Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Academy of Hue

I'll be participating in Artist In Our Midst again in the spring, so I'm trying to get a head start on producing some new work.

I inherited 7 beautiful square frames - black, gold and silver - from an artist who was downsizing from a large studio to a home studio. So, I've come up with a series based on the 3 primary colours, 3 secondary colours, and white. The imagery is based on various departments of a university: theology, fine arts, psychology, linguistics, economics, biology and history.

I also inherited a set of black mattes that contain a number of windows: 3 have 6 and 3 have 12. These are from another artist who was cleaning out her storage cupboards. In keeping with the university theme, the 3 with 6 I'm using for the laboratories. The 3 with 12, I'm using for the libraries.

Detail from The Zoology Laboratory and The Botany Laboratory

Monday, October 30, 2006

New ATCs

New ATCs from a "leaf" swap.
Think I'll try applying this technique to some larger works

Monday, August 21, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Artists Trading Cards

I've become addicted to making these 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 art pieces. It's a chance for me to get right into that paint and glue. As the name implies, these mini artworks are to be traded and not sold.

I had never made them before but signed up to participate in an ATC swap earlier this year through an internet art group I'm a member of. Each participant received the same packet of materials and were to create and send in 3 ATCs, for which each participant would received 3 ATCs back. The 3 I received were all so different, even though we all started with the same materials.

But, of course I made 4 and kept one for myself as a souvenier.

So, the group has another ATC swap and this time there are no restrictions. So I've tried some new techniques, incorporating some of my laser transfers onto collaged and painted card. Can't wait to see what I get in return.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hanging Out Some Old Laundry

I've been dealing with a lot of elderly people these days. It's very depressing. My sister-in-law (73 with Parkinsons and dementia) is in a facility in Victoria with 2 people to a room. She has the half without a window. She's allowed to bring one dresser and hang a few pictures on the wall.

Another old friend of the family (97 who fell and injured himself) is in a facility in North Vancouver where there are 4 people to a room. All his belongs have to fit into a closet that's approximately 2 feet wide and a single drawer. His prize momentos are kept in a ziplock bag. Even more depressing.

My father (93 who fell around Christmas) has just transferred into an "enhanced assisted living" wing of a residence in Richmond, having been in the "assisted living" wing for the past 2 years. Lucky him, he has a private room and his own bathroom. There, he has his own bed, drawers, a big closet, chairs and TV. But, he's unhappy. He feels he is surrounded by dying people, which they technically are. Most people who leave this facility do so on a gurney.

So, are we reduced to this at the end of our life? Perhaps alzheimers and dementia are not so bad, at least you don't realize what's happening to your aging body. To fit your prized belongings into a ziplock bag, god, I can't even fit them into a single room, nevermind one small bag.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Mother's Ramblings

I've just finished reading Lovely Bones and am now reading A Perfect Day To Go To China. The books have made me introspective these days, what with being a mother of two daughters. I always thought that the true love of my life would be a man and even though I am married to a wonderful man, I find my daughters consume my life. I always thought that once my daughters grew up, they would journey off on their own path, returning occassionally for Sunday dinners and special occasions. Not so.

When they were in their terrible teens, I wanted to disowned them, but miraculously they outgrew those years of rebellion. Then followed a few years of independence where they got full time jobs, lived with boyfriends, experimented with life, and I hardly heard from them. Now like the prodigal son they have returned and I seem to see them more than ever. Although neither live at home anymore, one in Vancouver, the other currently in Toronto, we email and talk on the phone almost every day.

When they were kids a mother's kiss could make the booboos better, an ice cream cone could make you forget you weren't invite to a sleepover birthday party. Now, I miss them when I'm not with them. My heart breaks when theirs is broken. My heart soars with every accomplishment. They constantly creep into my art.

Looking back, I take full responsibility for their careers in the music industry. When they were little, along with the preverbial bedtime story, each could choose a song and we would sing together before lights out. When they began kindergarten, they began music lessons. The rule in our house was that everyone had to take some kind of music lessons, piano was just the start. Soon after, one switched to drums and trumpet (much to our neighbours chagrin) and the other to violin then to voice (that's an instrument too she would say). They took associated dance classes and acting classes to round out thier performance skills. We had our share of bands practicing in our basement, nail biting auditions, and obligatory parental presence at performances. To this day, I try to go to as many performances as I can, from smokey bars in Vancouver to award ceremonies elsewhere.

