Only three months ago we celebrated Christmas… Today I am reflecting on ninety days of studio activity, something we don’t do often enough. We regularly focus on “the list” and all the things we have not done or still have to complete over the next few days and weeks. It’s time to take stock of the things we accomplish as this is how we regain energy and enthusiasm for what awaits us in the future.
What brought on my reflective mood? Several great things have just come to fruition and are worth mentioning. First and foremost: My first design class in the studio came to a successful ending yesterday. I know my students will disagree with the word “ending” right now as we are meeting once more for a check in to ensure the work on paper is getting pushed further into one or more original art pieces. Yesterday everyone arrived in plenty of time for their individual tutorials. While this involves a little bit of waiting I noticed that discussion about home work and personal discoveries dominated the conversation. The level of excitement was up and after I had a chance to see everyone’s homework it was time to gather in the studio classroom. Sharing and discussion filled most of the time together. I was able to see everyone grasping the concepts and embracing the elements and principals of design. Hands-on group exercises using paintings from various art books helped apply the principals of design and weigh ideas on how to translate the new knowledge into their future art pieces. Time flew and soon it was time to pack up and wave good bye.
I am opting not to share images of the class on the blog today – once we meet in April for our “wrap up” session some images may be posted. Everyone is very excited about the April session already and here is why: I am in the early planning stages for an Open Studio Weekend in June (June 22 – 24). The focus will be on opening the doors to my studio for visitors to wander in and out, pose questions and for the first time view work that has been produced by the students of my first design class conducted from my space. Students’ work will be displayed alongside their sketchbooks and support materials. The Open Studio weekend will feature a couple of invited artists as well – more on that at a later time!
It has been a week of completion. Just today I finished the Artist’s Way twelve week “course.” You may remember that I made a renewed commitment to morning pages, artists’ dates and various tasks as laid out in the book over the twelve individual weeks. I am happy and relieved: I persevered and did not miss even one day of morning pages. Will I continue? Absolutely! I am up early and focused which is in itself a wonderful feeling. With extra hours in the day I have accomplished so much already this year. Usually I find the darker months difficult to stay on task or even start new work. I am rewarded today with a bright sunny day and can’t wait to see what the week brings!
Last week I completed a small commission clothing puppets for a special project at the Saskatchewan Legislature building commemorating its 100th year. The commission came my way through a friend who will rework the children’s area in the foyer of the Legislature. My background in teaching Kindergarten (in another lifetime…) guided me well. I had created puppets myself in the past, this time I just had to recreate the ceremonial garb for the speaker, the clerk and the sergeant-at-arms. The image in today’s slideshow gives you an idea how much fun this project was. Detail was of the essence and with trying to emulate rich braiding on the tuxedo tail jacket for the sergeant-at-arms and wig bags for the backs of the robes of the speaker and clerk I was busy for nearly 50 hours. I created each piece of clothing by first making a pattern for the garment. Enough said – the project came together over three weeks and the enthusiastic reception at the time of delivery showed me that I had succeeded in recreating the clothes in miniature. The puppets measure only about 15″ high – a little longer when I consider the hats I created.
Going back a little further over the past three months I am reminded of creating the new body of work in January. I had the ideas circulating on my mind for some time but tackled the creation and presentation in January. The gallery I am exhibiting at in August has seen some of the work is very excited to showcase my work there for August and September.
I planned for this to be a brief post but just realized that it is getting quite long already. With this in mind I wish all of you a wonderful Sunday filled with sunshine and special moments!