What is it about Women and Jewellery?

 
 UPCYCLING IN PAINTING - Holding up my latest piece, "Private Collection"

UPCYCLING IN PAINTING - Holding up my latest piece, "Private Collection"

 

I decided to call this art piece, "Private Collection" because it looks like one. A woman's jewellery collection is special – a very personal thing. Necklaces, rings and bracelets are preserved over the years and each one of them represents a special memory of a particular family member, a significant occasion, or even an overseas trip. I can only imagine the stories contained in the jewellery pieces that I've incorporated into this artwork! A woman's jewellery stash can reveal something about her heart. So, in my imagination, this painting is made from one woman's jewellery box.

 
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It's wonderful to have a lot of friends and acquaintances with old jewellery! A while back I was delighted when a friend, who I hadn't spoken to in years, Dianne, contacted me to see if I'd like to come to Truro and pick up some jewellery from her sister's antique shop. Of course, yes!! Sadly (for us) her sister had moved on from this world to Heaven, and Dianne was now working on slowly "emptying" the shop. 

Everything I see in this world gives me unending inspiration for art projects. I'm pretty sure that another 100 years of life would still not exhaust the creative ideas that God has put inside me. As the photos below show, I again used up some more of my husband's 3d printer reject parts. 

 
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As this piece developed, I wound up with a lovely textured background (using the 3D printer parts), but it was just a background. I already had a colour theme in mind so after I painted and glazed with acrylic paint, I searched through my "jewellery boxes" from around the world to pick out whatever would satisfy my colour cravings. Above are photos of the painting's very beginning, and below are some close-ups of it near its completion.

 
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And here's a short video clip of some of my painting process for this piece. THANKS FOR WATCHING!  Full video "Coming Soon"!

 
 

WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN UNUSUAL ART GIFT, EMAIL ME or
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE MY HOME STUDIO IN HALIFAX:
Email: dorothealeblanc@me.com

5 Things Happening in My Studio this Summer

 

Here are 5 things that were happening in my studio this summer:

1. For the last few weeks I've been working on a secret project that can't be revealed until much later ... but here are a couple of closeup shots that I can show you now. The piece is 24 x 36 inches.

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2. I'm clearing my backlog of time lapse video clips so my iPad doesn't crash. So as I was creating the complete video of my staple project last week, I decided to retitle it, "LIKE RAISING CHILDREN". I'm comparing our attempts at teaching and guiding of our children (to the best of our ability) with "arranging staples". And I'm comparing the unexpected joy and randomness of children's behaviour to "painting with pearls" because they both just go and do whatever they want to do, when they want to do it! (If you watch the video, I also created the long piece of music you'll hear, in GarageBand. And this is the first time the WHOLE song is being featured, yay!)

3. I'm making a realistic painting. This is a short silent (and a bit shaky) timelapse clip that I did last as I was discovering what I could do with limited time and colours – for a class. As it turned out, this painting took over the expected time to make, and it needed unusual colours so I demonstrated a small upcycling piece for that class instead.

4. Earlier this month I started and then put on hold the making of another upcycled piece using Michael's leftover amateur-radio-box "tests" from our home 3D printer. Here's another silent, short timelapse video of what it looks like right now: I'm excited to find out where it's going to end up ... maybe next month we'll find out!

5. Cleaning up my studio ... oops, did I just say I was cleaning up my studio?
Nope, not this month ...

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My Spring Art show in Truro, Nova Scotia

 

This is a very short blog just to show a bit of what my dual/solo art show looked like when it was live from May 12th to June 9th, 2018. It was displayed alongside the fish sculptures of Nancy Roberts. I enjoyed the artistic arrangement of all the artwork, accomplished by Nuri, the gallery owner (who I'm sure had help from her husband).

On a later visit, I made two short videos of my artwork hanging in the gallery (Visual Voice Fine Art Gallery of Truro, Nova Scotia). I hope you enjoy seeing these bits and pieces!

