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Angelia Alexander

February 17, 2018

Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Advanced Design Open House / Exhibition Nov. 18, 2017 Class name: Coral

My interest in architecture began when I was in elementary school—by age 10 or so I was drawing designs for houses, and I thought architecture would be interesting work.  I became a biologist instead, but I was always fascinated by the connection between form and function in the molecules, structures, and systems of living organisms.  This theme has let me work with elements of form such as shape and line, color, and texture.  Balance, contrast, scale, and proportion apply to the repeating elements in buildings, in their rhythms.  I have learned that I love playing with color the most.  My approach has been broad, sometimes focusing on the shapes, patterns, and colors in whole buildings and, at other times, depicting the details of texture, line, and color in construction materials as seen at very close range.  My inspiration for specific pieces has come primarily from photographs I have taken during local and more distant travels.

The courses here at the studio have introduced me to a variety of methods for expressing what I see:  drawing, painting, stitch, paper-making, print-making, collage.  This has been a rich opportunity for me, especially since my last formal art course was in the eighth grade (in 1953)—a 60-year gap prior to my first course here in 2013.  I have worked primarily on paper and canvas through a variety of mediums.  I know I will continue to work in this way as well as apply what I have learned to making quilts, something I have been doing part-time for a few decades.  I thank Gail for her passion for both art and teaching and my colleagues in the courses I have taken for their friendship and inspiration.

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I Like to use Unexpected Colors and Texture … Guest Blogger: Christine Mahoney

February 13, 2018

Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Advanced Design Open House / Exhibition Nov. 18, 2017 Class name: Coral

 I like to observe carefully and to think about things that really matter.  I am interested in how people see things they normally take for granted.  I would like my art to make a difference in how people see things.  So, I like to use unexpected colors and textures to make people stop and think a little more. 

Over the past two years, I spent a-lot of time looking at water and playing with color. I am interested in how water moves and how to show that movement through lines, textures and color. I love water as it is both energizing and calming to me. I try to capture these moods in my paintings. I feel like I have much more work to do with water.  I am grateful to have been part of the Coral group and for Gail.  What an amazing group of artists. Thank you for making me a better one.

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Photography and Printing – Patterns and Colours in Provence – Guest Blogger: Cathy Glover

February 7, 2018

Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Advanced Design Open House / Exhibition Nov. 18, 2017 Class name: Coral

Over the past two years I have focused on textile surface design through block printing and digital photography.  As I have learned to digitally manipulate photographs together to create new patterns and designs,  I have built on the love I have of the colours and textures of Provence. My exploration of chintz and its emergence from a trade textile to the patterns we continue to see today, has helped me to appreciate the fluidity of design and the ways in which colour, line, pattern and textures can be incredibly complex within very limited constraints.  As someone who loves textiles it has been a wonderful journey that has lead to new collections of vintage fabrics, a ongoing appreciation of artists like Matisse, Monet and Van Gogh and the time to build a library of photographic images that will inspire my creative pursuits in the future.  I am thankful for the learning that has come from working with Gail and my fellow members of the Coral group as we have inspired one another. 

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Mother Nature’s Chapter on Geology – Guest Blogger: Ellen Anderson

January 24, 2018

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Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Advanced Design Open House / Exhibition Nov. 18, 2017 Class name: Coral

Mother Nature’s Chapter on Geology tells the story of vast scales of time, substance and change manifested in lines, colors, shapes and textures.  These expressions and the processes that formed them have always piqued my interest.  This brief study of geologic features explores these elements.   Imagine the countless variations : hence a perpetually interesting subject for me. If it is designed by Nature, especially plants, landscapes or geologic features, it is fair game for my interpretations. I record by photo and sketch patterns, colors and textures that catch my eye. Recent works have moved into the third dimension and I am enjoying experimenting with textured gels and the variety of unusual materials I’ m trying. I look forward to progressing further with my new studies of elements of design. 


Oceans: Dead and Alive… Guest Blogger: Leslie Christian

January 19, 2018

Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Advanced Design – Open House / Exhibition Nov. 18, 2017 Class name: Coral

I chose a theme for this course – Oceans: Dead and Alive–based on my desire to recognize and artistically express duality while honoring the elements of art and design. I wanted to work with the effects of knowing that our oceans are at once alive with beauty, life and spirit while at the same time they are dying from pollution, warming and waste accumulation. We live with this duality and can sometimes settle on one side or the other in denial or hope. Somewhere in the middle is the capacity to live with both, and I wanted to work with this tension in my artistic endeavors.

Aesthetically, I intended to create art that embodies certain qualities: simplicity, calmness, repetition, and cycles, and contradiction or surprise. I found myself approaching the work with a variety of emotions—serenity, grief, sadness, and fullness—all of which I experience when I am on or near the ocean.

During the past two years I have enjoyed learning to make several types of paper—Japanese, hand cast, and fiber (silk and flax)—and have incorporated them into my artwork along with various printmaking techniques. I tend to prefer neutrals and shades, and white proved to be an effective element in developing my theme in the context of my particular aesthetic and preferences.

I learned that I thoroughly enjoy construction and assembly of mixed media pieces, especially the combination of stitch, fiber and beading with paper and printing. I look forward to exploring what comes next.

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The Third Choice in Art…Guest Blogger: Moira Kloster

January 7, 2018

Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Advanced Design – Diploma    Class Name: Coral Open House / Exhibition Nov.18, 2017

   I have never liked boundaries or limits. I’m always looking for a third choice instead of “either/or”. Yet until recently, as an artist I limited myself to the real, the literal, and the conventional. Gail’s courses have given me the third choice. In Level 1 I took my first small steps away from copying reality. That was a challenge, but I found I welcomed it. In Level 2 and 3 I began to stretch beyond literal and conventional pictures. And now in Level 4, I have learned to explore an idea without trying to squash it into a particular shape from the start. I have learned to develop a theme without settling for the first few ideas that come to me. I have learned to let a theme take me on its own path instead of me pushing it my way. I have grown beyond measure. Moira Kloster

Moira’s theme has generally focused on those things that may seem out of place in their environment at first glance but because of their unique contrasts, can bring interest to a design. Gail Harker

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Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio as my Theme…Guest Blogger: Mical Middaugh

January 1, 2018

Level 4 Experimental Research for Art and Design – Diploma – Class name: Coral 

2017 Open  House Exhibit – November 18, 2017 –  Blog #2 of 8

Choosing a theme and keeping within its parameters was a challenge for me.  I can’t recall how “Fibonacci and the Golden  Ratio” became my working title.  Researching Fibonacci, the intersection with the Golden Ratio and variations opened up new visual ideas.

The Golden Triangle variation allowed me to turn toward my interest in three-dimensional pieces.  Incorporating some of my botanical and art photos occurred naturally.More possibilities of using the Golden Triangle keeping popping up.  We’ll see where it takes me.

A very big ‘Thank You’ to Gail for allowing and encouraging me to follow this ‘bit out of the usual realm’.  I have matured as an artist with Gail’s backing.

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