One: Something

something, blog,
Life is an amusement park

“Pentecost in not an abstract mystery. We are asked to accept the spirit of our actual lives. When we do this, then we no longer belittle our own lives but know that even with all our inferiorities and frustrations, we are something.” Ron Rolheiser “Reflections” 7 June 2019

Spirit of my life

Embracing the spirit of my actual life is sometimes difficult. Hence believing I am something can be beyond my capacity. Yet the truth remains true. Identifying the spirit of my life, naming it and yielding to it is the work of a lifetime.

Flagging energies

Something, blog, collaboration, Devenir, mastermind, mixed media
Sharing ideas

Part of my life as an artist includes meetings and AGMs. Having just finished three grueling days back to back I find my energy low and my enthusiasm diminished. I just want to be in my studio. My spirit is flagging. As a result, I need a fix. 

Believing I am something

Something, blog, collaboration, Devenir, mastermind, mixed media
Making decisions

Because my life spirit is so wrapped up in the creative world of visual art, the only way I can function well is with regular injections of isolation within my sacred space, my studio. While I do maintain regular hours and can usually manage a minimum of ten to twenty hours per week, life does get in the way occasionally. So it has been lately. Although I may not attain my goal of even ten hours per week this time, I will steal the hours later. My soul will renew and I will take flight again.

Something beyond my control

Something, blog, collaboration, Devenir, mastermind, mixed media
A beginning

Something beyond my control is the aging process. Bouncing back is not as fast as it used to be. However, I have found if I allow the time necessary to recuperate, my body responds with gratitude. Rather than insisting on the preconceived timeframe of twenty or forty years ago, letting go allows me the space to rest. Also it is part of believing I am something worth the time to care and nurture.

Stopping for tea

Life is like any amusement park. We cannot remain on the roller coaster forever. Occasionally we need to stop for tea and something nourishing. At the moment I receive my spirit and coddle it in my arms knowing a little love will cure much. Tomorrow we set out on another adventure, creating something splendid. Life is good.

Share

One: Distractions

distractions, Development and Peace, neomosaic, DEVENIR, exhibitions.
Development and Peace/Caritas Canada

Life overflows with distractions these days. We spent this weekend in Calgary for the Regional Assembly for Development and Peace/Caritas Canada. I was a delegate this time and very thankful for only three resolutions, or was it four? In any case, it did not take much time.

Disheartening snow

distractions, Development and Peace, neomosaic, DEVENIR, exhibitions.
Cold, wet snow

The only disheartening event over the weekend happened as we stepped out the door Saturday night on our way home. Six inches of cold wet snow. As we scraped off the windows and struggled with the underlying ice I was wishing for my gloves. At least I wore boots.

Show end

distractions, Development and Peace, neomosaic, DEVENIR, exhibitions.
“Sparkes” 48x48in neomosaic on gallery wrap canvas

Another reason I visited the city was the end of the Artpoint “Large Works” show. “Sparkles” is safely back in my studio. Not sure whether to hang it or store it. I will figure that out tomorrow. 

Teamwork

distractions, Development and Peace, neomosaic, DEVENIR, exhibitions.
Waiting to be picked up

As well, a fundraiser for WAM (Women’s Art Museum) inspired a donation from Sabine who left her work at Artpoint to pick up. During our weekly telephone conversation for DEVENIR I mentioned my trip to Calgary and Doris made the connection and asked if I could bring the work back to Edmonton with me. Sometimes helping someone else out is really easy. Teamwork makes light work.

Dealing with distractions

Next week looks a little better as far as studio time goes. The days and weeks fly by so quickly and I am not going to meet my projected budget for paintings this month. May will be better although distractions still abound in the form of gardening and workshops. One thing is for certain; I am never bored.

Share

One: Moment

moment, exhibitions, DEVENIR, neomosaic, collaboration
Discussing the principles of art

When it comes to openings, being in the moment is crucial. Every visitor is important. The ambiance is the property of the artist or artists involved. We set the stage, create the space in which to share ideas, listen and pick up on new opportunities to form relationships.

DEVENIR in Stony Plain

moment, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media, neomosaic
Contemplating

Saturday afternoon DEVENIR opened their installation “Devenir” in the Multicultural Heritage Museum in Stony Plain. Bitterly cold, the day turned on the sun and lit up the beautiful room in which we had hung our mobiles and paintings. Those who braved the weather thoroughly enjoyed discovering the idea behind our presentation and stayed to chat at length. One person whipped out his phone and shared our invitation on his links, encouraging people to drop in.

In the moment

moment, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media, neomosaic
Exciting!

Being in the moment means forgetting about everything else on the schedule and focusing on the person or persons before me. Focus is the key. Fortunately, I do not find this part difficult. I love talking to strangers and entering forbidden conversations. To do this my aim is to create a safe space. Time is short so this has to be done quickly. Not everyone is open. Fear of offending or fear of judgement shuts down many fascinating conversations. Pity.

