Creative Sessions

As some of you may already know, over the last few months I have started teaching what I call Creative Sessions. At the moment I only have one student but she is very talented and we have created a lot of art together so I feel I started with the best student possible! During the last few weekly sessions, we have created an art doll; started a unicorn doll. We have explored pointillism, and we also naturally dyed some of our local Cortes Island wool (from the lovely Joy Shipway) which will soon be used in one of our final Creative Session before breaking for summer vacation. I have to say that Nola impresses me on weekly basis with her commitment to taking each session to the next level, her patience to detail, and her open mind. I will continue working with her over the month of June since we have decided to collaborate on a submission for the upcoming members’ show that will be exhibited at our local Old School House Gallery in August. And we will continue our sessions throw out the summer and into the fall when I will also take on a few new students, as I have realized that this is something I really enjoy and I always learn something from my fellow artists, young or old. There is always room to expand your inspirations!!!

Here is some of the work Nola did over the last few weeks:

Art by Nola

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A Staycation!!!

What does that word mean to you? Have you ever taken one of those? And if so, what did you do? Or what would you do if you took one?

So I just had a staycation right here on Cortes Island… and I think it’s a really interesting thing to do and would suggest everyone to give it a try – whether it means taking five days, two weeks, or a month off your regular routine. Mine ended up lasting two weeks and instead of jetting off somewhere you have been before or on to an new adventure, try Staying Where You Live!!!

So I obviously stayed on Cortes Island, in  beautiful BC, Canada. I did this for many reasons: 1st – I love where I live as there are many activities to do here that I enjoy but don’t always give myself the time to enjoy… I am often too busy to – shall I say – smell the flowers and chillax. 2nd – I had a desire to slightly change my routine. For one thing, we went through a very long, cold winter which saw us spend much time inside, and then I co-produced an art event (Expose Yourself) that had me working from September to March and kept me at my computer more than I usually want or desire. I also created an art installation that grew beyond its original scope to something much bigger than planned, which meant a lot of work inside my studio (which I love!), and with the sunlight rising earlier and setting later, I started to feel antsy for the outdoors. And 3rd – I needed to not be distracted from who I really am, take some well needed time in my own brain to figure out what my next move/chapter/mission really is and figure out what do I love, what am I really into, what and who did I really want to vote for (politically as we just had an election in our province), what do I really stand for?

So of course, my staycation meant staying in my own environment – my home, my studio, and my brain! And with my family and away from social media (there were a few moments, I do admit, when I did go on social media but only for very specific reasons). It was refreshing in so many ways. Yes, I missed seeing what my friends were up to, chatting on my network because I do live in a very rural area and can be quite isolated. Taking a break from the computer however, helped me realize how much distraction there is on social media; it can take up so much space in your mind and leave little space to see how to get to the next step, or makes you lose focus and forget what your goals are in the first place.

My staycation turned out to be very interesting in ways I did not expect: For one thing, I saw things on Cortes Island I had never noticed before and will certainly share on some of those things in future posts. And the list of what I did accomplished during that time is quite extensive: I finished my online classes and started a new introductory class at the School for Aromatic Studies, which I also finished (this was very inspiring and brought me back to my roots in so many ways, but that’s for another blog post). I got all caught up with my spring work in my gardens. I  started installing the show that was created during the Curators Workshop for the upcoming season at The Cortes Island Museum on Refugee Cove. I brought out my hula-hoop again. I went boating on the Salish Sea. I went out for brunch with friends and had a beautiful dinner with my sweetheart at our local restaurant at the Gorge Marina, and spent countless hours walking up and down all the different white sandy beaches with my family. Yes, the one down side of a staycation is that you still have to do your chores, run your usual errands but at the same time, you know you will be sleeping in a clean and comfy bed and enjoy the food! So all in all, it was great and I am now ready to move on to an enjoyable rest of spring and a fruitful summer ahead, and keep working towards the next chapter of what “creating art” means to me. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to try a staycation someday because it was a thoroughly refreshing experience that taught me a lot about myself and my goals.

And here are a few photos of my staycation!!!

xoxo Laura Balducci

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Meet Indigo

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Indigo

Indigo is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin”. I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering. She is the art doll that is brought to life by my live doll, Namchi Bazar, who performs in the video below with musician Del Riviera. The body of the doll is made with polymer clay, her hair is black merino wool, and I recycled some material to craft her skirt and then added lace accents and Ostrich feathers. I also  recycled a lamp shade to create the skirt hoop and her sidekick mini Roxy the Rabbit is made with textile, fabric paint, wool, and polymer clay for her eyes.

