Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween From Us To You

Another Halloween has come and gone... I wish it lasted a week instead of just a day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mountain Girl - Quin's Latest Drawing

My eldest daughter, Quinlyn, who is 5 years old, spend A LOT of time drawing. I dare say, it is one of her favourite things to do. And one of my current favourite drawings is "Mountain Girl". We live in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Quin drew this out of the blue one day, and I immediately found a vintage frame to put it in. It is in our stairwell, and I smile several times a day as I go up and down the stairs.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mountain Art & Craft Sale at The Banff Centre

Memories #1 
Encaustic Collage by Tiffany Teske

I have been gearing up all week for the 2011 Mountain Art & Craft Sale, this weekend, Saturday, October 29th, & Sunday, October 30th. This will be the second year I sell my work at this sale, which is in conjunction with the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival. A great place to find unique Christmas items made by mountain artists from Alberta & British Columbia, the sale takes place in the RBC Lobby of the Eric Harvey Theatre. With close to 30 artists, you can find blown glass, paintings, fibre art, photography, clothing items and more, all made by hand. Come see me this weekend, if you can, and meet all the wonderful people who make this show a place that locals look forward to shopping year after year. Hours on Saturday are 11 AM - 7:30 PM and on Sunday from 11 AM - 5:30 PM. I will have encaustic collage, Polaroid transfers, silver spoon assemblages, bird nest & glass tile pendants, and magnets, available.

Glass Tile Ring by Tiffany Teske 

Polaroid Transfer by Tiffany Teske

Bird Nest Pendant 
by Tiffany Teske 

Spoon Assemblage by Tiffany Teske 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

International Museum of Women - Call for Submissions

"Waiting for Eloi"
By Tiffany Teske 
This image was made while my friend, Martine, was in labour. This is her son, Axel, 
and the baby she gave birth to is Eloi

I became familiar with The International Museum of Women in 2007 when I submitted a story and images about the home birth of my best friend, Martine's, son Eloi, for one of their online exhibitions. Called "Welcoming Eloi" it features four black and white photographs, and four paragraphs of text. It was accepted, and has been on their site ever since.

The mission of I.M.O.W is "to value the lives of women around the world. I.M.O.W. is a groundbreaking social change museum that connects and inspires people with powerful ideas and new ways of thinking that transform women's lives and the world. With its unique focus on cultural change, I.M.O.W. advances the human right to gender equity worldwide."

I. M. O. W is currently accepting submission from artists, film makers, photographers, musicians, and writers, for an upcoming online exhibit entitled "Your Voices: On Motherhood". You can check out a video about the submissions here. Or you can check out submission guidelines on their website here. I hope to submit another essay myself. Why not add your voice? The deadline is Monday, October 31st, 2011.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Alberta Arts Day at My Daughter's School

 On September 30th, 2011, I was the "artist - in - residence" at my daughter's school. I was asked to help with a school-wide project that coincided with Alberta Arts Days, a three day long celebration of arts and culture in Alberta. Quin goes to a Francophone school, which is entirely in French. I am ok in French, but my husband was raised in French and English and is fully bilingual. I try my best, and I think that opportunities to help like this are great for both my learning more French and for the children to learn more art.

 Cecile busy at work...

Cecile Kessler, who runs the after school program, asked me to assist in facilitating this project with her. Last year she bought several 3 foot by 3 foot canvases with the hopes that the classes would each paint one to decorate the community centre in the basement of the school. She decided that Alberta Arts Days would be a good time to do this. The canvases will grace the walls of the centre, and will later be auctioned off with the money raised going back into arts education.

This painting uses the kids' hand and foot prints... 

The students and teachers were given the theme, ouverture sur le monde, which is kind of like "gateway to the world" or "open to the world". They had a couple of weeks to think about what they might like to do on their canvases and by the time I arrived they were all ready to jump in and get started with their projects. I was just there to lend a hand, to run and grab materials they needed, and to give any advice if asked. They all did a wonderful job working together and making their vision for their canvases a reality. It was inspiring to watch them at work, and I am truly happy I was a part of the day.

My daughter, Quin, surveying her class canvas...  

I don't show kids on my blog without their parents' permission. Because of this, I only have one image of my daughter and the rest of the images focus on the actual art work....

A student places an image from a magazine on the collage...

This class decided to make a paper mosaic on this peace symbol, using images from magazines

One of the finished collages... 

Another amazing collage...isn't inspiring?

