Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Puzzle Peace Art 2019 - A Continuing Story

They say that life is all about the journey and not the destination!!!!  When it comes to my artwork, I can do nothing but agree.  I never know what the final design will look like until it’s completed, since many things happen during the creation process that influence the final design.

Just a short while ago, I came up with a fun idea that would allow me to work with Devon on a collaborative artwork!!!  Since this project will take a few more months to complete, I thought that it would be cool to share this journey with you – my readers!!!!

Every week (or so) I will add photos and stories to this post, at the bottom and in sequential order. 
So – drop by, from time to time and take a scroll down to watch this artwork project unfold…..

The Inspiration – Mid-January, 2019

We love working on puzzles during the winter months!  It’s something fun that the whole family can enjoy… although Joanne seems to be the one doing most of the work!!!!  Devon and I will sit down, every now and again and do a bit of work, but Mom seems to really enjoy it, so we let her have her relaxing time!  That’s a little ‘tongue in cheek’ because Mom often times gets mad at the puzzle!!!!  But if yelling at a puzzle helps her to relax, then I say ‘Go for it!’. LOL!!!!

Devon and Mom starting a new puzzle on Christmas morning, 2018

So – we’ve built up a small collection of ‘done’ puzzles and one evening, I remembered that I had once created an artwork using nothing but jigsaw puzzle pieces.  That was way back in 2001, when Joanne and I were living in Nelson, British Columbia as we worked on the art project entitled ‘Canada: Glorious To Be’.  Thinking about this memory got my imagination working and it was a few days later, when I decided to do another puzzle piece artwork!  I figured that I could design the image in a way that would be easy for Devon to understand so that he could participate in the project with me.

I shared the idea with him and he said that he would help with the new project.  So – it was time to get started….

The Wood Canvas – Mid-January

In order for this project to be successful, I knew that our canvas had to be quite large!  I also knew that the canvas had to made of wood in order to keep its shape!  Devon and I went to a local art supply shop and went wood canvas shopping!  While we were there, I had another thought…

Devon and Daddee at the For The Love of Art "Hip To Be Square" exhibit 2018

Since I have been participating in several  ‘Hip To Be Square’ art shows over the last few years, I suggested to Devon that we buy a square canvas so that we could enter this artwork into an upcoming exhibition.  That way, many people could enjoy our creation… and just maybe we could sell it and use the money for his swimming or piano classes.

When we got home, I began prepping the wood canvas with two coatings of gesso!!!!

The Project Begins – End of January

After the gesso had dried, I mixed up a nice dark purple colour to paint the border’s edge.  I wanted a plain and simple edge that would complement the final artwork without distracting the viewer – as I have often times created interesting borders in the past!  This time, I want viewers to only focus on the artwork and not the edge design!!

Then, we had to come up with a design!  For several weeks, my imagination went wild.  I thought up all sorts of interesting things that we could do!  In the end, we decided to copy another artwork that I created a couple of years ago….

I explained to Devon that we would be inspired by the concepts from this artwork, but our new art would end up being different in a few different ways.  I really like how the sun’s rays go through the border (in the above art) and I wanted to copy this concept in our new project… so we started with laying out the border…

An hour later, we were both itching to glue down some puzzle pieces, so I showed Devon how to do that…

 The first peaces to be glued down!

And after one hour, some more border colours are done!

Beginning of February

It's always good to 'get your feet wet' whenever you begin a new project.  After this first day, it was time to get moving forward!  I spent some time laying out the design for this project.  In the above image (the one that we are using as inspiration for this art) you'll notice that the sun is touching the horizon.  As I was laying out the lines for this art, I showed Devon how I was using a small dinner plate to draw the circle for the sun and I asked him where he thought the sun should go.  He decided to put it more into the centre portion of the sky... and so I did!

Then we started gluing down some more pieces...

When we started, I was showing Devon how to do everything.  How to pick a puzzle piece to use... how to find a spot where it will fit.... how to glue the back side of the puzzle piece... how to hold it in place until the glue dries, etc. 

I knew that there were going to be many places where I'd have to do the work myself - like where colours intersect and small details that would be very hard for Devon to do - but my goal was to find ways for Devon to work on his own, with very little supervision.

So... I got him to work in the large areas of the design.  I'd glue one piece down for him and then tell him to make a 'snake' having his puzzle pieces expanding outward from where he started.  This worked out very well.

When Devon first began working on his own, I was working right beside him - working on another part of the art.  He would ask if he was doing it right - I'd say yes or give him a little guidance - and then he'd continue with his work.  After a while, I told him that he's been doing such a great job and that because he understands what to do, he doesn't need to ask me any more questions!!!!  And he proved me right!!!!  Whenever I'd inspect his work, it was always perfect!!!!  Great job, Devon!!!!

