Showing Tag: "a" (Show all posts)

Getting Drunk Walking to Work

Posted by Julie Brown on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, In : Living by the Brook 
I walk to work every day.  Rain or shine, blizzard or black flies, you will find me trekking up the lane to my studio.  Every day, every season has it's own particular beauty.

There is a short stretch of time, though where the walk is positively intoxicating.  And that time is now.



The honeysuckle and lilac trees are in full bloom, filling my nostrils with their heady scent, and my ears with the droning of bee and hummingbird wings.  My eyes are overwhelmed with the multitude of colours.  Drunk...
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Spring Has Sprung at Wabi Brook!

Posted by Julie Brown on Friday, May 25, 2012, In : Creating by the Brook 
I love the hustle and bustle of spring.  It's such a busy time of year here in northern Ontario, with the plants are coming out of their winter dormancy and sprouting up as fast as they can, gardens going in as early as possible - but not too early or the frost will kill the tender plants.  The birds are building nests, hoping to raise their young in time for them to be able to fly south in a few short months.

It's been busy in the studio, too!  So much has been happening I hardly know where t...
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From Chaos, Beauty

Posted by Julie Brown on Thursday, April 12, 2012, In : Creating by the Brook 
Out of chaos,
 

 

Comes beauty.

       
 



As promised in my last post, here are some of the pieces I crafted for the Art Gallery of Sudbury.  I will be delivering them in person on Monday. 

You can also see the effect all that rampant creativity has on my studio!  It's not usually the tidiest at the best of times, but now it's completely out of control.  Tidy the studio is at the top of my to-do list when I return home next week!



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Great Things Are Happening At the Sudbury Art Gallery!

Posted by Julie Brown on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Creating by the Brook 
I have been invited to be one of the artists featured at the Art Gallery of Sudbury's big Spring Event Fundraiser!  My work will be on display at their dinner and concert on April 27th. I am honoured to be part of this big gala event, and have been hard at work in my studio creating new work especially for it.  If you are in the Sudbury area, you might want to save the date.  It sounds like it will be a fun evening filled with good food and great music by the Eagles cover band "Hotel Californ...
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A Very, Very Large Ring

Posted by Julie Brown on Sunday, March 11, 2012, In : Metalsmithing 
I've been catching up on custom orders over the last couple of months.  This ring was commissioned by fellow artist and Riverside Farmer's Market vendor Bonnie Tickner for her husband.

She wanted a plain band ring with a tiger's eye stone, and not too bright and shiny.  So I created this simple ring with a bit of texture and this beautiful stone.  We decided it looked better with a darkened finish.



Even though the design was simple, creating this ring presented an interesting challenge.  It is ...
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Blizzard Anyone?

Posted by Julie Brown on Saturday, March 3, 2012, In : Living by the Brook 

Was planning on heading out to my studio today, but after looking out my front window, I decided to stay in and work on the website instead.  These little finches just happened to fly into the shot.  They are more intrepid than I! 

This is the worst storm we've experienced so far this winter.  I have a date with my studio assistant, Miss Allie, tomorrow to do a much needed studio cleanup.  I wonder if we will still be snowed in?



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Finding My Muse

Posted by Julie Brown on Friday, September 23, 2011, In : Creating by the Brook 

Muse:

a. A guiding spirit.

b. A source of inspiration.

I have often been asked from where I find the inspiration for my work. If you have seen any of my art or jewellery, I think it is obvious that much of my work is informed and inspired by my deep connection to the earth. I am so blessed to live in a relatively unspoiled rural area, so I am able to experience and be inspired by the land and all that grows and walks on it, the rivers and everything that swims in them, the wide-open sky a...


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Experiencing Life: Highlights of the Week

Posted by Julie Brown on Sunday, September 18, 2011, In : Living by the Brook 
So often I seem to run through my days, focused totally on the task on hand and what needs to be done next.  I do try to take time to rest, often reading a book, or playing scrabble on my phone while sitting in my garden.  But even though I take little breaks, I rarely feel rested and rejuvinated.  I am exhausted by the end of the day, and often by lunch time.  

Then I happened upon a post by Havi Brooks of The Fluent Self which gave me a real "Aha!" moment.  Over on her Facebook (aka the "Fro...
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White Women Listening: Exploring Connections painting finished!

Posted by Julie Brown on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Art 
My Spirits of the Heart cohorts and I have been working on our next exhibit project.  "White Women Listening" will be a global reflection of the indigenous peoples, their beliefs and traditions, co-relating how we are all connected with similar needs, dreams and realities.  
 