 My dear daughter (Christel), standing beside me, came with flowers to my opening!

My dear daughter (Christel), standing beside me, came with flowers to my opening!

 My friend Marcela and I are speaking with ceramic artist, Nancy Roberts (short hair, bright blue turtleneck)

My friend Marcela and I are speaking with ceramic artist, Nancy Roberts (short hair, bright blue turtleneck)

 

Upcycling Rings and Bracelets

 

If you follow my Instagram feed, you may have seen the photo progress of this painting. (The gluing onto a canvas of objects I'd scrounged that had any kind of circular form).

 
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So, my exhaustive supply of circular objects was dumped on the canvas and organizing began. When I had something I thought I liked, I removed everything and drafted some circle guides on the canvas to follow. Then I repeated the laying out process (re-organizing is an opportunity for me to see if my previous idea was really going to work).

 
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It's hard to describe what happened for this painting, but I already had an image of sorts inside me, of shapes and colours that I wanted to use even before I began. It was not necessarily a mental picture, yet it also came along with feelings (maybe they were feelings of excitement and wonder - to see if I could create what I had in mind).

 
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So it turns out the circles and rings made a collection of eyes; hence I titled it "His Eyes Run To and Fro". As always with iridescent paint, the appearance varies with the light around it as it shimmers and glows. Eyes depend on light for their ability to see and be seen, don't they?

Does this painting evoke any emotions for you, I wonder?
 

 
 

I call this one, "His Eyes Run To and Fro" and for short, just "His Eyes."


 

Here are two interesting articles about plastic and the ocean:

https://cen.acs.org/materials/polymers/Fighting-ocean-plastics-source/96/i16

https://www.theoceancleanup.com/

 

 

November 2017 – What to do with 1014 safety pins (yes I counted them)

 

I found a bag-full of little boxes and packets of safety pins for a few dollars in a second hand store. And every artist knows that safety pins have excellent TP (texture-potential)!

 
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Some of them proved to be the old fashioned kind of safety pins, like the ones I grew up with, (in the good ol' days when safety pins were strong and didn't bend when you pushed them through tough materials.) So I set aside a selection of those and proceeded to be creative with the rest. 

As the process began, I was counting on a design I'd drawn on my canvas to help me line up the safety pins. However, the pins were so difficult to control, I became frustrated and walked away from my canvas. It reminded me of trying to control a bunch of unruly kids.

 
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In time I remembered a bundle of mystery wires I'd found at a Frenchy's in Yarmouth, NS – and inspiration returned. These wires were bendable but very stiff, I didn't know what they were used for but I bought them because I thought they had good TP (see 1st paragraph). Turns out they were perfect placement guides for my safety pins! (Children need pretty stiff guidelines if you're going to make something beautiful out of them.)

 
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Line up the pins, pour on the glue, line up the pins, pour on the glue ... . When I work on my art pieces, I often post short video clips of my progress on Instagram/FaceBook and one day I mentioned the wires and how stiff they were, and how I had no idea what they would have been used for.

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The wire mystery was solved when someone responded to my FB post and said they looked like the underwires sewn into bras (she knew what they looked like because she'd had her troubles with underwire bras – she wasn't alone!). 

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The town of Yarmouth used to have cotton mills and clothing factories, so it's no surprise that an old bundle of these wires would show up in a second hand store in Yarmouth.

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I ended up using 592 safety pins on this painting. I used another 422 pins on some mini paintings that I did afterwards (the rest were saved for future clothing repairs). … Below is a close-to-final, not-so good pic of my safety pin painting – which is yet to be titled. 

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October – Fall Colours for Sale


 

Greetings everyone!

Fall is my favourite time of year and this fall season in Nova Scotia has been a beautifully mild one. I've been lucky to be busy outside the house (making a new lawn) this season. But I've also been busy inside the house making a downstairs room "gallery-appropriate".

 
 
 
 

So because I have no new art to show you, I thought I'd share some iPad drawings that I made two years ago. When I came across them in my collection of photos, I was delighted to see the colours, so I figured you would be as well.

