I am burning the midnight oil getting my solo show ready to install next weekend. It will open on Wednesday May 4 and run through Saturday May 21, 2022, at The Red Head Gallery in downtown Toronto.
The title Burnt Offerings alludes to the ancient ritual of burning things whether as offering or sacrifice, as purification or as prayer.
The concept for the show grew out of experiencing the loss of my father last year, grieving him and contemplating what we feel, and do to mourn, what we lose when we lose a loved one, how loss is the flip side of love, and how it ties into the larger cycles of life and death. Fire and ash are part of that cycle.
This show is both deeply personal and widely relatable, and I hope I am making it more poetic than heavy, so that it will touch you and cause you to reflect and also surprise you in various ways.
For the first time I will be documenting my show in a virtual 3-D format that will allow people unable to visit in person to have a more visit-like experience online. More on that later.
For the second time I am putting out a call for support, for people who love what I do or how I do it and are in a position to provide financial sponsorship, starting at only $10! I will create a separate post about that and link it here when it's ready.
Regardless of that, and in whatever way, I hope you will pay the show a visit, and send me your comments and questions too.
Please wish me luck as I work through the home stretch, when it becomes a matter of stamina really.
I can't wait to share this new work with you!
Burnt Offerings is part of the 2022 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.
Here's an opportunity for the artists and art students reading this: an upcoming juried show at Visual Arts Mississauga (in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada).
Some weeks ago Annis Karpenko, the excellent Executive Director there, approached me about co-jurying with her, which sounded like more fun than a jurying gig would normally be (she and I enjoy each other's company!) though I actually really like to jury at least once a year.
It's a stimulating and interesting challenge, to look at a large collection of submitted work, get a sense of them as a whole and then go through and select what seems to be the best representation, within the constraints specified by the organizing group.
It can be hard to get this just right, because the number of pieces permitted don't always coincide with the number I would like to accept, and in a number of other ways the decision making is complex. But that is precisely why it's interesting.
Some broad categories of issues are considered: medium, materials, subject, concept, design/composition, artistic thinking or point of view, technical proficiency, creativity.
It is crucial to remember that in art, our ideas and imagination, our inventiveness, give our technical accomplishments meaning and purpose.
I look forward to seeing the work submitted, maybe I will even see something of yours!
If you would like more information, please visit the "Why Do You Create?" page on the Visual Arts Mississauga website.
My New Colour Diary
Stencils among my favourite things to work with, whether for painting or printmaking, working flat, blended or atmospheric, or creating impasto effects.
Anybody who's taken one of my classes knows that I love – and encourage – making custom stencils, because they are personal and show the hand of the artist.
But that doesn't mean I don't love a good commercial stencil, because I do! If only my wallet were fatter, so would my collection of bought stencils be (maybe you can relate!).
Good commercial stencils have wonderful, sometimes intricate, designs, are sturdy, and can last indefinitely if cared for. They will also be translucent so you position the design exactly where you want it onto a prepared surface for example.
This blog post isn't about those high quality and at least somewhat expensive stencils though!
Instead I'd like to introduce you to the world of dollar store stencils.
Pictured above are collections I have purchased at Dollarama and at Dollar Tree. I didn't buy all of the sets available, but both places offered a few. (Continued below.)
VIDEO: When I get new stencils, I make reference prints using black ink. I like to use my gel plate so I can pull positive and negative prints, but you can also use a sponge, stomp or stencil brush directly onto paper. Finally I like to try a few simple prints just to get acquainted with the stencils.
The Dollar Tree stencils come one per package, are cleanly and fully punched out, their shapes are good and classic, the plastic is smooth, flexible, transparent but thinner than I'd prefer.
Dollarama's come with four designs per package, which are nicely illustrated on the packaging so you can preview your selection, or to help put them back in the correct package after use. They are less well made than Dollar Tree's (I had to finish punching out a number of the shapes myself), but plastic is thicker and somewhat stiffer, a different kind of plastic that feels more durable. They are also opaque, which makes them less easy to position precisely.
Both are roughly 6" x 6" in size, suitable for small gel plates for example, or used as accents in larger work.
Whatever the drawbacks, the price is hard to beat for someone on a very tight budget, or feeding a stencil habit they need to keep the costs down on! You may also just find the designs useful.
Dollar Tree's are $1 for a single stencil (but always with many variations on an image theme!).
Dollarama's are $1.25 for a 4-pack of various patterns.
If you don't find them at your local store, you may have to try another location. What's available at any given location can vary quite a lot in general I find.
Who doesn't love saving a little money on art or craft supplies? Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these out. Also what's been your favourite cheap & cheerful art or craft supply?
Prices are in Canadian dollars.
Life in a Pandemic: Anxious Times
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.