October 26, 2015

Adventures In Cold Wax and Oils

It has been a busy fall in the studio, just put the hanging wire on a commission that has been months in the making. Fingers crossed that the client will like it!  Also been gathering the elements needed for a new custom piece, so play time will be minimal.

Play time has been explorations into a new medium for me, cold wax and water mixable oils.
I have drooled over the rich depths of colour I see other artists achieving with oils, (Jeane Myers) but have been so uncertain and frankly intimidated by them I never invested.

At one of the shows the Andrew and Laura McCain Gallery put on, Michael McEwing had one of his pieces from the Nature Trust Project. I could have fell into that painting! The richness of the blues were like nothing I had ever encountered.

So I began the search into oils and along the way learned about water mixable oils!  Still intimidating, as learning anything new can be, especially as I am working with cold wax medium which doesn't have a lot of info out there.  That is changing thanks to pioneer, Rebecca Crowell who's much anticipated book comes out next year and recently Serena Barton came out with a book on the topic.

Once I summoned up the courage to start, I fell in love with this fragile yet forgiving medium. Working with oils and cold wax has been a heart opening experience, and so different from how I paint with acrylics.  It didn't take me long to have fav tools either! Like this silicone bowl scrapper that Rebecca Crowell includes in her 'tools and tips' on her website.

I work with palette knives, the scrapper and shaper tools pictured here, along with my Holbein's Duo Aqua Oils, and Cobra water mixable oils. Besides the Dorland's Wax my fav medium to use with the oils is W&N Artisan Fast Drying Medium.  Steep learning curve, but oh my the experience of working with oil and cold wax is pure joy.

So this little piece will dry more while I tackle filling tile orders and commission pieces.

Up coming popular event put on by the McCain Art Gallery is the Small Works Group Art Show. I am so pleased to be participating in this great event along with many talented local artists.  The show kicks off November 19th with an Opening Reception from 6-9pm and runs until December 17th.  Just in time for some unique gift shopping for Christmas!

Along with my abstract and mixed media paintings I will be including some my Inked Tiles inlaid in beautiful 'What Not' wooden boxes.

I think I'd better get back to work now!

September 30, 2015

30 Inked Tiles & Thanksgiving Plans

The 30 Day Challenge is now complete!  A number of the tiles I created during the 30 days have sold.  I've updated my Available Tiles Album on Facebook as well as my website.

On to the next thing, commissions, deliveries and some new media and techniques play!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner for we Canadians, I've got some preparing to do for a big family Thanksgiving dinner at my house!  It's kind of funny as I'm far from the best cook in my family but I have an open floor plan that can allow for larger gatherings and I love seeing all my family together.  This will be our Mum's 91st Thanksgiving and she's making the pies, yum!  My youngest sister Doreen, or Ree as I call her will be adding her special touch as she's an amazing cook and Kel will be making magic with our punch/drinks and whatever else she's asked to do.  A joint effort in the food department! We are blessed to be able to come together, mother, sisters and their adult children and families, so many generations under one roof, pretty cool.

Have a great Thanksgiving Canadian friends! 

September 26, 2015

30 In 30 Challenge

Well I'm still hanging in there! Here are a few of the tiles I've been creating these past few days.

As you can see some of the tiles are being added to the tops of wooden boxes, makes for a unique gift I'm thinking.

September 7, 2015

Thirty Ink Tiles In Thirty Days

If you are on social media, you probably have seen a number of postings by various artists of their involvement in the 30 Paintings In 30 Days challenge with Leslie Saeta.  Although I paint every day my health will allow, I've never participated in this challenge before because my process just takes a lot longer than a day to complete a piece!  However, creating the inked tiles, at least one a day is a possibility so I'm going for it!  Fun to be part of a larger community of varied artist.

So these are my first weeks efforts, the challenge has been helpful in preparing me for the upcoming open air Artist Market, Sept 26 in Woodstock, NB.  The Fair will set up on Queen St and run from 9am until 2pm, I'm looking forward to this fall fair, a first for me.

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

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