Tag Archives: imagination

Indie Publishing

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A long time ago, in the town I grew up in, I had my first Indie publishing moment in Mr. Smith’s Canadian Lit class. I wrote the story, drew the pictures, hand printed the words, and bound the pages with red electrical tape. Pretty cool. An excellent teacher, Mr. Smith went through the pages with pencil and pointed out my not-too-numerous spelling and grammar mistakes. He whispered to me (I was a class-slacker) that I should get this book published. I thought it was.

Little did I know at the time “nurd” would be become a part of our vocabulary, and have a different spelling!

Now with online printing platforms, I can go beyond a short children’s story and print out a whole novel, and many copies! In my case, I used CreateSpace, and being a pencil and paper girl, I had a hard time until I just followed the instructions. Oh yes, and I enlisted a friend’s help!

Talking out design problems and getting the book just right was a great experience, and now it’s done. I have a BIG book.

Mind you, I also booked a venue to hold an art show in 2018 — can’t resist illustrating a novel. Deciding how to include illustrations is still to be decided. I’d like it to have some of the charm of an “old-school” book, maybe with colour plates pasted onto blank pages opposite the text, or scattered through more randomly. It won’t be hand printed, but the illustrations will be hand-made.

I’m proud to announce the release of The Bones, and will be among the small presses and indie authors at London Ontario’s Wordsfest — Southwesto Book Expo — held November 4 and 5th at Museum London. A cool start for a book.

Meet local author_landscape

 

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Joy of colour

It’s been a grey monotone winter, and I’ve been working on a large project with a theme of rain. More greys and damp and sombreness. Every now and again, there’s a tiny break in the grey blanket of sky, shadows, even a bit of blue. It doesn’t matter if it’s morning or night, it’s all a progression of grey.

SariSplendor_detail

Detail of Sari Splendor square by Laura Wythe

Into the grey came a workshop called Indian Splendor led by Donna Funnel, hosted by the London branch of the Canadian Embroiders Guild. Step by step we were led to a guarantee of colour harmony and wonder. It really is important to trust the instructor, especially when they say, choose your colours, any colours will work.

Sari ribbon is a new material for me, and of course, the ribbons came in brilliant colours and textures. Donna also had some sari silk yarn that matched the silks but brought another layer of texture when all was done. We created a base with the ribbons, then cut and embellished. Of course, I bling-ed my project up with shiny yarns, sequins and beads–and some variegated silk thread.

So, here’s the finished project.

SariSplendor_full

Full size Sari Splendor square by Laura Wythe

Donna has used the squares in an entirely different way to create a stunningly detailed wall hanging. Simple structure, amazing results.

What a riot of colour for a dull winter’s day.

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Space: room for the imagination

In the pews at Knox Presbyterian Church, Stratford ON (from
http://presbyterianrecord.ca/2011/01/01/knox-stratford-ont/

Like many, I grew up going to church.  The church we attended was built in a stripped-down cathedral-style.  These Presbyterians had a vision and the means to build.  Lots of  carved wood, of course, but also a soaring ceiling with massive white columns.  The sanctuary wasn’t overcrowded with images, as sometimes happens.  The light from the windows was beautiful, but again, not dark. The overall effect left room for the imagination.

My parents put me into art classes from a young age.  The first ones were held upstairs in the local hockey arena.  I can’t believe we all sat on the rough floor where the dances were held and beer spilled, and drew for two hours.  There was lots of space and light, but it was grotty space.

Then the local art gallery took over and the art classes moved into their space.  Forgive me for saying, but I found a new spiritual home.  Sure, I churned out the crazy activities the instructors had planned, but then I escaped.  I wandered the galleries.

The galleries held public space in an intimate way, the lighting often low.  A bench might be the sole occupant of the centre of the room.  A child could move and turn and be active.  Stand back, approach, retreat, wonder.  I had no idea what the images meant, but they evoked a broad range of feelings and showed a world that went beyond the homogenous biblical narrative in the church sanctuary.  I became an equal partner, though a very young one, in the discourse between viewer and image in the gallery space.

I’m not afraid of space, of being alone in it.  I like the excitement, the possibilities.  I still find wonder in galleries, still experience culture and images with my whole body.  Can you imagine it?

With Love

Laura

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