Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Christmas Card to You.....One More Time

I know, I sent this one last year, but when something this beautiful comes along, it never seems to be "too much"......

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Baking

Getting caught up with painting and jewelry, I'm turning my attention to some Christmas baking. The first two of this season and this time I am going to keep photo records of what I'm making. These don't stay around for long! I used to freeze baking as I completed it but with everything out during Christmas week there's really too much so now we just eat it fresh from the oven...
The two cookies are worth making again soon. One being an apricot thumbprint cookie and the other "snowballs". Festive enough just to look at it but they also taste wonderful. The third recipe is something only made for Christmas as it is labor intensive. Called a Baumkuchen, the multiple layers are broiled and layered with apricot puree and ground almonds. Each layer is broiled for only one to two minutes. The glaze is a ganache for an intense chocolate flavor.

Silver Portrait Pendant

Just finishing the last few of these pendants for this year's Christmas orders. Of course I never remember to keep photos
of everything. I would have liked to have seen them assembled before they were sent off, but my concern was delivering
them as soon as possible. At least I have a record of this one.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Work

As mentioned, here are some quick pics of the new pieces that will be at the Fall Shows the next two weekends at
Galerie Harwood. Not the most glamorous shots but I'll fuss with that later....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Season of "Busy"

But in this case "busy" translates into being creatively busy. Asked to create some Christmas cards for a new local stationary and art supply shop, I took to the task with enthusiasm. Here is one of the latest designs (I'll post a few more soon). This one
features a photo of a view known to Hudsonites as we drive along the Lake of Two Mountains and see the Oka church.
A lovely sight in any season. The bird, I have to admit is not native to our area, but was used for it's suitable color. Something
which I will tweak on the second go-around. The process is addictive as it starts out with hand painted papers followed by
some loose collage and scanned into Photoshop to continue digitally by adding the fonts. This is my little segue from
jewelry design and painting. ( if I needed to segue!)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fall Shows and Where to Find Me

I didn't realize that yesterday was my 100th blog post! Whoohoo....!
Not very articulate but it did catch me by surprise.....

I'm here to list the Fall Shows that I'll have my jewelry at starting with:

the 3rd Annual Christmas Artisan Sale at
Whitlock Golf and Country Club
128 Cote St. Charles,
Hudson, Quebec

November 15 and 16

followed by the next two weekends at the

Christmas Market and Craft Show
Galerie Harwood
3663 Rte. Harwood
Hudson, Quebec
November 22-23 & 29-30

Also at Galerie Mouche on Cameron in Hudson every weekend, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Although I am not present in the shop except on a sporadic basis. It is hosted by either Melissa or Anne who also have wonderful items in this gallery.

Time permitting, I'll post some previews of what will be for sale.....

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Back in a Moment.......!

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all." Stanley Horowitz

Been gone too long, preparing for Fall shows and catching up with commissions and falling leaves. Just thought I'd post this
quote by Stanley Horowitz that really sums up a Canadian autumn.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

...and now for something completely different

This painting is one of three landscapes completed recently with hints of coral. I don't do landscapes enough and always enjoy them. It's easier setting up a still life for me than acquiring the reference material for
landscapes but something I very much want to do more of. This painting is now up for sale. It is a 16 x 20 oil, framed for $260.


It's been awhile but I'm back on my blog with a pic of a necklace designed for something special. Approached by someone
who was holding an auction to raise money for a desert race in Morocco ultimately to raise money for food and education of
the children there as well as locally. She is one of a team (all women) who will be driving jeeps across the Moroccan desert.
Months of endurance training as well as months of raising the money to enter for the privilege of competing as well as gathering 50 kilos of food and clothing. I had the easy task of providing something for their auction. Anyone interested in following this race can do so at The race started today! and is called Roses des Sables which translates into Desert Roses....and therefore my inspiration. The colors of sand, pinks and ambers (the colors of a desert sunset) and I luckily came across some vintage brass camels as I was completing the necklace (what luck!)
I also decided to create a painting also titled Desert Roses (in honor of the two sisters participating in this race) in colors of
pinks and siennas with a bit of collage included depicting Moroccan images. Just the sort of inspiration I love!

Friday, September 19, 2008

More Studio Pics

On the easel this morning......

Studio Pics

Over on "The Altered Page" this week, the results of the question "Where Does the Magic Happen?" are being posted. There are studio pics of the 95 or so participating artists. I had thought my pics would open up a little larger than they did, so I am posting them again here at a much better resolution......These were taken last September during the annual open studio tour.
And one more pic of the room before the change. I had given up on the dual purpose of using it for family meals so this round table was moved to make room.....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hmmm - there's a theme to this week.....

Opened my email this morning to find some sketches that my son did this week. A year or so ago, not a day would go by without sketching something and then - not so much. Aside from his university studies, writing is his passion but I hoped he wouldn't lose his desire to sketch too, so I was pleasantly surprised to see these in my email. Hope he doesn't mind that I posted them here but having just acquired that beautiful wooden hand model and seeing his sketch of his own hand (by his own hand) I just had to share....

Good Times....

