The Art of Growing Food

There’s something to be said about growing your own food. And that something is, “Do it”!!!

To me, growing a vegetable garden is a form of art. It is a well-known adage that “we are what we eat” and that we are all walking canvases. I also have as soft spot for yard art and let’s not forget that when we cook, all our wonderful produce becomes part of our culinary art… So when you put it all together, growing food is indeed an art form!

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It is also one of the ways in which I contribute and give to my family, since the more food we grow the less we need to buy, and the more money we save. Growing your food also saves the planet by bypassing any need for packaging and no gas is used to bring it to your home, and of course you know where your food came from and the love that went into producing it.

 

My process starts with the seeds; some of which I have collected from the previous year and some I buy from a trusted source. Then my man preps the garden beds, and then when the soil – which we build and nourish throughout the year – is thawed and the weather is warm enough, the garden gets planted. All of this is very exciting to me as I love to watch everything grow as I water it throughout spring and summer. By the time fall comes around, all the preserves have to be done and the shelves and freezer get stocked… total gratification is how it feels. I hope to encourage everyone, no matter what size of space you have to give it a try, whether you live in an apartment, have a patio herb garden, a backyard garden or, like us, a farm. The picture above is the seeds I have recently planted; they include lettuce, peas, basil, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe… and there is so much more on the way. Stay tuned to watch my garden grow!!! xoxo

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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Weekly Photo Challenge – Favourite Place

I have to be honest and confess that my Favourite Place is where I live: Cortes Island, BC, Canada!!! It is one of the many islands on the West Coast region on the Salish Sea. I live on 33 acres, tucked in between two provincial parks – one of which is Kwas Park – and on the banks of two white sands lakes, Gunflint and Hague. And then there is Hanks Beach, a lush forest trails that leads you to the ever-changing sea. I take advantage of both Kwas Park and Hanks Beach on a daily basis where I get to see all sorts of wildlife, very few people, and to experience new levels of tranquility every day. On top of all this visual enchantment, I share this beautiful place I call home with a very supportive community with an abundance of talent. The bounty never ends…

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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!!!

Weekly Photo Challenge – a Face in the Crowd

There is a theory that says every snowflake is different – not as if we could ever compare every snowflakes to each other… The same can be said about every Face in the Crowd – each unique even though it is said we all have doppelgangers out there! Snowflakes float through the air individually, each with theirs own patterns and sparkle, but if you look close enough, each one has a face too. wink wink!!!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Sweet

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Awesome Maple Syrup

As many people around the world know, Canada produces some Sweet maple syrup… a lot of Sweet maple syrup! But what fewer people may know is that Canada has only become the world’s top producer since the 1930’s (before that it was the US). And today, Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup. In 2016, about 73,000,000 litres of the delicious golden liquid were produced!Maple syrup is made by harvesting the sap  of the Sweet sugar maple trees in the springtime and then boiling it down to the desired consistency. I happen to be a big fan! I use it in my baking, to sweeten my tea and my yogurt… and yes, sometimes, I just eat it straight off the spoon!!!

365 day challenge – Wink

In 2017, I had the opportunity to meet a fellow artist who shared their sketchbooks with me and I was deeply inspired by what I saw. I thought it was a great way to bank my visions and grow as an artist as well as an excellent opportunity to experiment. So as I mentioned in a previous post, I have given myself a 365-day challenge for 2018 and started my first sketchbook. I am drawing inspiration a daily tarot card as I also practice and grow my intuition. I am really enjoying the process!

Here is a preview of the first few pages of my sketchbook!!! There are 8 squares on each page, and each square represents one day; at the end of the year there will be 46 pages that will make up my new art installation “Wink”.

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A preview of the first month of my 365-day challenge “Wink”

I named my sketchbook “Wink” and found a muse in Lucy (my well-used cup cozy!), a coffee shop find from many moons ago that I fell in love with instantly because I am a sucker for kitsch art. I decided to draw permutations on one of her eyes for 365 days in a row (and yes, I am a sucker for putting extra challenges on myself).

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My muse Lucy!!!

Every morning, I ask a question, pull a tarot card, and record my thoughts in my journal – which is a new thing for me too. There is something very cool about this practice as it helps clear my mind of all the static! I then go to my sketchbook and do my drawing for the day. I have been learning a lot by doing this challenge so far and I am having a ton of fun in the process. At the end of 2018, I will share my sketchbook with the world along with many surprises and a solo art installation called “Wink”. This is the second time I give myself an entire year to experiment and build on a thought and create a new body of work; I find it very enlightening and with so many possibilities. I am super excited about this project and look forward to sharing my sketchbook as it grows.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Beloved

If you know me at all, you will know that I have been a softy for my 4-legged family members for my entire life. I was brought up in a pretty old-school Italian family and we always had a dog but it was for the specific purpose of hunting. I did not follow suit. I don’t eat meat so I’m not into hunting, and my dogs sleep in my bed! hahahaha.

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In my house, my dogs are family members. I have no children and it might be a cliche but they are fur-babies and they are cherished to the max (some may say spoiled!!!) Betty and Cali are my Beloved best friends and they do everything with me. They are loved unconditionally – which they return in spades – and are always super happy to see me come home… I have had many dogs over the years and they each share a special place in my heart and I can’t even imagine not having a dog in my life. xoxo