March 26th, 2010 | Comments Off

My friend Nicole Dextras is an amazing multidisciplinary artist with a focus on photography and ephemeral art. She has a solo show opening at Grunt Gallery next week.

From the press release:

Signs of Change brings Dextras’ body of work in ice typography together through photographic prints and off-site installations. The photographs will depict ice installations of the past five years, including large ice text pieces in Dawson City, Yukon and North Bay, Ontario. The off-site component will feature ice text placed in the Vancouver land/cityscape on a weekly basis. Each word will be made of ice and allowed to melt in-situ. The artist will be with the work, to record the melting process and to engage with the public.

You are invited to come and visit the installation and chat with the artist during each install. Dates and times will be posted on the Grunt Gallery Facebook page and Nicole Dextras’ Flickr page. See links below.

Grunt Gallery
#116 – 350 East 2nd Ave
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V5T 4R8
T: 604.875.9516
F: 604.877.0073
Tuesday to Saturday
Noon – 5 pm

Posted in art, Vancouver art
March 23rd, 2010 | 3 Comments »

Altered Book- Little birds

A few months ago my friend Siobhan gave me eleven blank books to work with and turn into altered books. I’ve been pondering what to do with them and finally decided to take the plunge and actually explore ideas instead of just thinking about them. Each book is about an inch and a half thick with a plain white cover and pages, and began life as a stand-in dummy for Harry Potter books. I’ve never had so many of the same kind of book at my disposal so I’m hoping to use their uniformity to turn them into a series.

Altered Book: The Littlest Birds - detail

Because these books have spines that are glued together to attach the pages it limits what I can do because they aren’t as flexible as a stitched binding. I decided to cut through the cover and create a niche inside the pages and used the shape of the door frame as my guide. When I started cutting I wasn’t sure what I would be putting into the book but I wanted to do something with birds. I cut about half way through the book then glued and painted the pages together. The three birds were chosen, cut out and inserted between the pages with two layers of different tissue paper as a background inside the niche.

Altered Book: The Littlest Birds - detail

The image covering the outside of the book is a black & white double-exposure photograph taken with my Holga a few years ago. At first I attempted a gel medium transfer of this on the cover using an inkjet print, but the paper on paper transfer didn’t work so well. I settled on attaching the print itself to the cover and coating it with gel medium to create texture and a protective coating. The door frame is a transparency and I painted the back side of it white so it would stand out more strongly from the background of the tree branches.

Altered Book: The Littlest Birds - detail

As I was about to attach the branch along the left side of the cover I decided to add three leaf-shaped glass beads to give it a bit of colour. The leaf pattern along the sides of the book were added using a rubber stamp and ink and also add life to an otherwise blank space.

Altered Book: The Littlest Birds - detail

Materials used: blank book, print of double-exposed holga photo, paper birds, blue tissue paper, acrylic paint, rubber stamp and ink, gel medium, driftwood branch, and three leaf-shaped beads.

Posted in Altered Books, art, collage
March 22nd, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Week 48 - Floating away

I don’t think I’ve mentioned on my blog as yet that I am in the midst of a grand experiment. At the beginning of January I quit my job with the intention of concentrating full time on my art. Many weeks later I am now going into my seventh week of doing so. It’s been a thrilling, exciting, stressful, productive, and satisfying couple of weeks.

An important part of my grand experiment has been to get my work out into the world, build an audience and make it known I have work for sale. Social media tools, specifically Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and this blog have played a huge role in this, and I’m not really sure how I would’ve accomplished what I have without them. The internet has drastically changed my art practice over the past five or so years I’ve been using these tools, and I can easily say they have become an integral part of my process. Having an audience to share with and an easy means to do so has kept me motivated to constantly create new work. The sharing goes both ways as well because as I’m sharing with the world they are sharing back in the form of feedback, encouragement, inspiring interactions, thoughtful blog posts, and artwork that blows my mind and goads me onward to create.

And now to the point of my blog post. I am taking part in a group show at Diane Farris Gallery that explores the connection between artists and social media. When I’d first read the call for artists put out by the gallery I was initially put off by the 50% commission they take if the work is sold. But I reconsidered for two reasons: 1. I have two shows in public spaces at the moment and I want to compare these to showing in a gallery, and 2. I am interested in the connection between artists and social media.

The show opens on April 1st and runs until the end of the month. I am excited to be taking part and am curious to see the work of my fellow participating artists and how they use social media in their artistic practice.

Twitter/Art + Social Media
Exhibition: April 1 – May 1, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 1, 6 – 8 pm
Diane Farris Gallery
1590 W. 7th Avenue
Vancouver BC V6J 1S2