My studio time has been minimal lately. Not that I haven't been creating, it seems that the summer brings a shift in my sensibilities. Sitting on my covered deck in the rain with a sketchbook and pen, using watercolours at outdoor events to etch memories onto paper. Our Alberta climate is such that by the time May rolls around and I can reliably be outside without a snowstorm looming, I can't bear to stay inside. So, I like to make my work portable.
This time of the year is also where I look to refill my reserves and bank some creative ideas for when the machinery of life starts up again in September. A day spent sketching and dreaming often pays dividends further downstream when I need inspiration. I can open a sketchbook, feel the memory of hot sun and survey the notes I made while my creative urges were blooming.
This has been my rhythm for around twenty years now. I am a firm believer in grounding myself in the pages of my sketchbook. It is my memory keeper, colour swatcher, endeavor planner and place for safe keeping. A treasure trove of ideas.
Since this is such an integral part of my art practice, as an instructor, I jump at every chance I get to share some of the tricks and methods I've stumbled across and integrated into my studio practice. This summer is FILLED to the brim with such opportunities. In fact, I've already held a few sketching based workshops, with lots more on the way.
All of these classes are suitable for beginners who are looking to open a sketchbook and begin their creative journeys, seasoned professionals who just need a creative exploration to shake things up and everyone in between. Oftentimes these classes become a catalyst for creativity and cross pollination as everyone is supportive and friendly. It's a great way to meet some new people and potential future sketching buddies!
Coming up this weekend, I will be returning to the charming Leighton Art Centre for a special sketchbook class -
Creative Freedom – Using an Art Journal to Unlock Your Creative Spirit
(One Day Workshop)
June 22, 2019 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Unsure of where to start on the path of creativity? Feeling stalled with creative blocks? Need an infusion of inspiration? Whatever your experience level or challenges you face with your art, you can break through using a series of creative techniques and journaling to discover the next step in your artistic journey!
$85.00 + GST & Eventbrite Fees
Registration closes on Thurs. June 20, 2019 at 6:00 PM
Register here or contact email@example.com or phone: 403-931-363
In July and August I will be doing five sessions at the fabulous Inglewood Art Studios (in Bridgeland), we held a session at this location in May and the variety of architectural and natural features was amazing to draw. Great for people watching too!
Plein Air Sketching Summer Series
(One Day Workshop, 5 different sessions to choose from)
Saturdays from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Come join us at the Inglewood Arts studio and around Bridgeland for some outdoor urban sketching. This series of classes will focus on a wide range of approaches for quickly capturing the moment with easy-to-transport supplies as well plenty of practical information of what to bring on your adventures! Each session will feature different techniques and places in the neighbourhood. Sign up for one, or join us for more!
Choose your dates ($90 per session - Save when you register for more then 1 Session)
1 Session $90
2 Sessions $150 (Save $30)
3 Sessions $195 (Save $75)
4 Sessions $240 (Save $120)
5 Sessions $275 (Save $175)
Register here or contact Inglewood Art Supplies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-265-8961
If you are looking for a reason to get back into your sketchbook, want to learn how to draw while travelling or to start using all those empty sketchbooks you keep buying... come and join me on one of these dates!
I am really proud of this little book.
I have been wanting to make some properly bound books for a while now. However, something was holding me back... I realize now it was my brain tumour that was making reading and deciphering instructions really, really difficult over the past few years. It seemed that as I acquired more and more equipment made for bookbinding purposes, my ability to learn new stuff started to decline. Even reading recipes started to get so frustrating as I couldn't hold on to the order of the steps or the ingredients at the top of the page, So this idea sat dormant while my interest and equipment grew.
Things I already knew how to do didn't cause any problems (and probably contributed to why my issues didn't get discovered earlier). Repeating things over and over, or making a whole bunch of the same type of thing helped me keep learning when my reading abilities started to fade. I was also good at learning while watching someone show me each step. Although, when new tools and terms were mentioned, I had a really hard time actually saying the new words - I couldn't spit them out. I knew the words, I just couldn't bridge the gap between my mind and my tongue. I also tended to get lost with too many steps, causing me to retrace and retrace.
I already knew how to do linocut printmaking, I've also been printing on fabric for a few years. Cutting paper and measuring stuff is second nature. Those parts of this project was like a duck taking to water. What intimidated me was the stitching. I have a hard time looking at diagrams for knots and origami already. Throw in brain surgery and muddled illustrations... I felt kind of lost.
