Thursday, June 30, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #36 - Go Outside & Do Something, ANYTHING!

My kiddos and a little friend, explore the wonders of the great Banff outdoors...

One of my very best friends, Patty Selly, has started a regular feature on her blog, small wonders, entitled "101 Things To Do With Kids Outside". Patty has been my friend since high school, which is getting be a long time ago... and she really knows what she is talking about, because she is an environmental educator, with two small children of her own. If you are looking for some inspiration on way to explore nature this summer, please check out Patty's blog...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #35 - Sculpt with Play Dough

As some of you know, because I have shared the recipe here, we make a lot of homemade play dough. We play with it, and we share it as gifts. When there is play dough on hand, there is fun for all ages. Try it sometime, just put a colourful pile of it out on the table. I guarantee that adults and kids will not be able to keep their hands off of it...

The other day, we made play dough babies. I wanted to share them here because they are so simple yet my daughter loved them so much! There is really no trick to it. Roll a ball for the head, add or poke holes for eyes, nose, and mouth, roll our a circle, poke some decorative holes along the edges of the circle with a chopstick, wrap it around the baby head, securing by pushing the two sides together, and finish with a bow or other embellishment. Your kids can play with them as is, or dry them for a several days, and keep them as play figures. The colour of the play dough does tend to fade when it is dried (making the wee babes a bit mummy-like), but the kids can always paint them in bright colours once they have dried completely.

What do you and your kids like to sculpt with play dough?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Off to a Good Home in Hawaii - "Becoming Whole" Polaroid Emulsion Lift Original

For me, a lot of creating art is about the process. I am always thrilled with the final result, but am addicted to the rush I get while I am creating, or dreaming of when I will have the next block of time to create. That being said, there are some pieces that I am attached to. After all, creating each piece is actually birthing them, and how can you part with your children? One piece that is about to leave the nest is "Becoming Whole", a Polaroid Emulsion Lift Original that I created a few years ago. The image was originally shot on slide film, and one of my best friends, Jeanne, who lives in my old stomping grounds in Maine, is the model. The lift is on watercolour paper and is approximately 5x7". On an interesting side note, it caught the eye of artist, Darlene Olivia McElroy, who asked to features the piece on her website for her book, Image Transfer Workshop. She doesn't cover the process in her book but she wants to inspire others with examples of what can be done with transfers. Anyway, I am happy to share that this piece is going to a previous buyer whom I consider a friend. Arlene Solomon lives in Hawaii, and is a talented photographer and massage and movement therapist who purchased three of my Polaroid transfer originals for her studio. I am so excited that she also wants to give a home to "Becoming Whole". Maybe I will make it to Hawaii someday to see my work and Arlene at her studio...

Now that the original is sold I will be offering a limited edition of 15 5x7" prints of this piece for $30 each. If you are interested in a print, please leave a comment here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #34 - Arrange a Neighbourhood or Community Pot Luck

MMMMMMMMMM, baby pancakes...

Yesterday was a day of food, friends, & family. We started out the day with silver dollar pancakes at the diner down the street in the company of friends who were visiting from out of town. With only four adults to five kids aged six and under, we were definitely out numbered. The kiddos were great, and the bonus was that their pancakes were free! The daddies finished their meals early and took the kids outside to play, while the mommies had a few peaceful moments to chat.

An adorable crew! E is going through a phase where she is practicing getting dressed AND undressed...

For dinner, we went to the new community centre to the second community pot luck that has been hosted there. Over 80 people were in attendance, and while sausages and desserts were provided, community members were encouraged to bring a dish from their cultural background.

Part of our new community centre during a "global" pot luck...

I brought Pouding Chômeur, or welfare pudding, which is a part of our family's French Canadian heritage. I wrote a bit about its history and shared the recipe in this post. Because it was the only homemade dessert, and probably because it was soaked in maple syrup, it was gobbled up in about 10 minutes...

E is pleased with her meal...

Pot lucks can be great experiences for kids and adults. What better way to not only eat a variety of types of food, but it is always a good way to try new things. My husband and I like to try new things, and our kids follow suit. We also like to socialize, to get out and be a part of our community, and these pot lucks are a fun way to do that. Check and see if something like this goes on in your community and if not, why not arrange a pot luck with your neighbours or with some family friends. You can come up with a theme or make something that your grandmother used to make. In our community people are encouraged to bring their own plates, cutlery, and cups, to be more environmentally friendly. We were given a picnic basket for our wedding that we use all the time. I would love to read your comments about different ideas for pot lucks.

