August 31, 2015

Fall Fair

Summer is flying by, I think there are a lot of us, shaking our heads wondering were time goes to.

Summer art fairs are behind me, got to see a lot of wonderful people, talented artisans and happy customers.

I am neck deep in ink, tiles and resin.  Continue to be fascinated by the effects firing the alcohol inks has on the tiles.

Coming up, I will be participating in an Art Fair,  in celebration of Culture Days, September 26, 9am-2pm, Queen St., Woodstock, NB.

Hope you are enjoying these last days of summer!


July 30, 2015

Fired Up In The Studio!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know I've been preparing for some Art Fairs this summer.  To the mix I've added a new product, Tiles done with Alcohol Inks and most recently have fired up the inks to create some intricate new patterns.  Setting fire to the alcohol in the inks adds a new depth and dimension to the colours and patterns, amazing results!  To finish the tiles once I've set the inks with varying coats of varnish, I then cover them in an Artist grade Resin.  The resin adds a whole new dynamic and allows them to be used as Trivets, coasters, or whatever you imagination comes up with.  Interesting stuff for sure!

Had a great time at the Dooryard Art Festival Market last Saturday, it was a family affair!  My sister Kellie, joined me showing some of her wonderful Photography, and my Grand-daughter's Lyvia and Grace added some of their art pieces to the mix.  It was a busy booth, with happy customers and artists all round!

Next up, The Golden Unicorn Art Festival in Fosterville NB, 115 Forest City Rd. August 16th from 11am to 4pm-- live entertainment, great food various artisans and from 4:30 to 6pm The Mike Biggar Band will be preforming.  Sounds like a great day so be sure to check out The Golden Unicorn's website for all the details!

June 24, 2015

Power Of Art

Lately I've been thinking and experiencing how powerful the process of creating art can be in our lives.  In truth, I'm not sure how I would have walked through some of the dark times life has dealt in the last few years since I began painting...That in itself is one of those things that you have to shake your head and realize, Someone far wiser than you, awoke within you a desire that led to the creative outlet that would take me through what was to come.

The first photo is but a small portion of a larger work, "Deep Waters" knives, paint and canvas took all that was raw and overwhelming and held it for me, allowing me to move through turbulent waters into a more peaceful flow.

It found a home right away, its essence spoke so strongly to the collector's spirit. There's nothing more satisfying that knowing a piece that was the embodiment of emotion for you the artist somehow translated itself to another upon viewing.  Art is such a mystery and such a personal thing...

Work has begun as I pull together all that is needed for upcoming art fairs.  Dooryard Arts Festival, July 25, 9am-2pm Queen St. Woodstock, NB and Golden Unicorn Art Festival, August 16, 11am-4pm, 115 Forest City Rd, Fosterville, NB.  Looking forward to both!

May 22, 2015

Artistic Challenges, I've Got Questions!

The month of May, the garden is in and sprouting, trees are budding, flowers are pushing forward, and I guess I'm doing the same with my art!

A Inks on small tiles
Working on bringing some variety into my art shows for this summer, Door yard Art Festival, last weekend of July I believe, Golden Unicorn Art Festival August 16 and we will see what else before the season is done.

Through the winter I've worked on larger pieces, and have really been enjoying both working large and texturing with the palette knife and Diatomaceous Earth mixed into texture paste and paint.  In fact I'm so enthralled I'm finding it hard to shift gears and create some pieces that customers have come to enjoy and expect in my work.  All my work has my familiar stamp to it, deeply textured and saturated colour even when I'm working with black and white and all the shades of grey, but the techniques vary widely.

Detail of Palette Knife work
24x12" Palette Knife Painting

Still I find myself wondering what other artist do when they discover some new avenues in technique and find themselves challenged to move away from the new explorations to continue to create and develop previous stylings for lack of a better word.  And what about clients and people who follow an artist work, are they disappointed by or intrigued by the new things they are seeing?

It's a touchy balancing act I'm finding, the danger being that when I push too hard to continue with a certain type of work I loose the ability to do it well, I'm never happy with the end results and I can't accept offering up less than my best.  Sadly, I've had to drop doing a specific type of work for just that reason, I am hopeful that given some time away from it I might one day return to it and find my groove again. Which gets me to wondering, again, have other artists gone through the same thing?
Detail of Inked tile
Detail of 48x48" Palette Knife Painting "Primal" (photo by Kellie Graham)

May 5, 2015

Art Festival Prep

It's that time of year, the art festivals are soon approaching!  Though I've only been at this a few years, I find I learn as I go along, things I need to do better with, things I need to reconsider and what feels like the eternal search for a better set up!

There's lots of great ideas and helpful equipment out there, I've invested in a few and long for others.  Aside from purchasing an E-Z Up pop up tent, one of the best things I did was buy weight bags to anchor the legs of my tent.  With our New Brunswick weather, you can have a beautiful sunny day with winds that will have you permanently attached to the legs of you tent trying to keep it from lifting off even with cinder blocks as weights! I bought these E-Z Up Shelter Weight Bags last year and it made all the difference.

I'm blessed to have a husband who teams up with me to do the art festivals, along with my kids and their families.  So Jean and I are brainstorming these days on better ways of displaying my art, and I'm working away on creating new pieces for these summertime events!

