Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Clay Daze in Victoria BC

Inner Harbour at Dusk - Tourism Victoria Image Bank

The Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Artists Guild is hosting CLAY DAZE here in Victoria, BC, Canada from Frday January 22 to Sunday January 24th. It's going to be a lot of fun and very much organised in the laid back and congenial "Island Time" spirit. Everyone is welcome! Check the VIPCAG blog for registration details!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One World, One Heart 2010

I was so happy to see that One World, One Heart will be running again as an inspiring way to start 2010! I visited as many of the 911 participating blogs as I could last year and made many great new friends through the last event and look forward to making more creative connections this time around. Actually winning something was an unexpected bonus!
I'm hoping to see even more polymer clay oriented participants this year!

I'm heading to the worktable to get started on my offerings...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Considering the end of the year....

We had a great Christmas and Boxing Day here! I'm not a Boxing Day shopper, for me it's a day to light a fire, relax and read a good book- this year it's the new Dan Brown- The Lost Symbol.

I'm also in that reflective state of mind that comes at the conclusion of the year. As 2008 drew to a frantic close, the looming recession had many of us in a "circle the wagons" frame of mind. As a decorative artist/artisan I was very concerned about the effect of the recession on sales. I didn't want to spend 2009 making things with costly materials that didn't sell then having all sorts of extra work rattling around in 2010. I decided have an exploratory year- to experiment and to make several large pieces for exhibitions. I cut back any production work to a trickle. I'm very glad I did, 2009 has been a year of exciting discoveries for me and I'm happy with the direction I'm going.

After great sales with BeachStone bracelets at the Sooke Fine Arts Show I did some jewellery production work for the holiday season and sales have been very good! I plan to launch a wholesale line for 2010, mostly with the BeachStone concept but the mixed media photographic work may introduce a different twist on colours! Fusion Bangles will be back too. Most importantly, I'm going to continue on the path I'm taking with photography, clay and 3D canvases- I'm hoping very much to be able to submit work to more exhibitions in 2010.... enough meandering for now.... back to my book....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

International Polymer Clay Association Synergy 2 Online Exhibition- Arbutus

Earlier this year I was honoured to be invited to submit a "collaborative" piece for the Synergy 2 Exhibition. It was particularily exciting for me because it led to the new direction I took with the multi-media approach to my work. I didn't actually collaborate in person with another artist but, I considered the Forgetting Room by Nick Bantock that deals in a wonderful way with the creative process. Like the character in the novel, I ended up on a treasure hunt and ended up discovering things that I hadn't actually expected to find.

Here is Arbutus. The Synergy 2 link has more details on the process and on purchase price.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twigging Mixed Media Approaches

I shipped the last order yesterday, I've tidied my worktable and had time to add a background to my blog. Now I'll be able to do some daydreaming, beachcombing and sketching for when I return to "hands on" mixed media work in January.

Today I saw a link for a lovely twig lamp by Wildwoodpapers on the Daily Art Muse that reminded me of a project I did in 1998 or so when I was working with gourd art. The twigs are blueberry twigs and have held up very well through the years! They are a beautiful burgandy colour. I think I'll buy up a supply fron my local florist for mixed media projects as I know the durability of the material.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Legacy Interactive Series- Polymer Clay Beach Stones

If you are in the downtown Victoria area this Saturday, December 12, drop by the Legacy Gallery between 1:00 am and 3:00 pm. I'll be doing a Polymer Clay BeachStone demonstration. There will be BeachStone Bracelets and Stemware Charms available for sale along with my mixed media canvases and Fusion Bangles. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mixed Media Canvas- After the Storm

I finished the canvas.
It's titled "After the Storm" 5"x7" polymer clay, digital photo on silk & found objects on canvas.
It's heading to the Legacy Gallery tomorrow.

Mixed Media Canvas- day two

Here's my newest canvas on day two. Thanks for inspiration goes to the Daily Art Muse on this one- the post on Connie Ulrich's Road Kill Series reminded me of my stash of beachcombed and occasionally road-killed rusty-stuff. It's the perfect addition... I also used a section of cabling that had printing on it that was worn by the waves and shore to create a calligraphic effect.
I'm not done with this one be continued...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Starting Picture for new photo/clay collage...

I'm going to be doing some collage canvases, muses and beachstone bracelets as I do the table top. It's a good way to multi-task. I have a muse underway and yesterday I went through my Salt Spring Island photos for a photo base for the next collage. Here's the one I chose. I did some photoshopping with filters for a bit of a surreal effect.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Polymer Clay Beachstone Table Top

The project is underway and this is going to take a while. The table obviously won't fit in my oven so I'm using a picece of glass to position sections of beachstones. My plan is to place a second sheet of glass on top of the raw clay stones to flatten to a uniform height then I'll fire the section. Here's section #1 underway.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Polymer Clay Beachstone Project- the before picture

Sorry, usually I try to have some eye candy for my blog picture. This *was* once a much-treasured coffee table that my husband and I purchased as a Christmas present to ourselves ten years ago. Time and most especially a certain son have taken a toll. The surface is ruined. In a wild moment of insane inspiration I have decided to resurface the table top with polymer clay beachstones!

