It has been rare for me to share any “in-progress” photos of my work recently. I thought I should change that today. I’m preparing for a solo show called “Yukon Ho” at Yukon Artists @ Work which will open on January 11, 2013. The show was prompted by the overwhelmingly positive reaction I received from my piece “Forge Your Own Path” that was featured on the 2012 Northwestel Directory Cover. Since the directory was released I’ve been bombarded by requests to create more Yukon-themed work in my “SHE” style. And so that is what I’m doing.
The piece that I’m giving you an in-progress glimpse of today was inspired by the unseasonable cold snap Whitehorse currently finds itself suffering from. Usually we have one very cold patch (-30 to -40 degrees Celsius) in January and the rest of the winter is much more mild. You can also usually apply the rule-of-thumb that cold temperatures will break when the snow starts to fall. The last two weeks of Yukon weather have thrown those rules out the window: it’s been really cold, really windy (making it seem even colder), and even when the snow flurries move through we haven’t seen any relief from the temperature. Which means that everything is covered in a beautiful, intricate layer of hoar frost.
Hoar frost is gorgeous. It sparkles in the light, it forms delicate and intricate crystals, it makes everything into white sculptures, and makes cold temperatures worthwhile. I wanted to re-create some of that magic in a piece. I first created blue backgrounds on my canvas (actually 9 mini canvases) using acrylic paints and inks in combination with paper tapes (I love washi tape and use it all the time in my work) and paper lace. Then I mixed modelling paste with very fine glitter and loaded it into an icing bag (don’t worry, I didn’t use one from my cake decorating supplies – I picked up one of the plastic ones specifically for this piece). I then piped trees onto the piece the same way I would pipe icing decorations onto a cake (as I was working I started to wonder if it would be possible to pipe modelling paste roses the same way I pipe blooms out of icing – I’ll try it out this weekend and report my results for all of you). I then added texture to my piping with a toothpick to better replicate hoar frost. Next steps – I need to add a girl and some text and then add some ink detailing. Wish me luck!