Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year.

This year I am re-committing to my blog.

Blog, I have missed you.

My blog didn't go anywhere. It was always here, ever faithful, waiting for me, wondering why I had forsaken her so...

Basically I have been trying to do the online thing "right". Right=putting content on your own website etc. I shouldn't follow advice that doesn't work for me. Yrying to follow that advice stopped me dead in my tracks.

I'm not blogging to monetize it. I'm not blogging to sell stuff, though if that happens that's a wonderful side effect.

No I am simply blogging because I like it.
And I like creating this historical document cause that's what I think this is.

And so today I open the book that is 2019 and I dedicate this blog to sharing whatever comes me way.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Friendly Plastic Swan Song 39/1000

Over the coming year
 I am going to use up 
my stash of 
friendly plastic.

I am aiming  to make 1000 things unless the material runs out before that.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Birthdays, Sketchbooks, Prints: once a year, once a day, once in a blue moon coming up...

Exactly a month ago I had a birthday.

It happened to fall on the November full moon called the Beaver Moon.
Rice Lake in the Kawarthas

Beaver Moon over Rice Lake

I was away from home and was lucky enough to see the full moon rise over Rice Lake on an unusually warm November evening. It felt like the perfect end to an astonishing year of accomplishments for me and an auspicious beginning for my next trip round the sun.

Yesterday on another full moon night, this time called the Cold Moon, I committed to some art practices I'd like to keep up this year. The Cold Moon Super Moon (yes it was a super moon) will keep me honest and on track.

Ever Evolving Cover of New Daily Sketchbook

proofing my blocks - day 1

What I decided to do was keep a daily sketchbook. I hadn't planned on it but I have added a task for myself to carve one small eraser block everyday for a year.

 I started with an image for the Beaver Moon and another for the Cold Moon. That's what got me hooked. So much personal satisfaction in these dime-sized prints for me.

Ooo! Just found this! More moon mania ahead! It IS an auspicious start to the year.

Blue Moon ahead.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

2017 Year of the Rooster - print exchange by mail

This is the Year of the Rooster, specifically, a Fire Rooster year. 

people, wake up. (2017)  Katie Argyle - linocut on canson card, edition of 45.
 For several years I participated in a Chinese New Year print exchange through 
Proof Gallery in Toronto. After many years, they cancelled their event.

Theresa Martin, Kansas City, USA - the print was mailed as a postcard
 I looked for another exchange and found a Year of the Rooster exchange through the mail. 

Stephanie Chao, Laguna Niguel, California, USA
This was on Baren Forum which is a great printmaking resource aimed 
toward woodblock printmakers but definitely open to other fine art printmakers. 
Take a look at their site! Wow.

Frank Trueba, Felton California, USA - super interesting information printed on the back

I signed on to exchange new year greetings. 
There are 30 of us and we made and edition of prints/cards for each other.

copper etching over linoblock with chine colle - not sure who the artist is...?
On the list are a few Canadians, one from the UK, one from Italy and 
one from Tasmania. The rest are located in the United States of America. 

Sonia Jensen - clever two sided rooster card

So far I have received 7 of 29. 

Monica Bright, Star, Idaho, USA

Many more to look forward to.

Calvin Carlisle, Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Friendly Plastic and Me: A Love Story: the foreward.

I've got 369 friendly plastic sticks, all non-snappers.
If you know what I am talking about, then you know what Friendly Plastic is.

Lets just say my plastic is of the highest quality. ;)

I have a good range of colours and patterns.

And now that it's obsolete*, well, I could sell them for a pretty penny!

My Artrepreneur cohort (hello fellow Vaughan artrepreneurs) would say this is the obvious move.

But I think no.
Use it.
Allow it to fulfill its purpose: shiny happy things at a moderate price for fun and a bit of profit. (I did learn something.)

For me, that is its highest calling.

Since I'm still a bit under the weather I will end this note here. I have a whole year to talk Friendly Plastic. Feel free to unfollow me now!

*Friendly plastic continues to exist in its original form: pellets. If you have a hankering for making your own crafting material, or using this product for other applications, I salute you. For me, it is the end.
Here's a link to the manufacturers site.

Ebay search for Friendly Plastic

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Sick. Ugh.

bundling up
Not much to say except I am sick today. Full on sick. I have a bad cold that started last week with an irritating weird little cough that you would think was fake. It grew to a bigger cough but no other symptoms and now I am hacking away and freezing and sneezing heading back to bed. I'm checking in to maintain my goal of writing every day on my blog this year. Posts like this are next to useless, but I am writing them in 2017.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 02, 2017

My Quest to Try New Things: play that ukulele already - January 2nd, 2017

For my birthday in 2015 I got this sweet ukulele.
cat for size comparison
 I was so excited. I wanted one for a long long time and finally had a good one.

