Wink!

Here is another installment of my Wink! project. Today I share the next 4 pages of the 365-day art challenge I set myself a the beginning of the year! I am still going strong and enjoying every day but the meaning of the word “challenge” has become crystal for me because there is only so many hours in one day. Sometimes there is more time to dedicate to my new art installation, and on others, not so much! I am happy to report, however, that I make time for a tarot card and a sketch every day!

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Over the last month, as spring has sprung and the gardening season entered its full swing, I must admit that it has taken more effort to keep up with this project than during the winter months when I could devote 3 hours a day to it. At the moment, I’ve had to cut this time in half, but once the garden is all planted I am sure it will be easier to set a little more time aside and continue moving forward with Wink! Mind you, I like to work with many art media on a daily basis, so I am still putting in a good five to eight hours of art a day. To see more of my 365-day art challenge please check out my previous blog posts!

Daily Tarot Card

I have been intrigued by the Tarot for as long as I can remember: A series of cards with colour and images representing the many stations of human life, that we read using both our knowledge and our intuition to find the message to a question. I recently retired from my chosen career as a hair, make-up and fashion artist, a job I loved as I have a passion for helping people fulfill their dreams and feel their best. Something that is less known in that line of work is that we also serve a counselor as we use our intuition with every client (does she really want to cut all her hair off or is she just having a hard day?) which is something I found very rewarding. After 33 years, I decided to pursue my other passion of learning and sharing what I know about the Tarot. I got so into it that I have started creating my own Tarot deck of cards, for which I’ll be using the art I am creating during my 365 day challenge (you can read more about my art challenge on some of my other posts), which I will be releasing as part of an art installation called “Wink” in 2019. During this process I read a card of the day from my current deck – the Herbal Tarot – and use it as my inspiration to create my sketch of the day.

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The Herbal Tarot – Photo courtesy of The Magical Cat

So I am happy to announce that for your enjoyment, enlightenment, and a little bit of guidance or insight, I am now taking bookings for authentic 3-card readings.

Please email me for more info or to schedule a reading: laurabalducciart@gmail.com

Code of ethics:  I do not offer medical or financial advice, and I also do not knowingly do reading for anyone under the age of 18. What I share during a reading should only be considered for stimulation of your thought process, to shed some light on your life and to offer a little guidance. Your reading will always stay confidential and your personal information private.

Creative Sessions

Nola McPhail and I have been busy in our new art studio at the Linnea Education Centre preparing for our art installation for the summer show @ The Coop Cafe on Cortes Island, that will run from Aug. 15 – 31.

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We both had an opportunity to visit the tropics this past winter with the idea of doing some homework, of course, using the medium of photography which we both love. So we took pictures and gathered lots of material that we are now using as inspiration to build an art piece for our installation, using textiles and fibres and we are really enjoying this process. It is a very interesting way to approach an art piece by taking a photo and translating it into 3D art!!!

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We have also continued to explore our love for art dolls sculptured out of polymer clay and using recycled materials, found objects to design their outfits. We are having a blast and learning a lot while working hard at our crafts. We also look forward to sharing our art installation with our neighbours and visitors this summer. We will continue to share our progress with you and be inspired by our view from the studio of Gunflint Lake.

Old School House Art Gallery

I am really excited to announce that I am coordinating this year’s annual members show at the Old School House Art Gallery and I would like to take this opportunity to invite new and ongoing members to submit their artwork. It is a really fun event and a great way to share the walls with our fellow artists. You don’t have to be a full-time resident but you do have to be a member (details below on how to do that). We are so fortunate here on Cortes Island to have such a beautiful gallery, with an amazing crew of board members and volunteers – our gallery is run on donations and the hard work that goes into every season, from solo art shows to group shows. So without any further ado, here is the 2018 schedule of the many exciting shows we have planned for this year and we look forward to seeing you at the gallery.

ANNUAL MEMBERS SHOW

Theme – SPACE

Call for submissions to participate in our Annual Member Show.  July 27 to Aug 5.

The Theme this year is SPACE ……which has, of course, many and varied interpretations:  “an area, extent, expanse, lapse of time” or “to set some distance apart” or how about, “the unlimited or incalculably great three dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur.” Space can be seen as a landscape, a concept of the space between things, or outer space, deep space. Feel free use any medium you wish and any genre that tickles your fancy – abstract, pop art, contemporary art, textile art, watercolours, acrylic, oil, glass and/or a sculpture… to name a few. We welcome all media and interpretations …..

