Inside the Minds of Three Salish Sea Artists

Contributor: sarah j. clark ~ conductor of comings and goings

Reaching out to seven artists each week is turning into a really fantastic way to "see" what's happening in our artistic community. The responses have run the full gamut of human reaction. This week, only three of the seven where able to participate, and their sharing is wonderful. The others were busy creating new product and a new website, building a fence or just getting out in nature. We hope you are enjoying these insights as much as we are! Be well. 

Francine van der Schoot ~ Jewelry

I haven’t had time to put my thoughts together but I see time is of the essence here. Interesting that “I haven’t had time”, because in a way I have nothing but time.

In my usual Capricorn fashion, since our seclusion, I quickly recognized my need for productivity/output that was measurable. Yes, I have been baking, walking, biking, reaching out to friends, as has the rest of the world. I knew I needed some shape to my day, and after two weeks of no yoga, I got myself in harness, and decided to do an online class several days a week.

I like to get another hour of good exercise either by walking or biking. These things are staples for me. Exercise opens up my body and mind. I have been slowly taking more deliberate time with everything and noticing more as a result. My bike rides tend to be purposeful but roving into new areas, discovering new pathways and trails. I am so enjoying the beautiful abundance of Spring, the springing forth of colour, foliage, nature asserting herself, she’s irrepressible!

April is my favourite month, as things are the brightest green they will be when they emerge, and leaves are delicate and lacy. My jewellery is small, delicate and fine for the most part. I have tried to do larger, chunky pieces to no avail. I lean to the small. In nature too, I love the magnificence of huge showy flowering shrubs, but notice the little woodland lilies, bluebells, and trilliums equally. I need to quiet my mind when I make jewellery and often have Baroque music playing as it is said it focuses one.

I am slowly settling into this new normal, but was very unsettled, unable to put my mind to reading or anything much that required my stillness and attention other than meditation. Eastern religions refer to the monkey mind, I refer to mine as a squirrel, quick, inquisitive, eyes and head darting hither and thither. I recognize some calming that is happening. I was initially surprised that Covid was wreaking havoc in my soul because I am quite fatalistic. But agitated I have been. I never stay home for an entire day, and as the weather has been so incredible, I need no excuse, and am out the door like a greyhound out of the starting gate most days.

Not so productive in terms of jewellery, but I am following my own guidance as to what I need. I know there will be rainy days, and I will have a cup of tea and listen to Baroque while I put some ideas on my jewellery board. I love gardening and am putting two green thumbs to work this year. Doing the initial spadework to amend soil in two places is taking some time, but I will reap the reward of selecting plants and seeds when the soil is ready to receive. So for now, my art is listening to my souls desire, being outside, growing plants and flowers for food and pleasure.

Patt Scrivener ~ Fine Art

What's Happening in My Studio … Let’s put it this way things are different but not any less busy! My last in-studio workshop was in the middle of March. Although I had others scheduled I felt it was in the best interest to cancel them. At first, I went through a period of grief over my loss.  Loss of revenue, connections, and the joy of teaching. The energy seemed low and I couldn’t find my creative flow. I had trouble focusing.

I kept showing up to my studio, not to make a masterpiece but to try something new. I delved into Cold Wax and Oil, as that was the workshop that I had canceled it seemed fitting.  I decided to focus on small pieces in an abstract style.  Some days I struggled but I started to see results and got excited about what I was creating.

Other things I have been doing;

• practicing drawing portraits with my non-dominant hand

• quick studies with constraints of two colours of paint plus black and one mark-making material like charcoal or graphite

• finishing previously started paintings

• purging paintings on paper to make junk journals

• making brown paper bag journals now that I am collecting all of those bags when I buy groceries!

• spending time reviewing material from the workshops I have taken

• enjoying a lot of the free content that is being offered

On the Business Side of Art;

• I continue to keep up with my social media postings

• I started a weekly virtual Art Talk and a live weekly demo with my Facebook Private Community Group

• I started to use Instagram TV and have posted some videos on my YouTube Channel.

• I have taken inventory of my art supplies and am going to find creative ways to use things or pass them on.

• I am continuing to send newsletters and write blog posts.

• I am listening to more podcasts

• I am working on the details for a virtual live workshop called Soul Seeds

• I am getting ready to launch an online course this month

• I am photographing all of my works on paper for my upcoming “Works on Paper” sale

• I have a long list of things to do with this gift of time, and I can assure you I am not going to run out of art supplies anytime soon!

Kevin Mackenzie ~ Metal Art

Hi... Kevin Mackenzie here, multi media metal artist. Yes since the pandemic started art sales have come to a stop. All of the galleries my work are in are closed including my own. Without help from the government we will have to move out of our art gallery. My welding fabrication studio is still going. We have ongoing bills we owe to contend with. 

I find myself now having to get really creative. I was feeling all of what was going on with people here on our island and everywhere else. I saw on social media how depression was setting in with people and stress, fear and other emotions. It made me think of the best thing that I could do right now, and that is to bring peace and love to people near and far. At that moment I sketched the thing I thought that would accomplish that. The idea is to make a piece of public art that belongs to Quadra Island. Something that will make people smile and bring good feelings to all that gaze upon it. 

I happened to have enough materials to start on it so I did. I was hoping to get funding from some different local organizations but that was not an option.  This sculpture is made of 1/8” stainless steel plate. It will be 6 feet tall and about the same in width. The peace sign and heart are 4” thick and 33” in diameter. 

I’ve worked on it for 40 hrs so far, and put about $1000.00 in materials so far.  I cannot afford to finish it at this point. My will is very strong to finish this because I feel it is very important to bring this sculpture to Quadra for us here and all to come to feel the peace and love that we all need in our hearts at this time. My only option is to put the story out there to the community and ask for public donations to get this done. If there is one thing I know about Quadra Island, it’s that we pull together and we make things happen. So this is what I am doing at this time. 

I am also letting people know of my other skills besides artwork. I am a professional metal fabricator. I can build, fix, and design anything!  I will be posting progression pictures once I get some funding to continue on this sculpture.  This sculpture will help us to always remember this event and how we all worked together with love and understanding and got through it.