 
 
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"An Exciting Fall Day"

 

I created these drawings on a purchased program that stopped being supported for the iPad. It was unfortunate for me because using each new "app" has a time consuming learning curve and I was near the end of the learning curve for this one!

 
 
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"Forest Floor in Fall"

The nice thing about "iPad drawing" is that I can sit comfortably on a couch or chair (or car seat) while I draw away - no tools, no paper, no mess, no clean up! And Nova Scotia is jam-packed with beautiful places to photograph.

 
 
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"Burning Bush"

If you would like to buy a print of these, or if you'd like the collection, please email me at dorothealeblanc@me.com or contact me via FB or IG messages. The image itself will be very close to 6 x 8 inches in size with a 1 inch white border to make the paper 8 x 10 inches They are 45 dollars (Canadian) per signed print. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery in Canada or the US.

 
 
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"Park Closed"

............................................

 
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And here's a photo of my upper back lawn with the new grass growing very well!

(that was before the crows got at it though! Story to be continued ...)

All the best is yours!
with love,
Dorothea
 

 



 

Staple Project (end of Sept/17)

 

This summer I began work on another upcycled large canvas using some old large staples that I discovered while I was looking for junk jewellery in a second-hand shop. There was no jewellery but I saw this old cardboard box ripped open a bit so you could see what was in the box. I'd never seen staples that large before and assumed they were an industrial variety – made for a machine that was probably no longer in service. 

 
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So I had fun arranging and designing with them but they weren't that big, so it took quite a while to take them apart and line them up as straight as I could on the canvas. And then I had to pour my "glue" carefully so as not to disturb my design. The other flat metal pieces I used on this painting were flattened out heat sink panels from a motor my husband had taken apart (thank you Michael!).

 
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The colours that I began with were not at all the colours I ended up with, but that's the mystery of painting – unveiling before my eyes. I also enjoy the double triangle motif, as triangles overlapping represent the trinity of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and the trinity of man (body, soul, spirit).
 

 
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I post a lot of my short videos on Instagram, so if you'd like to watch my process you can visit me there. And then eventually I post full process videos on YouTube where I have more than 30 videos already! If you go and see them, please become a subscriber – it doesn't cost you anything but the more subscribers I have, the more I'm able to do with my channel. Thank you!

Sign up on my website to get my art blogs in your email box (and free beautiful background screens). 

https://linktr.ee/dorothealeblanc (you can link to all my SM projects from here)

 

Late August 2017 – As much as I love straight lines, beauty is not about perfection.

 

I used to think I loved everything to be accurate, and sorted, and in the proper place, and tidy, and on time, and colour coordinated, and well, "perfect". Maybe you're one of the perfectionists I admire.

The closest I've ever gotten to a straight line in my art is in a piece, where if you look carefully, you can see that the lines are nowhere near perfect.

 
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My life is about the same (very imperfect): far from an organizer's dream – and probably an accountant's nightmare (all receipts go in one box for tax time, right?).

 
 

I think that you'll agree there are many amazing works of Fine Art in the world that prove to us how the imperfect can be perceived as perfect.

 
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In the case of people: I think all our inconsistencies, differences and "flaws" are part of what make us beautiful to our Creator; He calls us perfect even when we're not anywhere near the bull's eye – and that should make us very happy!

 
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I actually love going out of my way to make my art imperfect, even though I always start out with a straight-line design on my white canvas. I believe that when the underlying structure, or framework of an art piece is intentional and well thought out, then the final result will always be more successful.

But that's another analogy ...

 
 

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful August! I did a lot of relaxing and cloud watching this month but I also got a chance to visit "the lake" with a friend, staying in her trailer, near Yarmouth Nova Scotia for about 6 days.

