Flower Garden (2013)
” Flower Garden”
dimensions : 16 inches by 20 inches
media: silk hand dyed with hand-crafted natural dyes, embellished with cotton, bamboo and silk thread, and accented with glass beads
Several weeks ago I posted about finishing ” Flower Garden “. It had been a crazy time finishing the piece before the submission date, to the point of finishing up the beading in the car as my husband drove to the West Coast and back again.
It turns out that it was well worth my while to go above and beyond to finish the piece in time. Last night I received an email indicating that “Flower Garden” had been accepted to be shown in the “Rooted in the Arts” exhibition. “Rooted in the Arts” is a juried fine art exhibition that is being shown in conjunction with the 2013 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artists Awards. The exhibition will run from May 13th to June 22nd, 2013 at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta.
I spent the past weekend immersed in food photography again. It was a continuation of the recent shoot for Jose Jose Latin Restaurant. This weekend was spent building a blog for the restaurant. Photography is interesting at the moment, it is no longer a case of just shoot and print the image. Images can now be digitally altered and processed to which the final result is only limited by one’s imagination. The digital format also makes desktop publishing and promotion via electronic means and social media sites convenient . I have to admit I quite like taking photography to the next level when a customer’s requirements include creating layouts or creating web or blog sites. I love the challenge of a shoot becoming a larger project and it is very rewarding to see the final product when the whole project is completed.
Taco Beef Fajita
This week we had the opportunity to attend “Choir Kids” as two of our children were participating in the event with their school choir. Now I know if any parents are reading this they may have actually cringed at the thought of listening to an evening of children’s choirs, after all we’ve all sat through school concerts of tragically out of tune singing with smiles pasted on our faces, but this was truly different. To be honest, the evening, and the singing, was quite fabulous.
“Choir Kids” is an interesting program where elementary school choirs have the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra provides a scaled down selection of musicians so that the accompaniment is equally balanced to the volume of the choirs. This was an amazing experience for our children. They performed wonderfully and the teachers who make the choir program possible did a fine job of preparing the choir for the event.
This is the 15th year the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra has presented this event. This event is part of their Education and Outreach programming. The orchestra also welcomes sponsors for events such as this, and their office can be contacted for individuals or businesses who are interested in sponsorship.
I’d like to say “Thanks!” to the orchestra for such a great program and evening; it was truly a memorable experience for our children.
The second day of spring?
(Insert laugh here after looking at the pictures!)
Snow fall warnings. Gusting winds. A 200 car pile-up on the highway north of here.
The $1,000,000 spent on a bike lane project here in Red Deer, Alberta was well spent! It is getting a ton of use this time of year.
The good news is it has now warmed up to -11 (with windchill……..we are in Alberta you know). The bonus is we now have a “winter storm warning in effect“; Environment Canada certainly knows how to brighten one’s day.
Is everyone enjoying global warming as much as I am?
(oh, sorry, “climate change”)
It has been a busy, busy week with work for my photography business. In addition to the usual portrait work, my week has been filled with food photography. I recently did a shoot for Jose Jose Latin Restaurant where we photographed a good proportion of their menu items. The food is very colorful and very yummy. The servings are also HUGE, so if you are feeling hungry it is certainly a place to check out. Today I am sharing images of Jose Jose’s empanada, fajita and chimichanga. I’ll share a few more images in the days to come. I am pretty sure the images will leave you with a craving for latin food.
Last Friday I came across this blog entry from the Linda Cote Studio. As I read her step by step description of block printing I had two thoughts, the first was that “block printing was pretty cool”, and the second was “I wonder if it would work on fabric”. So later that afternoon I toddled down to the art store, bought the blocks and tools and thought I’d give it a try. Later that evening, after we put our children to bed, I started carving up the first block. My husband looks over at what I was doing and asked when I first thought about doing a block print, my answer was “About two o’clock this afternoon.”. This is how I tackle most projects.
Lino block coated with turmeric paste.
Wet pieces of silk printed with turmeric.
I decided to do the first trial with turmeric. It was handy and cheap. It just took a little trial and error to get the paste to work and give a print. The wet prints looked great, but lacked a bit of contrast when washed and dried.
Turmeric printed on cotton.
Turmeric printed on silk.
I then decided to try printing over the turmeric print with madder. I will admit this was the first time ever working with madder, but I guess sometimes you have to just give things a shot.
The first three prints from the left are on silk, with the last print on cotton. The third print has been stitched in naturally dyed threads. All the prints have been washed and dried.
Using block printing definitely opens up a whole new set of possibilities with natural dyeing. I think it works well combined with stitching, and would be a useful way to continue a theme through a series of projects.
Madder and turmeric print on silk, stitched with naturally dyed silk and cotton threads. The print measures 3″ x 4.5″.
In today’s post I am sharing a portrait order that I have just completed. This was an afternoon portrait in a local park. Afternoon is often a nice time to shoot younger families, as a shoot time after nap-time can provide for happy, rested children with smiles.
The parents wanted a relaxed session with images that were informal. They wanted to capture their kids “being kids”.
These images will definitely bring back memories of giggles, smiles and cuddles in the years to come.
Tonight was another great opportunity for food photography as we decided to make maki. This gave me the opportunity to again tweak the high-key lighting and I am pretty happy with how it is successful with a variety of dishes.
We are newbies at maki-making, this is actually only our second attempt ever; we still have a lot to learn. Tonight we did a cucumber maki and a salmon and mango maki. We may still have a way to go on the “pretty” front, but at least it was yummy.
Interestingly, our children love maki, even our two-year old. They aren’t exactly of the “Hamburger Helper” mindset, which is pretty great when you are their parents…..but it does mean we have to fight our 10-year-old for our fair share as he goes insane over any type of Japanese food.
The one bonus of making maki at home is that there is no fake grass adorning the food. Our children fight over who gets the fake grass. I have no idea what they plan to do with it, but for some reason it is this precious treasure.
Earlier this week I decided to tackle some previously dyed silk. I had originally dyed it with a project in mind, three pieces were even sewn together, but as I looked at the silk over the last few weeks it just looked weak to me. I didn’t want to abandon the project, or continue working with some really average looking fabric, so I decided to tackle the silk and see what happened.
The above piece is a bit over 3 feet long, it is actually 3 strips, originally dyed separately, then sewn together. The main problem with this piece was that the three strips looked too separate and just needed a little bit of unification. With this piece I rubbed frozen cranberries into a few spots then steamed the fabric and it created an interesting bleed over the original dyeing. I also did a random spattering of turmeric, then steamed the silk again, just to bring in a hint of yellow.
This piece of silk, when it was first dyed, had to be the ugliest and most depressing blue/purple/grey color I have ever seen. When I redyed it I chose to bundle it with tea, onion skins, whole frozen cranberries and turmeric….then did a little cranberry finger painting (or smushing) for good measure.
This piece of silk, originally dyed in strawberry, was rebundled with onion skins and then had cranberries smushed (technical term! LOL!) into the surface for a random patterning.
I am quite amused to look at the items used for coloring the fabric in this post. Almost all of the items used for dyeing have at one time or other completely wrecked one of my children’s pieces of clothing with a stain. I guess that is one way to know color will last, if stain remover and a washing machine can’t get rid of the color, the color is probably there to stay.