If your spirits are lifted when you stumble across beautifully etched wooden art pieces around town, you have Erin Sanderson to thank for it.
The York Region special needs teacher is showing her love for her community by leaving special gifts for people to find throughout Innisfill, after moving there more than 14 years ago with her husband, Simon, and their two boys.
Just last year, she discovered a hidden talent in pyrography: the art of free-hand wood burning.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness for many people, Sanderson started leaving some of her wood pieces in random spots around town as a way to lift spirits.
“I’ve been placing little pieces of [wood] art all around Innisfil,” said Sanderson.
She adds positive messages and inspirational quotes on the backs of the wood art designs before placing them on park benches, in restaurant bathrooms, on top of electrical boxes, or at the dog park.
She said it is part of a movement across the world known as Art Abandonment.
“I just want to put a smile on people’s faces,” exclaimed Sanderson. “I love the neighbours and the community, the fact that everybody is ready and willing to help each other… I just want to distract people from all that is going on in the world right now.”
“When my dad passed away, I inherited all his tools,” said Sanderson, adding that her father was a woodworker who made cabinets. “I started using my dad’s tools, carving and sketching, and then my mom bought me a wood burner for Christmas.”
Sanderson learned how to burn intricate designs and portraits onto wood, and has since joined groups on Facebook to learn different wood burning techniques.
“If it’s clean wood, I can burn anything on it,” she said.
In just the last year, Sanderson has made charcuterie boards, hand-crafted wooden knives, custom art on paddles and oars, bird houses, keepsake boxes, name signs, business logo signs, pet portraits and more. She creates the designs at home, doing custom orders for clients.
“There’s a lot of tracing, but the technique is actually burning it onto the wood,” explains Sanderson. “What I really enjoy doing is when someone has an idea, we can work together to create a piece.”
Sanderson uses graphite paper to trace images onto wood before burning the image with her tools by hand to get the right picture.
“If you don’t think you can do something, just try because you never know,” said Sanderson. “It’s been great for my mental health, to be able to focus on something so beautiful… I love working with people and making their dreams come true through this art.”
So next time you’re out around the town, and you happen to find a wood carving with a note attached “You found free art”, keep it as a token of Sanderson’s attempt to make you smile.
Simon works with the York Region District School Board, inspired by sons Jack, 10, and Calvin, 8, who are both on the autism spectrum.
The Sandersons have three pets; an old English sheep dog, Miss Mugs, or Fluff-a-lug; a foster pug named Forest; and a big, fat cat, Chicken.
Sanderson loves animals and once worked for animal control in the Innisfil, Bradford, and Newmarket area. Now, she works part-time at a dog kennel, Unicorn Hill Siberian Huskies in Baxter, just 10 minutes outside of Innisfil.
Sanderson is also a volunteer with Pawsitive Pet Food Bank in Innisfil with her good friend, Irene Louro. The pet food bank collects pet food donations for animals in the community.
“We collect from the community and donate to those going through a tough time.” explains Sanderson.
Sanderson also sells pet food, Harlow’s Blend, an all-natural holistic line of Canadian made dog and cat food. Sanderson delivers it for free to Innisfil residents.
To view more of Sanderson’s Pyrography, visit her Facebook page: PyrographyNerd
New art hub set up in North Bay's downtown to support local artists – CTV Toronto
Northern Ontario artists now have a co-operative hub to create and sell their artwork in downtown North Bay at Gateway To The Arts.
From paintings on the wall to balloon art on display, a group of 11 northern Ontario artists put their heads together in Feb. to come up with the plan.
“There’s very limited affordable space in the city for artists to work in, said Karrie Emms, one of the group’s founders. “When you want to rent a studio, you’re looking at a hefty chunk of change.”
Emms is one of the 11 artists involved. She paints, is involved in sketch-work and also teaches during paint nights. There are studios in the lower level of the facility, as well as workshop space where the member artists can prepare their works.
“We have five rental studios downstairs,” said Emms. “We planned for COVID-19. We thought if we use the studios, that covers our bills.”
Emms and the other artist members celebrated the official opening of Gateway To The Arts at 151A Main Street on the weekend.
Balloon artist Anne Brule is part of the artisan co-op and was always fascinated with balloon art ever since she read about the world’s largest non-round balloon sculpture in the world. It depicts two soccer players challenging for a ball and is completely made of balloons.
“You can make clothes (with the balloons), you can make all sorts of different things,” said Brulé. “I made a Métis sash for Le Carnival a couple of years ago and it just really opened up so many possibilities.”
The space will also be intended to help young and upcoming artists hone in on their skills and support their talent, as well as help them with resumes and portfolios in hopes of finding a job in the arts.
“Art can be a career. It can be a job and it can support you,” said Emms. “We want to foster to young people.”
Emms said the group is always looking for new members, saying art and the passion for it are limitless.
For the next few weeks, the co-op is also featuring 11 more artists’ holiday artwork.
“There’s so much talent in the area with the ideas and creativity that people have,” Brule said.
Kamloops Art Gallery offers free virtual art workshops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source – iNFOnews
For anyone between the ages of 13 to 21 looking to pick up a new hobby they can do from home can check out a virtual art workshop offered by the Kamloops Art Gallery.
Art on 5th is a virtual art workshop series created by the Kamloops Art Gallery’s summer interns that gives participants the opportunity to learn new art forms from industry professionals, according to the art gallery’s website.
The program is hosted through a Zoom call and features a different local artist each session. Each artist will teach participants a different style of art.
All the materials needed for each workshop are available for registered participants for free at the Kamloops Art Gallery, or can be shipped with a small postage fee.
Tomorrow’s, Nov. 25, workshop will feature local artist Robin Hodgson who will do a tour of his studio before teaching painting with acrylics.
The next session Dec. 2 features local artist Katerine Lopez Escobar, who will teach participants to work with different drawing materials and how to do landscape drawing. The following workshop Dec. 9 will be lead by artist Dylan Bellamy, who will teach the art of portrait painting using acrylic.
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Ancient rock art shows prehistoric people ‘used hallucinogenic drugs’ – Yahoo Canada Sports
A swirl-like painting on the wall of a Californian cave has shown that prehistoric people were using hallucinogenic plants to create art.
New research found that the painting actually shows the flower of Datura wrightii, a plant used for its hallucinogenic properties in ceremonies.
Scientists from the University of Central Lancashire excavated the cave, and found that, as well as a painting of the plant, there were chewed materials from the hallucinogenic plant.
The research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNaS).
Dr David Robinson, Reader in archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), said, ‘The link between hallucinogens and rock art has long been suspected, and this research shows that it was not only a source of creative inspiration for these prehistoric groups of people, but a core tenet of important rituals and community gathering.”
Datura was used in Native California as part of adolescent initiation rituals, where the root of the plant was processed into a drink for young people in the community.
Other material found at the site also suggests that the site was likely to be a communal space in which people would gather on a seasonal basis for hunting, gathering, food preparation, and eating
The researchers believe that the art played a prominent role in the daily lives of all members of the local community.
Read more: Astronomers find closest black hole to Earth
Dr Robinson says, ‘These findings give us a far more in-depth understanding of the lives of indigenous American communities and their relationships, from late prehistoric times right up until the late 1800s.
‘Importantly, because of this research, the Tejon Indian tribe now visits the site annually to reconnect to this important ancestral place.
Dr Matthew Baker, Reader in Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde and co-author, said: ‘The combination of chemistry and archaeology in this project has truly shown the power of a multidisciplinary approach to uncover new knowledge. This was a gripping project and visiting these sites with Dave was truly memorable.”
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