Category Archives: Being an Artist

September will always seem like the start of a new year – and this one has lots happening!

Looking Back, Looking Out, Looking In 

Friday, August 31 is the last day to see“Looking Back, Looking Out, Looking In”  at the Humboldt Art Gallery. This was a two person show with work by Jess Richter along with my watercolour batiks. Saturday we go to dismantle it. Thanks to the Humboldt Gallery for being great to work with and to everyone who has been to see it!

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Dotting the Prairie 4 18 x 36″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen


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Art friends with beautiful back yards have provided several fabulous sketching opportunities over the summer!

Now, September is just around the corner and
I have so much news to share!
See below for more details about:

Mentorship Program

New Shows

Soon to be Released –
Online Watercolour Batik Class


 

I have been selected for an Exciting Mentorship Program!

I am honoured to have been accepted as a mentee in the CARFAC mentorship program. My mentor will be Paula Cooley and I am very excited to see what the year will bring!

This 10 month mentorship program includes support from a mentor, group meetings, studio visits, critiques and will be a major creative boost! 


Fall Showtime round #1 … More about the rest next time

Art Now Saskatchewan Fine Art Fair

Many Saskatchewan Galleries will have booths at this amazing show. It started 3 years ago in Saskatoon, was in Regina last year and is back in Saskatoon. It keeps getting better!

You will find my work in the Saskatchewan Craft Council‘s area! This is 1 of 4 bridges that they selected in the jury process.

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Prince Albert Train Bridge 18 x 36″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen

 

 

 


Station Arts Centre – Rosthern –  Birds of a Feather

1 of 2 pieces I have contributed:

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Click Clack Cluck 12 x 24″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen

The Station Arts Centre in Rosthern has a lovely gallery and tea room and the group show “Birds of a Feather” will be up for the month of September. They are open Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 4 pm (closed Sunday and Monday).

There will be a closing reception on Saturday, September 29th from 7 – 9 pm.


Humboldt Art Gallery Members’ Show

1 of 2 pieces I have contributed:

Pure & Simple ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 24 x 8" $425

Pure & Simple 8 x 24″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen

This is the 3rd year for this show and the 3rd time I have participated. It is a great gallery so worth the drive. The Humboldt Art Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 5 pm.

There will be a reception on Saturday, Sept 22 from 2 – 4 pm.

 


Releasing my Online Watercolour Batik Class

With special thanks to my video editing husband and photography pro son I am soon going to be releasing a full online watercolour batik class – Discover Watercolour Batik. Everything you need to know to create your own beautiful watercolour batiks! Over 3 hours of video instruction that you can follow along with. I am excited to see what others create!

Discover Watercolour Batik

For a sneak peak you can register for this free one – Introduction to Watercolour Batik – which will give you a quick overview of my process – for collectors or curious artists! 

Introduction to Watercolour Batik

Have a great start to the fall season!

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“And Art Gallery” opening in Davidson, and more gallery news!

I have exciting gallery news to share!

AND ART GALLERY

 

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The first piece of exciting gallery news is that I am now represented by AND ART GALLERY in Davidson! The owner, Gail Prpick, is also fellow  member of the Artists’ Workshop group. And Art Gallery, at 112 Washington Ave, Davidson,SK is housed in a century old brick building that use to be a bank.

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The AND ART GALLERY grand opening is:
     Friday, November 17th from 5 – 10 p.m. and
     Saturday, November 18th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

I’ll be there Friday evening to celebrate with Gail and the other artists and to chat with you.

These are my pieces that are there and will be hung by now!

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Preparing to hang work by Paige Mortensen


Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique

I dropped some new pieces off at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique and they are hanging already! It is exciting to see them amongst all this wonderful art and fine craft!

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Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique 1

SCCBoutique

Saskatchewan Craft Council Boutique 2


Black Spruce Gallery

The Black Spruce Gallery is on winter hours right now but there is still lots to see! My watercolour batik birds and other pieces are on display!

It is located in the NorthSide Antiques building on Highway #2 at Northside, SK. I suggest you call ahead to confirm the hours (306 982 4222).

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Birds by Paige Mortensen at Black Spruce Gallery

Tall & Sunny 1 ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 12x30" Available at Black Spruce Gallery

Tall & Sunny 1 ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour 12×30″ Available at Black Spruce Gallery

Enjoy the Galleries!

