Collecting Yellow - December 9, 2015

Well, I never guessed that it would be hard to find yellow. It really took a lot of sleuthing on my walk today to find yellow. There is yellow orange, and yellow green but to find just yellow was hard this time of year. I found a mushed up phone book that someone had driven over dozens of times in their drive way, I brought it home for the yellow pages, but decided not to use it. I found a small yellow Rona Hardware bag - the kind you put nails in and that was it for found objects. I did a lot of editing, so there was some material gathered that didn't make it to the final cut.

All of the yellow collection with the phone book yellow pages and the Rona bag - [December 10th] after everything has dried out.

Collecting Orange - December 7,2015

Challenge on today's walk was to find objects that were orange. Five minutes into my walk I found an orange balloon - couldn't believe it. Turned around and across the road was the remains of a pumpkin - probably from Halloween, it was mushy buy I could pull the skin off in several pieces; felt very pleased with that find, even pulled off the short stem. Other finds today were a orange cigarette  butt, a pink plastic circle with a hole in it - kind of like a life saver shape; and a metal washer.  I was really pleased with the orangey rose hips and even two orangey roses in not too bad of shape but really on their way out. I found those at a little park. It is really interesting that once you put your focus on something how that particular colour just pops into view. I know the balloon and pumpkin had been there for a while but I hadn't even noticed them. This is turning out to be a really fun project and it gives a whole different feel to my walk and what I look at and notice. I love it!

Collecting Red -- December 6, 2015

Walking in the rain today in my neighbourhood of Cobble Hill, BC. I focused on collecting mostly red objects from nature and the manufactured world. Bits of man made objects included, 2 tiny pieces from a red balloon, red tape, 2 small pieces of red plastic. A "Chupa Chups" candy wrapper in red, brown and yellow, [I have never had one]. A white plastic tip from a cigarillo, red plastic bottle cap, 2 white elasticized strings - most likely from a roasted chicken and found in different locations. Various types of leaves, blackberries on a prickly stem that I had to cut with my small red Swiss army pen knife - the blackberries were red, most likely ones that haven't ripened yet, rose hips, arbutus bark, pine cone and pine cone scales, mushrooms.  A red blade of grass from a New Zealand flax plant from the front of our property. Salal leaves with their red was an older leaf that had turned red and two small new leaves. Interesting how they are both red at either end of their life cycle. Love those large brown/red mushrooms with their fancy gills.

Collecting December 4, 2015

A beautiful sunny morning for my walk -- I picked up lots of interesting things on the roadside. A "Scoubidou" key chain done in a box stitch of pink and red. I used to make key chains like this when I was a kid; that brought back memories. A piece of red plastic string, stems from leaves, a gardening glove, an HB Venus pencil, a black plastic knife, two plastic lids, a plastic ring, tin foil, cigarette pack, cigarette buts, blue plastic doggie bag, thankfully empty, dime, purple flower, two daisy's, pieces of bark, sticks, leaves, mushroom, seed pods, fungus...


On my walk today in Cobble Hill, BC I collected these plant materials on the side of the road. It was a mild but blustery day, leaves were blowing all over the place. Once I started to lay out the materials on my art table I was amazed at the beauty; incredible colour, texture and patterns. A rich source for drawing later today and tomorrow morning.

Weekend workshop "Collecting, Observing, Exploring, a success!

November 21 & 22. 2015 I taught the workshop titled "Collecting, Observing, Exploring" at the Vancouver Island School of Art. It was a real success!

A panorama view of the classroom in progress. Everyone was so engrossed with their work over the weekend it was quiet and peaceful like a meditation room. Click on image to enlarge.


Photos and images in the first and second set below by Jill Ehlert © Click to see slideshow

MORE EXAMPLES - Click to see slideshow


All the drawings below are by the workshop students. The large drawings (24" x 34") were fast gesture drawings of their chosen plant materials.

The drawings they are working on at the table measure 22" x 30". Dip pen, nib and walnut ink.

Below are blind contour and contour drawings the class did as a warm-up exercise.

Click on the thumb nails to see slideshow:


This set of Images are by student Carla Sandfort - click o make larger.

