Sally Banks — Earring Class

EarringsEarrings are fun to wear — and even more so when you’ve made them yourself. If you’d like create your own earrings you might want to sign up for my new class Earring Bling!

The class is designed for beginners (more experienced jewelry makers are also welcome). I’ll take you step by step through the process from idea to finished piece. At the end of the evening you’ll have 3 pairs of lovely earrings.

I bring all the supplies — beads, crystals, pearls, charms and more — and the tools. I’ll have earring samples you can use for inspiration or you can create your own designs. If you have beads or charms at home you’d like use, be sure to bring them along.

The class runs Wednesday June 10 at the Sundre Library. Registration is limited to 8 people. Please call the Library to register (403) 638-4000.

Next Stop: OLDS 21

Next Stop:  OLDS! was created for the Olds Library annual fundraiser, “Pillage the Village”, that features a Medieval theme.  Twelve of the shields were cut and sanded, to be painted by volunteer artists from the community, then auctioned off by silent bid the evening of the Feast, the 23 rd of May, 2015.  It seemed innocuous enough, so I signed up to paint a shield.  HA !! Then the fun began.  I first expected to use traditional heraldic layouts and emblems.  Research was not terribly satisfactory.  Olds does turn out to have a “logo”, but it is thoroughly modern and just not the flavour with eagles and dragons and such that I was hoping for.  The next idea, of putting a different local symbol in each quadrant became entirely too cluttered.  Ye gads, what was  going to do with this chunk of plywood ?  Finally, a week or two after this  major set-back, I began to envision a painting that told something of the story of Olds itself.  Many sketches and a deadline looming (why, oh why, do I work best under pressure ??) had me slathering the board with gesso, and the painting had no more excuses to use.  I rather bravely began at the top–with those Alberta Wild Roses, after underpainting the entire board with diluted burnt sienna as a delaying tactic, and found myself repainting the roses four times and the sky beneath them at least three times.  (The right shade of blue IS critical, you know.)  The mountains were not expected to be a problem–anyone who lives near the Rockies can surely paint a mountain–but they did go from classic purple to a bluish green, shrank a bit, became several layers, not just one, and finally decided that a change in the sky colour would do the trick.

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New Earrings

Miss MatchedThe snow is gone, green stuff is coming up through last year’s leaf litter and butterflies are flitting past my window. Must be spring. 🙂

As for me, it seems to be earring season. I’ve posted several new pieces in my Portfolio. I’ve been working with wire and metal lately — quite different from the tiny seed beads I usually design with.

Click on each photo for a larger view and a description.

Sunny Cattails

This month has been an exciting and very growing one for me!

Regarding Art, I got to be part of the #ArtBattle248 in Olds. It is the second time I participated in it and though I have not gone to the final round yet, it’s an experience that has been very rewarding.

This year’s piece was “Sunny Cattails”. The premise of this Live Art Competition is that you must finish the piece in 20 minutes and use the Acrylic colours given. You can use any non-mechanical tools that you want and bring along.

The great part of this experience is that it has allowed me to go to the not so “scholar” part of my painting. Though I practiced before that day – because I didn’t want to be caught up at mid-paint when the 20 min, were over – this was not the piece that I practiced the most. I actually only practiced it once. The piece that I had in mind will be part of my next series: “Winter”.

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Moorings–knife painted triptych

Moorings demanded to emerge !  I had painted four versions of this photo several years ago, after obtaining permission from the photographer, Christian Smith.  Why it became an obsession this March is unknown, although I do have a theory.  Having bought pairs of canvases in 12 x 24  in and 16 x 20 in, then painted one of each, the two lonely ones kept giving me depressed looks from their place beside my printer.  The day that a local shop brought in an array of canvasses set me off–or was it up?

Logistics were a frequent problem while painting.  To begin, a simple pencil mark separated sky from ground, so ligning up those major areas was straight-forward.  Then the fun began !  My work space, the kitchen island, is complicated by “life”.  The cats regard it as their space, there are an electric kettle and resident tea pot to work around, and then the just started Christmas puzzle, under the plastic table cloth, creates some unhelpful “texture” to  complement the scattered bits of dry cat food that appear mysteriously.  All three canvases WILL fit on at once, but only if one hangs off the end of the island in a precarious position that will not tolerate the sudden arrival of an air-borne cat..  Quick checks for alignment really must be quick !  Because of the volumes of paint needed, I was also trying to use both of my small Sta-Wet palettes, further complicating the effort to keep cat paws out of the paint.  They are not supposed to drink the painting water or chew my brushes, either–much less carry them off to secret hiding spots.  Trying to paint while all three are asleep seems to be the logical answer, but they draw straws to see who is on duty, looking for tempting things to do with me, while the other two get to nap.  Ah, the struggles in the life of a painter…… 

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