Friday, November 24, 2017

Start The Holidays and More Festive Goodies

Looking for a reason to see beautiful Stratford decked out for the holidays? The seventh annual St(art) the Holidays is coming up on December 9th & 10th at Factory 163, a 1903 furniture manufactory that has been renovated into artist studios and creative space. The show features locally crafted artwork and handmade gifts, all made by local Perth county artists. Hear live music by local musicians while enjoying the Revel caffe's direct trade coffee or sip some wine from the charity bar supporting PAL Stratford.

Most exciting of all is the fact that we will be there this year!

Hand embroidered ornaments - getting ready for the show!

Full disclosure - this is my first show and sale of this kind and I am having the time of my life. After a year of 'forced march to meet the deadline' kind of thinking, hand stitching these delicate little ornaments is playful. This is an opportunity to stretch some creative muscles that have been neglected.

Detail of untitled mandala in progress.

I am grateful to talented fibre artist, friend and mentor, Helen Benninger, for recommending St(art) The Holidays to me, for generously sharing her knowledge and pirate's trove of sumptuous materials, and also for drawing my attention back to mandalas. The mandala/snowflake overlap has got my brain's synapses firing so fast that my hands can't keep up.

The Winter Mandala, Peruvian Highland Wool and Beeswax on Wood Panel, 6 x 6 x 1.5

We have also put together a new bird kit design in honour of winter. This is an easy way to try your hand at painting with beeswax and wool and is also a unique gift for the fibre enthusiasts in your life. The kits leave lots of room for your own creativity and include everything needed to create a little work of art. Can't make it to the sale to buy kits? Get in touch here.

Kit samples - Doug's inspired sample at top, mine at bottom.

Catching up on other news, the Woodstock Fleece Festival was one of the best events of this kind in which I have participated. The festival demonstrates all aspects of wool - from sheep to finished projects. We had a record turn out for the yarn painting workshop and marveled at the skill level of attendees.

Here is Kerry's artistic finished piece. Thanks for sending it, Kerry!

Kerry's finished workshop piece, Woolstock 2017.

Finally, the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga has extended my solo display, Following the Thread, until January. Woo hoo!

Blackwork mandala in progress on my messy table.

There's been a lot of talk about flow (or Flow or FLOW) around here lately. While I may not be able to define it, I can certainly recognize it as the hours fly by and I follow ideas that branch into other ideas that branch into yet others and I see that I could not possibly pursue them all in one lifetime.

But I can try.

Here's hoping you can find your own flow this winter and fill the chilly days with hot pursuits!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Following the Thread in Mississauga & See You At Woolstock 2017

Pinecone, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Alpaca, Wool, & Beeswax on Wood Panel 

Fragrant wood smoke, sweet apples, and trees aflame with colour. Couples kicking up dry leaves, holding hands and strolling along in warm WOOL sweaters.

That's right, folks. It is wool season. A time for wraps, scarves, hats, gloves, and gorgeous, stranded Fair Isle and Scandinavian patterns.

Wool. How I love you!

Snail Shell, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Alpaca, Wool, Hemp & Beeswax on Wood Panel

What better way to celebrate the beginning of wool season than The Woodstock Fleece Festival? Email correspondent, Hayley, tells me it is called 'Woolstock' by those in the know.

Woolstock!! Like Woodstock but for wool. It's embarrassing how excited I am by that.

Yarn Painting Workshop at the Woodstock Fleece Festival 2017!

So, yeah, I'll be at Woolstock this Saturday offering a workshop on my yarn painting techniques starting at 2 pm. The class is almost full, so register now if you want to come.

Did I mention there will be sheep?! And yarn. Lots and lots of yarn.

Cherry Blossom Pieces, Peruvian Highland Wool & Beeswax on Wood Panels, Assorted Sizes

In other news, the end of August brought me up to date with meeting my solo show deadlines as I dropped the pieces off at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre for Following The Thread, a sampling of my work on display from September 1 to October 31.