The deadline for committing to the show is Saturday, July 14. Laura Balducci is our esteemed Coordinator this year, so please email your intent to participate to Laura at laurabalducciart@gmail.com.

Here’s how you can participate and have your work shown at the exhibit:

First make sure you are a member of the Gallery: new and renewing memberships are $10. You can mail us a cheque, payable to the Old Schoolhouse Gallery to Janet Turpin, Box 203, Whaletown, V0P 1Z0. Or you can pay at the Gallery during any of the season’s shows. Then bring us your pieces on Monday July 23 from 1pm to 8pm. You can submit up to two new pieces, and depending on space we’ll do our best to include all, though no guarantees!

Celebrating 100 days!

Today marks the 100th day of my 365-day challenge “Wink”. I am really stoked to have made it this far, as it takes some serious dedication to complete a project that involves creating something, every single day. So far, I have learned a lot about myself and my process, and feel that I have come a long way with this challenge of pulling a daily tarot card and a drawing a daily sketch. My confidence in creating art is growing and my desire for experimentation is at its peak. Today, to celebrate this milestone, I am sharing the next four pages of my sketch book “Wink”. I have 265 days to go, so stick around to see more! And I thank you all for the encouragement, your comments and the loving support  I have received so far in this challenge. xoxo Laura

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365 Day Challenge

Here is some progress on my “Wink” project, which consists of reading a Tarot card every morning, doing research to learn about that card and then drawing a sketch based on that inspiration (and the whole series is also based on my well-used cup cozy). At the end of the year, I’ll be putting all the pieces together to create a solo art installation for 2019. As it implies, the project is growing daily as I am continually learning and having fun with the discipline it takes to commit to doing something every day.

Over the past 3 months, I have been inspired to bring the whole concept one step further and create a Contemporary Art Tarot Deck with accompanying guidebook, which will go on sale in 2019. I have a lot of work ahead of me to accomplish this but I am enjoying every step of this creative venture. Look out for my Daily Tarot page on my website starting end of April, where you will be able to shuffle a 3-card spread, or a card of the day, as well as book a Tarot reading via email. For now, I will share another four pages of my sketch book. Stay tuned and watch it grow! Xoxo Laura

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What’s Up in the Studio!

Spring is in the air, which means it is time to get back in gear at the studio with lots of exciting times on the horizon. I just started teaching my “Creative Sessions” with my art student Nola McPhail, in our new studio space at the Linnaea Education Center where we’ll be spending the next five month working in many mediums to create an art installation of all our work at The Co-op Cafe, from Aug 15th to 31st. We are very excited for the opportunity to share what we have been working on for the last year and half. Over the next months, I’ll be sharing some of the progress and more info.

All this means a lot of studio time for me this spring, especially because I am also preparing to host and curate the annual members’ show for our local gallery, which has “Space” as a theme this year. It will showcase all the talented artists of Cortes Island and will run from July 27th to Aug 5th. I look forward to working closer with the members of my community as well as creating my biggest painting to date; you can expect to hear a lot about this show and the full season ahead at the Old School House Art Gallery.

As you know, I love to create with as many mediums as I can possibly learn. Over the last two years, I have been working a lot with textiles: naturally dying, spinning, knitting, and weaving. Maybe you have heard of India Flint, an eco-dyer who has very inspiring techniques (to visit her website, click here). I was recently invited to participate in one of her art shows planned for 2019, called “Garden of the Hearts” – a community art project hosted by the h.ART group at the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mills in Lobethal, South Australia – where each participating artist will embroider one line of an original poem (written by the artist) on a specifically-measured piece of material (preferably made from natural fibres) which will all be stitched together by India Flint to create her art installation. This is a very exciting event to be part of amongst over 250 other artists from around the world, and the first time I submit to an event in Australia using my beloved techniques of stitching, dying, and writing… love it!

So this is what’s up in the studio these days, along with my 365-day challenge “Wink”, which will be featured in another post later this week. Stay tuned, exciting times ahead!!!

Goals for 2018

Goals!!! I like to think everyone has them, and I believe they are a tool for growth and creating your dreams. Goals are how I choose to live my life by – Not resolutions as I find them easier to stick to, of course this is just me….

