Monday, May 07, 2012

Take Care -- Hillary House woodblock print

Take Care  24" x 48" :  woodcut on photocopy paper, oil based ink, graphite
Hillary House in Aurora Ontario will celebrate its 150th Anniversary with the debut of the work of 6 artists on Saturday May 12th from 1pm to 4pm.

I was chosen as one of 6 artists to interpret objects found on site. I was intrigued by a collections notice, which led me to a price list, and then finally a recipe. The source material helped me fabricate a complete story told on one sheet of paper.

Top Third: Mrs. Holliday has an agricultural accident while picking pears. Her pinky is fractured.

Close-up of top left with x-ray and elaborate leafy border

Price from Dr. Hillary's posted price list circa 1914

leafy border with pear

Central Image: Dr. Hillary treats Mrs. Holliday

Dr. Hillary assesses the damage to the pinky finger

Pain is etched on Mrs. Holliday's face

Mrs. Holliday balls up her fist to cope with the pain. Her $5.00 fee DOES NOT include anaesthetic of any kind.

2 baskets pears accepted as partial payment on her overdue account

handwritten notation concerning the acceptance of pears at a value of $2.00 with $3.00 remaining on account

Bottom Third: 1915 Ladies of the Red Cross pear marmalade recipe and the Hillary House breakfast table serving marmalade on toast, in a dignified manner; pinky up.

close-up of pear marmalade in the jar
marmalade on toast

recipe card

enjoy the fruits of your labour
My print, and my woodblock,  will be on display in the ballroom of Hillary House for the 2012 season. Please come and visit. Directions here

Sunday, May 06, 2012

2012 Market Season: Newmarket Farmers' Market

It was a perfect start to the market season. the weather was warm and sunny. While we did experience wind gusts throughout the day, I, mercifully, did not have to jump up and grab hold of my tent to keep it from flying off. It's a good thing as given my week I'm not sure I wouldn't have been quick enough. So thank you gods of wind for behaving.

backseat: twigs, chair, display boards, cinderblocks hiding below

This was my first look at the Newmarket Market since it moved to its permanent location at Riverwalk Commons in Newmarket. The location is fantastic. It's only one block away from a bustling small town main street, called, aptly Main Street. We had a steady flow of visitors. Some vendors I spoke to have been with the market for over 10 years. This is always a good sign, as was the lack of  farmers with produce. This time of year, we are waiting for the radishes, green onions and lettuce to come in. And that's normal.

The first market I've been to where you can leave your car behind your booth all day long. THIS is luxury to a vendor.

Crepes are a regular feature in all farmers' markets in this region it seems. Ottawa didn't have crepes.

This guy was caw-cawing up above, perfectly positioned above my blackbirds (and one red one) painting called The Visitor. Couldn't have created this scenario if I tried.

I was happy to see dogs walking about with their owners and socializing with their kind: peoples and animals alike.

handsome lad

loved his bangs!!

The best part of my day there was the entertainment. The Dustaleros performed. I *really* enjoyed this country band playing with a bluesy twang and a lead singer with a dusty whiskey-soaked vocal chords. They played my hurting country songs and I just sat there, paintbrush in hand, working away at some paintings that should-have-been-done-already, and enjoying the day.

This is beside the market. There is a lake called Fairy Lake nearby too...not sure if this is part of it

all my garden ornaments on sticks. Finally, 21 years later, I have "things on a stick"

A new fan. My Hoot Owl looked great on her.

happy shoppers

Sweet 'Ems, a cupcake/cookie baker set up beside me, had her first ever day at any farmers' market. She had a fantastic day selling out of all her baked goods! I was happy for her as it bodes well for the market as a whole.

entrance to Newmarket's Riverwalk Commons. Look at that sky! Summery clouds!

Here's the food draw at the market: the pizza oven guy. I heard a few people asking if he was there. In Carp it was the Bacon on a Bun people.

packed up after the day is done
Next week I will try out the Aurora Farmers' Market  and then I'll have to decide between the two.

Friday, May 04, 2012

On TV for part 2, in person at the Potters' Guild Sale, and debuting at the Newmarket Farmers' Market tomorrow!

Ok. I've been going nuts getting ready for this weekend.
And the weekend starts today.

Today is the opening day of the Hill Potters' Spring Sale. We are selling the goods all weekend at the Guild Hall, 530 Carrville Road, between Bathurst and Major Mackenzie Streets in Richmond Hill, Ontario.  Contact the Guild here: Tel: 905-884-0327 or email
I will be demoing handbuilding on Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm. Stop by and watch me try to make something. No guarantee what it will be.

Also on tap is the delivery of my artwork to Hillary House for their Art at the Manor Event. Opening Day is the 12th of May. I am very gingerly transporting my still-almost-wet woodcut print to Hillary House today alongwith the woodblock plate I carved from a 2' x 4' piece of wood faced with Russian Birch. I have no idea what kind of wood lay beneath the Russian Birch, but it was purple in colur as I carved the birch away.

Melina Manna, videographer and interviewer, Community Connection Rogers TV in my "outdoor studio"

Melina at work shooting my work

My black and white proof of my Hillary House woodblock
Melina Manna was by at the beginning of the week as I prepared to proof my block. The day was a little over 10C/50F and I was worried the ink wouldn't move well, but it performed well and I got my proof. The final version ended up being colour and on different paper and with more stuff to fill in the blanks here but the majority of it was complete for me in this proof.

Part 2 of my Community Connection interview with Melina Manna will air tonight at 6pm and again at 10pm.
Channel 63 in York region on Rogers Local TV Channel.

Once in a Blue Moose

And tomorrow I am off to my first farmers' market in about 2 years. I will be at the Newmarket Farmers' Market, from 8am-1pm. I've been working on some new stuff ,( like the Once in a Blue Moose painting), and I am really looking forward to seeing what my new market is like. Come out and visit me there!