Oct 7, 2016

Study of a Ruin

As promised, a few more pics that show some progress from previous post, Almost Couldn't Get Here !
The fabric that I am working on is a 'freebie' from a pile of stuff that was offered to my group, Connections Fibre Artists, years ago when an artist had passed away and her spouse wanted to offer her 'stash' to other artists instead of throwing it all away. 
As a rule, I hardly ever take advantage of these offerings because the fabrics are mostly printed commercial types that I personally don't use. BUT, There was one piece (and I'm using the whole piece here) that intrigued me. It was plain, looked like canvas, but was actually painted muslin ... by painted, I don't mean fabric paint ... seems more like beige latex wall paint !! 
The fabric feels harsh and is a bit rubbery. It's a challenge !!

I was not sure 'Beloved Virgin #2' would accept it between her feed dogs and her needle. But, things have gone ok ... some, lets just say 'lots' of paint dust to clean up after every sitting, but nothing has stopped B.V from performing as well as she always does. The punching through this sandwich of painted fabric, muslin backing and an interfacing makes my heart lurch every so often but she keeps on sewing ! More anxiety when we get to sew through the paper 'beams' that are applied on top ! ... and only 1 needle broken due to a catch in the thread !

 At first I was going to add the exposed older brick to the surface ... but I decided to cut away the top fabric and lay the exposed brick work underneath ... now it has that feel of the top 'plastering' falling off ??
Lots more detail to add yet ... fencing (both stitched and applied, painted bamboo sticks), plants and shadows ... but getting there ! 

Oct 5, 2016

"I'm Back !"

26 days in the my favourite park ! I had a great time ... working on my latest project, reading 4 novels, feeding chipmunks, meeting fellow campers and generally resting my a** off ;)
Such a peaceful and simple time.

Hannah Josephine, September 5, 2016

Glad to be back tho' as my youngest daughter gave birth to her 3rd child the day before I left, Hannah Josephine, and now I am much closer to her and can now watch the daily changes in this new little life. Hannah is my 12th gr.child ;)

Pic.s of my project to follow.

Forgot to mention that I finally did get a translation of some comments to my blog a few months ago ... it's Arabic and advertising for a cleaning company !!! my goodness !

Sep 1, 2016

Almost Couldn't Get Here !

Oh, my goodness ! What a hassle ! 
I've been trying for weeks to get back into my blog and ... well, I just hate usernames and passwords !!!!    I guess I should accept that it's nobody's fault but my own ... too many sites to belong to, too many different passwords, too many changes different from other passwords ... too many slips of paper ! Wouldn't it just be easier to have only one username and one passwords for all the sites one joins ?

Well, now that I've ranted a little ... how is everyone ? 
Seems I have been visited, lately, by someone who didn't translate ... which I deleted ... and he/she was irritated enough to post a lot more 'stuff' in my comments. I don't recognize the language or I would attempt to find out how to translate it ... or not.
It has been a busy, hot, humid summer and now that September is here, I am packing up my gear to head off for my annual camping trip ... well, really I live in a very nice little trailer ... for most of the month, by myself, with the occasional visitor. My hubby, of 44 years, will join me for the 1st 10 days ... then 15 days on my own, sewing, drawing, vegging, communing with the forest and its wildlife and the occasional dip in beautiful Georgian Bay !
Beaver Dams Beach
Evening on Granite Saddle Beach

I have 2 projects packed and ready to go with me.  
Another portrait, this time of my maternal grandmother who, it seems, was as unkeen as I am about having photos taken ' cause there is only 2 that I am aware of ! So some work, and imagination, & some guessing will be involved to bring her portrait into the realm that I have been working in with in my own portrait and Esther's own mother, Margaret (see previous posts). So lots of fun ahead !
Esther Irene (Currie) Deacon
The 'architectural' piece is based on a lovely photo taken by Maggie Vanderweit from her trip to Costs Rica, recently ;) A few years ago, I had inherited a piece of painted (?, not sure) muslin and the colour fit perfectly as the plastered 'face-lift' of an old archway that was now falling away and revealing the old brick work underneath. The fabric has a feel of plaster to it. My sewing machine may not like working with it at all !!!! The old brickwork pieces have been laid under cut out sections of the 'plaster' so that, if done the way my minds' eye sees it, it will actually look like the plaster has fallen away. All pieces of the old brick work have now been placed and 'wonder-under'ed under the cutouts.  Wish me luck !

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


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
the room
which was
Homer Watson's own gallery

we are privileged.
Two other rooms

are now


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.