INKPRINTS of time: A Serendipitous Collaboration

trusting the unforeseen

Late January, a friend and I drove a few towns over to visit the lovely little village of Elora. The shop of LemonTree Interiors & Co was first on our list to visit. As we were parking, I recognized Sophia from her Instagram account. You need to understand that Sophia is a bit of a design “rock star” to me, so I was a tad nervous to introduce myself. I noticed that she was getting boxes out of her car, so I pulled up my “big girl” pants and asked if she was indeed Sophia of LemonTree Interiors and if she needed some help. Sophia gracefully embraced my fan-girl approach and welcomed us into her quaint little shop.

As we entered, I was swept away by the elegant curation of vintage, sustainable and modern decor. Naturally, I began chatting about a new stamping ink that I was working on and then Sophia got a twinkle in her eye and reached into a drawer. She pulled out gorgeous teak stamps that had been hand carved in India and said that she had been waiting for “just the right moment” to unearth the stamps.

I left the shop that day with a few decor treats for myself, a bag full of teak stamps and a sense of excitement for our serendipitous art collaboration which we would later name INKPRINTS of time.

Let me tell you a bit about my process in creating these pieces. Crafting my stamping ink from lampblack soot is a slow and intensive process, but it never fails to reward me with a rich, velvety black. I add in a few other secret ingredients to ultimately form a vegan, sustainably sourced and archival ink. When I paint the ink onto the antique stamps it creates pure “black” magic.

The paper is created by Canadian based company Papeterie Saint Armand. It is a flax/cotton canal paper fashioned from left over straw that is not composted in farm fields. This rough paper is made by mixing the beaten straw with rags. No bleach, chemicals or cooking is required. I hand-deckled the edges to create an unpolished juxtaposition with the black frame.

Inkprints of Time speaks of trusting the process. This series honors the idea that concepts can simmer until “the moment” arrives. For both Sophia and I, the moment arose with a serendipitous encounter that developed into these ink-prints that embrace time honoured traditions and pay homage to slow artisanal process.

To purchase these 14” x 14” framed pieces as either a set or as individual pieces, head over to LemonTree Interiors & Co where you will be delighted and inspired.

r e s o n a n c e

a minimal, black & white abstract art series created from handcrafted black ink

“The sound was rich, wild and resonant.”

This line from Hazel Prior’s novel Ellie and the Harp Maker sparked in me an entire series of paintings.

The rich part of this series is the black ink that I handcrafted from creating my own lampblack. Lampblack is a black pigment made from soot. Using this black pigment, I composed a recipe to form a rich, black archival ink that is a delight to watch flow across the page.

The “resonance” series is built around the concept of resonance.

lexico.com defines resonance as:

  • The quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating.
  • The power to evoke enduring images, memories, and emotions.

“The sound was rich, wild and resonant” resonated or struck a chord with me because sound and music is such an integral part of my process. I listen to “flowing” music that reminds me of water as I spread the ink on the paper. Fluidity of my mind and body is essential to ensuring that the thread that I lay down doesn’t appear jagged. When I add in the many tiny marks, I listen to folk music and add the marks to the beat of the songs. This helps me to enjoy the tedious task and, in a way, become a part of the rhythm of the painting.

I also resonate with the wild aspect of this line from Prior’s novel. Being outside in the wild completes my soul. Another line from Ellie and the Harp Maker that I resonated with is: “A walk in the wilds is what I need.” It is as though the “wild” speaks to me through the sound of the wind through the trees saying: “you are complete.” So much so, that my paintings reflect the wilds around my studio. As I lay down the ink, I envision the rolling hills and the trees that dot the horizon as marks on the page. The lines of thread are the paths I take through the hills and forests as I resonate in the wild.

It is my hope that this new series that I have entitled RESONANCE urges you to quietly reflect on “small truths”:

“The kinds of truth that art gives us many, many times are small truths. They don’t have the resonance of an encyclical from the Pope stating an eternal truth, but they partake of the quality of eternity. There is a sort of timeless delight in them.” -Seamus Heaney

May this artwork compel you to “partake of the quality of eternity.” May it help to quench that space in our souls that can’t be captured, like a glorious yet fleeting sunset. May it help you capture that magical emotion that we wish to enclose with our hands and hide in our hearts. And may you be inspired to discover the wilds of your world.

