Tag Archives: art

1 Year of Stitches – DONE

1 Year of Stitches FINISHED

1 Year of Stitches

One year ago my friend Lou Anne Sybenga and I started a project called #1yearofstitches or #onestitchaday. This challenge was begun by Hannah Claire Somerville. When I saw this project on Instagram it took my fancy. I had just finished a year long one-a-day project which required me to go outside everyday and make ephemeral art. So stitching was a nice change.

I decided to take Hannah’s idea and share it with my artistic muse and neighbour, Lou Anne. We decided to both start hoops and trade back and forth every couple of weeks. She chose a light pink ground and I choose black. To say she is not computer savvy is a bit of an understatement. And I am the opposite, so I documented everything on Instagram.

1 Year of Stitches BEFORE

Hannah describes #1yearofstitches thusly:

“I am interested in the impact, or mark, that an individual makes on a daily basis. Big or small, our daily activities are often times unquantifiable and intangible. I am approaching this project as a personal map making; the fabric ground represents each day of the year, with the needle and thread representing my actions throughout the day. I will embroider— maybe one stitch, maybe more, (hopefully) every day and photograph the result. The embroidery I create will become a tangible, visual account of the decisions, movements, conversations and sometimes lack there of, that I make each day. I hope to use this project as a means of creating mindfulness and deeper reflection upon the choices we make as a society. ”

Our Rules and Stipulations (adapted from Hannah) were:

  1. Our fabric ground consists of a swatch of poly-cotton in a 10’’ x 10’’ hoop. The thread we use may change daily and we may adhere additional types of media to our ground with thread.
  2. We will embroider something each day and I will try to post a photograph of the result each day on @wavesongart.
  3. It is not required that we make a stitch— some days you definitely do not contribute anything to society.
  4. We are allowed to remove stitches, because mistakes can sometimes be undone.
  5. We will exchange hoops on a regular basis.
  6. More rules and stipulations may be added as the project evolves and lessons are learned.

Lou Anne’s hoop

Ev’s hoop

WHAT WE LEARNED:

  • We both had to give ourselves permission to be more flexible and less anal. Some days we just forced ourselves to stitch. Some days, fuck it! Who’s gonna police this but us?
  • The hoops became fluid. Meaning we had to drop the notion that the pink one was ‘hers’ and the black one was ‘mine’ because at first we were both afraid of screwing up each other’s hoops. The funny thing is, when the year ended, we decided to keep the one we each began with.
  • The pink hoop called out to be filled in totally. The black hoop called out for more negative space or background showing through.
  • Lou Anne’s default was to complete a little area with a scene or object. I tried to create little objects and I didn’t enjoy it. Chain stitch, running stitch and back stitch were my go-to’s.
  • A year is a long time and SHIT happens. Sometimes you just don’t feel like carrying an embroidery hoop into a hospital waiting room.
  • Everyone who saw the hoops was very inspired. But it was less inspiring in some ways for us. I was glad to get back into hand stitching actually though and I realize I abandoned it for my machine a number of years ago. So I am looking forward to more hand-stitching.
  • Where does inspiration come from? Ah, the eternal artist’s question and still waiting to be answered!
  • We always enjoyed what the other person was doing more than our own work.
  • We were very glad to FINISH, to see the year through to the end! If we hadn’t had each other to be accountable to we may not have finished.
  • We make our mark on each other. Our friendship is very important.
  • I don’t need to do another year long one-a-day project for a l-o-n-g time.

Chloe’s three little bugs

Purple Rain, Cabin in the Woods and Vancouver Island forest

Lou Anne’s paisley and Ev’s Aurora

texture

beading

Lou Anne’s jumping fish and Ev’s Ombre

 

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10 Ways to Enjoy an Artist’s Studio Tour

Art studio tour signs brighten my day.

For an artist to let you into their private space is a treasure and an honour.

Wave Tour

 

If you have never ‘done’ a Studio Tour or wanted to do one but not known ‘how to’, here is my listicle:

  1. Get the brochure ahead of time and circle your ‘must see’ stops. Include at least one artist who is totally out of your comfort zone. Most tourist bureaus have copies of upcoming events brochures and each artist should also have copies. Or go to the website and print it out. Or use a mobile site as your map.
    The Wave brochure
  2. Take a friend!
  3. Plan a route but don’t feel you have to stick to it. Plan at least 10-15 minutes minimum at each stop. Of course some stops will surprise you and you will feel you’d like to stay for hours!
  4. Take snacks in the car. Some studios treat their guests with light refreshments but not all artists do this, nor should you expect it. View this as a bonus. There may not be a restaurant nearby.
  5. Wear easily-removable footwear. You may be asked to take off your shoes as you trek through someone’s home.
  6. Make sure to meet the artist in person. Ask the artist one question about their work.
  7. Ask before taking photos and posting anything on Instagram. Ask each artist for their hash tag.
  8. Plan to purchase one piece of art at least at one studio. Yes! Everyone can afford a greeting card or bookmark! Whether it be an expensive original work or a greeting card it is amazing what you will find and these artists really want your support. Take cash and your cheque book. Many studios are not set up to exchange credit cards or debit. Some are, but don’t count on it.
  9. As a fun exercise, choose your favourite piece at each studio and explain why to your travelling companions. Sort of like a treasure hunt at each stop.
  10. Notice the surroundings. Sometimes the outside of the studio and yard are just as fascinating.