Q finished up the evening with some coloring fun she named "The Rainbow Blowup Fish"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Feature Article in the Rocky Mountain Outlook "Junk to Gems at Wild Flour" by Michelle Macullo

I would like to thank Michelle Macullo for a really kind article about my current show at Wild Flour, "Kitchen Poetry & Various Randomosity".

Art Food & Motherhood
Mixed Media Assemblage
Size Variable

Junk to Gems at Wild Flour 
By Michelle Macullo
Rocky Mountain Outlook 

Whether written on a scrap piece of paper or a few words jotted down as a mental note, many of us have a to-do list that hangs around like a dull headache—annoying but tolerable.
And then there’s Banff artist Tiffany Teske. The radiant blue-eyed beauty defies the odds and get things done. She’s that kind of person who follows through on her dreams and ideas. There’s nothing not to like about her, aside from the fact that once you meet her, you go through that list of unfinished business in your head and realize that you’d like to do this and that, but you don’t. You’ve had this great idea that you wanted to take to the next level, but haven’t. And part of you feels envious. But people like Teske are a rare gift. And if we stopped feeling sorry for ourselves and stopped making excuses, we’d realize we have the ability to live up to our own potential.

During the month of June, Teske shares Kitchen Poetry and Various Randomisity— a look into her colourful uninhibited multi-media world of all things vintage, re-used and previously loved at Banff’s artisan bakery, the Wild Flour Cafe.  Many of the show’s pieces showcase various images, stemware, buttons, carefully placed words or phrases and thrift store items.

And then there are the birds.

“Who doesn’t like cute little song birds?” Teske asks. “I think the birds remind me of my gypsiness (sic).
But not all birds.

“I hate big birds. They scare me. My parents let me watch The Birds (Alfred Hitchock movie) when I was way too young,” she laughs.

Her work is clever, radiant and good for the soul. It brings smiles to faces and tells a rich story of enchanted places, interesting characters and leaves viewers wondering if her intricately ornate cutlery accompanied meals in Wonderland.

“I make things out of things nobody uses,” she says. “It’s fun to find something people won’t buy and turn it into something. I feel guilty about something going into the landfill.”
But for Teske, creating is more than making something visually appealing. She likes “there to be a message. Even if it’s as simple as ‘mama loves you baby’.”

And as for the kitchen side of things, Teske says cooking and artwork have a lot in common.

“There’s an alchemy that happens in the kitchen and making art,” she explains. “I like to take everything out and improvise. I know which flavours go together.

“Being a perfectionist is the worst thing. It just makes you stand in your own way.”

And in the rare event her efforts are a flop, she dusts herself off and gets back up.

“If I don’t like it, I’ll order a pizza or try again,” she smiles.

Kitchen Poetry and Various Randomosity is on display at the Wild Flour Cafe until June 30.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My First Highline Magazine Blog Post

My daughter Quinlyn was born in Quebec but is now an official mountain girl...
Polaroid Spectra double exposure by Tiffany Teske

I am a big fan of Highline Magazine, the best read in all of the Bow Valley. The shiny glossy print mag comes out twice a year, which is just too seldom. To remedy this, Highline decided to start a blog. If that was not exciting enough, they then contacted me about being one of their regular bloggers, and, but of course, I said YES! Now, I am on my way to becoming a regular contributor to the Art + Soul department of the Highline blog, yeah! And my first post when up this week. Entitled, Banff Becomes This Gypsy Girl, it is about how I came to live in the Bow Valley. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Better yet, let me know how you ended up in the Bow Valley, or wherever you live. We ALL have a story...

Myself against our Rocky Mountain backdrop...
Polaroid Spectra double exposure by Tiffany Teske

Heureuse Saint-Jean-Baptiste!

From my eldest daughter, who was born in Gatineau, Quebec, "Heureuse Saint-Jean-Baptiste, tout le monde!" To our friends in Quebec, we hope that you all had fun celebrating the Fête Nationale (National Holiday).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer at Last... or 365 Days With Kiddos - #33 - Go to the Beach

...although it is cold and rainy as I write this. The girls and I were in Canmore about 5 PM, where I share a booth at the Thursday market with a group of nine artists, and as we took down the booth, the sun was shining. No sooner had we all gone to leave when the skies opened up and let loose. I got off the highway and turned around when the hail started and decided we would be better off having pizza in Canmore before heading back to Banff. It was the right choice since the power was out when we got home.

But YESTERDAY, the day after the solstice, we had the most glorious summery day. It was soooo nice that we headed to Cascade Pond to frolic with friends. The sunshine felt good on my back, I even got a bit too much. And the sight of the kiddos, in various states of undress, laughing and playing in the sand, was wonderful on the senses.

