Dog

Dog

Friday, 20 April 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 16

Blog 16


I am looking forward to a week of vacation that I desperately need. The past week was an almost completely a write-off. In the race against time, I hardly found time to be creative. Thursday, the day of my friend’s arrival, was my deadline to clean up all the rooms on the main level of our house, to finish my bookkeeping, as well as to write my April newsletter. I managed everything in the very last minute. Unfortunately, all of this is also the reason why this week’s blog is quite short.

Here is what I managed to do:

I continued my temperature shawl that shows now nature’s temperature game of the last four months.



On Sunday, two lovely ladies braved the coming ice storm. Together, we created three beautiful peonies paintings. If you missed the Peonies Painting Party this time, I am offering another one on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. The price is $35 per person. The maximum number of participants is 10. To reserve a spot for this event, prepayment is required by April 11, 2018 by e-transfer to kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca.

For my three Cartooning and Comics courses, I created sketches of Yoda from Star Wars and the Pokemon Fire Cat “Litten”, which I truly enjoyed. With the third class, I drew “Toothless” from the movie “How to Train a Dragon”, a cute dragon that I had already used in a recent course.


Now, I am looking forward to spending a week at the cottage with my friend and my dog Alex. I am sure I will find some time to felt and maybe even sketch.

Have a great week! Thank you for your continuous support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you to start or finish a project. It will be my pleasure to guide you in improving your skills and having fun in the process.



Friday, 13 April 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 15

Practicing Sword Online Characters
Blog 15


Wow, it’s time for my blog again. Where did the week go? I am in full packing mode. This week, before I started decluttering my studio, I continued the tulip painting. As I have not painted a lot during the last couple of weeks, I felt a little rusty and was not able to finish it in time for the blog, but I hope that I will have the painting ready for next week’s blog.

While going through my art materials, I had so many ideas, but they have to wait. For now, I am packing everything but one basic set of acrylic and oil paints each, some sketching materials including a watercolour travel set, and my wool for felting.

As for my other creations of the week, I continued with my flower covered table runner. I added some smaller flowers as well as a big sunflower.


For one group of my students, I prepared sketches of Sword Art Online characters. Sword Art Online is is a Japanese light novel series that was the source material for an anime television series and movie. My other group of students concentrated on characters from Gravity Falls, an animated television series. Both series were unknown to me until my students brought them to my attention. There is always something new to learn!

With my 5 - 7 year old students, I drew Batman, a character that is also known by the adult population.

I can hardly wait until I am done packing the first round of our possessions. I miss painting. Even though I really enjoy felting, I still miss sitting in front of the easel. Part of the reason is probably that when I withdraw to my studio to paint, I get totally immersed in my art, while I often felt while watching TV or chatting with family and friends. It might be that I feel this way, because l had to squeeze in some creative time lately instead of having the luxury of having longer stretches of time at my disposal. I have to admit that the current chaos of boxes and things that still need to be packed to get the house staged is not really creating a mood of calmness and inspiration. At least I am off for a week of vacation with a friend of mine starting next Friday. I can certainly need some rest and relaxation.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you are looking for a day of relaxation, inspiration, and creativity, I would like to invite you to the Yoga & Art Retreat at Hikano Yoga Studio in Cumberland, Ontario, on Sunday May 6th from 9:30am to 4:30pm. For more information and to register please go to https://www.hikano.com/retreat/. While Jackie Leduc will lead you through a mindful morning filled with yoga, meditation and breathe work, I will guide you after a delicious lunch, when we will be painting the beautiful lotus flower shown on the left.



Friday, 6 April 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 14



Blog 14



Due to the Easter holidays with family the week seemed very short. I started another felting project: I had bought a rather boring looking brown felt table runner during a trip to Germany a couple of years ago. I had planned to cut it apart to use the pieces in other felted artworks. While looking for another project that I could work on for short stretches, I suddenly had the idea of using the table runner as a base for a field of flowers. In this picture, you can see the first couple of flowers. I guess that I am getting too impatient to wait for the real arrival of spring.