I'll document the process here..... step one- how to fit the table in the oven!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Polymer Clay Pieces- memory lane

Yesterday I went through my storage boxes and selected 22 items to send along to the Too Good For the Scrap Heap Sale. There are lots of memories here. Some pieces use techniques that morphed into something completely different, some use one technique that was combined with another to become a mainstay of my current focus. It's interesting to look at all the pieces together like this and do a little reminiscing as well as considering a re-visitation of an idea or two!

I'm really looking forward to going to the sale, hoping to get a selection of Christmas gifts!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Island Artisans Association- Too Good for The Scrap Heap Sale

What a terrific concept! I have a huge stash of pieces that are from old lines or are "just not where I am these days" so I'll be dropping off a box full of contributions. It's a fantastic way to clear out studios, possibly make a bit of money for purchasing supplies and help a good cause! If you're in Victoria I'd appreciate it if you could forward this info to people that may be interested as the event has been put together with short notice and limited funding and could use extra promotion!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Polymer Clay BeachStone Strands & an Interview

Today I'm putting together BeachStone Strands. These are 40" long strands of my polymer clay faux beachstones strung to be worn as a single strand, doubled as a choker or if you're into funky looks, a multi-strand bracelet. I have a few OOAK variations in mind but these basic strands are in my aMused Shop in etsy for $45 and come in a gift box.
Speaking of BeachStones, I've been invited to do an artists' demo at the Legacy Gallery at Yates and Broad Street on December 11th from 1-4. I'm planning to be making BeachStones - I'm looking forward to it- the beach stone demonstrations are always a lot of fun! It's a great gallery with an excellent giftshop and cafe. A nice place to catch your breath during the chaos of Christmas shopping.
More news- Lorrie Grainger Abdo has begun a monthly Artist Spotlight Series and asked me to be her first featured artist! She's posted our interview and a selection of my images. Thanks Lorrie!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Oak Bay Community Artists' Society

It's a very gloomy and damp day here on southern Vancouver Island and I'm in need of something to brighten my day. What better than sharing some local art! Here's the link to the Oak Bay Community Artists' Society Website. It's a great group that welcomes all disciplines from mixed media types like myself to stained glass artisans, potters, painters, felters and on and on. The group hosts fall and spring studio tours, the next one is scheduled for April 17 & 18, 2010. The group also presents the very popular Bowker Creek Brush Up (August 8, 2010) The group displays work at the Oak Bay Municipal Hall through the year.

If you are an artist residing in Oak Bay we hope that you'll join us!

The beautiful painting is by one of my favourite painters in our group, Marion Morrison who recently was honoured with "Best in Show" at the Sidney Fine Arts Show! Congratulations Marion!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Polymer Clay Pieces in Etsy

I listed these three pieces in my Etsy Shop today!
Funky Fish 4"x4"x1"
Four Pears in July 5"x7"x1.5"

Salmon Run 4"x4"x1"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Upstream in Etsy- Polymer Clay Collage

I'm gathering some pieces to ship out to galleries. I've decided to put some items up for sale in Etsy for a few days before mailing them out. Here's "Upstream"... it's approximately 7"x11". It will be up for sale in my Etsy Shop through the weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Polymer Clay Fusion Bangles

I'm spending the day making polymer clay Fusion Bangles! These "crackle technique" bangles are made in two sections held with elastic so the bangle stretches open then the sections "fuse" together for a nice above-the-wrist fit. I present them in a nice little gift box which is very handy for gift-giving. I am filling orders for four galleries here in BC and have posted the ones shown here for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No. 5 Gallery- Oak Bay Avenue- Victoria BC

Today I delivered several pieces to one of the newest galleries in Victoria- The No. 5 Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue. I had been planning to submit my portfolio to this intriguing new space so when the Ngs introduced themselves to me at the Open Studio Tour and invited me to display in their gallery I was delighted!
Their gallery is beautiful and showcases the work of a talented collection of local artists in a relaxed and airy space. There are many exciting exhibitions planned for upcoming months, particularily Angels Among Us in December which will be a fundraiser for "Angel Flight".
No.5 is well worth a visit if you're in Victoria- it's located close to Richmond and Oak Bay Avenue.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oak Bay Artists' Studio Tour- A Marvellous Weekend!

