Friday, October 26, 2007

ReVision - The Art Of Recycling 2007

Ever wonder what happened to that old trombone discarded long ago, or your mother's stash of buttons, or that pair of water skies stored at the cottage since 1962?

For the past half year I have been organizing an art event that takes place this weekend. Revision - the art of recycling is a 2-day juried show featuring recycled artwork: art made from anything reused, recycled, salvaged, scrounged or found - be it useful, beautiful, odd, playful, or thought provoking. The exhibition is being held in support of Waste Reduction Week in Canada (October 15-21, 2007).

Sixteen artists from across British Columbia will be represented, displaying over 40 works of art, inspired by their creative use of recycled, salvaged and used materials. Art entries will be on display October 27 & 28 from 11am - 5 pm at the Granville Island Hotel, 1252 Johnston Street in Vancouver.

One of my pieces, Stonewashed Orange Pekoe, is a 3-piece cast paper installation. The paper used to make the pulp came from a local paper distributor. The blue coloration comes from the paper scraps, no additional pigments were added. To make the mold for the teapot, I used an old brown betty. The molds for the mugs were worn cermaic slip cast molds. The embellishments are from an old pair of blue jeans.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


When asked to create a piece of art on a particular emotion, in this case passion, I started with a colour theme. Colours that immediately came to mind were red, maroon, purple and black. Yes, I realize that's a bit dark, but besides the warm and fuzzy feelings, for me passion also contains some risque, spur-of-the-moment elements. Once I assembled my tubes of paint, I searched through magazines for images that either contributed to the colour or images theme. These images were torn and placed on my background paper. Once happy with the layout, I started adding acrylic paint, both to unify the images and to further enhance the colour theme. I like to use a large flathead paintbrush and a stencil brush to get the initial colours down. At the end, to finetune things, I use various smaller brushes as well as scraps of diecut papers as stencils to add extra spot colours.

Janet Planet Designs

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nick Bantock Workshop

This summer I was able to take a workshop with Nick Bantock. The 2-day workshop was in his new studio/gallery on Saltspring Island, aptly named The Forgetting Room. This was not a beginner course, and all 12 participants had some art background.

Nick is a great teacher and very generous with his knowledge and supplies. Throughout the weekend, we raided his store of magazines, postage stamps and rubber stamps, and constantly picked his brain. It was so inspirational to be creating your own art while surrounded by like minded people amid Nick's fantastic art.

The workshop consisted of a number of collage exercises, each increasingly complex, all a la Nick Bantock.

One such exercise ....
1) We were handed an 8-1/2 x 11 section of a nautical chart
2) And then a small image (mine was a fish stamp)
3) Next we cut a triangle window in the chart
4) And found a simple magazine image to add to the back to show through the window
5) Then we found a number in a magazine to add to our artwork
6) We then created another window (any shape, I chose a triangle again)
7) And added another magazine image to show through
8) And then added postage stamp
9) Then from Nick's rubber stamps, we each chose 2
10) And stamped each once onto our artwork
11) Last we added a 1/2" border of our choice

And here's mine ...

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm on A Bit of A Roll

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage
Basket of Lemons on a farm in Sorrento, Italy

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage
Backyard fern

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage
Pomegranates and squash in a market in Barcelona, Spain

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage
Local intertidal algae

I'm feeling the need to finish everything before the Nick Bantock workshop at the end of the month. I've admired his books ever since Griffin and Sabin and am looking forward to learning some new techniques.

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Art, New Shows

Thought I'd do some smaller pieces for the 2 shows in August. I've been working away, experimenting some more with the traditional collage and paint backgrounds with laser overprints of digital collages. The first show is at the Granville Island Hotel during the island's "Made in B.C." weekend so I've used some local nature images. The "Blue Parrot Art Show and Sale runs Sunday and Monday, Autust 5 and 6, from 10 am to 5 pm both days. The Granville Island Hotel is located at 1252 Johnston Street on Granville Island in Vancouver. The second is a 2-man show in a private garden at 2836 West 19th Avenue in Vancouver on Sunday August 19th from 11 to 6. Again, I'm keep with the natural theme.

