creative sessions

The Elephant Family

Meet the family! Beatrice, Hugo and their son Hugh. Their creation was inspired by our love for the largest land animal to roam our planet and as a sad reminder that they are on the brink of becoming endangered. Elephants are widely respected for forming close-knit matriarchal clans and their loyalty to each other and the humans they love – a point made famous in 2012 when elephants mourned the passing of Lawrence Anthony, known as the Elephant Whisperer, by holding a vigil around his house for two days. Their unique beauty, deep wisdom and kind hearts – along with their fierceness in defending their young and protecting their herds – are all reasons why we chose to portray an elephant family in this art project.

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The Elephant Family

When Nola McPhail and I found out about summer’s annual members art show, at The Old School House Art Gallery on Cortes Island “The Colour of Our Muse”, we could not resist the opportunity of collaborating to contribute a piece. So we dedicated the month of June to creating The Elephant Family. Nola McPhail has been joining me for my Creative Sessions for the last year and we have explored many media and techniques together. When we chose to collaborate for this show, we opted to create a piece using many of the different media we have explored together as a way to push our creative boundaries, learn from each other, as well as have a lot of fun creating art together!

The Elephant Family art project consists of 3 elements:

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Hugh

Hugh, the son, is a collaboratively-created piece crafted from 3 recycled wood panels – each painted separately with acrylic paint and kroma crackle. His tail is made from braided wool sourced from Cortes Islander Joy Shipway. His face is made with polymer clay and finished with acrylic paint, kroma crackle, glass eyes, and false eye lashes; his trunk, tusks and ears are made from hand-sewn canvas.

The other two elements consist of individually-created art dolls – since those have been one of the strong focuses of their Creative Sessions.

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Beatrice by  Nola McPhail

Nola McPhail opted to make the proud mother Beatrice using polymer clay, recycled textiles from an old skirt of hers, and false eyelashes; the piece was then mounted on a piece of yellow cedar.

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Hugo by Laura Balducci

I created Hugo, the hard-working father, out of polymer clay, recycled textiles, wool, and a found hat; he is also mounted on yellow cedar.

We look forward to continuing our Creative Sessions starting in the next month or so and doing more work together.

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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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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