This week, the spring semester at François Dupuis Recreation Complex started. I am very happy that all three of my “Cartooning and Comics” courses are running. For the first time, I am teaching a course for 5 - 7 year olds. While I had prepared the Hotel Transylvania characters Dracula and Mavis for the two older groups, I was not sure what I could expect from the younger kids. It has been about 10 years since I had kids that young in my life. At the end, I decided to go with an underwater theme that seems to be very popular with kids and adults of all ages. The kids drew a seahorse, a shark, and lots of smaller fish. One boy even added a turtle.

When I started teaching drawing courses for kids in 2013, I was out of my comfort zone. I had painted for decades, had done life drawing classes for a couple of years, but was not really drawing regularly. I had taught art classes before, where we did a little bit of drawing but put more focus on painting colourful scenes. Having to focus on drawing was something new and also slightly unsettling for me. Nevertheless, I was ready for more teaching hours and took the challenge. I am so glad I did. While I certainly have taught the kids how to draw many objects, I also learned a lot from the kids. I usually let my students pick what they want to draw as this keeps them more engaged. Their choices have often challenged me, because they pick animals, and mystical or animated characters that I would never choose for a subject of a drawing or painting. I always practice drawing the characters at home because once I am in class, I have to be able to draw on the whiteboard without hesitating where to begin and how to proceed. Sometimes, the children pick people or cartoon characters that are much too complicated to draw for their age level. Then, I have to figure out how I can break down the whole body into easy shapes to make the drawing manageable.

By teaching the courses and practicing what I am teaching, I have improved my drawing skills too. I am a much better observer of shapes that I see in complicated structures. These days, I always have a small drawing pad with me, and while I not always successful, I find a lot of pleasure in trying to capture what is around me when there is an opportunity.

From time to time it is good to get out of your comfort zone in order to grow. Is there anything you would like to learn? Please do not hesitate to contact me at kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca, if I can support you in any way.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 13



Blog 13


Can you believe it is the end of March already? I am looking forward to some relaxing days with my family over the holidays. Due to the lovely Easter workshop I taught last Friday, I have some unique decorations for the table. The two participants of the workshop both wanted to learn how to felt a bunny, so I also created another bunny.


Later on, my daughter and I felted another Easter egg. Mine took a little longer as I covered the whole egg in little flowers. These unique decorations will look great on the Easter table.

As I was asked to replace another teacher this week, I did not have a lot of time to work on projects. I did quite a bit of sketching on the bus as well as during shows at the Ottawa Little Theatre.

Despite the fact that I have a seat in the first row at the Ottawa Little Theatre, it was still too dark during the performance to see what I was drawing. I am not sure you would be able to recognize the actors, but my sketches give me enough information to remember them. Sketching is a little bit like shorthand; I love that the sketches help me remember the plays much more than just passively watching them. The sketching also helps me to stay awake. As I am not used to sitting still, the sudden immobility makes me quite tired, even if I enjoy the play. However, when I sketch what I see, I have no time to doze off.


Aside from the fun stuff that I am able to create, I also have to look after the administrative tasks of my business that are not very exciting. I am just in the process of finishing my bookkeeping which I always seem to leave to the last minute.


Then, there is the very time-consuming task of marketing. At the beginning of the week, I faced a very uncomfortable situation as Jackie Leduc from Hikano Yoga Studio and I wanted to shoot a promo video for our upcoming Yoga & Art Retreat on May 6, 2018 from 9:30am to 4:30pm. While I had taken short videos of me being at a painting location, I had never been in front of the camera. It was scary, but Jackie helped me through it and did a great job editing. You can see the video which gives you more information about the retreat at https://www.facebook.com/HikanoWellness/videos/2031170460230897/.

