Happy Canada Day!

What a wonderful day it has been! This has been our busiest day of the year so far, with 30 visitors at the studio, and 64 people served at the Café. I’ve been hearing wonderful feedback from customers, and all feels right with the world.

I spent a wonderful couple of hours at The REACH today where there were so many happy faces- people genuinely pleased with the progress of the museum, archives, artisan marketplace, and the new exhibit by Tracy Blackwood in the art gallery… such a beautiful space made even better by beautiful smiles. So much positivity!

And then, to top it all off, the Town of New-Wes-Valley put off an impressive fireworks display right in Norton’s Cove, from the floating docks that were installed late last year by the province right where the old Brookfield wharf was.

Oh Canada! I know we’re not rated as the best country in the world, but man, it’s a pretty wonderful place that we’re living in. My little part of this country seems pretty hard to beat. And I’m very thankful every day to have been born just up the road at Brookfield Hospital as a Canadian citizen and a Newfoundlander.

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In the Studio

Dried flowers from a bouquet sent to me from friends in Alberta on the occasion of my 20th business anniversary are placed in my old shop shelves to remind me of the milestone. I’ve been dealing with a real inner struggle about whether my 20 years in business is something to celebrate or something to feel really dismal about. I love what I do, what I’ve created here (with the help of lots of other people), and what we offer. But it has not been a financial success by any measure, and it’s still a gut wrenching struggle from day to day, season to season. I know I’m lucky in many ways, but man, would it be nice to not be worried about money! But I’m a risk-taker, and instead of planning to sell my business and take the pressure off, I go back to work on my business plan. Looking for what I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong and what I can do to overcome all the weaknesses. I have learned a lot in the past 20 years, and hope to put that to good use to make life better. There it is- that’s what the milestone is, learning.

The studio is open for summer hours:

Sunday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Monday
Closed
Tuesday
Closed
Wednesday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm

And now, off to put new stock in the shelves, tidy up my office (a messy office leads to all kinds of bad vibes!) and order up a bite to eat from my favourite restaurant… And after I close up the studio for the day, I’m off to The REACH (my other job) to hang a new exhibition that opens tomorrow! There is an opening reception for Tracy Blackwood’s AMASS at the Art Gallery at The REACH on Canada Day from 3 to 6pm. I hope to see some of my loyal readers there!

Museum Spotlight — The REACH

For those of you who follow my blog, you might be interested in the blog over at The REACH as well! There’s lots happening at the old museum, the art gallery, and coming soon, artisan showcases! I’m really looking forward to seeing The REACH reopened this summer, and hope to see some of you there at events! Take a trip over to http://www.thereachweb.wordpress.com.

We are pleased to start showing you around our newly designed space! Our three room schoolhouse, built in 1930 as Memorial School, now uses those three rooms a little differently. One of those large rooms now houses four display areas for museum artefacts, plus two ends which make shelving displays, and the walls are filled […]

Museum Spotlight — the REACH

Work in Progress

I started working on a new linocut piece a few weeks ago, based on an old photograph of the wharves in Wesleyville. I’ve been doing a bit a research and sizing up where exactly the picture was taken, and my amateur historian guess is that this is the area where the ‘pound’ is at the Wesleyville Marine Service Centre looking to the right of that at around 1900.

From The Sea, Our Life-Blood by the Ocean View Senior Citizens
First, I drew the image onto a piece of linoleum using a Sharpie. The image has to be mirrored in order to print correctly onto paper.
I carved the image using v and u shaped blades.
I have an awful habit of doubting my ability with every image I make, and earlier today I was suggesting to Duke that the whole thing might not work out and that perhaps I was just wasting my time with the carving this close to the Craft Fair (main sales event of the year for me). He scoffed at the idea. But my confidence is still pretty shaky, despite being a professional artist for 27 years already.
And so here is the carved plate, ready to be washed, inked, and proofed tonight. If you’d like to see some printmaking in action, please do stop by and keep me company! Let’s see if this image turns out to be a treasure or trash!

UPDATE:

Later the same night… the inked lino on the press bed
The first proof fresh off the press
And with a bit of watercolour added to really get an idea of what it’ll look like finished.

So now that I have my first proof pulled, I can see that there are a couple of areas that I need to change with the carving. Once that’s done, I’ll cut all my paper to size, about 50 sheets, tidy up the studio (have to sweep up Jack hair before laying out ink!), and away I go! I’ll be editioning very soon- please feel free to drop in to see how it’s done in person!

I’m pretty happy with the image at first look- what do you think? Treasure or trash?