A good start to the new year!

2020 started off with news that a piece of mine was accepted into this year’s Ontario Society of Artists Emerging Artist Exhibition.  I was so thrilled – it is my 2nd time in less than a year exhibiting in one of the OSA shows.  This organization is amazing and has been in existence for 147 years.  It is Canada’s longest continuing art society.

The exhibition is being held within the gallery at the Queen Elizabeth Cultural Centre in Oakville, Ontario.  An area new to me – but part of the greater Toronto area.  It was fun to go drop of my piece and explore a bit of this lovely place along the lake.  It is the middle of winter, but still beautiful and I can imagine it is a fantastic spot in the full bloom of spring and summer.

Opening night was great – so well attended!  We had a lot of fun and met some interesting folks as well as enjoyed looking at all the great art.  There was some serious talent in that room and I was honored to be chosen among these other great emerging artists.

My piece that got chosen is called “Data Processing” he is part of a series that is a commentary on technology and our rapid assimilation into becoming one with it.  This particular piece is a favorite of mine as he is the first one of this series.

The show runs till January 31, so if you’re in the Oakville Ontario area, please stop in and take a look at some great emerging talent!

 

Murrini Monday roundup July – December

Murrini Monday originally started as my 2018 New Year’s resolution to create and post a new murrini (glass rod with a pattern inside) each week and post it every Monday over on my Instagram account.

I’m still continuing Murrini Monday though not every single week anymore.  Working on more complex designs (still easy ones too) and they take longer to create.

Here’s the result of Murrini Monday for the 2nd half of this year – July thru December.  I was quite busy and so not as much got created but there are still some cool ones.  One of them, a lady’s face that I worked on for months trying to get just the right nose and just the right mouth.  A face with eyeglasses I was really happy with and another was a nod to part of my former life studying astronomy – titled Fun in Space!  In 2020, it is the plan to make more complex murrini, I’ve got a few started so hopefully they’ll turn out.

Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!! 🙂

Show Your World

At the end of my last blog, about having my art be part of an exhibition in Brooklyn, NY – I said I hoped one day to be able to be in a gallery in Manhattan.  I figured it was a long shot but you’ve got to put it out there and tell the universe what you want.  Turns out the universe was listening sooner than I ever imagined in that moment.  😀

In early November this year, I was so blessed to have been accepted into the 5th annual Show Your World exhibition.  It was held at Gallery MC in NYC!!  Located in mid-town / Hells Kitchen area on 52nd Street it was an amazing location.  The exhibition was put on by Re:Artiste, a fantastic organization that is truly focused on the artist.  They treated us all amazingly well and had a few events opening weekend including a networking event for all current and past artists.  I can’t say enough about how great they were to work with!Of course this was an exhibition and opening party that there was no way the husband and I would miss out on attending!  This was huge, getting into something in Manhattan – HUGE!  We went and made a long weekend out of attending the party, the networking event and enjoying the city.

The opening party was so much fun, such a highlight in my life.  The exhibition had about 30 works that were chosen out of 100s of submissions.  All the works on display were so great, it was truly an honor to be among such talented other artists.

We had a lot of fun in our 3 days in the city as well.  The husband and I spent some time going around smaller independent galleries, visiting favorite neighbourhoods, eating amazing food and seeing stand-up comedy (a favorite of his!).

I feel I have to write it hear so the universe hears it – I am ever so grateful to have had this opportunity, it was an absolute dream come true and I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced it.  Hopefully more opportunities like this come in the future, I hope very much to have my art in NYC again – for now though I’m certainly riding on this high for a long bit.  😀

Here’s some pics…

Small and Smaller

In August, I got some news that nearly caused me to implode with excitement.  One of my pieces – a micromosaic named “Delphine” – was accepted into a show in Brooklyn, NY.

