Monday, March 23, 2009

Artful Organics: A Montage Opening - A Great Success!

After a very stressful few days of hanging the show, it all came together and the opening was a great success!

We had a terrific crowd with little space to get around the room at times. Ronnie Chameau's connection with the Bermuda community gave us nice publicity including an interview on a local radio station with David Lopes, a local personality. The response to our unusual show was extremely positive. We had tried to create a warm and inviting atmosphere which I think we achieved very well and has a different feel from most traditional art shows.

It was especially rewarding for me to hear positive comments about the uniqueness of my work and how fascinated and impressed they were with the process and the final results.

I was pleased to be able to show the murals that I had created for The Fiber Center again. Transporting them to Bermuda was not too difficult since they easily can be rolled and packaged to transport in a golf bag! I now only have to worry about getting them back :-)

Artist Ronnie Chameau had been very busy creating for this event. Her work is fabulous! She is most noted for her dolls made from Banana and Palm leaves but she creates some of the most interesting pieces! She creates paintings using Banana bark, vessels from calabashes (gourds), and weaves beautiful free form baskets from a wide variety of Bermuda plant materials.
The rustic "stick" furniture that you see was created by Ronnie Lopes. Another very creative Bermudian who has only realised his passion for creating his wonderful pieces recently.
Additionally, Bob Patterson showed his miniature furniture, all reproductions of actual antique pieces created using his cabinetmaking skills, and his necklaces made using various "Sea Beans" collected from the Bermuda shores.
Gail Graham rounded out our show with her incredible Bobbin Lace pieces and various other stitchery. Her skills are very diverse and precise as seen from the pieces that she showed. This woman has the most incredible patience!
The show will hang through Saturday the 28th of March. I am taking this week to catch my breath before I take it down and move onto the next adventure!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Children's Fiber Art Projects

Aren't these the cutest things?

My Wednesday Fiber Arts students completed several great projects during the last class of our winter term. The one at left offered the students the use of a variety of skills as they created their Easter chick's nests.

The nests we created from a base of about two yards of yarn followed by short pieces of yarn that students dipped into liquid starch. Once a nest base was created the shorter yarns were layed in layers alternating with some natural twigs and dried grasses to form a small nest. Students were careful to leave an indentation in the middle to leave room the the eggs and chick which they felted using merino wool. Their chicks were then embellished with yellow feathers to create a tail and wings, and squiggly eyes and a bead were added for a beak. All components were secured to the nest with hot glue.

The children enjoyed the felting process which they had learned before and all remembered the basics for completing that task. They quickly figured out how to manipulate the felt to create an egg shape instead of the ball shape they had used for making their bracelets in our first class.

These lovely little yarn baskets were a delight and the children were happy to be taking them home. This too was a liquid starch project which were finally ready to take home after remaining in the classroom to dry. The yarns they used included some of their handspun as well as a thick and thin wool that they had kool-aid dyed in a prior class. Using a small bowl as a mold, students layered their starch soaked yarns making sure they cross each other to create a bond and allowed them to dry until next class. The only glitch with this one is you have to be sure that you cover the mold with plastic wrap so the starch does not adhere to the glass. These are fragile and needed to be sured up in a few places with a dab of elmers but they really were lovely little projects that represented several weeks of accomplishments into a final project.

I was proud for the children to be able to say that these pieces had some of their own hand spun, hand dyed yarns in them!

I am hoping that the children enjoyed my class well enough to sign up for the final school term. I am working on ideas for future projects to carry them forward with their fiber arts!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grapes: "On It's Way to Wine"

I've just completed this piece to show at the Elliot Gallery at Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation which begins on March 19th. This is a group show featuring five artists who all use natural and organic materials to create their art.
I am pleased with the piece on which I chose to use my Japanese signature since it was inspired by the Sumi-e style that I so love. I spent a good long time trying to decide where the right placement was and finally decided based on the idea that it should be a part of the composition. I considered placing it in the lower right but felt that it became too large a part of the overall piece and deflected the focus. I didn't want the signature to take the eye away from the image and I feel I have accomplished that.
Let me explain my Japanese signature. I wanted to be able to occassionaly use a caligraphic signature on my Sumi-e and Hairlock Paintings. I ended up researching websites that offered name translations though I can't remember which one I used. My name, Gale is spelled so that it means a "strong wind" so the characters used mean just that!
大風 The symbols you see at left have not reproduced accurately in that the cross lines that look squiggly on the second character are meant to be horizontal but not uneven, however you get the idea.
I haven't decided how I will hang this piece for the show since I feel it is one that should be framed but framing this piece in Bermuda means that it is too large to easily transport back to Maine for my next show. So it will remain unframed for now.

I still have lots I want to do to prepare for the show but things are moving along well in spite of myself :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Getting Ready for the Show Opening March 19, 2009!

Hard to believe that my group show is only a few weeks away! YIKES! Always so much to do and so little time.....
The good news is I am not fretting about it which is obvious since I still have paintings I want to complete and her I sit writing in my blog!
I try to remind myself of my belief that things will go exactly as they are supposed to, that there are no mistakes. It is I who invents the notion of a mistake when I am unhappy with the outcome caused by my own expectations, and so it is I who needs the attitude adjustment.
I so often have heard in life that we are what we think, we are what we do, we are what we say....
SO I say I will be ready and it will be the best that I am able to be at that time and I will be very good with that!

I'd post a copy of the invite but I am MAC illiterate and can not figure out how to present a PDF file to you from my PC. Technology will always be my nemesis. It's probably a simple thing but my ageing brain just isn't in that place right now and I have no one to tutor me on it!

So instead I will give you a synopsis.....

Artful Organics: A Montage to be shown at the Elliot Gallery, Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation, Bermuda opens with a reception on Thursday, March 19th from 6-8pm.
The show runs from March 17 - 28th and is open from 10am -2pm Tuesday through Saturday or by appt.

Artists Ronnie Chameau, Gail Graham, Ronnie Lopes and Bob Patterson, and me will feature our works. The Common thread to be seen is our use of organic materials from various sources. Utilizing parts of different plants and or animal fibers, these materials may give the illusion that each belong together or retain their original identity.

This will be a unique and interesting show! None like it has been done or if so, not often. The art represented from renown Bermuda artist Ronnie Chameau includes her Banana Dolls and Ornaments as well as her bark and leaf paintings, gourd vessels and various baskets. Bob Patterson who has been a fine cabinet maker for years will show his miniature doll furniture collection as well as necklaces that he creates using local seed pods and other seeds washed up on the Bermuda shores from far away places. Ronnie Lopes work reminds me of New England with his stick made outdoor furniture and arbors while Gail Graham brings a sense of elegance to the organics with her hand made Silk Lace.
I round out the mix with my Hairlock Paintings to include murals that I created for the Fiber Center at Fryeburg Fair when I was guest Artist in 2007.
I will post some pics of the show once it is hung for all to see.
In the mean time.... Spring IS coming :-)