This week I'm very busy getting ready for the Artist Alley which is taking place Sunday May 30th on Robinson Street in Markham. I have 17 frames to gently "re-purpose" and mats to cut and signs to make. When I look at all those frames laid out on my table I think, "I should go to Ikea!"...but then I think about the cost and the environment and all the room they're taking up in my closet and I start thinking about re-purposing again. The thing that is bothering me mostly is that I really want to be working on my altered book. I've got only 2 pages left and it will be done!! However, no one but me is going to paint all those frames. So until the framing is done I must put by book away. Here's a picture of one of my latest pages. The background is done using the tackiest of all products: plastic lace!
I hate getting up early, but sometimes it's worth it. The world is quite beautiful first thing in the morning. This is a straight forward watercolour of a farm in PEI in the morning light. By straight forward I mean no collage, not even pen! Watercolor is my first love. I'll never be able to really get it out of my system, no matter how many other techniques I try.
This is a little piece that I've been working on for awhile. The print measures 5 by 5 inches and the original is only a little bit larger. I nearly went cross eyed drawing these little things and finally it dawned on me that in this wonderful age of computers and resizing I didn't need to make microscopic drawings, I could just re-size! Not wanting to re-draw all these painstakingly small things, I finally completed it in its tiny form. I just put it in my shop. Maybe someday when I'm old I'll look back and think how wonderful it was that I could draw such tiny things...wonderful but totally unnecessary!
I was so pleased to see this weeks word, "equipment". This is a page from my altered book. I did it just last week and as you can see it features a piece of equipment! I love the idea of machines, especially old ones, being used metaphorically. This made me wonder why I like to put machines or math or science in my art and I think it has a lot to do with the wonderful art of Roland Emett. The Ontario Science Centre has a fantastic example of one of his whimsical machines that always stops me in my tracks. He creates the most marvelously detailed and whimsical equipment. I have one of his books and when I was trying to find link for this blog, I was surprised to see how hard his books are to find. He should be much more famous! If you haven't seen his work before, take a look. You're in for a treat.
Last week was the second Emerging Show at the McKay House in Unionville. I entered a piece called "Landscapes" which was a bigger version of the little abstract pieces I've had so much fun doing.
The reception was a lot of fun. How can you go wrong with 32 artists and their friends and great food! The McKay house was packed. The only mistake I made was forgetting to bring my camera. In the last hour of the last day I took my husband John and my camera to get one of those, "prove you were there" shots. I hate getting my picture taken at the best of times but John kept taking more and more pictures. Later I found out he couldn't see without his glasses so thought he'd just go for quantity instead of quality. The result is a rather hilarious bunch of pictures. Can you see me saying, "OMG take the freaking picture! Not again! That's enough! Stop! I'm leaving"
When my daughter, Becky, was around three, I used to take her to the neighborhood park where there was a climbing structure which has long since been torn down for safety reasons. We used to call it the "pirate ship" because it had a look out platform, or crow's nest, that was very high off the ground. Most children didn't dare climb that high but Becky always scrambled to the very top as fast as her legs could carry her. Other parents would invariabley start worrying. "Who's little girl is up there?!?" I'm sure you guessed that this doodle in my sketchbook is more representational of how I felt about the pirate ship than what it actually looked like. Becky never fell off the pirate ship and she is still to this day "fearless".
I think it's necessary to sometimes shut oneself away and work things out. At least that's how I operate. Too much hustle and bustle and my ideas don't get a chance to percolate.
The background is a great technique which I just discovered. It is a piece of rafia wrapped around a brayer and rolled on paper with printers ink.
© Laurel Martin 2010