Kim Stewart

Canadian Métis Artist

work

What kind of art do you do?

work, art as a careerKim StewartComment
tiny banner.jpg

I am asked this question a lot and it is a difficult one to answer. I recently did some research into contemporary terms that are used to categorize artists. In this post, What kind of art do you make? , artist and professor Daric Gill defines the differences between artists having one discipline, like painting, drawing or sculpture, or practicing in a Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary or Transdisciplinary way. He says "every time you see the suffix 'disciplinary', switch it for 'ways of thinking'." Therefore,  "Multidisciplinary = Multi-ways of thinking, Interdisciplinary = mutual ways of thinking, and Transdisciplinary = transcends ways of thinking". So using these analogies, my art practice can be seen as an extension of my world view, then I guess it would be no surprise if I considered my art practice to be Interdisciplinary. It could also be called Metissage, defined as a woven mix of cultural thinking. This bit of information is going to help me simplify my answer and help others understand what kind of art I do.

What about you? What kind of art do you do?

Digitization of fish pattern

my art, workKim StewartComment

fish pattern I have finished drawing a large portion of the pattern in Illustrator. A portion of the pattern was used in a public art call that I just completed today. I want to use it again in a different context. I really love the interesting secondary shapes that can be discerned when you look at portions of the pattern. I think I will print it out and do some colouring! I have some velum that runs nicely through my printer and a brand new set of pencil crayons. Very relaxing - at least as good as Yoga.

The closing of a chapter

creative motivation, my art, teaching, workKim StewartComment

I have completed the work for my Master's degree over the past weekend. I began this 'project' in 2009 and thought two years looked like a very long stretch in front of me, but like most challenges the time when by quickly. Being incredibly busy helped. I was working full time, going to school every 3rd+ weekend and working on homework during most of my spare time. It was taxing on my family and I want to thank them for all for their amazing support. I am indebted to my knowledgable instructors, Dr. Celeste Snowber, Dr. Lynn Fels, Dr. Indrani Margolin, Dr. Yaroslav Senyshyn, Dr. Carolyn Mamchur and Dr. Vicki Kelly. As an instructor myself, I understand how much you give of yourselves for your students! Without my peers in the cohort, I would be nowhere. Your ability to encourage me kept me going. And finally I would like to praise God who was with me all the way. I will convocate in October and after that weekend I will officially have earn my MEd. Arts Education from Simon Fraser University. I learned so much through deep inquiry, I cannot imagine living any other way. I look forward to living in the beauty that the work has brought into my life. Below are a few samples of the artwork that I was making as research during the last two years. I hope you enjoy...night photo of flower ~image by Kim Woolly Thyme in bloom ~image by Kim altered book - 21st Century Child altered book - 21st Century Child

Traveling to Van in a van...

my opinions, workKim StewartComment

Yes, it is true. Tomorrow the CNC Fine Art's class of 2011 and three faculty will be boarding a 15 passenger van headed for Vancouver on our annual field trip. We usually fly, but this year a fellow faculty member offered to drive us. Immediate benefits come to mind when I think of 'shopping'. We usually walk everywhere we go and shopping is limited to a couple of art books, basically whatever you can carry for hours on end. I was thrilled when I opened my email yesterday and saw that Opus Framing is having their garage sale this weekend, and, hey... we will have a van in Van! I could actually buy some frames and store them in the van. I am also thrilled that we can visit the Museum of Anthropology. I remember going there as an art student to sketch. Their collection includes over 36,000 ethnographic objects and 500,000+ archeological objects including full-sized west coast feast bowls and totem poles. The entire place is an aesthetic feast for the eyes! All I have to do is survive the trip down. Back to the van; I am hoping that 13 happy people traveling in a small space will not create an 8 hour din and just in case I am bringing a set of ear plugs. Now, before you decide that I am a party-pooper I should tell you that I have 'very' sensitive hearing. Those earplugs could mean the difference between a happy field-tripper and one with a migraine. Maybe I should bring my travel pillow and an eyeshade incase I really want to pass out. Just poke me when we get there!

