Work and Play

I’ve reached the point in my Seriously Whimsical art project where I’ve become impatient to get started. I can’t shove less exciting tasks out of the way fast enough. I mean, really. You have to go out and buy groceries, clean the house, work in the office and tie up the loose ends from the last project. Ugh.

What I do get while I wait though, is the fun of  to plotting and scheming and planning! My mind races with things to try and ways to do them:

  • Use a cake decorator to draw with paper pulp ◊ then I should borrow books on cake decorating ◊ maybe even watch “Ultimate Cake Off”!
  • Pour plaster onto tree branches to pick up texture, then carve the plaster.
  • What would be a good system for pressure treating and desiccating the pulp in  latex without destroying the mold? Oven? Buy a desiccator?
  • Hey! beads and glitter!

Then I start thinking about possible alternatives if one method doesn’t work! I so want to get started before I get overwhelmed with the possibilities and they become a spiderweb of what ifs.

Everything I see and think becomes fodder for my whimsical gristmill. Excessive rain caused mushrooms to sprout all over the tree stump in my son’s back yard.

stump with shelf mushrooms

Cool!! Any idea how many varieties of mushrooms you can find in Google? Wow! Artists wood-burn onto ” shelf mushrooms”, which these may be!! More possibilities! Fun! Or shelves .

While my grandchildren run and jump around me in the back yard I pull out my travel sketchbook and draw the stump with mushrooms for future reference. “You’re a good drawer, Grandma!” “Thanks Georgie, you’re a good climber”

“Do you want to play Play-Doh, Grandma?”  “Do I?!” Ya!

What a gold mine of possibilities. Textures and tools. And impermanence. Just playing and fooling around. No pressure. What fun!! The ideas are endless.

“Let’s go to the park, Grandma.” Oh Ya!

"Green man & Moon" - by Knotty Inks. The Green Man is related to nature deities in many cultures, and is a symbol of rebirth.

Maple leaves. Perfect for the Green Man I want to make.  What a great place for the kids to climb in and play and use their imagination.  Oh ya, and Grandma too. Climbing structures, boulders, a gazebo, a creeklet, tree bark, pea stones.

“I’m the farmer and you’re the dog, grandma.” “Huh!”


“You’re fun, Grandma.” You too, Georgie and Joe. What a great day!

P. S. Ooooh. I love Google. I’ve since discovered that Drain Cleaner is a desiccant, maybe I can make my own desiccator. Now, for pressure treating….

Seriously Whimsical or Whimsically Serious

I’m excited. My “Phenomenal Reality” project has grown up and moved out of the house. It’s living it’s own life; seeing new people and places. It doesn’t really need me any more.

But that’s not why I’m excited. I have a new baby, and I can’t wait to raise it.

Secret Squirrel & Morocco Mole
Secret Squirrel (Patrick Owlsey)

Shhhhh. This is secret squirrel stuff. We don’t want to give away too many inside secrets.

I’m going to work with paper. Not on paper, with paper. Lumps and piles of soggy paper stuck to 2′ x 2′ ceiling tiles as a 3D relief carving.

The pieces will be modular, each tile can stand alone or attach above, below, or beside another tile to build  larger pieces.

The process involves kitchen blenders, rag paper, fabric scraps, liquid latex, plaster, plastilina , fabric dye, watercolours, & ceiling tiles. Fun stuff, right?

Here’s the surprize. Each piece will incorporate works of fantasy. Surprized? I know, I’m so stepping out of my normal genre!

Here is what I’m thinking. Forest dwellers and abodes. Green men, sprites & elves. You know, all the things normally seen in a forest.

Some elements might repeat or wander through several tiles; leaves, vines, staircases.

I gotta get to the drawing board and get this show started. This is serious stuff (and secret).

About Sharing and Goals

Last Fall my life changed! Again!  It shouldn’t have, but it did. I took a class* that opened a door to a world of possibilities. They were always there, but I hadn’t even noticed the room I was in had doors. Voilà! The world is suddenly more than the little box I’d always imagined it to be.

The life lesson was this: You need to define your goals.

What? Really? Imagine not realizing that in order to move toward a goal you actually need to know what the goal is!

Over the course of the class I tentatively put 7 goals/affirmations out to the Universe. I treated them as if they were already positively true, and by doing so my world has changed.

The 7th affirmation I wrote was this: “I can’t wait to share my art.”


The fact of the matter is, that was always true. I’ve always wanted to share my art. What’s harder to accept is that there are people who want to share it with me.

Yesterday, my friend Cheryl, phoned to let me know she’d been contacted by an art gallery who would like to exhibit our artwork for 6 weeks in the spring. WooHoo! I’m thrilled!

Without all the steps in between, this seems like magic:

“Dear Universe: I’d like to have X.

Dear Diana: OK”

The fact is, Cheryl and I worked very hard to get enough artwork done to begin submitting proposals. We also worked very hard to put proposal packages together to submit to galleries. But we had a goal.

Knowing what my goal was enabled me to take steps toward it. If it seems pretty simple, that’s because it is.

And now Dear Universe: Thank you for listening, but listen, I have another favour…”

Artemis Moon
Artemis Moon

P.S. It seems this post left unanswered questions so I’m adding this post script. I know, I know. Normally the things I write make complete sense!

“Phenomenal Reality” is a body of artwork by my friend and fellow artist, Cheryl Andrist, and me. Briefly these works are based on our  musings about natural phenomena and the mythologies connected to them.

Cheryl’s work concentrates on the sun in it’s many aspects. Mine has a more literal connection to myths. I know, you’re all surprized.

I promise to blog about the show in more detail later. In the meantime, some of my artwork from the show is posted in the sidebar ————>  (I think. I’m a bit of a novice at this blogging stuff)

Our first exhibition will be at the  Allie Griffin Art Gallery in Weyburn for 6 weeks  in April/May 2011.


*Blast Off with Alyson Stanfield

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