art

Self Portraits

How do we see ourselves? This is one of the questions I needed to answer in order to create a series of self portraits for a photography assignment. There are so many ways to answer the question!

We often define ourselves by our work and our family. There is truth that we see ourself in relation to others. We are multifaceted and depending on the day and the person we are interacting with, who we are changes.

I changed my mind a few times during the process of photographing this assignment and I finally submitted a total of seven photographs, four of which I am posting. 

dyed hand holding blue hand dyed rayon linen scarf by doris lovadina-lee

hands stitching a fuchsia red scarf doris lovadina lee

hands holding coffee cup with moka in background by doris lovadina-lee

hand caressing a young boy's head by doris lovadina-lee

Artist Statement

Creating a self portrait is a daunting task. How much do you reveal of yourself?

Portrait photography is a photograph or series of photos that captures the essence of the subject. Through this series of photographs I am capturing myself as a Maker.

I was told that my hands are ‘golden’, they create beautiful things. Taking ordinary materials, hands transmute them into objects that are greater than the parts. Hands produce, fashion, create, soothe, and comfort. 

The photographs reveal glimpses of how I view myself as a maker. I Placed myself in the same window with the same background and isolated my hands so that the focus was on the various tasks, some that I do routinely. Others are not tasks, but are essential to nourishing my creativity. Light plays an important role in making, as it is vital to see clearly what your hands are creating. Daylight is used to capture and highlight each image, revealing and shadowing the images. 

Finally my hands create what my mind has already conjured.

 

What would your self portrait look like?

Wax & Wane Exhibition – Encaustic artwork

I attended the Wax & Wane: Exploring Encaustic & Cold Wax Paintings Exhibition at the Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West, Toronto just before it closed. Artwork from eleven local artists were on display. The style of art ranged from representational to abstract and a few incorporated other mediums, such as photography.

twist gallery toronto ontario canada exhibit of encaustic art
Wax & Wane Exhibit at Twist Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

Twist Gallery is located on the second floor and has three large windows letting in the light. It is a great space for a gallery.

encaustic paintings in wax & wane exhibit toronto twist gallery 2018
Wax & Wane Exhibit at Twist Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Ian Varney Squiggle Coast 15B and 15A at twist gallery
Squiggle Coast 15B and 15A by Ian Varney

 

Maggie Doswell Floor and Reflecting encaustic paintings twist gallery
Floor (top) and Reflecting (bottom) by Maggie Doswell

 

Ann shier Return to Innocence encaustic wax painting by canadian artist wax and wane exhibition
Return to Innocence by Ann Shier

 

inside by Dania Al-Obaidi wax painting at twist gallery toronto
Inside by Dania Al-Obaidi

 

playful Intersection by Kato Wake canadian artist wax and wane art exhibit
Playful Intersection by Kato Wake

 

Dry Bark by Carolanne MacLean twist gallery encaustic wax exhibit toronto
Dry Bark by Carolanne MacLean

 

Encaustic wax exhibit with Canadian artist Carolanne MacLean detail of Dry Bark
Dry Bark detail by Carolanne MacLean

The photographs above represent a small portion of the artists and style that were on display.

I am captivated by the use of wax as an artistic medium. I admit to having purchased supplies and am eager to start working with encaustic wax and photo image transfers.

Encaustic Painting Workshop with Ann Shier

I spent a very happy weekend learning more encaustic painting techniques with artist Ann Shier. This was a two-day comprehensive encaustic painting workshop. I had taken an introductory encaustic painting workshop with Vashty Hawkins: Introduction to Encaustic Painting Image Transfer Workshop. This small taste, left me wanting to try more.

second door studio distillery district toronto ontario canada Ann Shier artist

Ann has a great studio space in the Historic Distillery District in Toronto called the Second Door Studio. Ann shares this space which is also a gallery and retail shop with artist Joya Paul. The studio is filled with beautiful pieces of encaustic and mixed media art.

2nd door studio distillery district toronto ontario art studio canada

There were three students attending the workshop the first day and we each had our own space set up with all the necessary equipment and supplies.

encaustic wax practice on watercolor paper ann shier workshop toronto ontario canada

We began the day with an overview of the different types of wax, how to mix colours, how to apply the wax medium and how to fuse the layers. We practiced on watercolour paper first. Ann is holding her paper where she demonstrated some of the techniques that can be used in encaustic painting.

