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After my very early experiences with painting instruction, and my quite recent ventures into different techniques as a retired adult, it came to me that starting out by using painting knives instead of brushes could be a very useful way of eliminating the common reliance on tight control and tiny details that so many of us get involved in.
I am using painting knives more and more in my own work–and I love the freedom of expression that they spontaneously bring to painting. I admit to being somewhat horrified by the volume of paint required, however. As a painter of tiny miniatures, the fact that one scoop of the knife can gather more paint than needed for an entire painting of my usual size and style is more than a tad unnerving.
Perhaps that is one reason that my class and I are enjoying grabbing a knife to scrape our palette at the end of a session, then just playing with the paint. Some results are rather mediocre–but others get the “WOW !” reaction. Besides, it is so much more interesting than just wiping the palette clean and heading home as we used to do. On days like today, some of us will even work the entire session with our knife in hand. We are finding that using 140# or heavier watercolour paper, or stretched canvas, works well for this method. In class we work mostly with acrylics, although watercolour is a second choice. As we paint at the local Seniors’ Drop-In Centre, we have mostly avoided oils because of their odor/solvent requirements. There is no need to gas the Scrabble players behind us!
During the summer on one of my many paddling trips I found some clay. It was on the bank of the Red Deer River just a short distance upstream of Sundre, Alberta. It was smooth feeling, very plastic clay. I thought I would try to throw and fire it to see what I could get. I grabbed the bailing bucket and loaded it full of clay and took it with me.
Once home I plopped it on the wheel since it seemed to have little to no debris in it and I made a vase effortlessly. Any twig or pebble was removed or considered to add character to the clay. It is very nice clay to use. The next challenge was firing it in the kiln. I experimented with a higher temperatures upon each firing and eventually it failed. It was a catastrophic failure. The clay would crack with a load bang and break into pieces. So I learned, not so high a firing next time.
I tried a couple different glazes and some worked well and others made it crack again. It made me appreciate the store bought prepared clay. I chose a blue glaze to work with at first since I found it on the waters edge. I also had a few other glazes that I could test it with that would be a good matching.
How would you like to make a stunning pendant like the one shown here? Beautiful Swarovski crystals — the world’s finest — stitched together with dainty Japanese seed beads. To finish it off, you’ll hang your pendant on chain, attach a clasp and yes, wear it home!
Never beaded before? No worries — even beginners will be able to complete this gorgeous piece during the class. There will be several colours to choose and everything you need is included in the class fee ($35).
I’ll be teaching this class at the Sundre Library this Saturday, September 20, from 1 to 3 pm. The class is limited to 8 students so if you’d like to join us, please call the Sundre Library to register (403) 638-4000.
16 – Innisfail Province, Tuesday, July 22, 2014
BY TIM LASIUTA
Innisfail artist Osi Cruz-Lahtinen has survived her first solo art show reception and is poised for future art success.
Last June, the Mountain View Museum and Archives in Olds hosted Cruz-Lahtinen’s art show entitled “Life in Central Alberta” which garnered support from the artistic community in Olds and the surrounding region, including Innisfail.
“The museum was very good to myself and other artists in Olds,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “They are supportive of our work and our efforts to celebrate culture and build a local art community.”
The Mexican-born artist has not always been in the artistic spotlight, training as an architect and youth minister when younger.
“I was born in Mexico City and my earliest memories are when I was painting,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “When I was four or five years old I would draw or paint with watercolours on every piece of paper I could find. Even today, when I pick up a brush or palette knife, I start seeing the possibilities or am transported to my childhood memories.”
July 18, 2014
John Smythe of Olds had a First place entry in the 2014 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase. His turned and carved wall sculpture depicting a western theme was awarded a First place ribbon in the Western theme category of the woodworking Section.
Many of the regular vendors will be there with smiles on, along with some new folks who are joining us for the first time. A new addition this year is the Saturday Strolls. They will run every Saturday in July.
The market is outside and goes rain or shine. The coffee pot is always on and there are delicious baked goods to enjoy.
I’ll be there too with my jewelry. 🙂
Several of these items are from my ReDesign Series, incorporating old or vintage pieces from other jewelry. I enjoy working with these odds and ends. I usually find them at yard sales and thrift stores, discarded because they’re broken, tarnished or merely unwanted.
After cleaning and repairing them, they’re ready to become part of my new work. Many of the “found” pieces I work with are of higher quality that some parts available today — and in many cases they form truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
This month I have the privilege of being hosted at the Olds Museum for my “Life in Central Alberta” Art Show during the whole month of June
(Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm )
Hope you are able to visit and enjoy the show and continue to get a charge out of the beautiful Life in Central Alberta!
See you soon,