Women have been participating in the International Women’s Day Art Show since 1997. With various styles and mediums utilized, the work is a powerful platform to identify the theme of the year from a female perspective. I have had the honour to show work at this event four times previously and again in 2019 with the theme of Connections. Most of my work for this show has been water colour or acrylic painting as well as one piece of mixed media. This year I have entered a mixed media collage sculpture that stands 70” tall with a circumference of about 13” – basically a column.

Womens Day Art Show 2019 Mixed Media Collage StructureBeing a student of Life Drawing I have a number, many pages in fact, of gesture and figure drawings performed as a warm-up for longer drawing poses. Yep, artists warm up too just like athletes! So my thought was to use these images in a larger piece. I designed it on cardboard using paper and paint and corrugated cardboard to represent tree trunks, branches and leaves while incorporating my gesture drawings.

There was not much colour and I preferred it that way. Then I realized that the piece was too big as art for the wall so I decided to make it into a sculpture. The whole cardboard was rolled around a piece of sonotube  and volia it became a free standing sculpture!… tree trunks?

Fickle artistic mind! For now I decided that colour was required. The figures originally drawn with charcoal and conte were enhanced with coloured pastels and ‘leaves’ painted in red, gold and orange were added to the branches. I added found cardboard (aka tissue box) in blue, gray and green tones to the lower level or bog area of the piece and ‘Balancing Life on a Limb’ was complete.

This is the story – These gesture drawings reflect the brevity of the actions of our activities in day to day living. Sometimes they are solidly rooted or they may be calmly lodged as at the crotch of a branch to a tree trunk. They can also perch precariously on the tip of a twig being pushed and pulled by the wind in a winter storm or more lightly in the gentle breeze of summer.

Life challenges us to connect to the parts and keep our balance.

The 23rd Annual International Women’s Day Art Show takes place at the Orillia Museum of Art and History,  30 Peter Street South, Orillia and runs February 16th to April 14th 2019 with opening reception taking place Saturday February 16th from 1-4 p.m. visit www.orilliamuseum.org

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