Wednesday, January 15, 2014

come join me on my new blog shawn o'hagan. it starts off where this one ended.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

on my drive up to gros morne at the end of october, heading to a month long craft residency in woody point, i came up with a project. i wanted to do something that i would leave in the community. i also had just been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in my spine and i wanted to pay attention to that.
 recently i'd come across the ancient celtic tradition of the "cloutie tree". "cloutie" is the scottish word for "cloth" and cloutie trees can still be found in scotland, ireland and west coast england.  these "wishing" trees were always located beside a well or a brook. if you had a health problem, you would take a piece of cloth, dip it in the water, place it on the part of your body that was sick and then hang it on the tree.
overtime the cloth would fray and your body would heal.

i chose a tree in a meadow at the edge of town. an old plum tree. with the most magnificent view of the bay and gros morne mountain. every evening i would embroider a body part on a piece of cloth..
sometime during the next day i would walk to the tree, dip the cloth in the nearby brook, place it on my body and then hang it on the tree. i began with my own body. then my family's bodies, my friend's bodies. every day the weather was different and the feeling was different. sun and rain and wind and snow as the weeks passed - october into november.

i then began on the earth as a body. what does the earth need to make it whole and healthy? air and sun and rain .joy and laughter. compassion. friends who visited me in woody point added their own clouties.

on the last day of my residency i visited the tree at dawn and hung the last cloutie.

this past weekend i was back in woody point and in the middle of a snow storm i visited to the tree. all the cloth was wrapped in on itself. keeping warm. i'll see it again in the spring.

Monday, December 2, 2013

winter hit woody point hard this weekend. heavy snow was falling during the 2 day workshop with anna torma at the merchant warehouse building. such a different feeling from a month ago when i was teaching. the warm sunlight flooding in.  what i wanted and what i learned was how to loosen up my stitches. anna makes huge embroidered textile pieces. uses her needle and thread like a paint brush. makes bold statements with a million tiny stitches.
we kept ourselves warm with good conversation, bright colours from anna's hand dyed silk threads. and plenty of delicious food from stan and jenny all weekend long.

Friday, November 29, 2013

anna torma, from new brunswick (but internationally known) is in woody point now for the 2nd gros morne craft residency. tonight she is giving an artist talk at the merchant warehouse in woody point and this weekend she will be offering a 2 day workshop (saturday and sunday 10-4) at the merchant warehouse:
"Anna uses silk fabrics and threads to create both flat and relief pieces. She will introduce her workshop with a presentation about her practice as a fibre artist and demonstrate with pictures and fabrics how a project usually develops from inspiration to design, execution and final selection.
Using a basic vocabulary of hand stitching, the group will sew together different pieces of fabrics and found objects, playing with colours, texture and patterns, learning different ways and techniques to create an even susrface from fragments. Equally important in this workshop are the aesthetics of the final piece and meditative quality of the hand-working process. Previous experience with hand sewing and embroidery is an asset, but not necessary" (taken from the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Council web site)
The workshop (for 2 days) is only $50.00 and lunch and many materials are included. There are still a few openings.
 anna's work is amazing. i'll be heading up early tomorrow morning to take the workshop and am super excited to have this opportunity... call molly at 1 709 453-2538 to sign up.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

since i've been back home, daily life has taken over. the day after i returned, keith's mum had a fall and hit her head and was kept in hospital for a week for observation. she's fine now, but we spent days and evenings with her to make her stay more comfortable. and the washing machine broke down and had to be replaced. so that meant lugging laundry to a friend's house before we got a new one installed
. and a big yarn order was waiting for me when i got home, so all my creative energy is going into dyeing and spinning again.
the greatest gift an artist residency gives you is time to work. when everything else is pushed to the background. when you get up each morning and all you have to do is make. and when you have unlimited, uninterrupted time, you notice more. during the first week of my residency, along the trail, behind the house, the golden larch needles looked like crazy stitching. this was the inspiration for "larch in autumn". yesterday i sent it, along with 2 other paintings to the emma butler gallery in st. john's.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I've been back in corner brook a few days now and beginning to settle back in. I've just returned from spending a month at the gros morne craft residency in  woody point in the beautiful gros morne national park here on the west coast of newfoundland. I had hoped to keep this blog going during my stay but couldn't figure out how to get my photos onto my ipad, So all my entries were on facebook.
What inspired me most, what I carried back with me, were the skies. day and night.
Where the artist's house is located, I had a 360 degree panorama. I would stand on the front deck and spin. My new paintings are all about the sky.

Friday, October 18, 2013

this sunday i'm heading off to woody point to start a month long gros morne national park craft residency. an opportunity to spend lots of time on my own work and also make connections with craftspeople in the area - with an artist talk, mentoring, a 2-day work shop and a visit to a local school. if I have internet access i'll be keeping this blog going. if not, know that i'm making and walking and recording and will come home with tonnes of inspiration to share.