Saturday, October 15, 2011

John W. Gardner: Quote

      “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

                                     John W. Gardner


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2011

Drawing sewn on Canvas    Artwork and Photo by Margaret Braun   SOLD
Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.

I spent the morning cooking a BIG batch of perogies and baking a European-style golden-flax loaf of bread for dinner.

This sunny and warm afternoon 22C (76F), I ran in my favourite park and, later, walked through a golden sea of autumn leaves. The Canadian Geese were flying in V-formation and practiced their landings.

I'm at home now, but, will be heading out in a few minutes to commune with my family and enjoy a delicious supper.

What am I grateful for today?  Pretty much EVERYTHING!  All is well in my life and has been for a very long time.  I feel VERY blessed.

If I had to list the top three things I'm thankful for they would be:

1.  The large community of BEAUTIFUL people in my life -- both family and friends -- and the new grandbaby that is still safely snuggled in my daughter's tummy whom I saw in a 3D movie last Sunday.

2.  This AMAZING country!  How stunning and diverse it is!

3.  The GOOD FORTUNE of being an active member in the art community.

I KNOW that I am blessed.

Thank you.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

George Bernard Shaw: Quote

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

                                                                    George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keri Smith: Mess

Mess by Keri Smith

Tuesday’s are Play Days!

My friend, Linda, and I get together every Tuesday evening to play.  We laugh a lot and it’s contagious to those around us.

We do entertaining and mindless “doings”.  Either from our own imaginations or with a little help and inspiration from Keri Smith’s book “Mess” (available through Keri's shop and Amazon) we have:  created only blue collages; dropped beet juice on to paper from the highest climbing pole in the playground; walked in the woods gathering organic materials -- smearing, wiping, rubbing, squwooshing (technical term) on to paper producing a hodgepodge of marks  and colours; with our eyes closed, coloured a line drawing with several different wax crayons; followed the outline of a squiggly circular shape 100 times really, really, really fast; ambled through a golden field of autumn leaves scattering them about and rustling up trails; hiked along the river and photographed markings that look like contour drawings; took a copy of a 1900-something photograph filled with very rigid, serious men and drew silly and vibrant articles on their heads, faces and bodies;  collected interesting rocks and relocated them elsewhere;  gathered feathers and drew them; illustrated silly objects on a profile drawing of a deciduous tree; and continue to do other imaginative and intriguing things….

Keri quotes John Cage in her blog, "Purposeless play -- this play is an affirmation of life -- not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvement in creation.  but simply a way of waking up to the very life we are living, which is so excellent once one gets one's mind and desires out of the way and lets it act of its own accord."

Would you share with us what you have done lately or would like to do?

We would love to hear about your ideas!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bearclaw Gallery: Aaron Paquette

Artwork by Aaron Paquette exhibited at Bearclaw Gallery  

What a FABULOUS Alberta Art Days weekend!

Visiting the art galleries was so enjoyable!  I met friends, artists, new people and others I haven’t seen in years!  Some of you have emailed or facebooked (is that a word?) letting me know where in the province you were and the different activities you participated in.  What fun!

I had the pleasure of finally meeting Aaron Paquette at the Bearclaw Gallery opening reception on Saturday.

Originally, I “met” Aaron through iTunes.  He published a podcast called “Secrets of Success for the Creative Being” which I have relished.   His words reinforce what I have already come to know or discover what I have yet to learn.  He shares with us stories and words of wisdom from family members that lead to his experiences and insights.  Aaron has a beautiful way of using words to paint images in your mind.  He promised me that he would continue to publish more podcasts.

Correspondingly, he also writes a whimsical, interesting and informative blog, “The art of Aaron Paquette".   Plus,  Aaron is my facebook friend!

On Saturday, when we greeted one another I felt as though I knew him.

He personally toured interested onlookers through his world of paintings relating stories, thoughts and native beliefs.  I could feel the warmth, strength, peace and the bliss in his words and images.

If you would like to view the exhibition in person you have until 13 October 2011. 

The best part of this weekend, however, came when my five-year-old grandson called to see if he could join me in my studio.  We explored all the paraphernalia that it holds and then painted.  His final painting was pinned outside my studio wall for all to see.  That was the best!

Sorry Aaron.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Alberta Arts Days 2011

Alberta Art Days  September 30 - October 2, 2011

Alberta Arts Days is an annual celebration of our culture, heritage, artistic diversity and provincial pride. All galleries, communities, governments, organizations, schools, libraries, media outlets, cultural and recreation facilities, and individual Albertans join in the celebration!