Techniques: stencils, embellishments, incising and pastels


Encaustic wax and mixed media embellishments studio workshop toronto ontario canada

I’ve covered the wooden board with a few layers of encaustic medium I had mixed and am deciding what embellishments to use.

wax covered stencil in encaustic painting by doris lovadinalee toronto ontario canada second door studio

The stencil I chose is covered with a clear layer of wax medium.

texture stencils turquoise encaustic wax doris lovadina-lee toronto artist distillery district
This shows more stencils added to the right side of the painting before removal.

encaustic wax techniques with stencils doris lovadinalee toronto ontario canada
turquoise encaustic painting doris lovadina-lee with diamonds and silver toronto ontario canada
The finished piece!

Techniques: photo encaustic, wax medium, and pastels

flower photograph encaustic wax painting dorislovadinalee.com distillery district ann shier
Above, is my photograph of flowers with the colour enhanced and printed on heavier weight paper. This was glued on to a wooden board with archival rice paste and left to dry.
pink flowers green encaustic wax painting workshop doris lovadina-lee toronto distillery district canada
Wax medium is applied in layers to add texture. Pan pastels are added to create depth.

photo encaustic painting pink flowers green background doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

The flower painting is completed!

wax scrapping ann shier art studio encaustic wax painting

Ann demonstrating how to scrape wax off a stencil. This is Michelle’s beautiful daisy painting. She incorporated photo image transfer, encaustic medium, stencils and pan pastels. This was her first ever attempt at encaustic painting! Michelle’s second painting began with her photograph of the tree.

Michelle Clark and Ann Shier teaching encaustic wax workshop 2nd door studio distillery district toronto

 

Encaustic wax workshop Ann Shier and Doris Lovadina-Lee toronto Distillery District

 

artist Ann shier second door studio distillery district toronto

Ann is offering workshops in her studio, visit her website for dates and times. While you are there have a look at more of her gorgeous artwork.

To see more encaustic artwork, visit Wax and Wane : Exploring Encaustic and Cold Wax Paintings at the Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Eleven local artist are exhibiting their work from Jan. 3-27, 2018.

I hope you are able to spend some time this year exploring some new techniques. Have fun and play!

Best artwork of 2017!

Nine of my best liked Instagram posts from 2017. These were automatically generated by logging into: https://2017bestnine.com/.

Best hand dyed scarves, best artwork, best quilts by doris lovadina-lee instagram best nine toronto ontario canada

An interesting way to see your work in relation to how others see it. I was surprised at a couple of inclusions.

Instagram is such a great platform for capturing snapshots of your work. I use Instagram quite a bit in my work to:

  • record works in progress
  • record finished pieces
  • to help me ‘see’ my work at a distance
  • create a visual list take when shopping for materials
  • send information to others

How do you use Instagram in your work?

Vista artwork from the Fineline Series

This series of textile paintings are the first three I created and set on canvas. The canvas was originally painted medium blue. Once the pieces were attached, I found the background was too dark and the quilted artwork did not show well. So, I repainted the canvas white and I am much happier with how the quilted pieces look.

Vista 1

Indigo textile painting on white canvas by doris lovadina-lee for sale, vista

Vista 1
2017 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

fineline series textile painting vista 1 detail doris lovadina-lee artist
Vista 1 detail

 

Vista 2

indigo textile on painted canvas by dorislovadinalee.com artwork for sale
Vista 2
2017 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

Vista 2 detail
Vista 2 detail

 

Vista 3

Vista 3 textile art from fineline series artwork for sale by doris lovadina-lee toronto canada
Vista 3
2017 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 16 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

close-up textile painting Vista 3 on 12 x 16 inches indigo for sale by doris lovadina-lee toronto
Vista 3 detail

 

detail of vista 3 fineline series artwork by canadian dorislovadinalee
Vista 3 detail

 

detail of Vista 3 fineline series artwork by doris lovadinalee indigo blue and pale blue
Vista 3 detail

 

Fineline Series

The Fineline series of quilted textiles was an attempt to incorporate some new ideas and techniques. I had:

  • read Gwen Marston’s book: Minimal Quiltmaking
  • dyed some beautiful indigo cotton
  • read Jean Wells book: Intuitive Color & Design
  • attended a quilt retreat with a very small amount of my hand dyed fabrics
  • used canvas to frame quilted pieces

The quilt retreat was the perfect time to play with the ideas of minimalism and experiment with the technique of inserting narrow strips. There was no pressure to create a finished piece. But, I was so happy with the works I created, that I did finish all three!

