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

 

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.

Leather purse.jpg

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.

Beadwork.jpgBeadwork2.jpg

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

 

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

The Sketchbook Project 2013

Some of you might have heard of The Sketchbook Project. The Brooklyn Art Library in New York has created a yearly project consisting of a collection of creative works in the form of sketchbooks contributed by artists from all around the world. Thousands are adding their voices to this amazing project yearly, having formed a library of 22,000 sketchbooks and growing. The collection can be viewed at The Brooklyn Art Library, 103 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY (open 12-8pm daily). If you would like to see this year’s sketchbooks and can’t make it to New York, the books go on tour across North America. Here are this year’s tour dates:

tour dates

tour dates

If your interested in learning more, check out this quick video about the project.

Each participant chooses a theme for their sketchbook. I chose “Travelogue”, the perfect theme for 2012, a year full of change, opportunities and travel. I had the privilege to travel across Europe and spend some time in Hawai’i. Experiencing different cultures and falling in love with each of them. I chose to use the simplicity of pen and ink for my illustrations as I felt that it takes away the noise surrounding each place and shows the purity of my love for each of the places I had the privilege to experience. Here are some pictures of my sketchbook:

Cover

Cover

Passport stamps

Passport stamps

Barcelona

Barcelona

Côte d'Azur

Côte d’Azur

Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez

Paris

Paris

Luzern

Luzern

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Hawai'i

Hawai’i

A month later…

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my exhibit closed. I have been taking some time off to take care of the business side of things. I had to do my accounting for the year and file my taxes, finish all the orders from my exhibition and just take a little bit of time off. It was nice to have a bit of a break and I feel ready to get back into it again. Last week I started taking a screen printing class at Martha Street Studio. I have always wanted to learn how to screen print but never got a chance to take it in Fine Arts, so now I am finally doing it. The first class was really interesting and I am excited to start playing. 8 weeks of classes – yeah! Stay tuned for some pictures of what I will be creating over the next couple of months.

I wanted to share some of the beautiful pictures that the fabulous photographer Dave Swiecicki took during the opening night of my solo exhibition. I also did a walk through video for all my friends and family in Switzerland that didn’t get the opportunity to be there in person.

Enjoy the pictures and the walk through!

Ciao

                     

Exhibition poster and invite

I am so excited! I just received the printed posters and invites for my solo show. I wanted my materials to have the look and feel of a vintage travel poster and I am really happy with how they turned out.  A big thanks goes out to my friend Charity for the design and to Prolific for the printing. Now I just have to start promoting my show and of course finish all the pieces for my show.

Ciao

Home Sweet Home poster

Xmas sale

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year already when we all start thinking about Christmas shopping. My good friend and fellow artist Charlene Brown and I have joined forces this year and are putting on a Christmas sale at Charlene’s studio. Please come visit us….drink some coffee….do a little shopping (pottery, jewelry, photography and textiles)….Nov 26 & 27, 12-5p, 1178 McMillan.

Xmas sale