 The project is well into the planning stages.  In between filling out grant applications, sourcing sustainably produced, earth and people friendly materials we are drawing and painting small studies in preparation for th...
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New Dog Portrait on My Easel!

Posted by Julie Brown on Thursday, June 2, 2011, In : Portraits 
Has it really been two weeks since my last post?  I always seem to lose myself in my work, and then forget to share it with you!  I've been busy catching up on the business side of my business as well as making jewellery, and haven't been drawing or painting at all for ages, it seems.  This week though, I stepped over to the art side of my studio to work on a pastel portrait of Katie, a sweet little Shih Tzu.

Here is a work-in-progress photo:



You can also see a few of the over 100 pastel pencil...
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An Awesome Asparagus Surprise!

Posted by Julie Brown on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, In : Living by the Brook 
I managed to sneak away from my studio for a bit to do some gardening.  I had planned to dig up the asparagus bed, because the last time I checked nothing was coming up.  

Imagine my surprise when I approached the bed, trowel in hand, and saw this:



I've not had much luck growing asparagus, so I was very happy to see these new shoots. So happy, that I was dancing around the garden!  A little happy dance of gratitude.  I think I might cut a very few of these precious shoots and cook them up for s...
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Art Jewellery Challenge Finished and Another Lovely Surprise!

Posted by Julie Brown on Friday, May 13, 2011, In : Creating by the Brook 
As promised in my last post here is my Aspiring Metalsmiths Art Jewellery Challenge piece.

 
  

 

A mixed media pendant created from sterling silver, copper from my scrap box and a broken agate I found in a box of odds and ends while spring cleaning my studio.  This design stretched my skills quite a bit, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.  Interpreting a painting in metal was the perfect marrying of the artist me and the metalsmith me.  I can definitely see myself developing this challe...
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A New Studio Assistant and an Art Jewellery Challenge

Posted by Julie Brown on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, In : Creating by the Brook 
I had a very productive day in the studio yesterday, working on a piece for the Aspiring Metalsmiths' April Design Challenge .
For this challenge, we are to design a piece of wearable art with a favourite artist or style in mind.

I have many favourite artists and styles, but I chose to focus on Lawren Harris, a Canadian artist who was one of the founding members of the Group of Seven.  I love the lines in his abstract landscapes.

Painting of Mt. Lefroy by Lawren Harris, 1930 

 
Unfortunately, the photos I took of my work in progress didn't t...

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I'm Sketching Outside So It Must Be Spring

Posted by Julie Brown on Friday, April 8, 2011, In : Creating by the Brook 

While walking up to my studio yesterday, I saw my first flock of geese flying north.  There have been robin and killdeer sightings, too, but not yet by me.  These are fairly good indicators that spring is truly on its way, although it is not unusual to see robins looking for worms under the snow.

Getting back into my studio to work on the backlog of portrait commissions and other projects feels wonderful.  Even though I was fretting the whole time I was away, thinking about all the work I had ...

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Getting Stoned, uh, Stones

Posted by Julie Brown on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, In : Metalsmithing 
A couple of weeks ago I attended our local Rock and Mineral Show.  As always there was a good turnout of vendors selling rocks from all over the world.

Not all of the rocks were ethically and sustainably mined, but by doing a lot of digging (through boxes of rocks, that is) and asking many questions, I was able to find a good selection of fair trade (most found by small independent rock hounds) stones.

I always find myself more attracted to the rough cut slices of rock, rather than the polished...
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Spring is Springing at Wabi Brook!

Posted by Julie Brown on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, In : Living by the Brook 
It was finally warm enough that I could get out for a short walk yesterday. A sure sign of spring!

I took my camera with me, on the hunt for other, more subtle signs that spring is well and truly creeping in.  Some things I found:

Leaf buds on  trees

  


Paw prints in mud 




The huge snowdrift at the top of the hill is shrinking so that the road is just over one lane wide instead of the less than one lane it usually is all winter. 





We are supposed to have a week of temperatures above freezing, which h...
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Super Cool Super Moon

Posted by Julie Brown on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, In : Living by the Brook 
We were fortunate to have a clear evening for viewing the "Super" moon last Saturday.
My husband set up his camera and tripod on our front porch and captured these unusual photos of the moon as it rose behind a hawthorn thicket.

 





 

Doesn't it look like a great ball of fire?  Like some magical, mystical sorcery is brewing..... 