Magic Moment - Mid February

I began this post by saying that life is about the journey and not the destination.  This magic moment is an example of all the fun things that happen during the journey!  

So - Devon was building his 'snakes' using yellow and orange puzzle pieces to fill in the middle of the sun.  At one point, he called out, "Hey Daddee!!!!  Look how well this piece joins my two snakes!"  I looked over and noticed that he was holding a yellow puzzle piece in his hand and then he had me watch him as he put it on the canvas.  True enough, it fit amazingly perfect and now two separate 'snakes' were joined!!!

Some may think that this is rather trivial, but for me, it's quite dynamic!  I actually feel rather 'universal' or full of karma during moments like this.  Just think about all the randomness that is happening during this art process.... and then, suddenly.... a form of unity comes into being!!!!  I love moments like this!!!

Random placements find unity and karma!

And then the work continued....

Interesting Observations - Mid-February

One day, I was sorting out puzzle pieces from a used puzzle I had just bought for $1.00 and I noticed something interesting!  I called Devon over to show him and explain what I was going to work on next...

I showed Devon how some of the puzzle pieces I was sorting out, had two colours on them.  The first ones I found had both yellow and white colours.  I told him that we can glue these pieces to the art just as they are - we didn't need to separate the colours.  So, we found areas where the sun's ray was touching an area where the cloud is and we glued them on!

The first few times we did this we were using yellow and white puzzle pieces... but, a short while later, we found some blue and white pieces, as well!!!  I wonder if viewers of this art will ever notice this very small detail???

First Completed Area – Mid-February
When we first started this project, we had lots of fun tossing a blue puzzle piece over there, a red piece over here and yellow pieces over here and there!  LOL!!!  After a bit of this, I decided to see if there was an area that we could complete so we could get a better sense of what the final image would look like!

That’s when I noticed that the sky had 5 small areas that could be completed in just a few hours.  I gathered together my entire pallet of blue and purple puzzle pieces and went to work!!!

After I finished these small areas, I felt great… but I knew that I had to stop working on the sky for a while…

The Waiting Game - Mid-February 

Just behind my work area, in our dining room, we have also been busy working on completing another puzzle.  ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh is amazingly filled with so many blends of blue that I knew I had to use this in my art…. but Joanne got mad at me every time I suggested that she work on a different puzzle, so I could get my hands on this one!!!!  My bad!!!  So, I have to wait!!!!
Oh well!  There’s a lot of other areas that still need to get done, so we started working on a different area of my art...

Finding Inspiration - Mid-February
The foreground of this artwork is fairly simple – there’s two hills of grass with a few triangular shaped trees.  The grass area is quite large and I’ve always felt that this will be difficult to find enough puzzles with green in them… so I decided that I had to add a new design element!
That’s what I love about creating art.  I get an idea – I plan it out – I begin the work – and then things change!  That’s why I thought many of you would enjoy following along with this adventure, so you could see how things change along the way.
So – I pulled up a chair and sat down and thought about how I could change my foreground.  As I sat in my contemplative mind, a memory from my childhood came to me and I found inspiration!!!

I grew up amongst some of the loveliest landscapes in Southern Ontario.  There was a lot of farming, but because the area is so laden with gravel and sand many large patches of land are left fallow, or used as grazing fields for cows or sheep.  I used to adventure through these rolling hills for hours and hours and the one memory that came to me was of one farm that was filled with rolling hills… and sand! Lots of sand!!  These sand dunes were very susceptible to erosion caused by wind and rain and they looked so beautiful as they were always changing the look of the landscape.  So – sand dunes here we come!!!
Sand dunes added to design

Dreaming of Art – Mid-February
I have a history of talking in my sleep, from time to time.  Several of my artworks and one of my songs had been directly influenced by my dreams, as well…

Dreaming of a Better World is a great example!!  I’ve even woken myself up because I’ve been laughing or talking really loudly, while I was sleeping – the sound of my own voice woke me up.  On several occasions, Joanne has told me that I sounded like I was talking in an alien language, in the middle of the night!!!!  I laugh and tell her that I must have had another visit from my spirit gaurdians!!!

A little while ago, while I was making breakfast and lunch for everyone, Joanne came into the kitchen and told me that I must have been dreaming about my puzzle art, that night.  She said that I sat up a bit and started saying, “Just make sure you cut the pieces first!!” a few times before I rolled over and flopped back to sleep!!!!  This story cracked me up!  This just goes to show how connected and focused I get while working on my art projects!!!!

End of February

Still Waiting - First of March

I mentioned earlier that I'm patiently waiting for this puzzle to get completed!!!!  As soon as it's done I'll be able to get back into the sky part of the puzzle artwork!  Hurry up, you two!!!!! LOL!!!!

