Sunday, August 5, 2012

Magpies Know a Good Thing When They See It!

Can you believe it's August already!!??  Personally, I am loving all the sun we're having the past few weeks.  I do feel so much better in warm sunny weather.

As I wrote this post I realized that the art I've been engaged in lately is all about pretty shiny things - like shimmer paint and glass - and it's not hard at all to understand why Magpies (and other birds and animals for that matter) find pretty shiny things so attractive.

The image above is a page from my sketchbook.  I decided to play around with watercolour pencils, gold acrylic ink (outlining the pears in the upper right corner) and "Pearlex" paints (a pan of pearlescent watercolour paints).  What fun!!  You can see the pearly sheen in the highlights of the pears in the upper right corner.  Now I want to accent everything in Pearlex paints...!  lol...

Over the past few months I've finished the line of custom bridal stationery and a beautiful colour catalog showcasing it (thanks to the help of Scott at Art Ink Print!).  Yeah!!  A new bridal shop in Green Bay, Wisconsin (USA) called AlfA Bridal is now carrying my custom bridal stationery line.  It's all so very exciting.  : )   My west coast sales rep has three Canadian retailers to show the catalog to and we'll see if any of them are interested in the line.  I also noticed two new bridal shops have opened recently here in Victoria and I'm thinking of approaching one or both of them with the line as well.

As for the "everyday" line (as I refer to the non-bridal stationery card line), some new shops have picked it up including "Buchan's" in Vancouver, BC.  Last week the newly opened gift shop "B&K Jewelry and Gifts" located in the town I grew up in (Sooke, BC) agreed to carry my cards.  (Can you see me waving happy hands in the air...!!??)  A greeting card display rack has been ordered and I hope it comes soon so I can get the cards on display.  Little by little the business is starting to grow... and its teaching me patience... you know... that thing I was told as a child I didn't have enough of...  : )  If nothing else this business of starting a business will perhaps teach me a lesson about patience!  lol...

Somewhere in between working on the bridal card line and doodling in my sketchbook, I also played around with glass.  Glass has always fascinated me - besides being colourful, it's so smooth and shiny.  But I was firmly convinced glass art was difficult and some of the techniques might even be a bit dangerous.  That was then...  Now I know just how much fun working with glass (and fire) can actually be!  I signed up for a 2-evening "Art Glass Sampler" workshop.  Some glass art techniques were simply discussed and samples were passed around.  But for other techniques we got to participate in creating our own samples.  That was the fun part!  The "hands on" techniques included sandblasting, tack fusing, full fusing, embossing and bead making.  Here are a few of the samples I created.

L to R: full fused glass coaster, sand blasted mirrored glass, beads (see them reflected in the mirrored glass?) and tack fused glass coaster
Here's a close-up of the beads

Bead making involved fire - an oxyacetylene torch to be precise. The instructor told us that some people love working with glass and fire... others not so much.  Apparently I have a little pyromaniac somewhere deep down inside because I really enjoyed working with glass and fire.  I can't wait to go back and play around with more glass.  My biggest problem is deciding which type of glass art to do more of -- fusing or beadmaking...?  hmm...

What else is on my creative "wanna-do" list?  I am already starting to think about developing the newest cards to be added to the "everyday" greeting card line.  I'd like them to be ready to debut in January 2013 so I need to start soon choosing the sentiments and images I like the best.  I think I'll probably aim to add 12 new cards to the line... we'll see.  And my watercolour paints are calling to me and teasing me with ideas of how I could combine them with more beautifully shimmery Pearlex paint...  : )  Oh, and of course I'll be busy taking more photos -- that's kind of a "given" as I seldom leave home without my trusty old camera.

I hope you're enjoying your summer... unless you're reading this from the southern hemisphere, and then I hope your winter is going ok.  Either way, I hope you are finding time for some form of art.

: )  Fern