Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy 148th Birthday Canada!

Canada is 148 years old! 
Psst, you know what that means don't you? Canada will be 150 years old in 2017.

Where exactly did June go? Is it with my lost socks?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Quotes: Orson Welles

"I passionately hate the idea of being 'with it.'" A true artist is always out of step with his time. He has to be." –– Orson Welles (1915-1985), American actor, director, & writer

Friday, June 26, 2015

Books: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, edited by Sharon Louden. 

I've been reading this book in slow sips over several months and I highly recommend it to anyone who is beginning a visual art practice and to all those who are already established. The gist of the book is that there is no one path. Some artists make their livings from day jobs outside of the art field, others teach or work in arts administration or as artist assistants. A handful make their entire living from art sales and of this handful a few do well and others live hand-to-mouth. In addition to the realities of money, the artists described their art practices. Some need to work every day, others work in waves. They also talk about balancing family and studio. In one hilarious essay, the artist shared how her young son told her that he thought that he needed to see a dentist. Balance isn't easy. The last chapter is an interview with two art dealers who give an overview of the art world. If you do buy or borrow this book, read it slowly as there is a lot to take in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cathy Yantsis

Cathy Yantsis Perplexed by Churchill
In February my friend Cathy Yantsis left her full-time job so that she could dedicate herself to her studio practice. In April, this painting, Perplexed by Churchill, was featured in all the advertising for the Art Gallery of Hamilton spring art sale, including billboards!! Not bad, eh? If that message from the universe that Cathy made the right choice to dedicate herself to painting full-time isn't loud and clear enough, I don't know what is. Cathy Yantsis is an emerging artist worth watching.

Cathy Yantsis Perplexed by Churchill, mixed media 48" X 48"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Quotes: Spirit of the West

"And if Venice is sinking, I'm going under
'cause beauty's religion and it's christened me with wonder." –– Spirit of the West (1983-present), Canadian folk rock band
* Source: song If Venice is Sinking, written by John Mann & Geoffrey Kelly, 1983 re: John Mann's honeymoon with his wife Jill Daum in Venice

Friday, June 19, 2015

Shake N' Make potholders by Liss Platt

Shake N' Make potholders (Liss Platt); Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Here's a little colour for your weekend compliments of Liss Platt from the Shake N' Make collective. She made these babies on one of those square plastic potholder looms that girls received as Christmas gifts in the 1970s. They've come back into vogue: My eight-year-old friend makes potholders on a similar loom. Liss buys her loops from Harrisville Designs.

Of Note

1. Titles of books noticed in a San Francisco Airport bookstore in December 2014: Blink, Bounce, Choke, Nudge, Sway.

2. Tea bags are made from Abaca hemp, a very strong fibre from the Banana family.

3. Cliff Eyland (b. 1954), is a Canadian painter who has been making art in the 3" X 5" (index card) format since 1981. That's 34 years for those who are mathematically challenged. He's from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and currently lives in balmy Winnipeg, Manitoba. His work is permanently on view in the new Halifax Central Library: 5000 paintings! He's a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he began his index card-sized work.

4. Claire Cameron, Canadian author, writes Notebook pages (part of her blog). They are collages of images and text taped onto lined paper. Visually, they are nothing fancy, but they are definitely thought-provoking. She's a cousin of food writer/stylist/broadcaster Lindsay Cameron Wilson. Story-telling runs in the genes.