Alberta Arts Days began in 2008 as a one-day event to recognize the value of Alberta's arts and cultural communities. Since then, it has expanded into a vibrant, three day, province-wide celebration.  This inspirational movement has raised the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life.

Last year, thousands of Albertans discovered, experienced and celebrated our unique culture, heritage, artistic diversity and provincial pride through 682 events in 91 communities throughout the province. Alberta Arts Days 2011, September 30 to October 2, will continue to showcase the province's artists, arts organizations and cultural industries, while encouraging Albertans to discover the important role the arts plays in developing a prosperous, vibrant society.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paul Klee: Quote

"A line is a dot that went for a walk."

                             - Paul Klee

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Figure Drawing: 9 Tips on Life Drawing

Figure sewn on canvas                    Artwork and Photo:  Margaret Braun        $235

  1. With each model, I find myself asking, "What really characterizes the person?"
  2. Even though you may be a little anxious about your drawing, remember to breathe.
  3. Because I love hands, I will always include them.  They say so much about a person.  So do the eyes.
  4. If you are having trouble with something, focus on that.  For example, I had trouble drawing feet so I drew them over and over again -- for months.  Keep at it!
  5. Don't forget to breathe!
  6. Look at the drawing of the masters.  Ask other artists that you are drawing with for their advice.
  7. Are you breathing?
  8. If you aren't getting the results you want try something new.  Draw with other mediums.  I encourage my fellow artists to draw with their left hand.  
  9. Don't take yourself or your work too seriously!  Have fun!

    Remember:  If you are in Edmonton, join us at Harcourt House Art Centre on Wednesday, 28 September 2011.  I will be facilitating the drawing session.  Would love to meet you!

    Would you like to add your "Top Tips" to the list?

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Figure Drawing: Give it a Try!

    Figure sewn on canvas     Artwork and Photo:  Margaret Braun      SOLD
    There is a long tradition of drawing the human form; figure drawing is, infact, the traditional cornerstone of formal art training.  If you really want to improve all aspects of your drawing, you should give life drawing a try!

    Wednesday, 28 September 2011, I will be monitoring a life-drawing session at the Harcourt House Art Education Centre, 10215 - 112 Street, from 7:00 -10:00 p.m.  Please feel free to join us.

    If you live in another city, give life drawing a try.  It is a challenge!

    If you are a first-timer, please let me know how you did.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    What I did on my Summer Vacation

    Collaborative Mark Making                       Photo:  Margaret Braun

    I have been enjoying this summer!  Even though I live in Edmonton I believe it’s NOT OVER YET!!  September is a beautiful month with temperatures ranging from 20C - 28C (72F - 88F).

    Teaching 5 - 11 year-olds the art of bookmaking at Harcourt House Kids Art Camp
    Photo:  Margaret Braun

    My life was filled with many, many family and friends, birthdays, weddings, new family members, meeting new people, a cornucopia of festivals, hiking, cycling, playing, jogging, corporate challenge events, a global urban sketchers drawing gathering, designing new hand-made books, bookbinding,

    Native Dancer                              Photo:  Margaret Braun

    exploring the comical world of the BBC, drawing, painting, exploring the pond in a paddle boat, canoeing, visiting galleries, "stars and science centre" as my grandson has come to call it, museums, discovering new milkshakes, exploring the river, soccer, baseball, marvelling at the sunrises and sunsets, studio openings, figure drawing, barbeques, live concerts, dancing, blowing bubbles, flying kites, watching tight-rope walkers, uncovering organic materials for mark making, watching the deer,
    Hula Hoops             Photo:  Margaret Braun
    celebrating the arrival of new birds, observing ducks and geese, undertaking research, picking saskatoon berries in the woods, dining on vegetables in the garden, collecting wildflowers, drumming with my friends, singing backup, dyeing natural fabrics with organic materials, getting lost and found in a corn maze, teasing and frolicking throughout the maze, having fun on the playground with children and adults, jumping on the jumpy thing, attending carnivals, pow wows, picnics, stargazing,  making collages with only the colour blue, laying on the grass and watching the clouds, long runs in the warm summer rain, bowling, appeared on television, run/walk for charities, learning about Feng Shui, meeting new neighbours, visiting a new lake, teaching bookmaking at a kid's art camp, running through fields of glistening red and blue dragon flies,  hula-hooping,  cookouts, drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, crayon art, painting with feathers, jumping in the fountain pool in front of city hall, water fights, playing with transformers, camping in a tent in my living room, making smores in the microwave and watching the marshmallows grow, hide-and-go-seek, climbing trees, playing tag, puddle jumping, spinning until we were dizzy, skipping stones, gathering feathers ….