Last weekend was such an inspiring weekend. Thursday was a productive day in that I managed to finish more than a few pieces of jewelry in anticipation of Friday's vernissage (held last Friday of each month). So that always feels good. Starting projects I've been meaning to get to is always nice but actually finishing them is better. The vernissage on Friday was successful having sold several pieces and meeting nice people. On Saturday my daughter and I planned to go shopping for items for her first apartment in the city....however next door our neighbors were having a garage sale and we successfully acquired a TV for her place which made me think we should try a few more garage sales before we head into town. That really worked in my favor because the book shelves that I went to look at (thinking of my son's place) turned out to be a set of four wall units ($20 each!!) that were perfect for my "other studio" (the one I wouldn't want to show people because it's in the basement and in need of a major facelift). Also found a perfect (recently re-upholstered) sofa bed for $20! which was a perfect match color wise for my son's room downtown. To make it even better there were boxes of Liquitex paints all in nearly new condition at prices I couldn't refuse along with a wooden artist's model of an articulated hand. I had been wanting one for ages. A few hours later and about six trips back and forth I was in art heaven......One more stop at the local Library that runs a Saturday morning second hand shop where we found an almost new microwave for Emilie's place......and no I didn't forget about our shopping trip. My daughter and I managed to find the items she needed to set up in her new apartment. Sunday I re-arranged my work area to bring in the new cabinets and re-acquaint myself with items that had been stored away....and Monday we moved her into her apartment in the heart of the city....took a little break at the Atwater market which has a dizzying array of beautifully arranged fruits and vegetables, flowers and great food. My daughter's happy with her place and
it's been altogether a great weekend....

Monday, August 25, 2008

What I'm Learning from "The Pulse" Survey

This is going to be a learning experience....Joining a group such as this is like an portraying an internal self portrait. Already I've learned something about myself from the question about collections. Personally, anything in groups of three is on its way to being considered a collection, which means that I have quite a few collections on the go. But what would I consider indispensable, can't live without/walk away from, N E E D.....and I'm surprised that somewhere along the way I've stopped putting so much emphasis on "things". I look at the photo of the items that I "collect" and they're very sentimental and of the past and yet what excites me in subject matter is becoming more abstract, even non-representational. I think I'm even learning to "live in the moment". There are "things" that I do covet, but nothing that you can pick up and hold. Like time......I need time to paint, to carry out ideas without having to shelve them waiting for a more convenient time... to acquire knowledge and refine skills. This is very freeing (is that a word?) Then after that I'd like to acquire a sense of balance, because without that the mind becomes encumbered with lists of things to do.
So there it is, the new "things" I want to acquire - time, knowledge, new collection.

Friday, August 22, 2008


An insight into the creative process is unfolding at "The Altered Page". A blog generously hosted by Seth Apter
to share the thoughts and ideas of over 90 artists. I am thrilled to be involved and in the company of so many inspiring people.
This edition at The Altered Page is called The Pulse and we're already on Day 4 and I am only now posting this info but it's not too late to play a bit of catchup; this will go on for a few weeks. Grab that cup of coffee, make yourself comfortable and be prepared to be inspired!

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Greenwood Project

Greenwood is the name of a heritage home in my town. Bequeathed to the town by Phoebe Hyde, it has been maintained and opened to the public to share the history in which Greenwood and it's past residents (particularly Phoebe) played. Inspired by the story and photographs on display, I decided to make a mixed media fabric board chronicling Greenwood's history.
Using a linen background and vintage lace and printing the images and story on fabric I assembled the pieces onto three panels in a free-standing screen. The materials were chosen to blend with the surroundings in which it would be displayed.
A satisfying project and an opportunity to experiment with fabric next fabric projects will also include images of Hudson that I've taken recently.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This is How It Starts....

Having recently discovered working with hot glass (in a small way), I take particular pleasure in knowing that Hudson, where I have lived for over thirty years was the site of a glass industry located on the shore of the Lake of Two Mountains. At it's height over a century ago, it was still possible (at least in the early years when I first moved here) to find colored glass while walking along the beach or just below the wharf.

I'm happy to have a place to work on my torch in my home even if it is in the basement. This is at it's messiest but it's a happy, colorful mess.

The glass starts out in rod form (as you see on my table next to the torch. Heated in the torch, it melts and I guide it on to a steel mandrel coated with a bead release formula that will let me slide the bead off later when completely cooled. After the base bead, several other colors can be added (a little like painting with molten glass) and texture can be left or completely melted in and then shaped into perfect little spheres, barrel shapes, squished between graphite paddles or even molded into presses. Lately I've been experimenting with sculpting the glass using small scale steel tools (steel because they can stand up to the heat taking care not to let them get so hot that they stick to the molten glass). Sculpting beads would be for the goddess type beads as an example which require shaping with the aforementioned tools as opposed to a symmetrical bead. Upon completion and while still so hot they've just lost the red glow, they are put into a fibre blanket to cool slowly to avoid thermal shock.
Then I gather together finished beads from the fibre blanket and slide them onto some mandrels to be put into the kiln to be annealed (takes the stress out of the glass that's accumulated during the time it's in the fire) although personally I find that part stressing myself......Finally they must have the bead release residue cleaned out of the holes before I can use them in jewellery.

.....and then the satisfying part....designing the finished product....

Of Fish and Goddesses and Midsummer Night's Dreams....

As promised much earlier on, I am posting the pics of some of the beads I've produced. My raised dots are my usual favorite but now that I can work with more metals I am experimenting with how to use them. Metal effects are obtained by reducing the oxygen and using a richer fuel to bring them out with a wonderful raku look to the glass (somewhat tricky). I love the "not so little" bum on my turquoise "goddess". There is also an unintended gilded birthmark on her frontside! The fish started out as a hollow bead until I kept going with it and it grew fins.... Having used a 5/32" mandrel I can wear it on an interchangeable bail that I made especially for the Pandora/Troll beads that are so popular now. The next ones out of the kiln are all florals which I can hardly wait to assemble into a sort of "Midsummer Night's Dream" theme.