Vintage Thread Pieces, Assorted vintage threads, Embroidery flosses, and Crochet cottons with Tempra paint & Beeswax on wood panels, Assorted Sizes

Here is a snippet from the artist's statement:

Sometimes in my art practice, I am nudged in directions that I didn’t anticipate. An idea forms and, almost simultaneously, an emotional response is felt. Excitement, curiosity, and certainty can be there, but so can resistance, impatience, and fear.

Following the Thread is a sampler of the pathways I’ve been exploring in my recent work.

Disturbed by the disparity between my approach to learning to paint and learning to knit (judgemental impatience versus tolerant beginner’s mind), I followed a thread of thought that led me to create works of art using beeswax and wool.

Driven to reconnect with the Southwestern Ontario flora and fauna that filled my childhood and now is disappearing in my adult life, I follow this thread in my subject matter.

Admiring the textile works of William Morris and awed by the painstaking embroidery visible in antique tapestries, I follow the thread of ‘What if I incorporated fabrics into my work?’.

As the generations of women before me pass away and their treasure troves of silks, cottons, and wools are heaped upon me, I explore what I can do with these riches.

Gathered together, these threads form the rope that is my artistic practice, gaining in strength and surety as weaker threads end and the truest are refined and endure.

Textile Themed Pieces, Vintage Embroidery floss, Fabric, Tempra paint & Beeswax on Wood Panels, Assorted Sizes 

Okay, so maybe I messed up the thread metaphor in there, but the sentiment is real.

Strand by strand, we spin a stronger yarn  - OMG, how could I not have seen the spinning yarn metaphor before now? Okay - primary goal for Woolstock - learn to spin.

See you there!

Monarch, which found a great home with Katherine and John. Thanks!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Special Exhibition Event

Many of you already know about the current exhibition of my work in the Rotunda Gallery of Kitchener City Hall titled Transcending: Works in Wool and Wax. The exhibition highlights a series of pieces created in response to the breathtaking scenery around Harrison Park and Inglis Falls in Owen Sound, ON.

I am writing to let you know that I will be at the exhibition to talk about the work, answer questions, and demonstrate a little of my process on Tuesday, August 22nd from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.

Working in wool and wax raises a lot of questions and I love sharing the techniques used and watching reactions when people realize that, yes, that artwork is made with wool.

Please drop in to see the exhibition and take this exclusive opportunity to pick my brain. I'd love to see you there!

Rotunda Gallery
Kitchener City Hall
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
1:30 - 3:30 pm

Do you know someone else who would really enjoy this? Feel free to share this with all of the fibre and art enthusiasts in your life!

For the love of fibre,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Transcending: Works in Wool and Wax

The count down is on. Just twelve days before Transcending: Works in Wool and Wax is mounted.

I received the final copy of the exhibition invite this week and it brought home to me the reality of the approaching completion of a project that has come to feel endless over the year that I have worked on it. Don't get me wrong. It has been a powerful experience and I have learned a lot about what it means to commit yourself to a long term project. I am also really excited to explore some of the new ideas that have been bottlenecking while I worked on this series.

Harrison Park - July, 12 x 12 x 1.5", Peruvian Highland Wool on Wood Panel

Yesterday, I gathered all of the pieces to photograph them and get them ready for hanging. It was the first time I had looked at the completed pieces together and I was surprised at the cohesion of the group. Ideas, colours, and yarns repeat themselves through the pieces in ways I was not consciously aware of before they were all finished.

Escarpment Ferns, 12 x 12 x 1.5", Peruvian Highland Wool on Wood Panel

Transcending: Works in Wool and Wax will be in the Rotunda Gallery in Kitchener City Hall from August 3 to August 30, 2017. If you go see it, get in touch and let me know what you think!

Here is a sneak preview of the Artist Statement for the exhibition.

