Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hanging Art

I made this mixed media piece for the Hanging Art Show which is an annual part of the Canmore Arts Weekend, which is in mid June. It is a fundraiser for the local Lamphouse Arts Centre. The participants are local artists who can go to one of three locations and pick up an 8x8" Masonite board, upon which their art is made. The only "rule" is to use this board. Each piece is hung from a clothesline for the sale. All pieces are $75 regardless of materials or who the artist is. The piece can not be signed on the front so that the buyer has no idea who created it until they buy it. They only hang so many pieces at a time, and the buyer pays and then takes their chances as to what is on the line when it is their turn to pick. I have taken part in lots of art fundraisers in the past, and I had actually made a deal with myself not to do anymore where I was not at least paid back for materials, because artists seem to always be asked to donate their work, with no regard for their costs or time. It isn't really fair, of course it is up to the artist whether they say yes or no, but I prefer fundraisers where the art is purchased from the artist at a fair price and then sold at a price that brings a profit to the fundraiser. But, it is a local festival so I decided to participate.

I am pretty happy with the piece that I made but I would make a few changes if I could have it back... Originally, I had the masonite board as the border for the collage. I like the way it was heathered looking but when I asked my husband for his opinion he didn't like it. I decided to add the paper border, and because I forgot that I was not supposed to sign the piece (which I had done under the transfer) I put a paper border there, too. I tried to tie it into the rest of the piece by adding an acrylic paint wash, but it didn't quite do the job. It bugs me that you can see where the paper comes together at the corners, which may just be because I do know how to cut mats and this is a very basic version of a mat. In the end, I was happy to experiment and have decided to do a series with my transfers and different origami pieces. I like the 3-D effect. And I think that I will use beeswax and maybe even encaustic paints to pull it all together and to soften the look around the transfer.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Homage to Julia

I sent off my piece for the Homage art exhibit at Cube Gallery in Ottawa, where we used to live. It is a gallery I have had the honor of showing in five times before now. The owner, Don Monet, puts out calls for work twice a year, with themes for each show. I love this because it is both a great way to show work I have already made but also gives me time to create new work if I apply for a show way in the future. This particular theme was a bit more specific than most, which can be very loosely intepreted. The goal was to select an artist, in my case a photographer, whose work I admire, and to then take artistic license to "rip them off". I selected Julia Margaret Cameron, one of my all time favorite photographers, who was photographing in the 1860s. She worked with wet plate collodion, something I have had the pleasure of studying, at Historic Eastfield Village in New York state, with William Dunniway. I have loved Mrs. Cameron's work since the first time I viewed it in Photo History class in University.

The image that I loosely based my image for this show on is called Echo (one in a series). It is one of my favorite images (although I also love Pomona). What I really enjoyed about this challenge was that I could combine old and new. While, Hannah, the woman whom I photographed, has a timeless look, and so does the Polaroid I used to capture her image, her clothing is modern. I did not make this image specifically for this show. I was going to make a new image for this show, but when I started to look back at my work from the past five years I realised I had several images that pay homage to Mrs. Cameron. I find it interesting that I made this image at the very same place where I was taking the workshop on wet plate collodion, which Mrs. Cameron used. The Polaroid for this show was made from an original color slide image.

I hemmed and hawed about how to frame this. Modern or vintage? I was going to mat it in a traditional white museum quality mat with a modern gilded victorian frame but then I decided to keep this little gem little. With the frame it is about 4x5". I decided to use a frame that I bought ages ago while rummaging at the local thrift shop. I originally bought it because it had a charmingly strange image of a woman in it.

I did like the frame but it was really this image in the frame that sold me. She has set next to my desk for several months, and I was a little sad to take her out of her frame and to replace her with a younger woman (I mean really, how unfair after she has been so loyal to me...). I do believe this frame is quite old. The glass is very heavy and is actually convex. I am happy with the choice I made, because I always go pretty conservative with my framing. It is always hard for me to part with my "children" and while I love it when I sell a piece, I would welcome MY "Echo" back...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh Boy, Birthdays!!

Happy Birthday and Bonne Fete to my wonderful hubby today! And our daughter also turned two this week. Here is to another year full of fun, adventure, and plenty of cupcakes... I love you, I like you, and I am proud of you...

Well, Its About Time...