I took the opportunity to work on some small upcycled paintings in August (the mini Jewel Paintings you see pieces of here), while also dabbling on a new large upcycled piece. (coming soon)

 
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Oh and I had some great news yesterday! Nuri, the owner of Visual Voice Fine Art Gallery sold one of my large paintings called "Northumberland Strait Evening"! I am very delighted because now that piece is finally done (because it belongs to its rightful owner)! You can see it at my website under the section called "Realism".

Note that I'll be having a solo show in Truro at the same gallery this coming May 2018, so I hope you'll come and visit at that time!

 

 

July/August 2017 - Media Attention and another Challenge

 

I'm pretty excited to tell you that on July 26th, 2017 there was an article in the local paper about my upcycled artwork! Here's the link to the article.

 
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And in August I participated in an online challenge to make 21 FaceBook "Live" sessions in 21 days. I asked myself questions that I might want to ask another artist – and if you'd like to see me getting comfortable in front of a camera, please go to my FaceBook Business page called Dorothea LeBlanc Art.

 
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I've also added a number of NEW works to my website - 2 large, 3 medium and 9 mini sized upcycled paintings. So I hope you enjoy seeing them, they're all available for purchase!

I hope you had a wonderful summer! I did!

 

 

My newest upcycled piece with photos from my trip to Cape Breton – and their connection.

 

I get pretty excited when I finish one of my paintings - especially one of the larger ones. I'm like a child who just HAS to let everyone see the sand castle she just built! But this time it's not a sand castle, it's a mixed media painting with some beach items included!

 
 Above: This is the beach where I found enough sea glass to make my latest painting, and after all that bending down, my back sure needed a good rest! Still it didn't stop me from going out the next day and finding more sea glass. Along with the sea glass, I used old shell and bead necklaces and some 15 year old scallop shells I had laying around from beach days with the kids.

Above: This is the beach where I found enough sea glass to make my latest painting, and after all that bending down, my back sure needed a good rest! Still it didn't stop me from going out the next day and finding more sea glass. Along with the sea glass, I used old shell and bead necklaces and some 15 year old scallop shells I had laying around from beach days with the kids.

 Above: From somewhere along the Cabot Trail. We went in May, so the leaves were not fully out yet. And when we got to the highlands, there was even a bit of snow left along the highway - eeks!

Above: From somewhere along the Cabot Trail. We went in May, so the leaves were not fully out yet. And when we got to the highlands, there was even a bit of snow left along the highway - eeks!

 Ahhh... Inverness, Cape Breton. Peace sweet peace.  

Ahhh... Inverness, Cape Breton. Peace sweet peace.
 

 Above: Whale-watching lookout point on the Cabot Trail. Below: Three process pics where I used my beach materials, and my finished up-cycled piece called "Sea Glass Pie". I made a LOT of process videos, some time lapse and some real-time, and maybe I will put the movie together while I'm on our 4 day road trip to Ontario (2 days there, 2 days back).

Above: Whale-watching lookout point on the Cabot Trail.
Below: Three process pics where I used my beach materials, and my finished up-cycled piece called "Sea Glass Pie". I made a LOT of process videos, some time lapse and some real-time, and maybe I will put the movie together while I'm on our 4 day road trip to Ontario (2 days there, 2 days back).

 Sea Glass is an example of the beauty God makes out of man's mistakes.

Sea Glass is an example of the beauty God makes out of man's mistakes.

 

If you're looking to buy some beautiful original art to buy, (and also want to be a part of helping me help the environment), you'll find more than 50 gorgeous one-of-a-kind upcycled paintings at my website. There are three different sizes available: mini paintings for 50 dollars (40 if you're on my mailing list), medium sized paintings for 220 dollars (framed if you're on my mailing list) and large paintings for 780 dollars - all in CANADIAN FUNDS!

Thank you for supporting me with your comments! See you next month!

dorothealeblanc.ca (my website)

Dorothea LeBlanc Art (FaceBook)

@dorothealeblanc (Instagram)

Please consider supporting my work on Patreon for as little as 2 dollars a month!

