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Friday, January 26, 2018

I came by the blog world, just to show some of what I consider the best blogs to a teen-aged violin student who loves to write, and is curious about blogging.... and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it.... got a bit nostalgic, so i'll post some pictures of my latest creative efforts.  I'm recently returned home from 2 1/2 weeks at the Puppetry Intensive at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Banff, Alberta.  The town of Banff is in Banff National Park, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. It's stunning.  And the Banff Centre is built on the shoulders of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain, which sits in the centre of the town of Banff.  Sleeping Buffalo Mountain is a place sacred to the first nations people here. It's a place of power.  

For 2 1/2 weeks, we studied movement, and gesture, and the subtleties of bringing inanimate objects to life.  During this time, we were never allowed to use words to bring life to our subjects.  No language to convey ideas and intentions and stories, other than the language of gesture, of movement, of focus and intent. It was magical.  A little, a small part each evening, of our time, was spent actually creating puppets, and learning the mechanics of their construction.    though I didn't manage to finish anything, I do have a few partly completed things to show for my time:

 This is the first stage of a rod puppet, yet to be paper mache'd and painted.  He's a little over a foot tall.

This one is a mask, used in exercises experimenting with spacial relationships and groupings. That's my hand behind it, for scale. 

 Here is the same mask, along with my 'puppet soul', a soft 'stuffie' used to learn to manipulate objects as we learned to give them expression and gesture, without words.  We walked our souls, interacted with other souls, explored our surroundings through them, and told stories with them, all without the spoken word.  

This fellow has a ball and socket armature in his head and neck, with a rod in the back of his head, to enable it to pivot up, down and sideways, in a realistic way. The wooden rods at his sides are the beginnings of arms, with leather hinges at the elbows. He'll have the cloth body and arms of a small child. He is destined to be an infant philosopher, I think, and tells me he wants curly hair, and a twin sister.  He's a rod puppet, so the central rod is how he is supported.  There will be one or more rods to his hands (when he gets them) to enable his hands and arms to move realistically.  
After 3 weeks away (at a very nice kennel), Maestro was extremely glad to be home. I felt the same way.  

Back to teaching music lessons four days a week, running a boarding house / B&B, and finishing an online course in property management.   And I wonder why I can't find time to finish the puppets.....?!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

post - Christmas in the Yukon

On a Christmas visit to to the Yukon, we stopped at Five Finger Rapids to let the dog stretch his legs.  It was a beautiful day, very mild for the north, at +2C.  This Raven spotted us stopping and came by for a visit. No doubt he was hoping we'd stopped for lunch.  This was as close as he'd let us get before he took wing.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


We celebrated Christmas a bit late this year.  Part of the festivities involved a sleigh ride, pulled by Norwegian Fjord Horses, Bert and Belle.  There still isn't a lot of snow.... just barely enough for a sleigh, which towed a couple of small toboggans for surfers.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rooster and friends

Showing along with the shoes are some more 'illuminated' found objects and some paintings:

Food of Love
on a broken up guitar found at Goodwill

Daisies behind a fence 
on an old cabinet door

on stretched canvas

Small Rooster
on stretched canvas

8 1/2 Right , and friends

Been a coon's age since I've been by.... seems like another life.  One of the lovely things about blogging is the last thread can be picked up and attatched to what follows reasonably seamlessly.  So here, following on the heels (couldn't resist) of 8 1/2 Left, is 8 1/2 Right.  In this view you can see the city buildings, the figure at the bottom of the stairs walking his/her dog, and the flock of birds against the night sky
This frame shows the staircase on the instep, more high-rises against the night sky, and, if you look closely, a couple on the balcony of the penthouse suite. 
It seems to be difficult for many to recognize anything done to a shoe as art, so, though they've been getting some attention, the oft repteated question is "why not a pair, so I can wear them?" 
My response to that is below, in the form of: "Once I was a Mermaid"; "Green Footprint"; and  "Light My Fire," presently on display in the 'Elemental' show at a local art gallery.

 Once I Was a Mermaid
Green Footprint
 Green Footprint closeup
Light My Fire

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Size 8 1/2, left

my daughter, the fashionista, donated a pair of shoes to the cause of art. i had this idea that they'd be an interesting 'canvas'. they were originally a 'nude' colour, very smooth and shiny.  i coated them with gesso, then drew on this one with sharpie markers.  i had in mind the idea of what wearing shoes like this feels like to some of us..... like walking on spikes and nails with the points all aimed at the soles of our feet, and tightly bound with rigid bands.  these things are not built for comfort.  

it will be going in an art show put on this weekend by the artists' guild i belong to.  it's our $100 sale, where everything on sale must cost $100.   i had hopes of having its mate ready as well, entitled 'Size 8 1/2, Right, but it's not finished.  that one has the beginnings of skyscrapers and a night-time skyline on it. along the platform sole at the toe is a person walking a dog under the street lamps

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More Quilts!

February already?
.... most easily distinguishable by its lovely increase in daylight, and depressing decrease in daily temperatures.  But I want to talk about something more pleasant than the weather.  
With all of the space at Miramichi house, I finally have a sewing area that can STAY a sewing area.  Which means sewing happens on a semi-regular basis.  

Here are my latest accomplishments: 
a quillow for youngest son;
 Colors in the outdoor shot are not very true, for some reason, so imagine the colors of the folded quillow above, in the full - spread out image below.   

This one is a baby quilt for the newborn son of one of my daughter's employees. color also not great.... very washed - out, as it's actually quite bright.   

And lastly, a baby quilt for the grand-boy of my dear friends Margaret and Gerard, who posed for me with it before we sent it off to Saskatchewan.