06
May
21

Moving On!

I’ve been a potter for over 30 years, and have had my share of disappointments and some minor disasters…..but last week i had one that kinda topped them all! I loaded a bisque kiln – approximately $5,500 worth of product and basically 2-3 weeks worth of work (i am after all over 65 so semi retired!!!). My fabulous kiln is computer controlled and i have had total and utter faith in it for the past 10 years. I programmed it for the usual bisque (cone 07, approx. 1700 degrees F) but somehow i made a small error (don’t need to go into the details) and the kiln fired to cone 6, which is a glaze kiln! My first tip off was when i entered the studio the next day, i was expecting a nice cozy warm studio…..which is a lovely off shoot of firing over night – to find it way hotter than i expected! On checking the computer i found out what the issue was…it had gone to 2300 degrees F! What now, well i felt kinda nauseous – i knew the contents would be useless in terms of glazing them! The pots needs to be porous to allow the glaze to be absorbed! Ok, so a couple of days of feeling rather down, but the only thing to do is Move On!!!

So a couple of days later i unloaded it and took the hammer to it all…which was oddly satisfying!

Preparing enough work for the rather unpredictable summer ahead, is already rather difficult – but add onto that the fact that I am heading to BC, at the end of May for the whole month of June – my daughter Morgan is due to give birth to her first baby on the 4-5 June, and come hell or high water i will be there! I couldn’t miss this event for anything…Covid be damned! I will also have the absolute pleasure of being with my other daughter, Bronwyn (they are identical twins) and her little baby (born December 2020) Brighson! Such an exciting time, but also so tinged with trepidation!!!!

The past week has been busy here, i’ve revamped my production schedule (removed a few items!!) and now i’m in the groove with work progressing.

The showroom will be open to the public at the beginning of July….stay tuned for updates of opening of studio and showroom times.

04
Apr
21

Into the Caves.

In my last post i mentioned the book i’m reading, First Signs, and how it seems to be eliciting images of cave like spaces. I’m continuing on with this process and finding it very inspiring. These next 3 images have had a couple of layers added, not sure if they are done yet, but i like where they are presently.

All 3 are 12″ x 12″ birch veneer, layer of Venetian plaster then cold wax and oil paint.

29
Mar
21

Start Where you Are!

I have decided to resurrect my old blog, and so instead of trying to recap over the past 4-5 years I’m starting right here, right now.

For the past 2-3 years i have been rather dedicated to exploring cold wax and oil as a painting medium, and because of requests from my family and others, to see some of these images ( a lot of people don’t use face book or instagram), so today i will do a short introduction to my paintings.

Cold wax and oil is a way of applying paint to a surface, mostly a hard surface like birch veneer. These surfaces are covered with gesso and then they are ready to go! My main interest is in exploring abstract images….i guess i would say I’m a ‘process’ oriented painter, which just means, i make marks, put down paint and keep responding to what I’m seeing. I’m never sure where I’m going or what will appear! One of the main attractions for me is the ability to lay down many layers of paint, scrape thro to reveal what has gone before. Of particular interest for me right now incorporates the use of Venetian plaster as an under layer.

Here is one of the first images I made using plaster as an under painting, this image is 12″ x 12″.

I’m also very intrigued with the notion of what happens in the subconscious part of the brain, how we as painters process the visual world around us and then, for example, without taking such ideas as trees, or grass literally, we might find tree like marks emerging.

I’ve been reading a very enthralling book, The First Signs, that explores what types of marks were being created over 100,000 years ago……much of the book refers to images found deep inside caves, all over the world! It is an astonishing read! When i looked at this image after making it, i saw a cave like image with light coming thro….exposing some ancient hidden marks! None of this was intentional!

That’s all for the time being.

29
Dec
19

+-Testing….

02
Jan
16

Here’s to a New Year.

This being the 2nd day of 2016 i am thinking back over the past year…it has been a wonderful year, full and rich….and i think i actually sold more pots!!!

Just a few highlights…

after the busy summer months i managed to have a couple of days of retreat down at the A cabin, that was well needed and gave me the energy to get things ready for the christmas season.   It’s not as busy as it used to be, preparing for the big shows in Toronto was monumental, shifting gears down to a more realistic production list for what shows i do here is difficult…but it seems to be in my blood to work hard and produce more pots that i actually need here on Cape Breton Island, luckily they can last well for next season.  It is after all a very seasonal place and by the end of October we’re moving into a quieter time.   But i had 3 small markets to do, so i got to it and had a great time, produced some very satisfying kiln loads….especially in the Oceanic glazed pieces!