 

June 2017 –My new venture with Patreon

 

Hi Everyone! This is a very challenging new art endeavour for me and I'll be very grateful for any input from you! I'm doing this because I want to put my best foot forward in sharing my art with the world, and I also want to have an impact on not only helping people, but helping our environment to stay as clean and healthy as possible.

So please let me know what you think about my page and its setup – my new Patreon* page. 

(*Patreon allows someone like ME to share my art related activities in one place, and it allows someone like YOU to financially support the creative/educational content that you enjoy and feel is valuable.)

I'd like to know from you things like:

Are my support level descriptions clear enough, do they make sense to you?
Are the reward tiers appealing to you?
Does the site represent me properly?
Do I have a big enough first goal?
Do you have any suggestions/recommendations?
And if you've gone through the process of supporting me, I'd like to know if it was easy or challenging.

 
 

You'll see that there are different support tiers on Patreon, I've set them up to range from $1 to $40 a month, so if you have a love for the Fine Arts and would like to be my patron for as little as only 12 dollars a YEAR, I would be SOOO thankful! Each supporter increases my visibility as an artist and will help me support displaced person's camps across the world.

On my page, you'll see things like:

  • what kinds of things I'm doing, (free)
  • process video clips, (free)
  • photos of my newly finished pieces, (free)
  • special finds in the world of up-cycling, (free)
  • favourite photos of Nova Scotia and the Maritimes that I've taken, (free),
  • process videos complete with my own music, (for $5 per month)
  • how-to videos (coming soon), (for $5 per month)
  • what special rewards like art greeting cards, mini paintings and limited edition prints are available for higher tier donations!

You'll also become part of a community where we can learn and share creative ideas - on up-cycling, recycling, reducing, reusing, repurposing or redesigning, and more!

Thanks so much for being a part of my art travels!

 

May, 2017 Gallery News! A BIG STEP FOR ME ...

 

This month I began to be represented by Visual Voice Fine Art - a gallery in Truro, Nova Scotia! Yay!

 
 (me with my painting "Distant (or Embracing) Trees at Peggy's Cove" hanging at Visual Voice Fine Art)

(me with my painting "Distant (or Embracing) Trees at Peggy's Cove" hanging at Visual Voice Fine Art)

 

An artist friend (Lynn Johnson) recommended me to Nuri, the Gallery Owner, she was looking for a few more artists to represent, and for artwork that would fit into a "skies" theme. So when I visited her for the first time, I assumed she would only want to show my realism paintings.

 
 (me with my painting "Nearer to Heaven" hanging at Visual Voice Fine Art)

(me with my painting "Nearer to Heaven" hanging at Visual Voice Fine Art)

 

However, I still went armed with a number of my up-cycled art pieces for her to have a peek. Well, she not only liked them but kept 7 of them for future group shows this summer. That made me happy!

 
 (me and Nuri chatting at Visual Voice Fine Art)

(me and Nuri chatting at Visual Voice Fine Art)

Join the fun of reducing, reusing and recycling!


 

The Joy of Upcycling

"Taking junk from the past and transforming it

into beauty for the future."

This business of using found objects, discarded and unwanted objects, even trashed objects, and bringing them to life and beauty is an amazingly fulfilling experience. First of all I love that I'm helping the environment (in some small way), I believe I'm creating things that provide beauty an and then finally, I'm hoping this process will catch on!

 
 
 
 

Also, I can't but help see the similarity between what I'm doing with unwanted items, and what God can do with people who feel unwanted, unloved, and un-cared for — those who have been discarded by society.

 
 
 
 

Like God who looks past the "ugliness" of human frailties, and who picks up the lame, lost and blind to transform them into His precious jewels, I also see past broken, seemingly useless and discarded items in order to transform them into beautiful treasured creations!

 
 
 
 

The images in this blog are of discarded 3D-printer printed parts. My husband saves them for me, because as promised, he throws nothing out that comes off of his 3D printer plate! Maybe you can see that I cut pieces to create a smaller height, sorted and arranged them on my board. Then of course I glued and painted!

