Tiana’s Warrior donated to Richmond Public Library

Posted November 19, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Fine Arts, Visual Art

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My painted warrior has been donated to the Richmond Public Library by the Williams and Lomness Families in memory of their parents Yvette and Walter Beswick. An unveiling and tea was held early November at the Brighouse (Main) Branch and the rain did not deter us from going outside and seeing “Wu Chang” back in the same spot he was 2 summers ago.

Tiana Kaczor's painted warrior gets donated to the Richmond Library

The Williams and Lomness Families at Warrior unveiling at the Brighouse branch of the Richmond Public Library

 

My warrior was bought by the BC Lions Society at their auction in September 2012 in hopes that they would find a donor who would place it in a public space in Richmond. Stephen Miller connected with the Williams and Lomness Families who wanted to do something to remember their parents. During the tea, daughters Julie Williams and Susan Lomness spoke about how their parents, Yvette and Walter, loved coming to the library, and the family all contributed to make this donation happen.

Donation was made in memeory of Yvette and Walter Beswick

Donation was made in memeory of Yvette and Walter Beswick

I’d like to thank the families for their generous donation. I am happy that my artwork is in a public place where it will be enjoyed by many people for many years. It is a library that I use often, so I will get to see my warrior regularly. (Many times artists make art and it is sold and you never see it again.) The staff of the Richmond Public Library are all excited about this unique addition to their institution, and I know they will take care of my “Mr. Wu”.

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Risk The Highest Step in the World

Posted October 17, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Fine Arts

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Ghost River Theatre’s David van Belle and Eric Rose have created a production that asks “What happens when you take a risk? What makes you take that first step from an unimaginable height? ”  “The Highest Step in the World” is a one man show (David van Belle, who does a great job) with 2 men behind the scenes who make him fly. Based on Joseph Kittinger’s record breaking jump from a weather balloon in 1960, the play also includes the story of Vesna Vulovic, an airline stewardess who survived a fall out of a bombed plane, and the mythological characters of Daedalus and Icarus.

Sometimes people take risks and fail. On my way to the theatre I was driving around a tight curve to get onto the Queensborough Bridge. Traffic slowed and I eventually had to pass a semi-trailer truck lying on its side on top of the cement road dividers.  The driver had obviously taken the curve at too high a speed and tipped over. Some of its wheels were still spinning. Emergency vehicles hadn’t arrived yet. When I returned across the bridge in the late afternoon after my theatre experience, I saw the truck being hauled away, the cab horribly crushed. I don’t know whether the driver survived. We take risks in our vehicles every day, and often don’t think about it.

Then there are the risks we do think about, like jumping out of a tree when we’re little, or creating a new piece of art. It can be as small as deciding to use a different colour palette when redesigning your living room, or as large as taking the steps to walk on the moon. Taking risks can be scary, but without it life can be boring. Without risks we would never have new inventions, or art pieces. We might never get married, or travel to a different country. I’ve always been a cautious person, but I do take some risks, and maybe it’s time to take a few more.

For you, why not take a risk in theatre and go see “The Highest Step in the World” on now until October 26, 2013, in Richmond’s Gateway Theatre. Here’s the trailer:

 

Beginners Watercolour Lesson – Value Sketch and Negative Space

Posted September 27, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Visual Art

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Over the last couple of years I have been fine tuning my beginners watercolour classes for adults and children. I usually start off with the same lessons for all ages, just moving a little faster, and into more detail with the adults. After teaching the colour wheel and basic brush techniques there are several lessons I run through. I have found that my own watercolour skills are always improved every time I demonstrate these lessons, and therefore recommend beginners and seasoned watercolourists to run through these simple “warm ups” every once in awhile.

Maple seed value study in gray watercolour.

Maple seed value study in gray watercolour.

The Value Sketch teaches us to look at the values in real objects and paint from life instead of a photo. I bring to class some simple found objects like leaves or maple seeds. Sometimes I have the students use only one colour, like gray, and then all they worry about is the intensity of the colour and watering it down for the light areas. Other times I have students try to mix the actual colours on the found object. We mix puddles of the colours in our tray, and leave room to add water for lighter values. Once the colours are ready then we can start the painting.