I tried to learn to play it from books.
I was highly motivated to play this song for instance. 

But learning from books is never easy for me. So I turned to youtube videos and just got frustrated. 

What I really wanted was a class.

so many songs
If I start in a class then I can follow up with the other methods. I learn better with others.

Yesterday I saw one advertised on kijiji* that's not too far from me. By the end of 2 hours on an otherwise ordinary Sunday in January, this class promises that I will be singing songs by the end of it. Yay! I am signed up.

I am hoping to attend some folk festivals this summer.
A folk festival is the right place to bring a ukulele. 
And so, this is one of my 2017 goals: to play ukulele at a folk festival. 

for an AMP!!! (lookout neighbours!!!)    

Ukulele Orchestra of GB - Shaft

 *possibly goal #2 of 2017: sell some stuff on kijiji

Sunday, January 01, 2017

January 1st, 2017

The new year is here.

I don't feel ready for the new year even though I was dying to see 2016 leave.
2016 was a grind.

Good things, bad things, busy busy busy.

My goal last year was to have more fun.
Sadly, I'm not sure I accomplished this,
easy to achieve goal.

I feel as though I am still trying to find my way here after our move.
It's already been 5 years.

I have met and made friends with lots of great people, still I can't help but feel this isn't my "place".

That's not always a bad thing.

A bit of discomfort keeps you on your toes.

What keeps me grounded is my desire to make things. No matter what, my drive to create and the challenge of bringing things into the world continues to be my greatest joy.

That and mulling things over a cup of coffee. I really really like to do that too.

Bring it on.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Busier Than I thought I'd Be - RHGA Artist in residence Mill Pond Gallery

As a member of the RHGA (Richmond Hill Group of Artists) I have been an artist in residence at the Mill Pond Gallery this past week.
Sharon Kirsch, cold wax artist, hard at work during our shared residency at Mill Pond Gallery this week
My intention was to blog daily on my week's exploits but it's already Wednesday and my residency, with Sharon Kirsch, ends tomorrow. We will be played out by an ABBA cover group as the feature concert in Mill Pond Park tomorrow night. So this is a summary of what I did and what I hope to do tomorrow for the finale.

I wanted to focus on woodcut and woodblock prints for my residency.
5 days in residence, 5 prints. Day 6 tomorrow. Last day for week#1.

One of my goals was to create a print a day. I succeeded, so far, even though I had to fudge it a little on Tuesday night because I didn't have my brayer (what kind of a printmaker forgets their brayer??) and instead settled for a conte crayon rubbing of block.

My other goal was to wrestle the third block of my suburbia series down to the ground finally and print the thing. I started that block in residency at Mill Pond last year. That image has fought me all the way, all year long. Yesterday I had it. I could feel it. Today I hoped to finish the carving and do a proof. I succeeded.
                    Angela's not home. Her car's not there.   woodcut (proof) on japanese paper, handprinted                          
I know what I need to tweak and will get to that tomorrow and it is minor. I am satisfied and ready to begin large block number four in my - surprise - extended residency at Mill Pond Gallery! Dan Marlatt, who begins on Friday (actually Saturday, I'll be there solo on Friday) is moving out of town and the move is happening this week so he asked if I would share the space and time with him. Sharing is good as we can cover each other if we need that. Dan is so generous I was happy to help him out. It's good for me as well because now that I am in a printmaking groove I can keep pushing it.
Primarily I want to do more colour reductions and make some decisions about a large piece of lino I have. And also, continue with my print a day. By the end of my residency next week, I want to have the final versions of these blocks/prints made so I have a bunch of new work as I move forward.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I'm the Featured Artist on the Richmond Hill Studio Tour blog this week

 The Richmond Hill Studio Tour isn't until the fall but with so many great artists on the tour the promotion of ourselves and our work begins early.

To that end here is the blog post related to my work and to what I will showcase on the tour.


I am now in the planning stages of what I would like to create for the tour. It's a juggling act that gets tougher as the summer comes on. This is my busy time of year. I have to be super-organized and that isn't an easy thing. I build flexibility into every day just in case I have to shift gears. Overall, I have a good idea of where I need to be by when.