Follow-up

Relationships also require follow-up. Not so easy. As I step away from the moment, everything else on my schedule floods back with a vengeance, something like the incoming tide in a narrow inlet and I find myself submerged.

moment, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media, neomosaic
A lovely space

The next five minutes

Again, I turn to the moment. In these five minutes I can place a reminder on my computer for later if I cannot do the task immediately. Priority is given to the immediate. Although relax time is also an essential ingredient in the elixir of well-being, it may be wise to plan it more precisely rather than relying on feelings or lack of inspiration. Movies take a lot of time for example. I love watching movies. Perhaps limiting this fun thing to once or twice per week would be more profitable than every evening…

Take a little time to breathe

This present moment contains all the opportunity of a lifetime. Used wisely it can profit anyone willing to put in the effort. Effort is required to choose priorities, to organize, to let go of what may be less useful. Take a little time to breathe. Be thankful for the blue sky and sunshine, they may not be there tomorrow.

Share

One: Ready

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, retreat, mixed media
Piled everywhere

Ready is relative. Many things are supposed to be ready at the moment. Priorizing the next coming event is the best way to keep a modicum of control. So, yes, things stood at the door and around the room in organized piles just before we left for Trochu.

DEVENIR in history

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, retreat
View from the front window

Ste. Ann Ranch boasts several historical buildings, delightful décor, delicious cuisine and very comfortable beds. Our hosts accommodated our every need with graciousness, marvellous stories and great senses of humour. DEVENIR so enjoyed the space and the ambiance.

Another retreat

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, retreat
Workspace

And what was DEVENIR doing in Trochu? Well, we were having a retreat. Google Drive helps us to collaborate. I put the initial agenda together. Patricia complained about not scheduling any fun and took one heavy item off the agenda suggesting something refreshing instead. I had revealed my tendency toward the serious and most appreciated the help with the fun part. La crème de la crème was a pyjama party on Friday night, Sabine’s brain child.

Planning for the future

Apart from fun, we spent some time conceiving new possibilities and directions for our group. We discussed what we might do with the one hundred and fifty paintings we had completed in October last year. Amidst the laughter and the banter, we birthed several good ideas, in fact, too many to do in one life time. Still, from among the abundant inspirations we chose the best for development giving life and direction for our practice together as well as individually. We also took the opportunity to exchange paintings for our upcoming exhibitions in Canmore and Stony Plain.

New directions

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, mixed media, exhibitions, retreat
Brainstorming

Our discussions continued on the way home, albeit just the three from Edmonton took part. Why not add another brand to the fire? The lovely landscape along highway 21 fueled the flames and we now have the seeds of something exciting we wish to do together. Some very positive fallout around our plans may bear much needed fruit as well. Generosity and mutual support yield such good results.

Ready is relative

Ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, mixed media, retreat
One of the many for CAVA

Now that I am home again, I wonder if I am ready. The next coming event is CAVA. Twenty paintings require frames with the delivery date on Tuesday. Tuesday is the day I meet with Amber from the Shaw Conference Centre to discuss the future location for three of my forty-eight-inch square paintings. They will be on display for a year. Then the collaborative effort for DEVENIR statements, CV, new releases and descriptive blurbs looms in the background, not too far in the background as the time line is pressing. Ready is relative. I suspect only the last minute will tell.

Share

One: Life

Devenir, challenge, mixed media, life, paper
Jardin des pleuvres

Life gets in the way sometimes. Occasionally I imagine I have control over my world and what I might do on any given day. Reality swiftly disrupts this notion. I have a choice. I can resist and go down kicking and screaming. Or I can go with the flow and see where it might lead me.

Unfolding fascination

The last few weeks have been fascinating as the DEVENIR thirty-day challenge unfolds. To being with I thought I needed thirty finished paintings, so I did groups of eight at a time. No way could I finish a painting in one day. Get real! I have been sharing the dozen or so “finished” paintings on Instagram. Some I like, some I do not.

Devenir, mixed media, challenge, life, paper
Dragon’s Lair

Less control

When I got down to the task of painting a painting a day, things changed. As the days followed, one after the other, I noticed a certain abandon in procedure. Less about control and more about discovery. Play is not part of my repertoire usually and I was having fun as the drops of liquid paint hit the surface and did their thing. So cool!

Mixed media, life, Devenir, Challenge, paper
Seeing Things

Play

Lately I have taken up playing with strips of paper and the idea of divine presence sustaining everything. How does one represent divine presence on paper, or any other surface? As usual, the more control I exert, the less interesting the painting. Perhaps the process will lead me to where I want to go. Maybe I will discover something altogether new. Life has a way of stepping in and changing the route.