March 31, 2015

Flexibility and Creativity

The last day of March, with April's promise around the corner...

Though we are still buried in snow here, it's heartening to think of warming weather and the lushness that Spring brings.  That being said, we are planning something a little different for this Easter Sunday.  We are having a toboggan party and cook out with the family!  About 20 of us, three generations representing! I am hoping to make it down that long hill at least once!

Things have been moving slowly, life with chronic pain has altered my reality vastly, and I know I'm not alone.  I so appreciated Lisa Sonora's blog post this week, she talks about life with chronic fatigue and the struggle to manage her creative dreams and the fears of what she may have to let go of.  Life is full of challenges, and adjustments and always I am reminded..."Trusting the process is based on a belief that something valuable will emerge when we step into the unknown. There are elements of surrender and letting go which have more to do with flexibility and the ability to change direction than with defeat and annihilation." Shaun McNiff

March 13, 2015

Life Etched Into Canvas

Time waits for no one, it just keeps on ticking by!  Between home reno and commissions, I've been working on some new pieces, with April just a few weeks away, art fair time will be here soon enough!

Completed a piece today, called Fool's Gold.
I wish I could find words to express how deep a painting can take you, how much of life's moments and challenges are worked into the canvas etched there in brush stroke and textures.

How do you tell someone, that everything in a living moment is held suspended in a hovering paint brush, or the scrape of a palette knife.  That your finger tips running over ruff textures hold beauty, brilliance and something more...That rusted metals and scared fragments of an ancient langue contain all your fragmented parts and life is held together in those moments where life is left on canvas.  It's a mystery far beyond me...

Since coming to this place of art, I have learned to hold things more deeply but not forever, just in those blazing moments where life meets canvas and is strong enough to hold it.

January 14, 2015

Painting Play Time

This is my favourite time of year for painting! I know you've heard me say this before, but I can't help but say it again. During the winter I focus on explorations and trying new things, expanding on ideas I've gathered, in short, it's play time! There is nothing like play to recharge your batteries and enliven creativity. That's true for all of us, everyone needs play time to keep the energy and creativity alive in your life.

In process
I'm working on some commission pieces, but while they are in various stages of doneness I play! As you may know, the way I work has many stages, requiring drying times, setting up times and problem solving times! There is nothing "fast" about my process, part of that is just me, slow and steady wins the race, my Dad lives on in me in that regard. *grin*

Steps 1&2
I fell in love with textures and rich, deep tones, so every piece begins with layering in textures, after I've thought about the basic design, focal points and the like.  However, these masked pieces I'm working on begin with a blank canvas, in which I layer in my masking elements in a design pattern that gives the overall effect I'm looking for, from there it's a spin of the wheel what I'm going to have to work with!  After applying inks, fluid acrylics and spritzing with water to encourage the colour to blend, I cover the piece with plastic, weight it down so the masks will leave a strong imprint in the inks and leave it for 24 hours to dry.  I never know how the inks will blend, or what kind of patterning I'll get and of course there will be the challenge of deepening the colours as they will dry much lighter than is my preference.

Steps 3&4
Now the challenges begin, how to better develop the piece.  I will use Alcohol inks, inks, fluid acrylics, re-mask and use spray gesso to quite areas or create harmony throughout the piece, collage and stenceling.  But those details will have to wait until I've completed them!  So off I go to solve some problems, hope you find time to play as well.

"You discover how to be spontaneous; you develop your intuition; you follow the inspiration of your heart...Skill and technique are not the focus of the work; they will develop in time. This approach demands that you do not focus on product, but that you become acquainted with Point Zero, the source of creation. It liberates you from the pressures of success and failure and aims instantly toward authenticity, personal style, and aliveness. This approach requires a deep understanding of creativity and a willingness to explore."  Point Zero by Michele Cassou

If I had to write an artist statement, which I probably never will, this would pretty much sum up how I feel about what I do!

January 7, 2015

2015 Ready Or Not Here It Comes!

Here we are well into the first weeks of a brand new year, I'm not sure where those last weeks of 2014 went!  They rushed by in a haze of holiday preparations, painting and the sad passing of husbands dear Mom on Christmas Eve.  She was a great and inspirational lady and is missed by all those who knew and loved her.

It's taken a little to regain my stride, but I'm in the studio working on a commissioned piece along with some experimental pieces I've been anxious to try.

I've only a few shots to share this time around, but plan to share works in progress as I go.

November 23, 2014

Holiday Activity

It's that time of year, everything gets kicked into high gear as Holiday preparations and anticipations set in!  Sometimes we have to find a way to create connection and allow for room in all the "busy" to enjoy the season with those we love.

Quick update, currently a number of my medium to smaller works are for sale at The Andrew & Laura McCain Gallery as part of the Small Works Group Art Sale.  Check them out on Facebook or Website and if your able, drop by and see for yourself the wide variety in creative talents and therefore unique gifts you will find.

Also I am having a Holiday Sale on select works as well as $10 off any of my currently available regular priced pieces.  Visit my website for more details and or email me, I'd be happy to answer any of your questions. If you live locally my husband and I would be glad to arrange to deliver art pieces directly, what can I say, my hubby enjoys playing Santa!

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