hunting for credentials

Learning, teaching, workKim Stewart2 Comments

I will feel more comfortable holding my instructor's position at the college once I have earned a Masters degree. I have been thinking about this for a while. Recently there was an ad in the Newspaper that caught the attention of one of my students and she sent the information to me. As a result I'm applying as a student to the Simon Fraser University MEd in Art Education program. It's a community Master's program which will take place in Prince George from September 2009 until Summer 2011. Classes run on the weekends and over the summer which will allow me to continue working at the college. I have been looking for a graduate program that will fit into my budget and family lifestyle. Not only does program do that, it happens to be in an area of keen interest for me. I'm especially interested in Art-Practice as a form of research, studio-based inquiry and connecting the 'Art as Social Practice' movement to traditional aboriginal art. So I am sending thanks out to the student whose name is withheld to protect her identity...(but you know who you are!) as she has applied also. We should know by the end of April if we have been accepted. Until then, I  hold my breath.

Buy my Art

my art, workKim Stewart3 Comments

Okay, so this is a very bold statement but I figured I should just be honest. I am hoping you will be interested in buying prints of my art. I know Christmas is coming, birthdays are coming, or maybe you just want to treat yourself to something special. I hope you will look at my Imagekind site. It is the most amazing online store for high quality art prints that I have encountered! You can choose your potential art purchase, then actually try several types of frames on the piece, right there, online! You can see what it will look like on different colour walls, they have an option to change the colour of the walls. There is even an area where you can see what the art print would look like over a couch! Now that is online service! Even if you don't end up buying anything, do me a favour and go play there with my art for a while. Come back and let me know what you think! Here is the link:http://kimstewart.imagekind.com. If want something and you don't see it there in the gallery, just ask me and I can add it.

I've been Behancing myself

creative motivation, my art, My Art Online, workKim Stewart2 Comments

I have spent the better part of 2 days building a profile on the Behance.net creative network site. They have an amazing interface that organizes and flatters the work. Other creatives are encouraged to view projects and appreciate them using the feedback button at the bottom of each project page. Membership to the site is by invitation only keeping it focused on quality creative work. I'd love you to visit my profile. Here is the link: http:www.behance.net/kimstewart

if you like what you see, appreciate it! You'll know what I mean when you get there...and thanks!

Dark days over

creative motivation, my opinions, workKim Stewart2 Comments

Work by candlelight It was December, the power was out and I had work to do. Candles seemed to be the logical solution. We are so used to losing our power for hours at a time in the winter that we have adapted and carry on. But the dark days are almost over. The spring to summer season brings dramatic changes to our natural light and our need for artificial light reduces. By the time June comes it will be light out until 11 pm. This is a natural cycle, a closed cycle. For now it remains the same, season to season, year to year. Indigenous people have adapted, lived and worked within these seasons since time unmeasured. I was recently on a site that talked about using natural cycles in nature as a metaphor for design. For example, what if buildings could be designed to behave like trees? Would they then become more integrated into the earth's cycle rather than an interruption to it. This is important if we want to guarantee the renewal of the seasons now, as they always have been. There is a lot of talk about carbon footprint and other effects of our lives of consumption on the eco-system. When I think about what I can do, I think about my role as a design educator. I can plant the seed of creative thought in those I teach. If I plant enough, some of them are bound to bloom.

Web 2.0 - a curiosity

my opinions, workKim Stewart3 Comments

The way in which we use the web is changing dramatically. Once a place to 'go and get' information, the web has become a base for self-generated, self-published content.  On March 20th, the College of New Caledonia where I teach is holding a form to discuss these changes and what we can expect from the web in the future. Web 2.0 and Beyond will have a panel of guests whose experience will bring a very different angle to web-based social networks. Kate McCabe, Eric Karjuloto, and Heather Smith will face off on a variety of topics. I am hoping they will discuss the very interesting notions taxonomies, specifically of folksonomy, defined by www.thewebworks.bc.ca as "an Internet-based information retrieval methodology consisting of collaboratively generated, open-ended labels that categorize content ..." for example, tags, tag clouds.

As more and more information is used and stored by more individuals, methods of finding and managing that information need to be developed. Additionally, users are wanting to access their stored information from more that one device, cell phones, and ipod's being two examples of that. There are a lot of questions that come to mind about storing and retrieving huge amounts of information. The first one is

'why' do humans feel compelled to do this?

How often is the stored information accessed by the collector? Or is the purpose to have others access the collection?

I'm sure you have all experienced or contributed to the passing on of jokes, photographs and urban legends through email. I am not fond of receiving information this way, especially since I did not solicite it in the first place, so my question again is why do people search for and send information to their online friends?

