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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beaded Icons by Ivanochko

Poster for Display/Sale on Feb 6, 2011 in Toronto

Not everyday does one have the privilege of helping their first beading teacher put together an exhibit of their work! My call came mid December.

Oksana Ivanochko of Lviv, Ukraine, was in Toronto with 15 of her beaded icons. Could I help her find the venues to display her work? I've organized an exhibit of her work at my church, St. Demetrius the Great Martyr Ukrainian Catholic Church, on Sunday, Feb 6th, after Liturgies right after I get back from Tucson. KONTAKT-TV will be coming to cover the story.

The beaded icons are beautiful. Oksana has an artist write (paint) the face and hands, while she bead embroiders the garments, background and details. She's had several exhibits in Ukraine and Europe. This is the first of its kind in Canada.

Torontonians, here's a chance to see some very fine bead embroidery. There will also be some beadwork for sale. If you miss it, I can connect you with Oksana. The world is getting smaller all the time.

Oksana Ivanochko and Maria pose with her Christ icon, Jan 23, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maharaja Exhibit at AGO

Patiala Necklace by Cartier, 1928, Paris (photo of notecard)

Saw the "Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts" exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto, with Jo-Ann and Dolores. Through Indian paintings from 1700's onwards, we saw royal life in miniature, i.e. processions, events and stories. Such brilliance! The finest details in clothing patterns and jewelry seemed to be painted with a single hair. We marveled, "How did they do that?". There also was furniture, decorative arts, garments and jewelry. Lots of inspiration for beadwork... The Maharaja exhibit continues to April 3rd. Don't miss it!

Maharaja Poster outside AGO
Most of the opulent and lavish jewelry was worn by men, the Maharajas, not the Maharani women! Now that's a switch.

This was a great start to the Ukrainian New Year (Julian calendar).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas on the Julian Calendar

Christmas tree at home, MI
Best wishes of a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year.
"Embroidered" satin ornaments by Maria

I was on my hands and knees late Monday a week ago photographing my 9 easels for the International One of a Kind Exhibit at JOGS in Tucson. Once I finished the easels, the Christmas tree in the corner of the room caught my eye. It was unique and magical...

It dawned on me the tree decorations were mostly homemade. My mother Martha (1927-2001) made plastic canvas snowflakes with each of her 4 granddaughters and I made all the satin sequins ornaments. She decorated this artificial tree with every one of my "embroidered" balls, mixed in solid colored ones and added silver garland. Now Nina, my step-mother, makes an annual trip up the stairs with the tree all-decorated and puts it into the icon corner. Afterwards she takes it downstairs.

The designs on the satin balls were inspired by Ukrainian embroidery patterns. I had an artistic license and used sequins to render the designs in traditional or contemporary color motifs. The outer circumference of the balls were fairly thin and allowed sequins on tiny head pins to be easily pushed in one at a time. The same was true for the box of satin thread bell and rondelle-shaped ornaments. It was best to steer clear of the thicker plastic near the hanger or bottom. The ornaments were created during my late high school/early college days. Each one was then tied on a ribbed curly ribbon. I'm amazed at the quality of that ribbon! And the satin balls have held up so well 40 years later! May the tradition continue for many more.

"Embroidered" with sequins & pins

Веселих Свят та Щасливого Нового Року!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

El Anatsui's ROM Installation

Fragment of "Straying Continents", 2010

Started off the New Year with a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Was blown away by Anatsui's art. First went to see the 4th floor exhibit "When I last Wrote to You about Africa". It was a retrospective of Africa's contemporary artist's forty years of painting, sculpture, woodwork and metal multi-element compositions. No photos allowed... that's okay.... I took mental snapshots.

I really liked the compositions of aluminum and copper wire. They started with a discarded bag of liquor bottle caps. It's amazing how many different ways a cap can be cut, folded, punched and twisted! This alone was a lesson in playing and trying out all kinds of ways to manipulate whatever your medium may be!

Close-up of metal liquor bottle caps

Lucky for me, the ROM commissioned a wall installation called "Straying Continents", 2010. It's installed on entry wall of the 3rd floor ROM Crystal. Thank goodness I had my iPhone to photograph sections of an incredible installation.

Fragment of "Straying Continents" by El Anatsui, ROM, 2010

I found Anatsui's work fresh and inspirational. He plays with color, patterns, textures, negative space, layering. Reminded me of beadwork on a large scale.

Fragment of "Straying Continents", 2010