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Making Your Mark: It’s all About the Wax

Making Your Mark

In 2012 I was taking a printmaking class and one of the assignments was to do something with batik. To me, at the time, that meant fabric and special dyes. I didn’t want to add more supplies to my art making collection so I went searching for an alternative. I found Kathie George and her beautiful watercolour batiks! From there I completed one of her online tutorials, and I was hooked!

After more than 4 years of my own watercolour batik journey I was finally able to attend one of Kathie’s workshops in Edmonton. I was surprised to see see how much my process had evolved from hers. Kathie invited me to write about that for her blog so here is a sampling of what you will find in: “It’s All About the Wax … making your mark” 

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Kathie uses wax pots for melting her wax and brushes or tjaps for applying it. I use a flat encaustic iron to melt my wax and sponges, mesh, cardboard and whatever else I can find to apply my wax.

A key feature of the batik process is that making your mark with the wax is what determines the outcome of the piece. The wax preserves whatever is already there and is the key to the finished piece.

Making Your Mark Sampler

Making Your Mark Sampler

 

My Guest Post on Kathie George’s Blog

You can read about my discoveries on her blog:
http://www.kathiegeorge.com/its-all-about-the-wax

While you are there, look around and enjoy all that she shares!

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As always, thanks for reading!

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Flock of birds now in my studio

Flock of Birds October 2016 ©Paige Mortensen

Flock of Birds October 2016 ©Paige Mortensen

My fireplace gallery now has a flock of birds – part of the work I am doing for the  Artisans’ Fine Craft Market coming up on November 4 & 5, 2016. The white papers behind them have been hanging empty for a few days so it feels good to have some colour there again.

It was our grandson’s 7th birthday at the end of September so we went to help celebrate.  They live on an acreage with a beautiful view of the lake and the birds were plentiful.  The weather was great and our grandchildren were happily jumping on the trampoline. I took some time with my camera to capture some reference images. I am thankful for every one of these special days spent with family.

Things to do:

Over the last week I have been keeping the memories of the day alive by working on some small watercolour batik pieces.  This batik process I use uses wax as a resist so I always work on wax paper (or in this case the liners out of cereal boxes).  These waxy papers stop the wax from sticking to whatever else might be underneath.  Here are some of the flock, finished and waiting for the wax to be ironed off. I did that this morning.

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Flock of birds ready to iron

The next steps are to:

  • sign them
  • photograph them
  • mount them onto canvas
  • attach hangers
  • add labels to the back

Enjoy the birds you see today!

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ArtsQuest.ca Visits my Studio

ArtsQuest.ca comes for a Studio Visit

In August, Corinne and Gary of ArtsQuest came for a studio visit. As it says on their website they are “traveling Canada, building the premier online Canadian arts marketplace.”  I am honoured that they chose to visit me. The were obviously curious about my watercolour batik process and interested in my life as an artist. I look forward to connecting with Corinne and Gary again soon. Here they are with their trusted van “Arty”.

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For now they are posting interviews of artists they meet on their travels. I am not fond of looking at video of me – or of listening to myself talk.  Corinne & Gary did a great job putting this together though so I do hope you will have a look.  Here is a link to mine: http://artsquest.ca/2016/09/21/batik-watercolour-artist-paige-mortensen-irons-out-the-past/ While you are there check out some of the other interesting people they have met along the way!

 

ArtsQuest Interview about my watercolour batik process

 

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Look what I found in the paper! Elevator Stop is one of my pieces featured on the guest artist wall at Handmade House until the end of September 2016.

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Handmade House can be found at 702 Broadway Avenue Saskatoon, SK.

Humboldt & District Museum and Gallery is hosting a members’ show. Several artists from Saskatoon, including myself are participating in it.  I haven’t been yet but I from the pictures it looks like a great show!  You can check it out until November 5, 2016.

Thanks for reading!

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Summer Reflections and Sharing Gratitudes

By the time you read this it will be September and a good time for summer reflections.
I have so many things to be thankful for!

Art Related:

By The Sandbar ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 16x16" SOLD

By The Sandbar ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 16×16″ SOLD

Time for art.  Well, maybe not quite as much over the summer as the rest of the year but everything that follows is important too.

