One of my side projects for the past couple months has been doing (and instructing) block printing on fabric. I love carving blocks and then stamping patterns. Since the summer, I have been amassing a small stock pile of hand cut blocks and tiles that I've been playing with combining into new and interesting motifs. So much fun!
I have a selection of these on sale for the AKCS Christmas Market this weekend in Airdrie; Friday November 25th (5pm – 9pm) and Saturday November 26th (10am – 4pm) at Airdrie Koinonia Christian School, 77 Gateway Drive NE, Airdrie, AB).along with other hand pulled linocut prints, letterpress cards and original paintings.
Since I'm testing the waters with these, they will be priced to move - I think they are pretty cool and suspect they won't last long! Come early for the best selection (or shoot me an email) and if they go like I think they will, I will for sure have more this spring.
This past week has been busy, busy, busy! This week promises to be more of the same. I have a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes for 2017 that I want to share here, but I have been short on time and each of these things deserves a nice sit down post of it’s own. In the coming weeks I will elaborate in more details, I promise!
Card Making at Leighton Art Centre this past weekend...
One thing that has kept me busy, was this past weekend I got to teach another printmaking class at the Leighton Art Centre. I absolutely love instructing there. For those that haven’t ventured out there, the studio space is a beautiful, old, one room schoolhouse (see the picture above). It is a cheerful and inviting space with lots of room to set up and stretch out and there are so many interesting things to inspire creativity on the shelves and walls. I just love the staff and students there. The class I led this time was another Introduction to Printmaking class – we had a lot of fun designing and making Christmas cards, tags and gift wrap. The beauty of doing something this simple is that the class had plenty of time to perfect their brayer and baren techniques as they reprinted their blocks multiple times.
It was great to see some familiar faces and catch up on their work as well! I love it when students show me the stuff they are experimenting and perfecting or the things that inspire them to try a new art form themselves. It was a great day!
AKCS Market this weekend....
Another thing that has kept me on my toes is my preparation for the AKCS Christmas Market in Airdrie this coming Friday November 25th (5pm – 9pm) and Saturday November 26th (10am – 4pm) at Airdrie Koinonia Christian School, 77 Gateway Drive NE, Airdrie, AB).
I am excited and a little bit nervous – I am dipping my toes back into the world of artisan markets after taking a break for a few years. When I lived in Kelowna, I had a few summers where I would rent tent space at the Kelowna Farmer’s Market to sell handmade cards and paintings. Getting back into this has felt like coming home to my roots in some ways. If you are one of my Airdrie friends thinking of coming, I truly hope to see you there – I’ve been missing seeing familiar faces since I moved.
I’ve had a lot of fun making cards on my letterpress (new for market selling!) I’ll have some fun, affordable Christmas and greeting cards that I’ve made using antique metal typeface and fun engraved and linocut images in my collection. All of this plus a nice selection of still life and landscape paintings and hand pulled linocut prints (either matted or matted and framed). The next few days will be spent polishing everything thing up, packaging and pricing for market.
The nervous feeling comes from not having done this in a while... I think every artist can relate to the “will they like my stuff?”, “is everything priced right?”, “do I have the right mix for this market?” added in with the “will I have it all packed and ready on time?” feelings... it can be a little vulnerable if you stop too long to think about it! On the flip side, the thing I LOVE about selling at market is the face time with customers and friends. Real interaction and feedback absolutely puts wind in my sales (and I’ve often had some great suggestions for future products from people looking for very specific things). I have made some very dear friends through channels like this - looking forward to this part this weekend and hoping to make more friends (and catching up with friends that I haven’t seen in ages).
The original meeting for this painting was quite unique. Typically, I will meet with the leadership team of an organization and hear what the primary focus is of their work. We cover the history of the organization, the vision, the people they work with and how they measure success in reaching their mission. I find it endlessly fascinating the different ways these groups reach out and try to make a difference. In the Intersection Art Project, I’ve met with groups that help newcomers to Canada, people who work with at risk individuals, and others who help youth (to name a few).
This month I had the pleasure of working with Praise International Fellowship. This is the third Calgary Church that is tied to Encompass Partnership (all of them wildly different from each other). Instead of the typical leadership style meeting, their pastor invited quite a few of their congregation to come and share. It was pretty cool. Every single person who sat at the table was there because someone else had taken the time to invite them personally to some PIF event. I heard many, many stories about their awesome camping trips (seriously, I may start referring to them as “The Camping Church”) They are very connected to each other and the neighbourhoods they live in. I thought that was pretty neat.
Another thing we did was stop everything we were doing and we took some time to close our eyes and pray (I told you this meeting was unique). This was not a scheduled thing, but it seemed very fitting to the moment. I asked everyone to see if any colours, visions or verses came to mind. It was really cool to hear about this afterwards. This painting is a culmination of what everyone shared. A tree, where every leaf symbolizes a believer is held in the hands of Christ reaching down from the sky. The colours fuchsia, yellow and indigo played a prominent role. These paintings tend to take on a life of their own – this one especially because there were so many people to collaborate with!
This has been quite a year. After this painting, I have one more piece left in the Intersection Art Project. It has been amazing working with all these Calgary Non-Profit groups that are connected with Encompass Partnerships. Starting to wonder what my next big project will be!
In the meantime, here is a reminder of some upcoming events:
Nov. 12th -& 13th - Christmas in the Country, Leighton Art Centre –A selection of my paintings and hand pulled prints are still available for sale.
Nov. 19th - Card Making Workshop, Leighton Art Centre – Using basic printmaking techniques, students will explore the versatility of using linocut to create cards and other gift items. Everyone will leave with a selection of handmade cards and their own stamps. Sign up for it here.
Nov. 25th/26th - AKCS Christmas Market, Airdrie – A full selection of my paintings, hand pulled prints, cards and textiles will be available for sale at this amazing little Christmas Market. I will be on site for the entire event demonstrating with my tabletop letterpress. More market information can be found here.