Thursday, 22 June 2017

Are you an ATC fan?

I most certainly am, and I trade with other artists as often as possible.  When I had the opportunity to trade with one of my all-time favourite artists, Deann Williams of The Whimsey Asylum, I was practically over the moon.

Not only did she send me 10 ATCs, she also sent this gorgeous hand-crafted card and a lovely note as well.  Since Deann no longer creates anything but digital work, I feel very fortunate to have received such a cornucopia of physical pieces.


This ATC, 'A Kiss to Build a Dream On' is truly the image that I most equate with Deann.  It always makes me laugh.


'Highway in the Sky' has my mind wandering over the heavens as I accompany the butterfly on that delightful zebra.

I can't stop laughing at  'Mona and the Fly', and given that this is not the only 'Mona' she's done, I think you should check the rest of them out too.


The soulful 'Angel Eyes' has a little bit of Win Dinn in the background...I love seeing my photos appear in Deann's work.


'Snow Papa' is particularly apt given the package's arrival so close to Father's Day.  This was the last hand-painted ATC that Deann had from her pre-digital days, so I feel fortunate to be the recipient!


'Sky Music' thrills me with the thought of celestial delights...can you imagine what music would come from that instrument?!

'Puffin Magic makes me think of my friends over at Puffin Design - they'd LOVE this one!


'Breaking Out' reminds me of my son Barry as a child...always trying to get out of the box and into something different!


'Uncle Steven's Fantastic Flying Machine' is like nothing I could imagine - which is exactly why The Whimsey Asylum gives me such pleasure!


My favourite, 'Contemplating Bubbles' has my dryer sheet curtains in the background, and the ethereal quality of the girl child is pure delight.


For sheer visual pleasure, I recommend you stop to visit The Whimsey Asylum.  I never know whether I'll be roaring with laughter or be blown away by exquisite beauty, but it's always amazing.

On another note, I managed to attend a fabulously fun workshop with Lynne Mizera at Fly in the Fibre this past week, and had a lovely afternoon creating a couple of small paintings, both of which were started on canvas boards covered with mop-up paper towels.  Lynne's a whiz at using unconventional materials of all sorts, and much fun.



Because we were such hard workers, we had time to create some spray backgrounds as well...I'll let you know what happens with these!


I also managed to start the free online Women Unleashed  Retreat.  It's not too late to start, so do pop over and have a go.  You can do as much or as little of it (and there's a huge variety covered in the 10 days), and if all I manage is the journal start, I'll be happy.
Front Cover of 'Palimpsest' journal for Women Unleashed Retreat

Back cover of Palimpsest journal for Women Unleashed Retreat
The ten days of doodling over the last couple of weeks came in handy for this cover, and now I'm totally obsessed with patterns again.

And just in case you've not had enough visuals in today's post, do stop in to see the Material Change show in Kimberley, BC.  It features Darcy Wanuk, Alison & Bart Bjorkman of Puffin Design, and yours truly in an amazing collection of repurposing, recycling and reinvention of the art concept.  



Here's hoping you've had a terrifically creative week too.  Let me know what you've been up to in the comments below please, and do provide a link to your own doings.  We all know how to copy and paste.



Thursday, 15 June 2017

It's curtains for me...

....and for you as well.  I've been promising the follow-up on this story for a while, and now is the time.

The curtain project was an ill-conceived thought, the execution was painful, and the results were so haphazard it's a wonder the project was ever finished.

As you can see from the beginning of the story, they were designed to fit a tight-cornered bathroom window and I'm glad to say that they really fit well there above those colourful heels.

'I Should Have Listened to Mom' cafe curtains
 ©  Win Dinn
The range of painted dryer sheets is extensive, running from lemon yellow through several shades of gold and sienna, dancing briefly on a tint of burgundy and accented with so many shades of red, yellow, gold, sienna and orange embroidery floss it's hard to count them (Thank you for that, Alice).


When one gets to the close-ups, you can see why I feel like they may last only a nano-second or two, even with the plain dryer sheets holding them together on the back.  The embroidery helps to tie them somewhat (or at least it would if I had had any idea of means and methods in that regard), and I'm pretty sure the extensive amount of mop-up paint does the same.


I have to admit that I was intrigued by the massive number of YouTube videos on the subject of embroidery stitches - there are literally hundreds of them, and when you consider the combination possibilities of the stitches the variety is endless.


 As always, it is the colour and texture that does it for me.


 When one looks closely, there are worlds within worlds in each dryer sheet.


From raw edges to flawed embroidery to daisies, stamping and endless hours hunched over an embroidery hoop,


I can only be pleased with my lunacy tenacity to see them hanging in the Material Changes show (see the previous post) and know that soon they'll be home again.


