A heart to help this world by reducing, reusing and recycling things inspires me to create lusciously textured paintings (which actually fulfill my in-born desire to make sculpture). When working this way I experience a completely different creative process than when painting realistically. Dorothea's Art Studio blog describes and illustrates my art making process.
UPCYCLING IN PAINTING - Holding up my latest piece, "Private Collection"
I decided to call this art piece, "Private Collection" because it looks like one. A woman's jewellery collection is special – a very personal thing. Necklaces, rings and bracelets are preserved over the years and each one of them represents a special memory of a particular family member, a significant occasion, or even an overseas trip. I can only imagine the stories contained in the jewellery pieces that I've incorporated into this artwork! A woman's jewellery stash can reveal something about her heart. So, in my imagination, this painting is made from one woman's jewellery box.
It's wonderful to have a lot of friends and acquaintances with old jewellery! A while back I was delighted when a friend, who I hadn't spoken to in years, Dianne, contacted me to see if I'd like to come to Truro and pick up some jewellery from her sister's antique shop. Of course, yes!! Sadly (for us) her sister had moved on from this world to Heaven, and Dianne was now working on slowly "emptying" the shop.
Everything I see in this world gives me unending inspiration for art projects. I'm pretty sure that another 100 years of life would still not exhaust the creative ideas that God has put inside me. As the photos below show, I again used up some more of my husband's 3d printer reject parts.
As this piece developed, I wound up with a lovely textured background (using the 3D printer parts), but it was just a background. I already had a colour theme in mind so after I painted and glazed with acrylic paint, I searched through my "jewellery boxes" from around the world to pick out whatever would satisfy my colour cravings. Above are photos of the painting's very beginning, and below are some close-ups of it near its completion.
And here's a short video clip of some of my painting process for this piece. THANKS FOR WATCHING! Full video "Coming Soon"!
Short clip of "Private Collection" - YouTube
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Here are 5 things that were happening in my studio this summer:
1. For the last few weeks I've been working on a secret project that can't be revealed until much later ... but here are a couple of closeup shots that I can show you now. The piece is 24 x 36 inches.
2. I'm clearing my backlog of time lapse video clips so my iPad doesn't crash. So as I was creating the complete video of my staple project last week, I decided to retitle it, "LIKE RAISING CHILDREN". I'm comparing our attempts at teaching and guiding of our children (to the best of our ability) with "arranging staples". And I'm comparing the unexpected joy and randomness of children's behaviour to "painting with pearls" because they both just go and do whatever they want to do, when they want to do it! (If you watch the video, I also created the long piece of music you'll hear, in GarageBand. And this is the first time the WHOLE song is being featured, yay!)
Like Raising Children Process Video - YouTube
3. I'm making a realistic painting. This is a short silent (and a bit shaky) timelapse clip that I did last as I was discovering what I could do with limited time and colours – for a class. As it turned out, this painting took over the expected time to make, and it needed unusual colours so I demonstrated a small upcycling piece for that class instead.
Garden Poppy short time lapse clip - YouTube
4. Earlier this month I started and then put on hold the making of another upcycled piece using Michael's leftover amateur-radio-box "tests" from our home 3D printer. Here's another silent, short timelapse video of what it looks like right now: I'm excited to find out where it's going to end up ... maybe next month we'll find out!
Amateur Radio Painting - short timelapse clip - YouTube
5. Cleaning up my studio ... oops, did I just say I was cleaning up my studio? Nope, not this month ...
This is a very short blog just to show a bit of what my dual/solo art show looked like when it was live from May 12th to June 9th, 2018. It was displayed alongside the fish sculptures of Nancy Roberts. I enjoyed the artistic arrangement of all the artwork, accomplished by Nuri, the gallery owner (who I'm sure had help from her husband).
On a later visit, I made two short videos of my artwork hanging in the gallery (Visual Voice Fine Art Gallery of Truro, Nova Scotia). I hope you enjoy seeing these bits and pieces!
My dear daughter (Christel), standing beside me, came with flowers to my opening!