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage
Backyard swordfern

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage
Mediterranean shell and starfish

The more quick sale items will include cards, both the ones with the magnet embellishment and the ones with the 1-inch button pins. For those into 1-inch buttons, I'll also have the Asian ones with the Japanese paper backgrounds with your choice of Chinese calligraphy characters, and the minimalist ones with the abstract backgrounds and 2-word sayings.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Completing the Academy of Hue

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage

Finally finished all the pieces in the series. Then I had to frame them. Since I had inherited 7 frames, I created the pieces to fit. But I got carried away and created 11, so I had to find another 4 frames that would sortof match. Good thing I got the 7 for free, because the 4 I got to match cost a fortune. But, I'm pleased with how they turned out.

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage

Because the series is for an artists open house event in April, Artists In Our Midst, I'm also creating smaller priced items based on the works from this series. So, I've made cards using the images. To add something a little different, I've also created 1-inch buttons that match and are attached to the cards.

Janet Planet Designs, digital collage Janet Planet Designs, digital collage Janet Planet Designs, digital collage Janet Planet Designs, digital collage

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Digital Art Studio

I got a great book for Christmas from my husband, Digital Art Studio by Karin Schminke, Dorothy Simpson Krause and Bonny Pierce Lhotka. It discusses everything I've been trying to do with regards to combining digital and traditional materials and techniques with great step-by-step instructions and photo examples.
Up until now, I've been outputting to my Ricoh Aficio and Xerox Tektronik laser printers but am limited to maximum sizes of 11" by 17". I also have an HP Designjet inkjet plotter that allows up to 24" wide, but I hadn't attempted using it, until this book came along. I've been patiently waiting for my order of some of the needed materials from Daniel Smith in Seattle because I couldn't find InkAid or large sheets of polyester film locally. This weekend I'm hoping to attempt some larger test prints with the Designjet.

Other books I'm wanting to read now are Digital Photo Art by Theresa Airey, Digital Photo Artist by Tony Worobjec and Ray Spence, and Mastering Digital Printing by Harald Johnson.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Life and Death

Usually when I come across something in my life that repeats a few times, then it's obviously something I should pay attention to. Perhaps it's the universe trying to tell me something. Perhaps it's a god trying to shake up my complacency in life or allowing me a springboard from which things happen.

Last weekend I attended two, not just one but two funerals. I haven't been to a funeral in over four years, but along came a weekend where I went to two. Both were artists, one a woman in her 60's the other a young man in his mid-20's. They lead very different lives, both very full lives.

Anne had a degree in Chemistry and Physics (she taught at the university level), was an accomplished musician (accompanied the church choir), self-taught artist (she only began painting in her 40's), and mother of 4. She was one of those supermoms, who grew her own vegetables and fruit, harvested and canned them, backed, etc. She developed a rare degenerative neorological disease that took away her ability to communicate. For such a gifted woman it must have been so frustrating. Over the course of 5 years, I saw the disease slowly robbed her of the ability to speak, paint and read. The very conservative catholic service was accompanied by guitar and flute.

Zeyn was a singing and acting schoolmate of my younger daughter. Here was a young man who could light up a stage: a gifted singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and musician, and the pride of his single mother. After high school, he was accepted into a performing arts school in New York. He went on to perform in a Canadian touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He played the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that ran in Vancouver and Calgary. Recently, he had been battling various demons within and tragically was killed in the early morning hours near his family home. It is uncertain how he spent the last few hours of his life, but suffice it say, his mother is devastated. His memorial service was attended by close to a thousand people, many of whom lovingly performed at his celebration of life, a testement to the many lives he affected.

So what has this to do with me?
What have I contributed to the world?
Who would remember me and for what?
Would even a hundred people attend my funeral.
The thought of burying one of my children makes my heart palpitate.

Today, I'll give out some hugs and kisses, maybe call up a few old friends for tea, and get started on finishing those projects waiting in my studio.