Friday, November 23, 2018

Buy Locally Handmade For The Holidays

This year's batch of hand embroidered wool stars made with rescued materials.

Why Buy Locally Handmade?

It's holiday sales season and I am gearing up for the Shakespeare Sip & Shop tomorrow! Before I share the details, I wanted to give you some motivation for choosing to distribute your hard earned dollars in your own community this year.

Every time you purchase a gift this holiday, your money will support and reinforce a method of making, distributing and purchasing a product. If you buy from a chain store or online retailer, not only are you essentially voting for the continuation of that system, but most if not all of your money will be leaving the community in which you live. Not to mention the environmental impact of manufacturing, shipping, storing, and packaging.

When you purchase an item that has been locally handmade, you are directly supporting a member of your community and your money stays in circulation in your own area. Many makers are also eco-conscious and their products are healthier for you and the planet. And the gifts you give will be truly one of a kind treasures.

This holiday season, vote to support the creative members of your own home town and buy locally handmade!

Shakespeare Sip & Shop

My holiday sales season kicks off tomorrow at the Shakespeare Sip & Shop. As happy as I am to be a first time vendor at the show, I can't wait to try some of Harry Ten Shilling's tea and scones! Mmmm. Free admission, free parking, and free swag bags for 25 lucky people. See you there?

Holiday Handcrafting Weekend 2018
Needle Felted Cat by Jennifer Osborne of All Sorts Acre

Blyth Christmas Night Market & Holiday Handcrafting Weekend

Next weekend, I'll be in the Blyth Memorial Community Hall for the indoor Artisan Night Market on Friday November 30th, 6 - 11 pm. I'll be there again on Saturday, Dec 1 & Sunday, Dec 2 for FACTS' Holiday Handcrafting Weekend - free community craft activities, demonstrations and sales on Saturday and a fabulous workshop on Sunday that lets you do the making! More info here.

St(Art) the Holidays Stratford

Finally, I am returning to the fascinating Factory 163 in Stratford, ON for the St(Art) the Holidays Art Show & Sale on December 8th & 9th. Last year's show was a tremendous success and, more importantly, a lot of fun. Live music, fabulous coffee by Revel, a wine bar, and amazing, original arts and crafts. Definitely worth marking on your calendar!

Where ever you live, please think about the kind of world you're supporting when you make your holiday purchases this year and see if you can send a little love and support to your local makers. Your own world will be better for it!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Register Now for New Workshop in Blyth, ON

Don't miss out on our new workshop taking place in Blyth, ON this Saturday!  Learn to make your own original work of art using beeswax and wool. This time we'll also talk about combining different weights of wool to really make your image pop.

Register at Space is limited, so act fast.

Can't wait to see you there and play with aromatic beeswax and squishy wool.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

New Workshop Date in Blyth!

Photo credit: Jeff Lively

This morning I woke to the fragrant scent of wood smoke mixed with the chilly, oxygen charged air that follows a rain storm. At last, it is autumn and I'm feeling reinvigorated and ready to jump back in the game. The fibre art game, that is.

My experience as an artist in residence with the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts (KIRA) was unspeakably inspiring - truly a once in a lifetime opportunity - and it has taken me a few months to reorient myself and figure out where to go from here.

This video about the KIRA program gives you a small taste of what it was like to be surrounded by so many talented artists. I even make a small appearance!

Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts (KIRA) - Promo video (1min.) from Jeff Lively on Vimeo.

One of my priorities after returning to Ontario was to follow up on a lead about a dyer's garden that someone in Blyth was starting and I am so happy that I followed my gut on this one. It turns out that 'someone' is Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston, a costume designer, teacher, business owner, and fibre arts school visionary.

Jennifer is the force behind the Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio as well as the creator and founder of Pick a Posie Costume Company. She is wonderfully connected and extremely knowledgeable about all things fibre and I am so excited to be teaming up with her to finally - FINALLY! - offer a course in the Blyth/Goderich area.

The workshop is on October 20th in Blyth and you can find out the details and register here.

I learned so much during my residency in St. Andrews, NB and reconnected with the beauty of pure Canadian Briggs and Little wool and I'm going to bring all of that new learning and enthusiasm with me to the workshop! We'll try out some new techniques and broaden our creative horizons.