Inserting very narrow strips of colour into the pieces was very satisfying. Continuing my experiments with this technique, I created tiny pieces of quilted art: Fineline Brooches and recently made: Lipstick and Mascara. I am not finished with the Fineline Series of textile paintings, there is still so much more to explore.

 

Vistas on blue canvas textile paintings by toronto artist doris lee
These are the Vista textile paintings before the change of colour in the background. What do you think of the colour change?

Introduction to Encaustic Painting Image Transfer Workshop

I have been intrigued by encaustic wax paintings. This is a very old art form that used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Yellow House Gallery in Toronto offered a class on this art form as well as photo image transfer. I signed up to take this afternoon workshop and had so much fun!

Photo Image Transfer

Encaustic painting workshop yellowhouse gallery toronto ontario

A mixture of beeswax and damar resin are melted together and applied to cradled birch panels.

Yellow house gallery workshop toronto ontario encaustic wax painting

Two coats of wax applied to the wooden board. Both processes begin with this step. For the photo image transfer, a photocopy is placed right side onto the wax and pressed into the wax with a smooth object. The ink transfers into the wax and then the paper is removed by carefully washing it off.Photo image transfer of stone wall photograph taken in italy by doris lovadina-lee

This photograph was taken in Italy of a stone house. I love the texture and colours. The paper film is not completely removed yet.

image transfer of italian stone wall with arched windows taken by doris lovadina lee toronto

At this stage of the photo transfer there are still bits of paper left to be removed, but I can see the what the finished piece looks like and am so happy with it.

Encaustic Wax Painting

wax and heat gun for the encaustic wax workshop at the yellowhouse gallery toronto kingston road

The second piece involved painting with coloured wax. I also wanted to incorporate some textiles into the artwork. I brought a small amount of embellishments that I thought might work, including silk fabric, beads, bark, shells and beaded embroidery floss.

first layer melted wax for encaustic painting by doris lovadinal-lee

Two layers of clear wax are applied to the cradled board first and then the coloured wax. Here I’ve added my first layer of colour by mixing black and white wax.

second layer of wax for encaustic painting workshop dorislovadinalee.com

Second layer of colour is a beautiful shade of red, thinned by clear wax.

silk, seashells encaustic wax painting by doris lovadina-lee made in toronto canada

Stripes of silk and embellishments were positioned and a layer of wax applied.

beads, silk and sea shells in encaustic wax art work by doris lovadina-lee

A beautiful pearlescent powder was used to highlight certain areas. After a few days of curing, the wax will dry clear.

close-up detail of encaustic wax artwork by doris lovadina-lee

Close-up of the embellishments, texture and colour.

vashty and christina a the yellow house gallery kingston road toronto ontario canada

Christina Kostoff owner and director of the Yellow House Gallery and Vashty Hawkins artist and teacher holding my first encaustic painting. Vashty will be teaching more encaustic and photo image transfer classes this winter at the Yellow House Gallery, visit the website for more information.

 

Bricks, stones, facades and patina

Facades

facades as inspiration for art by doris lovadina-lee

Patina

marble wall inspiration for design by doris lovadina-lee

venetian calle texture on crumbling wallBricks

brick wall in rome italy

brick wall in rome italy photo taken by doris lovaidina-lee

honeycomb wall in roma, italia

Stones

texture of stone wall for quilting inspiration

urn and stone wall in italy

These photographs were taken on a trip to Italy a few years ago. I don’t often look back at photos, even though I always think I will do just that. Time gives me an opportunity to view the photos, with a fresh perspective.

Peeling stucco wall in Italy as design inspiration by dorislovadinalee

This of selection photographs from Rome, Venice, and Pompeii have a common theme. They are mostly monochromatic so that the texture is evident. Even the facade of the wall in Venice is various shades of a beautiful terracotta that has faded in places to a soft peach.

How often do you go back to your vacation photos and look at what you decided to record? You might be surprised at what your photographs reveal!

 

Glimpses of Italy 2017

A few of the photographs I took during my recent trip to Italy, are glimpses of the beautiful landscape. Archways, windows, pillars, stones and trees frame vistas.

