Spring had sprung when I looked up from my pinched pots; the hills and shores are alive. Millie, my mother-in-law a.k.a personal florist, brought me this beautiful bouquet picked this morning from her garden and I knew exactly which vase it should sit in.
Spring is here on Orcas Island and the pace in my studio has been fevered. I have been working on a new flock of birds that are awaiting their first firing and jewelry for the studio mixed media/ceramic line. One project I am really excited about is a small-batch collection of tableware for a local retailer to be launched this summer. Sneak preview soon, maybe 😉
And, very special thanks goes out to Outlook Inn on Orcas Island for featuring our very large mixed media wall piece, Collaboration I, by Christa Smith and I, in their restaurant, New Leaf Cafe – the must-do dining spot on my Orcas list for visiting family and friends. Heading out for a walk in the spring sun now, see you on the shore!
I still say Happy New Year to people at this time of January to stoke a little of that fire of good intent that, I believe, most of us begin every new year with, even those among you who have sworn off resolutions. In the shop, the front table and the window display has been refreshed. I’ve started on a series of black clay vessels and a line of photo cards I’ve been working on are in print as I write this. Come visit soon and wish me a happy New Year in return.
The mud smells dark and rich; the bird call is frenzied; the wet leaves and twigs glow like embers in the fast fallen dusk. Hello Fall. My favourite time of year is digging in and the palette of the season is a personal refresher for where my aesthetic choices are mostly rooted.
Taking stock of the body of work I showed at this past summer’s Artists Open Studio Tour on Orcas Island, it felt good to discover an aesthetic consistency running through my ceramic work. The forest floor, ocean find and woodland imagery are repeatedly used, and so are the organic textures and my tendency to leave or reveal the natural colour of the clay body. The show was really the first time I had all my recent work displayed together and it was gratifying to see how the individual pieces, whether functional, wearable or wall art, could come together to form a cohesive tableau.
Participation in the Studio tour provided the motivation for me to finally write an Artist’s Bio, and to explore various ways to display work, label displays, create visual flow, and other nitty gritty aspects of putting up a show that is not always a top priority because it takes precious time away from making stuff! However, the best thing for me over the three-day tour was getting practice in talking about my art to absolute strangers. Many thanks to Sharon Schmidt who hung out with me on opening day! Just hearing her introduce my work to guests helped me experience how a gallery visitor would encounter my creations for the first time. I realised how basic and crucial a skill it is for any artist to be able to talk comfortably about her own work, and, at a level that resonates with the viewer. I have been a docent many years and led many a gallery tour, but talking up my own work is an ongoing challenge. I know it comes with practice and I am working on it.
Tomorrow is Day One of the Artists Open Studio Tour on Orcas. The studio and gallery is looking good, with a new series of ceramic on wood art on the walls. And a flock of bird vessels just landed on the centre table. Come meet them!
If you’re on Orcas, find me at Eastsound Square, behind Mia’s Cafe and across the parking lot from Chimayo’s Restaurant.
These turtle dishes put a smile on my face, and I hope it brings a smile to you too. Maybe it is the colour in bloom all around me that’s inspired me to explore tones that are not in my usual glaze selections. Fun to be out on a limb and hanging on for a bit. Enjoy the sunshine everyone!
We had a wonderful, well attended opening party two Fridays ago. A big Thank You to all of you who came by, and also to all of you who sent hugs and well wishes from afar. It was a buzz to have so many people in the studio all at once, after all the nerves Christa and I had building up inside as the hour approached. Not too much wine was spilled, so that was good too 😉 Cheers!
My wish for an in-town working studio with gallery space came true this past winter. I found a perfect studio partner in felt textile artist Christa Smith and over a two-month period, we found a spot in town and set out to create a well-lit, contemporary blank slate that was versatile for accommodating our art making needs. It called for pulling out old carpet, tearing down walls, scrapping out old floor paint, and a total whitewash – lots of sweat equity made possible by supportive husbands and children. Now we share a space we love in Eastsound Square that is enjoying a revival of sorts at the moment, having had several artists move in and set up intriguing spaces too. I think we are on to something…
I hope the pictures say it better, but when you are next on Orcas Island, stop in for a look yourself.
Hello! From two summers ago, a memory of a tangled seaweed necklace studded with rocks inspired this recent work. I named this ‘Walk with me’ because I think of the person wearing it as a collector who picks up bits and pieces on long meanders on the beach or in the woods and strings them in her memory.
This is one of the artworks featured at the annual Edge Arts Collective show at the Orcas Centre Gallery on Orcas Island. The show is one of the most anticipated of the year among island artists and collectors, not least because of its swinging opening night party. It opens this Friday October 4th, party starts at 5.30pm. All invited.
I’ve had a long busy summer, and Fall (my favourite time of year! featuring my favourite colours!) signals my time to hunker down in the studio and translate my summer’s travels and inspirations in new work. Off I go. Won’t you walk with me?
This one’s available too at the Annual Salmonberry Silent Auction and Dinner – the school’s main fundraiser event – that takes place this Saturday evening, May 4th on Orcas Island. The details are in the description in the photo caption above. This beautiful piece measures 2.25″ x 3″ and comes with a 16″ black cord, all beautifully packaged in a giftbox. Mother’s Day gift? If this one speaks to you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your bid (any amount) BEFORE 3pm Pacific Standard Time, Saturday, May 4th and I’ll put your name on the bid list. I’ll contact you with delivery details if you win!