Black Spruce Gallery and Handmade House for showing my work.

Collectors who have purchased my work.

Upcoming opportunities – more news coming soon!

 

 

Family News

Engagement

 

Exciting family news #1 – our son is engaged so we have a soon to be daughter-in-law!

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Exciting family news #2 – our daughter and son-in-law are expecting their 3rd child!  We sure enjoyed the time with these two this summer!

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My niece and her husband had a baby girl!

 

Celebrations

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A 65th Wedding Anniversary!

 

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A 95th Birthday Party!

 

Inspirations

Leaves

 

Interesting leaves.

 

Mirror

My cousin gave me a dresser that once belonged to our grandparents. I painted it white and am distressing it before putting it all back together.

 

Small Flower Collection Aug 2016

Small Flower Collection Aug 2016 ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik

 

 

 

A collection of small  (4×6″) canvases that were calling.  These flowers are the tiniest pieces I have done and it was fun!

 

 

 

I hope your summer reflections bring a smile to your day!

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Station Arts Centre Postcard Fundraiser

Postcard Fundraiser

When I first heard about the Station Arts Centre Postcard Fundraiser I thought “What a fun idea”!   I was out to see the exhibition and they have over 180 postcards in their silent auction! The variety is fantastic and they look great on the walls! Show dates are June 21 – August 7, 2016.

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Saskatchewan Postcards 1 ©Paige Mortensen 6×4″ Watercolour Batik

I wanted my submissions to reflect the town of Rosthern, the people who live there and Saskatchewan. The elevator is one of two still standing along the tracks through Rosthern and feels similar to elevators in many towns around the province.

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Saskatchewan Postcards 2 ©Paige Mortensen 6×4″ Watercolour Batik

The last time I was out to the Station Arts Centre this bike was sitting outside the building. It has such a wonderful basket on the back!  I don’t know the owner but it was fun for me to hear that she was excited to see her bike in the exhibition!

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Saskatchewan Postcards 3 ©Paige Mortensen 6×4″ Watercolour Batik

And, for anyone who doesn’t know, the Prairie Lily is Saskatchewan’s flower.

The entire Postcard Fundraiser collection is posted on the Station Arts Facebook page if you are interested in seeing more.  Mine are #127, 142 and 144.

Leah Dorion Exhibition

In addition to the postcards, there is an exhibit of Leah Dorion’s work called Carriers of Creation Her artist’s statement says: “This collection celebrates the energy of life and the great connectedness of all life forms in this vast creation.”

In November 2015 I heard Leah talk about her exhibition (Country Wives & Daughters of the Country: Metis Women of this Land) at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery here in Saskatoon. She is expressing an important message and I was fascinated with the works.
“Until recently the role of Métis women in Canadian history remained generally unacknowledged by our collective society… This art show is a celebration of Métis women and provides contemporary representations of women’s traditional roles in historic Métis society. Recognizing our shared past is an important way to give cultural continuity, identity, and knowledge to forthcoming generations of children.”   ~ Leah Dorion

I hope you can check out the exhibitions – as well as their summer theatre show – “The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven’s Blatz”!

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Post Show feels like a Spring Break

New Work

These last two weeks have felt like I’m on a spring break!  The Artists’ Workshop Show & Sale was April 15-17th which meant some focused show preparation time leaving other things undone.  I have enjoyed the change of pace and checking some of those things off of my to-do list.

I have still been working though, and these four ‘spring break’ birds are framed and ready to go!  (Actually since I started this post one has already been sold!)

Spring break Birds

Four ‘Spring Break’ Birds: Listening, Cheerful, Proud and Nesting all 8×8″ Watercolour Batik ©Paige Mortensen

 

Spring Break Gallery Stop

One day last week I drove out to the Station Arts Centre in Rosthern to see an exhibit called “Hello In There Hello Out There”.  This project was a collaboration of artists and Saskatchewan seniors. They worked together to write out stories from the seniors and then create dioramas to depict the memories.  It was great to see how the Rosthern school engaged with the show with some students creating dioramas of their own and other classes coming to view and reflect on the stories.

Spring break gallery stop - Station Arts Centre - Rosthern

Spring break gallery stop

As well as the visual art they have a wonderful tea room and live theatre in the summer.  See the Station Arts Centre website for more information.