Sirmione, Italy – Garda Lake District

Sirmione, Italy
Lake Garda from the Grotto of Catullus, Sirmione, Italy
Sirmione, Italy
View from the battlements of Scaligero Castle, Sirmione, Italy
Sirmione, Italy
View through an olive tree on the grounds of the Grotto of Catullus

Venice, Italy – Rialto Bridge

Venice, Italy
Rialto Bridge through an archway, Venice, Italy

Treviso, Italy – Historic City Centre

The Sile River through an archway in Treviso, italy
The Sile River through an archway in Treviso, italy

Verona, Italy – Giusti Gardens

Verona, Italy
Entrance to the Giusti Gardens, Verona Italy
Verona, Italy
View through the central avenue of trees Giusti Gardens, Verona, Italy
Verona, Italy
View from the belvedere Giusti Gardens, Verona Italy
Verona, Italy
Cypress tree, Giusti Gardens, Verona, Italy

Atmosphere – Indigo dyed quilt

Earlier last year, I dyed some cotton fabric in indigo. The texture and the colour changed from pale blue to a deep indigo. I really liked the design of this piece and I wanted to keep it intact as much as possible. My inspiration to use this indigo fabric was a modern painting I saw in a decorating magazine. The artwork had three large bands of colour running horizontally with the colours blending together.

I pulled a deep indigo piece of fabric and a pure white cotton pique to use with the ombre. I took many photos while deciding on the proportions of the white pique. Some of the photos were taken in the evening as I was working to create this piece for a deadline.

My first attempts had the darker indigo on top. I tried many positions, folding, pinning and moving the white pique until I was certain of the final size.

During this process, I tried rotating the fabric so that the darkest indigo was on top, bottom and either side. Initially, I thought that having the piece run from dark at the top to light on the bottom worked the best.
You can see that I finally decided to orient the fabric so that the lightest colour is on top, moving down toward the darker.

Atmosphere
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
49 x 42 inches
hand dyed indigo, commercial fabric, thread
$1,200.00

I am happy with Atmosphere. It reminds me of water. For some, it reminds them of snow falling. What does it remind you of?

Aga Khan Museum

A friend and I visited the Aga Khan Museum this weekend. A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic docent began our visit with an introduction on the design of the building by architect: Fumihiko Maki. He was given the theme of light as his inspiration. An interior courtyard brings light into the center of the building and provides a lovely outdoor space in warm weather.

Leaf from a Qur'an Manuscript North Africa, 9th-10th centuries ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum
Leaf from a Qur’an Manuscript
North Africa, 9th-10th centuries
ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum

Artifacts that are centuries old have colours, textures and designs that seem modern and timeless.

Oculus Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century Fritware, molded and glazed
Oculus
Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century
Fritware, molded and glazed

The museum’s collection of pottery, glass, metalwork, and calligraphy is a source of inspiration.

Bottle Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries Glass, wheel-cut
Bottle
Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries
Glass, wheel-cut

The mosaic tiles in the fountain can be translated directly into quilt blocks.

Fountain Syria, 16th century and later Marble and sandstone mosaic
Fountain
Syria, 16th century and later
Marble and sandstone mosaic

Turquoise, blue, and gold colours found in the pottery, are some of my favourites and I imagine them in a project.

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed
Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements
probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries
Fritware, carved and glazed
Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed
Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements – detail

More designs that can be directly translated into quilt blocks. Also Ideas for arranging the blocks in various configurations.

Box Spain 16th century Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl
Chest
Spain 16th century
Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl
Candlestick Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century' Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold
Candlestick
Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century’
Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold

The circular design in the candlestick above reminds me of the New York Beauty block. I can imagine this block on a solid background and heavily quilted with angular lines like in the background above.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, 10th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed
Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, 10th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Two dishes in the collection look very modern. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the designs. More information for both of these pieces and many others are available on the museum website in the Collection Highlights tab.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed
Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed
Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets
Flying Carpet, 2007 by
Farhad Moshiri
b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris
32 stacked macine-made carpets

Although the Aga Khan Museum features historical cultural artifacts from Islamic civilizations, it also features contemporary artwork. The piece above: Flying Carpet by Farhad Moshiri is a stack of 32 machine-made carpets that has a fighter plane cut out of the centre. The artist, Moshiri, was inspired by a documentary on Afghan carpet weavers. They had been incorporating modern technologies into the design of the carpets – planes, drones and other military armaments.

Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works inTehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets
Flying Carpet – overhead view by Farhad Moshiri

Another special exhibit on display until March 26, 2017 is Syria: A Living History. This exhibit contains historical artifacts and contemporary artwork illustrating the diverse culture and history of Syria. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibit, so you will have to visit the museum to see the collections in person. The grounds around the museum are also worth visiting – I will need to return in the spring when the weather is a bit warmer!

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