 
 
 

Above is an earlier stage of the painting and then below is a pic of the image somewhere near final.

Buying a special gift for someone? Contact me at  contact dorothealeblanc@me.com

 
 
 

Transforming Refuse from the Past into Something Beautiful for the Future

 

 

My tagline above sums up what my NEW artwork is all about. I have currently left off painting realistically, perhaps until the time comes that I run out of recycled items to glue on my canvas?

If you're not the creative sort and don't know what to do with your miscellaneous items, send them to me and I'll not only pay you the shipping costs, but I'll send you a free mini jewel painting. And if you buy one of my paintings, you'll feel good about it, knowing you're helping the environment by encouraging me (and others) to continue recycling/upcycling.

The 9x12 inch painting below is called "Alphabet Soup" using old chain and necklace pieces and is $160.00 US, (220.00 CD) plus shipping, like all my 9x12's which are sold with a simple black wooden frame.

 
 

Below is another 9x12 inch piece I call "Angel Stones" and is made with a pearl chain necklace, loose pearls (all artificial pearls) and little pieces of copper wire that my husband saved from his electronic projects. Also in the centre are some clear beads, some home-grown crystals (left over from my daughter's projects) and a couple of plastic wing-like earrings.

 
 

All the things that we tend to put in a box and store for "later", all the stuff we throw in the trash even though it still has some life left in it, and even all the stuff that we believe really might be garbage, could become a productive part of our lives again. Things like dead pens or pencil ends, bread bag closures or teeth flossers, broken jewellery or plastic cutlery - the list is endless these days so don't throw it out, put it on the wall! 

Recently my husband bought a 3-D printer and all kinds of pieces end up as scrap because they don't print properly, so after a month's worth of projects, because I asked him not to throw anything out, I had enough miscellaneous pieces for a large painting (it's my next project and blog topic).

 
 

The piece above, also a 9x12 inch board, is called "Fruit Bearing Vine" and uses only two necklaces which I had taken apart. The angled jewel pieces came out of the chain with angled shapes in it (the vine).

AND - the music is my own creation! It starts out a little slow but I think the sound goes along with the image quite well. Please, please, please send me any comments you might have.

Click on the images above to see their videos.

My blog last month has the story of why I started this business of recycling. (It's titled, "Why make mixed-media art, you ask?"

And my website has been updated to reflect my new vision.


 

 

Why make mixed-media art, you ask?


 
 
 

I discovered not long ago why I have such a heart to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Not only is recycling something that was taught to our children in school (as it's important to maintain a healthy environment, right?), but reusing things was also passed down to me from my parents who were children growing up in war-torn Europe. When my grandmother was fleeing the east with her 6 younger children, including my mom, they had to leave all their possessions behind. So you can imagine why things they eventually gained back became so precious to them.

During the war years, in order to receive one piece of bread per person, you had to stand in bread lines for hours a day. On the rare occasion my mom (as a cute little girl) said she could get a second piece of bread if her mother couldn't be in the line for some reason. When I was growing up, you finished ALL the food on your plate!

 
 
 
 

My mom also told me of a time when she and her brother discovered a small block of cow salt as they were out in the fields playing, and what a treasure trove that was to my grandmother! The only food she had to feed her large family for supper were some old shrivelled potatoes that they had found in a bombed-out house basement. As you might imagine, cooked potatoes in water are a lot better with salt!

 
 
 
 

As I grew up nothing was wasted in our house – each item was well used. When clothing was too worn to wear, it became patches for other clothing and then the buttons and zippers were taken off while the rest of the material became rags. We darned our socks too. 

As the stories of difficult times were told from both my mother and my father, they taught me the value of little things and that's why I've always had a drawer or two (in almost every room), holding "miscellaneous" items – from scraps of material to chipped plates and broken jewellery. Even though I know they're old and useless, in the back of my mind I'm thinking I'll surely need them for something some day!

