Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Art Show This Weekend

The Images Art Show & Sale is happening in Creston, BC this Saturday and Sunday. If you are able to attend, it would be great to see you there.

You are invited to the Creston Images Art Show and Sale.

I am so pleased to be showing with the other artists.
I will be exhibiting 19 watercolour paintings. See a few of them below.

Plein Air Paintings
'Fallow'
This started as a plein air painting one day when Ute Bachinski and I were painting at Brunhams' Greenhouse. After painting the beautiful flowers in front of the greenhouse in another painting, I turned 180 degrees and painted these plant stalks.  They were adding such structure to the landscape, I couldn't resist them.

Landscapes in Pattern 
Using stencils was so creatively invigorating that I will be looking for opportunities to try more stencilling. I started this painting on location in Lister and finished it one day when I was painting at my friend's studio.

Clothesline Series
'Miner's House' 
Clothesline Series which I began in order to draw attention to energy conservation.
'Life with My Human' Watercolour Series
The following paintings are three of a series that I am highlighting at this Art Show. The series started in 2018 and aims to capture the uniqueness of the relationship between each pet and their owner.  A portion of the profit from the sale of commissioned paintings in this series will be donated to a local animal charity or agreed-upon animal charity of the purchaser’s choice.
'Behind the House, Across the Street'
This painting is looking down the Devon Street trail, that the Rotary Club developed last year. Three different home owner's planted flowers to enhance the trail. Thank you to all developers and maintainers of the trail. And a special thank you Barb, my neighbour and her dog for posing. 

'Running Partner'
This beautiful dog and his 'Mom' share a love of going for a run and/or walk together. Living where they do, they visit some pretty spectacular scenery.

'Waiting for a Breeze'
Bruce has many adventures with his owner and this year learning to ride on a sailboat was one of the them. Sailing on Kootenay lake, what could be better?

Textile Cards
At the show, there will be some of my Christmas and winter themed textile cards. I was in the dye pots last week and tried painting cardinals for the first time. The process starts by painting with dyes onto fabric. Later in the process, I thread sketch some details. 
Cardinal's all in a row. They will be cut for individual card tops.

Here are six night skies painted with dyes. You can just see the 'plate' pallet with the dark blue dye on it. Note the lower left card in the photo below. Can you see which one got a rabbit thread sketched on it? Even though I often paint a few images at once, they are all created with variety.
Textile cards for the winter season. In the Creston Valley, people often skate on Duck Lake and that's where I draw my inspiration for the skater's from.

The textile cards make a gift and card in one as they fit perfectly in a 5 X 7" frame.




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Watercolour Painting for the 'Trails for Creston Valley Society'

Recently the Creston Trail Society was fund raising to purchase a riverside property for a park. In the initial stages of fund raising, when I offered my artistic services, the Society members asked me to create a painting that could be used as a poster to track the fund raising efforts. They had a few specific things they wanted which I incorporated. The right side was left quite bare to accommodate the fundraising numbers that were to be added. The painting was copied and laminated which worked very well for adding on slips of paper with amounts of the goal to be reached and the fund raising efforts to date. 

The painting was also used on the cover of the 'I love Creston' magazine!

The poster on the table of one of the fund raisers.


The painting continued to be used for additional posters even after the property was purchased. The graphic designer did a great job in adding the texted to the scanned painting.


Another great poster.


The painting was also used for 75 Thank You cards.


And the local bakery made a cake for a celebration at the purchased property. What a great project to be involved in. Look here for more information Trails for Creston Valley Society 


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

InkTober - Border Collie Sketch

October is a great month to start daily sketching. To participate in InkTober, simply complete an inked sketch daily or at least as many days as you can. There are word lists created for ideas each day or use your own idea. You can find a list here InkTober 2018 Word List . Feel free to share your creations. 



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Embellishing with Hand dyed Velvet


Dyed Rayon Velvet

Rayon dyes vibrantly with Procion Fibre Reactive Dyes and is easy to do. For the two sample pieces I did, I simply painted liquid dye onto soda soaked rayon velvet. 
This is my first time embellishing my Textile Cards with rayon velvet pieces. 

