CortesIsland

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

 

Naturally Bombed

The Powell River Friends of the Library and Sunshine Gogos (on behalf of the Stephen Lewis Foundation) are organizing the first fabulous Art Chair Auction this August 26th, 2017. As you know me, I could not resist getting involved and so I jumped at the opportunity to create my first art chair!

And so it is with great pleasure that I announce that my chair, “Naturally Bombed”, will be heading to Powell River from Cortes Island on Friday for the opening of the new library and will be on display until the auction.

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When I received my white chair, my mind was churning all the options available and all the ideas of what I could do with it, but since my focus has been textile art for some time now I decide to pursue my current passion of painting with wool and do my version of yarn-bombing!!! The fun began by naturally dying the wool I bought locally from Joy Shipway. I used my pigments to dye the wool and then I had to let the wool cure. I started to paint by applying many layers of flat black paint to make the base and finished it off with a gold fluid paint to make the dots. It was then time for wrapping the beautiful naturally-dyed wool. I made 3 bundles of different tones wool. Here are some picture of my process in creating “Naturally Bombed”.

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I had so much fun brainstorming for this project and designing this creation; I had never done a project like this, but I have to say that I am pretty happy with the results!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus

You could say my Focus at the moment is Textile Art. It all started when I was creating my two last art installations, which consisted of making art dolls and they need clothes!!! I had so much fun naturally dying their outfits and the wool for their hair… and then I started knitting – something I had  not done for over 14 years. Since last winter, I have been knitting up a storm and enjoying every minute of it. Creating neck and wrist art has been my passion and being Focused on building my stock up – both for the summer markets here on Cortes Island and for my Etsy Store. I enjoy “painting with wool” as I call it, and this includes using fabric paint, natural dyes, buttons, beads, and found objects. Here is one of my new wrist art pieces made from  black merino wool, silk, mohair, and silver yarn accents. I added vintage buttons for the finishing touches.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Order

You could call me a bit OCD when it comes to my walk-in closet, which actually consists of a small bedroom that was recently converted into every woman’s dream… or at least I think so! I freshly put all my shoes in Order and placed them all in a row just how I like it and ready for summer!!! And… wink, wink… maybe one day I will share the rest of my sumptuous closet space in future posts, but only once it is ready to show! I love having everything organized just so – all the clothes hanging in perfect Order so I can easily see the material and all colour-coordinated, just like when you walk into a store!

Every season I change my wardrobe over and put last season’s clothes away in rubber maids ready for the following year. It’s like going shopping but in my storage locker! I highly recommend trying this out. Here in BC, Canada, we usually have distinct weather changes with each season so this is a great way to keep it fresh and not buy more than you need, or in my case not buy anything at all… xoxo

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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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Weekly Photo Challenge – It Is Easy Being Green

It Is Easy Being Green

Green is the colour of harmony

Green is a way of life

Green can mean money

Green can be something you smoke

Green can also be used as medication

Green makes you think fresh

Green can also mean you feel sick

Green makes you think of recycling

Green is the colour of light that means you can go

Green is my favourite colour….

a poem by Laura Balducci

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow

I often come across sets of antlers as I walk and hike the trails of Cortes Island but these three pieces came to me, since I found them randomly in our yard. I placed them in this formation for no real reason some time ago, and in this special moment, their combined Shadows create one large antler. Nature is pretty awesome!!!

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Oh! Ogopogo’s “Outside Human”

Oh! Ogopogo is getting ready to release their new children’s book and CD called Outside Human. I had the pleasure of creating a painting to illustrate their song, “Don’t Feed The Bully” for what is now their second album and book set. It’s been exciting to watch this project grow, and even more fun to see the finished product. They picked a different artist to create a picture for each of the songs on the album, and then made it into a kids book. I will soon share my contribution to the project. Watch for the release coming soon – in the meantime, here is a sneak peek!

To learn more about Oh! Ogopogo please visit their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OhOgopogo/

P.S. To all punk rock parents out there: You gotta check these guys out; they’re great!!!

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