Merci beaucoup for asking me to be a part of your art day! I hope to see you again soon...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Canmore Leader Article about Hot Flash (Encaustics Show at Elevation Gallery)

 My friend, Cheryl, & I, at Hot Flash

Hot Flash
By Corrie DiManno

CANMORE - "I wanted to know, am I doing everything right, because it's very difficult. It turns out yes; I'm doing it right, but my way. And there's the other way which I've learned this weekend."

This is what encaustic artist Pascale Ouellet (Bigoudi) got out of the weekend's workshop hosted by Seattle-based artist Debra Van Tuinen as a part of Elevation Gallery's latest exhibition called Hot Flash: A survey of encaustics.

Ouellet, who has four new pieces in the show, attended the workshop to see how her way of using wax matches up with the way other artists in the medium use it.

"This is new versus old," she said describing the way she and Calgary-based Teresa Posyniak use wax. And ironically enough, it was Posyniak who opened up Ouellet to encaustics about five years ago. "We use a new technique and a different kind of wax, this is a more traditional way."

But even though it's two different worlds of wax, Ouellet took away a lot from the workshop, even a few techniques she might try in the future, like working with heat guns and irons to fuse the wax, a process she doesn't do. But as she said earlier, she's made the medium her own.

"I work really fast and this is really fast, so if it gets too finicky, it doesn't work for me. It's just good to learn and see what you do right and what you do wrong." However, it's safe to say Ouellet is doing it right with the digital printing she had done for the first time as the backgrounds on her new paintings. The backgrounds serve as the types of wallpapers that Ouellet is drawn to, because although ideally it's wallpaper she really wants on the canvas, wallpaper itself is not archival quality, so she used digital printing in its place.

"I've always been fascinated with the patterns, especially the ones from the 50s," she said. "I wanted to do something special for this series."

An addition to Hot Flash was the inclusion of several pieces made from Van Tuinen's two-day workshop before the opening reception on Sunday, Oct. 16. Mixed media artist Tiffany Teske was one of the nine participants in the workshop and had two encaustic artworks placed in Hot Flash. Teske said the workshop was a huge departure from what she normally does, which is using beeswax without pigment and creating smooth, glasslike surfaces.

Both of these techniques Teske sticks to were unglued, as both of her finished products, one called Rivers and Roads and the other Forever Thine, incorporated lessons Van Tuinen taught.

"She'd show us the technique and we'd get to work and really make something," Teske said.

Following the instructions, Teske left a lot of texture in her work and used reds and blues in her waxes, rather than leaving them clear like she usually does.

"I think it's important to constantly be learning, for me anyways, I'm so curious about everything."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Encaustic Workshop with Debra Van Tuinen at Elevation Gallery

Late last week, I took part in a two day encaustic workshop, hosted by Elevation Gallery in Canmore. I was invited to attend earlier in the week, and after seeing the work of Portland, Oregon based artist, Debra Van Tuinen, I was keen to participate. The workshop was on a Friday & Saturday, and with my husband's schedule in full swing for the upcoming ski season, I had to wrangle last minute child care before I could say yes. All the pieces fell into place thanks to some good friends.

I was thrilled to and grateful to spend two days learning, creating, and meeting other artists. I first learned about encaustic when taking a materials class taught by my friend Mahshid Farhoudi, at the Ottawa School of Art. We learned to make oil paint, acrylic paint, egg tempura, encaustic, and how to stretch and prime canvases with handmade gesso. I loved the course, and pretty much decided that the only one of the above that I would make again would be encaustics. We were not given a lot of time to actually use the materials in that course, so my pucks of encaustic medium remained in my studio. Just before Quin was born, I tried a bit of beeswax collage. I did many things wrong, such as using canvas, and not fusing between layers of wax, so the piece now needs some repair (which I am happy to say I can do, as soon as I have a minute...). After that, I collected some beeswax from my friend's beekeeper stepfather, but didn't work with wax again until about three months ago. I decided it was time. I heated up the crockpot, melted some wax, and started making encaustic collage. Just as I have felt with many things in my art career, I knew that once I had the time to play with this medium, that I would fall hard and fast in love.

And then, as often is the case, the opportunity to attend this workshop, fell into my lap. I knew I needed to make my best effort to attend. I am so glad that I did. Debra is a generous teacher, and she answered my questions, while teaching me what she has learned first hand at R&F Paints, and from her years of working with encaustic. I also met Teresa Posyniak, from Calgary, and Pascale Ouellet/Bigoudi, from Canmore. I have read a lot about Pascale's work and have been wanting to meet her. There were nine participants in the class, all working artists, something Debra really enjoyed. She was happy to be able to demo the techniques and then watch as we all got down to business.

