Colouring Book Launch

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After my last exhibition so many people told me that my illustrations would lend themselves perfectly to a colouring book. After months of hard work my colouring book “Familiar Friends” is finally ready. It’s been so much fun to see this project come together and I am very proud of the accomplishment to have published my first book.

The illustrations within my colouring book are portraits, exploring the physical nature, personality and character traits of people I have met. To me seeing an animal in a person is just like looking up into the sky and seeing animals form within the clouds. The portraits consist of simple line drawings and geometric patterns inspired by folk art from all over the world, including Swiss Bauernmalerei and paper cuts.

Many of us live stressful and hectic lives and we all find different ways to cope. I am sure you remember colouring as a kid and might think that you are too old to pick up your crayons again. But not so fast! Research has shown that even short times of colouring can reduce your stress levels and increase creativity. So much so that even the corporate world has taken notice and offices have started doing colouring sessions to decrease their employee’s stress levels and at the same time increase their creativity.

Give the gift of relaxation this Christmas! Available for $19.75 (SFR. 19.75) at McNally Robinson (in-store and online – they ship worldwide).

If you are local and want to get your hands on a copy right away pick up your own copy at McNally or email me at anjastudios@shaw.ca and we can arrange delivery.

A special thanks to Kyle for all his support, to Rob for doing an amazing job with the layout of the book, to Lindsay for proof reading and to Emily for creating this beautiful video to help me launch my book! Couldn’t have done this without you!

Ciao

Xoxo

Anja

 

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Brooklyn Art Library visit

In 2011 and 2013 I participated in the Sketchbook project organized by the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. I was sad that I didn’t get a chance to go to either one of the vernissages or catch the exhibit in one of the many cities it toured in. You can only imagine just how excited I was when I finally had a chance to visit the Brooklyn Art Library last Saturday.

 

It was amazing to see a library filled with sketchbooks, to finally see my books as part of this permanent collection and to get a chance to see other artists’ work. It’s incredible that the Sketchbook project has grown to include works from over 35,000 artists from over 135 countries.

Here is a bit more info on my sketchbooks:

My 2011 sketchbook “Below the Surface” is a a collection of very personal self-portraits consisting of poems and illustrations. The books toured the US from  February to July, 2011 to Brooklyn, Austin, Portland, Atlanta, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Winter Park Florida.

My 2013 sketchbook “J’amerais mieux te connaître” was a reflection of 2012 – a year full of change, opportunity and travel. I got to travel across Europe and spend some time in Hawai’i on business. The simplicity of pen and ink takes away the noise surrounding each place and shows the purity of my love for each of these places. The books toured from March to August 2013 to Brooklyn, Austin, Atlanta, Toronto, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

If you are in NYC take a quick subway ride to Williamsburg and visit the Brooklyn Art Library. Definitely worth a visit.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Ciao

Anja

 

 

 

Afternoon of workshops

I had a very inspiring afternoon at a fundraiser event for the Manitoba Crafts Museum. There were many different demonstrations and I had the opportunity to participate in three workshops.

I attended the “Leather Work” workshop by Jan Castillo, where we learned the basics of leather working by making a small coin purse. Loved it and will definitely do this again.

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The second workshop I took was “Metis Beadwork” by Jennine Krauchi. Her work is just stunning. We learned floral beadwork using a two-needle technique. After spending a hour at the workshop I spent a couple more hours tonight finished up my little flower. A very humbling experience.

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I ended the afternoon by learning a Japanese braiding technique called Kumihimo taught by Susan Styrchak. Hoping to transfer the simple string into a bracelet.

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I really enjoyed learning some new techniques today and I will for sure participate in this event again next year.

Ciao

Anja

 

Book cover

In the Spring I got to work on an exciting project that I wanted to share with you all.

The Swiss author Patricia Aschilier was looking for a custom illustration for the cover of her new book “Elfie”. I felt very honoured to have been asked and I truly enjoyed the process of creating an illustration for the cover of a book. While drawing the dove I couldn’t wait to read the book and find out more about its significance.

To make sure I don’t ruin the book for you I am just sharing a short description:

At 44, Petra a devoted wife and mother of three finds herself lost and decides spur of the moment to go on a trip to find herself again. The trip is full of exciting adventures, interesting encounters and new life lessons, which in the end show her the right path.

elfie-cover

If you are interested to learn more about the author or on how to get your own copy, here is the link to the author’s blog Patricia Aschilier. Please note that the books and blog entries are written in German.

Definitely a great read and I am very proud of how the cover turned out.

Ciao!

