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!
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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:

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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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15
Nov
14

A HOLIDAY AFFAIR!

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Why not plan to join us at the Cape Breton Center for Craft & Design on Friday evening, November 21st, from 5 – 8pm….there will be some delicious appetizers available and you can purchase a glass of wine to make your shopping experience more enjoyable. This event is free, no tickets need to be purchased. We will be open again on Saturday 22nd, from 10am – 5pm and there will be live music to keep your toes tapping as you browse and shop. Doktor Luke’s Coffee House will be setting up a coffee bar to help keep the munchies at bay….


Wild Fire Pottery:

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Peter Bauer Jewellery:
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Bellemeade Farm Shoppe:

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Big Hill Pottery:
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A percentage of our sales will go directly to Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. Come and enjoy the festivities and take home some beautiful handmade presents and help support local artists here on Cape Breton Island!

04
Nov
14

Upcoming show.

It has been a crazy busy summer and fall, with one of the highlights the amazing 3 day workshop with Marla Baggetta….see her website here.  http://www.marlabaggetta.com/  It was such a fabulous experience and next week i will write a full blog dedicated to it.

But for today, i want to let everyone know that i will be having a one day Pop Up show at the Ugly Mug, in Sydney Nova Scotia!

NOT JUST AN UGLY MUG!!!!

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH, 10 AM – 5 PM.
UGLY MUG, 1290 Kings Rd, Sydney,

http://www.uglymugcafe.ca/

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Come visit us, have a great coffee, something delicious to munch on … and see a wider range of my pottery. Hope to see you then!

08
Aug
14

Marla Baggetta’s Workshop.

I am so thrilled to be hosting a 3 day workshop with Marla Baggetta, here at Big Hill Retreat. Marla, who is a well established artist from Portland, creates the most magical images and she will be here for 3 days to help guide us with her ‘Loosen Up and Break Thro’ workshop.

OCTOBER 23 – 26, 2014.

Course Description
:

Marla Baggetta’s Loosen Up & Break Through! pastel painting workshop is based on “100 Variations”, a pastel series featured in Pastel Journal, which marked a shift in Marla’s career and became a metaphor for her life as an artist. By working on multiple pieces of the same composition students discover how to “loosen up” and push their boundaries as painters. Over the course of the workshop students will use the fundamentals of painting as the foundation as they explore the lessons that can be learned by immersing oneself into a theme. Some mixed media will be explored to foster a non-precious approach. This workshop will include demonstrations, individual mentoring and positive, actionable critiques.This is a fast paced lively workshop for both the beginner and experienced artist.

You can check out her work and philosophy by visiting her blog

http://marlabaggettastudio.blogspot.ca/2014/07/napa-valley.html.

Here are a few images of her pastel paintings!
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Space will be limited to 10-11 participants….we already have 6 signed up so please get in touch with me soon if you would like more information about it. I’m so excited to be able to offer such a fabulous artist to our community, I know it is going to be an amazing experience.

The cost of the 3 day workshop is $660.00 which includes 3 nights shared accommodation at Big Hill Retreat. You can view our website for more information: http://www.bighillretreat.com.
We will gather here on the Thursday evening, for a light supper and to meet each other. The workshop will take place 24, 25 & 26th, ending on the Sunday. Food will be on an ‘organised’ (by me!) pot luck basis, and we will eat in the main dining room of our home.

For more information, or to register, please contact me at
lindawright@seasidehighspeed.com or call me at 902 295 2726902 295 2726.

07
Jul
14

It’s been a while..

and so much has happened over the past month.
By far the biggest experience was witnessing the passing of my dearest friend Glenn Gagnier! March 3rd, 1954 – June 5th, 2014.

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I took this shot way back in the early 80’s. we were both doing a show in Ottawa!

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It’s difficult to write about such an experience, but all i want to do is honor him here. He was an amazing potter, a wonderful father and he was one of my very deepest and long standing friends.

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To be able to spend 5 days by his side was an amazing gift! he passed about a week and half later and i am eternally grateful to have been able to be with him at that time.

The trip also gave me some wonderful opportunities! blip-11

spending time with his 2 sons, Kaydn and Taevan….hadn’t seen either of them for almost 5 years and they have matured into such beautiful young men……and i can see the mark Glenn has made on their lives. Along with the beautiful pottery he created, his 2 sons are a wonderful legacy for all of us to be reminded of him!

I got to spend 3 days in Montreal with another long time friend, just after leaving Glenn, which was just what i needed! Paulo and his family took such great care of me….we ate delicious meals, we walked, we explored…we talked and we laughed!
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And then back home which was the most welcomed relief of all!
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Lots of pots being made in the studio…but not many being photographed…so here are some more shots of life here on Big Hill.

Party for Richard’s birthday…..
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another party to celebrate my dear friend Jane’s move to Cape Breton…
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Maude, our fabulous wwoofer from Montreal….lots getting done around here!
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and finally the man who keeps the home fires burning when i have to leave…and melts my heart always!
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19
May
14

What a week that was!

What a week we had in the mudroom…. my lovely twin daughters and I! It’s hard to put into words how fabulous it was to witness Morgan and Bronwyn , here in my studio working with clay. When they were young and I was working downstairs in the studio, preparing for some show or another, I had very little time or patience for their fun and explorations – no regrets, just reality!
So, to be able to give over to their experiences of exploring clay was just so heartwarming! They were full of ideas and did in fact execute them all really well!

The first piece they made was this triptych using branches from the apple tree outside….
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Morgan wanted to make some vases using the extruder and Bronwyn rolled out more clay to make some coasters!
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Then it was onto the wheel…..they both had such lofty ambitions….not just a bowl or a cup or a mug…no, they wanted to make teapots!!!! Ok, so here we go….

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There was only a very small moment or two, on about the 5th day, that i got a bit grumpy….i was tired and we had to make the lids!!!! oh well, we managed to get them made and then spent a morning assembling them….

Ta Da…..

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Our final project was a collaboration! 9 small canvases, with an image of St. Ann’s Bay at Sunset covering the whole thing! We spent a very fun last evening together, painting, listening to music…..it was a great way to end their week here. Now we each have a 3rd of the painting to remind us!

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And now it’s back to work for me and the reality that it might be a year or more before we see each other again. It’s such a bitter sweet life eh!




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Linda Wright, Potter.

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