The Easter egg tree leaves are complete. The structure is 22g cotton covered florist wire bent into a leaf shape with 26g wire wiggle waggle pattern inset into the main shape. Assorted papers in green and yellow were papier mâchéd on both sides and over the edges with the wire sandwiched in between. Here they are drying in the sun on my front steps.
Author Archives: joykirkwood
Many years ago when I was barely 20 and helping out with a church craft project, someone had brought in blown out eggs for the children to decorate with markers. Needless to say it was a frustrating experience with many broken bits everywhere. I went home and tried papier mâching with tissue paper and discovered that about 3 layers did the job. I’ve never looked back and have found over the years there are endless 3d art objects I can make using papered egg shells. Here’s the latest project; leaves and eggs being created to make an Easter egg tree.
More pictures to come of the finished project once it is completed.
I have been away from my computer. Recently returned from a trip to Calgary where I taught curriculum integrated arts projects with kindergarten and grades 1/2. I’ve worked with the school before, always enjoy my time there, and this time was no exception. One of the projects was creating ‘puppet people’ (stick puppets with movable beaded arms) with the youngest ones. This is the face from my example (I avoid sharing children’s work on line). It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a piece of cardboard, a stick, a bit of foam, a few markers, chalk pastels, and a lot of creativity.
My work is small scale and because I envision my work in a wall niche I am trying a new presentation model for an upcoming art show; a base/background to hold the work temporarily. I stenciled in spirals on my base and background which is a subtle, textural effect that I like. Shadows on the background may add to the work as well. Something to think about.
My last attempt at creating ‘voice’ for my small stature work was to put the art in frames to hang on the wall (creating a niche effect) but then they were put in a case anyway and now the figures slant backward at an awkward angle… and the tactility is lost because they are behind glass. Sigh.
Today is my birthday and the beginning of a new decade in my life. It has been a day of thoughtful contemplation and one thing has become clear – I wish to spend more time in nature, what ever form that takes. This picture of a heart shaped rock taken on Vancouver Island last year is to be a reminder of this resolution for myself for the year ahead.
Recently I brought out my file on dragons when teaching school age children the basics of drawing and watercolour. Kids enjoy drawing dragons. This image is an ink brush drawing I did about 2 years ago as a demo for another class. I’m part of a fibre arts group that will be working around the idea of dragons and I’ll be adapting this sketch into fibre art but not quite sure what form this will take. All I know so far is I need to work in colour and have a slate grey bead put aside for one of the eyes.
There is a lovely word description of a dragon on pp 92-96 in the 1959 book, The Way of Chinese Painting: Its ideas and Technique by Mai-mai Sze, Vintage Books (Random House, Inc.), New York, that I refer to when drawing or painting dragons:
The Chinese Dragon is a composite creature with the head of a bull, muzzle of a donkey, eyes of a rabbit, horns like the antlers of a deer, ears like an Asian elephant, scales like a fish, beard like a man, body like a serpent, feet like a lion, and talons like an eagle.
The first thing I notice is that my work is smaller. It always is. Size matters in our culture and I’m often asked can I make my work bigger? I could but those who ask are missing the point. Inspiration for my free form fibre figures comes from Neolithic and pre-dynasty Egyptian small figures often called Venus or Goddess figurines. I am not consciously copying the work or making goddess figures but it is the idea of small, hand held forms that can be carried from place to place that fascinates me. Large sculpture that claims space and are too big to move came into being over time. Small scale sculpture works well for nomadic cultures and setting up the figurine in a new location is to claim sacred space there and to give a focal point to worship.
I aim to create work that is intimate in nature, more introvert than extrovert in what it has to say. With the details and small scale of my art you have to stop and pay attention, invest time in looking at it. My work does not stand on a street corner shouting loudly but sits in a niche, whispering, inviting the onlooker to come closer. You need to slow down and take time to appreciate small scale work. I think it’s why in an exhibit it is the kids who are drawn to my work first and then the adults follow suit. The scale, colour, and uniqueness appeals to the child’s sensibilities.
Felt sure I had posted this image before but couldn’t locate it on my blog. It’s a painting composed from images from our visit in 2012 to Kauai. The red earth mountains, the lush jungle like foliage, the Nene… I’m often asked about the blue tree. Not exactly as seen but as felt. The trees were ethereal. I’ll now post two photographs of the actual trees to see my reference points.