Since my last post about New Summerfruit and that whole series, I've made some lovely pieces with entirely different designs. You never know what can inspire you as an artist and sometimes the ideas are so numerous that you don't know where to begin! So, let's just jump in!
If you have read through my blog, you'll know how connected I am to my roots. My Scottish and Irish ancestors who left their homes in the isles and came to Canada back at the turn of the last century still echo in the pieces I make. Skye is a perfect example of that. So too, in 2011, are the translucent luminarias and pendants which are stamped with the symbol of the triskele, a symbol for me and for many of the Trinity. It predates 3200 BC and is carved on the curb stones at Newgrange, a neolithic passage tomb located north of Dublin, Ireland. (For more on Newgrange, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newgrange) I had some fun with a translucent clay which, if thin enough, can show light through the body of the clay. Impressing the clay with stamps of the triskele that I made using images I took when I was at Newgrange worked out very nicely. I also made pendants using the stamp and I added a touch of gold. Happy with that too!
So, after the snow of winter set in, it was time to think about the next spring show. The next pieces were inspired by The Ottawa Tulip Festival, an annual event here in our capital that brings millions (?) to Ottawa to see the beautiful beds of tulips in bloom. The festival acknowledges the Canadian government for sheltering the Dutch royal family during the war. In return the Netherlands give tulip bulbs to Canada every year as a thank-you for their friendship in time of need. The story of this event is well written on the Tulip Festival website: www.tulipfestival.ca. I love tulips and having them as my subject was so refreshing in the dreary days of winter.
Which brings me to the last show I did with the guild in November 2012. We had been to our favourite place on earth - Martha's Vineyard. I don't know what it is about a place that makes you feel a home. But, whatever it is, we find it on the Vineyard. We have spent some beautiful days there with our kids, walking along the beach, lazing on a deck chair watching the boats drift by, taking in fireworks that boom so loud that you feel them in your chest. I wouldn't trade those days for anything. So this fall I tried to capture a little piece of that feeling in my exhibit, "Message in a Bottle".
I used the colours of the beach in this collection - blue, sandy beige, cream, grey, green and even red-brown. I had fun with shapes of bottles, from small 3" wee bottles to larger 12" urns. Some of them were the right size and fit for corks. Others weren't so lucky. Displaying new work as always part of the fun for me too. My Mother-in-law had a number of old wooden crates and boxes, so I set-up the bottles as if they were on a loading dock. I borrowed starfish and old floats and liberally sprinkled in shells, rocks and sea glass from our trips. It was a full story represented in the work. Sometimes, the work really and truly reflects the message. It still makes me very happy to look back on that exhibit (even if the vintage Crown Cork and Seal Company crate was used upside down).