Friday, March 10, 2017

Playing in Creston / Alice-in-Wonderland

Time to get back to posting about art and the fun times in 2016.  

With our R-Pod, Bill and I arrived in Creston, from Claresholm, on July 10th for a three night stay at Scottie's RV Park. As well, Meg and Paul rolled in from Canmore to stay at the Valley View Motel, but ultimately we all end up here ...

... on the Dinn's remarkable deck for libations, great food and one another's company

As per usual we gals hit the studio during the daytime abandoning the men, who are more than capable of entertaining themselves. We spread our play things out all over every horizontal space, then we dive into making art. Any kind of art. Here, anything goes.

Meg and Win in Win's gorgeous studio

Playing in Win's studio brings out the creative juices

Writing this post eight months after the fact, I'm not really sure what possessed me to start the painting I did. I'm going with how very inspired and dazzled I was by a piece Win had recently created, in collaboration with Bart Bjorkman, of Puffin Design - the 47" diameter Impossible ClockBut how my piece morphed into Alice in Wonderland remains a mystery.


Meg usually has several pieces on the go, this time was no exception
Win got into folding books


When we six reassemble good times are guaranteed. We enjoy having a delectable lunch on the Skimmerhorn Winery's awesome deck, our end of day happy hours, evening feasting and shenanigans. 

You can count on great food, and wine, on the Skimmerorn Winery deck
Win and John 
Paul and Meg
Bill and yours truly.  Doesn't everyone know about maple tree "keys" and how they'll stick on your nose, when they're fresh?


Back to Alice painting Alice. For the background, I splattered and blotted favoured colours, quinacridone orange gold, Indian yellow, aztec gold (how dare Daniel Smith discontinue their acrylic line which included this magnificent colour?). Some burnt umber was needed to darken the top. I went wild with gear and time piece stencils, some I applied with texture, some not. Then, I employed commercial rubber stamps until I was satisfied with all the nuances these toys created. 

As the background was so dark I had to paint Alice in a ghost-like white to be assured the colours would be clean and bright when I coloured her in.


The finished Alice in Wonderland 
24" x 12" acrylic mixed media on canvas

At home I completed the piece by painting on the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. I took great pleasure in the adding of embellishments, the small and miniature playing cards (thanks Win) the gears, the key and the clock button. Here are some close ups ...

Mixed media artist extraordinaire and our good friend, Win Dinn, has been teaching her acquired techniques in workshops for years. She conceived and facilitated a fabulous exhibition of her student's (plus her own) work. All students were invited to submit up to five pieces to Students. Teacher. Play. The show was beautifully presented by the folks at Centre 64 in Kimberley, BC, and was on display for the month of September, 2016. It was my good fortune to have Alice in Wonderland placed front and centre at the entrance to the show.

September 3rd, with Win at the exhibition's opening reception

When our granddaughter, Avery, turned eight last October I gifted Alice to as her annual birthday painting. 

Here are a  couple of other new pieces created specifically for Student. Teacher. Play.  ...

Drifting and Grounded  12" x 9" mixed media on cradled panel
Peacock Paradise 10" x 8" mixed media on cradled panel

Plus two other pieces which met the criteria of being created within the past two years ...

Flying Time 9" x 12" mixed media on board
Hip Replacement 9" x 8.25" acrylic mixed media, recycled child's board book.  The story and contents are here


  1. What a fabulous post, Alice, to commemorate such a wonderful summer and fall. Who has more fun in the studio than when the three of us get together and play...and visit...and wine...and play? That 'Alice' piece is just so marvelous, no matter how it started, and the show was totally outstanding. Many thanks to you and all the other students!!!

    1. Thanks for your supportive comments, for introducing me to mixed media, sharing your techniques and encouraging me to play with making art.