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Spring Has NOT Sprung!

Posted by Julie Brown on Monday, March 21, 2011, In : Living by the Brook 
The grass has not riz, and I know where the birdies is - they are chowing down at our feeders, trying to keep warm on this snowy first day of spring.
 
Winter is not yet letting go in my neck of the woods, and will still be hanging around for another month or more.

I do love the cold beauty of winter, even though by this time of year I am looking forward to seeing some green.  The ground is covered in a soft white blanket, but other things we don't see the rest of the year are exposed.  One of m...
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Before and After

Posted by Julie Brown on Monday, March 14, 2011, In : Art 
Martha, over at An Artist's Journal, has issued a Before and After Challenge.  The Challenge involves showing photos of a painting which one has reworked into something different.

I've been doing that for a few months now with some of the paintings with which I am not completely happy.

Here is one of them:


This was originally titled "Where the Eagles Fly" and was created for the Biker's Reunion Cancer Fundraiser in which I participated last year.  I finished this on a tight deadline, and was nev...
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A Couple of More Things...

Posted by Julie Brown on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, In : Thing a Week Jewellery Challenge 2011 
I've been falling behind with posting my Thing a Week Jewellery Challenge efforts, so here are a couple of more "Things" for you to see.
 
Week 7:  Another eco-friendly bracelet created from vintage copper wire.  This one is very substantial, simple and rustic.



And something a bit different for Week 8:  An adjustable leather bracelet.  Created from leather scraps that were given to me, and a large leather piece with an embossed horse-head which I discovered in a box of odds and ends left over fr...
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Inspired by Trees

Posted by Julie Brown on Sunday, February 27, 2011, In : Creating by the Brook 
Across the road from our farm and house are gloriously tangled thickets of hawthorn trees.  
 


I am always struck by the lacy, abstract patterns created by the branches and long, spiky thorns.

Beyond the hawthorns stand groves of poplar and birch.
 
  
Their linear, upright trunks contrast beautifully with the hawthorns.
 


These trees inspired the copper and sterling cuff I created for the Thing a Week Jewellery Challenge on Flickr.  

This is a view taken last autumn, looking from the stand of poplars...
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Tilly Portrait Finished

Posted by Julie Brown on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, In : Portraits 
Last month I posted a work-in-progress shot of this memorial portrait of my daughter's dog, Tilly (you can also read a bit about Tilly in that same post).  I tend to procrastinate when it comes to finishing things I create for my family, but we are going down to visit my daughter this weekend, so I pushed myself to finish it so I could deliver it in person. 
 


A bit of tweaking, and the mixed media portrait is now finished and at my printer/framer to be scanned for future prints, and matted and...

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A New Cuff, Inspired by Trees

Posted by Julie Brown on Friday, February 11, 2011, In : Thing a Week Jewellery Challenge 2011 
My week 6 Thing A Week offering is a cuff, inspired by trees, and again created using metal from my scrap box, which means it is Earth (and tree) friendly, always a good thing in my book.
 


I stamped the inside with a secret message:
 
 

Click on the photos to read more about the inspiration behind this copper and sterling silver cuff, and to find out what the secret quote is. 
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Channeling Calder and my Inner Hippy: Week 5 of the Thing A Week Jewelry Challenge

Posted by Julie Brown on Sunday, February 6, 2011, In : Thing a Week Jewellery Challenge 2011 
Lately I've been on a real Alexander Calder kick.  In fact, three of my five Thing a Week pieces have been inspired by his work.

Week two was this copper necklace:
 

Week four, a cuff:


 This past week, I created another copper necklace, again Calder-inspired.  I think I was channeling my inner hippy, too.  Doesn't it look like something straight out of the 60's?  

 

Maybe I've been listening to too much Bob Dylan lately.  At any rate, I'm enjoying the challenge of creating something each week.  The...
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Sheep Painting Work in Progress

Posted by Julie Brown on Thursday, February 3, 2011, In : Art 
This is another painting I was working on before Christmas and couldn't show you because it was a gift.  I painted this sheep for my husband from a photo he took of one of his favourite ewes before he took the plunge and sold our flock.  He was finding the work involved in looking after over 100 sheep plus their lambs just a bit too much in addition to his full time job off the farm, and so made the tough decision to sell them.

