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Top Five Friday: “My Week in Photos” Edition

I can’t believe another week has come and gone already. My oh my, how time flies. As I pondered what I wanted to post about in this week’s TOP FIVE FRIDAY post, I realized how enjoyable and special my week really has been. Since I finished school for the summer, I have had oodles of free time. I have been maxin’ and relaxin’, knitting, crafting, and enjoying the sunshine. Oh yeah, and in case you haven’t realized, I have also been updating more regularly (which I am so happy to be able to do!).

This week has provided me with many opportunities to do some of the things that bring me joy. I am going to share with you some of the special moments from the past week in the form of photographs. Ready for a countdown?

NUMBER FIVE

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go to one of the cutest little towns in my area. This picture shows a small section of Main Street Unionville. It is one of the cutest little historic main streets, making it a tourist hot spot. It is full of little specialty shops and cafes in historical homes and buildings. On the day that I went, the sun was shining and there was a beautiful breeze, making it that much more enjoyable. This is where I dream of opening up my bake shop. One day…

NUMBER FOUR

One of my favourite foods is potato leek soup. I love tackling anything “home-made” (I think it is just so much better than packaged food) and potato leek soup has been on my radar for the longest time. I finally got around to asking my grandparents for their delicious recipe and so yesterday I decided to take it on. To be honest, I had no idea what leeks even were. But I am happy to announce that the soup turned out delicious and it is almost completely gone. I was so happy to be able to get that off my “to try” list.

NUMBER THREE 

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take a nice little stroll through the park. I love going for leisurely walks (especially with great people!) so this was a nice highlight. I came across this beautiful tree along the path. Although you can’t really tell in this photograph, it was a massive tree. It was so thick around and so tall–I could tell that it has been around for a long time. There’s something encouraging about that. Our earth is constantly changing and that’s not always for the better. Massive amounts of deforestation are occurring and ecosystems are being destroyed. Although this tree was not really in a forest, it was encouraging to see that it was still standing strong. It made me wonder how many little critters and organisms call this beautiful tree “home”.

NUMBER TWO

My sister and I went to our Grandma and Grampa’s house for lunch on Wednesday. I love hanging out with my grandparents. They always share so many wonderful stories of their past. One of my favourite things to do is look through my Grandma’s old photo albums. She can always tell me a story with every photo. I’m a lot like her in that I appreciate our family history. I ask her so many questions and she is always so happy to answer them. I cherish these memories because unless they’re passed on, they don’t last forever. I can’t wait to share them with my grandkids (when that time comes around). The photograph on the left is from my grandparent’s honeymoon. I believe it was taken in Chicago, but I just thought the composition was so interesting. The photograph on the right is of my Grandma’s sister with her kittens. In our time and culture, photographs are so meaningless sometimes. There are so many that they lose their uniqueness and story. I love that these photographs are one-of-a-kind and hold a special value. Even though they’re so simple and black and white, they are also so special.

NUMBER ONE

My sister and I have always been really close (one room + two sisters = about as close as you can get). We are called sisters, but I’d say we are more like best friends! As we’ve gotten older, our lives have gotten busier and busier. She works really hard at school and work and juggles lots of extra things that take up her time. But this week, we had the chance to hang out for an afternoon and just appreciate each other. We did a little photo shoot (as you may have seen with the DIY: Elbow Patch Cardigan post) and then enjoyed the rest of the day in Unionville. She is a beautiful person (as I’m sure you can tell from the photo above) both inside and out! We always laugh because people never know that we are sisters because we look so completely different. But we are close in spirit and in love. She is seriously the best!

Well that’s it. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy all of the small (but special) moments that it brings. Many blessings!

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Top Five Friday: Personal Artworks Edition

Happy Friday, everybody! I’m not just saying that because it is a TOP FIVE FRIDAY but because it is the weekend (can I get a woop-woop?!). Although creating these TOP FIVE FRIDAY posts does bring a nice closure to my week, they also bring a nice start to my weekend. I’m excited to share this week’s (even though it is Friday the 13th) because it involves something pretty special to my heart…my artworks!