I’ve viewed New York – as I’m sure many other artists have – as one of the ultimate hopes of a place to get into.  Having Site:Brooklyn accept my piece was one of my biggest highlights this year.  Thankfully I didn’t implode and was able to enjoy the moment.  😀

Even more good luck came my way when I found out the show opening for Small and Smaller was just 2 days after OneZeroOne in Rhode Island.  This meant we were able to attend the OneZeroOne opening and then 2 days later (and 2 states away)  pop over to NY and attend Small and Smaller as well!  It made for a super great extra long weekend.

The show opening at Site:Brooklyn was terribly exciting.  The gallery is enormous and they were actually having openings of 3 different shows the same night.  To say it was packed would be an understatement!Delphine was among some amazing company in this show.  All of the pieces in Small and Smaller were fantastic.  It is always so cool to see what folks do in limited space.  Again I was lucky, many of the artists were in attendance and I met some wonderful new people whom I traded cards with and look forward to following online!

We spent a couple days after the show exploring the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, eating good food, watching murals being painted.  It was quite fun for us as neither the husband nor myself had been in this area of NY before.

It really was overwhelming a bit…So excited to have gotten in this show, just truly amazing to get to go to NY and see my piece in a Brooklyn gallery.  Hopefully they’ll be more opportunities like this in the future, and maybe…one day…a Manhattan gallery.  Gosh that would be a dream – but I’m throwing it out there – you have to ask the universe for what you’d like to have in order to manifest it, right?

Here’s some pics from the show and a bit of around Williamsburg.  The show is up till October 20 – at Site:Brooklyn Gallery 165 7th St, Brooklyn, NY.  If you’re in the area stop by and check it out along with 2 other great shows! 😀

OneZeroOne

Art League of Rhode Island put out a call for art for an exhibition to be called OneZeroOne.  The title is a reference to binary code, a number system that is the basis for all computer code.

This was right up my alley!

In my former career, I was a computer program developer.  A code writer, a website designer, a graphic designer, a creator of digital tools.  I loved my job as it was very creative and difficult code was like candy to my puzzle loving brain.  😀  But I also have long had issues with technology and how it impacts us.

I even created a series of art called “Data Reliance” that was meant as a commentary on technology and our rapid assimilation into becoming one with it – not always in a positive way.  So I really really wanted to be a part of this exhibition.  It made me so thrilled when they accepted one of my pieces titled “Data Processing”!Another super bonus – being accepted meant the husband and I got to visit Rhode Island!  We’d never been before, so it was a fun new experience!

Opening night in Providence at the VETS Gallery (83 Park St) was full of attendees and super fun!  There were many mediums represented in the show, which made it very interesting.  A lot of the other exhibiting artists were in attendance and I got to meet so many people.  They were all incredibly nice, incredibly welcoming and just wonderful!  I wish I lived in Rhode Island so I could be part of this amazing group all the time.  Happily, I connected with some of these great folks online and look forward to following them!

After the show, we spent time exploring the Newport area.  We were in awe at the amazing ginormous old mansions!  Taking a tour of The Breakers, the former Vanderbilt summer home, was a highlight.  Most of all though we loved being on the beach, walking the sand, hearing the waves.  It has been a number of years since I’ve been near the ocean and it was soul enriching to be next to it again.  😀

Here’s some pics from OneZeroOne as well as a few Rhode Island pics too.  If you’re in the Providence area, please go by and check out the show.  It is at the VETS Gallery, part of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on the 3rd floor at 83 Park Street in Providence.  The show is up till November 15 and has a ton of very interesting pieces!

Learning something new!

It’s good to flex the brain and learn a new skill every now and again, bonus if it turns out you love it and have a ton of fun!  🙂

There’s a project I want to do in the future – with mosaics – and I was told I’d likely need to use a bandsaw to accomplish it.  I don’t have one of those and hadn’t used one before – but noticed a local shop ( KJP Select Hardwoods ) was offering a class on how to make a bandsaw box.

Fine woodworking never grabbed my attention in the past.  I’m more a functional wood stick-it-together-er type, not a maker of pretty wood things.  I didn’t really care about making a box – even though it was cool looking in the promo picture.  But figured the class would give me a chance to try a bandsaw, learn a bit and see if it was a tool I’d be comfortable using in the future.

