I finished this piece today while keeping my booth at the Annual Canada Day Flea Market, in Shawville, QC. I thought by setting up my easel and working away while customers browsed my table would be a great way to generate interest in my work – boy was I ever right! I had so many compliments on the work in progress, and questions about potential commissions.
The little mad spark of an idea behind this was to let people see that art like mine is a process. It’s layers of colour, blending, more layers, more blending, and finally those precise little details: a dash of white to highlight the head, dots of brown to give depth the the grassy foreground, smudges of yellow to texture the bricks. It was a little mad spark that said, “give people something to connect back to,” so that when they buy a print, or a card, or even a little original, they can reference the moment when they saw creation of another piece of my art. And maybe they’ll wonder about the moments I spent on their piece.
I’m working on organizing a Mother’s Day market in Shawville, and as part of my contribution, I’m putting together some cards. I’ve worked out a preliminary sketch for a “mom” card, and also a “grandma” card. This is the first time I’ve drawn a cat that didn’t look angry!!
I created a beautiful blend of bath salts scented to soothe coughs and colds, and it just begged to be named after the great north! So I’m calling it Corona Borealis – The Northern Crown. It seems that here, in Canada, we’re so blessed with a lengthy cold and flu season. The salts are made with Rosemary and Eucalyptus oils, well known for their uses in easing sore throats, opening stuffy noses, and helping one breathe deeper. Now that these bags are resting in the cupboard, every time I open the doors I take a deep breath and feel such delight! I’ve made a few shower melts in the same fragrance and can’t wait to share!
Lately I’ve been working on crafting bath salts scented with essential oils. I truly love nothing more at the end of the day than a soak in a hot bath with scented epsom salts. As Sylvia Plath said, “there must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know any of them.”
I’ve been thinking about connecting my scents to my art, and realized that there are so many great connections to be made here, as there are in my art concepts. My Perseus & Andromeda painting, a steamy and spicy couple dancing a tango, has been reproduced into a peppermint and rose blend. What a great Valentine’s Day bath for couples, indeed!
I spent a few hours this afternoon knife painting the sky. I had initially laid a flat colour of blue, and had a dark orange horizon line for a sunset, but today I took out the thicker acrylics and palette knives and got done to the very serious business of creating texture.
I have never painted a canvas so large. I have painted a commissioned sign that was larger, but never a painting for my own series. And to me, this is a huge canvas – 3 by 4 feet! Working the paint onto the canvas with the knife was such a physical task that every fibre of my being felt spent.
I’m still in the early stages of this piece, but I’m already so deeply attached to it, and that’s probably because it has been so laborious to create. I know I have to display it, and I know I may have to sell it. I makes me wonder how some of the great artists parts with their work. After labouring over the Mona Lisa for almost a decade, did DaVinci feel as though he was giving away one of his children?
I read an artist’s statement once where she described herself as a “creative explorer.” I thought that was awfully hippy-dippy-hokey at the time, but the more I think about it, the more it accurately describes me as well!
Last night was a particularly difficult evening, due to a lot of confusion about my upcoming art show. I decided to put my malaise in a box for a bit and put together these earrings I had planned out. I brewed some green tea and threw in a sprinkling of lavender, got out some crazy rainbow beads, glossed up some pretty Fall findings, and settled my soul.
So it seems that in working with my Fall findings, I actually found parts of myself. And the malaise that I had been feeling – well, I discovered a good resolution. Through my own creative exploration, as hippy-dippy-hokey-pokey as it may sound, I was able to discover a lot about myself. And isn’t that what art is supposed to do, anyways?
I started a pastel piece based on the Gemini constellation earlier this week, but then I’ve been a little under the weather and just not up to the usual focus it takes to work on pastel. In order to get back into the artistic swing, I worked on my children’s trio. This is the second piece.
These little mixed media works take no time at all – even the little embroidery stars. What seems to be the most difficult is choosing a paper and developing a matching silhouette! I’ve been pretty lucky to have found some fantastic vintage children’s books to put towards these projects.
It seems that when you work with kids – even when you don’t have your own – you’re always thinking about them. Much of my earlier work features children and lovely moments of childhood, and it’s a subject I love. Growing up on a farm, I had a pretty great childhood. And I just love to capture moments that remind me of how great it is to be young.