying this material does take a lot of time and effort but when I open the container the sight and smell of of these beautiful petals is a special reward in itself.

Tulips, Pansies &
Poplar leaves

Stinkweed seed pods
(not the loveliest of names!)
Latin Name: Thlaspi arvense
I think these will look amazing
embedded in wax!

Leaves, flower petals, beeswax, on card stock
Watercolour backgrounds that are stamped and
drawn on.

'Flowers for Grace'
Tulip petals in wax medium on birch plywood
These petals were not pressed,
but dried naturally. They soaked up the
wax and by pressing gently were
easy to embed into the wax.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Creativity - In the Kitchen

It has been a creative weekend of sorts - no painting - missing that, but spent Saturday and Sunday afternoon making jam. Fresh fruit is arriving daily from British Columbia. The roadside stands are overflowing with peaches, cherries, plums and the local farmer's markets are starting to fill up with fresh vegetables. Took advantage of the fruit and made Red Plum Jam, Peach Ginger Jam and Blueberry Lime Jam. I love the process of preserving, I have my checklist of must do's, but can get creative adding different spices (in small amounts). It reminds me in some ways of printmaking - there are the must do's but the creativity too. When I remove the jars from the hot water bath and cool them on the counter I get a certain amount of satisfaction from the time spent turning the fruit into jam that we can enjoy through the winter months and when the last jar is opened I can't wait for next years crop. These jewel-toned jams will inspire when I head back to my studio.

A weekend well spent!

....highly recommend Amy Bronee's book 'The Canning Kitchen'. Such a great book! Have enjoyed all the recipes tried to date. Especially like that these are for small batches not large quantities - in other words 'just right'!

.....thanks for reading and hope you will give it a off to do some painting!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Artists To Share - Barbara Franc (Sculptor)

I haven't been spending as much time in my studio the last few weeks - our summers are short and the call to be outdoors is strong. I know, I could be painting outdoors (which I do!) but I also like to garden, ride my horse, hike, search for wildflowers, watch for wildlife - this week alone I have watched two white tail deer with their young - one has twin fawns, the other one fawn, a cow/calf moose pair, a young moose (so beautiful with her summer coat), two humming birds, a bald eagle, blue heron, loons and the list goes on. You will just have to take my word for it, I am just not fast enough with the camera!

Like a lot of you I spend time searching for other artists and viewing their work. Their medium of choice doesn't necessarily have to be the same as mine. I enjoy looking at a variety of mediums. It is so inspiring and it gets me excited about making art. So I thought I would share with you some of the artists I am inspired by. I hope you like this idea and will enjoy discovering their work.

I found Barbara Franc on FaceBook. I love, love, love her work. What an amazing sculptor. I'll take one of each please!

*These images are of Barbara Franc's work. If you do repost them please make sure to credit Barbara Franc.

Barbara Franc - Shaggy Dog

Barbara Franc - Hare

Do you have a favourite artist(s) that inspires you? Would love to hear who it is and see pictures of their work.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Painting - Acrylics

A week of rain, cooler temperatures and cleaning up after installing some new flooring in our home. Seemed as good a time as any to attempt a little studio cleanup as well. I am forever 'cleaning up' my studio. I hate 'recycling' or 'throwing' anything out! Always seems that a few months down the road I am looking for those particular items that I got rid off. I did unearth some of my earlier attempts at acrylic painting. At the time I painted these I was thinking how bad they were, and had thought of either painting over them or tossing. But I am glad I kept them - is a good record to see where I started and where I am on this art journey.

These pictures do not have much colour mixing - if any! (that is what I am conciously working on now). Tried some different techniques - collage, image transfer, stamping and using markers and coloured pencil. I am thinking of reworking one or two, but maybe I should just keep them as a record of where I started and where I am currently with my painting.

Looking at them now they don't seem all that bad.

Acrylic paint, image transfer & stamping

Acrylic paint, image transfer, stamping and coloured pencil

Acrylic paint & tissue paper

Acrylic paint & collage

Friday, 8 July 2016

Painting - Encaustic

Last August (2015) I purchased two online encaustic painting classes from Carla Sonheim. Wasn't sure how these would work, but in a word ....fantastic! I hadn't heard of Stephanie Hargrave before, but I just love her work. Beautiful organic shapes, expressive line work and rich, rich colour. I recommend both classes - Intro to Encaustic Painting and Creating a Modular Encaustic Painting. I am watching them both for the second time, taking lots of notes. The wax is out and heating and I am looking forward to more experimentation.

6"X6" Birch panel (2" cradle)
Wax medium, image transfer, dried plant material - Tulips

These 4 pieces are meant to be hung together in a vertical format. They make a nice grouping when displayed this way. They are on Ampersand Claybord (4"X4"). Multiple layers of wax medium with image transfers, pigment rubbed into incised lines and chiri tissue.