Transcending: Works in Wool and Wax

Fibre Paintings Inspired by Harrison Park, Owen Sound

Harrison Park in Owen Sound, ON became a subject of my work during an inspirational camping trip in the summer of 2016. The park is an unusual mix of urban park and classic Ontario escarpment adventure. I experienced many moments of transcendence here and this series is an attempt to communicate those moments and the feeling of the park.

I began with six square foot studies of subjects chosen to reflect different features of the park and moments when I was stopped in my tracks by the sheer beauty of the view.  These pieces are worked in a single weight (called fingering weight) of peruvian highland wool.

Three larger works revisit the same subjects and explore the impact of scale and reworking of or ‘second chance at’ a subject, this time using different types and weights of wool to create textural interest and emphasis. The wools used were collected from diverse places such as Iceland, New Zealand, Britain, and Canada.

As an emerging artist, this series represents several firsts. This is my first solo show with an intentionally created body of work. This is my first series based on a geographic location. And, most gratifying, this is the first deliberate attempt to satisfy the statement “If I could do it again, I’d…”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Catching Up with Summer - Fleece Festival & August Solo Exhibition

Yarn Painting Workshop at the Woodstock Fleece Festival 2017!

Course registration is open for the Woodstock Fleece Festival 2017 and we are so excited to be offering a workshop this year called Yarn Painting - Creating Natural Works of Art with Beeswax and Wool. The festival is on October 14th at the Woodstock Fair Grounds and features all things fleece from shearing to weaving. What a great fall adventure!

Detail of The Buzzard Tree, Transcending - Works in Wool and Wax Solo Exhibition  

With August in view, I am putting the final touches on The Harrison Park series to be shown in my first 'official' solo exhibition titled Transcending - Works in Wool and Wax, being mounted in the Rotunda Gallery in Kitchener City Hall for the month of August.

It feels like I have been working on this series forever, and it has been almost a full year. I have learned a lot about taking on a long term commitment like this, including the fact that I will get bored and try to rebel against myself! It is interesting to be both child and parent and coax yourself to keep on track towards a deadline. I also learned that I seriously underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a piece because I keep forgetting about the dreaded unforeseen circumstance (aka life.)

Overall, however, this has been a valuable experience in so many ways and I am pleased with the pieces that have resulted from it. I am also bursting with new ideas that have piled up in my sketchbook waiting for attention. Soon, my pretties, soon.

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Emergence by Kate Pautler, St. Jacobs workshop 2017

We had a fantastic time, as usual, at the yarn painting workshop at the St. Jacobs Mennonite Church during the Waterloo Region and Beyond! Quilt and Fibre Art Festival this year. I appreciate so much the work of the committee members to organize the workshops and create a magnificent display of quilts in the church. Our workshop discussions were colourful and the group became my best spokespeople by the end!

Special thanks to Kate, who not only sent me an image of her evocative finished piece 'Emergence', but also was kind enough to gift me an extra heating gun for my artistic pursuits. Thank you, Kate!

Also a special hello to Amelia, who impressed us all with her humour and independence, keeping her 80 plus years young and still trying new things.

Happy summer, folks, and keeping Amelia's adventurous spirit in mind, I hope this summer finds you trying something new!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Attention Last Minute Shoppers...St. Jacobs Quilt and Fibre Art Festival Starts Today!

Robin In The Apple Tree, 8" x 8" x 1.5", Vintage Embroidery Floss, Tempra Paint, and Beeswax on Wood Panel
So my Spring plan to get fit resulted in a sexy case of bursitis and I've spent the last two weeks with my feet elevated. I made great use of the couch time by whining piteously whenever Doug walked through the room.

Poor guy. I am not a tolerant invalid.

The upside is that I couldn't work on my large piece, which requires standing, so I had a chance to follow through on some ideas for small pieces that I had been storing up.

Do you remember my initial idea for a milkweed piece when Nan Nichols from Gun Plain Pygoras sent me a sampling of her luxurious yarns? Okay, it was almost two years ago, but I finally did it!