I also have a new promotion going on right now. Despite the fact that many of my paintings are scheduled for exhibitions, I still have a big inventory of paintings. As we want to move to a smaller house this year, I would like to find some new homes for some of my paintings. I have decided to sell all my still lifes (except for the couple of painting that are scheduled for exhibitions) at a 25% discount off the price listed on my website www.KerstinPeters.ca until Mother’s Day. If you are interested in a painting please contact me at kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca. Payment can be made in cash or by e-transfer.




To conclude this blog, I would like to wish all of you a Happy Easter! Enjoy your time with family and friends.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 12

"Emily's Tree, Doncaster Park, Ste.- Adèle", inspired by Emily Carr
Blog 12


Thank you for reading my blog. If you have followed my blogs over the last couple of weeks you know that we are preparing our house for sale. Despite all the decluttering and packing, I was still able to be creative almost every day. This week, however, with the painter painting most of the rooms in our house, the house was in chaos; furniture was standing everywhere. To avoid having to pack twice, I tried to stay on top of putting it all in boxes until late in the evening. Some nights, I went straight to bed, while on other nights I just managed to add a couple of rows to my temperature shawl.

Saturday afternoon, I actually went into my studio for an hour because the tulips that I had bought were luring me in with their beauty. I hope that I will manage to finish the painting by next week.

I also sat down to finish some teddy bear figurines that will be part of a game, similar to “Don’t Worry”. They have not been touched for far too long because other things were more exciting. Right now, sewing the heads to the bodies seems like the perfect relaxing project. At this point, it is not very creative but exactly what my restless hands need while watching TV.

So where do I go from here? The next couple of weeks will probably still be very exhausting. I could just give up under the pretense that I am just too busy before we move. Then I could add that I will probably also be too busy once we have moved. There are always reasons to stop, but like with physical activity or healthy eating, the important thing is that you start again where you left off.

As for this week, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about a subject that always comes up when I am teaching: painting from photos found on the Internet, a calendar, or even copying a painting from another artist.

my version of Emily Carr's "Odds and Ends"
While it is a good learning experience to copy another artist’s .
painting to learn from their techniques, it is important that you see it as a study. It is someone else’s intellectual property. They figured out the composition, the use of colour and texture, and they should be credited for it. When I took several painting courses studying the masters, I took my own photos and created paintings in the style of the studied artist. Later, when I taught the “Painting like Famous Artists” courses, we worked from photos of an original work. These paintings will never be for sale, and I clearly identified the fact that I copied an original on the front of the painting, stating both the original artist and the name of the painting. Even in this case, you can legally only copy a painting that is in the public domain, which means that they are no longer copyrighted

When you take a photographer’s images for reference photos for your own paintings, you will be fine as long as you just keep them in you house. However, the correct approach would be to contact the photographer and ask for permission to use the photo. This is absolutely necessary, if you want to display the artwork in an exhibition. Otherwise, you could get in a lot of trouble for copyright infringement, except if you are using photos that are free to use like material that is in the Public Domain.

I always encourage students to use their own photos as references. It makes a big difference in the energy you bring to your painting, if you have experienced the surroundings. You remember how you felt when you were at the spot, smelled the flowers, or watched a person or pet dear to you.

When I take one of my photos for the first class of my “Acrylic Landscape Painting” course, I do it for two reasons:

1) I do not know if every student would bring a photo.
2) I like to show to them that even when we work from one photo that every one’s finished painting will be different. We are all unique individuals, and this should show in our art. This does not mean that we are not influenced by other artists, but rather that we can incorporate some of their techniques into our own work. However, f ten artists (or students) are painting a subject, you should get ten different works. Your temperament, your mood on any given day, and certainly you skill level will influence your work. That’s why you can even paint the same subject repeatedly, and your painting will not look 100% the same.

To prove the point, here are a couple of set of my paintings from painting parties I lead:



Speaking of painting parties, there are still spaces for the painting party I host on April 15, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive in Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. We will be painting the peonies. The price is $35 per person. The registration deadline is April 8, 2018. The maximum number of participants is 12. For this event, I need at least 8 people and a pre-payment by e-transfer to kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca or cheque payable to Kerstin Peters to reserve a spot.



