Archive for the ‘Workshops’ Category

edmonton resilience festivalAt this time last year, I was wandering around the Middle East and wasn't about to take on any sort of creative commitment. This year, however, when I saw Elle Luna's #the100dayproject come around again, I knew I had to get in on it.

If you're not familiar with the project, the gist of it is that you decide to do something creative for 100 days and post about it on Instagram. You create your own hashtag so that all your posts can be found easily and you use #the100dayproject so that your work can be found by others. I love scrolling through the hashtag and seeing what people are coming up with.

I wanted to do something simple that wouldn't take me away from the work of my Drawing Project but that would also challenge me to engage every single day. I thought about doing 100 days of cartoons about my life but I was already focused on drawing and didn't want to add to that workload. I thought about whether there were things that I wanted to do more of in my everyday life and immediately realized it had to be field notes. Of course.

Field notes are the name that I give to any sketches drawn or notes written "in the field"—the field being anywhere that isn't at home or at work. They imply notetaking in the moment and the recording of observations. I tend to take a lot of field notes while traveling but I've been wanting to get into the habit in my regular life as well. I'm always coming home from walks with stories of the 'amazing' (at least to me) birds or flowers that I saw and I wanted to start intentionally recording these moments.

Thus began #100daysoffieldnotes. I'm on Day 9 and loving it. It's easy enough that I don't feel stressed about it (like other daily projects I've attempted), but it also makes me keep my head up and my eyes open when I'm walking around. Every time I catch myself staring at the sidewalk worrying about how anxious I feel (or some other meaningless thought spiral) I remember that I need to pay attention so I can find things to write down.

What am I writing? Anything that catches my eye and anything out of the ordinary. It doesn't have to be wildlife, and it doesn't have to really be that interesting. Today I saw three bananas at the foot of a light pole, yesterday I saw three cats on one block. Last week I went for what was supposed to be a short walk and spent 30 minutes stalking woodpeckers, juncos, and robins, taking notes the whole time. Sometimes I record sounds, sometimes smells, and sometimes I sketch whatever is in front of me when I have a minute—yesterday it was empty seats on the bus.

Why pay attention to bananas and cats and empty seats? Because paying attention, as I've written about before, builds creativity. When I announced the project, my mom posted this quote from Edward de Bono on my Facebook page and it couldn't be more accurate: "One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity."

What things are you taking for granted? What are you passing by each day without noticing? What creative connections are you missing, what ideas are you ignoring?

If you want to practice the art of taking field notes—the art of paying attention—join me in my workshop this Sunday at the Edmonton Resilience Festival. It's called Creative Adventuring: Finding Inspiration in your Everyday Surroundings. We'll spend some time wandering around outside, noticing everything that we can and collecting notes, sketches, photos, and artifacts. Then we'll come together, using what we found to create a collaborative art piece.

Start your note-taking practice and learn a new creative technique. You can buy tickets for my workshop and many others based on sustainability and resilience here


printmaking workshop edmonton

I am SO excited to announce that I'll be teaching a linocut printmaking workshop at Habitat here in Edmonton this month.

If you've never been, it's a sweet little store tucked into the 100-year-old McKenney Building on 104th Street that sells all kinds of hand crafted goods from Edmonton and beyond. I stopped in for the first time while visiting the summertime 104th Street Market and was charmed by the decor and the abundance of creative products.

This two-hour workshop will be a little taster of what's possible with linocut printmaking, and will leave you with at least 5 beautiful cards that you can be proud of. If your creativity needs a kickstart or you're looking for an excuse to get crafty before Christmas, now's your chance! I'll have ready-made designs available for you to use, or you can bring your own.

printmaking workshop edmonton

Here are the details:

Hand-printed Christmas Cards

With the rise in popularity of letterpress and other lo-fi printing technologies, your friends will be impressed when you send them a Christmas card printed with your own two hands. Learn how to carve and print a linoleum block, and create a unique batch of handmade cards to send to all your loved ones. 

Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Time: 7-9 pm

Place: Habitat Etc., 10187 104th Street

Cost: $45.00, including materials (not including tax)

If you're not familiar with linocut, it involves turning an image or design into a stamp that you can print with over and over again. You will be guided through the process of carving an image on the block and printing it on blank cards. Learn how you can practice this beautiful art form in your own home, with no art experience or press required.

Register here!

printmaking workshop edmonton

If you're interested in learning linocut but can't make it to this workshop, sign up for my mailing list (on the right side of the page) to find out when I'm running another one.

nuit blanche edmontonA couple weekends ago, Edmonton saw its first Nuit Blanche event take over downtown and transform it into one giant art party. There was a pedway full of balloons (well, half full), a stack of bouncy castles, 120 trees covered in wishes, decorated potholes and dozens of other creations.

I didn't get to see any of that. I was in my booth at the Grand Market from 7pm until 3am, selling my artwork and watching something amazing unfold.

I've been experimenting with pop-up workshops and interactive activities at markets and art sales. Normally people come to these events to see art and buy products, but I want to give them the chance to participate in another way. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, when people are only consumers and not participants, it's like they're "not allowed to contribute to the evolving story of a universe that's in motion."  I want to give people the chance to contribute to that story, in whatever small way they can. (more…)

personal mapsIf you've followed me from my I Heart Edmonton days, or have seen very much of my artwork, you'll know that I'm a teensy bit obsessed with maps. I'm inspired by them and love incorporating them in my work. What's the big deal about maps? I could write for days about all the interesting things I've learned about them (and maybe someday I will), but for now I'll just share what I think is one of their most interesting features: how we can use them to tell stories. (more…)

scarab prints

What I love most about teaching this workshop is that it's not just about making linoleum block prints. That's a huge part of it, obviously, but there are a few other things that I think it's important to teach, and they're things you might not have thought of. Here are four of them:

1. How to take an idea from start to finish

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you have the best idea for a project, or something new you want to try. You go out and get all the supplies and dive in, full of enthusiasm, only to give it up halfway through without finishing. We all do this. When something gets hard, frustrating, or even just a little less exciting, we tend to give up and move on to other things. I used to do it all the time. In this workshop, however, you'll get the satisfaction of starting something, and then finishing it. You will leave knowing exactly how to overcome those frustrating challenges that might have made you give up if you were doing it on your own. And hopefully that sense of satisfaction you get from completing a project will motivate you to try and finish more. (more…)