Jul 18, 2016

A Visit From A Red Cardinal

"A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. 
When you see one, it means they are visiting you."

I had never heard this saying until a week ago when I mentioned to a young woman about watching a cardinal and his mate check out my lilac bush that morning, while I worked a jigsaw puzzle in front of my dining room window.
Out of her mouth, instantly, came the above saying. 
That got me wondering ... was it Esther ?(I love old superstitions !)
My next portrait will be of Esther Irene (Deacon) Currie, my beloved maternal grandmother. Was she trying to encourage me ? I had been struggling for days to 'build' a drawing of her from a small photo where the flash had leached out most detail in her face (I have no other picture of her). More of that to follow.

And then I began to wonder ... was it Esther or was it her mother Margaret ? Below
Or was it my mother, Laura ? She is next on the agenda ;)

Let me  introduce you to Margaret Davidson Deacon, my maternal gr.gr.grandmother



a copy of the only known photo of Margaret Davidson Deacon
probably taken on her wedding day
my drawing and mapping of the shadows of this beautiful face
from drawing to watersoluble fabric and the beginning stitches
to finished portrait below




close-up


MARGARET is written trough the leaf detail at the bottom of the portrait, as is her birth date, 1880

My apologies for poor photography.
Margaret was born in 1880 and died at 36 yrs of age, 11 days after the birth of her 7th child.
While working on this portrait I made contact with a son of this 7th child (the son whom I hadn't seen nor laid eyes on since I was 12/13 yrs. old !) ... he had always lived in the US. and once all of Margarets children died, contacts were lost amongst cousins, second cousins, etc. ... makes me wonder about these old supertitions !! Why did I attempt to look for this 1st cousin, once removed, after 55 yrs ?? Was Margaret with me throughout the process ;)

Jun 8, 2016

At Least The Waiting Is Over !

And I won't be rubbing elbows with the best ... and I won't be upset long ... 'cause that's the name of the game !
I received my rejection notice a little while ago.
My self-portrait didn't make it into the show :( ... and now I can reveal my latest project.
The Way I See Myself ~ 2016
approx. 12"x 24

Sadness, Anxiety and Relief

It is with sadness that I accept that Threadworks Juried Traveling Show has met its end. Last week we took down our last show, packed up the traveling portion of it and launched it on its last tour. It has been a major portion of my life as a fibre artist since 1987 when I volunteered to help unpack entries for the very first show ! Threadworks hadn't evolved, at that time, to a traveling show, but we soon realized that all the works needed to be seen by other fibre artists and other areas of Ontario and it truly inspired many artists to take the plunge and dare to be juried by experts and seen by peers. I am very proud to say that I have been on every end of the show ever since ... even entering on 2 occassions. I have no photo of my first entry, but it was a little embroidered, hand-made box and my second was;
Georgian Bay Pine
So, it is with a truly sad heart that I say good-bye to a very inspiring and well loved show. I have so looked forward to this show every three years and am honoured to have been a part of it all along the way.

My anxiety, right now, is 3-fold ;
... I have entered my self-portrait 'The Way I See Myself'  (which I will show in a few days) in a local, vibrant show called 'Insights' ... a show that welcomes all art from oils & watercolours, to fibre & sculpture, to metal and glass work. I have had the honour of being juried in several times (and rejected as many;)) and being allowed to 'rub elbows' with the best that Wellington County has to offer.
... then I entered another juried show on-line, the same self-portrait, along with Winter Stream; 

If successful, these two will travel the province as well.

My relief comes from the successful 'take down' of the afore mentioned Threadworks and the equally successful 'take down' of the Connections Fibre Artists show 'Celebrate The Seven' which has had its fourth showing and another sale from it ! Yeah !! 
All within a week ... it's exhausting work ... I was not working alone, thank goodness ... and someone's got to do it ;)
More relief will come this week, when I hear either  'nay' or 'yay' on my latest entries.

May 11, 2016

'Celebrate The Seven' Shows Again


We are having a wonderful run with this show that started in the spring of 2014 !
It is now at; 
The Homer Watson House & Gallery, 
May 1-June 5, 2016, 
1754 Old Mill Rd., Kitchener, Ontario. 

 Homer Ransford Watson, painter (b. at Doon, Canada W, 14Jan1855; d., 30May1936). 
Virtually self-taught, Watson spent 1874-76 in Toronto working with John A. Fraser and Henri PerrĂ© and in New York absorbing the influence of George Inness and the Hudson River School. Later in Europe he met Sir George Clausen and Whistler, and admired Millet, the Barbizon painters and Constable. Internationally famous at the peak of his career, Watson developed a landscape style marked by honesty of purpose and a focus on the moods of nature. Many of his canvases depict the countryside around Kitchener, the trees, fields of grain, grazing cattle - the "Land of Thrift" much prized in pioneer society. 
He began exhibiting in 1878 but the purchase of his The Pioneer Mill for Queen Victoria at the first Royal Canadian Academy of 1880 brought early acclaim. Many significant canvases were completed by the end of the century: Cornfield (1883), The Flood Gate (1900) and After the Rain (1883). His patrons included Lord Strathcona, James Ross, Oscar Wilde and many affluent Canadians. He and Edmund MORRIS founded the Canadian Art Club in 1907 hoping to replace imported European with Canadian canvases. Watson was president of the Royal Canadian Academy, 1918-21.
the main gallery
around
the room
which was
Homer Watson's own gallery



we are privileged.
Two other rooms

are now

galleries

as well.