Even as a child, I knew that art was in my future. My mom used to say that “as long as she had a paper and some pencils, she would be content for hours”. That was probably a good thing for my parents…with two older siblings I got trucked around to numerous hockey games, dance classes, and swimming lessons. But as long as I had a pencil and paper close, I was a happy little camper.

Fast forward 15+ years. I just finished my second year of university where I am in the Fine Arts program. Although I have discovered that I have no passion to become a “Professional Artist”, I still really enjoy creating and expressing myself creatively. I took art classes all throughout highschool, but only once I got into some of the most incredible studios that my school has to offer did my creative boundaries extend and evolve. I have learned so many things about different art-making processes and so I am excited to share with you some of the pieces I have created as a result. The five I have picked for this post are five of my favourites, not because they are extremely wonderful or perfectly crafted, but because of the meanings and processes behind them.

So let’s get down to business…

NUMBER FIVE

Time in Perspective, pencil, October 2010

This piece was created in my very first university studio class. The class was a drawing course about perspective. The assignment required picking one mechanical item, taking it apart piece by piece, and drawing each aspect in various forms of perspective. This piece contains elements of one-point, two-point, and three-point persepective. If you are unfamiliar with perspective drawing, it is basically an incredibly mathematical and tedious process. I completed this by drawing each aspect in different perspectives and then compiling them together and adding the detail. Although drawing is one of the most simple processes of creating art (after all, it only requires a pencil and paper), it is a very tedious one. All I know is that this took me hours to complete. Hours. Time in perspective…what more can I say?

NUMBER FOUR

Les Fleurs, intaglio print, March 2011

If you have ever tried intaglio (or etching), you would know that it can be a tricky process. Your design is essentially chemically burned into a sheet of copper. Then to print, the ink is smudged into the cracks and pressed through a 3,000 pound press. This piece was the final project for my intaglio class. I have always had a heart for flowers. I find them to be so incredibly beautiful. This print was done with two separate copper plates. One contained the background pattern and floral shading and the second contained the flower outlines. The name came from a friend.

NUMBER THREE

Brainwave, acrylic and mixed media, March 2012

This was my most recent project. It was completed for a painting course called “Creating Space in Contemporary Painting”. This project was based around creating an abstract space using texture. This piece is a compilation of all of my old papers, notes, and assignments ripped up and glued onto the canvas. I can honestly say that this was one of the most therapeutic projects for me. It gave me an incredible opportunity to get rid of all that built up intellectual knowledge from projects past and release that organized energy into something incredibly unorganized and spontaneous. I was so intimidated by this abstract class because I am an incredibly organized person. But in the end, I enjoyed releasing that structure, if only for a few projects.

NUMBER TWO

17 Years, marker and photography, November 2010

This piece was also created for a drawing class. The assignment was extremely open but had to contain at least some aspect of drawing. This piece was probably one of the most emotional for me. When I was 17 years old, my family and I went through a fairly traumatic experience. I drew one flower for each year of my life up until that point. They were created as almost a mourning for those innocent years. Once again, it involved flowers which I loved to draw. I drew them with these awesome markers that almost act like watercolours. It was such an enjoyable process and I loved the result.

NUMBER ONE

Cookie Cutter (series), printmaking, October/November 2011

First things first…I LOVE printmaking. This was one of my absolute favourite projects to create. As you may or may not know, I absolutely love baking. I created this piece as a question and criticism of industrial society and consumer processes. The project was based around repetition. I documented (very closely) the layers and processes of baking a dozen sugar cookies. Then I transferred that process onto a silkscreen and printed it in a very gruelling but hands-on process. I was questioning what differentiates something that is hand-made from something that is created in a very specific and organized fashion. What makes something that is home-made more or less appealing? This piece was a cool opportunity for me to explore these questions.