Of course, when I lose my way there are the ever-present hard deadlines and the fear of preesnting sub-par work *shudder* 

The Richmond Hill Studio is the weekend of October 15h and 16th. I will be in the tea room of the Burr House at 528 Carrville Road, Richmond Hill.
Tour info here

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

News! Pt. 1 (and no, not that I am finally blogging again, though that *is* kind of newsworthy.)

Dear Faithful Reader:

As you know, I have been neglecting my blog. Why? Why did I do that to you, to me, to us? Nevermind faithful, forgiving, reader. Lets put things behind us and more ever forward! I have news and updates and a whole bunch of stuff to report.

I suppose that's the advantage of never updating. You end up with stuff to say.

So, since last year I can tell you I have won two awards! One for painting and one for ceramics!
In November 2015 I won the Inaugural RHGA York Region Open Juried Show Award of Merit for my painting called Still Life-Cold Version.
Still Life-Cold Version, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 48"

And at the 2016 Hill Potters' Guild Spring Sale I shared the Inaugural Mayor's Choice Award with my ceramics collaborative potter friend Minda Davis for our work in the form of a large cone 6 stoneware thrown and Mishima decorated bowl called "Hey! I'm Empty!"
Hey! I'm Empty bowl - cone 6 wheelthrown and Mishima decorated
Richmond Hill's Mayor Barrow with the Mayor's Choice Award Winner. (pssttt... he kept it for himself! Merci Mr. Mayor!)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Artist in Residence Pt 1 - Day 6 - Mill Pond Gallery, Richmond Hill

Today was the last full workday of my week long residency.
another day another beginning
Since I am on my own and not sharing the residency with another artist, as most of the resident artists are, it means if I have a drop-in visitor or two I talk with them. 
nice carving day.
And that means the work gets put on hold.
painting sketched out by end of the day today
I'm not someone who can ignore or just say HI and get back to the task at hand. So this kind of gallery show/sitting and working does work, I have created work, but not as much as I could have.
getting bigger

That being said, the past two days have brought people into the space who are looking for prints. Mostly it has been word of mouth recommendation. 


completed skyline, one house, one car - this block will definitely need several proofs
They have heard that prints were being shown and they have made the effort to drop by and look. Many visitors want to make prints but have no access locally to a press of any size. One person has been specifically looking for a local printmaker for 6 YEARS. Others had no idea how prints were really made and once they see the big block and the carving tools and the finished prints they appreciate the work even more. It's about the most an artist can hope for when showing their work I think.


Once I got home I saw that my PRINT FROG arrived from Texas! Yay! I have to try it tomorrow. I have some small blocks to print and we'll see how it works, but really, this is a tool for printing large blocks by hand without a press.
Print Frog - like a printmaking crystal ball
It has serious weight and the grip is good. Kind of wide and loose. Very excited to see what this may add to my printmaking process. It'll definitely need a post or two of its own.

Bonus! Stickers!!

 Gallery Open/Artist in Residence
July 31-Aug 6
HOURS in attendance:
Fri July 31: 1pm-8pm
Sat Aug 1: 12pm-5pm
Sun Aug 2: 12pm-5pm
Mon Aug 3: 1pm-8pm
Tues Aug 4: Gallery Open 1pm.
NOTE: I'm in attendance: 5:30pm-8pm
Wed Aug 5: 1pm-8pm

Thurs Aug 6: 1pm-10pm

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Artist in Residence Pt 1 Wk 1 Day 5 - short day - Mill Pond Gallery, Richmond Hill

heading downtown early
Due to an appointment I could not reschedule,
I spent only a few hours at the Gallery today. In my absence fellow RHGA members, Andrea and Michelle gallery sat for me making sure the gallery would be open.
I did make big progress creating a pile of wood shavings as I began carving my woodcut.
I am going to hunker down and see how far I can get tomorrow, my last full working day.
Last because with the Mill Pond Concert across the street on Thursday night, I am told the crowd often finds its way over to the gallery so it just isn't a day to make art but a day to talk about art. So be it.

Residency Info and Hours:
Mill Pond Gallery
314 Mill Street
Richmond Hill, ON

Gallery Open/Artist in Residence
July 31-Aug 6
HOURS in attendance:
Fri July 31: 1pm-8pm
Sat Aug 1: 12pm-5pm
Sun Aug 2: 12pm-5pm
Mon Aug 3: 1pm-8pm
Tues Aug 4: Gallery Open 1pm.
NOTE: I'm in attendance: 5:30pm-8pm
Wed Aug 5: 1pm-8pm
Thurs Aug 6: 1pm-10pm