Finally had a chance to enjoy the summer here in British Columbia. A respite from art and especially from city life is always welcome. We took 5 days and explored the Sunshine Coast and had a great time camping in camp grounds reached by bumpy backroads, out of the beaten track.
I was recently working on some personal work and was inspired to use some of the screens & stencils to create some new journals. So there’s now four new one-off journals on the topic of ‘escape.’ What this means is open to interpretation but I hope you’ll consider escaping by writing in these journals.
Specs: Eco perfect bound notebook with 13pt soft cover and 72 ivory lined sheets made from 100% recycled material. Journals are made in Canada and hand-screenprinted by me.
These lined journals can be purchased through Bird on a Wire in Vancouver while quantities last. There’s only one available in each design.
I’m on the road in Southern California. It’s been busy getting down here but we’re finally slowing down at Joshua Tree National Park. I’m hoping to do some drawing during this trip–drawing the environment around me. I find drawing really helps you focus on the details . It’s a study of what’s in front of you.
There is no reception at the park ( that’s where we’re camping ) so I’m writing this note while we’re parked at Big 5 as I wait for my partner (in the town of Joshua Tree). The desert is beautiful here!
I am super happy to announce that I am leading a different kind of workshop this coming June! While all previous workshops have been craft based, this one is art based.
I’ll be leading a 2-hour drop-in drawing activity at Thunderbird Community Centre. Here are the details:
Discover the multitude of textures available to you in your neighbourhood. With paper and drawing materials you will explore the textures you can make from different surfaces, then cut them into shapes to create a collaborative image of your neighbourhood. Facilitated by artist Laura Bucci. Free drop-in.
When: Saturday, June 14 2014, 11:30 – 1:30, Draw Down workshop page
Where: Thunderbird Community Centre, 2311 Cassiar Street, Vancouver, map
Who is this for? Anyone, any age.
What is Vancouver Draw Down?
Now in its 5th year, Vancouver Draw Down is an annual celebration of drawing in everyday life that challenges preconceptions about drawing and works to reconnect everyone with the power and creative pleasure of making marks
As I continue to work with birds (after a big pause), I am noticing a change in how the project is going. There is something unsatisfying in just drawing pretty birds. I need depth. Or I need to say something.
In my most recent exercise, I re-used a bird I had drawn before. The leg of the collage paper accidentally tore off and I decided to go with it. Using the bird this way, with one leg, opened up the possibility of saying something about the environment. The bird leans over to look for food in a pretty field with flowers. But above it is a big X, as in do not use, do not eat, do not drink. But the warning is lost on the bird as it does not speak our language.
People are changing nature, the victims are not only us and our future generations but also all that makes up nature.
Part of what makes it to my daily visual journal are things that other artists have said that resonate with me. I often watch artist interviews or art programs online while I work on my art. Sometimes I’ll quickly jot what I hear in my journal and later or the next day I’ll ponder the words further sometimes writing and rewriting the words in order to process their significance.
In the page above, I was thinking about something that Kiki Smith said:
I don’t try to set my work on any path or any direction. I really try to follow it. . . I don’t question my impetus. I just do it and see what happens.
And in the page above, I liked what one of the Boyd Family artists said (I think it was the guy), he said:
To be totally immersed in something is glorious.
Yes, I agree. Visual journaling for me is not about making art, it is instead where I massage my brain to help me process thoughts and life. There are visual elements yes, but these function as writing. Visual elements in my journal are like a vocabulary of states of feeling.
Stitching with Purpose
I am happy to announce that I will be leading my Stitching with Purpose workshop at Maker Faire Vancouver coming up in June.
What matters to you? Find out what ‘craftivism’ is all about and learn to stitch your message on a fabric flag that can be hung around your neighbourhood. Facilitated by artist Laura Bucci. All materials provided.
Workshop @ Vancouver Mini Maker Faire
When: Sunday, June 8th, 2014, 4 – 6 pm
Where: PNE Forum, 2901 East Hastings, Vancouver
Cost: TBD, Tickets sold through the Event, please not that the workshop not included in your Entrance Ticket but it will be very fairly priced. Info coming soon.
What is Maker Faire?
Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.
Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.
. . . a poetry of place that defines Vancouver
is a phrase taken from a talk on Public Art organized by CARFAC BC at the Vancouver Public Library downtown (April 9 2014). Karen Henry, the Public Art Planner of Cultural Services for the City of Vancouver had these words on her power point presentation. The phrase refers to or was a definition of public art–this is from memory so I may be slightly off here.
This was a stimulating talk. It was great to hear from Richard Tetrault, visual artist and muralist, who has worked with several local communities on mural projects. Also, Elisa Yon, the Public Art Project Coordinator from the City of Richmond was there and Cameron Cartiere, the Dean of Graduate Studies of Emily Carr. Each talked about different projects. Henry and Yon somewhat demystified the process/bureaucracy behind city projects.
Here are a few interesting things that I was able to capture in my notes:
- There is a difference between a studio practice and a public practice; with a public practice you have to ask yourself “what do you want the work to do?” (Cartiere) (I’m thinking wouldn’t you ask yourself that question with a studio practice too?)
- What is the difference between public art and community art? (from the audience I think)
- How do you make the general public more interested in public art? How do you make them care? (from the audience)
- There is a power to seeing public art in places you don’t expect to see it. (Tetrault)
Elisa Yon talked about how some public art is very short-lived, so it needs to be documented. This can include stills, video, talks, and tours. Also, at the talk there were some great pamphlets on individual works produced by the City of Vancouver.
Someone from the audience remarked that some public art seems to be way more popular than other work. For example, the laughing statues at English Bay. This is the work of Yue Minjun from China titled A-maze-ing Laughter (a project that came out of 2009-2011 Vancouver Biennale). Although the large bronze sculptures are still, they are very successful in engaging the public (as you’ll see in the picture through the link above). The audience member had said that people take selfies of themselves with the art while other public art does not get anything close to this reaction. This work had social media engagement. It was unclear what point he was trying to make. It sounded like he was saying that some public art is more successful because people want to photograph it with themselves in it. Argh! I think some work, figurative/representational, is easier to relate to when you don’t have an arts background or an inquiring mind or are not used to looking at art.
Anyway, you may want to check out one of the artworks Elisa Yon talked about was Nicole Dextras, StoreFront: objects of desire. You can see a video of this performance public art work.