Nesting, or Obsessing … Take Your Pick!

Things have been pretty quite around these parts lately, for which I apologize. It’s been a ‘go hard or go home’ kind of time the last few weeks … much going on, much to be done. This seems to be the way of it.

So… this is what I’ve been up to:

There was a really nice article in the Edmonton Journal about my work and the Residency this past Friday. Given the number of hits on my web site that day, I’d say a few people out there saw it. Thanks for stopping in – hope you come back in the future!

I’ve also been making work like a mad fool; today was day 7 in a row in the studio … 5 or 6 more to go before a day off (and I am in NO way complaining!). This is simply the point in the Residency when I get to PANIC!! There’s a part of me that is perfectly rational, and knows the work is coming along just fine, and I will have more than enough ready for the exhibition in October, and I just have to trust myself and the process of making the work and exploring all these ideas (as I have for the last 8 months) … and there’s that voice in the back of my head screaming at me … “What on earth do you think you’re doing?? What does it all mean anyway?? DO you even know anymore?? What made you think that this was good work, anyway?!”  The usual … it’s a fact of life for many of us I think. The closer we come to a big deadline, the tougher we are on what we have done and still need to do. Still, it’s been a bit unnerving and stressful … but a great stimulus for working hard!

To wit:

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I have also been drawing on a much larger scale:

I kept the ceiling and floodlight in this picture to give some sense of scale … the drawing is roughly 50 inches by 50 inches. You don’t want to know how covered in charcoal I was after this!

And I’ve also been having a terrific time exploring the finer points of block printing! It’s been a complete blast doing these so far … and I am discovering all kinds of things about mark making, and the correlation between the way I draw and the way I use the knives to carve the blocks. I am quite happy with the results of these test prints … so expect to see some of this work in October for sure:

A 6″ x 6″ test print … carved, based on one of the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of nests for this body of work.

And …

A smaller test print, roughly 3″ x 3″. It’s been really interesting to think about the positive and negative space in carving these – working through the best way to convey some sense of three dimensional space in the final print.

And of course, there’s other things going on in the background … I am exhibiting the Archives of Absence work at the Naess Gallery in September, including brand new work that is an extension of the original project; I am thinking about the work I will out together for an exhibition in February 2013 in Toronto (more to come on both of these soon) … waiting to hear back about a grant application Marian and I applied for to develop the York Hotel work we shot in September 2011 … thinking about places to send exhibition proposals. Oh, and occasionally, I have the time and gumption to do something around the house.

And on that note … off to bed! Another early start Monday! Hope you all had a good weekend!


  1. sydney says:

    Thanks Karen! I adore working with beeswax … it’s such an incredibly useful and beautiful material. I got quite engrossed in watching the wax solidify on the sheets of vellum, and how that changed the level of translucency for the image. They are now all hung on thin copper lines (like laundry!) in my studio … quite magical.


  2. drawandshoot says:

    Fabulous pieces, Sydney! I love that you dip them in wax, so beautiful!


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