My friend Marcela and I are speaking with ceramic artist, Nancy Roberts (short hair, bright blue turtleneck)
Gallery Showing of Dorothea LeBlanc Artworks - YouTube
If you follow my Instagram feed, you may have seen the photo progress of this painting. (The gluing onto a canvas of objects I'd scrounged that had any kind of circular form).
So, my exhaustive supply of circular objects was dumped on the canvas and organizing began. When I had something I thought I liked, I removed everything and drafted some circle guides on the canvas to follow. Then I repeated the laying out process (re-organizing is an opportunity for me to see if my previous idea was really going to work).
It's hard to describe what happened for this painting, but I already had an image of sorts inside me, of shapes and colours that I wanted to use even before I began. It was not necessarily a mental picture, yet it also came along with feelings (maybe they were feelings of excitement and wonder - to see if I could create what I had in mind).
So it turns out the circles and rings made a collection of eyes; hence I titled it "His Eyes Run To and Fro". As always with iridescent paint, the appearance varies with the light around it as it shimmers and glows. Eyes depend on light for their ability to see and be seen, don't they?
Does this painting evoke any emotions for you, I wonder?
I call this one, "His Eyes Run To and Fro" and for short, just "His Eyes."
Here are two interesting articles about plastic and the ocean:
I found a bag-full of little boxes and packets of safety pins for a few dollars in a second hand store. And every artist knows that safety pins have excellent TP (texture-potential)!
Some of them proved to be the old fashioned kind of safety pins, like the ones I grew up with, (in the good ol' days when safety pins were strong and didn't bend when you pushed them through tough materials.) So I set aside a selection of those and proceeded to be creative with the rest.
As the process began, I was counting on a design I'd drawn on my canvas to help me line up the safety pins. However, the pins were so difficult to control, I became frustrated and walked away from my canvas. It reminded me of trying to control a bunch of unruly kids.
In time I remembered a bundle of mystery wires I'd found at a Frenchy's in Yarmouth, NS – and inspiration returned. These wires were bendable but very stiff, I didn't know what they were used for but I bought them because I thought they had good TP (see 1st paragraph). Turns out they were perfect placement guides for my safety pins! (Children need pretty stiff guidelines if you're going to make something beautiful out of them.)
Line up the pins, pour on the glue, line up the pins, pour on the glue ... . When I work on my art pieces, I often post short video clips of my progress on Instagram/FaceBook and one day I mentioned the wires and how stiff they were, and how I had no idea what they would have been used for.
The wire mystery was solved when someone responded to my FB post and said they looked like the underwires sewn into bras (she knew what they looked like because she'd had her troubles with underwire bras – she wasn't alone!).
The town of Yarmouth used to have cotton mills and clothing factories, so it's no surprise that an old bundle of these wires would show up in a second hand store in Yarmouth.
I ended up using 592 safety pins on this painting. I used another 422 pins on some mini paintings that I did afterwards (the rest were saved for future clothing repairs). … Below is a close-to-final, not-so good pic of my safety pin painting – which is yet to be titled.
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW for news about recycling and upcycling:
Fall is my favourite time of year and this fall season in Nova Scotia has been a beautifully mild one. I've been lucky to be busy outside the house (making a new lawn) this season. But I've also been busy inside the house making a downstairs room "gallery-appropriate".
So because I have no new art to show you, I thought I'd share some iPad drawings that I made two years ago. When I came across them in my collection of photos, I was delighted to see the colours, so I figured you would be as well.
"An Exciting Fall Day"
I created these drawings on a purchased program that stopped being supported for the iPad. It was unfortunate for me because using each new "app" has a time consuming learning curve and I was near the end of the learning curve for this one!
"Forest Floor in Fall"
The nice thing about "iPad drawing" is that I can sit comfortably on a couch or chair (or car seat) while I draw away - no tools, no paper, no mess, no clean up! And Nova Scotia is jam-packed with beautiful places to photograph.
If you would like to buy a print of these, or if you'd like the collection, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via FB or IG messages. The image itself will be very close to 6 x 8 inches in size with a 1 inch white border to make the paper 8 x 10 inches They are 45 dollars (Canadian) per signed print. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery in Canada or the US.
And here's a photo of my upper back lawn with the new grass growing very well!
(that was before the crows got at it though! Story to be continued ...)