Kingsbrae Mugo Pine, Canadian Briggs & Little wool, Peruvian wool, & Beeswax on Wood Panel, 9" x 12 " x 1"

I'd love to see you at the Blyth workshop hosted by FACTS. Jennifer has created great energy and momentum around the studio and I cannot say enough good things about the recent two day natural dying workshop I enjoyed as a participant.  An entire weekend outside learning how to turn plants and flowers into natural wool dyes  - I was in heaven and have developed a new obsession with woad.

Unexpectedly vibrant colours - all from plants.

I have LOTS of glitzy upcoming holiday events to share with you, but we'll save those for another day. Its time to dig out my wool sweaters and head outside to watch the leaves fall.

Oh, before I forget - I'm finally on Instagram! (I know, I know - a little late.) You can follow what I'm up to and see my most recent work at @kathywhiteart.

Happy Autumn!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts

The KIRA Residency Building, designed by Canadian architect Edward Maxwell

It is difficult to know where to begin in describing the welcome I have received to the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts in St. Andrews, NB, along with four other very talented artists from around the globe. Nothing could have prepared me for the warmth of the people involved and the effort they have put into making our time here a true opportunity to pursue artistic creation and development.

My very first dedicated solo studio space and what a space to start with!

The residency is just one of the latest projects planned and implemented by the incredible philanthropist Mrs. Lucinda Flemer, whose family used the house as a summer home in her childhood.  You can learn more about Kingsbrae Gardens and Mrs. Flemer in this video, The Giving Garden. I highly recommend it for anyone who is feeling cynical about modern human nature.

The gardens are hugely inspirational, especially in the early morning, which is my favourite time to wander through them and snap photos of anything that is interesting. Right now, my imagination is captivated by the variety of textures you can find, even in the same plant.

Hens and Chickens in the gardens

My fellow artists in residence are the best of people and all hugely and uniquely talented.  Here are their websites, which are well worth a look.

Jacqui Symons
Anne Magratten
Che Min Hsiao
Jeremy Gilmer

Need I say more?
There is so much beauty here and also so much bonhomie and I have so very, very much I want to share with you and reflect in my work. But it will have to wait until I'm back home, because right now I am far too busy living it!

For now, let me just say that I feel so blessed to be here, experiencing this.

I hope that you too are experiencing a wonderful new opportunity this summer.

Happy July!


Monday, July 2, 2018

Early Morning in St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Early this morning in St. Andrews, NB

I am so honoured and excited to be taking part in the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts in  St. Andrews, NB. For the month of July, I will be one of five artists living on the grounds of the incredible Kingsbrae Gardens and working out of a studio there, inspired by everything this breathtaking area has to offer.

Life is good.

Early morning yesterday in Maine

Yesterday, after a scenic mountain journey from Quebec through Maine, we arrived in Sr. Andrews to find the town hopping with Canada Day celebrations. These guys do it up right and the waterfront was packed with smiling faces decked out in red and white.

Last night we stayed at the Huntsman Marine Institute, which gave us a perfect view of the Canada Day fireworks display. As we waited for them to begin, we saw a family of deer cross the Algonquin golf course with young fawns playing tag, barely visible in the evening light.

Just before the moon disappeared this morning, St. Andrews, NB.

This morning, I was far too excited to sleep though the dawn chorus and snuck outside to witness my first maritime sunrise.

Tomorrow is the first day of the residency and I can't wait. More to come!


PS - I have to thank all of the wonderful volunteers at the Blyth Festival Art Gallery one more time for making the opening night of Every Fibre of My Being such a success.

The people I spoke to were very kind and truly engaged in the arts. Carl and Kelly Stevenson provided excellent curation and emotional support for the opening. Thanks guys!

Making Waves at the Blyth Festival Art Gallery

And a special thanks to Rob and Cora Tetu for whipping up a delicious last minute dinner when we had to evacuate the planned restaurant due to a fire scare. Truly an adventurous evening and one I will never forget. Thanks to everyone involved!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Every Fibre of My Being

I am so excited to share with you the invitation for my soon to be open solo exhibition titled 'Every Fibre of My Being' held at the Bainton Gallery of the Blyth Festival in Blyth, ON.