I even shot an image that today was shared online on the blog Toemail. As my toes emerged from months of being trapped in my shoes, I decided to make a photograph for them. I LOVE feet, but if you are phobic you may not see the appeal. The website features photographs of peoples' feet in various locations around the world. You would be astounded by the variety of images that can be produced using this simple concept. It is brilliant! And a nice way to record for all to see that we did, indeed, have one real day of summer here in the Rocky mountains...

National Aboriginal Day at the Banff Centre- June 21st, 2011

Yesterday, I facilitated a mask making workshop at the Banff Centre, as part of an event they were hosting for National Aboriginal Day. Prior to story telling by award-winning writer Richard Van Camp of the Dogrib Nation in the Northwest Territories, people of all ages made masks. While adult mostly chose the masks with an aboriginal theme, the kids were most drawn to the butterfly and moth templates. I made sure everyone had what they needed and helped where I could but they just dove in and created with abandon. The time flew by and fun was had by all. My only regret was that I could not stay for the story telling as I had to teach at an evening event...

So many choices...

This one reminds me of a super hero...


After... My favourite adult mask.

These sequins and this glitter all belonged to ONE little girl...

This one was my favourite kid's mask.

What a lovely, colourful, afternoon...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ArtsPeak Studio Tour 2011

What an amazing weekend! I am still on cloud nine. I was asked awhile back by the Edge Gallery in Canmore, to be part of the Canmore ArtsPeak Art Festival, by being part of their leg of the studio tour. David and Kathy Foxcroft, who run Edge Gallery, have some of my Polaroid transfers in their gallery, and I was part of a group show there last summer. David creates amazing collages and I have had some good conversations with him about art. He and Kathy were introduced to me by my talented (and amazing) friend, Barb Fyvie, whom I met when I took part in an exquisite corpse art collaboration in 2009. You know those people who just make you smile when you think about them? Anyway, I jumped at the chance to be part of the studio tour, both because of the fun I was sure to have, and because my hubby was available for the weekend, and it would mean 6 solid hours, TWO DAYS IN A ROW, of child free art making. Now you all know how much I LOVE my kiddos, and making art with them, but sometimes, Mama needs her time alone...

Our studios were in Silver Creek in Canmore. They are units that are for sale, and they have both a living space, and a studio/retail space. Very cool, and if Andre and I were empty-nesters, I would jump at the chance to live in a home where I could also have a studio and gallery. The Edge Gallery is one of these units, as is the Virginia Ann Hemingson Art Gallery. The ones we were in were bare bones, large, light filled spaces with plenty of wall space for exhibiting our work. I must say that I am not the best display person, so I just hung all my work salon style and set up my table to work on. But, fellow artists, Larissa McLean, and Annie M. Froese, effortlessly TRANSFORMED their space into a garden of colour. I have no idea how they did it. They travelled all the way from High River to be there, and they opened the doors to their van and a garden came pouring out! I wish I would have taken pictures... hopefully they took some!

On Saturday, I had my space all to myself, which was heavenly. Not that I didn't want a neighbour, but I am just as happy to be alone as I am to social. Barb, who was participating in the weekend, as one of the en plein air painters at the gallery, greeted me and helped me to set up. I was super excited for the demos I would be giving. On 10:30 AM each day, I "formally" demonstrated Polaroid transfer, and at 2:30 PM, Polaroid emulsion lifts. That is what I was scheduled to do in the newspaper advertisement, but I worked all day in both processes, as people gathered around to watch. Many were very interested, maybe because of my enthusiasm. I am so passionate about making art, any kind of art, but Polaroid processes are my old friends. You know the ones who you don't have to see for a long time, but when you finally do you just fall back into step like no time has passed? I could make a Polaroid transfer in my sleep. And after years of teaching the process, it was fun to demonstrate it for an audience that was just there to listen and watch. I have never actually done that. And I printed several images that I have never tried before.

One Sunday, my studio mate joined me. I was excited all morning to meet her. Shannon Williamson, from Calgary, works in encaustic. I couldn't wait to pick her brain. She was so so lovely from the moment I met her, and her husband, Doug. Doug, went off to oil paint, en plein air, and Shannon gave an encaustic demonstration for most of the day. And patiently answered my questions. I learned a great deal, both about encaustic, and about pricing my work, since Shannon works at Wallace Galleries in Calgary. I have been an artist my whole life, but pricing is still such a sticky issue... I am grateful to Shannon for her generosity, both in teaching me, and in purchasing some of my work. I look forward to seeing her again.