Asclepius,  8" x 8" x 1.5", Assorted natural fibres, tempra paint, and beeswax on wood panel

I used Asclepius as an opportunity to try out a new idea. Before coating the panel with beeswax, I painted a winter sky on the wood and then left parts of it exposed when I added the milkweed image. The effect is very three dimensional and moody. The pygora yarn is so light and flossy, it was like working with real milkweed seeds.

Garden In Blue, 8' x 8' x 1.5", Vintage Embroidery Floss, Fabric, Tempra Paint and Beeswax on Wood Panel

Next, I finished a piece I've had on the back burner for awhile. Garden In Blue is the follow up piece to Grandma's Garden, working on the same idea of sandwiching a layer of fabric in the beeswax and playing with the pattern. I tried out a different colour scheme and worked the design over the edges onto the painted sides a bit more.

Robin In The Apple Tree, 8" x 8" x 1.5", Vintage Embroidery Floss, Tempra Paint, and Beeswax on Wood Panel

Finally, I tried out an idea for my upcoming display at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga this September. With a working title of Native Exotics, I want to create pieces that depict native flora and fauna while exploring some textile traditions, such as Indian tree of life motifs and the designs of William Morris. 

Robin In the Apple Tree is the first experiment and I am happy with the results. The definition and shine of the embroidery thread gives the piece an air of luxury and complication. More to come on this theme!

Robin In The Apple Tree, 8" x 8" x 1.5", Vintage Embroidery Floss, Tempra Paint, and Beeswax on Wood Panel
I am finally back on my feet again, just in time for this year's Waterloo Region and Beyond Quilt and Fibre Art Festival. It's on from today until Saturday and I'll be hosting a yarn painting workshop on Thursday in St. Jacobs, which is always a great experience. There's space still available, so register now or drop by on Thursday.

This year's festival also marks the sad closing of The Silo Weavers,  a St. Jacobs icon and one of my favourite textile stores. Elsa Brigden-Elliot, the weaver behind the Silo Weavers, is retiring from the store (but not from weaving!) and May 31st marks the last day. Elsa is a lovely person who has opened many doors for me. I will miss having my work for sale at the Silo Weavers, but look forward to seeing what she does with her time freed up!

Be sure to stop by The Silo Weavers during the festival to wish Elsa well and check out the store closing deals. My art work and cards are all on sale until the end of the month.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kits - You Asked For It!

We finally did it. Yarn Painting Kits available!

Brace yourself. I am about to say something shocking. Here it is:

I dislike group work.

Please don't hate me. I know this is an unpopular sentiment in the bastion days of the multi-gendered, multi-racial, multi-generational, and multi-species Super Team.

I can't help it. I am, and have always been, an introverted loner prone to hermit-like behaviour and quite happy that way so please go away now and stop knocking on my turtle shell.


Last week, watching my husband apply beeswax to canvas panels more smoothly than I had managed in ten plus years of practice, I confessed that I am starting to see the benefits of applying multiple minds to a subject.

You would think I'd be able to settle gracefully into aging without having to learn new things, but apparently not. Sheesh.

Kit contents - Instructions, application tool, prewaxed and stamped board, and a lovely selection of wool yarns. Different colours in each kit!

So here's another one.

You guys asked me for kits. At Vogue Knitting Live!, you asked me for kits. At the Waterloo Region and Beyond Quilt & Fibre Art Festival, you asked me for kits. In my summer workshops, you asked me for kits.

"Kits?" I thought. "That's a great idea. But I'm busy making art. I don't have time now."

Doug, however, saw the genius in this and decide to jump in and make it happen. So he did and did and did, and between your great idea and his large effort, these kits are a triumph of group work.

The original Sunset design in the making.

The sunset design is a tribute to Doug, modeled on his first workshop piece made almost a year ago. It is a simple design that offers a little guidance but allows for big creativity and everybody's version will be unique.