The plans for this show were put in place over a year ago when I met with representatives from the gallery at the Silo Weavers' in St. Jacobs to show examples of my work. Thanks, Elsa!

When they informed me that my work would be used to open the festival for the 2018 season, I could not have been more pleased.

Wave 3A: Frothy, 10" x 10" x 1.5", Peruvian Highland and Canadian Wool with Beeswax on Wood Panel

This show will feature my newest body of work called 'Making Waves' where I explore the impact of evaluating each completed piece and using the results to inform the next while limiting myself to the subject of waves. This has been a fascinating process for me and I believe the results show up in the art!

'Making Waves' is as much about process as it is about any individual piece of art and, seen all together, I think they create a pretty interesting exhibition.

Wave 3B: Violet (Detail), 10" x 10" x 1.5", Peruvian Highland & Canadian Wools with Beeswax on Wood Panel

My 'Harrison Park Series' is also included in the show as well as several signature pieces, making this a true representation of my work to present, something I haven't seen collected in this manner before.

Harrison Park - July, 12" x 12" x 1.5", Assorted Wools and Beeswax on Wood Panel

The title 'Every Fibre of My Being' represents the large scope of this show and the reflection of my work in all of the various iterations, including some of the vintage embroidery floss work.

Flows Like Water At Dawn, Assorted Wools and Beeswax on Wood Panel, 36" x 36" x 1.5"

'Every Fibre of My Being' opens at 6 pm on June 22, 2018 at the Bainton Gallery in the Blyth Festival building, Blyth, ON. I'd love to see you there!

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the Bainton Gallery and the members that I have worked with so far. It is an honour to have my work shown in this mecca of rural creativity that is very much in line with my own artistic practice. Thanks to everyone, especially Carl and Rob, whose efforts have helped bring the show to fruition!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Catching Up With 2018 (or Creating As Fast As I Can)

Eastern Cottontail, Vintage Embroidery Floss, 4 x 4 x 1.5

Happy Spring! I love this time of year, don't you? This morning I heard a red-winged blackbird, one of my favourites.

2018 bolted out of the gate and I haven't had the opportunity to update you on developments. There's lots to be excited about and, if you follow the fibre arts community, you've probably noticed that fibre art is exploding right now. Good news all round.

The first event on my calendar this year is Collected Threads, a retrospective exhibition of the various contemporary fibre artists hosted by Elsa Elliott in the St. Jacobs Village Silos. For many years, Elsa has promoted a contemporary fibre artist in tandem with the Waterloo Region's Quilt and Fibre Art Festival through her iconic store The Silo Weavers which closed its doors last year. Collected Threads will feature a past and current work from 12 of the previous guest artists, including me. 

What a great idea! I can't wait to see the work and how artists have changed over the years.

Event: Collected Threads
Place: Village Silos, St. Jacobs, ON
When: May 22 - 26, 2018

Wave 3A - Frothy, 10 x 10 x 1.5, Peruvian Highland Wool, Alpaca and Beeswax on Board

Next, I am thrilled to announced that I am the opening artist in the Blyth Festival Art Gallery for the 2018 Blyth Festival season!  I am so excited about this and have a new body of work to show for the first time that is really something new! More on that soon.

Event: Every Fibre Of My Being, Solo exhibition
Place: Blyth Festival Art Gallery, Blyth, ON
When: June 22 - July 16, 2018

Wave 3B - Detail, 10 x 10 x 1.5, Canadian Wool and Beeswax on Board

Finally, just when I thought I used up all my exclamation marks, (drum roll please) I have been selected as one of five artists granted the Kingsbrae International Artist Residency for the Arts! (!!!) This is an amazing opportunity to spend a month living on 20 acres of award winning gardens in beautiful St. Andrews, New Brunswick, focused on creating art. Still having a hard time believing this one is real. 

So - lots going on and it is all extraordinarily interesting. I am having a blast right now and learning so much as I go. 

Hope to see you out and about this spring and summer. Maybe at a workshop? Hmm - more on that another day.

Enjoy the sunshine and plant some seeds!