The “resonance” series will be released in my Etsy shop Wednesday, May 27 at 12 pm EST. Use the coupon code RESONANCE to receive a 10% discount.

The Handmade Pop Up – Canadian Style

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Sam and Grace of Maker’s Movement and CYL Collective have joined forces for The Handmade Pop-Up, an online market featuring handcrafted goods from artists and artisans around the world.

Canada has been well represented and I have highlighted a few talented creatives!

Sara Clark ( @shopsarahclark )

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Sara Clark is a multidisciplinary maker living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. All pieces are crafted by Sara in her home workshop or studio.

Marrying materials such as wood, natural fibers and resin, she creates unique designs for the body and the home with an emphasis on neutral colours and clean lines. Sara’s work is currently focused on creating contemporary designs influenced by simple, primitive art.  A portion of all online sales are donated to local organizations committed to the safety of and empowerment of women.

http://www.shopsaraclark.com/

White River Company ( @ whiterivercompany

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White River Company is an Ontario based print shop.

From beautiful prints to decorate your walls or greeting cards for any occasion, our mission is to make beautiful pieces that elevate any home. We love simple clean imagery that supports positivity and nature, whether that’s through an original painting or captured in a simple illustration.  All products are designed and printed in Canada.

https://www.whiteriverco.com/

Ayu Larasati Ceramics ( @alarasati )

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(This was a collaboration piece with Charissa Rais, a graphic designer who hand-painted the plate @aceramics_ )

Ayu Larasati was born in Indonesia and moved to Toronto to earn her bachelor degree from Industrial Design program in OCAD University. She was holding her full-time job as a product designer when she found herself continually making ceramic and fell completely in love with the material. She established her ceramic studio in late 2014. She is back recently in Toronto after residing in Indonesia for two years. Making ceramics has served her as an experience where she can push a reset button, recharged and coming back to herself. She feels that there is nothing more joyful and rewarding than to see her creation being enjoyed and out in the world.

http://ayularasaticeramics.com/

Meg Does Pottery ( @megdoespottery )

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Meg Does Pottery is a Winnipeg based luxury line of handbuilt and wheel thrown pottery.  These items are intended to add interest or that special oooh la la to your favourite spaces.

https://www.megdoespottery.com/

The online market ends May 15th so be sure to head on over, where you can check out my “Circle” series and receive 10% off with DISCOUNT CODE HAPPYSPRING17 .

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What is your spring decorating style?

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Etsy Canada and House & Home have joined forces to create a quiz to help you determine your decorating style this spring.  The quiz is filled with gorgeous handmade and vintage items, all from Etsy Canada. And even better, when you complete the quiz you could win a $500 Etsy gift card. Plus, be sure to watch the video featuring three stylish looks for spring (including my “ring around the rosy” abstract painting). Contest open to residents of Canada only, excluding Quebec. Contest closes June 6, 2017.

1000 followers on Instagram Art Giveaway!

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So big news in my world…I reached 1000 followers on my Instagram account!  I know to many of you, that seems so minimal (but hey, I am on a bit of a minimal art kick right now, so it works for me) but the IG community has been so powerful for me.  Why, you ask? Well here is a bit about me that might give you a few clues:

I have struggled with Lyme Disease and a few nasty co-infections for about 3 years, and before that a minor bout with non-invasive breast cancer. This has caused lots of havoc in my body and my mental health, so most days I really don’t like to leave my house.  I have a few really good friends in the “real world” who I try and make an effort to visit and laugh with as energy allows, but the IG community has also been an integral part of my life in the last year or so.  It has been a daily boost to my creative spirit,  an immense support as I strive to sell my art and an encouragement to see that others can “push through” their challenges with kindness and grace.

So head on over to my Instagram account @melissamaryjenkinsart and follow the Giveaway Guidelines where you can win this “stripy” painting and one for a friend!