Class day arrived and turned out we were only 2 students – both women, how neat is that!  We had a super awesome teacher and with just 2 of us in the class we had the time to each make 2 boxes.

Turns out the bandsaw is way safer than I’d realized and is really neat to use!  I absolutely loved making the boxes.  They were each made from a single block of wood.  It was such fun to cut them out, piece them together, see them come to life and the beauty of the grain when you put on a bit of wax at the end.  I’m hooked.  Not just on the bandsaw and it’s wonderful versatility but also on making these beautiful little boxes.  Maybe some fine woodworking projects will be in my future after all.  😀

If you’re ever in the Ottawa, ON area, check out KJP Select Hardwoods.  They’re great people and offer a ton of cool classes.  They were amazing to me, not just in the class, but also in helping me figure out options for my future project.  They gave me a ton of great tips and things to try that will make what I want to accomplish much better.  My teacher for the class was Louis Boucher, super nice and a wonderful skilled instructor.  He made everything easy to understand and created a great safe working environment.  He teaches many places around the Ottawa area and has a couple of videos on YouTube about him (click here to see)

Here’s some pics from the fun day!  Hope you all get a chance to learn something new soon too!  😀

 

Society of Canadian Artists 51st Int’l Open Juried Exhibition

Was lucky to get another excuse to take a weekend get-away this summer – got into a show in Toronto!  The Society of Canadian Artists 51st International Open Juried Exhibition accepted one of my pieces.  It was quite thrilling to be in this show as I thought it would be a really long shot for me.  Turns out in the end I was one of only a few non-painting / non-drawing pieces – so kind of extra cool!

The show is in Toronto (till August 26th if you’re visiting there) at The Papermill Gallery (67 Pottery Road).  It is located on the Todmorden Mills Heritage Site which is beautifully set in a park.  It has two historic millers’ homes, one of them housing the Papermill Theater and Gallery.

On the drop off day – I strapped my piece to my back and trekked there on the train.  It is quite a process building a box that will securely house my non-flat kind of fragile pieces but I’m starting to get pretty good at building them.  Spent the afternoon after the drop off walking about 7 kilometers back to the train station through parks, along the Don River and exploring the Distillery District (such fun!).

We went back for the opening night and spent a couple days enjoying the city.  During that visit I explored Kensington Market, Queen Street West, Chinatown, Graffiti Alley and made a visit to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) where I got to see several China related exhibits that were fascinating.  One of my favorite parts of this visit other than the show – discovering Soma Chocolatemaker.  Oh goodness, they’re amazing – check them out in person in Toronto or visit somachocolate.com

It’s been a great year so far for me with art – a real thrill and honor to get accepted into shows.  It’s also allowed me and my husband some fun little trips and let me discover more in cities I didn’t know much about.  Really truly thankful for it all.  Here’s some photos from this show / trip, hope you enjoy!  😀

A little luck…

I started studying Chinese a little more than a year ago.  One of my favorite parts to learn is the characters.  A lot of folks will start with just learning the pinyin but the characters fascinate me.  It gives me a serious thrill when I can identify one on a sign – so far it’s never more than one but hey you gotta start somewhere!

I like the history of how the characters formed and how you can see how the character for mouth looks like an open mouth 口 or how the character for person looks like a person walking 人. Or even the crazy complicated ones that don’t look like what they are, they’re just beautiful to look at, like 发现 🙂 They’re like little bits of art to me.

One of my favorite characters has become the character for Jí 吉.  I originally came to Jí 吉 when I was searching for a character that I could make in murrini that meant luck and could be used as a charm that was to be a gift for people we visited in China.  I wanted to be sure I didn’t mis-step even though I found the character and its definition in a reputable dictionary. I did a double check with a Chinese friend of a friend in Singapore to make sure it was an appropriate character and would be well received as a gift.  They assured me it did mean luck and general well being and that it was a lovely character and any Chinese person would be happy to receive it.