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Photo by Arwyn

As we come to the end of the first month of a new year, I have been working hard to put my goals in a row to be accomplished. Cramming in two online courses and three workshops on health & nutrition, and the science of exercise. All subjects I am very passionate about, considering that one of my goals this year is to focus on being the healthiest and strongest me possible. I am happy to say I have completed these courses and I have learned a lot. I will continue to learn as much as I can on these subjects throughout 2018. I also decided to start two personal 365-day challenges that include creating my first sketchbook and continuing to learn and practice tarot card reading. I hope to be confident enough to offer readings to the public and my friends. I start my day by pulling and reading a tarot card and practice my intuition on its meaning and then do a sketch inspired by that day’s reading. I am really enjoying this learning process and actually look forward to my daily practice as soon as I get up in the mornings. This challenge is also helping me slowly build my new art installation “Wink!!!” which I will share with the world in 2019. I am also trying my hand at some new mediums this year that include spinning wool and weaving. There are some exciting times ahead for me with the announcement and confirmation of two art shows I will curate and participate in this summer! One is a collaboration with my art student Nola which will be held at The Co-op Cafe during the last two weeks of August, and the other being the annual members show at our local gallery on Cortes Island. I will share more on these topics in the future as they come to fruition. Continuing on my project to grow into the healthiest version of myself, I am also super stoked about my upcoming  Pilates Retreat in Costa Rica in March. So there you have some of the goals I plan to accomplish in 2018. What are your goals this year? Curious minds want to know ; ) I always find it very helpful to share my goals with others in some way as it puts solidifies them by putting them in stone, and hopefully your friends and family, or your network can help you stay focused and encourage you. I look forward to sharing the progress of my goals as they grow and wish you much success with yours. xoxo Laura

Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth

Over the course of 2017, I had the opportunity of viewing the sketchbooks of some of the artists in my network and I got really inspired!!! I have never worked out of a sketchbook but I saw many different ways to use one and felt it as another way for artists to Grow, experiment, and lock down ideas.

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So I decided to start my very first sketchbook in 2018! Since I have a thing about collections and I also love a challenge, I thought I would use my sketchbook to start a new body of work by doing one sketch a day for 365 days and see what I come up with, what I will learn, and what kind of Growth I will see in my art practice if I put my head down on a daily basis for a year.

I am currently on day 8 and I have already learned a lot! I am very excited about this experience and have started to look forward to my daily practice. My goal is to create a body of work to do my largest solo show in 2019 along with an art book to go with the collection called “Wink!!!” It’s super fun to watch the Growth of my sketchbook and I will share sneak peaks over the year, so stay tuned and I hope you will enjoy the process as much as I enjoy creating it. xoxo

But What Is Your Passion?

I have been a working artist for over 30 years in the hair, make up and fashion styling industry and have just recently retired!!! And I loved my profession – so now what???

Since I moved to Cortes Island six years ago, I’ve had the chance to dabble in many mediums of art which led to the creation of five solo art installations and my participation in many group shows, combining the different techniques I have learned over the years. You can view all my exhibitions and shows on my website. I’ve had so much fun and accomplished many goals during this time in my life – these include a group show in Europe, the making of  a CD and touring with my band The Abbie Hoffman Society, the recording of a sound track to go with one of my art installations and a whole lot of art dolls, and one that even came alive… It’s been a a great ride!!!

So the question is what is my new burning passion now that I am not styling hair anymore? Creating Art… Obviously!!! So where do I go with it? I have been pondering this question for a few months. I love colour theory, knitting, dying fiber, and creating lots of art, which makes the idea of working in Fiber and Textile Art a no-brainer for me and the central focus of where I am putting my energy. Creating Wearable Art!!!

I have started on this path, as many of you know, but I have decided to continue exploring this exciting medium in the new year by creating more wearable art. This means experimenting with fiber and textile art, learning to spin yarn as well as focusing my concepts on making wearable items that follow the colour theory I have used all throughout my career. In my past work, I used the palettes of the seasons: fall, winter, autumn, and  spring. My new collection of work is thus aptly called “four seasons” and includes hand-knitted scarves, chokers/collars, and silk scarves that have been painted with natural dyes and Cida acid dyes. I am creating four items for each of the four seasons – so a one-of-a-kind and limited edition.

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I will have a few items at The Gorge Christmas Bazaar alongside another new item, greeting cards of my art dolls, as well as some of my original art pieces, and my art book “My Stuffies’ Secret Life”. I am excited to share my new and past art in a few different formats, which includes craft fairs, pop-up shops, and a soon to come online store! So come and see me at the Bazaar and may the celebrations begin! xoxo