Monday, 29 August 2016

Quotes: Lykke Højriis Larsen

"Art is good for the soul. It says a lot about what you like and who you are." –– Lykke Højriis Larsen, Danish-born, Surrey, UK-based interior designer
*source: Livingetc. March 2014, p. 82

Friday, 26 August 2016

Found Halifax collage

 Found collage; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
Isn't it interesting that all the posters on this pole are black-and-white?

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Different kinds of Halifax stars

Ship from Colombia; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
While vacationing in Halifax recently, I encountered all sorts of stars. This dignified ship from Colombia attracted a lot of attention. It was definitely the star of the waterfront for several days.
Stars on the Halifax waterfront pavement; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
If you looked down while walking along the Halifax waterfront, you'd see a family of sea stars (formerly known as starfish).
Found star; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
I found this star in Halifax too. Can you guess what it is?

Monday, 22 August 2016

Quotes: Issey Miyake

"Design is not for philosophy, it's for life."–– Issey Miyake (b. 1938), Japanese fashion designer

Friday, 19 August 2016

Sandra Brownlee + string-making *updated 24/08/16*

Sandra Brownlee teaches how to make string; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
In July, Sandra Brownlee taught Susie Brandt and me how to make string, a technique that Sandra learned from India Flint, who learned it from Australian visual artist Nalda Searles. Earlier that week, Susie Brandt taught me how to make rope (more about that in a future post). 
Sandra Brownlee's string ball for Warren Seelig; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
Sandra is making this ball of string for Warren Seelig. He wants it to be B I G.

Once home from Nova Scotia, I practiced making string while standing at my kitchen counter. I cut up several tea bags and got to work, making a fine string. It took a few tries before I found my rhythm. While cleaning out my studio, I found fabric strips leftover from a rug-hooking project that I undertook while I was a Sheridan student. The results are similar weight to that of the above ball. I am grateful to Nalda, India, and Sandra for passing on this skill.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Studio Series: ink spots

Ink spots © Karen Thiessen, 2016
When I last saw Dorothy Caldwell at the opening of her travelling exhibition Silent Ice/Deep Patience at the IdeaExchange in Cambridge, Ontario, I asked her about the washes on her newer quilts. Dorothy told me that she had grown tired of drawing the designs, waiting for her silkscreens to be exposed with her designs, be shipped back to her, and then her finally printing the fabric. Too much time elapsed between the initial mark-making on paper and the final result on fabric. She decided to work more directly by brushing washes of India ink onto the fabric. 

Dorothy's use of a non-traditional colorant inspired me to play with India ink on fabric in my own way. I used Dr. Ph. Martin's Hi-Carb India ink in black. I discovered this brand a few years ago from Keri Smith's blog: it's her favourite ink. It's mine now too.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Quotes: Arthur Miller

"Where choice begins, Paradise ends, innocence ends, for what is Paradise but the absence of any need to choose this action?" –– Arthur Miller (1915-2005), American playwright and essayist

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Mr. Toad

Mr. Toad; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
Isn't this guy a beauty? The symmetry and the colouration of the marks are very inspiring.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Quotes: Marcel Proust

"My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing." –– Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French author

Friday, 5 August 2016

Turkey Vulture

Turkey vulture; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
Every summer my husband and I visit Niagara-on-the-Lake for a picnic in the park. On our way home we took a different route (okay, we were slightly lost) and a bonus was seeing a trio of Turkey vultures that each appeared to be the size of a Smartcar. Holy schmoly, look at this guy's beak! They really were scary-wonderful.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Package Design

King Soba package; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
I confess that I bought these noodles partly for the beautiful patterns on the package. Since I've been off wheat for twenty years, these were the first ramen noodles that I've had since before my gluten-free days. Pretty packaging and delicious food are a nice combination.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Quotes: Theaster Gates

"Every art idea for me starts with some kind of compassion or curiosity or care." –– Theaster Gates (b. 1973), American sculptor and social practice performance artist
* source: Bozikovic, Alex. "Public Practice: Theaster Gates brings his uniquely social art to the AGO. The Globe and Mail, Saturday July 23, 2016, p. R1, R4.