Friday, February 14, 2014

On and Off our Walls

Last week I introduced you to Helene Blanchet of Calgary and Nova Scotia, and invited you to join the conversation, sharing with me your projects, experiments, the highs and lows of what's going on in your studios.

I was rewarded with a note from Jaynie Himsl of Saskatchewan.  Her name is familiar to me from her contribution to our travelling exhibit, "Meet the Best of the West".  She writes:

What a great idea... to show our own and see each other's work. I always enjoy looking at what others are producing. 
With that in mind I'll send you a picture of a recent piece of mine.  I created "Genesis" out of a desire to do a quick piece using only materials I had on hand.  Abstract work is not my usual style but I was pleased with how this came together.  It's made with synthetics, metallic brocade, silk, suede and paper napkins.  The size is approx. 37" x 53"

"Genesis 009" - Jaynie Himsl, Weyburn, SK
My inspiration is a free Hoffman Fabrics quilt pattern  I started to assemble a selection of fabric but I seemed to be going on a tangent from the pattern.  I ended up using only the cutting style suggested for the wonky blocks.  The rest was determined by intuition and fabrics on hand. 
I was experimenting with this piece so it will only stay in my collection.  Now that I have details figured out, I may make another one for public show.  We'll see if inspiration strikes again.
What about you?  Do you like to take a pattern style and 'tweak' it?  Do you go completely off on a tangent?  Do you like to use "non-cotton" fabrics in your work?

Please drop me a line -- margblank AT xplornet DOT ca... include a photo (or two) and share what's "On and Off" your wall!  I'd like to make this a weekly column, but it all depends on you!

To see more of Jaynie's work, you need to visit her on Facebook.  She has her own personal page, plus her artist's page -- and she's a member of the group, "Regina Artist's Trading Cards ATC Collective".

To see her piece in "Meet the Best of the West" -- visit the Kiwanis Gallery, Red Deer, before March 2, or the Royal Alberta Museum's up-coming exhibit, "Western Threads", opening in Edmonton on April 12.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Articulated Materials: Bridging Waters

That's the title of a joint textile art exhibit opening February 19 at the Gallery on Third in Watrous, SK.  The opening reception is February 20; the exhibit runs through March 10.

The project is a collaboration between the Canadian textile art group, Articulation, and the British textile art group, Material Girls.  SAQA WC members Gloria Daly (Duncan, B.C.), Wendy Klotz (Calgary, AB) and Lesley Turner (Victoria, B.C., formerly of Calgary) are part of Articulation.

Described by Lesley on her blog as "the...Articulation and Material Girls' response to the Bay of Fundy and the River Thames, respectively", this show is a "must see" if you can get to it, because the Gallery on Third is the last venue for this exhibit before it is dismantled and the pieces returned to their creators.

For more information, please visit Lesley's blog HERE.

Friday, February 7, 2014

On and Off Our Walls

SAQA Atlantic Canada has a regular feature on its blog, entitled "What's on Your Wall?"  I've been keen to get something like it going here in the West.  To avoid blatant plagiarism, I've selected a different title (see above)...and hope to have a steady stream of contributors!  Just send me an e-mail describing what you're currently working on in your studio -- show entries (if sharing is permitted), class samples, etc.  Include photos either in the body of the document or as attachments.  Think of it as your blog-within-a-blog!  My e-mail address is linked to my name in the side-bar at the right. -- Margaret Blank, Co-Rep (Alberta)

And now...for our first contributor to this new blog feature!

Helene Blanchet is a textile artist who hails from Nova Scotia, but has lived in Calgary for the past couple of years and is continuing to create beautiful pieces in her studio there.  She has graciously shared this article that she has also submitted to the Atlantic Region's blog.  Without further ado...
I've been in Calgary for over two years now. I work at my textiles mostly during the winter months as I have a seasonal job as a gardener the rest of the year and find I’m too tired to quilt then. We fully intend to return home to Cape Breton, so while we are here I am trying to document our stay. I have decided to create my first series of work. It is called “Calgary Days” and each piece is 16” x 36”. I hope to have about 6 pieces in the end.

"The CFA" - Helene Blanchet, Calgary
This is “The CFA” and shows me arriving in Calgary in Nov 2011. This piece has been traveling around as part of the Fiber Arts Network’s “From Away” exhibit. 

Detail - "The CFA" - Helene Blanchet, Calgary

"The Gardener's House" - Helene Blanchet, Calgary

“The Gardener’s House” is a picture of my boss’ place and shows the type of work we’re able to achieve despite the many challenges of trying to garden in Calgary. I’m waiting to hear if it will be accepted into this year’s NJS in Ontario.

Detail - "The Gardener's House" - Helene Blanchet, Calgary

"The Apartment Building" - Helene Blanchet, Calgary
“The Apartment Building”. I am just putting the final touches on this piece. This is where we live in downtown Calgary and it’s a way for us to remember our many neighbours.
Detail - "The Apartment Building" - Helene Blanchet, Calgary

"Frank Lake" (WIP) - Helene Blanchet, Calgary
“Frank Lake” is my next attempt. This is where we took our son birding during the fall migration, so I’ll have to create a ton of tiny birds. This will be my first Prairie scape and is proving to be a bit of a challenge - so much yellow!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

First Friday in February

Windblown Poppies
Daphne Greg, North Saanich, B.C.

First Friday is a monthly event at galleries under the auspices of the Red Deer Arts Council and this coming Friday, February 7th, SAQA Western Canada's travelling exhibit, "Meet the Best of the West" will be starring at the Kiwanis Gallery in the Red Deer Public Library, 4818 - 49 Street, Red Deer, Alberta.

There will be a reception from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., featuring a special performance by Bradford Lawlor.  

I look forward to this opportunity to share our artwork with the community; one or two of the artists who contributed to the exhibit and live in the area will be joining me.  If you're in and around Red Deer next weekend, won't you come by too?