My next project is to create, and mail them some postcard sized art!
From June 21 – August 7th they are having a Postal Art Fundraising Exhibit.  Individuals have been invited to mail them postcard sized art which will be auctioned to help keep the arts alive in Rosthern. If you are interested in participating see Postcards to the Station: a Postal Art Fundraising Exhibit.  It will be fun to see what they receive!

I hope you too are enjoying a spring break!

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Vancouver Art Gallery – Mashup

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Last week I was fortunate to be in Vancouver enjoying a change of pace.  The weather was most cooperative and we enjoyed spring as we wandered around Stanley Park, walked across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and explored Granville Island.  One slightly rainy day we spent at the Vancouver Art Gallery touring the current exhibit – Mashup.

Mashup” according to the Oxford dictionary is “a mixture or fusion of disparate elements”. Other definitions relate mashup to music or computing.  Within the four floors of the gallery 30 curators have gathered 371 artworks (in a wide range of media) by156 artists, all part of the evolving “mashup” culture.

We had a great guided tour of the early works in this “Birth of Modern Culture”.  Picasso was one of the first when he began to experiment with collage in about 1912. One example was him trying to represent objects such as this musical instrument by showing all sides of it at the same time.
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Marcel Duchamp brought ready made objects into the gallery and displayed them as art.  He was also concerned about making art accessible to more people believing that it wasn’t necessarily the original piece that was so important, rather sharing the idea of the piece. He created replica boxes of some of his exhibits so that they could travel around to people who weren’t able to get to the galleries.  This is one of these.
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Post World War II the proliferation of mass marketing and advertising were the setting for Andy Warhol and others to bring the replication processes of mass production to their art. These two from Warhol’s Cow series are on display as well as several other pieces of his work.
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I found this sculpture (Untitled (Books) 2002) by Rachel Whiteread to be quite interesting.  It feels like the knowledge and enjoyment normally found inside books has been silenced.
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Here in Saskatoon I recently heard Eugene Arcand speak as a survivor of residential schools and now part of the Truth & Reconciliation process.  He used the term “blameless shame” as a way to describe a part of the work that needs to be done by individuals and society at large.  There on the wall of the Vancouver Art Gallery in big bold letters were the words Blame and Shame.
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And on the floor underneath, a variation of this quote by Aimé Césaire – “Beware, my body and my soul, beware above all of crossing your arms and assuming the sterile attitude of the spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of griefs is not a proscenium, and a man who wails is not a dancing bear.”
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Near the end of our tour there was a room with some sort of silver “foil” covering all the walls.  Looking at our reflections they seemed appropriate as we tried to absorb all that we had seen.
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“Life is not a spectacle”. It is a participatory activity.  How can we best participate to help make our world a better place?  How have these and other artists opened our minds to help change the world?

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Mann Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection

It doesn’t happen very often but yesterday there was something very exciting in the mail.  It was a letter from Jesse Campbell, Director/Curator at the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert, SK saying that they have purchased this piece (‘Welcome’) for their permanent collection!  I am honoured and thrilled!

Welcome ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12x18" SOLD to Mann Art Gallery's Permanent Collection

Welcome ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 12×18″ SOLD

As background, it is Winter Festival in Prince Albert and as part of that the Gallery has a member’s show and sale.  All gallery members are invited to submit two pieces to the show so that is how this came to be there.  There are many, many amazing and varied artists with work in this show so please take the time to check it out.  It is up until April 2, 2016. Details can be found on the Mann Art Gallery website.


About ‘Welcome’

In 2008 we were in Bath, UK. The weather was great and we had been exploring. I remember a little shop where we watched a glass blower create beautiful pieces of art.  Glass blowing is magical and mysterious…and makes the room very hot.

Shortly after we came across this sign and a very welcoming building.
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The building is the Walcot Chapel and it was built in the late 1700’s. I loved the welcoming feel of the space, the people and the history. What stuck with me was again magical as the artist’s ‘circular art’ explored deep inner emotion in a colourful, mesmerizing show.


 

This is the second piece I have hanging in the show:

Beauty Behind ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 10x14" $225

Beauty Behind ©Paige Mortensen Watercolour Batik 10×14″ $225


I am extremely thankful to the people who chose my work for the Mann Art Gallery’s permanent collection!

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