The first show was our 2nd annual “Holiday Affair” show at the Centre for Craft & Design in Sydney.   Here’s a few shots of my display, Sarah’s display (another potter) and Sandra and Peter’s display – amazing jewelry.

holiday affair 3

holiday affair 5

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Some new pieces….the sake sets were pretty popular, mind you i only made a few but they seemed to be a success.

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New teapot form!

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and a glimpse of the studio mid production.   I always love this view!!!

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After a weeks break i headed back into the studio and have, for the first time in a few years, begun production for this upcoming season!   This weekend will be my last in the pottery for the next 3 months!

Then i get to focus on painting, reading, researching and just letting the days flow without a huge agenda.   I feel so blessed to be able to do this, and it sure makes dealing with our winters much more enjoyable.

Wishing everyone who reads this little blog a very Happy New Year…and may your dreams be huge and fulfilling and your troubles be small and insignificant.

04
Oct
15

Six months later!

I am rather stunned to realise it has been 6 months since i last posted a blog…..it’s been a very busy season for sure! I’m just going to do a small overview of the past few months…some of the highlights!

Starting back in May, we had our annual Meditation retreat here, 18 of us were in attendance and the 2 monastics from Gampo Abbey were as always, outstanding!
group

June was an interesting month! I ended up with terrible tendinitis in my left thumb….i guess i got a bit too enthusiastic about getting lots of work done! But the more exciting thing was my dear friend Mimi, from Toronto, was invited to be the stage director for a fabulous play here in Baddeck, The Bells of Baddeck. It was a great success, but the best part was having my old buddy just down the road for a couple of weeks. We managed to get in quite a few visits….here she is, center of the image, on opening night!
mimi play

Amidst all the usual comings and goings of summer, July being a busy month at our weekly market, Jane Alderdice, another Toronto friend who moved here last year….and i put on our first ever joint show! It was wonderful to be doing such an event with her. We’ve known each other for over 30 years, and finally we got to show our art together! The show was such a success with probably over 100 folks showing up on the friday evening….we plan to continue this and make it a yearly event.
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Then August hit….and it was full on busy days….lots of folks coming up the Hill to buy pottery, the cabins full to overflowing….and Terry decided it was time to get rid of the old porch and rebuild a new one! the last image here is the burning of the old porch (after it had been removed!!!)
porch 4inspectorfire 4

The other highlight of August was that finally, after 40 years living in Canada, i became a Canadian Citizen …. i got to take part in a very moving ceremony out at the Fortress of Louisburg!
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Finally September and 2 wonderful highlights – the first one was the 4 day workshop with Diana Sanford, that i have been planning and looking forward to for about a year! Finally the week arrived, Diana was here for a week, staying in the Cozy A cabin and another great friend from Toronto came to take part in the workshop, Lynne Freeman! What a week it was! the actual workshop blew my mind….it far exceeded my wildest dreams! Here are some images!

Diana demonstrating on one of my paintings!
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Sumi ink underpainting.
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Pastel on top of another ink underpainting.
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Lynne and Jane in the Zone!
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The Happy Gang!
diana's group

The other fabulous event in September….we’re nearly at the end! My wonderful daughter Morgan came to stay for a week! We had the best time ever! Lots of sunny days, hikes, crepes for breakfast and more!
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And now here we are at the beginning of October – hopefully i won’t wait another 6 months before the next post!

21
Apr
15

Back in the Saddle…

After a fabulous 3 months of painting, reading and recharging i got myself back into the mudroom this past weekend for the beginning of the 2015 season. Let’s get going!! So with the daunting production list i have set forth for myself i have a lot of work to do…..and today i realised that it’s less than 3 weeks till Mothers Day! For the past 4-5 years i’ve begun the season with this little show! Well after some deliberations with the boss (Zoe!) i decided it would be a good goal to set for myself…get a couple of kiln loads ready and on the shelves for May 10th!
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And here are just a few of the pieces i did over the past couple of months:
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24
Mar
15

Upcoming Art Workshop.

I’m in the process of organizing this year’s art workshop in Baddeck, Cape Breton Island! I’m so excited to be bringing Diana Sanford http://dianasanford.com/ for a 4 day workshop, September 10 – 13th.

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Here is a brief description of the workshop ….. and have a look at her website, she has an amazing range of talent.

JAM SESSION!
An experiential drawing and painting workshop

Ever wonder why we “play” music but do art “work”? Come and practice improvising in this playful, interactive workshop. The ability to be spontaneous, receptive and in the moment is vital in our creative process. In this workshop, through carefully structured exercises, you’ll train your brain to readily engage the spontaneous mode, strengthening it to become an equal partner in your art making. This is a fun, interactive and intense workshop open to all with basic comfort with the materials.