While I take a break from the purpose-driven creative activity of the last few months, I'm going to enjoy the feeling of making something that is so totally senseless, and possibly incubate something at least as crazy.  I could turn those pieces of painted cheesecloth into tiny jackets for the hummingbirds I see out the window (they're shivering in the rain right now), or paint a fuschia horse (oh, wait - I already did that!).  I'm sure I can come up with something.

How about you?  What's on your incubation list?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.



Thursday, 8 June 2017

You've had your sneak...

...peek, and the Material Change show is open now.  Maybe you'd like to see some teaser vignettes as a second appetiser before the main course show?

Darcy Wanuk's 'Green Scene' reconstructed work on the back left is dynamite, right?  It's two sweaters combined and accented with handmade buttons.  The Vintage Lime shirt on the right is actually two shirts and some of  'Grandma's closet lace'.  The 'Fire From the Centre' occasional table in front is my contribution to this grouping, and Bart Bjorkman's (Puffin Design) Grain Scoop Lamp is on the bottom right.


Here's Bart's Snare Drum Lamp, The Impossible Clock (a co-conspiracy by Bart and I),  my 'Squaring the Circle IV' above, and Darcy's 'Like a Rhinestone Cowgirl...' denim jacket on the right.  What wedded bliss!

Alison Bjorkman's (Puffin Design)  'Fat Bottomed Girl Swivel Chair' is dynamite, especially next to the 'Lineberry Railway Luggage Cart' concrete-topped coffee table by Bart.  Above is my 'Glimpsing Autumn' repurposed tabletop mirror, Bart's 'Handmade Metal Funnel Lamp', and Darcy's glorious shaggy sweater the right.

Here's an array of Darcy's deconstructed/reconstructed jackets from her Denim Series I, ready for trying on at the Puffin Design mirror.

You were no doubt wondering whether those dryer sheet curtains ever got finished.  I'm amazed to tell you they did, and here's the proof.  I'll do a post about them soon, but don't they look terrific with 
Bart's Bistro Table (love that industrial base topped with the decorative concrete)?  Alison created those 'Graffiti Bistro High Stools', and the 'Red Crab Trap Lamp' above is Bart's.  My 'Muse on Fire' vase and 'Who Let the Genie Out?' mini bottle are currently behaving themselves on the table.


And yes, that's my totally crazy 'Ukulele Gone Wild' hanging next to Darcy's  'Denim Romance' jacket...those pale pink silk accents are beautifully subtle (jacket, not ukulele - it wouldn't know subtle if kicked in the teeth with it).  My 'Good Fortune' journal is on the table, with 'Eileen's Flower' just behind it.



The 'Industrial Chic Coffee Table' by Alison and Bart is a favourite of mine, and the 'Coffee Lamp' next to it is a knockout.  Alison just recently completed the 'Tub Chair' - the wrapped metal back on it is just amazing to see.  On the coffee table are my 'Pick Up a Six Pack' coasters, 'Who Needs Gucci?' cocktail boot, and 'Midlife Crisis' book sculpture.  On the wall behind the table is a coffee bag burlap hanging called Retired.  I used a host of too-well-used teaching tools and leftover goodies to create this piece.


Please take the time to stop and see the Material Change show at Centre 64 in Kimberley.  Details are on the poster, and we'd love to see you at the artist opening this Saturday, June 10 between 2-4 pm.





Thursday, 1 June 2017

Here's a sneak peek...


... for you.  And trust me, it's really sneaky because they're closeups of some pieces I've been working on over the past while months.

This one is part of a book sculpture called Expat from Arcturus.  It's created from a science fiction anthology, and every time I look at it I giggle (how very mature, right?).



If you've never seen a rosette made from a dryer sheet, this piece could remedy that.  Who Let the Genie Out? is a tiny altered bottle.


You know I have a thing for shoes, so when I found a cocktail boot in a thrift shop, Who Needs Gucci? was born.


 Another book sculpture, this one is Midlife Crisis...so organic-looking considering it's made of something nobody wants!


Do you know what those little medallions on top of wine bottles are?  They're part of a supply called wine bottle shrink capsules, and yes, I had to google that.  They're really fun to use in mixed media when they're part of something called Squaring the Circle V.


Distressed toys call to me - always - so how could I pass up a Ukulele Gone Wild?  I think this piece would be a great addition to a child's room!


This is all in aid of an upcoming show at Centre 64 called Material Change.  The brainchild of Darcy Wanuk, an extraordinary textile artist, all work in the show features upcycled, repurposed items. From the fabulous design stylings of Alison and Bart Bjorkman at Puffin Design to Darcy's deconstructed/reconstructed clothing and my crazy mixed media incorporating all sorts of items that were headed for the landfill, it's an amazing array of new from old.


