Living the dream, writing a grant proposal. Not a lot of fun. Much rather be arting. The Beaverton posted a funny story about this last week. Very funny. Enjoy.
Just finished this piece on canvas. It's a painting of birch bark - using acrylic paint, paper, drywall compound, and sewn-on beads. It's called Wiigwaas Naanookaasi (Birch Bark Hummingbird).
I just recently started using beads in my paintings. At first I was glueing them on, now I'm sewing them in. I really enjoy the bead-sewing process. I was inspired by a good friend of mine, Jean Marshall, who is an amazing traditional and customary visual artist. Her beadwork and leatherwork is highly sought after.
This picture was shot close-up so you can see how I used the beads for this work. Here's a link for more pictures of this artwork. Look carefully to see what animal you can spot.
This artwork is part of an ongoing series called Deconstructing Pocahontas and is dedicated to Matoaka of the Powhatan Nation; or Pocahontas, as she is more popularly known. The true story of her life, her disappearance, and her death remains unknown. As a result, she is shaped and reshaped to fit Western ideologies while her true identity is ignored. Four hundred years later, the cycle continues as Indigenous women are murdered and go missing without reparation. It is important to recognize and commemorate these women.
The response I’ve received for "The One" wearable art piece has been very inspiring. Thank you, everyone. For this reason, I’ve decided to create a mixed media version of it on panel. The materials I'm using are drywall compound, acrylic paint, cheese cloth, leather lacing, and paper. This is how it stands so far. I’ll share a picture when it’s finished. Stay tuned!
I want to share something that means a lot to me... Last year one of my pieces, a three-panel painting (triptych) called Tonto, was purchased by Debra Chenier of Chenier Fine Arts gallery and donated to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for their Cancer Centre. Debra’s art donation is in memory of her friend and colleague, Ken Wabegijig, who passed away earlier in the year of cancer. Ken was a well-liked traditional craftsman known in the community for his smudge bowls, rattles, and dreamcatchers. More recently my father was successfully treated at the Cancer Centre, making this contribution even more important to me. In fact, it is the proudest moment of my art career.
I recently had the privilege to work with celebrated Ojibwe artist Michael Belmore at our Neechee Studio workshops for aboriginal youth. A lot of his work is sculptural, and for this workshop he shared with us his process for sculpting in white clay and firing/smoking in open pits. This technique creates hardened clay pieces with a unique blackened surface. The best part of all, the youth got to exhibit their sculptures alongside Michael’s work at Definitely Superior Art Gallery as part of the annual Urban Infill event. A super great experience for everyone!
Look what I got! An amazing Christian Chapman print called "Slednecks Of The World, Unite And Take Over." It's a wonderful and generous gift from talented artist Lora Northway for helping with Neechee Studio. Lora is a lead coordinator for this program, which provides traditional and contemporary art workshops for aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay. So happy!