Saturday, March 23, 2013

March Break Art

The kids were on March Break a couple weeks back. 
I had also been asked to teach an art class for kids as a fundraiser for the Pontiac Artists' Association which didn't transpire.  Hope is that next year more people will be looking for activities for their children and register.  There is a plethora of super talented instructors in our area who anxiously share their skills with kids one week a year at the Young Artists' Workshop and this was to be an expansion of that.
I was to be the novice teacher and had bought the supplies before the classes got cancelled so half way through the week when we were all going stir crazy I pulled out the canvases and told them "Today is art day...put down the electronics and follow me."  and so they did.
The project I picked was Kid's Silhouette Art.  I found the tutorial online, but the link I used is eluding me completely!
What we did was pretty simple:
-I used a light and traced their outlines for them.
-Set them up at the table with Black Sharpies and told them to draw things that they liked, were about them or important to them within their images.
-I then brought out tempera paints and showed them how to use them like watercolour and fill in their images. (Sam decided he was done slightly before filling it all in...and I decided that was fine...a true reflection of his artistic fortitude at the ripe old age of 6)
-After the paint was dry I pulled out black acrylic and had them paint around the images (mom did that step for Sam)
-All done! 

I've always liked Silhouette art and yet have none.  Although these are pretty flashy and bright, they are really stunning and look incredibly fun in their rooms....and the best part is they say this was the best thing we did over the March Break!  Points for mom!...Gotta love that! ;)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Painting lately

I have picked up the paintbrush again and I'm beginning my art "marathon" in preparation for this year's Pontiac Artists' Studio Tour.  I struggle with each and every painting because there is a constant part of me that wonders am I good enough?  Enough for what or who? - I have no idea.
I do know I can scour through galleries, websites and magazines and without a doubt feel deep down that I'm missing the mark and every single artist out there is superior to me.  I can study and analyse and assess what they seem to be doing that resonates with me.   I can even go so far as attempting to 'copy' their style to learn and broaden my talent and yet it all falls flat.
I'm told not to paint what is saleable, but what feels right to me.  This makes sense.  But how do I know what is right for me?  What I would buy is not exactly what I paint.  Regardless, I keep trying.
What I do know is I can see slight improvements in my art as the years pass.  The change is subtle but encouraging.  I also know that no matter what the final product looks like I am mesmerized while I'm in the process.  Whether I work intensely for 30 minutes or labour for 4 hours at a time, my focus, heart and soul are all at the table, communicating and working out the composition together and while I haven't scored the staus of  "world renowned or acclaimed" and likely never will I know that whatever I have to offer come June, however quaint, will be authentically "me".

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bad Blogger!

I am without a doubt a very negligent, sporadic, unfocused and horribly lazy blogger....B.A.D.
I volley between feeling guilty for this and thinking "What the Hey? doesn't even matter!"   I know the second to be true and the first is just a testament to the "type" of individual I am.  Yet in an attempt to organize my "junk" I once again sit down to type. 
What should this look like?  I'm not sure. 
What are my intentions for this?  Initially I hoped this would be a bargain basement vehicle to promoting my art, but mostly it became a lengthy ramble of  random stuff I needed to say whether anyone cared to listen or not so once again I proceed without much of a plan in mind!
Therefore if you've landed yourself back here on my page: Proceed with caution!
                         -You've been warned! 
No rhyme or reason follows!
                                                   -just a mess of thoughts and activities and musings from a slightly neurotic,
                      somewhat creative,
            half hermit,
free spirit
                                                           disguised as a mom and wife and artist too! (among a bunch of other stuff)
who somewhere along the way decided having a blog. 
Oh and a Vineyard page coming soon!  ;)