In a post from graphpaper.com , Christopher Fahey states:

"People are actually doing (free!) work for other people, adding metadata to information where the information’s “owner” could have done that work. The brilliant thing about folksonomies is that internet users have shown themselves time and time again to be remarkably willing to do their part to help the greater good, even if it means doing labor that happens to bring financial benefit to someone else."

It is a curious thing, a compulsion, an attempt to advance one's position in life. Interesting.

you know you need a break when...

my opinions, workKim Stewart3 Comments

My eyes are burning and my brain feels like a fog has settled over it. I have been staring at my bulletin board, admiring the squares in the background, then back to my monitor, it seems so bright! I'm trying to type with my eyes closed. Not bad, but I cannot keep it up forever. I need to stop for a while, take a break and everything will seem brand new when I return.

the bare bulb

Artists, my art, my opinions, remember when---, workKim Stewart3 Comments

bare-bulb-studio.jpg

Doesn't the bare bulb above someone's head usually signify the arrival of an idea? (my basement studio, Prince George, BC, 2007)

You might say so, but in this case it is the main lighting for my humble home studio. I am not complaining. Working under this bare bulb, I feel connected to generations of artists before me who also created work under dim lighting. I can't even imagine myself in any space that does not have either a lighting problem, a leaky roof, or some sort of heating issues. Let me show you some of my home studios over the years.

The Late 70’s

View from my bedroom where I worked, down the stairs in the late 70's

Late 70’s other view

This is the room where I drew horse pictures, and horse pictures....(1970's)

mid 80’s

In my apartment in Stony Plain, Alberta, 2 friends look at the work I was doing in the Visual Art program at Grant MacEwan in Edmonton, Alberta. (early 1980's)

Lte 80’s

My studio in our basement suite in North Vancouver, BC. I was attending my 1st year of college in a Graphic Design and Illustration program.

Early 90’s

Still in College and pulling an all nighter. This painting was due first thing in the morning. You can see I have a ways to go to complete it.

Cap College

Sitting and wishing I could go home for a nap. My studio space in the 2nd out of 3 years in Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC

en-plein-air-2005-copy.jpg

Painting 'en plein air' (which means outside) in Prince George, BC, (2005)

you wouldn't!

home life, my opinions, workKim StewartComment

Friday turned out to be very interesting. I was relieved to know that I did not embarrass my 13 year old at his school on Career Day. Right after breakfast he gave me a serious look and said, "I hope you'll be good today." Of course I couldn't resist going through a mock presentation that started with a badly sung song and some pathetic footwork,

"hi, I'm Alec's mom,
I'm a designer,
I can do it...."

"How's that?" I asked. "YOU WOULDN'T!" he said. There were 30 presenters and the 750 students could choose 4 sessions to attend. Although I wasn't as popular as the Coroner, the room was full for all 4 sessions. Not bad for someone who can't sing.

decisions...

teaching, workKim StewartComment

are those choices that I am not good at making. I have an opportunity to teach an extra class at the College of New Caledonia this fall in the New Media Program, "Web I". The problem is that I am a bit rusty with my HTML. Oh, I could brush up over the summer you say, yes, that is true, but then I also had other projects in the making for the summer. It would be good for me to do this because I would use the creation of my own website as the guinea pig to refresh me. I would make more money in the fall, I would enjoy being with the students, but my shoulder would hurt from the extra use. That repetitive strain injury always returns if I spend too much time on the machine. What to do?

i had to do it

workKim StewartComment

I really did not want to. I wanted to believe in the basic goodness of all people. I wanted to think that greed would not enter here. After all, what is there to be gained but the perversion of society, one person at a time. Is the collection and exchange of currency so attractive that some individuals will loose all dignity to obtain it? What part of the human mind is stimulated, satisfied by the absolute consumption of objects shiny, new, coveted. What sort of madness fuels this? I am talking about comment spam. Is there no end to the assault? I have had to turn on the word verification. I hope it will filter out the unwanted intrusion of someone elses weakeness!

Busy Day

workKim StewartComment

It has been one incredibly busy day here at the gallery. Amazing. Each of the days runs one into the other. Even my sleep is filled with thoughts about work. I will welcome the time when transition is over and I have settled into my new routine. It will seem peaceful then, but only until the next change comes along and there seem to be many of those.