So off I went with the Jí 吉.  I made the murrini out of it (glass rod with a pattern inside) but it didn’t turn out quite as great as I wanted and I abandoned the idea of making the charms.

But the Jí 吉 still suck with me.  I really loved it and loved the shape.  After I returned from China and found out I got into the miniature show, decided maybe I could make a micro-mosaic pendant for myself to wear to the show.  I decided on Jí 吉 !

Then, the news came that a good friend of mine who is Chinese was scheduled to have a very very serious surgery that will require months of recovery where she won’t be too mobile.  I wanted to do something for her, so decided to make her a little good luck micro-mosaic charm of Jí 吉 that she could keep nearby.

Both turned out great.  My friend was really thrilled with her charm and hopefully it will bring her good luck during the recovery.  I happily wore the necklace to the opening of the miniatures show and think it will become one of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear for quite some time.

Here’s the final results of both the pendant and the smaller charm.

Internationale d’art miniature in Levis, QC

Earlier this year we came across a call for a show with an interesting twist.  The Internationale d’art miniature 10th edition, where everything in the show had to be miniature size with strict rules on dimensions of the art (max size 12 sq inches).

Decided it would be fun to see what I could do with such a small parameter and got to working on a couple of micro-mosaics.  I really love creating the micro-mosaics, they’re challenging and eye-fatiguing but just love it.  The pieces that make up the mosaic are very small glass threads that range in size from about 0.5mm to 4 mm wide, with most of the pieces in the 0.5 – 2mm wide range.  In order to get glass this small or in colors I want, I take a larger piece and heat it in torch flame sometimes mixing colors together to achieve a new color.  When it is soft enough I grab a bit and pull to get a thin thread of glass in the size that I want.  Then I cut that down into tiny bits to make up the micro-mosaic.  This extra bit of connection to actually creating the material that is used in the mosaic – not just cutting up pre-made or pre-sourced stuff – it really does something for me, gives me an extra link to the piece, think it is one of the reasons I love doing the micro-mosaics so much.

I worked on 2 designs to submit – a silhouette of woman in black & white with color on her dress, the other a mini-version of a larger mosaic I made years ago – the view of a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) from behind showing the nape of her neck.

It was a fun challenge to undertake.  Figured even if I didn’t get into the show, it was ok as it was good learning to make them.  Luckily though – both pieces got in!  I was so thrilled!!

The show is amazing!  It is being held just across the water from Quebec City in Lévis, QC.  We made a weekend trip out of it and went for opening day.  The show has 350 pieces by artists from 23 countries!  It is wall art and sculptural – everything under 12 sq inches.  No photography or digital stuff allowed, all had to be hand created.  It was totally fascinating to see what other artists do and the incredible details they can create in such teeny tiny spaces.  The opening day was a full house, tons of people all vying to get up close to each piece.  They even provided hand held magnifying glasses to use when looking at the super tiny bits.

It has been just so exciting to be included in the show and have discovered this whole world of miniature expositions.  Maybe it will become a new direction for me.  😀

If you’re up near Quebec City this summer – take the ferry across the water to Lévis and go see the show, it won’t disappoint!  It’s on till September 1st and held at Centre d’exposition Louise-Carrier, 33 rue Wolfe in Lévis and is open every day of the week. More info click here

For my 2 pieces in case you’re curious of the size – the lady in silhouette is named “Delphine” and she measures in at 3.3″w x 2.5″h while the “Maiko (apprentice Geisha)” is 2.5” w x 3.3” h they’re each set on a 6” x 7” background.

Here’s some pics of the show on opening day and our visit to the area…

Murrini Monday roundup January – June

Murrini Monday originally started as my 2018 New Year’s resolution to create and post a new murrini (glass rod with a pattern inside) each week and post it every Monday over on my Instagram account.

I’m still continuing Murrini Monday though not every single week anymore.  Working on more complex designs (still easy ones too) and they take longer to create.

Here’s the result of Murrini Monday for this year so far, January – June.  Some fun ones in here, a self portrait, a design inspired by the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, a funny face that was a total failure and some cool new eyes.  🙂