Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Illustration Friday: undone

Illustrated ceramic button to keep your clothing from coming undone.

A good button or fastener is a must! See a shocking caveat here

I'm a City of Ottawa Art teacher...wanna take a course??

This winter I will be teaching at the Nepean Creative Arts Center in Bells Corners, down the street and to the left of the Wallacks on Stafford Road.

Since my interests are many, my skills are pretty varied too. I'm going to list my courses below, but you can get all the information and the registration info from the City of Ottawa Recreation Guide here.

All my classes will be held at the Nepean Creative Arts Center, 35 Stafford Road (Bells Corners) Nepean.


Paint Your Pet's Portrait
Course Code: 410908
Thursdays Jan 14 - Mar 25

Just like it sounds. Bring in a photograph of an animal you wish to paint, your current pet, a deceased pet, a pet you'd love to have, or any animal really that you have an affinity for, and lets try to capture their essential nature on canvas. We'll learn how to see the form, what is essential to convey about this creature and how to transfer from a photo to a canvas. It will be necessary to talk about what to do with all that space around the main character as well, so thinking about the backgrounds will also be part of this class.

Drawing and Acrylic Painting for Beginners
Course Code: 410890
Wednesdays 7-9:30pm
Jan 13 - Mar 24

We'll explore drawing techniques, composition and design. From this start we will create the foundation of what we will paint. Using our drawings for the basis of our painting compositions we will then transition to acrylic paints learning about colour and design as we progress.

Print, Paint and Draw
Course Code: 410843
Fridays 7-9:30pm
Jan 15 - Mar 26

Combine drawing, printmaking and painting to make mixed media works that challenge the maker to go in directions they never considered before. The combination of these media will bring about unexpected results. We will work with found objects, collage, monoprints, collagraphs, drawing and painting mediums to create out work.

Taking a Line For a Walk
Course Code: 410901
Wednesdays 1:30-4 pm
Jan 13 - Mar 24

Understand the simplicity and complexity of drawing a line. Study the characteristics, expressive qualities and types of line through various exercises and different mediums such as charcoal, ink, and graphite.

Fresh Start For Your Artwork
Course Code: 410896
Fridays 1:30-4 pm
Jan 15 - Mar 26

Learn from your previous beginnings or completed works of art in any medium. Through sharing artwork with other artists, participants learn to improve aspects of design, colour, composition, technique and communication.


These two courses are for "the pair of you". One adult (19 yrs to 99+ yrs) plus one child.
In each class you will interact with each other, as for both classes the hands of the adult may be needed to help out the young one, and/or the young one will spur the adult on with their free thinking. It should be mutually beneficial for the two of you and the group as whole.

Registration for these courses is made separately ie. the adult registers themselves and the child is registered under a different code.

Stop Motion Video with Puppets *Two workshops offered this winter*
(Adult + 1 Child between the age of 9-12)

Jan 16 - Feb 13 5 week workshop

Course Code Child: 410879

Course Code Adult: 410869
Saturdays 10am -12 pm


Feb 20 - Mar 27 5 week workshop

Course Code Child: 410882
Course Code Adult: 410885
Saturdays 10 am-12 pm

We will start by creating our characters from scratch using simple wire armature for the basic body shape. To this we will add sponge for flesh and muscle and nylon to cover the form and make a skin. We will then use fabrics to create the clothing (or the pelt if it's an animal or a bird or an alien) and to bring out details of the character. Once the posable puppets are created we will give them a home by making a backdrop for them to move within. Paper, cardboard and found objects will complete this scene. From here the class will be dedicated to shooting the frames to create our short animation. We may have time to create individual films or it may be a class collaboration. This will be decided as the class progresses.

Funky Plastic Jewelry *Two workshops offered this winter*
(Adult + 1 Child between the age of 9-12)

Jan 16 - Feb 13 5 week workshop

Course Code Child: 411059
Course Code Adult: 411071
Saturdays 1-3 pm


Feb 20 - Mar 27 5 week workshop

Course Code Child: 411084
Course Code Adult: 411o77
Saturdays 1-3 pm

I will be teaching two forms of plastic jewelry: friendly plastic and shrink plastic. Each of these mediums use different artistic skills, painting and drawing for the shrink art and sculpting for the friendly plastic. We will make brooches, magnets, earrings, bracelets and/or anklets. Plastic has been my life for almost 20 years. Let me show you what I know. Guaranteed to be a hoot.

Monday, December 21, 2009

12:47pm and the days get longer just like that...

Happy Winter Solstice.


I've been waiting for the return of the sun. I know it's also officially winter now too but it may as well be winter given it feels, looks and smells like winter.

Now I can content myself that we are happily moving toward spring. I know I am self-deluded, but I am aware that every day we get a tiny bit more daylight, and the earth tilts those of us in the northern hemisphere a tiny bit more toward the sun. It's a small consolation for the snow and cold yet to come.

Let me have my delusions.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Can't Do It.