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I’m heading off to Cuba tomorrow…i know, poor me right – so this is just a quick post to start getting your juices flowing. I’m still working out the final cost of this 4 day workshop, but right now I can give a ball park figure of somewhere between $350 – 400. I’ll be getting in touch with B & B’s in the area to see if I can work out a special rate for participants. To enable us to have room for a maximum of 14 participants, we will conduct the workshop at the Masonic Hall in Baddeck, and not here at Big Hill. The space was fine for 8-9 folks, but that drove the price up, i want to keep the cost as low as possible.

Feel free to contact me at lindawright@seasidehighspeed.com if you would like to reserve a place.

That’s it for now, off to pack!

10
Jan
15

Happy New Year!

Now that all the ‘holiday’ stuff is done with i’m happily adapting to my new status of ‘on sabbatical’ for the next 3 months. Closed down the mudroom mid December after giving it a really good clean, reorganized it to accommodate the new to me slab roller!

I’ve been deeply immersed in reading, painting, taking photographs….reading about taking photographs, reading about painting……all very soul satisfying! With winter comes a more introspective time for most of us, and it is also a time for me to try and get myself back into shape. Walking most days, even when it has been -20 out there, i’m determined to kick off the extra few pounds that always seem to accumulate over the summer!
hills
grasses 1

My amazing amaryllis is giving me an abundance of inspiration….here are a few ‘sketches’, done on stone paper, 6″ x 8″ and one pastel painting, all derived from a single, black and white macro image:

amaryllis painting 1

amaryllis painting 2

amaryllis painting 3

original photo:
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Then the pastel painting, 12″ x 16″ on uart sanded paper.
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I’m extremely lucky to find myself in a position to stop work for a few months and delve into my other passions…..as of yet, i don’t miss the mudroom!

25
Nov
14

Marla Baggetta’s Workshop.

On the weekend of October 24th-26th we had the pleasure of having Marla Baggetta here at Big Hill for a Pastel Painting Workshop.
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http://www.marlabaggetta.com/

What an amazing treat it was, in all ways. First of all to have the pleasure of finally meeting Marla, after many months of emails and phone calls…..I can only say that I was absolutely delighted, she is such a warm and generous woman…..totally present with each and every one of us during the workshop. I think I can speak for the other 8 folks that participated, we had the most amazing time.

Day one was a bit of a blur for me, and I must admit to feeling a wee bit stressed – this is the first ‘art retreat’ I have organized and there were many things that i didn’t anticipate! Not least of which was the abundance of flies that emerged when the heat was turned on up in the 2nd floor barn space!!! I sat in absolute horror as Marla gave her introductory talk, about an hour, and the flies just kept on appearing!! Luckily she has a good sense of humor and I got much help from other participants as we took a break and vacuumed them up! But i have to say, it was an ongoing issue! I’ll get that sorted out for next year for sure!!!

But despite this annoyance we proceeded with our first few exercises….Value Studies.
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We spent most of that first day watching Marla do demo’s and creating our own value studies. I found it so helpful in my limited understanding of this very important aspect of painting!

Day 2: Marla demonstrated a couple of her famous “Variations”…..
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Then we got to use her composition to create our own interpretation of this exercise. It was so enlightening to first of all watch as she created the image….to witness the emergence of the piece in real-time was so useful. But then to copy that process – I loved being able to refer to her piece and then try to figure out how she got the results!

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In between all this fabulous painting and learning, we had the most amazing and abundant food! Each of us took on one meal to offer and therefore it was a great experience of different flavors! The day usually concluded around 4 pm and we all dispersed to do whatever we wanted, before meeting up for dinner.

Day 3: Now we were all rock’n and rollin’ – even the flies weren’t giving me the grief of the first day. Marla managed to take it in her stride, the way she coped with the flies coupled with a rather wonky easel….she was nothing short of a marvel! I honestly can’t say enough about the way she imparted her abundant knowledge with such graciousness. She has that rare quality in a teacher…willing and able to give her all, with kindness and humor……In my books she is the Pastel Goddess!!!

Here are a few images from the final demo she did on day 3!

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Finally, let me tell anyone who is contemplating a workshop with Marla to absolutely go for it. Her ability to inspire and encourage each of us at our various stages of ability was so powerful, I think we all left after the weekend with a strong desire to continue painting.

Here we are, a happy bunch of artists!
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Linda Wright, Potter.

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