Kim Stewart

Canadian Métis Artist

art4life

This = That

country living, home life, Learning, metis art, my art, teachingKim StewartComment

Beautiful lacy rounds that I created while in residence at the Banff Centre began as the skin of an animal. I spent the morning getting very wet. I am working with an Elk hide to clean and use it for my art practice. I learned how to tan hides the Native way in 2000 and I continue to practice it. There are many people out there who hunt for meat and some of them bring me the hides for my own use. Many of the parts on a wild ungulate are useful; parts that when made into tools, rawhide or leather will last for generations. When these objects finally wear out they will return to the earth to nourish it in a complete circle of life. So if these old practices are good for the earth, why don't we do them anymore? Are we afraid to get our hands dirty? It is definitely easier to just buy the finished product - but I think purchasing it rather than making it prevents us from:

1) appreciating the labour that goes into making an object 2) realizing the consequences of our purchase on the earth 3) treating the object responsibly, ie: repairing it when it is broken rather than just buying another one.

I believe when we are removed from the labour of making an object, we are not aware of its true cost as retail cost is only represented in dollar signs and numbers and not in the process of making. Forgotten are the physical pain, process and sacrifice required for us to 'have' that object. We also don't associate the finished product with its origin. Some things should not be made from the materials that they are, materials and processes that hurt our environment and our people. Finding our way back to living with a smaller footprint will take practice and sacrifice, but it will be well worth it.

Take an object in your house and collage a 'this = that' photo. I guarantee it will be interesting.

Today and Tomorrow

Learning, my artKim StewartComment

Tomorrow is my last day in residency. It seemed to move so quickly and yet I miss my family. I feel that I have experienced each day to the fullest here at the Banff Centre. I attended music performances, artist talks, networked, and created. Below is today's work - devising a way for the pages of my 'testament' to link together. Tomorrow I will say goodbye to this space only as I bring my work home. testament in progress

Today's work

my artKim StewartComment

I worked more on my lacy rounds, but I also spent time working on this woven blanket. It is a digitally woven blanket from a .jpg file. The image is a combination of my paint strokes in the background and a vector drawing of the buffalo in the foreground. I am now applying beads to specific areas of the piece. blanket from above blanket beading detail

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

mocha in my Helvetica mug, does it get any better than that?

creative motivation, home life, my opinionsKim StewartComment

the lovely Helvetica mug A warm drink on a blustery day to help me stay focused. I have just over a month to go in my master's studies and I am looking forward to completing the work. This last class is on aesthetics in education and I am enjoying the material. I am reading from Landscapes of Aesthetic Education by Richmond and Snowber. Celeste Snowber is the instructor for this class and I find her writing really resonates with me. I just read a poem of hers called Moist Manna where she refers to a child catching snowflakes on his tongue.

In it she asks:

I wonder why as adults, we forget to lie down in the textures of the natural world and behold the beauty of what falls into our arms.

I still feel as though I am moving through life too fast; barely looking up from the load I am carrying. At this moment I want to look up and wonder at everything that is around me, the ants at my feet, the leaves overhead and a warm mug in my hands. At this moment I have everything I need. At this moment, I am okay.

Kim (gullion) Stewart website

Artists, artists worth noting, building my website---..., my art, My Art OnlineKim StewartComment

I finally have a website up and running. It has been many years of wishful thinking, interface designing and plans. I finally had to admit that I do not have the time to program the site myself. So, I have settled for a Content Managed site by Livebooks. It is super easy to update and looks great. Please visit when you can: kimstewartonline.ca

I will eventually have my own designs one day, but for now I am just happy I can share with you!

Finding Foundation

Artists, artists worth noting, my opinionsKim StewartComment

We are listening as artist Toni Onley sweeps his arm along the horizon. "Now this is worth painting!" he declares. My eyes follow his arm out past his fingertips and I fight back a feeling of vertigo as I see the land below. An afternoon wind has begun to blow up the side of the cliff towards us. It combines with the heat from the sun making the space between me and the land below almost tangible. If I had wings, I could spread them at this moment and I would be airborne.  The mountains continue back as far as I can see, each range becoming a faint version of the one before it. The view is so large that it overwhelms me. Toni has plunked himself down in the grass. He's unrolling his brushes and talking to all the grey heads, "I hate teaching these community workshops, but it is the only way they would let me have this Yukon residency. Your landscape is amazing...Who paints regularly with watercolors?" My hand goes up, but mine is the only one. It would seem that I am the only one aware of who Toni is. His eyes quickly dismiss me as he replies, "Well okay then, let's just have fun. Paint what you see."

