Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Photos: Purple Turtle Art Festival July 11 and 12, 2015 The Briars - Jackson's Point, Ontario, on Lake Simcoe

                       This past weekend I showed my work at the Purple Turtle Art Festival.

The Briar's Resort

It was located on the grounds of a resort called The Briar's in Jackson's Point, which is a small community on the south edge of Lake Simcoe, Ontario. It really feels like cottage country.

visitor entrance and parking

I like the small (well, some are still small) wooden cottages but the shoreline is almost all claimed and the public access is close to nil, which was disappointing.


vendor entrance

but I saw this bunny in the shade. bonus bunny.

I did get a few sneak peeks at the water but I didn't have time to take a dip.

turn by the red barn into the field and park there

I was driving back and forth to my home after the show (about an hour) and if I had stopped to swim I'm not sure I would have made it home safely. That will be for another day.

view from my booth. missing in this image is the drone of the generator and the tickle in my throat on day 2 when the gas fumes came my way.

Hopefully the hot weather will continue for a while yet. Temps during the show were around 30C plus humidity on the Sunday.

the RC car that buzzed the park. a lot. it buzzed the park a lot.

You know it's hot when people pick up a small ceramic cup and say "oh this is so heavy." One woman asked what it was made of. 

trailer detail - lino stone floor

I said stoneware. 

a little somethin' somethin'

"STONE?!" and she gave me a look and walked away. 

this bench!!!

The show, as you can guess, was not my most lucrative, but the encounters I had were hilarious. 

this wrench!!!!

Or I had sunstroke. 

bench and swing made from the back of pickup trucks-that part that folds down when you put stuff in it

Either way I enjoyed myself. 

Best Walking Stick ever!
BBQ with one of the tallest trees I've seen in these here parts
Meal Ticket, cause working artists need that.
View of Lake Simcoe through a veil of heat and humidity

Friday, July 10, 2015

Elora Art in the Yard 2015

My first outdoor show this year was Elora Art in the Yard.
I chose to apply to this show because for the past 3 years I have tried to make it out to Elora to see the Halloween Twilight Zoo, sculptural monsters that artist Tim Murton creates and installs on the buildings in the town.

Here's a link: The Twilight Zoo

I figured if a town allows and encourages that kind of thing then it's probably a good place for me to be.

And I was right.
 And there were monsters at our venue.
larger than life size!


Having experienced many outdoor events and venues, this one ranks near the top in terms of me feeling valued as an artist. This is not always the case. 

At Art in the Yard the volunteers were fantastic.
Donna, a fantastic volunteer.
It was a hot summer weekend, well it was a perfect weekend actually, and we were offered slices of watermelon, pitchers of cold lemonade, water and fruit punch.
Sarah Gardiner, show organizer (!) bringing us watermelon.
It was just a nice, thoughtful gesture. Every hour someone was asking if they could get us something, if we needed a break, if they could booth sit for us.

In addition, I met several board members who introduced themselves, asked how the show was going, wanted to know what was happening from my perspective. It was all very impressive.

my booth

Astonishingly, not one person haggled with me. Not one. I don't think that has ever happened at an art show to me before. I asked my neighbour and she had the same experience.


The attendance at the show didn't seem super high, though at times it was quite crowded, but the space we occupied was big. So my perception could be far from the truth of it.

 What was apparent though was this was a crowd of art lovers and they were all appreciative of seeing art and artists. I wish I could tell you this happens all the time but it is rare.

 I thank the people of Elora, and those who attended the show, and the Elora Center for the Arts for their hard work and thoughtfulness toward the artists. May this show, and all their other ventures throughout the year, bring them success.

And as long as I am making wishes, I hope to get to see this year's Twilight Zoo at Halloween!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

As promised yesterday

I promised a peek into what came out of the kiln tonight and here it is. Enjoy.

Outside of bowl


Inside of bowl



Monkey side

Man side

Pets bowl. Gerbil side.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A Return to My Faithful Blog - Canada Day 2015

Happy Canada Day.

I've spent every day, except maybe 3, of the last 5 weeks at the pottery studio. The result? Close to 80 one of a kind ceramic objects, mostly functional food safe vessels. Plus I have over 50 ceramic pendants and several sculptures. I am having a great time moving my motifs onto the ceramic form. There is much to consider and I like that. While I do not throw most of these pieces, once thrown and sufficiently dry, they are in my hands. All the drawing, carving, painting, underglazing, waxing, glazing, bisque and glaze firings are up to me with help from my fellow pottery guild members when needed. 

