Friday, May 31, 2013

Musical interlude: What the Sunlight Brings

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

The sun rising through the fog this morning was magical. A perfect, peaceful end to a busy week. Not only was it a beautiful sight, it was also warm enough to sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee, before starting the day.

I snapped a photo but it's always so difficult to capture the mood of a sunrise - or a sunset for that matter.

But, the moment did remind me of a song...

What the Sunlight Brings
Written and performed by St. Andrews' own Chambers McLean.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coastal abstraction

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

When looking for art inspiration, the sea never disappoints. With tides that rise and fall nearly 30 feet daily, one view can often provide thousands of vignettes. I am always excited by the colors of the coast, and by how the time of year and time of day can change familiar surroundings into unfamiliar ones.

Although my abstract paintings have always been loosely based on nature, I have been thinking for a while about taking a more literal approach.

I produced the first of what I hope to be many images inspired by the rock/water/horizon/sky view near our studio. Here's a little peek at the process - and the product.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Anatomy of a folk art board

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

The third annual Kingsbrae Garden Folk Art Festival is scheduled to open on June 13th, as part of the Artrageous celebrations. The brainchild of our Jantje, this summer-long exhibit showcases the creations of folk artists from across the Maritimes.

In addition to volunteering to gather artists, create the brochures and hang the show in the Kingsbrae gallery, Jantje also creates her own work for the show.

A folk artist in her own right - Jan has been making and creating art for nearly 50 years.  Using a combination of objects found and made, she assembles delightful relief sculptures that tell a story as wooden spools become lighthouse tops, driftwood is transformed into boats and wine corks get a new lease on life as buoys...

These days, wood and paint have been flying in the studio as she prepares  for the Folk Art Festival -- and for a show taking place later this summer at the all-new Algonquin Resort.

Here's a sneak peek at the making of one of her folk art boards.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Negative ions and the magic rock

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Living and working by the sea has many benefits,  not the least of which is the absolute abundance of negative ions.

These lovely little molecules are invisible, but pack quite a punch -- and they are found in abundance near large bodies of water. 

Negative ions are thought to create a biochemical reaction that increases levels of serotonin in the body. This mood chemical helps to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost energy.

Pretty cool, right? This is why beach walks make folks feel so refreshed.

Thanks to the rain we've been experiencing, its been a while (too long!) since we've been able to get outside and enjoy a seaside walk. So, I thought I'd post some photos from a recent "magic rock" adventure.

The magic rock is located just up the coast from our studio. It makes appearances in our art from time to time and visiting it always helps to recharge the batteries.


Want to know more about negative ions? Read this:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Musical interlude: The sound of sunshine

It's been so long since we've seen the sun. The rain has been relentless, the fog thick and the air cool. And while all of this weather has been great for the plants, it's got us all going a little stir crazy.

This song (and video) is just what we needed to remember "the sound of sunshine."


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Commission: World's largest golf ball?

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Geoff has finished painting the first of two large metal floats which will serve as signs for a local golf course. The float was painted with metal marine-grade paint so it will stand up to our local Maritime weather.

These old metal floats/buoys have an interesting history. They were originally fabricated in WWII and used for mooring convoy ships before they carried supplies to Britain. They also held up the submarine nets that protected our harbors. More recently, they were utilized by the aquaculture industry to anchor cage sites.

While it may not be the world's largest golf ball (apparently that designation belongs to a ball residing in Taylor, B.C. ), it's still pretty big and will hopefully serve its owner well :)

This isn't the first metal float painted by Geoff. You may remember another one on display at Kingsbrae Garden a few years ago. That one now lives at our studio.

If you happen to spot one of these metal buoys washed up on shore - contact us and we will put it to good use.

Have a creative day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The art of family

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Everyone was hard at work at Jarea Art Studio this weekend -- inside, outside, upstairs and downstairs.

Geoff was outside, putting the finishing touches on a giant golf ball he is painting for a local golf course. Jan was in the basement, searching through her stash of found objects --  arranging bits of wood and stone into a large-scale folk art construction. I was in the studio, painting a new abstract inspired by the trees, rocks and water found just outside our door. Meanwhile, the littlest one was busy with her pirate treasure sandbox.

I have a feeling, today is going to look a little bit like yesterday and really, I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The buoy tree

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

This past winter, Geoff found a terrific driftwood post washed up on the shores of our beach. Meanwhile, a Mother's Day basement clean-up unearthed a large collection of buoys  - some  found on beach walks, others scored by Jan some years ago at a Kiwanis Club auction.

While working on the outside of our new studio property, Geoff had the idea to place the pole next to our door and attach as many buoys to it as he could fit.

Ladies and gentlemen... behold, the buoy tree. Now this place is really starting to feel like home. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

A moving sunrise

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

It was an early morning, again.

Somewhere around 5:30am - with the smell of coffee floating around the studio - I looked out the side doors and saw this:

The intensity of the pink/orange sky set against the deep black/green of the trees off in the distance was incredible. And then there was the band of deep purple clouds - moving like a train to the East, while the color remained in place.

So nice to wake up to!