Monthly Archives: November 2010

Dancer as Muse, Air

Though I posted a picture of “Air” earlier I thought I’d re-post this updated image of her. There are small changes evident; I added two feathers at the base, a tiny crystal droplet (in each of the 4), heightened colour with pencil crayon as well as extending her arm in a more upward, reaching to heaven position.

I’ve mentioned before that my work is a from of visual poetry and the symbolism in these changes would take a page or more to elaborate on. What I always enjoy about this form of diminutive, soft sculpture that I create is the way I can adjust the poses after the figures are complete (hence part of why I use the term doll). My work is meant to convey a feeling, an idea, to capture a moment in time for me and where others use words or song I use the visual form instead.

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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in art dolls, mixed media


Dancer as Muse, Earth

For the month of December the ArtsConnect’s ArtistCircle Group will be displaying work at the Port Moody library in a show called  “Eclectic”.  Four of my latest figurative pieces from my ongoing “Dancer as Muse” series will be on display. The work started as watercolours created in the summer when I was invited into Linda Arkelian’s “Dance on the Drive” ballet class as part of her “Bringing Artists Together” vision. I had a second chance to draw dancers when I was invited into Dolores Kirkwood’s dance class a few weeks later to sketch some of the young dancers there.

For each piece I start out by tracing the drawing with florist wire and then building up the figure from there. I wanted to keep the work light, airy and lyrical and began thinking of the music The Four Seasons by Vivaldi but then the seasons changed into elements and I have completed earth, air, fire and water.

I am imaging that the rest of the series may well be 3 more sets of 4: the four seasons and the four directions with the 4th fourth yet to be imagined.

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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in art dolls, mixed media



Today I am thinking about traditions and how the past can form and/or inform our present. I like the fact that the word present has two meanings, “now” and “gift” and I wonder, do I treat my present as a present in my life? Each moment becomes a bead on a string and that is where tradition comes in, it is a string of moments that in hindsight are seen as valuable and worth keeping. This watercolour of a hibiscus flower and leaves is from the 1980’s when I was studying Traditional Chinese Brush Painting. I was taught the Six Canons and canon # 6 is that techniques and style are learnt by copying the old masters. In this way the wisdom of the past is not forgotten but becomes the traditions that each generation builds upon. As an artist sometimes I need to stop and reflect, stop doing my own thing, and to spend time relearning and reconnecting to what I think I already know.  In this vein I have taken out a library book, “Principles of Chinese Panting” and will spend time over the next month reading and practicing some of the traditions presented in the book.

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Posted by on November 27, 2010 in watercolours


Another Castled Turtle

This turtle is the mate to the earlier post; salt and pepper, yin and yang, the black rook to the white. Initially my idea was to create a whole set of characters for chess using my whimsical papier mâchè techniques but after just two I realized this was a bigger job than I was ready for at the time. There are so many art ideas that sit at the back of my mind waiting for the right time and situation to come out and play.

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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in mixed media, papier mâchè


A Turtle’s Home is Her Castle

Today I went to “Christmas at Hycroft” an annual event put on at the home of the University Women’s Club of Vancouver.  It was my first time there and I asked about the history of the place. They told me that it was bought in 1964 but they had to raise the cash to buy it because at the time women were not allowed to procure a mortgage without a man’s signature.  I was rather stunned at that piece of history and it made me appreciate a little better what my Mom went though in her day.

In celebration of women in Canada being allowed their own mortgages I thought I’d post a picture of an earlier work that I’ve been thinking about lately, one of less than a dozen that I created for friends and family and this is one that I kept for myself. This wry, humorous, papier mâchè piece is small;  under 6″ in height. Though I haven’t made any turtles for awhile I have begun to work on an owl using the same techniques and images of the ancient Athenian owl as my inspiration.

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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in mixed media, papier mâchè


In the Pink

Tomorrow night is the opening at Place des Arts for both the Positively Petite show and the Christmas Boutique. I have 8 of my miniature seahorses  on display of which “In the Pink” is one. My work is called Seahorses of every Hue though I have many shades of colour yet to explore. I am looking forward to the event which will showcase over 50 artisans in all.

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Posted by on November 17, 2010 in seahorses



Lately I have been creating paintings to pair with certain pieces of my 3d works.  In this example, the original “Sage” is kneeling, close to the earth, in a position of gratitude and humbleness. The 3d piece embodies the plant and its healing properties while the painting represents the human form of Sage. I started with a tracing of his shadow which rose to a standing position as he rises up into the night. This is one piece where it felt right to add details to the face. This pair is the first of 12 that I’m working on for an exhibit to be held at Place des Arts in March, 2010.

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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in acrylics, art dolls