Fall Tableau

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.

Come in soon and I’ll work my spiel on you!

Opening this Friday, May 9

Christa Smith of Feltsmith and Sharon Ho of Optimism and Co. invite you to our

Studio Opening

1st collaboration

at Eastsound Square #D3 (behind Mia’s Cafe and Olga’s boutique)

on Friday, May 9, from 4.30pm to 7pm

It is finally warm enough to keep our door open, come and see what we have been up to.

Walk with me

Walk with me Handmade ceramic pendant and two round beads.  Glazed and high-fired to cone 5/6, pooka shells, stone beads, found objects, natural strings.
Walk with me
Handmade ceramic pendant and two round beads. Glazed and high-fired to cone 5/6, pooka shells, stone beads, found objects, natural strings.
Seed bead Hand carved ceramic bead with relief glazing.
Seed bead
Hand carved ceramic bead with relief glazing.

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?

Please Mr. Postman

ReachKeep believing!

It’s a simple gesture but in the late throes of winter, or anytime of year for that matter, a good old-fashioned piece of personally addressed snail mail amidst the droll stack of bills, bank statements and assorted mass mailers would be enough to brighten my day.

Would it do the same for you? Try it. ‘FOLLOW’ me, ‘LIKE’ my blog, and share your thoughts below and I’ll write to you on one of these two cards. Don’t forget to leave your name and snail mail address too. I’m starting with 20 cards to send, anywhere in the world!


P.S. OR, leave a comment on my blog and send me your address at optimismandco@gmail.com