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Monday 29 January 2018

Three for Three

Hello again!

Monday was my third full day with Artists' Workshop Saskatoon group.  I didn't want to get my hopes up too much for myself and had fully expected to either be unproductive or produce crap on Mondays until I get settled in.  Fortunately, that has not been my experience at all.  I think I was nervous because I'm not used to being deep into the 'work in progress' phase with people around!  That's something I've always done in complete solitude.  It's not like anyone is standing guard looking over my shoulder while I create, but we do walk around to stretch and peek at what others are working on every Monday. 

So far, so good!  I can't get over how productive I can be.  I know I've already said that, but it still stands true.  I'm at 3 for 3.  I really love everything I've produced.  I couldn't be happier.  Here's some 'pre-textile art' creations.

Monday # 2

So, there I am, working on sketches with oil pastels, with my photographs as reference.  What am I learning?  I'm learning more about identifying colour.  I'm learning more about what it is that makes me love a certain scene.  I'm learning about which oil pastels SUCK and which are too incredible to waste on paper.  I'm learning that most of the art I enjoy are ones which have mediums that smudge and smear.  That's not a thing with embroidery, and it's something I need to figure out.  I'm dealing with oils that never seem to dry and chalks that never hold tight no matter how much you spray them.  The whites disappear.  I'm learning.

I'm also learning that if I'm in an environment free of family or housework, there are no interruptions and no down time either.  Every moment is spent making.  I was able to scoot around the room last week and do up some sketches of some of the members.  That was a great self imposed exercise!  These were all large, fast drawings with graphite.

Monday #2

Today (the third Monday), I spent the morning dying fabric for skies in my prairie thread paintings.  It went so well!  I think I have a good stock now for the spring/summer.  They dried over lunch, and then in the afternoon I packed them away and returned to creating some more oil pastel sketches.

Monday #3

This one in particular... the image above shows my sketch with the original photo I took underneath.  I used oil pastel with some charcoal in this one.  I'm really surprised at second glance just how much that looks like my mother's artwork.  She used chalk pastels ('soft' pastels) and charcoal on coloured pastel paper.  Her prairie landscapes always included the bush or trees and often NOT summertime scenes.  I can remember the way she twisted and rolled her charcoal across the paper to get those loose, bare branches just right.  I suppose recognizing my mother's hand in my own art is inevitable, but it was still quite unexpected!

I'm not sure how many of my sketches will become threadpaintings and how many will become yarn embroideries.  Our group has a big Spring Show & Sale in mid April.  I plan to have a good balance of both available then. : ) 

As for the original sketches, I think I'll be framing them up and placing them around my home.  I really love them.  There's something special about them because they are not made to please or impress anyone.  There's no pressure to make a living from them.  They are the exploration phase and they carry such good energy.  I want to fully enjoy them.

How's THAT for a happy story!?  ; )

Have a beautiful day,


Anonymous said...

Hello, loving your creations at your art group. Wondering if Winnipeg has one. I'll have to check this out. Keep up the wonderful work.

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

Hi Monika
Not sure that oil pastels ever really dry. If you use pan pastels you could seal them with gel medium using a gelli plate. It may be the same for chalks, not sure. Here's a link to a video if you're interested.
Stay inspired!

Lin said...

This sounds like just the perfect thing for you Monika, glad it's working out. x

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