Recording for posterity. (Ha!)
Last month I finally got to a pride parade (in Victoria, BC) and also finally teed up with an artist friend, Lucie Duclos, who I met at a workshop at the Port Townsend School of Art. (Lucie has—wisely, I think—relocated to Victoria after a few decades in the US, and she’s doing workshops, online and in person.)
Inspired, I made this collage using books from the New Canadian Library series published by McClelland and Stewart. (Deconstructing them would probably make this collector’s heart ache. Although I used books from series 2 [there were 6], which The Ignorant Intellectual did not like much, so maybe he/she wouldn’t mind!)
And here are a few recent experiments. Maybe they’re done, maybe they’re not!
In the fall I got a text from my friend (and fabulous artist), Marion Syme: Melinda Tidwell was coming to the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island, Washington. I’ve long-admired Melinda’s work, so we jumped on the opportunity. And what a week it was. (Well, aside from the first night at a horrendous motel. And it’s hard for to get me creeped out by a motel; my standards are pretty low.) It was one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended, just the right mix of instruction and time to experiment and practice. Melinda was there if we wanted her, but happy to lay off if we weren’t quite ready.
Here are a few of the collages that I created during that week (ah, a week-long was so fabulous), and a few I’ve created since. If you love collage, or even if you want to learn more about abstract collage and composition, I can’t recommend Melinda’s workshop highly enough. Hopefully we can entice her to come to Canada for a week or so!
One of the things I love about collage are those unexpected surprises that just appear in your work. I was making a few quick collages to warm up, using the random bits of paper that were on my desk.
I wanted a bit of text so ripped a page from the nearest book, which happened to be a tiny Spanish-English dictionary. Then I just carried on. When I was placing the black strip, I noticed the word viaticum was visible. So, of course, I needed to know what that meant. Here’s what the Oxford English Dictionary says: “The Eucharist as given to a person near or in danger of death.” Kind of appropriate for that swooning woman I started the whole thing with.
I have been collaging, but I haven’t been posting. That, I plan to rectify. More soon.
Last November I was fortunate to be able to take a fabulous trip to Singapore and Vietnam. I’ve been slowly making some collage (and a “bonus” sketch, which I don’t do, or at least post, all that often) based on the trip, mostly using ephemera I hauled home. And I finally pulled a few photos off my phone. Enjoy!
My blog has been quiet, but I’ve been busy. Busy in a good way—with work (that I love), family (whom I also love), time experimenting at the art table, etc.—but just not a lot of time to blog about it all. And I’ve vowed not to obsess about it, so I’ll be here when I’m here! Today started with a quiet morning—my husband is away and I was up early so I went for a long walk through my neighbourhood and Victoria’s big city park, Beacon Hill, then down to the beach. I collected a few things along the way, then came home and made some foraged art, with a few bits and bobs I picked up. I’ve two things to say about it all: (1) I need to learn how to get the most out of an iPhone camera (and figure out a lighting set-up) and, (2) thank goodness for peacocks.
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Quiet times on the blog this summer! I’m very slow getting back to people—and I haven’t had time for much art work—but here’s a bit of recent work. I’ve been making some small booklets, and here are a few pages of one I’m sending to Jack in Australia. (Check out his work. Love it.)
And here is some of the wonderful and creative mail I’ve received these past few months. Thanks for your patience, everyone!
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In my post on mail art, I mentioned that many mail artists often start projects. They could be small, perhaps an “add and pass” piece of art that passes between a few people, or they could be very large like the one that Jack from Cascadia Artpost undertook in 2015. His “Peeps Project” has 27 participants from 7 countries. We were all correspondents of Jack’s and he asked us if we’d like to be involved. If we said Yes! we received something that looked like this in the mail.
And inside were a lot of little characters, the “peeps.” Our challenge was to create scenarios for these miniature people and create pieces of art. (This is part of what they wrote to us: “Your mission in this project, should you choose to accept it, is to change the world and the very foundation of reality, at 1:87 scale or full scale, and record with photos individual peeps or groups of peeps in settings and scenarios of your choosing.”)
Some people really got into it, even creative a narrative story for their characters) but I stewed and stewed over mine and actually found it quite difficult (I also don’t have a great camera, which was an excuse I held onto for a long time), but I did finally get a handful together. I’ve posted a few examples below, but what’s even more astounding about this time-intensive project is that Jack and his friend Colin (from “Very Dodgy Mail”) made the book, a hand-bound hard-cover copy of a 142-page book (+ an insert), and send one to each of us. Dedication or what? Here’s what arrived a few weeks ago:
Thanks you two for pulling together this crazy project! It’s fun to see what everyone created. I’ve posted a few of the images from the book below.
I’m an avid reader—books and magazines are some of my best friends—but I’ve also had to move around a fair bit in the last year and a half, so I know that those things carry a lot of weight. So I’ve tried to streamline a bit (and now that I live two blocks away from a fabulous library, I can borrow more), but there are a few things I still will buy and keep. In the magazine world, there are Uppercase and Kolaj. More on Kolaj later, but I want to do a shout out to Uppercase today. If you are interested in art and creativity and design, then check this magazine out. I am in awe that it is pretty much a one-woman show, with Janine Vangool being publisher, editor, and designer. And I’m hugely proud that it is a Canadian magazine, produced in Calgary, Alberta.
The magazine comes out four times a year and each issue is based on a theme—book arts, postage stamps, typography, colour, and on and on. It’s beautifully produced and endlessly interesting. Janine creates a unique pattern to be used on the spine of each issue and these were recently made into fabrics (displayed in the postcard above; each issue has a couple of postcards tucked into it). The most recent issue had a catalogue showcasing the fabrics, and, well, I couldn’t resist doing a bit of abstract collage. Thanks for such a great magazine, Janine.
[Later. This was a very nice surprise that wound up in my inbox on May 11. Janine put my collage at the top of her Uppercase newsletter. Very fun. Thank you, Janine!]