Feeds:
Posts
Comments

The blog has moved

Actually, the archives are still right here. There are too many people with links to various posts for me to move them now. I have, however, merged my blogs into one, easier-to-maintain blog called:

Gone to the Dogs at Seastrands Studio

New posts will be at this address. Please update your blog readers!

Just a reminder that this blog has moved. The current posts are being maintained at

Gone to the Dogs at SeaStrands Studio

I have just posted a review of Gwen Diehn’s excellent book on journal design, construction and use in the afore-mentioned blog. The link to that review is here:

Review: Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books, by Gwen Diehn.

Please swing by and have a look. It’s a book worth getting to know.

Also, please update you RSS feeds and links to reflect my new location!!

I came across this video a while back on the Quilt Art mailing list and, for some reason, neglected to share it on the blog.

Elizabeth Gilbert approaches the idea of genius from a refreshingly new slant. While I’m not sure that I agree with the idea that Genius is a disembodied gremlin living in my fabric cupboard, I will freely admit that I appreciate the need to release genius from the artist’s self and allow for work without brilliance. My theory is more that the consistent work and striving towards betterment allows for the incredible coincidence of genius to happy. Basically, quantity with deliberate attention allows for quality.

My favourite part is probably right at the very end…… “I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.”   Brilliant.

Meetings

One of the many hats I wear in this adventure called Life is “member of the Awards Committee” for our provincial craft council. This morning I’m going to be in a meeting to plan our annual Seconds Sale and to work out some other mundane housekeeping.

The Craft Council of Newfoundland is a wonderful organisation that has enabled me to grow in leaps and bounds as an artist and craftsperson and I feel quite pleased to be able to give something back. Not only are there regular gallery shows (mixed media) that are free for members to enter, but they have high-quality annual craft fairs, a top-notch craft shop and gallery of renown, a wonderful clay studio, exceptional promotional material accentuating crafts and their makers throughout the province, a low-interest loans program, excellent scholarship and grant opportunities and many other benefits all for the low, low price of around $55 per year.

Strange as it may sound, I actually rather enjoy the meetings. It’s a rare chance to get together with other craftspeople and chat. The committee members are excellent and we function through consensus rather than majority, so things are relatively harmonious. As the Awards Committee is basically responsible for acknowledging the hard work and exceptional skill of CCNL members, much of our time is spent shelling out money to deserving projects and deciding on to whom recognition should be awarded. Frankly, it’s probably the most optimistic committee on which to sit. In the depths of winter, a little optimism and camaraderie never go astray!

A nifty blog

I’ve just been perusing Elfshot: Sticks and Stones, the blog of Tim Rast, flintknapper and stone worker and thought I’d post the link here for all to follow. He’s a very neat fellow and is amazingly good at his work. (My favourite jewelry is of his manufacture and design.)

Equally helpful and perspasive is his writing about the process and business of craft. His work is beautiful, different and intriguing; definitely worth read!

The design wall today

After my fabric painting adventure, I’m back at the design wall again.

Right now I’m working on several pieces, as is my wont. Typically, I have half a dozen on the go at a time, in various stages. I find it helpful to work this way as I can move from a piece that has stalled for whatever reason to working on a piece that is moving forward. If I worked with only once piece at a time, I’d spend hours sitting and thinking and staring at the wall. Which would occasionally be nice, but doesn’t result in much completed work.😉

So while I mentally prepare for tomorrow’s workshop (which is all ready to go), I’ve been working on the pieces below.

Typically, I start out with an idea, pick the background or defining fabrics and then work forward. I generally have sketched out my idea, for the most part, in advance, so that when I have the background fabrics picked, I can start pinning up paper versions of points of land, buildings and the like. This is the start of a series. Not all of the skies and oceans will be the same, as I intend to vary the time of year and day of the view. I’m also going to do some serious fooling around with the borders and will post photos as they progress. Right now I’m in the fabric auditioning stage and am getting the rock fabrics and trees figured out. I’m also working on the foreground. More photos to come as I have them!

whaleback2

These two are inspired by the photos in this post (which will open in a new window, so that you can see the photos and this page, too).

whaleback1

And this piece, which is me playing around with the possibilities of shears as a raw-edged material (background fabric hand-dyed by me, fence posts felted with all sorts of bits and pieces in them):

snow piece

house

Anyway, must tear myself away from the design wall and focus on the workshop…..

Painting summer

One of the things I’ve often found to be a great remedy for artistic blockage is fabric painting and dyeing. Painting more so than dyeing, truth to tell. Having completely depleted my hand-painted fabric supply over the past few months, I decided to have a go at some skies and oceans.

Normally I paint outside, with the mess factor weighing in heavily as  a reason. February in Newfoundland is not exactly….. warm, however, so I set up the studio for some inside work and turned up the heat a wee tad to speed drying.

prep

I painted this lot on corrugated plastic sheets, which are light-weight, resilient, waterproof, flat and easily stored. These are 48″ square, which is a comfortable size for working with indoors in a small studio. When I’m not painting on them, I use them as design walls and pin pieces in progress to them.

As you can see, I had a successful day. This is only some of what was accomplished. I painted about eight metres of fabric, all told.

night skies
Night ocean and sky, drying.

sky
Summer sky, drying.

during
My studio, waiting for the paint to dry!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.