Value color sketch of maple seeds and feather

Value color sketch of maple seeds and feather

We start with a light pencil sketch. For young children I may allow them to trace the object so they don’t get frustrated with the drawing. Then we apply 3 or 4 layers of paint, working from the lightest areas of the object to the darkest. These are small paintings, so very little paint should be on the brush. We don’t want the colours to run. Then wait a couple minutes for the wash to dry before painting the next layer of detail. The last layer is the darkest areas and then the shadow under the object is added to make it look like the leaf or seed is sitting on a table.

The Value Sketch is a quick lesson so I usually do a second lesson in the last half of the class. Since you rarely use white paint in watercolours, but instead leave the white paper free of paint, it’s good to have an exercise that helps students be more aware of the paper and leaving areas blank. Negative space drawings can be taught if time permits, or you can go directly into an exercise of painting a white fence.

Fence Negative Space Watercolour

Fence Negative Space Watercolour

We start by lightly drawing the posts and rails using only one line each in the middle. It’s nice to give a little perspective as the fence goes away from you and perhaps add a gate. Next we mix our paint colour puddles, which are the colours of the background of grass or bushes. When we’re ready we can start by prepping the paper with plain water in each negative space area, or we can just jump in and start painting. Try to load enough paint on the brush so that you can finish a whole rectangular space between the posts and rails. Be careful not to get too close to your pencil lines as then you’ll have a very skinny fence! When one negative space is done then load up your brush again and paint the next one. Dip in different colours to add more interest to your background. Be careful not to have each negative space a different colour as that wouldn’t look natural, but instead dip into a second colour halfway through painting one area and work fast so the colours blend on the paper. When dry you could add some detail of grass blades in front of your fence. Then make your white fence 3 dimensional by choosing a direction for the sunlight and painting shadows on one side of each rail and post. When the painting is totally dry lightly erase your pencil lines.

If you have any questions about these exercises please write to me in the comment section.  Some books I consulted while planning my lessons this past summer were: “Watercolour For Starters” by Paul Talbot-Greaves, and “Watercolour Challenge, Techniques in Practice” Channel 4 Books.

Photos from Transitions exhibition

Posted June 28, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Visual Art

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Only a couple days left and then I take down the Transitions Exhibition at the Richmond Cultural Centre and move the giclees back to the Anne Vogel and Transitions clinics. Here’s a few shots of the show:

 

photo exhibition from mental health clinics art project

View across the rotunda at the Richmond Art Centre of the Transitions photo exhibition.

 

transitions  vancouvercoastalhealth photography exhibit tianakaczor richmondartcentre

Giclees of Finn Slough, Museum of Anthropology and Minoru Track by Anne Vogel Clinic clients.

doorway transitions vancouvercoastalhealth photography exhibition richmondartcentre

Three photos from a Transitions client.

 

Transitions Community Public Art Project Show

Posted June 2, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Visual Art

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It’s here! This is the public exhibition of the project I have been working on for 1 1/2 years. The City of Richmond paired me up with Vancouver Coastal Health’s Transitions program and we also added the Anne Vogel Clinic. 17 photographs are in the collection you can see for the whole month of June at the Richmond Art Centre. Please come to the opening this Friday, June 7 from 7 to 9pm for some nibblies, music, and of course the art.

Transitions exhibition poster by Lisa Ernst

Transitions exhibition poster by Lisa Ernst

Vancouver Coastal Health’s Transitions program, and the Anne Vogel Addictions/Primary Care Clinic, offer support for Richmond adults who are on their journey in recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, and/or addictions. The staff at these clinics hoped this project would help tell the hidden stories of people in our community and allow the participants to use the creative process of art making to enhance their physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Clients at the clinics told stories and created metaphors about their challenges in life. Clinic staff helped decide to use photography as the medium for the project as using a camera seems a less threatening way to create art for people who are not experienced artists. At the beginning participants came up with the idea for taking photographs of doorways, archways, and bridges, sometimes with an unidentifiable person walking through the frame. This is to represent a person moving from one part of their life to a new part.