Life happens

So instead of spending my Saturday morning in the studio, I picked up my paintings at CAVA and went grocery shopping, something I have been putting off for several weeks. I needed a few things as we were expecting our grandchildren and a few guests in the evening for supper around the fire pit.

Devenir, challenge, mixed media, paper, life
Shadow Dance

Going with the flow

As it turned out I was the one, with the help of a wonderful young man, doing the cooking and taking it back inside to those comfortably seated in our living room. They missed out on a truly lovely evening outside. The fire was perfect for cooking. And for sm’ores a little while later. I so enjoyed watching the flames. I think I have pyro tendencies.

A curve or two

Life took a real curve today with the grandkids for breakfast, church and helping out at an art show in the afternoon. Attempting to write my blog with eyelids slamming shut and the realisation I have not painted my painting today, I wonder about how I might regain some control. Perhaps I will just go to bed instead. Have a wonderful week…

Share

One: Challenge

challenge, mixed media, paper, space
Through the Tangle

So, I got the challenge all wrong. What I understood meant one painting a day for thirty days. Consequently, I started early.

Managing the challenge

Preparing the paper, I tore it into eight by eight-inch pieces. I prefer ragged edges. Several panels of quarter-inch plywood which I use for drawing boards, graced the table. Taking the one-and-one-half-inch masking tape, I carefully measured the one-inch border. There we have it! The painting is only six by six now. A lesser challenge perhaps.

Challenge, mixed media, semi-abstract, Devenir
Hope Shines Forth

Not so easy

One would think this would be easy. I discovered it takes me two days to complete one image. Double the time. I would have to speed things up. Using eight panels at a time I could not resist using watercolour to begin. After all, it was paper we were using. Once dry, I mucked about with some molding paste and ended up with drips of acrylic. Lovely abstract accidents lay before me. 

Challenge, mixed media, semi-abstract, Devenir
Inspire of Opposition

Grouping production

Very conscious of the time and how far I had fallen behind, I quickly finished four that day. Yes, I thought, I could manage this.

The phone call

Then we had the phone call. DEVENIR gets together once per week via Skype to discuss projects, be accountable to one another and inspire our creative future. Carefully explaining things again one of our members said it was not about finished work. Rather, the exercise led us to discover new territory in daily experiments with new materials or using familiar materials in new ways. One painting per day beginning October 25th.

Challenge, mixed media, semi-abstract, Devenir
Into the Storm

More paper

Backing up I took a new look at what I had already done. Nice little pieces. I will use them for something else. How to frame them? I will figure that out later too. Returning to my paper stash I extracted three new sheets of Arches watercolour paper and tore new pieces of eight by eight leaving several six by eights. Left overs, just the right size for greeting cards. Not quite ready yet I took out the masking tape and established the borders once again. Eight panels ready to go. Life is full of adventure! You can follow our challenge progress on Facebook both on my page BlanchetFineArts or on DEVENIR’s page where each artist will be posting her work in an album once per week. So fun.

Event page

Don’t forget to check out my events page. The CAVA show is still on and the VASA Member Show is on the horizon for December.

Share

One: Wings

wings, installation, Devenir, mixed media

Several years ago, our son phoned and asked me what animal spirit his father possessed. Apparently, the artist making the walking stick for his birthday needed to know. We decided the bear fit better than most. Since then I have considered my own and have come to the conclusion, wings are my thing; the eagle suits me.

Wings, installation, Devenir, RAFA
Wings for RAFA

 

 

 

 

 

Giving permission

Flying, however, is another matter. One needs permission to fly. Spreading my wings has come slowly. I would allow it occasionally then I would walk again. Lately, the view has been spectacular and the travel much quicker.

Devenir

Belonging to a group of five artists determined to succeed offers certain challenges and advantages. The collective spirit of Devenir encourages sojourns into countries unknown. One such trip allowed us to create our popular exhibition “Devenir +” which just finished showing at Art Point in Calgary.

Wings, mobiles, installation, Devenir,
Art Point

Supporting the group

Another advantage to belonging is at least one member can usually help resolve conflicting schedules. Such was the case recently. With two of the three members from Edmonton unable to attend the take down of our show, I asked my ever-supportive husband to accompany me to Calgary. There, the four of us finished the job in one hour and we were back home in the early afternoon.

wings, RAFA, Devenir, illustration,
My ever-supportive husband and I

Playing with wings

The latest idea offers everyone attending the RAFA Forum the possibility of trying on wings. This comes awfully close to playing, another activity I do not allow often. However, all five artists in Devenir have created a set of wings with a photo shoot in mind. Each is uniquely representative of the artist and all attendees can have their photo taken in front of one or several sets, testing the air and the personality, so to speak.

wings, honours, RAFA, letting go, contemplation, blog
Sylvie Van Bradant Prix d’excellence

To be announced

I am looking forward to the Forum. The winner of the Sylvie Van Brabant Prix d’excellence will be announced and we can all try on some wings. La soirée est toute en français. Should you wish to attend, tickets can be purchased here.

