Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Japanese bowl; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2010
Japanese striped bowl; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2010
Japanese bowls are eye candy for mealtime (and this candy is calorie-free!). The bowls are inexpensive but they make breakfast, lunch, and supper special. Recently we hosted a "one bowl meal" dinner party. We served brown basmati rice, steamed chinese broccoli, rapini, shrimp, baked chicken, steamed carrots, and a ginger tahini sauce. Dessert was grapes and brownies drizzled with Frangelico. We set the table with our assortment of Japanese bowls, pulled out our colourful chopsticks that we picked up at Habitat last year and the meal was a hit, so much so that our friends now want to eat this way more often... and buy Japanese bowls.

Monday, 29 November 2010


Pink Skyline; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen, 2010
Is the photo on the left graffiti? Nope. The image sensor on my camera is going and once in while I get a nice surprise. The right image was taken with the same camera within seconds. These images were taken in Halifax this summer. I'll keep the camera for other unexpected results. Cool, eh?

Friday, 26 November 2010

Lance Letscher: The Perfect Machine

The Perfect Machine

If you love collage, here is a book for you. It will delight your child or your own inner child. Lance Letscher is hands-down brilliant. Lance Letscher: The Perfect Machine

Puzzling discovery

As a young girl I regularly visited my Aunt Erika. What was great about Aunt E. was that she truly understood children and had the BEST toys. I spent hours creating patterns and figures with her colourful wooden shapes. For ten years I've been looking for them and this Spring I found them on a visit to a Granville Island toy shop. Now when I create patterns with this puzzle, I think of Aunt E. and her irrepressible giggle. 

This puzzle play had a profound influence on my future, since one of the things that I do now is create repeat patterns. What toy or childhood activity influenced your career?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The mystery of the spoon

My parents recently visited the "home country," South Ukraine, for the first time. Dad found this spoon in a hedge row on the family farm. Was this the spoon that my great-grandfather used as he ate his lunch? Probably not, but it is fun to wonder how old the spoon is and if it is from the early 1900s. Who knew a spoon could be so intriguing?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Eric Cameron: The King of Day In & Day Out

Eric Cameron is an artist committed to the day in & day out process. My prof, Sarah Quinton, told my class about how he had been adding a coat of gesso to an array of objects every day, day in and day out. A daily studio practice adds up. Either she didn't mention his name, or I didn't write it down. A few months ago I stumbled across one of his pieces at a gallery. Yes, 18 years later I finally learned his name and saw his work. View some of his work here: Eric Cameron, Influx Gallery
Eric Cameron, English Roots: Paintings (1332), 1998 - 2007 Jonathan & Paula Lexier Collection
Acrylic gesso and acrylic on canister of undeveloped film 16,5 x 26,5 x 10 cm (61/2” x 101/2” x 4”)
Photo: Dave Brown Courtesy Tr├ępanierBaer Gallery, Calgary

First Words

In 1992, I was introduced to the Day In & Day Out way of working by my professor Sarah Quinton. The original assignment was to do something to a piece of cloth for a minimum of 15 minutes every day for four months. The purpose of the assignment was to establish a daily studio practice. I couldn't stop after four months and have used this practice off and on for the past 18 years.