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.
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.
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
Every year at this time I set new goals for myself. I am not sure why but it always feels like its the start of a new year to me!!! Maybe because of the rapid changes in the weather and Fashion Week being in full groove; maybe because as a farmer, you work from February to October starting from seed, planting, loving, harvesting, preserving for the winter, etc. Who knows? But this year is no different except that I’ve got some Disentangling to do… after a very productive year that saw me co-producing an art festival, attending workshops, taking online classes, curating for our local museum, vending at the farmer’s market, gardening my little butt off, teaching art sessions, exhibiting art installations, paddle boarding, learning and enjoying life… Wow! I just got tired from typing all that out hahahah… I sure am changing it up this year!!!
After a two-month hiatus from blogging, I realized how much I missed it, so one of the plans I am making for the coming year is to spend more time on my website (revamping and updating it, and creating an online store), over the last year, I have been learning more techniques and experimented with textile art – something I plan on continuing to explore starting with getting a spinning wheel, as well as working toward a new art installation (stay tuned to watch the progress!)
I was also gifted a text book this summer as an indefinite loan, which I am thrilled about reading and plan to study too: H.W. Janson’s second edition of History of Art (a topic I am really interested in but never studied).
So there you have it! This is me taking a step back, keeping it chill and disentangling a few goals. You see, about a week ago, I had no choice but to let go of some of my goals due to a flare-up in my wrists, neck and spine that has put me back in casts for the next few months. This has meant going at a slower pace, as well as regrouping to see what my new options are.. and of course, creating art! The future is looking up and the light is shining through. I dedicate the coming year to growth, expansion, and being the healthiest me possible. And I am excited! xoxo Laura
Summer is here and that means a lot of art to see and experience on Cortes Island, since we happen to live surrounded by an abundance of talent. I am so grateful to live here and have the opportunity to engage with all the amazing local artists and feast my eyes all season long – whether it be at the weekly markets, one of our many events, or at our wonderful little gallery (where everyone can become a member and all our visitors/guests of the community are more than welcome to visit). The Old School House Gallery, which is run by volunteers and donations, puts on a minimum of 8 shows every summer. Hours are Fridays from 6pm to 9pm, and Saturdays & Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.
We started the season off on Friday June 30th with a beautiful show featuring 2 weavers and one textile artist… and trust me when I say that it is stunning. Here are a few of my favourite pieces! For more info please check out the link www.cortesisland.com
P.S. There is a saying here on Cortes Island, “Every Friday is Gallery Night” – all season long @ The Old School House Gallery, there is either a vernissage or an artist talk – come join us!!!
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.
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”.
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!
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.
After a taking a well-earned break, I am back at creating my neck and wrist art and building up my stock for this summer’s market season on Cortes Island, as well as for an upcoming music festival where I will be vending – announcement coming very soon. During my time off from knitting, I spent some time to naturally dye some wool and work on my garden – from which I drew lots of inspiration for colour combos thanks to the abundance of the many blooming flowers. I was also busy with installing the art installation at The Cortes Island Museum which opens mid-June.
I have just completed my third commission – a one-of-a-kind man’s Bandana – and I started working on a new design: the Mini iPad clutch which will be featured in my Etsy store this week. And heads up, I have many new items coming to my Etsy store in the upcoming weeks, so look out for updates at http://www.laurabalducciart.etsy.com
In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of spring and getting geared up for what is shaping up to look like a fantastic summer ahead….
Indigo is one of the art dolls from my new multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin”. I drew my inspiration for this exotic/erotic experience from flowers and their lush surroundings that can tickle our senses when we allow ourselves to fully enjoy their offering. She is the art doll that is brought to life by my live doll, Namchi Bazar, who performs in the video below with musician Del Riviera. The body of the doll is made with polymer clay, her hair is black merino wool, and I recycled some material to craft her skirt and then added lace accents and Ostrich feathers. I also recycled a lamp shade to create the skirt hoop and her sidekick mini Roxy the Rabbit is made with textile, fabric paint, wool, and polymer clay for her eyes.
I had a lot of fun creating this art installation and learned a lot in the process. To experience the full art installation coming to life for yourself, please watch the live performance video featuring Namchi Bazar and Del Riviera!!!
I have become very fond of working in the medium of textile art as of late, and I plan on continuing to explore and create in this medium. I am loving the process of naturally dyeing cloth and wool, and then knitting with the fruits of my labour. I plan on spending the next few months experimenting with this process. At the moment, I am busy creating bandanas and wrist art, which you can view on the web page I have dedicated to it (here) an in my Etsy store, linked below! I have been having so much fun working on my store and I keep adding new items all the time, as this is my focus for Spring and Summer as I hope to be crafting many new items to share and sell. Of course, my plans also include gardening, skool (and yes, I do mean to spell it like this!) and as much beach time as possible. In the last few years, my focus has been art installations with their many deadlines and logistics. I am happy to take a step back from these pressures and have fun living in a more fluid way. After this hiatus, I do plan on creating a new art installation – which will include some new techniques – to share something very fresh in 2018. Stay tuned and check out my Etsy store. I wish everyone a wonderful Spring!!! xoxo
It with great pleasure that I report the amazing success the Expose Yourself art festival was last weekend! We had sold out venues, all the workshops were well attended, and everyone had a lot of fun. I want to thank Powell River for the hospitality and all the artists who exhibited their work and contributed their talent and presence to the event. Also a big shout out to all the people who came from near and far to attend and make this event a success. Here is a a sneak peak of my multidisciplinary art installation “Senses That Sin” which I premiered at the Expose Yourself event! This video clip was shot by the talented Claudia Medina and shows Indigo, the living doll, with her rabbit Roxy as they make their way to the venue – with a little twist at the end!
That said, I want to give everyone a heads up that due to other projects that are drawing me home, I am stepping out of my role of co-producer for Expose Yourself as of now and wish all future events the greatest success. It’s been a riot! Stay tuned for more details on last weekend’s event and my upcoming projects.