Stretch out of your comfort zone. Let me know how it goes.

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Reflections on a Year Long One-a-Day Ephemeral Art Project

I spent all of 2016 focused on an endeavour called One-a-Day Ephemeral Art Project*.

Every day for a year I went outside and had a short conversation with nature. I made a piece of art with foraged objects and left it for someone to find (or not) celebrating whatever the environment offered me each day.  I documented the entire year on Instagram by posting two photos each day; a close-up and an in situ shot (Leonie Barton gave me that idea.)

best nineThe project was a discipline and became like a daily meditation for me, visual prayer. It was a combination of contemplative photography, long hikes, strategically placed garbage and pushing the limits of imagination. I promised that I wouldn’t use any tools (somedays that would haunt me!)

And believe me, it was hard. Some days I had to force myself to go outside. Some days I couldn’t get past my own yard. Some days I hit it out of the park. Some days was a struggle to forage in 20 degrees below with frozen fingers. Somedays it was like finding mana (like the afternoon I came across a whole box of jelly-filled donuts in a parking lot).  Somedays I felt like a pirate, somedays a weaverbird.

tree ladder

Somedays I felt on the edge of vandalism and trespassing. Most days I was just a small town sleuth and magpie.

I tried not to censor my work but just take the first idea which came along and try to work with it. I found myself becoming repetitive and doing mandalas and lines of things a lot.

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-7-18-03-pm

“Sum 115, divide by 4113 = 0.92796”

Then I would try to push myself out of that normalcy into something I didn’t really think was beautiful. And especially on really cold days….just make a mark, dang it and get your hands into your mittens again!

I jumped right in on January 1st, thinking what a neat project this was. Being in a northern clime I really never thought about what I would do the deep winter, even though it WAS deep winter when I began. But there are various ‘types’ of snow (as the Inuit know) and only some days are good for snowmen. So I would use snow when it was just right.

Dominoes

“Deconstructed snowmen”

Somedays I longed something other than snow to work with. I longed for colour.hydrant

The really cool thing was going back days later to a spot and seeing that someone else had added to my art or modified it. This didn’t happen very often but it was fun when it did.

The enemy of the ephemeral artist is wind!  Yet I tried to use it to my advantage some days and take a video of the movement of the leaves or something I made hanging from a tree. Click on the photo to see the video.

"Grass Skirt"

“Grass Skirt”

The truly memorable days were the ones I would be accompanied by my grandson. “I gotta do my artwork” he would mimic.  red line

blue boots

I also got to teach at a couple of schools.

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I had a follower on Instagram who almost every day would give a title to my photo. She was brilliant and I looked forward to seeing how she would interpret my work with her eyes.

"Sea Eye"

“Sea Eye”

"A Chorus Line"

“A Chorus Line”

"Ladybug Chorus"

“Ladybug Chorus”

I was very timid about being seen doing my art. If you are a geocacher than you will know the term ‘muggles’. I was much happier if no muggles were about. Sometimes I would even hide. I guess I just didn’t want to have to explain myself.

I got very tired of pavement, yet I do love seeing things in sidewalk cracks. So the days when I could get on a real nature hike were very welcome.

I did this the morning of April 26th and little did I know that my mom would die 8 hours later. Maybe she needed this map to find her way home.

sand labyrinthSomedays I took little videos as the in situ shot. Click the photo and see the video…screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-7-19-34-pm

 

The project really slowed me down and made me an observer.

You can view it all here, https:// http://www.instagram.com/ wavesongart/

Click the photo and see the video…screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-7-57-39-pm

*I am indebted to Shona Wilson for starting all of this and to Leonie Barton for the inspiration. If there is any one else I didn’t give credit to, please forgive me.

365 Day Ephemeral Art Project 2016

I’m challenging myself in 2016 to produce an ephemeral art piece each day.

So what is ephemeral art? It’s a piece of art made on a walk with no tools and only what I find and then leave behind for others to find (or not).

This came as a result of gazing around Instagram and coming upon the work of Leonie Barton who had done this in 2015. I was totally inspired.

I have loved land art, or temporary art installations, since encountering Andy Goldsworthy‘s work years ago. Goldsworthy

My kids and I have done “Goldsworthys” on beaches in numerous places. I have left behind many pieces of art over the years. But never one a day.Hecla - 30 IMG_4179 Hecla - 06 IMG_4167

So here goes….

IMG_8276

snow chunks on pavement

IMG_8285

Rotting apples on grass

IMG_8261

Markings in snow on pond ice

IMG_8269

Acorn caps with Water Main cover on cement

Please follow me on @ wavesongart to get the rest.