We always encouraged them to follow their dreams and they did; unfortunately we forgot to encourage them to try to include a stable income as part of that equation. So one is a drummer and the other a singer. Both have had success to some extent (both have had Juno nominations), although the family bank seems to bail them out all too frequently.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Butterfly and Hosta

One of a series titled Close Encounters With Nature. Images are macro shots taken with an Olympus Camedia 5050. The hosta leaf with dew was taken in Campbell River on an early May morning. The butterfly wing was taken at the Spencer Entymological Museum at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Images were combined in CorelDraw.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Mind Is A Mansion

This is page 7 from The Mind Is A Mansion, an altered board book. The original book came with the holes. Background consists of washes of acrylic paint. The black and white text and image are transfers. Image is a black and white laser output of a traditional (non digital) collage onto release paper. Mirror image text is also a laser output to release paper. The transfer itself is accomplished using gel medium.

text for The Mind Is A Mansion:

The mind is a mansion that contains many rooms
Each a compilation described by our thoughts, dreams, emotions, ecstasies,
angers and secrets of our deepest selves.
There is so much that remains unseen
until we unlock the door and look inside.
There are infinite questions to be asked.
Much of the mind is cloaked in mystery
The more we look inside each room
the more we realize
that while these paradoxes and enigmas
are infinitely questioned,
they are forever never answered.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Kung Hay Fat Choy

This is The Fire of Creativity: May It Burn Throughout The New Year.

It's day 8 of the Chinese New Year of the Dog and being of Chinese heritage, although I hardly speak the language and have married a Caucasian, I cling to the superstitions and traditions of my ancestors. The circular candy tray is called "The Tray of Togetherness" and has an array of candy to start the New Year sweetly. After taking several pieces of candy from the tray, adults places a lucky red envelope (lai see) on the center compartment of the tray.

Each item represents some kind of good fortune.
  • Candied melon - growth and good health
  • Red melon seed - dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity
  • Lychee nut - strong family relationships
  • Coconut - togetherness
  • Peanuts - long life
  • Longnan - many good sons
  • Lotus seed - many children

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shadows of Mortality

This is Sorrow, a digital collage that is part of a 12-piece series called Shadows of Mortality. The entire series was also produced as a limited edition artist book by the same name as this series includes a lot of text. All the words on each of the pieces relate to the titles, in the case of Sorrow, words include melancholy, heartache, anguish, regret, pain and unhappiness. Other titles in the series include Contrition, Uninvited, Despair, Abandoned and Solitude.

Sorrow is on display during Matters of the Heart at the Unitarian Church at Oak and 49th until March 5.

Intro to the book:

All humans share a common bond - mortality.
It is the realization of our fragility
that sets us apart from other living things.
And each day,
shadows of our mortality test this fragility.

Some people are haunted by their shadows,
allowing the shadows to consume and darken their lives,
spreading their shadows and engulfing all in their path.
Others, accept their shadows,
but must re-confront them with every new step.
Others still, embrace their shadows,
celebrating the strengths and triumphs that evolve,
using their shadows as a palette for creative expression.
I welcome you to take a walk among some of my shadows.
I trust you will recognize some.
And for those that you do identify with,
rest assured that you are not alone.
I welcome you to take a walk among some of my shadows.
I trust you will recognize some.
And for those that you do identify with,
rest assured that you are not alone.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Digital Journey 2

Translation of the Chinese character is water, which is also the title for this piece. Background is composed an old boat I found in Steveston with a handpainted depth guage layered with an abstract closeup to create the watery effect. Foreground images include some fish from the Steveston market that have had their colours tweeked, as well as some other marine life.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Digital Journey 1

Digital Journeys is a series of digital collages that explore the often complimentary but sometimes opposite connotations when dealing with the cultural aspects of language. Several of the images from this series are currently on display at the Mix Bakery on West 10th Avenue in Vancouver.

The Chinese character translates "child" which is the title of the piece, an attempt at a self portrait. Besides the child, some other images that have been used include the maple leaf (Canada), a butterfly (metamorphosis), a starfish (westcoast), and some classical piano sheetmusic (music being another pursuit).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Digital Collage

As digital art implies, my work reflects the many layers of nature. Traditional collage begins with the collecting of images. As with traditional collage, I start with images taken with a digital camera or scanner. I use computer programs to manipulate these images and let the computer screen act as my canvas. I attempt to layer images using various filters and effects. The result is not always predictable.