Dec 242012

Winter Warmth and Inspiration

There’s been lots of activity in my studio this past month.  I’ve been working on several large canvases, mono printmaking, and teaching…all of it very satisfying.

It’s gratifying to introduce people to simple printmaking techniques. Opening up my studio offers many rewards. And it forces me to clean it up!

Some very striking work is created at these workshops. I’m frequently inspired by the participants’ approach to the process.

Here are some mono print cards using leaves and stencils.  I collected leaves from my garden in October and froze them.  I thawed them just before printing early in December.

December is a perfect month for creating greeting cards and papers for gift giving. This year I used stencils and leaves to make both.

Making craft items like this provides a relaxing time off from work on the big canvases.

This painting took me several months to complete. And a painting is never really finished, is it?  It’s about knowing when to walk away.

We took time yesterday to drive up to the snow above Goldstream, build snowmen, and revel in a white winter.   This spot  is a quick 30 minute drive from my studio up the mountain. It was another world.

I am blessed to call beautiful Vancouver Island my home.  Nature is an inspiration, as well as family and friends, both near and far.

My very best wishes to all of you for the holiday. And a peaceful new year.



Dec 032012

Val-David has a population of about 5,000 and attracts 100,000 visitors a year.

Their focus on arts and crafts as well as outdoor activities is commendable, and enticing.  Seems also that the Government of Quebec understands and is willing to invest in cultural tourism. This is very good news for Quebec artists!

The artist run contemporary printmaking centre, L’Atelier de l’Ile, occupies the second floor.  It’s an impressive and well-equipped space.

Paul Ballard, Studio Technician, and Printmaker Marie-Claude Arnaud welcomed me warmly.  Paul also gave me an in-depth tour. Turns out we were studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design at the same time.

Marie-Claude rocking a large copper plate.

Lots of storage for lots of very fine prints.

And an intimate gallery packed full of many fine pieces is at the entrance.

Also in the gallery, the cabinet showcase, with an exchange project between artist books of Holguin in Cuba and Atelier de l’Île printmakers.

Fascinating display of artist ‘books’ that crossed borders, disciplines and technologies, all in digital cases. They are jewel-like boxes of information.

“Information travels more quickly on the internet. A must is access to a free safe, fast and reliable network. What is Art in this technological ferment?”  This is the question their project posed.



Nov 302012

En route through the harvest of colours from New England to Quebec. Numerous stops necessary to be gobsmacked by the beauty of the land at harvest time.


Many bowls of roasted squash soup and apple pie later, we arrived at Lac des Chats near St. Sauveur. We celebrate the last glorious days of fall at the lake with family raking leaves and canoeing.

This is Lovers Park in Val-David, 80 k north of Montreal and half-way between St. Sauveur and Mont Tremblant.  They self-describe as “au coeur du village et de la culture’.  It’s true.

This small town is home to many fine arts and crafts practitioners.  In particular is the artist run contemporary printmaking centre, L’Atelier de L’Ile, which I visited and is featured in my next post.

Quebec seems to particularly value its artists.  This town, and the printmaking centre, is a case in point.

Nov 032012

Old Tucson

Last winter I visited the Old Tucson movie location and theme park near Tucson, Arizona.  It’s in the middle of nowhere as they say.  I wandered around and got attacked by a few cactus needles taking picture.  It was a blast!

Thousands of Dusters (both movies and TV) have been filmed here.  To name but a few;  Rio Bravo, Hombre, Outlaw Josie Wales, Three Amigos, Gunsmoke, Billy the Kid, and Tombstone.


I loved the whole darn thing!



Nov 022012

Some Things I Really Like in the MFA Art of the Americas Wing (and Outside Too)

At the back of the Museum, the huge baby head sculpture, Day, by Spanish artist Antonio Lopez.

Corridors of glass with great views and great sculpture.

One of several fine small Georgia O’Keeffe paintings.

Stuart Davis, when seeing is like listening to great Jazz.

Striking (shall I use the j word?) juxtapositions of mediums.

2oth century American industrial designers like Charles & Ray Eames, Eva Zeisel, Eliot Noyes and Russell Wright featured in one big room chock a block with cool things for the home. Now to find a mid century modern house to buy…

And the other baby head, Night.