So I decided to just take it one step at a time. I started with the easy stuff I already knew and once those things looked pretty good, I tackled the binding part.
The funny thing was - the pictures totally made sense. I'm finding that when I read instructions now, they are very clear and straightforward to my newly healed brain. This time last year, I would have gotten mad or irritated with every step. I kept expecting to get stumped only to realize that it all made sense. That was really cool.
So I breezed through it. It worked. I started to revise the steps so that the next one is better. I'm very excited about all this!
If all this linocut printing, block printing on fabric stuff is intriguing you (and you live around Calgary) why don't you join me for one of my upcoming classes or demonstrations?
Saturday, September 22nd, I'll be at Inglewood Art Supplies teaching a one day workshop on linocut printmaking.
Saturday, September 29th, I'll be at the Leighton Art Centre demonstrating my block printing on Fabric for Alberta Culture days.
November 10th and 11th, I'll be at the Leighton Art Centre doing an intensive 2 day workshop all about linocut block printing on fabric.
For more info or to sign up, click the links or visit my home page.
Summer has passed through Alberta in it's usual whirlwind fashion and I noticed this morning some yellow leaves dropping from the trees. It has been really busy in our household. Kids coming and going from jobs to camp to friends places. Wonderful visits from friends and family. Short day trips and treks into the surrounding foothills. I've been puttering away steadily in my studio any moment I can, but it is mostly prepping for projects that I'll undertake when I can focus for longer stretches of time (a.k.a. back to school). While I'm mourning the passing of hot summer days, I am also yearning for routine and structure. A turning of the seasons.
One exciting thing I am looking forward to is a new partnership with Inglewood Art Supplies. They have been renovating the neighbouring space in their Bridgeland building so that they can begin to offer art classes, demonstrations and workshops. The results of their space transformation is amazing. You can really tell people who make art were behind the planning and execution of this endeavor. Tall ceilings, well equipped work stations and great lighting will make this an amazing place to teach and learn.
I will be offering a 5 week class for beginner acrylic painting that will happen on Tuesday nights from 6:30 - 8:00 pm going from September 18th to October 16th. I will also offer two different 1 day workshops at Inglewood this fall. Beginner Linocut Printmaking in September and then a Creative Art Journaling workshop in October.
In November I will be back at the fabulous Leighton Art Centre to teach a two day intensive workshop on Block Printing on Fabric - this is timed so that those who want to learn an interesting skill can practice by making a whole stack of very cool Christmas gifts if they want.
As usual, I post all my workshops, classes, demonstrations and showings on my main page - there you will find all the links you need to directly register for my classes. I really hope to see you there.
Confession. Sometimes I make stuff based off of things people tell me they really wish they could use. Often this happens during workshops or classes I teach. The above books were born from a common frustration I've heard during my sketching classes. "I love drawing, but I never know what to draw."
It is really easy to let a blank page intimidate you. It is also easy to feel overwhelmed by a big blank sketchbook. This little book is a two for one deal. It only has 20 pages and it only has twenty prompts. You could tuck this away in your backpack on a trip or you could sneak it into your purse and go to a coffee shop. Since it is only 20 pages, it is completely reasonable that you could finish this little book off over a Grande latte or a week at the beach.
The prompts are simple and vague... they are flexible to the different kinds of environments you might be in. They are suitable for any age as well, so you could easily gift one to a drawing enthusiast who would get a kick out of it.
This is a quick and loose kind of book, not a precious book. It is meant to be used as a conduit for your creativity to get you started (or restarted) and onto the next project. It is a means to an end.
I mentioned it during my drawing class today and had quite a few who wanted more details. So here they are! If you want one for yourself, please message me here and I can send you a snapshot of available covers (all the interiors are the same at the moment).
If you find one you like, I accept cash, paypal and EFT (we can figure that out via email) and for the next while, I will even mail it to you for free (Canada only - anywhere else, I can give you the cost in the email, one book is just a standard letter rate so very affordable to ship) Each book of prompts costs $11.00 CDN and is made by me!
If you like the little sketchbook idea, but don't want the prompts, I also carry a variety of blank notebooks (same size, same paper stock, same number of pages) that have one of a kind covers as well. Same free shipping in Canada applies here, these ones are priced at $9.00 each.
You can also find them in person at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond!