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  • Writer's pictureKaren Selk

10th Anniversary - Gallery 8

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

People from all over the world love to come and visit my home, Salt Spring Island. We are a small island, but word is out we have a very relaxed and welcoming community with inspiring residents involved in many creative pursuits including great food artisans, innovative home builders, finely tuned musicians and colourful artists working in all manner of mediums. We host an amazing Saturday market and an old fashioned Fall Fair complete with zucchini races. You can feel the serene vibe as soon as you drive off the ferry which continues to build as you pass fields of sheep, old and new orchards, vineyards, vegetable and berry farms, forests, streams and lakes.

We are very fortunate to have a number of art galleries here supported by our local residents and tourists alike. My work is represented by Gallery 8 in downtown Ganges. It is owned by Razali who has a keen eye for aesthetics and spatial arrangement that draws you in the front door and continues to entice you around the sculptures of stone and metal, past the ceramics and jewelry and upstairs to walls filled with paintings, photographs and fibre art. Razali has asked all “his artists” to submit new work for the galleries 10thAnniversary celebration in April.

I have been musing about why a perfect day for me is one without anything written on the calendar so I can stay at home all day. Home has everything that makes me feel happy and fulfilled, what more could a girl want. Our garden is stunning with a huge variety of trees, shrubs and perennials and our veggie garden and orchard are abundant and feed us nearly the year round. My studio is well stocked with all manner of raw materials just waiting to be chosen for the next project.

So, for the 10th Anniversary show, I decided to concentrate on “around here”.

January Morning Each morning on our walk, we round the bend in anticipation of what the pond will present us with this day: hooded mergansers, buffleheads, mallards, kingfishers, herons, a refrain of frogs, blue and yellow iris, cattails or reflections. Even a dull January day looks beautiful on the pond.

Pincushion Pods Each season in the garden holds its own wonders. Late summer and fall are not bursting with the same energy as the new plants popping up all over during spring. But if you let those earlier season plants be, they will gift you with their next season of seed heads and pods. They almost always look nothing like their previous selves. Instead of vibrant, lush colours, they are greyed and brown with either papery thin or hard-shelled pods just waiting to burst their seed to continue their life anew next spring. I am fascinated by the distinct architecture each plant concocts to embrace its seeds until the time is right erupt.

These two pieces are photographs I took and printed onto silk fusion, my preferred substrate these days. After the photos are printed, I enhance them with coloured pencils to sharpen the lines and add intensity to the colours. Decisions are made about the choice of hand-stitch or machine-stitch to best show off the subject matter. Finally, I put two layers of quilt batting on the back and quilt areas I want to take form.


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