Balance Point holds my relationship between past, present and the spaces in-between.
The selected works are a glimpse into the many practices of my creative life and a retrospective look at twenty years as a maker of fine craft.
It is my joy to present this body of work honouring a life devoted to creating for a living. To acknowledge the multiple disciplines that have supported, inspired and nurtured my many years in the marketplace.
Devoting time to my other artistic disciplines has brought constant transformation into my work and educated and informed my eyes and heart.
Drawing the human figure gradually altered my sense of proportion from something whimsical to something richly engaging. Ceramics has taught my hands to be more spontaneous when sculpting affecting the emotional core of my work. Taking time away from the long hours of producing for shows has brought space for reflection and a noticing of how my work is influenced and affected by the phases of my life and journey. These practices have felt so necessary and fed my insatiable appetite for evolution and challenge. They have kept me open to the discovery of what comes n e x t .
This speaks to what it takes to continue to inspire the long hours and dedication of an artist/artisan/maker.
My intention is to bring some insight into the work behind the work and world we as makers live in. It is my hope that you will be intrigued and perhaps surprised at the levels of work that are involved in a life such as this. Not an easy path to follow, as our collective group knows, but a vibrant and rich one, one that brings handmade inspiration (something I have always listed in my materials as “magic”) to a wide audience, enriching their lives as well as our own.
The Retrospective part of the exhibit is dedicated to my patrons and friends who have encouraged, supported and inspired me to pursue the challenge of closing the gap towards mastery.
The work shown here has been selected from the private collections of my largest patrons and earliest supporters. The time line travels along the twenty years I was part of the largest Canadian annual fine craft retail exhibition. I have been shown such kindness and enthusiasm for continuing my work; I wish to sincerely thank every one of you who have been with me on any part of the creative outpouring, stress management and challenging exciting years.
The Combining shows how one discipline reflects upon another.
Rather than pouring plaster or cement into my sculpture molds, I would press clay into them.
Tortilla paper cast offs from life drawings were shredded, soaked and then poured into the same molds finding a method for making strong, light large scale work.
In the printmaking studio leaves and other materials found in the street led to pattern designs using cardboard and Plexiglas for plates. Lithography pencils and a gum arabic process meant favorite contour life drawings could be transferred onto the leaf prints.
Cutting and printing with linoleum became pliable printing stamps for the porcelain vessels I was making in the ceramics studio. I would press the same leaves and lino cuts into polymer clay for details on my figures.
Shoe Shoe Dancer is a story of when my paintings first became a direct inspiration for figurative sculptures.
A model for a life drawing session came to pose wearing her tutu and John Fluevog shoes. Her spirit and attitude was infectious. That day painting took me beyond old insecurities and I danced right along with her using my brushes. That evening, so alive with the experience, I began a little dancer called Passing Time. I used the inspiration of the day and found myself making a delicate tender figure that spoke of the profound connection I felt coming through this experience, something that has continued to grow deeper thicker and richer.
Flowering is wearing the boots I won while surfing the Fluevog website for another set of shoe inspirations for my series. One pair is never enough ….
The Gentle Spirits installation is a story of time spent (devotion), abilities evolving and artistic and personal reflection with a view to the future.
The horses represent the artist, artisan, maker … the work horse; well-worn, slow moving, introspective…
The figures above the horses are the muses, the characters, the anima of my livelihood.
Many times I have been asked if derive my work from dreams but I do not dream these, I take instruction. It is as if they have chosen and I simply listen. Or perhaps they are, more simply, me.
The horse forms were designed with the intention they would be sculptural paintings. Beginning with a decorative method in acrylic I abruptly changed to oil paint and fell in love. Becoming obsessed with the project, the figures became fabric puzzles; their bodies designed using canvas and paint as with the horses. Their clay parts were tinted using pigments and pastels becoming more painterly as I worked. These large three dimensional forms engaged several disciplines, amalgamating the many practices on each one.
Invigorated, working amongst horses and figures that were also paintings, I grabbed my brushes and intensely began to paint over some unresolved canvases. Figures and feelings emerged out of the two dimensional surface effortlessly. The sculptures were informing the paintings, it was another level of what artists long for, the flow of connection. This was a significant shift along a related path which had directionally changed.
I had found my latest Balance Point.