 
 
 
 

And as it turned out, those little items became the basis for my first, somewhat-abstract, highly textured, upcycled art, that you see displayed in this blog. I call them "Heirloom Art Pieces." 

My first large textured abstract (the red one at the beginning) was literally made from items in my kitchen drawer, the second one (beside it) was made from items in my bedroom jewellery drawer (along with a watch collection from my neighbour - thank you Emily!).

It's a satisfying adventure for me - making something beautiful out of formerly useless things that would otherwise end up in the landfill. As my own store of useless things began to wane, other gracious friends donated jewellery items  – and now I frequently rummage through second-hand stores. 

 
 
 
 

You'll notice that I not only use jewellery in my art pieces but also a wide variety of materials like tablecloths, scarves, cutlery, glass, wool sweaters ... and even computer parts! So, if you happen to have a drawer full of little things that are not very useful but still too good to throw out, this artist is open for donations!

If you're looking for a family Heirloom Painting as a gift for someone who has everything, I can make a lovely painting for their wall - as a commission. I'll use your own (or their) memorable miscellaneous items on either a 9 x 12 inch canvas (250.00) or a 20 x 24 inch canvas (800.00). Email me at dorothealeblanc@me.com

 
 
 
 

All the paintings in this email are 20 x 24 inches, see my latest collection of 9 x 12 inch jewel paintings (being added to weekly), along with process videos at my website: dorothealeblanc.ca

 

Last month's contest results revealed ... And a new video with my own music!


 

I'm beginning to share my new series of 9 x 12 inch jewel paintings with my email audience. These paintings are a continuation of a theme I began a few years back in the form of larger abstracts. The overall collection is called "Heirloom Art Pieces". 

Many people took part in my January contest to name a 9 X 12 inch piece last month and I want to thank you for all your responses! It seems there was a common thread among your title suggestions involving "travelling". The title I picked said it in a simple and elegant way.

And the winning title for this piece is ... "Safe Passage" (see the video with original music)

 
 
 
 

It was sent in by Fern Chapman the president at Plant By Waters Ministries and Missionary Pastor at Eskasoni First Nation and surrounding reserves. I also discovered that she's an amazing musician (http://www.youtube.com/plantbywaters) . Her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/fernchapmanca

Fern sent me a photo of her prize: A 5x7 inch mini jewel painting "Hearts of Gold in a Purple Swirl." (can you tell I need help with titles?) - anyway, I'm happy it's living beside an orchid!

 
 

A week before the contest I had casually asked for title suggestions on a FB post for another new piece (see it at the bottom of this blog), and I received the wonderful title response of "Congregation" from Lynn Goldstein. So I only thought it fair to send Lynn a mini jewel painting too. She chose this one called "Golden Snowflowers."

 
 

Below is the jewel painting called "Congregation": See a video of the making of this piece. As with the above piece, I also created some music for this in a program called GarageBand (an app on my iPad). It was my first ever song! 

 
 
 

 

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Five of my Favourite Artists on Instagram


 

Today's Five Favourite Artists on Instagram

This blog is a response to a challenge by "The Abundant Artist" who I've been learning from this past year or so. One of the best things I've learned from Cory Huff at the Abundant Artist, is that I don't have to walk this life disguised as a person - it's ok to be, and let people know I'm an artist!

Below is a list of some of my personal favourite artists on Instagram. I follow a lot more, but these are a few accounts that drew me in for several reasons.

Here's an artist, Iris Scott who paints with her fingers! What beautiful paintings she makes, such vibrant colours and what a wonderful idea to use our God-given finger-tools! Happy finger painting memories from your childhood will come floating to the surface when you see her work.

 
 
 
 

This cool artist, Raymond Guest, recycles old things and makes them into sometimes beautiful things, sometimes useful new things. I discovered him because I enjoy creating art with recycled items too.

 
 
 
 

When I saw this standing woman sculpture by Penny Hardy, I just fell in love with it. It brings together into one, my love of metalwork, recycling, art, and nature - it's absolutely perfect and looks like it could be living in my parent's back yard.