Clouds – First of March
I always enjoy putting some kind of cloud into my landscapes.  In this first photo, you’ll see that I’ve added a black line around the outside edge of the cloud, to make it easier for you to see….
As the weeks have gone by, I’ve been looking at this cloud and wondering if maybe it’s just a little too much cloud for this image?  Then, one evening, I decided that it was too much… but what to do??  The cloud just took up too much room and I didn’t want it fighting for attention against the beautiful sun.

So, I turned the one big cloud into two smaller ones.  Because a lot of the sky has already been put into place, I couldn’t make a very drastic change, but I found that this small change made a rather big difference.  In this photo, you can see that I simply erased one small line to divide the cloud into two.  The bottom cloud now looks like it ends behind one of the sun’s rays while the top cloud continues to weave its way between a few of the sun’s rays.

In the end, I’ve decreased the size of cloud by just a little bit, but the ‘weight’ of the cloud has decreased quite dramatically!!

Small Milestones – Mid-March
A couple of weeks ago, I shared the concept for and the creation of the sand dunes in this artwork and the photo I shared showed one of the sand dunes, completed!  That was the first part of this entire project to be completed!!  Since then, I’ve had three other milestones…
Inside border complete!!
Just the other day, I finally completed the thin second border around the entire image.

And, even more recently, I completed the second sand dune and one tree!!!!
I love it when parts of the image are done!  I just don’t have to think about them anymore!  It allows me to focus my thoughts on other aspects of this art…. and this artwork has quite a lot of other aspects!!!

Almost a Milestone – Mid-March
These four milestones of completion are rather small parts of the entire project… there is just so much work to be done!  For the last week or so, I’ve been concentrating my efforts on the top right corner of the artwork so I can get a better understanding of how the final image will look, once completed… and I’m very happy with how it’s all coming together…

I’ve filled in more blue sky triangles (because the puzzle that Joanne has been working on got finished and after a few days of enjoying it, she has allowed me to cut it up for this project!!! Finally! LOL!), a couple of the sun’s rays, quite a bit of cloud and an enormous part of the thick, outside border.  But, this is no time for a pat on the back.... We've got a lot still to go.....
End of March Update

For the last two weeks, Devon and I have been working very diligently on this art project!

So nice!  The entire right side of the sky is done!  Can you see the transition from dark blue at the top to light blue along the horizon???? Although the left side of the sky still needs a lot of work, I have completed the sky surrounding the circle of the sun so it is very clear to see the shape!

End of First Week of April

Over the last week, I've been working on the clouds, the large tree and parts of the border!  This work isn't the most exciting, but I don't want to end this project doing the boring parts, so I pick away at them throughout the entire process!

We've got more to share!!!!
Drop by in another week and see how much more we've got done!!!

See you then.....

Sunday, 20 January 2019

First Art in 2019

I'm sooooo happy!!!
My first artwork in 2019 is a great success!!!!!

Please enjoy....

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Devon's Birthday Fundraiser for Trees

This morning, I was thinking about what I would add to my webpage for you to enjoy.  I went through a few files and then realized that I forgot to share how Devon used his 7th birthday as a tool to raise money for a local environmental group dedicated to enriching local ecosystems.  So... with no further adieu.....

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Devon's Used Toy Drive 2018

Since Devon was a young boy, I’ve had talks with him about some of the problems in our world and what we can do to make our world a better place.  Many of these conversations have to do with consumerism!  I explained where many products are made, how products are made and how they end up....

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Feet on the Earthday Street 2018

Many of my readers know that for the last few years I have been writing stories for several monthly community magazines.  One of the features that I write is called 'Feet on the Street'.  I will visit local libraries, businesses, community centres or parks and I pose a question of the month to the people I find there.  I take notes and take the persons photo and then go home and put it all together.  Usually, I interview four people and this fills about 1/2 a page in the magazine rather nicely!

This year, I decided to do something very unique.  I posed my question of the month to Facebook friends from around the world... making this a real global effort!!!!

The response I received was very overwhelming!  To see all the stories and to meet some very interesting and inspirational people, just follow this link....

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Make a 'favourite'

This website is very new and since I have close to 20 years of art, music and stories to share with you, it is easy to realize that many more posts are still to come....
Mark this page as a 'favourite' and visit again and again to see the many inspiring efforts that will fill your heart with love and peace, as we work together to create a better world for future generations!



Once I had a vision that shone so bright.
It opened my eyes that had been shut... tight!
It came as a dream,
form between the seam,
that separates day from night.

My mission was to create a being of bits and peaces,
and my icon's name was not to be Jesus.
Stik was the name that stuck to my mind,
and a world of imagination,
 I was soon to find.
There one where he exists...
and the one behind,
my eyes.

And so, I will fill this space in your time,
As we explore this world of pantomime...
free from grime, slime and crime,
where truth is found in all things sublime.

Jim Kogelheide