Cattails are naturally fuzzy so the brown velvet was perfect for them. I definitely need to dye more brown velvet. Do these colours speak to you of autumn?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hand Dyed Fabrics Embellishing Textile Cards




Recently I tried embellishing my textile cards with additional fabric. Creatively invigorating! It was a technique I tried for the first time over the last three weeks. Why did I do it? Perhaps it was that large box of beautiful, hand dyed fabrics that are either too small or not quite suited alone for a card top. Or was it just time, after years of  free motion stitching details onto my hand dyed fabrics, to explore another method of adding details? Possibly a little of both.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Life with My Human Watercolour Series: 'Behind the House, Across the Street'

The Images Art Show is in November in Creston, BC and I am working on a dog series for it called 'Life with My Human'. The watercolour painting below is the sixth of this series. I am happy with it not only as a part of this series but also as it showcases a trail our Creston Trail Society www.crestonvalleytrails.ca  has recently developed. 
Life with My Human Series: 'Behind the House, Across the Street'
watercolour 10 1/2 X 13 1/2"
by Eileen Gidman

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

New Watercolour Series: Life with My Human

Thank you everyone who gave me suggestions for a title for this Dog Series I've been working on since January. All the ideas resulted in the title, 'Life with My Human'. It is a watercolour series which attempts to show the bond between a dog and it's owner, by painting a specific activity they do together. 
At my friend,  Win, http://windinnart.blogspot.com/, suggestion I left the title without the word dog in it so I can branch out to other pets too. 

The photos I saw of this dog, made me think that 'Bruce' is game for any adventure with HIS human. Even though you can see he is a mature dog, Bruce is still willing to try something new. Here is Bruce, this summer, co-piloting his owner's new sailboat! I wonder what he is thinking? "Where's the breeze?"

Sold
Series: Life with My Human
'No Breeze'
7 1/2" X 10 1/2"
watercolour by Eileen Gidman

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Dog Series: 'We Walk the Beach'


'We Walk the Beach'
10 1/2" X 14"
by Eileen Gidman

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Adventurous Dogs

WATERCOLOUR SERIES: THE LIVES DOGS LEAD

Watercolour by Eileen Gidman - SOLD
'The Sheriff and the Bandit'

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Painting on Location at Valley of the Swans

The Creston Valley has also been known as Valley of the Swans. Fortunately a friend alerted me that there were Trumpeter Swans feeding in the farmer's fields on the 'Creston Flats'. This was the first time I was able to see them so close. The first day I went to see them, it was sunny and the water sparkled and the geese appeared so very white.

Watercolour by Eileen Gidman 7 1/2" X 10"
The next day, I went back and set up for painting on location. It wasn't as bright but I wanted to capture what was still in my mind from the day before.

Friday, March 23, 2018

'Painting Miss Daisy'


'Miss Daisy'.  I've tried to capture the personality of this very loyal dog. A few of the characteristics I've tried to portray is her love of adventure; her intelligence; and her keen awareness of her owner's whereabouts.  
'Miss Daisy' watercolour 10" X 11" by Eileen Gidman
A photo of Miss Daisy and owner receiving their painting.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Creating Cards for Spring


Making Textile Cards

My Favorite for Spring
Looking for some new cards for spring? I have a new selection at Creston Card and Stationery, in Creston, BC. You can always contact me if you want something specific. 
Do you want to make some textile cards yourself? Below you will see the start of the process. Click here  or Click here for two other posts about the process of painting with dyes. 

Here the painted dye is wet. I am painting on soda ash soaked cotton which reacts with the dyes so their bond becomes permanent with the fabric.

Sometimes I put the thickened black dye in a bottle with a nib and draw the image first. You can see the bottle in the upper right corner of the photo below.

Oh the excitement of applying the thickened dye to fabric. I find it easiest to work on few card tops at once. That way if I am mixing the red dye I can apply it to several sections while I have some mixed up. You have to work fairly quickly as the setting of the dye relies on moisture so you don't want the fabric drying out. After the dye is applied I then put the fabric in between two pieces of plastic to cure 24-48 hours at 70 degrees F or above.

A length of fabric that has been rinsed, washed twice with Synthrapol which is a detergent that helps keep excess dye from moving to other areas and staining it. I like to iron the pieces dry. Mostly because I can't wait to see how they've turned out!

Another piece of cotton was painted with dyes in a way that may suggest landscapes. I like to use up the little bits of mixed dye colours that I have left over when painting the specific images such as in the photo above this one. Let your imagination run wild.

A window cut out of card stock can be used to choose the composition.

Heavy interfacing is ironed on the back of the fabric where I will be cutting the card top. I use 4" X 6".

