As we all plummet into a new lockdown let us all remind ourselves what creative, enduring and wonderful creatures we all are. In honour of that fact, I’m taking a course with Patti Normand to delve into the world of sculpture. I’m learning how to make figures at the moment. I’m totally turned on and excited for each new instruction. I’ll do my best to add updates. Here is the first step….you saw it here first!
What a great weekend for art and weather. Both were amazing and plentiful. Lots of sunshine and lots of art enthusiasts and artists all in one building. If you didn’t get a chance to come to The Loft and EBA open studio you have another chance this coming weekend to treat your eyes, heart, mind and soul with incredible, some edible, treasures.
Well it’s been some months since my last blog. Sound the alarms!
I am sure I am not the only person to look at the world and scream “FUCK YOU!!” As a matter of fact I just uttered the same phrase to my keyboard that insists on switching to French anytime it gets a croissant moment. This is the definite starting point of machines taking over. I’m serious yo~!
I’m reaching around many things in my mind these days about my social status. And I don’t mean where I stand in my career and financial blessings. I mean, where do I fit in this community and do people associate me with one thing or another and…..where do I want to be if anywhere at all? As of late, I’ve not wanted to be around big social events surrounded by people that I “should be” networking with. I haven’t felt generous at all and have grown weary of giving away my art to charity.
As a matter of fact I’ve not wanted to be with people at all for the past 2 months. It’s nothing about you…it’s all about me so you can exhale. I’m hating my bloated body and acne scars vehemently lately. I know once I let go of my attachment to such self defeating thoughts I will be fine but it has really rocked me to the core recently. I blame it on the winter. You see, I’m a summer solstice baby and nothing makes me more angry and depressed than snow, hail, sub zero temps and general miserable weather with very little or no sun. I have a legitimate “out” when I’m being a royal C U Next Tuesday. And, deep down, I know that I shouldn’t be let off the hook quite so easily but I can usually persuade people to leave me the fuck alone quickly.
I’d like to apologize to those that I’ve fluffed off and left hanging because I couldn’t get my shit together. I won’t promise it won’t happen again because it probably will. I’m prone to winter blues and I’ve accepted that for some time now. I tend to loose a friend or two during the winter but those are the people that don’t know me well enough yet and have not invested heavily in forming a friendship or getting to know me. If you read this and want to stick it out…it’s all good, just be ready for the wrath of winter.
But spring is………….almost……………here…………I think.
Last week I attended an art conference with a very good American woman who consistently feeds me with opportunities to grow artistically. She’s a silent art ninja and can sometimes coax me out of my cave. It was a well organized and intimate event in Carp. It was informative, interesting and I learned quite a bit about stone masons (the history and traditions of stone masons is uber cool), copper printing and social media. Each expert gave a one hour talk. The final speaker was Jesse Stewart who really amazed me with his mandalas, his collecting everyday articles and actually using them in large scale, impressive audio and visual masterpieces. I would do this conference every spring for sure.
Afterward we went on a little tour of Almonte. I recommend this town to anyone living in Ottawa. It’s a little gem that reminds you that simple is simply delicious. Big, bold and shiny is great but sometimes humble is necessary. Lo and behold we found one of Otown’s brilliant artists, Cynthia O’Brien in Almonte. She was exhibiting the experience of her residency in Australia at General Fine Craft and Art . I was automatically impressed and envious. I dream is to do a residency in a warm climate…it will happen..until then…I am and will be envious. Cynthia always makes me investigate every inch of her sculptures. She’s a clever artist and I look forward to everything she does.
We then mowsied down to a tiny little gallery for the vernisage of my art ninja’s relative. She was also a speaker at our Art Conference in Carp. Her name is Barbara Gamble and I was most impressed with her dedication to artists’ rights and to preserving endangered species of Canadian flora through her art. I think her encaustics are stunning!
That lifted my spirits so much that I went straight to the studio for a week straight. I’ve begun work on the second zentangle and have plans for two more. Then I will begin work on smaller pieces. I have an idea for a show and I want to have enough pieces to pull it off. Stay tuned on that one. Send me some steel balls and a bowl full of gusto too would you? This is a leap for me.
Even though spring and summer are hesitating like mofos I’m going to pursue gardening and acrylics for the next three months. Please be patient with my constant declinations to your invitations to be consistently drunk and dancing this summer! I might dip in once in a while but this summer is all about my art. To quote our Madonna, “And I’m not sorry, It’s human nature, and I’m not sorry, I’m not your bitch don’t hang your shit on me.”
But seriously, don’t take it personally, tee hee .
Back in January I began my journey with Zentangle. I am so enjoying this trip. Here are some teasers from my “giantangles” as I like to call them. Stay tuned for the complete collection this fall.
As many of you already know and for those who don’t, I quit smoking a few years back. December 8, 2010 to be exact. It was a birthday present to my son who begged me for years to quit. In December I will have been smoke free for four years. In those four years I have been through my mother moving in with me, tons of stress at work and my son getting married and leaving the province. As you can see, it’s been a chaotic four years. But I managed to keep myself from reaching for my bestest friend, the cigarette. I feel so much better lung wise but I’ve gained a ton of weight and that is the next beast to tame.
Three weeks ago I signed up for Sparkpeople.com. My friend Mimma turned me onto this amazing website that supports a healthy lifestyle FOR FREE! I am committed to loosing weight but I am not committed to spending a load of money to do so. I’m not even joining a gym this time. I know I can accomplish this goal with only minor expenses such as higher food bills (quality costs more) and perhaps a scale and some weights. That is all I am putting out. I have a bike and two feet that can do the rest.