... for the rain to stop. It has been raining since last Wednesday (it is Monday today). I woke up to the sound of raindrops and a wet world but then it cleared up. I almost didn't believe it.

And, it is about time that I FINALLY put up my bio and some images on the OMMA (Ottawa Mixed Media Artists) site. I have been a member for 4 or 5 years. I wish time grew on trees. I was prompted to finally do this simple things, when I received an email from the new listings editor at Where magazine. I will be the featured artist for the month of August, at the d'OMMA Gallery, in Ottawa, and she needed images of my work. When she stated that she could not find anything about me on the site, I knew it was time to check that off the list. Here my images album . Feels good.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!

You know, I really like rain. I like to feel like I can stay inside and create to my heart content (well, as long as my two year old is into letting me). But, it has been raining for 4 days! Honestly, it is draining. We have all been just dragging this weekend, but I guess sometimes it is good to just enjoy doing not much of anything...

Here are the lastest images for my Polaroid Double Exposure Series on Banff. I need to come up with a much better name, one that is short but descriptive. I shot these before we went out of town but I was able to get them scanned today. As soon as the rain ends I am off to make more.

Awesome Opening

I am so bummed that I had to miss the opening of The Blue Period by Red Salon but am so pleased to hear there was an amazing turn out. France-Marie was super sweet to insist that the group photo be taken in front of my work, so I could be there somehow. I was there in spirit as I thought of them all evening.

Patrick, Mary, and the rest of the crew did an amazing job of framing and hanging the work, putting together the show, and all the PR. They were great to work with and we appreciate it. Thanks, guys! And thanks, Mary, for these pics. You can see more on her web album.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Third Time's a Charm!

Ok, I am VERY EXCITED to share my newest creation with you all. I do love the fabric and the way it turned out, but I most love that I created it, with a sewing machine, AND it looks good... yippee!

While I am usually a confident person, I must admit I have a bit of a low self esteem thing when it comes to sewing with a machine. This is my third class in about 10 years, and the third time is a charm. I feel like a can go on and conquer the world! Thanks, Sheila Snowsell, you are a wonderful, patient, and inspiring teacher.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Red Salon's Blue Period

Ok, I knew it had been awhile, but, I didn't think it had been two weeks! Wow, so much has been going on but how would you know? I plan to do some catch up in the coming days. Coming soon: photos and stories from our Minneapolis visit, Quin's 1st birthday, news from sewing class, and a couple of fun visitors...

On a more immediate note, tomorrow night is the opening of this year's Red Salon Artists show in Ottawa (where does the time go, I thought it was forever away when we made the plans!!!). This lovely group of talented women have allowed me to stay on as a Red Salon Artist, even though I moved to Banff. Thanks, Ladies!! Red Salon was started to create more opportunities to exhibit work in Ottawa. It is a nomadic event that has not always taken place in typical art spaces. The first year we took over the halls of a Medical Arts Building. The second year we were at Cube Gallery. Last year we took a year off. And this year we are exhibiting at Patrick Gordon Framing. I sent 6 Polaroid transfers to the show, which were expertly framed by Patrick (I am DYING to see pics!!). We have not worked with a theme in mind in the past but as inspiration for this show we decided to create works for our "Blue Period". The vernissage is from 7-10 PM tomorrow, May 23rd. To check out the awesome invitation, click here. I am so bummed that I won't be able to celebrate during the vernissage with these incredibly talented women. I am hoping that next year we can have the exhibition in Banff...


Thursday, May 8, 2008


What. SNOW. Again?!!

Ok, this is getting a bit ridiculous. I mean, yesterday, we were out walking without coats, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, the heat was off, we even broke out the bubbles. Now, there is another foot of wet snow. It started before we awoke. It fell all day. It is Andre’s fault since yesterday he took the winter tires off of the car because, “there won’t be anymore snow...”. I told him to not say that out loud. He did it again. Now this. The world is once again a winter wonderland. I headed to Canmore for a haircut and had to turn back after only a few KM. I could not see 5 ft in front of me. It was ridiculous. It would have taken me forever to get there, and then back. No thanks. My neighbour did the same. And she was headed there for work. Not worth it, she said. So, instead I made Polaroids, Quin watched Sesame Street, we had lunch, napped. It was glorious for the most part. I did tons of laundry and ironed for the first time in ages. We will be all set for our Minneapolis trip.

