Artist’s Toolkit ~ Kathleen Slavin

I am a mark maker.  Always close at hand in my studio are buckets of mark making tools.  I love the act of applying paint to a surface.  Creating is at its best when the marks suggest the next direction.  I also prefer to not be fully in control of my painting tools.  Discovering, often by accident, a new way to move paint by flowing, scraping, rolling, scratching, dripping, and so on is endlessly satisfying.  Texture builds up in rough layers that hide and reveal the layers below and offers direction for what to do next.

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My Favourite Things ~ Paige Mortensen

My favourite things in my artist toolkit are my irons. Watercolour batik is all about the wax, and to be useful the wax needs to be melted. First I have a small encaustic iron that folds down to make a small skillet for melting the wax. I then use sponges, brushes or stamps to put the melted was onto my paper. This keeps the colour and allows me to build up layers of wax and watercolour until I finish the piece. Then, I need to get the wax off. To do this I put the piece between layers of newsprint and iron so that the wax comes off onto the newsprint. This is the most exciting part of my process!
I will have an iron at our Open Studio Show & Sale on Monday, November 26th at Grace Westminster Church 505 – 10th Street East. Come see it in action between 11 am and 9 pm!
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My Favourite Thing ~ Monika Kinner-Whalen

As a textile artist inspired by the landscape, I credit my camera as being the ‘favourite thing’ simply because it is how I bring back inspiration to my studio. The images I collect are personal memories which form the basis of my art. Because the prairies are ever changing with regard to light and seasons and weather, capturing moments in time that fill my heart is absolutely instrumental to the creation of my art.  If you blink, you’ll miss it.  I don’t want to miss a thing.
Though I don’t always work from photographs, I believe the act of years of obsessive picture taking certainly has helped train my artist eye. I am inspired by texture and pattern as much as I am by the big open landscapes and living skies. The best thing about heading out with my camera is that it provides me a good break from sitting still in a studio. Even if I don’t feel like it, I never regret these adventures. They always fill me up with awe and inspiration, getting me excited to create new and better work every time.
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My Favourite Thing ~ Cindy Wright

Natural Light

I am so fortunate to have a studio with a window of a big Saskatchewan sky. This lighting is crucial for enriching the process of my watercolour paintings. The natural light not only makes me feel healthy and happy but inspired. It allows me to “read the paper” when it’s time to drop, splash or brush the paint on. There’s a tiny window just before the water is absorbed as it momentarily sits on the surface. A sheen that can only be really seen using natural light. For the upcoming show I have changed up my pallet using reds, blacks and blues against the ultimate contrast of crisp white. Just like a bright and sunny day of winter casting dark shadows on the snow. Mark your calendar for Monday November 26th at Grace Westminster United Church 11am – 9pm.

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Artist’s Toolkit ~ Gail Prpick

I am a fickle artist.  If you asked me what my favourite item in my art toolkit was last week, it would have been raw canvas.  This week I am on the alcohol ink band wagon.  The colours are vibrant and luminous but I find myself quite often toning them down.  It is interesting to just dab the ink on a ceramic tile or yupo paper and watch them move but to manipulate the ink is wonderful.  I do this by cutting into the ink on the paper or tile with a brush dipped in alcohol.  To protect my art, I spray it with a vanish.  I find Kamar by Krylon to work best.  Many vanishes will make the ink bleed and discolour.   Come and see me dabbing  on Monday, November 26, 2018.

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Art Toolkit Favourite ~ Molly Clark

What I listen to while I work is as important as any of my painting tools; it sets the tone for the work at hand. I remember how easily a set of landscape paintings came together while listening to Ian Tyson songs about the northern plains. Hearing author Stephen Jenkinson’s musings on heritage makes me think about a scene I’m painting and what it might have looked like generations ago. Creating art alongside an audiobook or podcast, learning while painting, killing two birds with one stone as they say, makes for productive days.

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My Favorite Thing ~ Patricia Katz

The Winsor Newton Watercolour Field Kit

I love to travel, and I love to sketch. So I always take my watercolour paints and a sketchbook with me when I am on the move.

Although I have several different travel palettes, one of my favorites is the Field Kit sold by Winsor Newton.

I love how compact it is; and for something so small, it sure packs in a lot of features. When unfolded, you end up with three mixing surfaces, and a water reservoir attached to one end of the kit. The finger loop on the back allows you to securely rest the entire paint box in the palm of your hand. 

The Field Kit also contains a small flask for carrying water, and a small paint brush nestled in the box. I personally find that paint brush too small for my purposes, and I often carry extra water in another bottle. However, for small sketches and quick adventures, the flask and brush will get you going.

The kit comes pre-loaded with pans of Winsor Newton pigments. However, I usually pop those out, and refill the pans with colour from my own tube paints. That way, I can be assured that I am carrying the colours I most like to use. Once set, the tube colours travel well, and are readily reactivated with a spritz of water.

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