Friday, 16 March 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 11

Blog 11


This week, we spent March Break at the cottage. Despite the wonderful weather for walks and snowshoeing, I still had a lot of time to work on my projects. I felted about 25 hours to improve my felted dog Alex’s shape. All the parts are now attached firmly to the body, but I could use some more of his fur to make the body a little harder. Right now, it is still softer than my other felted objects. As spring is around the corner, I should be able to collect more fur when Alex’s coat changes for the warmer seasons. Next week, I will use some wool for his snout and glass eyes to bring him to live.

Lotus Flower
The second project was a new demo painting for my painting parties. This 16” x 20” acrylic painting of a lotus flower will be used for the first time for the spring retreat that I am co-hosting with Jackie Leduc from Hikano Yoga Studio in Cumberland on May 6, 2018. I will be able to share more information in the coming weeks.

Red Peonies
Speaking of painting parties, on April 15, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm, I will host a painting party at my house at 1270 Kinsella Drive in Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. The price is $35 per person. The registration deadline is April 8, 2018. The maximum number of participants is 12. For this event, I need at least 8 people and a pre-payment by e-transfer to kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca or cheque payable to Kerstin Peters to reserve a spot.

For painting parties outside of my house, I need at least 10 people or a minimum payment of $350 to run the party. This is a wonderful way to have a good time with friends and family. Please contact me at kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca for further information.

Today is also the last day to register for “It All Happens Around The Kitchen”, a lunch time get together on March 22nd, 2018 from 11:30 am to 2 pm in Marie Smith’s kitchen in Orleans. In this interactive workshop we will be preparing and enjoying a delicious soup, while connecting and sharing with other women who are facing the Empty Nesters’ transition, including those that are already familiar with the gap in their lives, and just maybe, those that aren’t even aware that this could be happening to them. Some creative and relaxing doodling is involved.

The seating at the kitchen table is for eight women. The registration fee is $40 and can be paid by e-transfer to
kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca.

For information about other workshops and classes please go to www.KerstinPeters.ca.

  
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will forward it to friends and family who are interested in my activities.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 10

Blog 10

This week of the Creativity Challenge was quite a challenge. I suppose that the personal stuff took its toll, and I was very tired. I cannot share any finished projects with you this week. Then again, many creative projects are not a matter of hours but rather days and sometimes months and even years. Not all creative projects are physical in nature. I am very excited to let you know about two event collaborations with other business women.

The first event is a collaboration with my friend Marie Smith. We have created an interactive workshop to connect and share with other women who are facing the Empty Nesters’ transition, including those who are already familiar with the gap in their lives, and just maybe, those that aren’t even aware that this could be happening to them. Join us for a lunch time get together on March 22nd, 2018 from 11:30 am to 2 pm in Marie’s kitchen in Orleans. We will be preparing, and enjoying a delicious soup, and most importantly, all in the good company of other women! For more information and to register please contact me at kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca. There will be some creative doodling involved.

The second event will be a spring retreat with Jackie Leduc from Hikano Yoga Studio. I will be able to share more information in the coming weeks.

Now back to my physical creations: I continued with the temperature shawl and ran into my first problem. As you do not know how the temperatures will be over the course of the year, it is hard to guess how much wool you will need of each colour. I already ran out on two colours but was able to find similar colours in a store.

The other big project, the felted dog Alex, is quite a bit more complex. I managed to put the parts in the right spots and have to work on forming them in the right shape. The felted Alex will be a lot lighter than the real Alex as I want to create him just out of his own fur. The fur I collected so far is mostly from his undercoat and not so much fur from the top of his body, where he hardly ever sheds hair. I might use some wool for the eyes and tip of his nose but will decide this later in the process.

I also continued with my dog painting. I was working again on the details of Alex. 