 
 
 
 

I've always wanted to take a pottery class, never have but it's so satisfying to watch others make it; it's mesmerizing! This place makes beautiful pottery and you can see a lot of process videos - have a look: Fire and Earth Pottery

 
 
 
 

And last but not least - ROCKS! We all know that rocks are pretty amazing - for a thousand different reasons!! Kokei Mikuni unbelievably balances rocks in rivers creating beautiful temporary sculptures.

 
 
 
 

@dorothealeblanc - and then there's me! If you want to follow my progress on Instagram, feel free!

I offer my services to people like a woman I met a last week who said she had jewellery from her mother that she didn't want to wear, neither did her kids want to wear it, but she also didn't want to throw it away because it was special to her. See a video of how I put jewellery on canvasses.

Email me if you'd like to permanently preserve your precious items on a painting!

 
 
 

A Poem about a Paintbrush Holder


 

Some know me well and won't be surprised
at this corny poem (yes, it's my very own)!

The rest who just met me, I beg don't criticize
What so naturally comes to me when I'm all alone. ...

 
 
 
 

I drove to Home Depot to see if I could find
Select wood big enough, and the best kind

 
 
 
 

Bought a hole drill too, just the right size
It was coarse so I wondered if I had been wise.

 
 
 
 

Sanded those holes for a very long time  
Wished that dad's shop tools from Ontario were mine

 
 
 
 

Finished the job - enough to get on with the show
And now I've my paintbrushes all in a row!

 
 

I'd be so happy if you visited my website at dorothealeblanc.ca  - and or followed me on FB, IG or Twitter

 

Rocks are like People

Who doesn't love rocks? They're infinite in colour, shape, size and character; no two are ever the same yet each one carries a beauty of it's own.

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They absorb heat from the sun (or Son) and range from being large, smooth and flat (that's when they're really comforting - just add a towel), to being so small and sharp they can almost cut like a knife (if you're not wearing proper sole (or soul) protection).

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Once a rock breaks off from its original resting place, it becomes more susceptible to the elements of weather and could possibly "live its life" being ruthlessly carried to the opposite ends of the earth. But at the same time, due to the process itself, a rock could end up becoming more beautiful - or even "precious".

Alas, it's very likely that most rocks get completely obscured from anyone's appreciating eye. And though some are in view all the time, not many people notice they're there.

I'm noticing.

I can't help but see the similarities between rocks and people, how about you?

Check out the Youtube videos of my current rock series!

Gaining Insight by Making Art - A quick story of people functionality.

As I was making my latest bas-relief painting, I received some understanding of the process God might be going through to develop His Church (people). I'll try to explain with my process in pictures:

This pic shows how the pile of chains looked before starting - they represent people, as links hooked up in various groupings (families or nations). But left to themselves they are all over the place, entangled and unable to communicate or function as the creator would like them to.

So the task begins - of arranging the links and chains in an orderly, functional manner - and sewing them onto the canvas so that many more can be moved into place. They all need to be tacked down because if they're not, a small jolt of the table will scatter them.

More and more chains are added until the creator is happy with the formation of everyone. Some stragglers look like they want to get away, but they don't fit in till the end, so it's ok. They eventually get sewn in place.

Here's a "behind the scenes" look at the efforts taken to gather every chain permanently into it's proper place. 

The chains think they look pretty good now - all lined up and shiny (left pic), but the process to the final image is long. First a unifying (gluing) process is needed - it can be messy and chains get influenced to go here and there - but all are eventually brought back into place.
And then they must rest - until the canvas is dry and nothing can be shaken or moved out of place.

Paint is applied and removed, applied and removed, applied and removed. The chains take a good beating to become beautiful! (note to self - fingers are a great polisher). 

The end has come and it's taken a lot of "pushing and pulling" of colour - and a LOT of polishing and buffing - but the creator is happy with the final result (closeup on the right).

You'll see the final here on my website under "Bas Relief Paintings"