Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My New Studio - Big News

The big and exciting news in my life is I am getting a studio built.
So far it has taken many hours of planning, discussion and decision making. I developed my ideas to the concept stage, incorporating the studio into my back yard project. We have been working with architect Jonathan Aitken Aitken Design who has ably translated my ideas and sketches into a realistic design.
A surveyor came out and marked out the building footprint. The person who approved the house septic system was consulted as to its exact location. An engineer was consulted for an initial design of the building structure for the building permit. 
There was little to show for all of this activity and money spent, except for a few test holes dug and some pegs in the ground with plastic ribbon around them. 
Plans were submitted to the city for approval and, to Jonathan and husband Ron's credit, a building permit was issued in a record two weeks.

Then Tom Mann, of Pioneer Excavating Services, appeared on the scene with his monster machine. Tom looked like a transformer sitting inside his machine, controlling it with such care and skill.

He cleared the old track that had been used as construction access when the house was built 12 years ago.

He carefully took off the grass and top soil and piled it up. 
This is the garden bed where the front of the studio will go.

I told Tom which plants I wanted to save. He laid down a bed of soil a safe distance away then scooped up each plant and placed in its new temporary home. I don't think the plants even noticed what had happened to them.
So, an exciting 1st day in the construction of my new studio.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lesley's New Office/Library

We had lots of company over the summer and as a result felt we needed a better second guest bedroom. So we have had a shuffle around of rooms and furniture.
The work-out equipment was moved out of the room with the pull out couch/bed and into my library/office area, off the TV room. 
I moved my library/office into the now basically empty second guest bedroom.
During the move I had a ruthless purge of books etc, cutting 8 shelf units down to 7 but only so the whole library would fit along both long sides of the room.

I had to buy a new desk after vacating the built-in one.
I found someone who likes putting things together.

Isn't it a pretty colour?

Here is the office part of the room. 
All it needs is the cork board to be put up above the desk.

Here is one of two walls of the library. The couch can now be easily pulled out to make a double bed. I'm sure our next lots of guests will enjoy sleeping with this arrangement rather than squeezing around sweaty work-out equipment.
Now it is time to get back to work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Body of Work: 'Regression'

48"w x 84" h x 10"d. Materials: cotton, wool, silk, polyester, nylon, paper cord, wood. Techniques: strip-piecing, couching, hand and machine stitching, knitting. Photographer: Tony Bounsall, Tony's website
'Regression' is the companion work of 'Succession', View "Succession" here

'Regression', detail. Photographer: Tony Bounsall

The removal of components such fallen leaves from under a tree or the disruption of natural process by clear felling a forest, puts the whole ecosystem in a state of unbalance. The complex web of interconnected elements and processes are no longer able to rejuvenate. The fabric of life begins to unravel just as it happens to knitting when a needle is pulled out.
I have used textiles and crafts associated with the home to link our actions in the home with our actions in the natural world, our shared home. To disrupt the natural world is pathological behaviour.

The Process
I used the same technique as for 'Succession'.
The fabric covered cord was knit with large sonotube cardboard 'needles'.

The Process
Couched strip-piecing wrapped around a cord.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lilaberry ArtSea Festival Artist Residency

I worked 8 days straight in my temporary studio next to the front window in Lilaberry Home Decor here. Fifty artists were working, demoing and displaying as one of Sidney's ArtSea Festival events. 

Lilaberry's lovely owner, Chris Stephen, sent me these pics she had been taking during the week.

My time was divided between sharing my work....

...and making the work. 

It was a most productive week on all fronts.
Many of Sidney's residents and visitors experienced an art encounter. The relationship between Sidney's business and arts communities was strengthened. My art practice benefited and I hope Lilaberry benefited too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ArtSea Artist-in-Residence at Lilaberry, Sidney BC

I am spending 8 days working next to the front window of Lilaberry Home Decor here as part of the Artsea Festival. 
Lilaberry Home Decor is a fabulous shop owned by Chris Stephen. All stock is artfully staged to appeal to all senses. There is so much to see one can easily get lost in thought, possibilities and wonderings.

During the 2 weeks of the festival over 50 artists are demonstrating, showing their work and giving talks in the retail area of Sidney-by-the-Sea.

I am working 10:30 to 5:30 every day in my mini studio.
It took several days to get this work set up so I would be able to work on it in the space.
I am needle-weaving into burlap in layers: torn fabric strips, thicker yarns, finer yarns, threads. There are 3 panels in this work which provides me with more than enough work for the week.