Well there you have it. I don’t want to go too deeply into these works because it would take too many words and I am certainly not gifted with those. But I appreciate you taking the time to read through this. I hope that you all have an incredible weekend. Enjoy every single (creative) bit of it!

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Top Five Friday: Photo Adventure Edition

I’m just going to put it out there…I am a blogging jerk. I have been neglecting my blog for the past two weeks. Trust me when I say that my neglect has not been by choice. As a full time student, I have spent the past month in crazy panic busy mode, finishing up all of those end-of-the-term papers and cramming in some late night (and quite frankly, every other spare moment) study sessions. But I am happy to announce that I just wrote my second exam this morning and I don’t have to write another one for over a week. So I have decided to give my poor little brain a much needed re-couporation break over the weekend (let’s just say that memorizing the exact artist, title, date of creation, historical context, and formal qualities of fifty-two different American art pieces has fried the intellectual membranes within my brain) by sleeping, relaxing, and doing some of those things that I love best–crafting!

To kick off my weekend, I am going to share a TOP FIVE FRIDAY post featuring five of my favourite photos that have been taken to date. Before I begin, I must put a little disclaimer out there that I am by no means a professional photographer. I’m a little more keen on creating my own images by drawing or printing instead of photographing what is already there. But, I have dabbled in the field (just for funzies) and so I am going to share some photos from some of my favourite photo adventures!

Let’s count down, shall we?

NUMBER FIVE

I snapped this photo one warm evening while on a vacation on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. My sister, friend, cousin, and I cleaned ourselves up after a long day on the beach and headed down to snap some photos on the beach at sunset. I just love how vibrant my beautiful sister looks in front of the calming and peaceful blues of the vast ocean. She makes a pretty darn great model, doesn’t she?

NUMBER FOUR

Every summer I venture up into the beautiful cottage country of Northern Ontario to work at an awesome summer camp for 8 weeks. This time away always creates many special memories, especially since the natural surroundings are so beautiful. This is a photo I took last summer of one of my best friends. We ventured onto the “Hiawatha Trail” (fun fact: did you know “Hiawatha” is an aboriginal word that represents peace?) and got a little creative. I love the light in this photo. From the bright, blown-out upper left corner to the unique light reflections splotting the image–I love it all! Turns out this really is a peace trail.

NUMBER THREE

You may be looking at this image and saying to yourself “What on earth is so special about that?”. The truth is that I probably can’t really answer that question for you. It was taken in complete darkness with a 5 second long exposure time and nothing but a flashlight. I completed it for a photography assignment for one of my classes. It’s a massive stack of all the letters I have kept and collected over the years. Basically, it represents a lifetime of memories collected but stored away in the darkness of my mind, only to be exposed every now and then. Without getting too technical on you, I love the simple composition and asymmetrical sense of balance. Too “artsy”?

NUMBER TWO

I have two words for you–New York. Our family goes on an “Annual Wideman Family Road Trip” every Spring and last year we finally braved the Big Apple. For the three days that we were actually in the city, it rained cats and dogs (to say the least). But we still had so many adventures, including a double-decker bus tour that resulted in a ridiculous number of photos of random (but cool) buildings that I will never remember the name of. This photo was taken from out of our hotel window. My mom freaked out when she saw me hanging out to get this shot, but I couldn’t resist! The window had no screen, easy access, and was nine floors up. I loved the result–the hustle bustle of the city street mixed with the rustic old sign of the rustic, old (and somewhat creepy) hotel that we stayed in. Oh, the memories.

And to finish ‘er off…

NUMBER ONE

This was a completely random and flooky shot that I captured while just playing around with my camera and my dad’s string-instrument collection. I love how simplified and almost minimalist this image is. The string and shadow combo just gets me every time. Once again, you may be wondering what is so great about this image. And once again, I can’t explain it. I just like it. Period.

So thanks again for checking in and reading. I promise that this blog will be more active and will be taking no more two-week sabbaticals. Here’s to a little inspiration and here’s to a happy weekend!

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