While the show is running from June 6 to July 1, we'd love you to join us for the opening reception on Saturday, June 10 from 2 - 4 pm.  Meet the artists, and be amazed!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

I'm feeling bookish...

...these days (all days, if truth be told).  I've just finished a journal that's been in the works for quite some while and thought I'd share it with you.  Called 'Good Fortune,' the tie-it-together item is that there is a fortune cookie fortune on each page.  Some are real, and some are invented...can you tell the difference?

Coins from years of travels (mine and others') are secured to the front of the journal.  And guess what - this thing is heavy!

Front cover 'Good Fortune Journal'
© Win Dinn 2017
I enjoyed working with the unusual shape and size of the spreads.

Fortune:  Your ear for music is becoming more finely tuned.
Most of the backgrounds are created with mono-printed sheets and brayer cleaning pages.

Fortune: A single flower has no need to envy the garden.
I've added monoprint cutouts to some pages,

Fortune: A new outlook brightens your image and brings new friends. 
and torn pages, card remnants,

Fortune: Artists find more than one path to the garden.  (image on the right is by the incomparable Laura Leeder)
and even fun foam castoffs to the mix.

Fortune: Today's your red hot day.
Not only circle-obsessed (and you'll tons of those below), I'm also fascinated by connected ovals.

Fortune: A drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts.
 I've used ephemera from cards I've received (thanks for these Judy),

Fortune:  Nature will tell you everything you need to know.
and some lovely Mucha images from a deck gifted to me by Alice.

Fortune: A pair of this or that - what's wrong with a single?
That was indeed good fortune!

Fortune:  You've been dealt a good hand - why not play it?
What better use for mop-up paper towels than a garden, I wonder?  None, I tell myself.

Fortune:  It's springtime - let's party!
You gotta know the upside-down bird is my favourite.
Fortune: Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
My eye goes around and around on this page...it's definitely playtime when one uses layer upon layer of palette transfers, stamps, tissue and more.

Fortune:  The most direct approach isn't always the best.
The stencil I used for the pig-tailed pretty is one I created from a photo of my lovely niece Shaina.

Fortune: Impose not a burden on others which you cannot bear yourself.
There will always be a mandala or two in any journal I do - I can't seem to resist!

Fortune: Do not let great ambitions overshadow small success.
Red, yellow and orange just make me so happy.

Fortune: Share your happiness with others today.
 There are flowers everywhere - it must be coming up to summer, or maybe it's another obsession.

Fortune: Contemplate the flowers - more fun than weeding!
Textile fragments show up on this page - another gift from Alice.

Fortune: Some of the sweetest berries grow amidst the thorns.
Paper napkins, fabric fragments from Alison Bjorkman, and hole-punched prints all add to the colour here.
Fortune: Remember the birthday but never the age.
For some reason, husband John objected to this fortune.  :D

Fortune: The real questions is not whether machines think but whether men do.
 First version of this page,

Fortune: Are you listening?
followed by the opened cards.

An inside peek at the above page.
This page is much darker than I would usually do, and the cityscape was really fun - it's many years since I've lived in one.
Fortune: Sleep, rest, recover; then dream again.
And here are more flowers...definitely part of my good fortune!

Fortune: Flowers don't work for a living - they merely dance.
Again!
Fortune: Live like a wildflower, growing with the wind.
Here's another departure from my normally bright palette...inspired by Mucha, no doubt!

Fortune: No matter your game, play like it matters.
I'm not so much hankering for a tropical vacation right now, but this page will spell delight come mid-winter!

Fortune: A tropical vacation is coming your way.
My usual style, according to the fortune!

Fortune: Running around in circles?
 I suspect this was a reminder I needed!

Fortune: Step outside - there are whole universes to explore.
Here we've reached the end.  This back cover was meant to be covered in bills that I've saved from various vacations to different countries.  Of course, I couldn't find them when they were needed. They will no doubt turn up sometime in the near future, grinning cheekily while they give me the finger!
Back cover 'Good Fortune' 2017
Perhaps you'd share your favourite fortune cookie fortunes with me in the comments below - there are at least four more journals in progress in the studio, and I could always do another of these!

In the meantime, maybe you'd like to play hide and seek with some of the ephemera in this journal. Can you spot the two tags included, silver dollar (watch out - it's a trick!), book page, a pen, thread, stamp, lichen, library pocket, CD, dryer sheets, credit card fragment, string, wallpaper, massage ad, lost earring and globe?
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