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Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Feature: Carolynn @ Artystuff


When I was very young, my parents thought I should have art lessons and they signed me up for a Saturday morning class at the old Art Gallery at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario. I was NOT amused, even though I think I was born holding a pencil or a paintbrush. It is just that I am NOT a “now we’ll all...” sort of a girl! Sitting on a cold floor making a small part of an ugly mural with a group of unhappy and/or pushy children was NOT my idea of a good time. I did not do well.

Hello everybody. My name is Carolynn McMillan and I live in Burlington Ontario. I am a self-taught, artistic Lone Wolf, not a groupie and I do my own thing, my own way. My good husband and I just celebrated 46 years of marriage - a long time with one man, as a dear friend of ours once said!! Very true, but we are still good friends after all that time and Bruce is my best help and my best critic. Everyone should be so lucky. We have one daughter who is married and lives in Tennessee where she is a graduate student, almost finished her PhD in Archaeology. I repeat - everyone should be so lucky!

Westport Sunset (big version, scroll down)
Bruce and I live on the edge of a lovely woodland where a LOT of my inspiration comes from. Natural forms are my chief muse. I love colour and texture and am a self-confessed Colour Junkie! I am also addicted to travel and use my own photographs to make my fibre art creations. Bruce and I are our families’ genealogists. A current project is to create a series of impressions based on photos I have taken of our travels in Kintyre, Scotland where the the McMillans came from long ago. Kintyre is definitely a land of inspiration for painters, photographers, poets and even quilters!

Elf (more 3d art)
 I say I am a Lone Wolf artistically but I am inspired by several artists – Caryl Bryer-Fallert, Betty Busby and Elaine Quehl to name a few. Whenever I feel my inspiration flagging, I make a pot of tea, google one of those ladies’ blogs – and dream! Copying other peoples’ work is not for me although I DO often try out techniques I have learned from other artists. I prefer to use those techniques to do my own designs in my own way. Experimentation is my bag. Last summer for some reason, I went mad and tried every sort of fibre art I could think of, including cloth dollmaking. To date, this summer has been a bit less hectic. Our jets are still kind of laggy after a lovely three weeks in May in Kintyre.

Fatsia Project (the beginning)
Quilting has been a sort of passion for a long time although I gave up traditional quilting a few years ago. We live in a small house with only two beds so, after making several quilts for them, for friends and relations, I turned to making Art Quilts. MUCH more satisfying! I have also recently reconnected with my sketchbook after a long hiatus. Drawing, designing quilts, Zentangling and more recently, printmaking have all been keeping me out of trouble lately. Once, in another incarnation, I did a LOT of Batik dyeing: wall hangings and silk scarves. I had several solo exhibitions of my work in that medium. That was before our daughter was born and I have decided just in the past few months, to do my own dyeing once again. Enough with the commercial fabrics, already - except maybe for those yummy Kaffe Fassett prints! ( I AM a Colour Junkie, don’t forget!) Hand dyeing has provided me with a whole new springboard for my work. I am having a ball and my poor patient husband drives me way up to Guelph to buy the lovely fine pure cotton I am using to make my delicious hand dyes. I have just finished my first completely hand dyed quilt, The Fatsia Project.


I have really enjoyed participating in the WIP Wednesday project on The Needle and Thread Network. It is lovely to see the work of and to “meet” so many other creative people from all across Canada. Pass the word and let’s get others involved too. We all learn from each other. It has been an honour to be asked to do a Friday Feature post. Thanks! As well as WIP Wednesday, I participate in Every Inchie Monday and SketchbookChallenge. Have a look at the Inchie and Sketchbook posts on my blog and check out those two “fun” sets of posts.  The Golden Inchies I did so long ago are still one of my favourites.

There is always something going on my blog and plenty of archived posts as well at…rtquilter.blogspot.com

8 comments:

Eija Kause said...

Hello! Greetings from Finland. I found your wonderful blog. Welcome to my new blog

HollyM said...

I love reading the Friday profiles on the different artists. It's so interesting to read about what inspires and to see a picture.
I love your new work with the hand dyes and the sunset piece is really gorgeous!

Monika Kinner-Whalen (MySweetPrairie) said...

It's so great to put a face to a name. You know I love your dolls!! : ) Thank you so much for being featured here! I like the range of projects you are into.

All the best,
Monika Kinner-Whalen
sewing in Saskatoon

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau said...

So great learning more about you! Really enjoyed it!

elle said...

You are definitely one of a kind, Carolynn. I find you totally inspiring!

Dolores said...

It's so nice to be able to find out more about you. All I can say is, keep at it.

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