I hope that I will find more time to paint once the rooms are cleared for the painter to come in. As much as I look forward to the fresh colour on the walls, I have to admit that it is a lot of work to clean out the rooms, so that he can do his job.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you would like to get more creative, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. If you would like to try your hand at felting, I would like to invite you to my next “Creativity & Me” workshop on March 23, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Dr., Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. We we will create felted bunnies and Easter eggs. The registration deadline is March 19, 2018. The fee of $ 25 is payable by e-transfer to kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca. For a full list of upcoming workshops and classes please go to my website www.KerstinPeters.ca.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 9

Blog 9

I can hardly believe that it is time for another blog. I would like to say “time time flies when you are having fun”, but I assume it has more to do with being busy getting our house ready for sale. It also was a very sad week as a beloved relative passed away.

It took me three more evenings to finish the little rabbit that is now sitting happily on our coffee table and enjoys the nice sunshine and spring preview.

I continued the work on my temperature shawl, which saw the first glimpse of a new colour with Wednesday’s temperature high of almost 10 degrees.

Yesterday, I made some time for painting again. It would have been a wonderful day for plein air painting but right now my focus is on finishing the portrait of Alex and Candy. Alex is turning 13 in April this year and within the last year his age cannot be ignored anymore. I don’t want to miss the opportunity of having my life model around. I continued my work on Alex' legs and chest. I did not touch up Candy. The colour variations are due to the light in the room. Once, the painting is finished, I will take a photo in natural light.


Thank you for reading my blog. If you would like to get more creative, I would like to invite you to my next “Creativity & Me” workshop on March 23, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Dr., Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. We we will create felted bunnies and Easter eggs. The registration deadline is March 19, 2018. The fee is $ 25, payable by e-transfer to kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca. Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any further questions.


Friday, 23 February 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 8

Blog 8

During the past week, I sketched, felted, knitted, and even painted.

It all started with some sketching during the Ottawa Little Theatre performance of “Dead Accounts”. We have seats in the front row, and I usually manage to sketch a little bit, as long as the stage is not too dark.


The last of the above sketches was created in a restaurant a day later while we waited for our food.

As we spent the weekend at the cottage, I had a lot of time to continue felting Alex with his own fur. I adjusted the size so that he will be one third of his actual size. So far, I have part of the body, his four legs, and a head that still is much too small. All parts still need more definition.





The next two days, I was so exhausted from packing our belongings into boxes that I only sat down and worked on my temperature shawl.

Yesterday, despite having a really tough day, I went to my studio and started defining Alex’ features in his portrait. Being in my studio is like being in a bubble; all the stress and worries seem to stay outside of my studio for awhile. I concentrate completely on my painting and dive into a world of my own.


Thank you for reading my blog. I encourage you to sign up to my monthly newsletter. The next issue is published on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.Please go to my website www.KerstinPeters.ca where you can sign up on the bottom of every page.


Friday, 16 February 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 7


Blog 7

The past week was a rollercoaster of emotions. It started out with a wonderful lunch and craft afternoon with a good friend. We created a felted heart for Valentine’s Day. I am not sure whether she kept hers or gave it to a loved one, but I had to make two more hearts so that I could give one to each of my kids and my husband.

I also made it finally back into my studio and worked on the portrait of Candy, our late Golden Retriever. After two hours of painting, I am a lot happier with how she looks than I was before. She is still a little too light, but I will take care of this at a later stage. Next, I want to work on Alex.

For my Tuesday Cartoon drawing class, I drew a Hydra. It was wonderful to see how this serpent with many heads from the Greek mythology inspired and animated the children.



With my Sunday class, I had a look at the way a person was simplified drawing a Manga-style and a Minecraft boy.

For the rest of the week, I kept knitting my temperature shawl, and, while dealing with some very sad news, found comfort in felting Alex’ fur into my biggest felting challenge so far: a small version of him. I have decided that I will create him in a sphinx pose. Now that I have the inner body, it is time to sort his fur by colour to get to the detail.


