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.
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!!!
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.
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!!! 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….
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!!!