I look back at the landscape but it is too magnanimous for me. I don't even know where to start. I look over at Toni; he is talking about boats and the coast as he wets his page. Pale greens and grays swirl around his brush effortlessly. He has captured the summer haze from forest fires and the space inside the valley.

Space? How can anyone paint space?

Toni's view of the mountains

It is not what he has said with his brush that stands out, it is what he didn't say. The same restraint shown in his painting technique shows up in his teaching.  He sets his work down and says, "Now it's your turn", expertly steering the conversation to unrelated matters. Unable to to duplicate what I just saw, I looked towards the ground. There are some pine cones and needles in front of me so I focus there. Others are happily painting caricatured trees in dark green blotches, their little branches pointing upwards. Toni doesn't seem to mind. He keeps on chatting and moves over to see what I am doing. As his shadow falls on my work and his sentence trails off, I feel myself begin to sweat.

What will he say? Does he object to me painting the miniscule instead of the magnanimous?

Pine cone on the ground

I hold my breath and wait for his wisdom but he merely grunts and returns to his chatter. For a moment I feel as insignificant as the ground cover I am painting.  I can hear him continuing his chit-chat with the others. I feel disappointed.

Looking back on this experience I see it what I missed so long ago...Toni painted the isolation, the love of a moment share between a man and nature. He painted his relationship to the things that brought beauty and meaning into his life. He spoke with his brush and I must do the same.

New commercial gallery in Prince George!

Artists, artists worth noting, my art, my opinionsKim Stewart1 Comment

I am so excited that my friend Melanie Desjardines is opening Groop Gallery! It has been a while since there was such a place and I know that the artists in this town have work just piling up at home with no where to display it. The grand opening is tomorrow night and I am sure the crowd will be large. I have a gorgeous piece in the show, but I you will not see it here. If you want to see it you need to show up tomorrow night on 3rd avenue across from the court house, right next door to the new farmer's market at 7pm. I hope to see you there!

home life, my artKim Stewart2 Comments

I have been debating with myself and anyone else who will listen whether or not to invest in a studio space in the city. I currently live 40 kms north of Prince George on an acreage. My studio has been an unfinished space in the basement for the 6 years that we have lived here. I have worked there, complaining only mildly about the water leaks, dog hair, and noise from the TV in the next room, but the matter became urgent after having several studio visits which left the visitors feeling a bit 'flat'. Tiny comments like, "oh." were all I heard after showing them where I create my art. The thing about it is that I want a place where I can go even for a short time, like half an hour, whenever the mood hits or some time opens up. I live a busy life and need to cease whatever time I can for art making. I would use a studio in the basement way more often that one in town, so the basement was the final decision. After securing agreement from my husband that he would be willing to renovate the basement, I approached my brother and asked for his help. He is a genius at many things but his latest thing is home renos and I really wanted to benefit before he changes to something like, flying jet engines, or dog walking. The two men have created a simple, but clean and well lit space with a door that closes and two small windows for natural light. I am very pleased! This space will be used a lot in the next two years as I work on my Master's, prepare for classes, and create art. Many thanks guys! This is the north wall of the studio.

wordpress.org website for me?

building my website---...Kim Stewart1 Comment

I have been reading about resourceful individuals who have used http://wordpress.org as a backend for their websites. Apparently it runs using PHP (which is the way information is called up when the browser hits your URL) and MySQL (which is a database that can organize all your content). It sounds very user-friendly for those who are not code-monkeys, like me. I really need a site for my art that is easy to update, and is well-crawled by the search engines. I think I will be doing some further research into this. In the meantime, if any of you have tried this, please share your experience. I'd love to know how it went for you.

Back to Babel

my art, My Art OnlineKim Stewart1 Comment

You may remember my art installation. I had installed a 2100 block tower in the Two Rivers Gallery last year (2008), and more recently had it installed in the College of New Caledonia where I work. When the time came to remove the installation, the kids and I knocked it down first. What a blast hearing all those blocks come down. The dad-guy recorded the event with the only device on him, his cell phone. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5ytWAOFqtY&hl=en&fs=1]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfpFaLeyr3M&hl=en&fs=1]

watch the birdie?

my art, teachingKim Stewart1 Comment

Animated drawing of a birds nest I thought I would let you in on the drawing process from my point of view. I have been experimenting with ways to document artistic process. This '.gif ' image cycles through several stages of a drawing I did using an effective new pastel product called PanPastel in combination with graphite.