The official Opening


of 'Celebrate The Seven'
was well attended

and the Curator, FaithHielblinger

and artist, Ralph Beney, spoke wonderful words to the audience.

Apr 30, 2016

So Happy !

I have been locked out of this blog for several months now and was really too busy to take the time to sit down and get the lock out corrected ... still have no idea what went wrong, but I'm happy, now ;)

I have been away for the last month and busy with 2 fibre art shows, but I am home nowand can now relax a little.

Two new projects have my attention right now, but I have only a few pics ready to post.

On the left is a fav. pic of myself, without my glasses, that I actually like ... there are not many that I do like !  I had taken it myself in front of my computer.
On the right is a posterized version of the same photo. When I printed it off on my B&W printer I ended up with a black, white and 2 shades of grey ... voila !, ...  my fav. colours and a damned good challenge to do a self-portrait ! 
Notice the heart-shaped lighted area on my cheek. 



  
traced it onto water-soluble
bright sunshine has cast shadows

as of April 15th
as of today, April 30, 2016

* the heart-shape on my cheek has played out in my 'family tree leaves' that I am using as the bottom border of this project ;)


Mar 20, 2016

YAH !!! It's The First Day of Spring !

It was certainly spring-like out there today ! 
The sky was sunny, the crocus in full bloom, many chirping birds ... and a pair of mallards have been using the pool as a spa !

Hello everyone ! 
I am still trying to get back to visiting all of you on a more regular basis. I have been very sick with a nasty cold and an eye infection (makes looking at the computer screen not nice) but have finally managed time and energy to finish up my Inukshuk threadpainting (see last post), which I have titled 'Foggy Morning', and have delivered it to its new owners ;)

So, just dropping in to say 'HI' before I take off to my next house-sitting jaunt in Fergus (1month this time) and I will be working hard on my next project from there ... and will post progress pics ;) 

As some of you know, I am one of the coordinators of Threadworks Juried Traveling Show 2016 ~ 'FLASHBACK' ... lots of stuff to do before it opens April 17, 2016 at the Wellington County Museum & Archives, Fergus ON ... luckily I will be 2 min. down the road from all the happenings at the WCM&A ;)
If you are in the neighbourhood and need a good fibre fix, save this date ~
Sunday, April 17, 2016, 1-4pm


Happy Spring Everyone !

Feb 15, 2016

Is It Spring Yet ?

Gee, before I know it 2016 will be all over ! My, how fast time flies ... I don't know quite why, but I am finding it hard to set an hour aside to post some work on my blog these days !
I did, however, manage to finish a small panel of colour texture and found objects for one of my daughters ... these little items are 5"x10" and are just perfect for a bit of art in one of those small places in our homes that are too small for much of anything else ... and they give me something to work on when I just need to do something ;)
'BLUE' ... For some reason blue and gold/metallic are her colours of choice with copper foil, gold threads, painted/distressed brown paper

 The weather was spring-like last week and below freezing this week ... so it isn't just me who doesn't know what the heck is going on ! The robins came back almost a month early and the ground hog says we have 6 more weeks of winter ... I'm confused !  doesn't take much ;)

I have finally finished the 'INUKSHUK', and completed another small panel of colours, textures and found objects for my 4yr. old granddaughter, and designed a half dozen Christmas cards for next year (finally ! I am on top of that job !) and have finished a rough sketch that I am satisfied with for a free-motion machine embroidered portrait !
Having 2 weeks alone, house-sitting, has enabled me to wind down and focus strictly on some art.
My new sewing room/studio is completely ready for new work and I can hardly wait for spring days where I can open the windows there and take in the smells and sounds of warm spring days.
'INUKSHUK'  ... on a rainy/foggy August morning, Killbear, Prov. Park

'PRINCESS'

drawn onto water-soluble
I have drawn this picture many times and am now satisfied enough, and familiar enough, to venture with it into the world of free-motion machine embroidery on water-soluble ;)  I plan to do this using blac, white and shades of grey ... just like as the B&W photo that I have been working from. I had considered using colour, but I have no idea even, of what colour of hair she had (I would guess she was a red-head as all of her 7 children were shades of red). I met and remember all of them but really don't want to guess. Her father was from Scotland and her mother's family were from Ireland.This will be, if I am reasonably successful, for a show next year. Keep your fingers crossed for me ;)
I did some 'GOOGLE' research on Battenberg lace, circa 1880, and came across this photo below ... beautiful lace, not Battenberg and not exactly what I was looking for ... but wonderful !!!  ... creator unknown.