There was a time when I just went out there and did stuff. I can't bring myself to brave the -18C temperatures right now to get to the By Ward Market building to set up my stand and wait to see if someone wants my artwork. I have reasonable boots, even bought toe warmers. I have a winter rated parka, new winter hat and mitts. But I'm not sure it will be "worth it".
Whatever that means.
My work is ready but it seems my spirit is not willing to stand in the cold until the sun disappears and I am so chilled to the bone that even a hot bath won't warm me up. THAT'S what I am thinking about. I don't want to risk getting sick.
Am I old? I never used to care about these things. It makes me sad, but it still doesn't make me want to go...

So, sorry if you were thinking about finding me out there and saying hello.
There's always email and this blog to reach me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Illustration Friday: Hatch

In this episode: On a deserted island Richard Hatch tries to stop Richard Hatch from thwarting Jeff Probst's attempt to steal fire. The planet's survival depends on it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photo Essay: Saturday Dec 12 2009

Byward market building with hardy outdoor vendors

lots of clothing outdoors

local maple syrup

local pine boughs, centerpieces and wreaths

local dance troop raising funds

boy step dancing (aka clogging??)

commotion outside draws me out of the school of art where I am working

a bit chaotic outside-horses parked in no parking zone

Vancouver van

Olympic torch passing through

passing by with the flame lit by the sun on Mt. Olympus

walks for the crowd

torch handed off to next runner

he runs

ta da!

On my way home I stop by Tickled Pink in the Byward Market building

Look to see how my little paintings are doing in the store

I sold two; will bring more

Off the bus at home I see the rink lit up

They're flooding the rink now

that's got to be a cold job

waving that water around, guess it's really winter again

Home looks good.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cold Comfort: mixed media - Prime Corps Windows

Cold Comfort: mixed media by Katie Argyle
November 4th to December 31st, 2009
Prime Corps Windows, Bank at Somerset Street Ottawa

Uncomfortable # 1 paper, polyester, ink 50 " x 60", 2009

Uncomfortable #2 paper, polyester, ink 50" x 60", 2009

Uncomfortable #1 detail
handmade prints from linos made of/during the 2008 bus strike, hand-sewn behind lightweight
blanket which was cut away to reveal images, blanket edges unravelling

Uncomfortable #2 detail

Resignation, 30 x 60 approx acrylic on canvas 2009

Two pieces side by each

View of the three Prime Corps Windows from across the street

Resignation 30" x 60" approx, acrylic on canvas SOLD

Cold Comfort
Artist Statement
I measure all the seasons in Ottawa by their relation to winter. Spring is the best as it's the furthest away. Summer is great but as soon as the summer solstice arrives the days start getting shorter and this leads my brain to thinking about winter's approach. Fall is known for the last few days of warmth before winter's arrival. And all of a sudden, and often too soon, winter is here. Last year winter was accompanied by a two month bus strike. This struck me as particularly cruel and harsh. The community was never more united than in their exhaustion at dealing with winter weather and trying to figure out how to get around and not knowing when things would right themselves. A community of close to a million people were united by these events: call it cold comfort.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Annual Galletta Gift Loft Christmas Sale

I spent last weekend in the town of Galetta. It's near the larger town of Kinburn, and the even larger city of Arnprior.

I was part of the 2nd annual Galetta Gift Loft show.

My friend Tim and I were planted in the sunroom enjoying the vast amount of treats in the kitchen beside us, the bottomless cups of coffee and warm apple cider, and the fresh individually wrapped sandwiches which Suzanne had on hand for her artisan guests.

To say we felt taken care of is an understatement. Thanks Suzanne.

But taking care of people is what Suzanne does. She has two small businesses: the Galetta Gift Loft , composed of her painted glassware and she also runs Therapeutic Body Care, massages and spas, from out of her Galetta home. Suzanne and I are concocting some co-operative ideas to do with my mirrors of positive affirmation and creative expression in general as forms of healing and we hope to offer spa days and art days together in the near future. Kind of a "love yourself and express it" sort of thing.

After I left for the day on Saturday I was told the next morning that Suzanne's dog Ben was heard growling and growling in the sunroom. Apparently Ben did not like the look of this bison friese in my painting and they were forced to turn the painting around to get Ben to stop growling.

Who knew my work was that realistic? Though I do know my art does provoke an emotional reaction...humans and dogs it seems.

Here's Ben and the painting that offends him in the window.

And here's Ben walking our host Suzanne.

Jerome Havre - Ottawa Art Gallery - Fibred-Optics Show

I visited the Ottawa Art Gallery's new exhibit called Fibred-Optics and found a few really intriguing exhibits but the creations of Jerome Havre completely surprised me. I love the choice of materials, I love the display, their suspension in mid air tenuously connected to the concrete block on the floor. I loved the detail of these pieces and the altered photograph on the wall in the back here was so powerful to me I could barely take it.

From the OAG's website we have this description:

Jérôme Havre’s toy-like, soft-nylon mythical sculptures are reminiscent of Yinka Shonibare’s aliens. They encourage the viewer to reflect on the 'us' and 'them' divide, acts of suturing, as well as processes of synthesis and hybridity.

The pieces, and the room as whole, vibrate at a very high rate.
Very powerful. Go see for yourself.

The Ottawa Art Gallery
Arts Court,
2 Daly Avenue,
Ottawa, Ontario