Participants went out into the community with their own digital cameras, or disposable cameras provided to them, and recorded images of their lives. The goal of this process, and our group discussions, was to not only have fun with making art, but to hopefully help recovering individuals address personal issues, develop social skills, increase self-esteem and gain self-awareness.Once the photos were processed and hung on the walls at the clinics the smiles on the faces of the clients and the staff proved that these goals were reached. 4 of the selected photos are by Tiana using ideas from stories she heard from clients. 13 photos were chosen from the ones the clients submitted.

How to View The Show at Emily Carr

Posted May 17, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Fine Arts, Visual Art

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With over 300 Design, Media, and Visual Arts graduates this year, Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s grad exhibition offers something for everyone. I walked through the rooms for 2 hours on Monday but was disappointed with the first few rooms thinking that after 4 years of study shouldn’t there be some art that displays a little more skill and thought? But then I started finding a few artworks that made me laugh, or appreciate their technique, or think about their message.

Parcel #1357 by Shannon McKirgan

Parcel #1357 by Shannon McKirgan

There will be as many opinions about an art show as there are people who walk through it. Art is personal. What you like another person may hate. Some people like posters of puppies in their living room. Others would faint at that idea and thus spend hours at auctions trying to find the right Miro print to match their decor. I forget which artist said it, perhaps it was Christian Boltanski when he had a show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but I remember this idea and use it whenever I view art: the artist said “I don’t care whether they love my art or hate my art, just as long as they have some kind of reaction. If they feel nothing then my art has failed.”

The next step would be to ask yourself why you love it, or hate it, or are indifferent to it. Art is a form of communication. So what is it saying to you? Sometimes the answer doesn’t come right away. I like Shannon McKirgan’s “Parcel #1357”, but I still am not sure why. It’s not a style that I normally pick out. The subject is a little depressing – a lone box of a building. For now I think it’s just the quality of her brushstrokes and the positive versus negative space, as well as the framing presentation.

Cachalot and Gray by Fiona Hawkes

Cachalot and Gray by Fiona Hawkes

With the whale close ups in charcoal by Fiona Hawkes I immediately knew I liked them because I appreciate the skill in her realistic drawings. I draw realistically, and thus whenever I see other artworks in this style I am drawn (ha!) to them.

Throwing by Nolan Drew

Throwing by Nolan Drew

Then there was the mini installation “Throwing” by Nolan Drew. It immediately put a smile to my face because as much as I love working on a wheel, it’s not easy to make a bowl or vase or anything round, and Nolan’s piece reminded me of that frustration. There have been times when it collapses, or flies off. I still remember the expression of surprise on one of my student’s faces when she had her clay go whizzing off the wheel and splat onto the classroom wall.

You have this weekend to catch “The Show”, which ends May 19th. There is also an online catalogue at ECUAD’s website. http://theshow2013.ecuad.ca/  Hope you find something you love or hate.

Beware of Email Art Scams

Posted April 16, 2013 by tianakaczor
Categories: Fine Arts

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Last month I thought I had a buyer for 2 of my art pieces, but with a little hunting over the internet I have discovered this email art inquiry is a scam. Here are some clues to help you discover if your buyer is a scam artist.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says to beware of buyers who are from overseas, are renting, (mine said they were moving), and ask you to send funds to a third party shipping company. Also beware of requests to send funds through money services like Western Union or MoneyGram. If the buyer sends more money than the selling price, and then asks for a return of the excess funds, this is probably a scam.  When I stated that I would only accept cash or an interact email transfer I suddenly never heard from the buyer again and this is what alerted me that something was fishy.

Kathleen McMahon has some great info on how to detect a scam. Go here:  http://www.kathleenmcmahon.com/info/scammer-names.html

She has also started up a blog called Stop Art Scams  http://stopartscams.blogspot.ca/

I thank her for organizing this info as I was able to find almost exactly the same emails that were sent to me in ones that were sent to other artists.

We all want to sell our art and feel the excitment when someone likes one of our art pieces enough to buy it. It is unfortunate that we have to be extra careful in our online transactions due to some bad apples out there. Let me know if you’ve experienced anything like a scam, and pass the word around to anyone who sells stuff online.