The Studio Tour was a terrific experience and I hope that the people that visited my home had as much fun as I did! Artists who work in solitude and send their work away to other venues for display and sale very rarely receive direct feedback. For me the most frequent means of positive feedback is a computer generated cheque from a gallery for sales at the end of the month so meeting the public and receiving encouragement first-hand is wonderful and really re-charges the inspiration batteries!
I was very pleased with sales and was thrilled when I was invited to display my work in a new Oak Bay Avenue Gallery! (More on that on Wednesday)

I set up my dining room to be an open space and (after checking I still have paint to repair the nail holes) I used the walls rather than setting up screens. The art was divided with my work from the first half of the year on one side and the newer clay & photo collage Galiano series on the other. "Arbutus" had a spot of honour as she was the turning point piece. My dining table turned into a little store for small items and art cards. My funky old 1911 house was in direct competition with my art for attention which didn't bother me at all as I am completely in love with the place!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oak Bay Artists' Studio Tour

The blog has been quiet lately- I was on a wonderful vacation in Europe, visiting Paris and Dublin. What a delight!

I'm home again and am getting prepared for the Oak Bay Artists' Studio Tour which will be held this weekend. If you are in the Victoria area I hope you'll drop by to say hello. I'll have "crackle technique" work on display as well as my new mixed media canvas clay and photography work. there'll also be a selection of small gifts including bracelets, stemware charms and art cards.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Polymer Clay Vesuvius BeachStone Bracelets

I put together some of the first Vesuvius Bay BeachStone Bracelets. I'm really happy with the distinctive squared-off chunky look. I re-opened my Etsy Shop to offer one for sale!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Squared Beachstones from Vesuvius Bay...

I've begun what will be a long process of mixing clay to match the photos I'm using for a large mixed media canvas. When I'm in the mixing phase I like to make selections of BeachStones from the different coloured clays I come up with. I'm going to do a series of Vesuvius Bay BeachStone Bracelets and necklaces with this wonderful chunky squared effect as shown in the collection I gathered from this beautiful Saltsping Island Bay.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vesuvius Blue Pool- Completed

Here's the finished version! I'm going to use a few of the most recent 4x4" and 5x7" pieces as designs for two larger canvases.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mixed Media Canvas- in transition

This one surprised me... the photo of a tide pool went on as a background and my original plan for the piece went astray when these blue characters emerged on the right side... the story unfolded from there. I don't think the piece is finished yet....

I have a plan for phase two but I'm really liking the section where I added gold foil as a surface treatment!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Weather, New Mixed Media Collage & Firing Canvases

Fall arrived here on the west coast and rain is in the forecast. Perfect weather for creativity! I think the overcast skies are reflected in this mixed media canvas. It's 12x10"- currently untitled . The rock formation in the foreground is textured polymer clay and backfilled with black Liquid Sculpey to get the the dark shadows. The stones are all polymer clay. The background rockface is a digital photograph printed on silk.

I have had several emails lately asking about firing canvases in the oven. Polymer clay fires at 275 Fahrenheit. Paper, fabric and wood all ignite at much higher temperatures so there's no problem putting an entire canvas in an oven. I highly recommend good ventilation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vesuvius 1 - mixed media collage's incredible how the photos from Vesuvius Beach and the ones from Galiano Island give me such different colour palettes. Here's the first of my Vesuvius Mixed Media Series, "Vesuvius 1", it's 4x4". Digital photography on silk on polymer clay on canvas with found objects.

(The hydrangea project is on-going)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another wonderful beach- more mixed media explorations!

I just returned from our annual Thanksgiving vacation on Saltspring Island. We stayed at Vesuvius Beach and I beachcombed photographs of the very inspirational rock formations on this geologically fascinating shore. I' m beginning a new mixed media canvas today, there'll be a new calligraphic element inspired by the amazing scores and scrapes in the stone and is there a way to incorporate hydrangeas? Stay tuned....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ridgeview #1- mixed media

I really felt as if I was in "the zone" when I did this mixed media piece which I've titled Ridgeview #1. The foreground and background are from one photo which I cut into two sections laying the green background directly on the canvas and putting the foreground on a raised section of polymer clay to give the 3D effect. The photo is printed on organza instead of silk and gives a more lighter and more textured effect with the appearance of the photo.

I like this one a lot and the best part is that I came up with some ideas that I'm excited about trying with the next one!

A Cup of Tea with Coffee

I started my day as usual with a cup of tea and a check of the google alerts that came up for polymer clay yesterday and I was delighted with Lisa Clarke's Monday Morning Coffee Chat which features a terrific interview with Polymer Clay Daily's creator- Cynthia Tinapple- check it out!

Today is a 100% clay day. Here's a photo of I finished the piece I started last week for the next few days I'm going to do a series of small photo rockface landscapes including figures- I'll be making a lot of beachstone clay- and BeachStone Bracelets and necklaces as I go.