Here is a sample of a length of cloth with the interfacing on, now ready for cutting out the card tops. Did you note that two of the corners are lacking an interfacing backing? They didn't make the grade and were culled out. On one the black dye bled into the yellow of the butterfly. This happened as I was too impatient to let the black cure overnight before adding the yellow dye. I managed to get away with it on the larger butterflies as I stayed away from the black line as much as possible. Reminder to self, plan to sketch out images with black dye and cure overnight!!!

This one turned out much better and with additional free motion stitching it should be a card that someone will like as it reminds them of spring. I was quite please with the sky in this one. It was a very light mix of blue, having a lot of the thickener (sodium alginate) in it. I sponged it on. It reminds me of those breezy days in May and June.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Upcycling Shirts

Upcycling Shirts


At the Art Barn  recently, a course was offered about upcycling shirts called 'Fashion Sewing with Stitch + Eco Designs' by Darcy Wanuk . I took it and I am so glad I did. What great fun it was with Darcy giving us mind expanding ideas for sewing. Her eye for design was exciting to see in action as she worked with each one of us individually. I would highly recommend Darcy's courses. Please check out Darcy's site Darcy Wanuk .

Hand Dyed Fabric in Clothing

Since that day, I have upcycled two additional shirts but added my own hand dyed fabric as accents.
For those of you who hand dye fabric, paint on fabric or collect interesting fabrics, I thought you might be interested to see what I did. 

Upcycle Shirt 1

Back of the shirt with some hand painted pansy fabric.

Front details.

Sleeve detail.

Upcycle Shirt 2


Auditioning fabrics
Note the fabric with the lamp post, which I originally thought was going to be my main added fabric, actually didn't make it into the shirt. I felt quite disappointed at this, but in the end it just didn't fit in. 
By the way the lamppost scene is in Gibson's, BC. I did some sketching when I taught a 'Painting with Dyes Workshop' at Carola's Quilt Shop a few years ago. The Sunshine Coast of BC is a very scenic place. 


Hand painted fabrics that were rejected for this project.
Decisions had to be made somewhere. I wish Darcy had been there to help me!
Cutting the square fabric in half!!!
For the front and for the back I needed long pieces so I cut the mostly square fabric in half and after auditioning several colours, pieced it back together with the mauve shirt fabric I had from cutting the lower sleeve off.  I have only one very small piece of this fabric left.
Making a long piece of fabric.

Shortening the sleeve and adding some hand dyed fabric as a facing.
 
Back Inset.

Front details including tab and button to pocket.

I know it's fun to sew hand painted fabrics in quilts and such but I hope you like this idea and give it a try.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

'Tricking' Myself Into the Studio?



Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.” Andy Warhol

Where Are Those Eyes?

Practicing regularly and often is when I get the most improvement and experimentation in my work.

How do you achieve regular practice? I've tried various things such as carrying a sketchbook around with me EVERYWHERE so I could sketch when I had little moments. That was great but eventually fell by the wayside. I've tried Inktober which is making an ink sketch every day in October. I made the month but then that petered out. I tried one painting daily for awhile and amassed quite a few of those but it too stopped. 

You might be different from myself in how you are motivated but here are a few things that have worked for me:

  1. Attending a weekly group. I attend life drawing once a week and I carve in a group once a week. Now, I do paint and draw more than that but having the commitment of the group keeps me working throughout the rest of the week on my own. That is when I often get working on larger projects. 
  2. Working in series. Currently I am wanting to improve my drawing and painting skills of animals. By choosing a goal and also telling others about it seems to motivate me to keep practicing.
  3. Because I think a lot of artists paint their own lives, being engaged in the subject matter is key for me. As I am painting animals currently, I asked my niece to send me photos of her dogs and I have had great fun and challenges practicing where the lab's long gangly legs go in relation to it's body and how to show the eyes under all the fur in the little one's face.
  4. Commissioned work is not something all artist's embrace but I think I learn a lot from it because it forces me to do something I wouldn't normally pick. It gets me experimenting and I like that. Oh yes, there is often a deadline associated with it. 
  5. A special gift for someone or a special project for a charity. Those sorts of things always feel great and gets me running for the studio. 
  6. Requiring art for upcoming shows and galleries can also keep me working be it in the studio or on location.

Do you have other 'tricks' that keep you heading for the studio versus dealing with all those distractions we have in everyday life? 

As a young pup, I don't think he was too sure about the ocean!

Okay the cat was in one of the photos. How could you resist painting that cute face?

I am going to be searching for more Border Collies to paint.