I get to talk to lots of the customers about my work.
The festival works to get the public closer to the arts and it helps to build the relationship between the business community and the arts community in the town.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sidney-by-the Sea: Art Happenings

Sidney-by-the-Sea is normally a busy place but over these next 2 weeks it will really be hopping with arts activities organised by the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula (CACSP).

  • ArtSea Festival - Many Sidney shops are hosting 55 artists and their work. Here to see more details. 
  • Sidney Fine Arts Show - It is open and on for only 3 more days, until Sunday. Here to see more details.
  • ArtSea Gala: Arts in the Schools Fundraiser - A night of music to raise money for art programs in local schools. Here for more details.
  • Artisans Christmas Gift Gallery - a show and sale of 53 local artisans' work, in the Tulista Park Gallery. Here for more details.
  • Fall Artists Studio Tour - Artists working in the Saanich Peninsula open up their studios to the public. This year 65 artists are involved. Here for more details.
While in Sidney, also check out what is going on in the 2 museums. Both are the places to go if you are interested in Sidney's past. 
The Sidney Museum and Archives currently has a fibre arts exhibition that is well worth a visit. The Deep Cove Spinners and Weavers have an intriguing exhibition called 'Alphabet Soup'. Here for more details. 

There is more going on in Sidney, waiting for you to discover - like the Sculpture Trail along the sea walk.
 On behalf of the CACSP, I encourage you to visit Sidney to take part and enjoy these events.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CACSP'S ArtSea Festival, Sidney

The +Community Arts Council of Saanich Peninsula organises an annual festival celebrating the arts in the seaside town of Sidney, Vancouver Island. Many different events are happening, including the +SidneyFine Art Show and an evening of music, ArtSea Gala: Art in the Schools Fund Raiser . Both are held at the +Mary Winspear Centre.
Many Sidney businesses participate by hosting artists in their shops. The artists display their work, conduct demos and get down to work making art. Here is the schedule show which artists are where over the time of the ArtSea Festival, ArtSea Festival Artist Demos .
This year, during the ArtSea Festival, I am going to set up my studio in +Lilaberry Home Decor, a fabulous shop in Sidney's main street
I'll be there everyday from Saturday 18th to Saturday 25th October, from 10:30 to 5:30 p.m., working away on a number of different projects I have on the go and displaying some of my work.
If you are in Sidney over this period, I do hope you can drop by Lilaberry for a visit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

'Sitting Pretty Show' at Coast Collective Gallery

Here is news from Kathy Demchuck (1 of the artists) about an exhibition in the Coast Collective Gallery,  October 15 to 26, 2014. Meet the Artists Opening Reception: Saturday, October 18, 2-4pm

Sitting Pretty
We are pleased to let you know our latest artistic endeavours will be on display as part of the " Sitting Pretty Show "  at Coast Collective Gallery, link here
Please come and visit us and say Hi.  One of us will be there most of the time the show is on.  If you didn't come last year you are in for a big surprise.
We have had a lot of fun putting this show together. It is full of wit and whimsy.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jeremy Shirley - Bus Shelter Project

Here is an artist whose work makes a difference. He paints murals on bus shelters and buildings to make people smile. This happiness deters those with the urge to tag blank walls.

Jeremy currently lives in Hamilton, New Zealand and has left his mark all over the country.

Here is a link to an article explaining why he puts his art in the street  Jeremy Shirley's art

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sun Printing With Setacolor

The conditions were right: no wind, sunny, fresh leaves falling fast.
It was the right time to sun-print.

I lay an old door on the grass and covered it with plastic.

I had a collection of leaves I had picked up on my morning walk.
Three Setacolor transparent greens were mixed and thinned with water.

I laid a wet bed sheet down on the plastic and painted it.

Next the leaves were placed on the wet paint....

...and left for the sun to do its work.

Name on the bed sheet.
I like to think Maude is happy with what has been done to her bed sheet.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Body of Work: 'Succession'

96"h x 60"w x 36"d / 244 cm h x 152 cm w x 92 cm d. Materials: cotton, wool, polyester, nylon, wood. Techniques: strip piecing, couching, knitting. Photographer: Tony Bounsall.

'Succession', detail. Photographer: Tony Bounsall.

The well-being of an ecosystem depends on an unbroken cycle of organic processes. This work is knit with a continuous length of yarn made from  textiles usually found in the home. The work can be viewed as a tree, a forest or a web of living organisms - human and botanical.