New work 2015: cups and plates
The push for all this creative output came from the realization that I am in quite a few shows this year. And as usual, the year has flown by. Already half of 2015 is behind us. I have felt "behind" since February and certainly since learning I was accepted into most of the shows I applied to. I am grateful but I have a real working year this year. Since moving to Richmond Hill from Ottawa I have worked to regain my footing and I can say I finally feel grounded now. It;s no wonder, really, that I am "all of a sudden" busy. I prefer it this way.

And with that, my first summer art show* is this weekend in Elora, Ontario.
Art in The Yard is in the yard of the Elora Centre for the Arts. The show is this Saturday and Sunday, July 4th and 5th, from 10-5pm, which are very decent hours for a summer outdoor event. This will be the first time I am only presenting ceramic work.

I have been collaborating with an excellent potter, Minda Davis, who has thrown many pieces for me to work on.

The Kitchen Wizard - plate, top and side views- cone 6 stoneware - sgraffito - approx 14" diameter, 1" deep
We've also collaborated on work for the Aurora Farmer's Market and show her work, my work and our work in our booth there.
The Empty Bowl - approx 6" deep and 12" across
Minda's forms are a challenge to me. I do throw pots, but can only manage small vessels. I believe in collaborative art forms.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds: exteriors around the bowl
Inside of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Bowl    approx 5" deep and 14" diameter
Those who know me will see many familiar motifs. Ceramics are such a labour-intensive, time-consuming, planning-ahead-required, art form. So very different from directly carving on a wood or lino block or painting on a canvas. I like the challenge clay offers and the feeling of these things in my hands.


To think it all began with friendly plastic in 1991:  Happy Fish ceramic cup



Tomorrow, when it's cool enough, I will open my last glaze kiln before this weekend's show. I have several large showy things in there. There will be a sneak peek here. Can't wait to see them.


*other summer and fall shows:

The Purple Turtle Art Festival, July 11 and 12th, The Briar's Resort at Jackson's Point, Ontario

Richmond Hill Group of Artists, Artist in Residence, July 30 - Aug 6, Mill Pond Gallery, Richmond Hill, ON

Uxbridge Art in the Park, August 15 and 16, Uxbridge, Ontario

Aurora Farmers' Market on the other Saturdays when I am not at an outdoor show


Fall Shows confirmed:

Richmond Hill Studio Tour, October 17 and 18, Burr House location, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Heintzman House Auxiliary, 44th Annual Artisan Craft Sale, November 14 and 15, Thornhill, Ontario

Hill Potters' Fall Sale, November 2015, Guild Hall, Richmond Hill, Ontario
 
Toronto Potters' Fall Sale, December 10 to 12, Toronto Botanical Gardens, Toronto Ontario

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Steamroller Print - Block Carving Pt. 3 something new this way comes

Every once in a while you get a gift. You make a breakthrough and you know it's going to change how you work. My brother gave me a dremel knock-off tool probably 10 years ago. I just never had the need for it but I always wanted it. He used it often as he worked in wood, but I was happy with my hand tools and the marks I got from them. In printmaking class I saw my teacher use the dremel making intaglio plates with the dremel on sheets of acrylic. I tried it. It didn't catch me. But I woke up with a nagging feeling that I should get it out and try it. It turns out it was exactly what I needed to give this block that little push over the edge that is so exciting.

I had to move my work into the studio due to a week-long forecast of rain. I got myself set up for the duration.


Having never used the dremel tool before I just picked it up and tried it. Risky but whatever. It worked. I knew I could just carve it away somehow if it went wrong.

So the first thing I got were these delicious circles! Wow! I hope they are deep enough to print but we'll cross that bridge later. I used the dremel to texturize the shoulders of the road as well.

And then I knew it would make or break the only text in this image. It is a key part of the piece and if I carve it wrong, by hand or with the dremel, I am really in for a hard time to get this print looking right. So, very slowly and very very carefully bit by bit I carved away the wood to reveal the sign at the side of the road. Text must be carved as its mirror-image so it will print properly.





The sign is complete and intact. 


I added some lines to the trees behind and around the sign and left it for the day. Next will be bringing out some details in the farmland, adding some shading to the housing development and then the rest of the block, over half of it, is the sky. A lot of work ahead.