Prince Edward County, Ontario

Just back from a whirlwind "Rest & Relaxation" and "Research & Development" trip to beautiful Prince Edward County. 
From one end to the other the county is a beautiful drive full of scenic vistas and old farmsteads brimming with artist studios, wineries, restaurants, shops, inns, beautiful homes and so much more that the whole weekend was a fabulous adventure.  The scenery reminded us of Prince Edward Island or a tour around Isle d'Orleans outside of Quebec City but so much closer to home.  A break from the everyday, a very luxurious birthday gift for me and a true adventure, we highly recommend it to everyone! 
Our pockets are a bit shallower after leaving quite a bit of coin behind to the very hardworking, deserving individuals scattered around the region.  Our heads are filled to overflowing with ideas as we plan our own winery.  So many friendly people to offer suggestions, tour us around, give us inside information as to the ins and outs of the industry...and perfect that we were able to go during the "off season" because they would have been too busy to chat had we gone when things are in full swing as they are swamped in the summer with so many people.  Scott and I hit too many places to count! While a bit milder in temperature than our area, some growers there are also using the hybrid vines we grow in their wines and what we saw overall was a huge success story for their County. 
What the people of Prince Edward showed us was anything is possible if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get down to work, be hospitable and maybe just a little bit crazy thrown in with a whole lot of brave!  Wouldn't it be wonderful if Pontiac followed in their footsteps?  We already have so much, we're just not that great at showing off!  A permanent arts trails, taste trail, and so much more?  I'd love to know how they combined the initiative to grow their communities into the sensation it is...the results are stunning and something that they should all be very, very proud of!
Just a few "not to miss" stops we recommend-
The Manse, Picton -gourmet meals, luxurious accommodations, friendly, caring people...I already miss your shower, your sheets, and would love to steal recipes for so much of what you served!
Devils Wishbone Winery, Lake on the Mountain- they are running their business out of a fabulous old barn that they are renovating as they fun and fabulous!...Thank you Paul and Jennifer for touring us through and humouring "the beginners"
Exultet Estates, Milford-they were bottling with their 3 kids, which is very reminiscent of how we roll around it or not it's a family affair and one that seems to be working! 
Harwood Estates, Hillier-Don and Judy thank you for your time and tour and the recommendations of how to grow and of other places to visit!
Redtail Vineyard, Consecon - an off grid, organic winery...Thank you, Gilbert for taking so much of your day to talk with us, educate us and go the extra mile, we love your barrel room!
As for the "big guys" these places are also very worth the visit:
The Grange, Hillier-a stunning building
Huff Estates, Hallowell-.a very modern winery, inn and in every sense, but very friendly none the less!
Closson Chase, Hillier-informative, friendly and neat decor
The Barley Room at The Waring House, Picton -where we got to celebrate St. Patty's with pub food, local cider and beer and great entertainment.  Scott even broke into song at shows end which kept the revelry going for a good while after as other talents throughout the audience joined in.  He even attracted the attention of a true Irish man so impressed with Scott that he was homesick for Ireland!
Black River Cheese Company, Black River- I brought home a block of Maple Cheddar..super yummy and also a 6 year old that I can't wait to taste!

As many spots as we got to visit, there are many more we did not get to but wanted to and I suspect they all would have been just as hospitable, just as eager to recommend a visit to their neighbours and just as wonderful, not to mention all the fabulous wine!

We will be back!
You should definitely go too!

Some of our purchases...these made with the same varieties we grow!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The BIG 4-0hhhh !

The clock is ticking...time is running out.  I'm hanging on to the very last shred of my 4th decade on this earth like a dog with a bone. 
Thinking it's just because my 30's have been so very good.  (at least that's what I'm telling myself!) 
Can't possibly be because I'm a little 'long in the tooth' and apprehensive about what the next 10 will turn me into because I see so many successful, fun and fabulous forty-somethings out and about that are 'hotter than a 2$ pistol' that I HAVE to assume it's all good, right?!
Meanwhile I am placating myself with some idioms and sayings (and believe it or not some real inner contemplation on all that's wonderful) that helps me to put things back into perspective instead of lamenting about all that's lost...after all 'I won't learn that any farther up the creek', it keeps me from being as 'ornery as a toad' and for today at least I can convince myself I'm 'as happy as a pig in slop'!

Enjoy...from a (slightly older gal) who might be 'just a few pickles shy of a quart'!


and finally....
and that is why you shouldn't ever try to be anyone but yourself!

....and you're beautiful too! 

(all images from Pinterest)

So there.  40, I'm ready for you and 'if the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise' the next decade will be spectacular too! ;)