This evening I had my second sewing class, at the Banff High School, about 3 blocks away. I love the class and the instructor. She is so positive, bubbly without being too bubbly, just a great person. Tonight, I hemmed two pair of pants, which is a bit boring for most but was a THRILL for me, because I now have two more wearable pairs of pants in my wardrobe, and a new, useful skill under my belt. It was a fun combo of machine and hand sewing. And I will use it a lot in the future, since I am not short but pants are always too long. Yippee for sewing!

Banff Photo Series

I am being featured on this blog, which is exciting...

I started a new photography series today and I am thrilled. The idea has been brewing ever since I found a Polaroid Spectra camera at the local thrift shop for $5. It was complete serendipity that day because I went there hoping to find a Polaroid camera, knowing full well that it can be difficult to find what you are looking for at a thrift shop on the first try. I had 600 and SX-70 series cameras but not a Spectra camera, and the local grocery store had slashed the price on the 5packs of Spectra they had left so I needed one. Once I found out the camera worked AND it makes double exposures, I was hooked. I plan to work on this series for up to a year. It is about the area I live in, Banff, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Canadian Rockies. The whole series will be double exposures and I want to make images in all seasons. I want each photograph to show how humans and nature co exist in this historical place. So, yes, for those of you who know me, ANOTHER Human?Nature series. I don't plan to make more than one image each day I shoot, and I probably won't ahoot every day. I think about 100 images would be great, then I can edit it down to the best images and exhibit them locally. I shot three images today, which as I said is not what I plan to do after today, just one a day. I am very happy with the first image, which is of a Zebra print futon next to a garbage container and the sky and a small, pine covered, mountain.

This image is a van door with a tree.

This is one of the most awesome muscle cars I have ever seen, in front of an old house (I love that with these two elements and the Polaroid film that it could be in the 1970s, not today) with an image of the sky and clouds over it.

All images by Tiffany Teske

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Funding for Alberta Midwives NOW

Today, Andre, Quin, & I went to Calgary to participate in a protest. Actually I would call it more of a rally. It was an event to protest the lack of funding for midwives in Alberta. I have always secretly wanted to be an activist, and this was my kind of rally, upbeat and positive.

I read about it in the local Banff weekly, The Crag and Canyon. May 6th is the International Day of the Midwife. A local woman, named Ulrike, planned this rally because she had her first child with the help of a midwife, in German, at no cost. Much like us, when she moved to Banff, she found out it would cost $3,250 to work with a midwife. She had her second child in Banff, at the Mineral Springs Hospital, with a doctor.

We had our daughter in Quebec, at a birthing centre, with two lovely midwives, at no cost, and it was the best experience we could ever hope for. Throw in on of my best friends, who was not only our doula but who was our chiropractor, and it was more than we could have ever dreamed. We moved to Alberta, the richest province in Canada, and found out that not only would we have to pay $44 a month, each, for our health care, but that if we wanted a midwife it would cost us over $3,000. Alberta is the only province in Canada that regulates midwives but doesn’t fund their practice. It is ridiculous when it has been proven that midwives save the province money, while providing women and men a safe, nature alternative to what has become the traditional, over medicalized North America way of birth.

These issues are something we are familiar with and are close to our heart. We are willing to pay the out of pocket cost if we have a second child because we believe in midwives. However, we would like to see the government fund this. In order for that to happen, in order to make a change, our voices need to be heard. I was thrilled when Andre read the same article, pointed it out to me, and said we should go to this rally. It is important that we be there. And if Ulrike, can arrange this whole event, while breastfeeding her 1 month old son, then we could certainly be there.

It was well attended by both the media and the public, the weather held out and even got sunny at the end. We marched once around the block, and I got extremely emotional, seeing all these people coming together to make their voices and beliefs heard. I will never forget it. Quin seemed quite happy to be there, she even commendeared someone's sign and held it for a long time. I think it was the flowers ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Long Time, No Blog

Sheesh, it's been over a week! We are currently in Kelowna, enjoying the sunshine (more on the trip soon), but I needed to pop in to post the current sale in my etsy shop, as part of the Interior Design Etsy Team...

Now through May 11th, Mother's Day, the following members of the Interior Design Etsy Team are offering sales in their Etsy shops:

The links are not showing up live (sorry)... I will fix this soon!