August 16, 2011

Windermere wonders!

Well hello my friends!  I recently returned from a rather wonderful 3 days in my favorite place on this earth.  The Windermere Valley.  Ryan and his parents have an incredible quaint little cabin up there, and I cannot think of a more heavenly place to be.

My time spent over my long weekend was quite full - but refueling too.  I was able to visit my favorite gallery there (and the one that happens to represent me) Black Star Studios which is filled to the absolute brim with incredible and creative art from Alberta/BC artisans and artists.  They even have four studio spaces within the gallery, so that you can watch and ask questions while the artists do their thing.  Fabulous?  I think so.  Go visit, or as the girls like to say Get In Here!

They recently said they would carry the line of jewelery that I have been working on with my lovely sister Kim.  You should visit Abigail Gingerale to see what sort of earrings we are making (though below is the newest pair I was able to put together and bring up to Black Star!)

So, pretty exciting right?  Well that surely was not all!  Did I mention that my dearest friends Sheila and Greg were up at the cabin with me?  Along side their pup Ophelia?  We got some great photos of Abby and Ophie playing together in the front yard at the cabin.  I will post those as soon as I can get them from Sheila.  We also spent a lot of time jumping into the lake, on bird watching tours courtesy of my father in law (we saw 8 bald eagles one night!) and hitting some lovely shops.

One of the other important stops that we made was at The Pynelogs Cultural Centre where we were able to see the work of many talented artists including the work of the lovely Cajsa Fredin who is a fantastic artist working in metal.  I have more than a few pieces on my wish list from her.  Did I mention she is also one of the co-owners of Black Star Studios!  A quick photo of one of my favorite pieces of hers, stolen from her Metal Arts Guild website linked above:
She has done them in many different sizes and colours, some larger than a foot across!  Who would have ever thought that metal could be so feminine!  The whole show was fabulous, but it was Cajsa and her work that really took my breath away.

Enough you say? No way!  I was also able to catch the open house of Sandpiper Studio which was a truly fabulous experience.  Now I recently talked about Julie Gibb and her work because I was given a piece as a gift.  I ADORE it.  But as with all of the things I really love - I though it looked lonely.  So I bought another.

I absolutely fell in love with the moose piece - and I thought it would be the perfect compliment to my water tower (and the start of what I hope to be a wonderful collection.)  Though I was also able to see the incredible Julie Gibb hard at work creating tumblers in her studio.  I don't know how many of you have had the ability to peer inside a hot shop to see how glassblowers create their pieces - but let me tell you, its a thing of wonder.  The amount of time and care that goes into creating a single simple vase or tumbler is incredible.  I have only admiration for the duo that run Sandpiper Studio, and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!

Finally, I would never visit the cabin without making at least a start on a piece of art.  I put gouache and watercolour to work on a gesso printed wooden board.  I will be adding the illustration next.  What do you think?

Well, I think that is probably more than enough for now!  I will post again soon with the finished piece! 

August 9, 2011

It's me again!

I finished some of the huge tasks that were on my plate for the week, so I thought I might pop by with a few new things to share. 

As you know, one of my jobs has be consulting and odd-jobbing at Mount Royal University in the Archives.  I mostly work with our art collection doing lots of administrative work.  But every now and again I have the opportunity to really work with something cool.  It is MRU's centennial year, and we are working on a number of things, not the least of which is a time capsule.  I was asked to design a project for Calgary History Week that spoke about our 100 years, some of the art we have collected, and give an overview of what we are hoping for the future.  What was the project you ask?  Matchboxes.

I asked each participant to take a matchbox that I had made, and use a multitude of supplies - glue, thread, twine, buttons, vintage book pages, vellum, copies of old MRC photographs, cardstock etc.  Each person was asked to create a memory box, containing a memory of Mount Royal, who they were or a thought they had for the past.  Below is the one that I created as an example: 

The project was a great success, I was really pleased with how well it was received - and so was the rest of the group I was working with.  I was asked to do the same thing again, this time for 70 students in the International Studies program.  So today, I worked with students learning english from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, and some Latin Americans as well.  They each made a wonderful box, and they will be placed in our time capsule for people to see. 

Just to give you a sense of scale - here is the actual size of the demo that I did:
It is amazing how creative people can be with such a small small space.  I am so pleased with the results so far, I hope that we continue to have an excellent response.  Art can happen - anywhere and any size.

I have also been plugging away at Kyle and Mels wedding stuff - today I report that I have finished the table markers.  They left me with two sizes of manilla tags, and I went to town.  I tea stained them and then dried them in the oven, got Kim to write out the numbers in pencil, went over them with a brush marker, and then highlighted them with copper ink.  They will be tied on to mason jars and such, so I hope that the rustic charm is what they were really looking for!  What do you think?
Phew, that was a long one! 
Love Always,

August 7, 2011

New look, and a new post!

My goodness, it has been practically a month since I wrote here.  What a month it has been.

Not only has Abigail Gingerale really kicked off our summer with a bang - I have art at Resolution Gallery in Kensington, I have been working on projects for Mount Royal and the AGC that have a lot to do with memory boxes (more on that another day) and I have been working on finishing up the last pieces that I need to complete for Kyle and Melissa and their wedding!

This is a Wedding Tree.  It is meant to be stamped by the thumb prints of all of the guests and signed - and then they can frame and keep it afterwards.  Guestbooks do tend to just be tucked away - so with this, they will have a wonderful reminder of a very special day hanging in their home.

I completed this piece on a really lovely artist board that took ink very well, sketched and inked the whole thing.  All told, it was probably 8 hours of work, but I think that it turned out incredibly well.  It is a whopping 18" x 24" so that they would have room for all their guests to leave their marks.  The nest is for Kyle and Melissa to stamp their own thumbs together.  On the bottom, I used my stamping chalk (who knew there was such a thing!) to highlight their names and ground the piece.  What do you think??

I think it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself!!

I promise to update more frequently.  I was doing very well for a while there!