Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mixed Media Dragonfly in Process

The art process often takes on a life of it’s own as seen in this dragonfly in process. Instead of stopping when the wings were drawn in I’ve gone too far with them and have created problems that need solving. Why did I feel the need to put all these holes in the wings and how do I fix them? There is an ever present therapeutic back story to my work which accounts somewhat for the paper punch holes in the wings (think hole to whole) but there is more to it than that. As an artist I believe I create new challenges so I can experiment and grow in my expertise in my medium. As an art teacher this is a specially helpful trait as it gives me an inside track on when my students ‘go too far’, ‘make mistakes’, etc. in their own work.

Originally I had placed the dragonfly on the windowsill to dry but found I liked the effect enough to photograph it. He sits on the inside looking out, waiting for spring and so do I.

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in dragonflies, mixed media, papier mâchè


Memories of Kauai

It’s been awhile since I posted one of my photographs. This one was taken in January 2012 while on vacation in Kauai. We had taken a lovely walk through the rainforest to reach the ocean shore and on the way back I noticed a few orange hibiscus flowers that had fallen to the ground. The sheer beauty of this one flower alone is amazing. As an artist I wonder, where do I go from here? How do I respond to such elegance and grace?

In reviewing the Canons of Chinese Brush Painting for an upcoming class, it is the idea of the development of the artist going hand in hand with the development of the painting that has caught my attention. If the virtues of integrity, perseverance, humility, courage, nobility, modesty, or honour, to name a few, do not live in the artist then how can she recognize them in nature to bring them out in her painting?

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in photographs


Jazz and Painting

Looking over my seahorse painting series I wondered about the value scale in the paintings. There is a strong contrast of colour but it’s so easy to have the values be too close together. A way to check for this is to take a picture of the painting and then print it in black and white. By comparing the colour image to the black and white I can see that the value scale for this painting is working better than I first thought.

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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in acrylics, seahorses



To create Precious I began with the word precious and what it means to me. Then I went into my cupboard and took out 2 small boxes of treasures given to me by a dear friend. I couldn’t remember exactly what was in them but would let the materials lead me. A small piece of coral and many pearl like beads worked well with my theme. Wanting to keep the process simple I used only the materials left on my side table which included fabric with a multicoloured fish pattern and a few red beads. I’m reading James Michener’s book Hawaii and in it he talks about the formation of the Islands and Pele, the goddess of volcanoes.  Having been to Hawaii recently the red bead for a head seemed appropriate. This piece was becoming autobiographical and a way to express my appreciation and concern for the Pacific ocean specifically. Serendipitously I also had a small papier mache sea turtle on the go which worked well for her to sit upon.

This description of the work sums up the process of intuitive doll making. It’s a bit like taking a walk without a specific destination in mind but enjoying all the walk has to offer.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in art dolls, mixed media


Upcoming Doll Workshop

In March 2012 I will be conducting an “Art of Doll Making”class at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. (See upcoming classes or free form doll workshop for registration information).

To promote the workshop at the Art Centre I have created this board for the display case with the various parts needed to make a fibre figure. Materials include; florist wire, pipe cleaners, strips of foam and fabric, beads, buttons, yarn, threads, and assorted doodads. Notice too the words in the bottom right hand corner.

The figures created are a form of visual poetry and are meant to personify a quality rather than represent a human as most art dolls do.The next blog will showcase a doll created for the case that will illustrate better what I mean.


Dual Image

In this pairing the fibre art seahorse, Silver, is shown in front of the painting where it blends in and is camouflaged. I’m curious how easy or difficult it is to separate the two images from each other. The effect is in keeping with nature where the seahorse is designed to blend in to it’s particular surrounding. The second and third images are of the painting and fibre piece alone.

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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in acrylics, seahorses


In the Pink

In this image I have one of my miniature 5″ seahorses, In the Pink, paired with it’s painting. It’s delightful how the images are coming across as if the seahorses are at a little gallery looking at pictures of themselves on the wall. The whimsical nature of my art is my raison d’être for creating the way I do.

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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in acrylics, seahorses