Wild Journaling in the North Cascades

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Drawing and Painting the Wild Journal at North Cascades Institute

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Amidst the perfect weather of late summer our Wild Journaling workshop went out into the field to immerse ourselves in the grand mountains, meadows and valleys of the surrounding North Cascades.

The mornings were sweater-weather cool, and we hunkered down in our classrooms to practice our drawing and watercolor painting techniques.  These skills supported our primary purpose of immersing ourselves in nature and recording the experience in our journals.

Thursday afternoon, our first day, we journaled on the short Peninsula Trail on campus, to test out our resiliency. The next day we traveled by bus with our journals and art supplies 15 miles away to Canyon Creek, rich with mining history. We crossed several foot bridges along a rushing creek to find an old miners’ cabin and barn deep in the forest, and spent the whole afternoon out there. Click on any thumbnail picture below to expand, then follow the arrows:

 

Sunday was our longest day in the field. We packed into the vans again and drove to a large meadow just under Washington Pass. The day could not have been more beautiful.

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My students saw me go nuts with the camera. Here are some of the results. Click on a thumbnail, then follow the arrows. When you get to the end of the first batch, go to the second!

We had spent the 4 days of the Creative Arts Retreat with basket makers and artful mapmakers, and at the end of our time together we laid out our work for others to see.Here’s what our art show looked like:

What a wonderful time! Thanks, everyone, for such a great workshop! Hope to see you next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stained Glass Doors at Grunewald Guild

Kristen Gilje, Grunewald Guild doors from inside

I’ve always liked the idea of the Grunewald Guild as a “sanctuary for art and faith”. When designing these doors for the Guild, I used the Butterfly as a symbol of creation, of creating and re-birth, and of the Creator and all of us creatives artist-types. I used the symbol of the Celtic knot to represent community,  and how we create a safe place, or sanctuary, together. The labyrinth is a symbol of the spiritual journey we are all on, in one way or another.

Kristen Gilje, Grunewald Guild doors from inside
Kristen Gilje, Grunewald Guild doors from inside

This idea fairly presented itself to me as I was at a loss for some sort of direction for this design.  These three symbols, the butterfly, labyrinth and Celtic knot,landed on top of each other on my desk as I cleaned out a file full of used and unused symbols and sketches.  It’s one of those things that you recognize when you see it; something coming from outside yourself, something unexpected.  I used a version of this design originally for two 30-foot long banners for Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle. You can see that project by clicking here: Plymouth Metamorphosis  .

And here is the original silk painting that these ideas grew from:

Kristen Gilje West Coast Lady Becoming II, 28x22, hand painted silk.
©Kristen Gilje, West Coast Lady Becoming II, 28×22, hand painted silk.

 

Kristen Gilje Glass doors make color art on entryway walls
Glass doors make color art on entryway walls

Sun shining through the glass makes the entry space joyful with color. It will be even better when the tools are put away!

Below you can see where the doors are located. A porch the height of the doors will be built this fall, with stairs on each end. This porch should make a nice place to hang out, to find summer shade and shelter from snow and rain in winter.

New Grunewald Guild Entry
New Grunewald Guild entry, under construction

 

Grunewald Guild Doors day
Doors from the outside looking in: Daytime

 

Kristen Gilje Grunewald Guild Doors from outside
Grunewald Guild Doors from outside
Kristen Gilje, Grunewald Guild doors at night
Grunewald Guild doors at night

Joe Hester and I collaborated on several stained glass projects, some of them very large. This is one of my favorites, perhaps because the project was really a gift to Grunewald Guild from Joe, before he died this year.

Joe Hester was a friend and teacher of mine for many years at the Grunewald Guild. Joe died unexpectedly this year, from a brain tumor. Before he died Joe encouraged me to enter stained glass design contest, several of which I won, and collaborated with me on other stained glass projects. I miss Joe. Thanks Joe, for everything you gave to me.

 

Joe Hester working with sketch for the glass doors
Joe Hester working with sketch for the glass doors

 

 

 

 

Carey Institute Silk Painting Workshop

Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop

Carey Institute is on the campus of the University of British Columbia. It’s a beautiful location, on a peninsula surrounded by woods, hiking trails and beaches. I found this out AFTER our class….we were all too busy painting to do much exploring. Although our hosts introduced us to authentic Chinese food and bubble tea.

We had a group of 16 students, some from Vancouver BC and surrounding area, but also some that traveled from Alberta for the workshop.

Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting-32
Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting-32

 

Alex at Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting
Alex at Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting
 Sarah, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Sarah, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Edna and Hildie, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Edna and Hildie, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop

 

Jennifer's Ice, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Jennifer’s Ice, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop

We had so much fun and made such good work. Here are 50 pictures for you to see!

Click on one image to make it bigger, then follow the arrows for the next picture. When you are done with the first batch, then go to the next. There are 3 batches!

Following are just a few of my favorites…There are so many. Thanks for such a good week, students!

Sarah's Stars, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Sarah’s Stars, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop

 

Florence's Flowers,Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Florence’s Flowers,Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Setting the Dye, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Setting the Dye, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Joyce, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Joyce, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Alex's Fish, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop
Alex’s Fish, Carey Inst. Aug 2012 silk painting workshop

 

 

Grunewald Guild July 30-Aug 5

Emily Wagnitz "Labyrinth" Detail, Handpainted Silk, 60" x 11".

Silk Painting Workshop

Emily Wagnitz "Labyrinth" Detail, Handpainted Silk, 60" x 11".
Here’s a detail from a scarf hand-painted by Emily Wagnitz at our Grunewald Guild Liturgical Arts Silkpainting Workshop.

We had beautiful hot sunny weather at Grunewald Guild this summer. A lovely, lively group of 14 students, from age 12 to ?65? or so, we helped each other make some wonderful silk pieces.

 

Silk painting workshop,Grunewald Guild, Aug 2012
The youngest member of our silk painting group, and the scarf he made. Carefully.

 

Unwrapping Mary Ann's piece, Grunewald Guild Aug 2012
Unwrapping Mary Ann’s piece, Grunewald Guild Aug 2012

Singing Silk Painters, Grunewald Guild, Aug 2012
Singing Silk Painters, Grunewald Guild, Aug 2012
2012 Emily Wagnitz, "Gabriel", Detail. Hand Painted silk, 60x11". Grunewald Aug 2012-5
©2012 Emily Wagnitz, “Gabriel”, Detail. Hand Painted silk, 60×11″. Grunewald Aug 2012
2012 Jane Middleton, Grunewald Guild, Aug 2012
©2012 Jane Middleton, Grunewald Guild, Aug 2012