This set of images are by student Susan Rogers - click to make larger


"Collecting, Observing, Exploring" - i will be teaching this workshop.

I will be teaching this course at the Vancouver Island School of Art  

Nov 21 & 22 Sat & Sun, 10 am – 5 pm

Drawing: Collecting, Observing, Exploring (DRWG w137-12)

This workshop concentrates on ways of looking and working. You will take a walk in the VISA garden and collect objects with lines, texture, pattern and shapes. Back in the classroom, you will study these sources of inspiration to extract information and interpret what you see through mark making. The focus of this workshop is to explore new ways to respond to your “collections” and to discover their essences rather than a direct representation. There will be an exploration into materials, techniques and mark making through sketching, drawing, painting, ink washes, stitching, mono printing, and stamping. A variety of surfaces will be provided: BFK, Stonehenge, Kraft, tracing paper, newspapers, tissue paper, etc. This workshop will provide a great way to get new ideas for drawing, painting and other forms of design. No experience necessary. 

The following images of seaweed and barnacles are examples of how I use nature as a source of inspiration in my artwork. The body of work below ties in beautifully with what we will be doing in my next workshop titled “Collecting, Observing, Exploring” As many of you know – I have been working for several years now on an ongoing series titled “Intertidal”. 




Below are observation sketches of seaweed, along with mark making exploration and pattern studies that I see within the seaweed and detailed study drawings of their cellular structures. 

Mixed Media Explorations of Seaweed and Barnacles









Upcoming workshop this weekend - there are a few spaces left.

I will be teaching "Creating Marks Through Actions" at the Vancouver Island School of Art

Oct 3 & 4 Sat & Sun, 10am - 5pm    All supplies are included.

This two-day workshop focuses on unconventional ways of creating marks. The first day involves creating a collection of marks on paper using traditional tools including pen, ink and graphite, as well as more unconventional ones such as an awl, smoke, needle, thread, hammer and nail. A range of movements and actions will be explored: puncturing, smoking, burning, rubbing, cutting and sewing, etc. You will make a book and a collage from mark-making explorations on the second day. Design and composition will be covered along with a demonstration on different methods of adhering collage materials. This workshop is ideal for those looking to expand their mark-making vocabulary and create unique surfaces with inventive marks. No experience necessary. 

There are still a few spaces left.    Call 250.380.3500 to register.

Examples of some of the processes we will be working with.


First four pages in my Leporello for the group show “Rebound”

I have been working on the Leporello book for the REBOUND Exhibtion and have the first four pages finished. The requirements for this show has a maximum size of 12" X 12" X 12". My book will measure 11 1/4" tall with a diameter of 12". In image #7 you can see how it will be displayed.


Leporello and Concertina Books

Leporello book I made four years ago. This has been a favourite book structure.

Leporello book I made four years ago. This has been a favourite book structure.

Name derivative:

The term leporello refers to printed material folded into an accordion-pleat style. Also sometimes known as a concertina fold, it is a method of parallel folding with the folds alternating between front and back. The name likely comes from the manservant, Leporello, in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Famed rogue and lover Don Giovanni (in Italian – also known as Don Juan in Spanish) has seduced so many women that when Leporello displays a tally of his conquests, it unfolds, accordion-style, into a shockingly long list. Many leporellos are used as a way of telling a story, while others are purely visual.

In the Victorian era, leporellos were quite commonly used as travel souvenirs, depicting beautiful, panoramic scenes of the places travelers had just seen, customs and culture of the region and the like. They are often used in illustrated children’s works, as well. Collectors of books and paper ephemera will love their scarcity and delicate beauty.

Source: Abe Books


Book Works

Work in Progress for the upcoming group show - “Rebound”

Working in the studio on my book to be included in the REBOUND Exhibition at Gallery 1580.

Images:   Creating a "Leporello" structure for my book, which is the Italian word for an accordion style book; working on the layout and possible ideas; beginning the artwork with a Fluid painting technique using tea stain and India ink. This book will contain marks created through the actions of burning, piercing, punching holes, rubbing, folding, impressing lines, smoking, drawing and painting.