Category Archives: Greektown Toronto

Bower Bird in Action!

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Ahhh…Blood Python Vertrabrae beaded earrings ethically sourced from the Toronto Zoo in Canada (Nope…these are not aloud to be shipped internationally!)

Not my usual Bower Bird flashy item, but can’t resist anything boney and fossily!

Used my favorite Jade…Yellow Flake…I think of it as the Moonstone of Jades.  There’s the flash lol!

All you Crystal followers out there…yes, will be doing my “All about Crystal” report very soon…top of my list!  And Baby Ugly will be back with a new instalment explaining the actual link between Ghosts and Garnets.  See you as soon as I get there!

 

An Interlude…A Bit About Me

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~I’ll always paint…even when I inevitably become completely blind~

I was born an artist, one of those children fascinated with patterns and colors….the preschooler me admired glittering plastic sea-shell beads strung as a necklace endlessly for their shape and texture. I got in trouble for art, would attempt to make “frescos” out of pillaged plaster powder, crushed watercolors and Styrofoam meat trays. It didn’t stick very well but the colors were soft and pastel.
My first exhibited piece, a pen and ink drawing of roses, was displayed in the Vancouver Art Gallery when I was in grade nine. Aside from that I was a secret artist. In my twenties I left my job to paint for a year and my television companion was Bob Ross from the PBS painting series. I watched and listened absorbing all of his knowledge. For a time I too used his “magic white” oil paint.
I discovered acrylics, so clean and versatile, and my mentorship with Bob ended. I began to enter competitions, selected three years in a row for the North West Coast Regional Art Show, the beginning of many exhibitions. I also became the Art Instructor for the City of Prince Rupert and taught a wide range of programming for all age levels.
I now work freelance from my home studio near Greektown in Toronto Canada. Over the years I didn’t really establish a “set” method of creating visual art. I’m an experimenter. Mostly painting in Acrylic but I also work with Encaustic, Lino, Graphite, Ink, Paper, Fibre, Clay and Resin.
Most people don’t know that I have vision in just one eye. I think it has confused art critics at times…I’ve had them say that my paintings are “astute” and “have a lot of depth despite not being three dimensional”. I am a visually impaired Artist. A hidden disability that I have learned to live with. I think it helps me actually…the world looks two dimensional to me anyways and translating that into a flat image comes easy. I’ve always relied on color theory and spatial contrast to get depth.
I research and watch a lot of documentaries on artists, past and present. One of the things I have noticed is that it is often commented upon how the artist’s style changes over time. It occurred to me recently “maybe it’s just age…their eyesight just isn’t as clear as it once was”.
That is happening to me. Age, medications, and radiation treatment for Cancer are all effecting my “good” eye. I’ve decided to relax my “style” and method of painting. I have awesome color awareness so that will still be a focus of my craft. But the days of extremely detailed and hyper-realistic work is over. People that have known me for a long time are noticing this change…and they like it! I’m leaning towards Abstraction, and Abstract Landscape. It’s always been “fun” but now it is a matter of function and energy level.
However, I’ll always paint…even when I inevitably become completely blind.

What you are getting when you buy locally crafted items?

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What you are getting when you buy locally crafted items?

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Handcrafted items have been around since the beginning of humanity. Used to aid Pharaohs into the afterlife. As talismans hung around the neck or carried in a pocket for protection. Rock walls decorated to keep a representative record of life. Stained glass and sculpture to document spirituality. Useful purposes to keep us warm and our homes cozy. To commemorate a season, a birth, a death.

Why are we drawn to things that are made by hand? Perhaps because it represents Love, caring and connection. Not only between the artisan and the admirer, but the community…the entire Globe. Yet many people take hand crafted for granted. One should consider it a worthy investment compared to a temporary toss-a-way mass-produced item.

Handmade artistry by definition is made by the “hands” of the artisan or creator. There are no industrial machines spewing out duplicated pieces in a computerized rhythmic dance. The creations are limited to one person only capable of making so many with their two hands, or feet, or mouth. This is important! Your handcrafted piece has had attention paid to it. Far more than something manufactured.

Your item is exclusive when it has been handmade. Manufacturer’s can keep going once the designer is gone. Once a maker or artisan is gone–there are no more creations available. It is absolutely impossible to get another made. A very limited edition indeed.

Each maker has an intimate knowledge of what they are creating. Every line, texture, feeling, nuance of color, temperature and so much more. Energy is place into each piece with specific intention. Even if the piece is part of an edition, there will still be something unique to that particular item. You probably won’t see your painting on a bank wall, or the same necklace when you go to a family celebration. It is uniquely yours! Time and care was taken to create something just for you.

Do you really know where your money is going when you buy from a department store? There really is no connection is there? Investing in something handmade means you have made a connection, with the artist and the creator. You may not know them personally but they have a real story. And you get a piece of them and that story that is being told through their creation. Often it will be you that completes that story.

Artisans are thinking of you during the process. You can feel happy knowing that you are supporting another member of your Global family. The money you spend helps them obtain the necessities of life and continue the circle of community support. Most creators use local materials and products in their creations. They participate in keeping the local economy going with care and gratitude.

Creators use the best quality materials that they can from highly reputable suppliers. They research what goes into their creations. If it seems dubious from their personal exploration, it doesn’t make the cut. It is easy for them to regulate what goes into their items. They aren’t going to let something inferior leave their space.

Remember the next time you invest in something handmade, you are supporting someone outside of yourself. You have a special part of the artist forever in your collection. Feel good about being part of that circle of life and being an active member of your community.