I thought that this pastel painting was almost complete, needing j...
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Jump-starting Creative Flow with theThing-a-Week Jewelry Challenge

Posted by Julie Brown on Sunday, January 30, 2011, In : Creating by the Brook 
The last few months have found me floundering a bit creatively.  Feeling a bit stuck and uninspired, in an effort to jump-start my creative flow I joined the Thing a Week Jewelry Design Challenge 2011 Flickr group.  Each week we design and create a piece of jewellery, and upload a photo of it to the group pool.  So, at the end of the year, we should each have created 52 new designs.  I thought that participating in the challenge, with the accountability factor of posting something each week, ...

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Dog Portrait Work-in-Progress

Posted by Julie Brown on Thursday, January 27, 2011, In : Portraits 
This was a Christmas gift for my daughter, so I wasn't able to post this before the fact.  As often is the case with gifts I create for my family, I wasn't able to finish it in time (I have a difficult time saying no to last minute commissions from clients!), so I gave it to her as a work-in-progress.  It is still incomplete, most of the individual images need finishing, and then it needs some tweaking to pull the whole thing together.  
 

This mixed media portrait montage is of Tilly, my daugh...
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Living by the Brook: The Angels Wanna Wear my Red Boots!*

Posted by Julie Brown on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, In : Living by the Brook 
And why wouldn't they?  They are a thing of beauty.  I love wellington boots the way some women love their Jimmy Choo's or Ferragamo's. 


And these Hunter wellies are so red.  And shiny.  And sexy.


My old wellies (wellie wanna be's) are pink plaid.  I loved them, too.  We had some good, down and dirty times together, but after only two years, they are worn out.  Faded and full of holes, they are finished.  I've been wearing them anyway, because I could not find replacements in my small town, a...

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Living by the Brook - Let it Snow!

Posted by Julie Brown on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, In : Living by the Brook 
We had our first great winter kick-off blizzard over the past three days.  Snow, howling winds and -30 Celsius windchill.  We will have worse storms throughout the winter, but this first one of the season always seems to hit hard.

The view from my front door in a brief moment when I could actually see beyond the porch!


The chickadees were hanging on for dear life!  I am amazed that they could even fly in the face of the gale. 


My wreath looks lovely with a bit of snow on top, don't you think?
...
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Creating by the Brook - Inspired by Cranberries

Posted by Julie Brown on Monday, December 13, 2010, In : Creating by the Brook 
High bush cranberries grow thick along the creek (brook) and road.  The  tart, deep red berries provide nourishment through the autumn and winter to the  birds and animals that live nearby.


The berries are particularly striking against the white snow, and that vision inspired the creation of a series of pieces I call "Winter Berries".


"Winter Berry" Synthetic Red Jade and Sterling Silver Earrings


"Winter Berries" Synthetic Red Jade, White Freshwater Pearl and Sterling Silver Necklace


See these,...

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Skills - Learn Something New or Perfect the Old?

Posted by Julie Brown on Saturday, December 11, 2010, In : Metalsmithing 
The Aspiring Metalsmiths team I belong to has a monthly blogroll challenge.  I missed the one last month (I managed to take photos and start my post and then my computer crashed and I lost it), and I'm late with this one, but better late than never, right?

The topic this month is "What skill do you want to learn next?"  I found it incredibly difficult to choose just one thing.  I love learning new skills and, still being very much an "aspiring" metalsmith, I feel that I haven't really solidifi...
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A Bit About Julie


Julie A. Brown, Wabi Brook Studio I'm a full-time artist and metalsmith following my own path. I live a creative life inspired by nature, and fueled by tea and dark chocolate. When I'm not in my studio slapping paint around or pounding metal, or collaborating with my Spirit of the Arts partners, you will find me in my garden under my favourite tree, lost in a good book.

                                                                     

2014  Winter Workshop Schedule:


Wednesday, January 26: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. -  Ring Making
Friday, January 31: PD Day Art Adventure Camp: 9:00 a.m to noon - Exploring Texture and Colour
Tuesday, February 4: 10:00 to Noon -  Earring Making
Thursday, February 13: 10:00 to Noon -  Chain Making
Tuesday, February 18: 10:00 to Noon - Introduction to Metal Stamped Jewellery
Tuesday, February 25: 10:00 to Noon - Metal Stamped Jewellery Part 2
Tuesday, March 4: 10:00 to Noon - Metal Stamped Jewellery Part 3

I am also available for art and jewellery lessons by appointment. Contact me for more information about the workshops or classes.

All workshops and classes are held in the studio at Spirit of the Arts on Lakeshore Road in New Liskeard, ON
                                                                                                                   

 
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