Anja

 

 

 

Countdown is on

The opening night of my solo exhibition “Perception” is only 4 days away . I am busy with lots of final preparations and with preparing for my parents arrival on Tuesday. I am very excited to show this new series of work consisting of illustrations, screen prints, encaustic paintings and a large format installation. This series is based on the idea that two people can have the same experience but perceive it so differently. While working on my last solo show “Home Sweet Home,” I discovered that my perception of growing up is quite different from my brother’s – that it’s not only people, events, and experiences but rather our perception of those that makes us who we are.

I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you all to the opening night on Thursday, March 12, 2015, 7-11pm at cre8ery gallery, 125 Adelaide, 2nd floor. I hope you can join me for this exciting night!

Ciao!

Anja

Invitation - Perception

Invitation – Perception

Art exhibition – working around the clock

In case you are wondering what I have been up to over the past 2 years… well where to start. I have had very little time for my art due to my new job as the Senior Project Manager, New Media at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It’s been inspiring, crazy, tiring and rejuvenating all at the same time. The museum fully opened on November 11 and I switched my attention from opening a museum to getting ready for my exhibition. It’s been a lot of long hours but hey I was already used to that after working at the museum. I have loved being able to get lost in my art again and being able to spend 8 hours at a time in my studio creating and playing.

This new series being exhibited consists of illustrations, screen prints, encaustic paintings and a large format installation. Here is a sneak peek of what I have been working on… More details on the opening night to come in the next few days but please mark your calendars – the opening night is taking place on March 12, 7-11pm at cre8ery gallery in the Exchange.

Ciao!

Anja

Screen printing at Martha Street Studio

Screen printing at Martha Street Studio

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Rabbits behind bars

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Owl illustration

Fox

Fox

Anja Studer Encaustic2

Encaustic landscapes

encaustic sky

Encaustic sky

Playing with encaustics

A few years back I went to see a talk + demo by the local artist Tim Schouten at the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery) with my friend and fellow artist Charlene Brown. We had both seen Tim’s encaustic paintings and were interested in learning more about his work and about encaustic in general. Seeing him work was fascinating and the following summer I made sure to visit his studio (http://www.watchthewave.ca/). I was intrigued and scared by this ancient medium and wanted to try it out so badly. I ordered some pre-made encaustic paints and started exploring. It was a lot of trial and error and a lot of playing with different tools – and playing is the key word here, as it truly feels like playing. I instantly fell in love with this medium. I have taken a workshop and have learned how to make my own encaustic paints from bees wax and damar resin. I don’t have proper ventilation in my studio so I decided to set up my encaustic studio on our deck. Painting outside solved the ventilation issue and I have to say it intensified the sense of playing as it reminded me even more of being a kid playing outside. I started working on my next solo show (March 2015 at cre8ery gallery) exploring the theme of dreams and illusions. 6 of my encaustic pieces will be exhibited at cre8ery gallery Nov. 5 to Dec. 10, 2013. Gallery hours are Tuesday & Thursday 12-8pm, Wednesday & Friday, 12-5pm and Saturday 12-4pm.

encaustic set up anja studer encaustic

Here is a bit more information about encaustic:

The word encaustic comes from Greek and means to “burn in”, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Encaustic is a paint composed of beeswax, damar resin and pigments. The term “encaustic” is often used to describe both the paint itself, and the method for using it. Encaustic paint is applied molten to an absorbent surface, and then fused, (or re-melted), to create a variety of effects. Unlike other paints, encaustic is never wet or dry – it goes from a liquid to solid state and back again in seconds, which means additional layers can be added immediately, without disrupting your composition. Once the surface has cooled, the paint has reached a permanent finish, but the painting can be revised and reworked with heat at any time – minutes or years later.

Encaustic paint was first used over 5,000 years ago in Greece when it was used wax to seal their ships. Eventually they added pigment to decorate the boats.

The oldest surviving encaustic works are 2000 years old. These are the beautiful and realistic Fayum funeral portraits from Egypt. These were painted in colored waxes on wood and w.ere attached to mummy cases to commemorate the deceased and transport them to the afterlife. The wax has preserved them in near perfect condition.

Encaustic eventually fell out of favor because it was so cumbersome to use. Imagine melting wax paint over a wood fire by candlelight! The medium was replaced by tempera painting, fresco, and eventually oil painting. Still, it was kept alive over the centuries by small groups of dedicated artists. Many Impressionists and Symbolist artists experimented with wax. Some of the artists known to use wax in their paintings include Paul Gauguin and George Seurat.

My motto for this week: Try something new that scares you!

Ciao

Anja