I was really surprised by the turn out on Sunday as opposed to Saturday. And it was busiest at the end of the say on Sunday, which is not common in weekend shows I have done. I had more sales than I anticipated and I gave 20% of that to Mountain Arts for next year's festival. I was not look at this as a selling opportunity, mostly as time to work, to meet other artists, and to learn a thing or two.

And speaking of meeting other artists, I also briefly met Lucie Bause, of Canmore, whose Portal XII, just became Canmore's newest public art piece. And Karin Millson, of Calgary, whose demonstration, entitled "Sewing Machine Abuse" caught my eye the minute I saw it advertised in the newspaper. Unfortunately, I was so busy all weekend that I never did get to go and learn from her, but I plan to pay her a visit. And I also plan to visit Larissa and Annie in High River. I would like to photograph the beautiful Larissa in the wonderful Victorian hats and clothing that she owns, among her colourful gardens, and to see Annie's gallery. Maybe I will make the trip with the one person I met this weekend whom I have been waiting to meet. Sometimes, there is a person that EVERYONE I know seems to ask me if I know. And I don't know them. And it shocks everyone... well, that person walked right in to my studio at the end of the day. Her husband had seen my demos the day before, but since she was giving a workshop in bookmaking(the legal kind) she had not been with him. I recognized him from the day before. And the minute this woman started talking I KNEW who she was. I had been waiting to meet her. AND not 10 minutes before, I had been talking about her with my new friend, Adrienne Lawlor, whom I had exchanged emails with but whom I accidently met in person that day... the woman whom I am quite sure I will be making a lot of art with is Dea Fischer. Things happen when they do for a reason... and I always approach each art experience with an open mind, because I just never know what is going to happen... and that is my favourite part about every day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feature Article in the Banff Crag & Canyon about my current show "Kitchen Poetry & Various Randomosity"

Thank you for the great article, Corrie!

Kitchen Poetry & Various Randomosity
By Corrie DiManno
The Banff Crag and Canyon

The Real Housewives of Banff are not like the ones seen on television.

They push Chariot Carriers and don't apply makeup every day. And sometimes, they opt to leave their kitchen a mess so there's time for a hike. But the chaos happening on the countertops isn't always dirty plates or used pans, because as Banff artist/mother/wife Tiffany Teske describes this housewife common to the valley, she's surrounded by artwork for her latest show called Kitchen Poetry & Various Randomosity. (In fact, the kitchen table ends up being the best workspace for her in the whole house because there's a big window that casts natural light onto the tabletop that's tall enough for her to stand next to while working on either culinary or crafty creations.)

This collection, which will be on display at Wild Flour Café for the month of June, has elements of motherhood, food, and domesticity. For example, Teske has covered silverware with feathers, beads, and poems, referring to these sets of forks, knives, and spoons as books. A white egg speckled with brown spots rests in the bowl of an antique spoon with the words "remember, feed the birds" written on the handle. Another says, "mama loves you baby."

There is also a canvas covered in a recipe for Mexican orange candies from a vintage cookbook as the background. A chef with the label "connoisseur" across his hat sits inside in the lid of a heart-shaped chocolate box. Opposite of the chef is the other half of the box, but the sweet treats that once occupied the wrappings have been replaced with porcelain doll heads. The text underneath ironically reads, "Henri was notorious for devouring women."

Teske said she has a preoccupation with the traditional tasks and roles a woman has in the home, and often it reminds her of her grandmother and her mother.

"I never would have thought I was a domestic person," Teske said. "But for me, it's more about creating things than being domestic."

The theme of a kitchen comes through in most of the pieces too, which makes sense because Teske's own blog is called Art, Food, and Motherhood.

"I love food — all kinds of food — and I love trying new food. I also like how everyone gravitates to a kitchen: parties happen in kitchens, neighbours, friends, family, and conversation all kind of centre around a kitchen."

(She's not kidding. Topics like: American politics, religion, Oprah, Facebook status updates, the military, and her home childbirth all came up during the interview in her kitchen.)

Just as Teske used to help her grandmother in the kitchen when she was younger (not so much her mother, who would usually tell her to go play while she cooked) now she has two helpers in the kitchen — daughters Quinlyn, 5, and Emmanuelle, 2.

"At this point in my life, my art is about motherhood, nurturing, and nesting," Teske said. "Sometimes with the day-to-day life it's hard to fit art in, but I try to integrate it into every day life."

In Teske's kitchen there is a banner with the word happy that stretches across the sink. It's leftover from New Year's, but for some reason the family didn't take down the first word.