On Thursday, on my way downtown, I created a quick sketch of one of the other passengers. Sketching during bus rides helps me to avoid the motion sickness I usually get.

Thank you for reading my blog. I encourage you to sign up to my monthly newsletter that is published on the last Wednesday of every month. Please go to my website www.KerstinPeters.ca where you can sign up on the bottom of every page.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 6


Blog 6

I have decided to continue with my Creativity Challenge for at least the next two months. There are things happening in my private life that I will talk about once the vision is clearer, but these plans are challenging me as they might include major changes in my life. Therefore, it is even more important that I make time on a daily basis to be creative and to relax.


On Friday, after realizing that the bunny that I had started for my next workshop would be too challenging and time-consuming, I started out with a simpler version that is very cute and can be accomplished even without any previous experience in felting.

I also continued felting the other bunny. I spent about 30 minutes a day adding layers of different coloured wool and making the body longer. It looks much more like the bunny I had envisioned. Hopefully, I can show you a picture of the finished bunny next week.







On Sunday, I prepared some sketches of the SpongeBob SquarePants characters in preparation for my drawing classes. 





On Tuesday during a planning meeting for an upcoming workshop, my eyes got stuck on the felted water lily. I realized all of a sudden that one of the petals was sticking out because it was not soft white like the others but bright white. It bothered me so much that I could hardly wait to put another layer of wool on top of the petals.

In the evening, during the Cartooning and Comics drawing class, the children were very excited to create their drawings and added even more characters. Here are some examples of their great imagination:





Just to show you that everyone can create something once you found a medium you like,here is a picture of the temperature shawl on which I am working. I saw the idea last year on the Internet. As I had so many remnants of wool from various projects, I decided to try this out this year. Every day, I check the temperature and knit two rows of the colour that I had previously designated for a specific temperatures. For every 5 degrees there is a different colour. Therefore, it is nature who dictates the design. I am curious to see how it will turn out.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoy my blog, I encourage you to sign up to my monthly newsletter that is published on the last Wednesday of every month. Please go to my website www.KerstinPeters.ca where you can sign up on the bottom of every page.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 5

Blog 5

With the first month already behind me, I can say that I am quite happy with the January results, even though I wish I had spent more time painting. I plan to see the inside of my studio more often in the next couple of weeks. Right now, I have a break from my German course, which hopefully will give me some more time to paint.

Last Friday was the first day of the year that I did not create anything. After the well-attended vernissage at the Da Artisti Gallery, I was too tired to start anything when I got home. If you live in the Ottawa area and have not been to Da Artisti Gallery and Studio, I can highly recommend a visit to this welcoming place at 565 Old Montreal Rd, Cumberland, K4C 1A1. The gallery’s opening hours are: Wednesday - Friday: 3:00pm – 9:00pm and Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm.

On Saturday and Sunday I worked another two hours on the little petals of my water lily which is now finished. At a later time, I might add a lily pad, but for now I am happy with the flower.


















On Monday, I drew a llama to prepare for my Tuesday “Cartooning and Comics” drawing class, and I started felting a little bunny for one of my upcoming workshops.
Tuesday and Wednesday were busy days for me as I wrote, uploaded and published my monthly newsletter. On Tuesday, I created a felted Easter egg to show a preview of my March 23, 2018 Creativity & Me workshop into the newsletter. The workshop runs from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive in Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. For more information please contact me be email at kpeters@domingoinformatics.ca. During the workshop we will create felted bunnies and Easter eggs, which will be just in time for Easter.

On Thursday, I was sure I would be able to finish the little bunny for the workshop formerly mentioned, but it turned out that the little creature was a lot harder to form than I had expected and still needs a lot of work.

Have you been busy creating something new? I would like to hear how your January went.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoy my blog, I encourage you to sign up to my monthly newsletter that is published on the last Wednesday of every month. Please go to my website www.KerstinPeters.ca where you can sign up on the bottom of every page.