'Succession', detail. Photographer: Tony Bounsall.

The red is the dark forest floor and red blood cells. Complimentary green is the forest canopy and chlorophyll cells. The shape and structure of both types of cells are the same, which vividly illustrates our intimate human connection with the natural world. 

The Process
A length of cotton cord was covered with strip pieced and couched domestic textiles.

The Process
The ends of the covered cord were joined forming an unbroken circle.
Using large-sized cardboard 'needles', the 'yarn' was knit into a web-like fabric.
The fabric can be continually unraveled from the top with the resulting cord wound into a ball to feed the continual action of knitting from the bottom.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Studio News: Four New Projects Started

After a very busy summer with a family wedding and lots of company, I am back in the studio. With so much time off I need to re-establish a work routine. Having started 4 new projects this week is helping. I move from one project to the next and studio time flies by.

I can show you only a glimpse of what I am working on because
one is a commission and the commissioner would probably like to see the work before anyone else.

One is destined to be put in front of a jury in the hope of being selected for an exhibition. Until then it has to remain anonymous and unseen.

One is for an exhibition proposal and needs to be work as yet unseen by the public.
So sorry, this sneak-a-peek is all I can show for now. Keep checking and I will post images of the works as soon as I am allowed.
In the meantime I am back in my studio most days, which is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Articulation's Victoria Study Session Continues

On the ferry, crossing to Saltspring Island for the day: to visit Articulation member, Shannon Wardroper's home and studio, to check out potential gallery space and time for a little retail therapy. 
Stitches Fibre Art Supplies, http://www.stitchesfibreartsupplies.ca/ very kindly opened up their store just for us, even though it was Sunday.

Continuing our study of railway hotels across Canada, we took a tour of the Empress Hotel.
This is the view from a 6th floor corner suite looking out over the inner harbour.

A table in the present day Empress tea room, set for their famous afternoon tea.
On the tour we learnt the tables were made from the original hotel floor boards after it was replaced.

Articulation taking the harbour ferry from the Inner Harbour, below the Empress hotel, up to the Upper Harbour.

We got off at Point Ellice House where we walked the grounds and toured inside the house with its intact, original contents. All chattels both inside the house and in their archives are thoroughly cataloged making it a perfect place to research the Victorian era in Victoria.

Leann Clifford
We did stop for afternoon tea while sitting out on the lawn but passed on a game of croquet.

We toured Fisherman's Wharf with its floating restaurants and floating houses that make up the village. 

We continued our driving tour around the Victoria peninsular, stopping and walking the historic sights, including Ogden Point breakwater without a breath of wind and barely a ripple of water.
After a week exploring and researching in Victoria we have returned to our respective studios across Canada to make a body of work for exhibition some time in the future.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Articulation Study Session in Victoria - Day 3

Articulation members at work; Lesley Turner, Donna Clement, Ingrid Lincoln, Leann Clifford, in the inner harbour. The Empress Hotel is in the background.
First appointment was a morning visit to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria http://aggv.ca/ to see 'Kimono: Japanese Culture in its Art Form' with many magnificent kimonos revealing the complex codes and etiquette of garments in Japanese culture. Articulation member Shannon Wardroper shared some of her extensive knowledge of Japanese culture to give others a better understanding of the exhibits.
A 2nd exhibit 'From Geisha to Diva: The Kimomo of Ichimara'  is a collection of personal effects of one of the most famous geishas, Ichimara. 

Next were visits to the Fort street auction houses Lunds http://lunds.com/ and Kilshaws http://www.kilshaws.com/ to see if there were any maritime history artifacts that may be useful to acquire. There were none this week but it was fun looking.
There was a long wait in the line-up to get into the popular Blue Fox for a late lunch.

Next was a visit to the Royal BC Museum to see the current 'Vikings' exhibition and a search through the museum's other rooms for maritime history-related displays (no cameras allowed).
The Victoria International Chalk Art Festival is on. A large chalk drawing is being made on the floor of the museum. The distorted perspective makes it look 3D.

A walk back along the inner harbour, past the Empress hotel...

...and a variety of street theatre acts.

SALTS sail boats (floating schools) in the setting sun with the Robert Bateman Museum (Originally the Steamship Company building) next to the legislature buildings, across the harbour.
It was a day focused on getting a deeper understanding of the importance of the sea in the development of Victoria from a shallow place to pull up a canoe to an urban centre.