It’s pretty ironic that I quit smoking to save my life. I wanted to breath better and stop coughing. Here’s the ironic part, now I cough because of acid reflux and I breath heavy because I’m obese. Helluva trade off there isn’t it? Well, NO MORE. I’m taking my life in my hands once more and the next health problem I want to have is muscle strain or exhaustion from a marathon or ..well, you get the point.
Which brings me to my art. It’s suffering because I’m taking so long adjusting to this new lifestyle. I’m trying to find the balance of workouts, work, chores and life in general. I work out before I make dinner but I’ve also promised my sister that I would start eating my dinner earlier than 8pm so I’m finding a conflict here. I think the sacrifice I’m going to have to make is getting up a half hour earlier and working out before breakfast. UGH…..I’ve actually never done this in my life so it might be a new GREAT HABIT to develop. That way I can take off from work to the studio and not have to worry about working out. I just need to get home at a decent hour and/or pack a dinner for the studio while I paint. Oh, and I’m also getting in a second workout by biking to and from the studio and climbing five flights of stairs to get to my studio. Ya! That sounds doable right?
One thing about healthy eating…it takes a lot of prep! So, Sunday afternoons, after my weekly group sesh with the O-Town Bombers, will be committed to prepping food for the week. This means more menu planning etc.
It’s more than just dieting, I am changing my entire lifestyle. I want to live to see my grandchild and maybe even a great grandchild or two. I want to be able to run, jump and skip like I did 10 years ago. I want to have a great sex life again, something that is very difficult when you can’t bend for a friend. I tried Pilates last night and was horrified how locked up my body is by all this fat. I used to be able to sit in the lotus position, now I look like a lotus pad!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter or pointing the finger of blame at anyone but myself. I got me into this and I can get me out. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m not miserable but I am lonely. I haven’t felt good about myself for years so I haven’t even dated in the past three years. I don’t want to get into a position and not be able to get out of it, literally. I don’t like my body like this. I know what I have to do and I am clearly on the right path to getting er done! With Mimma and Sparkpeople I know I can nail this demon too.
And when I am at a healthy weight and feeling good….O-Town boys better get to steppin cuz I just might morph into a little cougar! meow!
I haven’t managed to get into my studio for almost three weeks now and I’m jonesing for it I swear! I am going three or four times this week if it kills me ! I’ve just completed weekend installations for Chintatown Remixed and the end is in sight. One more project with the O-Town Bombers is in the works but after that I’m taking a much needed break from textiles. I’m missing my studio, my paints, my sexy mannequin and the ambiance of fellow artists surrounding me.
I’m going get back into art walks again. I’ve missed going from gallery to gallery and there are so many new ones lately. It’s blatantly obvious that summer is here now!
I have a bucket list of things I need to do this summer:
1. Visit the new Gallery 101
2. Visit Central Art Garage
3. Attend as many Vernisage as possible
4. Go back to House of Targ for more pinball and badass perogies
5. Have my art weekend with little Miss Shyanne in July
6. Have my own art retreat outdoors ( I used to do this every year, its been about 4 years that I haven’t) .
7. Visit my sisters in Toronto for a weekend.
That is a piece I started 2 weeks ago. Then I took in a cat. A cat that needs to know he has a forever person and a forever home. A cat that is slowly destroying my home but is slowly winning my heart as well. He’s a brat but he’s a lost little boy and I have to forgive him for now.
I’m finally living alone again and the freedom is indescribable. I’m not as stressed and I can eat, drink, read and dance in any room in the house, dressed or nekid, and I play music all weekend. I got rid of cable tv and home phone and I feel deliciously detached. I did keep my internet…a girl has to have some vices.
Back to the painting. I had a big plastic storage box full of crafters acrylics. I’d been collecting them for years from various dollar stores. About 10% of them had dried up. A lot of them were in a gummy stage so I scraped out what I could and rolled the paint into shapes and used them in another painting. I’m not sure I like the effect yet but I can work that out.
I then cleaned out my canvasses. I had one that was left behind by the previous studio owner but it had a rip in it. Instead of throwing it out I cut out two holes in different shapes, kitty corner to each other. Then I squeezed all of that old paint from the top of the canvas and let it drip down the surface. It made some wonderful puddles on the floor. Now I have to figure out how to lift it all in one piece because I want to place them behind the holes in the canvas.
I think if I spray the lot with water it may make this puddle softer so that I can lift it. If not then I will have to begin the dripping process all over again. I’ll put a piece of canvas below my easel to catch the puddles this time. We shall see. Maybe I should do puddles of just black and white. We shall see. I have to get my butt to the studio at least once this week.
The installation for Chinatown Remixed is taking over my life again. Funny thing is, I sign up for it every year. I’m kinda kooky that way. It’s going to be wonderful and generous and outrageous this year. So, if you’re in Ottawa from May 17th to June 17th, 2014, hop on over to Chinatown for some very groovy art.
I’m getting closer and closer to balancing my worlds. I have several of them so its been quite a juggling act. My worlds are like projects all of which I am the lead:
- The painting project
- The mothering my son project
- The mothering my mother project
- The Scattered Minds project
- The O-Town Bombers project
- The Engineers Canada project
- The taking care of myself project
Notice where “I” come in on that scale? I also noticed there are two things missing. The charity projects and The Romance project
hmmmm…where ever shall I fit those in?