Friday, March 27, 2015

Studio Series: Squeegee Marks Pattern 2

Squeegee Marks Pattern 2 © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Squeegee Marks Pattern 2 began with Bob's elegant red squeegee marks. I scanned the newsprint, cleaned it up, scaled it way down, put the marks into repeat, played with the colours, and then layered them. Fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


My beloved and I just returned from a mini-retreat in the city where we met and fell in love. The weather gods gifted us with crisp, cold, sunny days which were perfect for walking five hours at a time. We walked, talked and recharged. I treated myself to the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo (a very interesting, thought-provoking book on more levels than tidying house) and read it each evening after I did my Lenten mark-making and fed my sketchbook. I unplugged for three days: the lack of clutter afforded me time and space for clear thinking.* An idea for a new project began to germinate: a creative and beautiful response to a frustration. In my own life frustrations, problems, and disappointments are catalysts for innovation. I was recently reminded of this again when I read about Tom Kelley's Bug List in Creative ConfidenceI need to sit with my new idea for a while, mess around with it in my journal, make a mind-map, brain-storm. It's possible that I've already begun.

*This is a prime example that good ideas come to you when you relax, are open, and are free of distractions. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Quotes: Jan Guenther Braun

""I want you to promise me that you will pick one small, seemingly insignificant thing in your life that you will care about passionately as a craft. It doesn't matter what it is, but I want [you] to promise that you'll pick one thing. Whenever you are feeling uninspired about your own life, you will turn to this art that you've chosen and do it with as much passion as you can muster.""–– Jan Guenther Braun, Canadian author, from Somewhere Else: A Novel, 2008, p. 74. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Studio Series: Squeegee Marks Pattern 1

Squeegee Marks pattern 1 © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Here's one of Bob's beautiful squeegee marks put into a repeat pattern and then layered. 

Happy first day of spring to you all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Eric Cameron, Gerhard Richter & me

Eric Cameron Another Brushstroke 1990-1999; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Another Brushstroke 1990-1999; acrylic gesso and acrylic on a single brushstroke of black acrylic paint (3704 half coats) from Eric Cameron's Thick paintings series.

Eric Cameron, Canadian, b. Leicester 1935, taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1976 to 1987 and it was during this time that he began his Thick paintings. This blog is named after his practice. Image of Brushstroke, Another Brushstroke's sister. Another Brushstroke was difficult to photograph. Its shape is that of a flying saucer.
Eric Cameron Another Brushstroke 1990-1999; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Recently I came across an article about Gerhard Richter called "The Halifax Connection" (source: Canadian Art, Cathy Busby & Garry Neill Kennedy, Spring 2012, p. 136). Naturally, I was curious since I lived in Halifax while I attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. What caught my eye was a mention of a daily drawing practice that Richter began while teaching a summer term in 1978. Walther König states that "it was in Halifax that Richter began his ongoing practice of making one drawing a day."

To connect the dots, Richter and Cameron were both at NSCAD in 1978. Richter began a daily drawing practice during the summer of 1978. Cameron began his Thick paintings (a daily practice) in late April/early May of 1979. Textile Museum of Canada curatorial director Sarah Quinton graduated from NSCAD in 1982 and taught the day in and day out practice to my textile investigations class on August 30, 1993. It is possible that Richter influenced Cameron. Quinton definitely was impressed with Cameron's daily practice enough to share it with her students. Since 1993 I have maintained an almost continuous daily practice. In 2008 I started formally documenting the practice. I am curious to know who, if anyone, influenced Richter to begin a daily drawing practice.

To learn more about Eric Cameron, I highly recommend Cover and Uncover: Eric Cameron.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Quotes: Paulo Coehlo

"It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn't matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments that are over." –– Paulo Coehlo, The Zahir 
found via Free Will Astrology by Rob Breszny (Virgo, December 25, 2014)