Monday, July 28, 2014

Notes on The Tour

Hello, hello. Welcome to the Summer Breeze Art Tour. Never mind the dogs barking, just come on in.
We have set it up as sort of a mini-retrospective. The main thing that ties everything together is that I like to work with old cloth. This quilt is made out of linen shirts and pants I found at the Lasqueti Free Store.
And these pieces are all made with antique Japanese fabric that layered and worked into, sort of a Canadian-Japanese co-creation.
The painting of a flying Afghani carpet is one of a series I did during the second Gulf War.
If you stand the middle of the living room, you can see the pieces from the Codex Canadensis that I have been working on for the past two and a half years. Yes, I seem to have developed a certain amount of patience.
Over here is the Sampler Room. I have worked with the idea of the traditional sampler for a long time.
These pieces are part of a series I began after a serious bike accident, when I was thinking a lot about fate and infinity, you know, those larger-than-life kind of issues.
And I made this tablecloth after ending a particularly bad relationship. A lot of people seem to be able to relate.
And James's work is upstairs...

Thanks so much for coming by.
  • Total number of visitors: 16
  • Number of visitors we had never met before: 5
  • Number of works sold: 0
  • Cost to participate: $95
Was it worth it? Well, I met some lovely people and because it wasn't busy was able to have some really nice conversations. We weren't expecting to sell anything, and in fact seriously considered bailing on the whole thing, since the event seemed to be minimally advertised and we were the only studio in our neighbourhood. Trying to pull this off while in the midst of moving was completely insane.

But it was kind of satisfying to see our work up on the walls and the house clean for once!
The Thanksgiving Tour will be much better.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

One Thing I Know For Sure...

...nothing beats linen pajamas in the summer. Especially if you are a middle-aged woman. I was lucky enough to pick up a Magnolia Pearl nightshirt at Shelagh Rogers's* yard sale last summer, and believe me, it has been a miracle.

* Shelagh lives on the island. Just down the hill. I'm not supposed to tell.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Posies

I'm too busy to blog these days. But the garden still needs to be watered, and some pretty flowers begged to be photographed. In all their natural and un-Photoshopped glory, I give you:
 A hydrangea.
 A poppy.
Another poppy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wilting

The setting sun comes through the window at an odd angle these days, illuminating the kerosene lantern. I couldn't get a shot that was in focus for the life of me, but I kind of like the fuzzy ambiance. It's a fairly accurate reflection of life these days.

We have been having a heat wave here, up to 29 degrees Celsius. I know that for most people that is just a nice summer day, but I have totally wilted and can barely summon the strength to sip a glass of iced tea, sit in the dark, and watch murder mysteries on Netflix. Hence my lack of blog posting, or more importantly, the production of anything worth blogging about.

I am moving in two weeks, and haven't even begun to pack. And somehow, months ago, abandoning all common sense, I signed up to be part of an island artist studio tour the weekend before we move, which means I have to clean the house and hang my work in some sort of aesthetically pleasing way. I may not be blogging for a while, or the weather might change and I will have renewed energy and post something interesting everyday. Who knows???

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Much Better

Heather Cameron, Wheel of Life (2014) Hand embroidery, wool, silk and cotton on canvas, 36"x36". Photo by James Emler
Yeah, having a pro photographer in the house sure helps! He did this in one shot. I should get him to do a guest tutorial in lighting and photographing textiles.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Finally!

My poor neglected blog, please forgive me. I haven't been ignoring you, just busy. Trying to finish this:
I'll get James to take a proper picture later. In the meantime, I finished stretching it around 6 this evening , then my friend Ranza came over and we drank some wine and then took the dogs for a walk around the block. Perfection!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

A Thread Roadblock

Just as I felt like I was zooming towards a finish, the thread goddess decided to give me a smack upside the head and make me properly humble. What happened?

Well, I had actually backed myself into a bit of a corner with my thread choices. To play up the contrast between a smooth, sinuous snake and the wild, furry rodents, I wanted the obvious: silk. But the silk was expensive, and limited in size, and I only had one spool and didn't want to waste it, so I used a fair bit of six-strand embroidery floss and size 8 perle cotton for the heavier lines. To create the right kind of curving line for the snake's scales, however, needed something with a bit more body and weight than the perle.

Silly me first tried the organic weaving cotton that had worked before. It was too thin and sparse looking. Two strands of perle was too heavy. I did have some rayon gimp that was perfect in every way - weight, sheen, body - except that it was red. So I got out the dyepot and attempted an overdye. Either I had misread my burn test for fibre content, or my dyes were too old and weak, but it didn't work. I just got a slightly darker red.

After a brief episode of self-flaggellation that resulted in nothing more than lost time and lowered morale, I went back to the thread bin and pulled out my single precious 10 m. spool of heavy brown silk. To conserve the thread, I couched it down with sewing cotton. Whaddya know? It seems to work!

I have sent James in to town to Stitcher's Muse, where the lovely and helpful owner Dione has stashed away her last two spools of Cinnamon Brown silk for me. Fie on the expense! My time is worth it, not to mention my mental health.

Full speed ahead!