Share

Different Strokes: Installation

Devenir, mixed media, mobiles

Wisdom tells us if we stop growing we die. Growing requires a certain amount of risk. Therefore taking risks keeps us fresh, excited and engaged. Devenir is a risk encouraging new risks. A cooperative installation is the latest risk.

Working in a group

Traditionally artists have followed a path of isolation. They preferred their own company and the space to follow their muse. Currently there is a trend to work in collaboration with others. Consequently many groups and cooperatives have formed. The idea behind collaboration is a vison to stabilize productivity and income. Devenir is such a group.

Serendipity 

Installation, mobiles, blog, mixed media
Patricia Lortie

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Patricia Lortie in Whitehorse, Yukon. We were the Albertan representatives for Contact Ouest that year. She and I discovered many mutual interests including professional and personal development. The idea of a mastermind intrigued her. The seed germinated in May 2016 when five Francophone artists (Danièle Petit, Patricia Lortie, Sabine Lecorre-Moore, Doris Charest and me) met and formed the group Devenir. Our mandate is to challenge, support and expand our careers as visual artists.

Devenir means becoming

Installation, mobile, mixed media, blog
Danièle Petit

Devenir means Becoming. Certainly, we are blossoming into the fullness of all we can be. Our first exhibition together has the mystery of creativity at its core. Each artist presents a unique take on the process of creation from inspiration to completed work. In our first discussions, we hit upon the idea of using a mobile as a vehicle to communicate this journey.

Erratic discoveries

Installation, mobile, mixed media, blog
Sabine Lecorre-Moore

A mobile moves in erratic ways. Occasionally the pieces collide, just as ideas do. The collision produces a new movement, an unforeseen conclusion. Our journey takes a new route into unplanned territory. Creation is exciting, la raison d’être of being artist.

Evolution

Devenir, installation, mobiles, mixed media
Karen Blanchet

Our show bears the name of our group for, indeed, nothing is static. Everything evolves. In the Espace exploration of CAVA we installed five mobiles, each one unique to our personal vision. The mobiles engage with each other as they move and flow together. Five completed works form the anchor to the exhibit as each presents one version of this flow, this becoming.

Installation at CAVA

So should you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do drop in and enter what feels like a forest, our installation full of colour and movement.  CAVA (Centre d’arts visuels d’Alberta) is located at 9103 95 Ave Edmonton, AB. Their hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Our exposition closes on the 24th November. Have a wonderful week.

Share

Different Strokes: Devenir

Devenir, mobile, mixed media, creativity, flow

Wisdom tells us if we stop growing we die. Growing requires a certain amount of risk. Taking risks keeps us fresh, excited and engaged. Devenir is a risk encouraging new risks.

Cooperating

Traditionally artists have followed a path of isolation. They preferred their own company and the space to follow their muse. Currently there is a trend to work in collaboration with others. As a result many groups and cooperatives have formed in hopes to stabilize productivity and income. Devenir is such a group.

A mastermind

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Patricia Lortie in Whitehorse, Yukon. We were the Albertan representatives for Contact Ouest that year. She and I discovered many mutual interests including professional and personal development. The idea of a mastermind intrigued her. The seed germinated in May 2016 when five Francophone artists (Danièle Petit, Patricia Lortie, Sabine Lecorre-Moore, Doris Charest and me) met and formed the group Devenir. Our mandate is to challenge, support and expand our careers as visual artists.

Devenir is Becoming

Devenir means Becoming. Certainly, we are blossoming into the fullness of all we can be. Our first exhibition together has the mystery of creativity at its core. Each artist presents a unique take on the process of creation from inspiration to completed work. In our first discussions, we hit upon the idea of using a mobile as a vehicle to communicate this journey.

A mobile

A mobile moves in erratic ways. Occasionally the pieces collide, just as ideas do. The collision produces a new movement, an unforeseen conclusion. Our journey takes a new route into unplanned territory. Creation is exciting. It is la raison d’être of being artist.

Five mobiles and five paintings

Our show bears the name of our group for, indeed, nothing is static. Everything evolves. In the Espace exploration of CAVA we will install five mobiles, each one unique to our personal vision. The mobiles engage with each other as they move and flow together. Five completed works form the anchor to the exhibit as each presents one version of this flow, this becoming.

Five artists to welcome you

Should you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do join us for our opening reception on Friday, 20th October 2017 at 7pm when we will be presenting a short introduction to our individual visions and how they manifest. CAVA (Centre d’arts visuels d’Alberta) is located at 9103 95 Ave Edmonton, AB. The interaction is always fun.

Share