On the first day, Debra taught us about different ways to work with the medium and encouraged us to play. I spent a bit of time with texture, building up and layering the wax, and lightly fusing. When I use wax in collage, I work a long time to make the surface flat. During the second part of the day, I did fuse my layers so they would melt. In the end, I made three backgrounds and one finished 6x6" painting. Most of the day was spent creating abstraction. I appreciate abstraction, but since I normally work with images and text, I was missing those elements. I do think it was valuable for me to just play, and not to think about finishing a piece.

Background #1

Background #2

Background #3

Rivers & Roads (By Tiffany Teske)
Encaustic on board

On the second day, Debra taught us how to make monotypes. I dabbled in it a bit, but would really like more time to explore this technique, using different types of paper, and of course, mixing media. All I need it a flat griddle, a piece of aluminum, and encaustic medium. We also learned how to make our own crayons using pigments, which is what I learned way back when from Mahshid. The final demo was on encaustic collage. From what I could tell, that is something I have experience in that most of the other students did not.

Debra showing us how to make a monotype...

The pressure was on us all on the second day. Elevation was planning an encaustic exhibition, Hot Flash, for the next day. Most of the art was chosen and ready to go, but to give the workshop participants an opportunity to show their work, Cheryl Baxter, the owner of Elevation, held a critique during which some of our pieces were chosen for the exhibition. I wanted to make something unlike I had ever made, but at the same time, I wanted to have something suitable for the show. I will admit that at one point, with only three hours to go, I panicked and ran to my bag of collage materials. I began to plan out a fairly easy piece that I knew I would finish in time. However, I shook myself, and returned to my work space, determined to create a piece using gold leaf, which was my original plan. The piece has no text and no images. It came together not only in time, but in a more pleasing way that I had hoped. It was only later, when titling the piece that I realized how personal it is. I learned a lot while making it, which after all, is the point of the whole class. I really enjoyed this workshop and I am so happy that I was able to be a part of it. I hope to one day visit Debra in Portland.

Teresa Posyniak's pieces

Pascale Ouelett fuses a piece...

Forever Thine (By Tiffany Teske)
Encaustic on board with gold leaf
This piece reminds me of my grandparents who were married for 66 years. 

Debra & I at the opening of Hot Flash

Hot Flash runs from October 16th - 23rd, 2011, at Elevation Gallery, #100 729 Main Street, Canmore, Alberta.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My YouTube Video - Fuji Emulsion Lifts & Transfers

I have stared in a YouTube video. I guess it was time for that experience... I recently wrote an article on Fuji emulsion lifts and transfer, which will appear in the Workshop section of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine's November/December issue. The editor, Jenn Mason, asked me if I would be willing to make a YouTube video of the process, to link to the article. I enlisted a friend, Jason MacQueen, who filmed it for me. The subject matter is pretty specific, but if you feel like watching it, please let me know what you think...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Awesome Craft Cafe - Wet Felting

 A selection of Cindy's felted zipper pulls & beads

Craft Cafe has been going strong since March. We have had workshops in everything from chocolate making to tea blending to mail art to glass tile pendant making. One of the things that Sheena & I love about Craft Cafe is that we can involve many different people from the community in our endeavour to inspire people to be creative. From the support of Peter and Brooke, at the Wild Flour Cafe, who open their venue to us, to the use of a local designer and printer for our posters, to inviting local business owners and artists to lead workshops, Craft Cafe is meant to be a community collaboration. Last night, we were pleased to welcome Cindy Gibson, a good friend of mine, who is as a felt maker, knitter, writer, and mosaic artist. About 2 years ago, Cindy came to my home and gave me a private lesson in turning wool roving into felted beads. She makes larger beads and turns them into zipper pulls. With winter coming, and with people thinking about holiday gifts, I thought this would be a great workshop for Craft Cafe. We had a nice turn out of 9 participants, who played with the gorgeous colours of roving, and learned from Cindy. They squished and rolled their roving into beautiful balls of felt, added some lovely yarn, and wore them home proudly. My favourite things about Craft Cafe is watching people, some of whom have not been creative in a long time, leave with a finished project that they love. Stay tuned for the next Craft Cafe, to be announced soon....

Cindy showing everyone how to get started in felting... 

Wool roving in luscious colours...

Brooke, Sheena, & I up to our usual silly antics...

Wool roving from Custom Woolen Mills in Carstairs, Alberta

Some of our younger ladies rolling their beads...

My beads...

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

We hope to see you at the next Craft Cafe!!