May 30th, 2011 | Comments Off on Altered Book: Thumbelina

Memory is a funny thing. As I began to write this blog post I suddenly remembered a song from my childhood about Thumbelina sung by Danny Kay. I haven’t thought about it in ages, and it certainly didn’t occur to me while I was working on this book.

Altered Book Thumbelina-5

The Thumbelina book is the fifth and final fairy tale altered book I have made for the show at Seymour Gallery. I was inspired by the imagery of a tiny figure in a flower and wanted to make something three-dimensional from paper. The figure inside the flower pictured here, is a photograph of my friend Siobhan curled up and pretending to rest.

Altered Book Thumbelina-3

Altered Book Thumbelina-2

In the story of Thumbelina there are many animals she encounters on her adventures, and I chose to reference only two of these. A mouse gives her shelter in her time of need, and she rescues the swallow who eventually rescues her in return. I cut the swallow from an old bird field guide, and made the mouse as an original paper cut painted with brown acrylic paint.

Altered Book Thumbelina-6

Altered Book Thumbelina-7

The leaves were also hand-cut from paper and added to fill out the composition. I’m not one hundred percent happy with this book but I am out of time to make it better. The part I really want to do over is the flower because it’s rather clunky, but once it was glued in there was no going back. I think it’s a case of liking pieces of this composition more than the whole thing.

Altered Book Thumbelina-4

Altered Book Thumbelina

There is one week to go before the show opens at Seymour Art Gallery. Details here in case you missed it.

Materials used: book, green card stock, pink card stock, paper bird, tissue paper, acrylic paint, white glue, and gel medium.

Posted in Altered Books, Projects
May 24th, 2011 | Comments Off on Exhibition: Fairy Tales ReMixed

In June the Seymour Art Gallery is hosting a month long arts festival, which kicks off with a group art show on the theme of Fairy Tales ReMixed.

I am one of the four participating artists in the exhibition, and I will be premiering the fairy tale altered books I’ve been working on for the last few months. The show is only one week long, but there are two opportunities to visit the gallery and meet the artists during that time.


Cynthia Nugent, paintings & automata, Robi Smith, drawings & paintings, Kirsti Wakelin, illustration, and Rachael Ashe, altered books & collage.

Opening Reception:
Date: Tuesday June 7, 7 – 9 pm
Meet the artists, enjoy a ‘remixed’ fairytale reading, and eat your way through a magical fairytale-inspired food display.

Afternoon Celebration:
Date: Sunday June 12, 1–4 pm
We invite you to come dressed as a fairytale character to meet the artists and hear them speak about their work. Nika Vaughan, an artist specializing in face painting, will be on hand to help transform you into your favourite fairytale character or animal. Puppeteers Sandy Buck and Chad Hershler will also be at the gallery to perform their version of Oscar Wilde’s “The Birthday of the Infanta”.

Fairy Tales ReMixed
Date: June 7th to 12th, 2011
Seymour Art Gallery
4360 Gallant Avenue
North Vancouver BC
In the heart of Deep Cove.

There is an event page on Facebook if you would like to RSVP »

May 23rd, 2011 | Comments Off on Shopping on The Drive

Late last week Boris and I went food shopping in the Santa Barbara Market in preparation for the long weekend. It’s not a place we normally go but it’s one of the few markets opened a bit later in the evening.

Santa Barbara Market

There was beautiful light pouring in through a window as I waited for Boris near the deli counter at the back of the store.

Boa constrictor

And as we waited in line to pay I realized the guy in front of us had a small boa constrictor coiled around his arm. He said her name was Sketch and she liked being worn as a bracelet. I gave the snake a stroke and then went back to packing up our groceries.

Such is life in East Van – snakes in a grocery store….

Posted in Good things