The kits are just $20 each and are available now at the Silo Weavers. I will also have some at my workshop in St. Jacobs or, if you're interested in ordering some online, email me.

Kitty's Sunset - What I created with a Sunset Kit.
We are excited to see what you make with the kits. Send us a photo of your completed Sunset Kit and we will post it.

Thanks, Doug, and thank you for making this happen!

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Expanded Workshop! Quilt and Fibre Art Festival, Waterloo Region and Beyond

I am very happy to be included in the 2017 Waterloo Region and Beyond's Quilt and Fibre Art Festival taking place May 23rd to 27th this year.

Last year's workshop was a lot of fun and I'm offering a new, expanded version this year with more advanced techniques in the morning for those of you who want an in-depth understanding of my process.

Here's the info below. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

See you soon and Happy Spring!

PS - From now until the end of May, my work is 10% off at The SiloWeavers!

Yarn Painting with Natural Fibre Yarns and Beeswax
Kathy White
$50.00 for half day - 9:30-12:00 or 1:00-3:30 or
$80.00 for full day -  9:30 - 3:30
St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, 1310 King Street, St. Jacobs
Contact: Quilter's Nine Patch, Elmira

Kathy White’s passion for both fine art and natural fibre yarns has led to the creation of her unique method of applying yarns to canvas using beeswax to create ‘yarn paintings.’ In this new expanded version of her popular workshop, she will teach in depth history and techniques and guide participants through the application of skills to create their own work of art.

Come for the full day for a comprehensive understanding of yarn painting with beeswax or choose to attend just the morning or afternoon sessions.

In the morning, Kathy will cover the new, advanced portion of the workshop, discussing artists already exploring versions of yarn painting and teaching the application of the beeswax to painting boards, advanced selection of yarns to consider, and methods of applying the image to the board.

The afternoon session is suitable for those who just want to try out the technique and for those from the morning session who want to put their new advanced knowledge to work. Participants receive everything they need to create their own yarn painting.

All materials are provided. Participants are encouraged to bring embroidery scissors and an image for painting inspiration.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Art Gallery of Mississauga Art Crit

It is extremely exciting (and a bit terrifying) to be one of 12 artist selected to take part in the Art Gallery of Mississauga's upcoming Art Crit. What a fabulous opportunity to receive professional feedback on my work at a perfect time to benefit phase 2 of my Harrison park series!

Bone Trees, Peruvian Wool and Beeswax on Birch Panel, 12 x 12 x 1.5

I finished Bone Trees, the fifth of the square foot pieces in late November. It is inspired by the view from Inglis Falls and traces the path of the Sydenham River through the forest to Georgian Bay. I took a risk using the pink tones, hoping to convey the mood of this view on a brilliant day in July.

Escarpment Ferns, Peruvian Wool and Beeswax on Birch Panel, 12 x 12 x 1.5

Escarpment Ferns was finished in January, meaning that the phase 1 goal of creating 6 square foot pieces is complete!

Phase 2 of working at least 4 of the square foot pieces into larger 3 foot x 3 foot images is underway, which is what makes the AGM Art Crit such great timing. I look forward to receiving some constructive criticism that I can employ to make the large pieces even better.

The AGM describes the event as follows:

A forum for artists at any stage of their career, working in any medium, to put forth a body of work, completed or development, for critique, discussion and feedback by artist peers and members of the arts community... participating artists are only asked to be open to (and interested in) considering reactions to their work by the group, which will always be done in a supportive, constructive and casual environment, but could at the same time be challenging.

New opportunity is often scary and I owe the fact that I even applied for the Art Crit to a 10 day 'Train the Brave' challenge by Margie Warrell that I followed in the new year. Just submitting the application got my heart pounding a little bit.

My deadline for completion of the series is August, when I will be mounting the finished products as a solo show at the Rotunda Gallery in Kitchener City Hall.

Let's see what happens next!