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fighting the creative block

29 May

Hello friends! I’ve been wanting to talk with you about that age old issue that so many of us have experienced: “creative block” or “writer’s block.” It can be difficult, especially when working in an artistic field, to consistently come up with fabulous new ideas all the time.  With some personal struggles earlier this year, I got hit hard with a creative block… as with most things, time was definitely helpful, but the other catalyst that encouraged me to get out of the rut was observing the work and drive of other artists. When one of my favorite art blog writers, Danielle Krysa of the jealous curator, mentioned her upcoming book release, appropriately titled Creative Block: Get Unstuck. Discover New Ideas, I knew I had to pre-order a copy. creativeblock1-2Krysa interviews 50 successful and well known artists (Wayne White, Kate Bingaman-Burt, and Justin Richel, to name a few of my favorites). Each feature includes a dynamic little bio, several images of the artist’s work, questions about their practice, suggestions on how they personally cope with creative blocks, and finally a “Creative Unblock Project” designed specifically by that artist. I am about two thirds of the way through the book, and for the most part I am enjoying the read. In terms of actually doing the “unblocks,” there are some projects that just don’t speak to me, and that’s okay, while others do hold some potential that I hope to harness on a rainy studio day. creativeblock1-1Ironically when I read Cassandra Smith‘s interview, her suggestion for unblocking was already something that I had naturally explored on my own. “Make a little sculpture using a found object. Find something at a thrift store, wacky junk store, anywhere! An object about as big as your hand is probably the best size to start with. Transform the heck out of it! Paint on it, glue things to it, cut it apart. Use the object’s color or shape to inspire you.” creativeblock1-3Do you remember this little post about the golden fawn? If not have a read! I will be sharing more fun things from this book with you in the future, to help inspire both myself, and perhaps you, out of an artistic rut.

 

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frida: boss lady

20 May

Frida Kahlo and Pet HawkMost know of Frida Kahlo. If not because of her beautiful artwork, then for her fantastical, creative and bigger-than-life persona.  I stumbled on this particular photograph of her recently, and it came to me at an appropriate time when a lesson needed to be learned; we often forget to recognize the importance of being ourselves and owning it… for that, Frida was a boss. Thanks for the reminder to constantly hone our own individual awesomeness, Frida! Below are some of my favorite creations of hers, because apart from making me want to celebrate my uniqueness, she also really makes me want to paint.kahlo_self40Self-Portrait – 1940 – Oil on canvas kahlo_waterWhat the Water Gave Me – 1938 – Oil on canvas kahlo_deerThe Little Deer – 1946 – Oil on Masonite

*side note* my grandmother’s name is Frieda (and although spelt differently) she is no less of a boss lady herself…

sculpture ride – year two

23 Sep

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 11.42.40 AMHad a date with my beau this weekend, and it was lovely. Much like the little excursion we did last year (here and here), we decided to have a picnic lunch in the park and do the Sculpture Walk on our bikes. sculptureride1Castlegar’s Sculpture Walk is an incredible annual event that displays beautiful sculptures, created by over 25 different artists, all throughout our town. The three-dimensional works are installed in the downtown area, encouraging people to get outdoors and see our local businesses, all while experiencing some incredible artwork. Those who do the tour are encouraged to submit a voting ballot, listing their favorite sculptures. Cash prizes are awarded to artists in varying categories, along with people’s choice. The sculpture with the most votes is purchased by the city and becomes part of our permanent collection, and many other businesses, schools and organizations make bids on their favorite pieces.sculptureride3 sculptureride2The kinetic sculpture above, titled “Honkfest,” was my favorite from this year’s submissions. It is an immensely ornate and complex water fountain made by the talented Douglas Walker. Such a lovely mix of found brass objects put into fluid kinetic movement makes this piece so lovably quirky, much like a Dr Seuss story. See it in motion here with a video I took. Also, check out this incredible Vimeo that demonstrates Walker creating in his studio.

Below are several other sculptures that took my breath away:sculptureride8 sculptureride9Kevin Kratz‘s “Fir Cone” impressed me with it’s play on scale, tribute to nature and attention to detail. No surprise to see Kratz turn out another skillful piece, after co-winning the People’s Choice Award last year with his Ridgeline Metail Works partner, James Karthein, for their blue heron piece “Patient Hunter.” sculptureride4 sculptureride5“Head’s Up, Grizzly” by Cathy Jenkins depicts an impressive Grizzly Bear climbing a mountainside. The piece has the smooth softness of a soap stone carving, while also holding the power and majesty inherent in a bronze cast piece. I can’t help but also adore how this gorgeous she-bear watches over my fiancé while he is at work. (Yes he is on the radio, listen to him online here). sculptureride6 sculptureride7Lastly, a creation by Dee Clements that depicts three gorgeous cranes in varying poses (it is titled “End of Day”). As an avid animal lover and true texture junkie, this was easily a favorite of mine. So many things fascinate me about this piece: the outstretched wings reaching to the sky, the detailed foliage, the red enameled areas on the heads… must I go on?

I can’t wait to see all the creations in next year’s sculpture walk… A message to all of you sculptors out there: consider participating in this awesome event! The exposure is big, and there are plenty of prizes to be won. Apply here (you have until October 15th).