I had a lot of fun creating this art installation and learned a lot in the process. To experience the full art installation coming to life for yourself, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

Creative Sessions

Once a week I work with my friend Nola – one of the young artists on Cortes Island. I call our time together “Creative Sessions” because we create a lot of art together using many media and we have a great time working together. I think it’s really healthy to work with other people of all ages for many reasons – energy, vision, inspiration, just to name a few. I learn something new every week when we work together! It’s also very interesting to see the work Nola does using the medium and topics we choose to work each week. So far, our get-togethers have been super rewarding for both of us – each in our own way – and we plan on continuing to work together weekly. We also have a collaborative project in the works, which I will share in a future blog post.

Since we started our “Creative Sessions” we have touched on postal art, pointillism, minimalism, landscapes, spray paint, acrylic, art dolls, encaustic and collage. Here are some of Nola’s awesome art pieces – some finished and others still in the making. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do!!!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth

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A little corner of this Earth we share together!!!

This past Friday, I went on a field trip with my Curators’ Workshop crew to Refuge Cove, which lies a mere 30-minute boat ride away from Cortes Bay in beautiful British Columbia. Our plan was to gather a few historical items for the upcoming Cortes Island Museum’s summer show, which has been the focus of the workshop facilitated by Judith Williams – an art history professor at UBC and well-known West Coast artist, since last October. The opportunity to be accepted in this workshop has been truly amazing; I have learned so much about where I live and where many of my friends also love to spend their time. I even found out that my landlord was brought up in Refuge Cove and it was nice to know I have such a close connection to that place.

Refuge Cove is a very unique place on Earth. For one, it can only be accessed by boat which always such a magical dimension to a place. It also boasts a rich history as well as being one of the longest running land co-ops in BC, and possibly Canada.  Some of its features are scenic trails you can travel to get from one location to another, a general store offering postal services, gas and a restaurant with an art gallery. The Cortes Island Museum’s art show opens in June and I look forward to sharing more, so stay tuned!!!

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A few of the historical items we collected

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Info about the Land Coop

Weekly Photo Challenge – Surprise

We live on a 33 acres parcel of land that lies between the Salish Sea and Hague Lake on Cortes Island, BC. So seeing wildlife is part of our daily life. We get to see beavers, ducks, wolves, eagles, and so many more species. Deer is also one of our regular visitors but it’s still a very rare occurrence for one of them to Surprise me as it comes up the cliff just when I lift my head up from a project in my studio to look out the window!!! “How long was he watching me?” I think to myself. And yes, I can see you even though your camouflage into the backyard is almost perfect…

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Meet Ms. Boutika

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Ms. Boutika

Ms. Boutika is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin.” I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering.  Ms. Boutika was created and inspired by the idea of a flower shop. I recycled an old vintage lampshade to craft the skirt, first by gilding it with gold leaf to imbue it with the luxury of being surrounded by flowers; I then used dried flowers from my garden that I pressed myself, placed them on the lamp shade in the hope of creating a beautiful shadow when the light shined through it… and I am glad to say that it worked!

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Her body and her brown boots are made out of polymer clay. Ms. Boutika’s hair was naturally dyed with Queen Anne’s lace from my garden and I made her dreadlocks made from local Cortes Island wool by Joy Shipway. Back in the early 90s I had the opportunity to follow The Grateful Dead for seven shows and during that journey I made a necklace by sewing little red roses together with rose quartz beads; I had kept it all these years and decided that it was very suitable to adorn Ms. Boutika’s hair.

For your own experience of seeing the full art installation come to life, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!

 

 

Meet Lilac Rose

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Lilac Rose

Lilac Rose is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin”. I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering. Lilac Rose was created from recycled finds: a vintage candy dish and a drawing model doll, which were both found at the free store on Cortes Island. I started by covering her body with gold leaf (because one person’s trash is another’s treasure), I then used some of the cotton batting I use to stuff my art dolls to create a bubble bath and added dried pressed flowers to give the idea of a lush bubble bath. The ensemble is meant to wake up the senses that make every life worth living, or in this case, every item that deserves to be refurbished into a luxury thought brought to life.

To experience the full art installation come alive please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Rivera!!!