Monday, April 21, 2014

Walking the Whitemud Ravine

The suns warmth lured us down the Whitemud Ravine this afternoon.

 First bridge who should greet us but this sweet chipmunk. They scurry so fast I never seem to be able to get clear shots but this wee one was generous and posed.

 The willows are in blossom, such a joy to witness when snows recede.
 A curious little vole?

 A fine looking Beaver.

 Theres a bit of snow and ice on this hillside and a few icy sections on the trails as well as the expected mud, thought the paths were mostly dry.

Comma butterfly.
Butterflies were out in numbers flitting in the warmth and once in awhile I was gifted with a momentary landing whereupon was able to quickly captured the image. 

 Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly. Very tiny at this time of year. I have noticed the summer ones to be twice the size. 

Mourning Cloak butterfly. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Green Window City installation

Wow am I ever tired, its been a few fast paced weeks of creativity. Thinking, designing, planning, re-thinking, re-building or I should say sewing. A few failed ideas but in the end came up with a great display that the Colour Blind Store staff loves.
 Balloon nest on post is my statement against balloons and balloon releases due the deaths they cause to wildlife, birds and even whales.

Ironically on the tree outside the window is string and balloons caught up, so of course I made sure to photograph it with the upcycled mobile made from plastic mesh used in industry for large screen printing. The mesh kindly donated by Kim from the Paint Spot art supply store. Thank you.

Taken from across the street today by my main man installation team of one; my loving husband.

Hubby took this photo last night after installing the project.
A tired yet happy artist photo by art roadie installation specialist my husband. Thank you dear one, you do what I cannot and for that I am grateful.
I was graciously granted extra space to display the Upcycle butterflies, dragonflies and feathers on a side wall at Colour Blind. Thank you Roslyn.
I've enjoyed this project. It brings attention to our environment and what we can do by reusing waste rather than burying still usable materials in landfills which generate methane gas which burns the feathers right off birds that sit on top of the pipes that are used as release valves.
May your week be wonderful and before you chuck something away ask yourself, can someone use this? Is there a Goodwill or recycle depot in your town. Reuse, recycle, upcycle, enjoy re-creating.
Hugs, and may your easter be blessed.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wings & things

 So here is what I have worked on all week for the Green City Window project. Its a good thing my husband doesn't mind that I'm quite a pack-mouse as it seems sooner or later a crafty use is found for things.

The beautiful blue curtain fabric was gifted by a dear friend. The yarn from which all these flighty beauties will potentially hang came through a Kijiji purchase. When I bought embroidery thread a few months back I only wanted the thread, but it was one of those take all deals for the price which included small yarn samples used for yarn pictures. So items that when first gotten I felt would never be used  have been upcycled in a beautiful way. The wood and plastic beads were garnered from the Edmonton Reuse Store and probably the odd garage sale and I strung the beads with cast off Ikea picture wire, which as picture hanging wire is "crappola" but as bead holding antennae making wire its fantastic.

As a verifiable pack-mouse who uses proper twisted framing wire and hooks on the backs of my framed pieces I'd saved all the wire and clips that came with picture frames for about ten years. The clips were put to good use a few years ago when my husband made a gallery wall in our sitting room. He used the Ikea clips to suspend ball-chain from a metal bar from which I hang my paintings. We no longer buy Ikea frames since we found they are no longer wood, just sawdust and glue which screws fall out of and corners don't hold together but worst of all is the glass is now so thin its dangerous to work with. Sad that a once great store that sold quality at a decent price became too big and now to put it blunt "sells crap", a sad statement of our times I'm afraid.
I am so glad I learned the value of saving and reusing items. I love the upcycling trend that is happening with a segment of the population, many people young and old who are taking pride in deterring items from landfills by finding new use for them. Especially clothing that is restyled to trendy new looks. Its all so much fun. So whats your story, have you upcycled anything for a new use? Hugs, and be green.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Creativity never rests. Edmonton green window project.

Red asked for lots of photos regarding the storefront installation I am doing for Colour Blind in Edmonton so I've decided to post working methods involved in my creations. A friend supplied the material, its an old curtain with the plastic type backing. When first gifted the material I was thinking there was nothing I could or would use it for. Well have I ever surprised myself. I've already used up one side by cutting off the worn and faded parts and making free form stitched feathers from the good parts. The plastic backing adds stiffness removing the need to sandwich interfacing between the material, a bonus.

After sewing fifteen feathers which took three days as I can only sit and sew for so long at a time, I got bored, and seeing lots of material left I drew out a paper pattern for butterfly wings, moth wings and two sizes of dragonfly wings. These bits of blue will hang from ceiling rods though I have yet to decide if they will free hang above the nests or be tied to netting more like a backdrop.

Well thats about it for today. I will take a few more in progress shots as the bits of blue become winged critters so you may enjoy the adventure with me.
Have a great day, hugs!

Friday, April 4, 2014

community nest

So wonderful to see the large nest being added to. An interactive nest I designed for the exhibition. Viewers are invited to write on a piece of paper and thread it through the nest. If one does not wish to write they can weave supplied fabric or strings into the nest instead. I like the idea of audience participation, I believe it makes the "act or action of art" a communal venture.
Have a wonderful weekend, Hugs!

Monday, March 31, 2014

new wonderful artistic adventures

Hubby and I took a whirlwind trip to Calgary on saturday to deliver two pieces for the Emmaus group exhibition at The House Coffee Sanctuary.  Sorry we forgot to take photos this time, oh well, it was great to see friends and spend time with loved ones as thats what matters most. We arrived back home at one am sunday morning, so were we ever tired all day.

Today hubby drove me to Colour Blind, its a store where I've the opportunity to do a storefront exhibition. We met the wonderful manager and I must say it feels like a great match as she is excited about my work and I'm excited to do the installation, wow. Feels soooo good!
I will try and remember to take and post some installation shots when we set up in april for those who are too far away to visit.

Such a timely adventure as I have about 50 nest pieces showing at The Art Gallery of St Albert and I will have other nest pieces showing at Colour Blind, now how cool is that. First we will set up the nest pieces then the store merchandize will be arranged around the theme, I am so excited.

Here is a teaser...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Mayor of St Albert and a young viewer talking about the exhibition.

http://youtu.be/EjDfc8Yd3Rg

Isn't the young lady in the video sweet! I love it when young viewers talk about my work, I find it exciting. Did I ever tell you it was because of a young 8 year old viewer of my work at an exhibition at Kings University in Edmonton that really got me into studying, watching, photographing and painting birds as a major part of my art practice. I love youth, they are so inspiring.

Anyhow, at King's I had a memorial painting of my father with birds in it and this young lady stood looking at it for so long I had to ask what she saw "its alive, its so alive" was her comment. Well I was hooked, her words meant more to me than any spoken that night, in fact thats about all I really remember of the evening. As all things change my art practice has evolved to include 3.5 years of making hand-built birds nests, the irony of which no bird will ever nest in. Yet I can attribute it all back to that one comment which inspired me to learn about birds. So you can imagine how excited I am to see this young viewer talking about my work, yes, I am ecstatic!