Welcome to 2012!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2012 brings you abundance, good health, creativity and joy!

True to my promise in my November blog entry I have been in hibernation over the winter. But now, like the sprouting bulbs and buds in my garden, I am emerging from the dark!

A few noteworthy news items to share:

I am offering two classes in the coming months. All You Can Art is a smorgasbord experience of exploratory art projects in various mediums. My previous group had a lot of fun last spring trying new things and creating little gems to take home. I hope you can join me for this year’s program! The registration for this course closes this Friday and I need three more students to register for the program to run. So please register today! (see info below)

The second class is called Printmaking Explorations and explores the wonderful world of linocut printmaking, using low tech and low cost approaches. It is very exciting to carve and print multiples of your own unique image! Believe me, you will have people lining up to get one of your gorgeous prints. Please join me to have a great time creating with this very accessible medium.

Art classes with Westshore Recreation are a great way to enrich your life with creativity, learning, personal expression, relaxation, as well as making connections with people in your local community. Westshore Recreation programs are very affordable and they even offer a funding assistance program for low income people called LIFE (Leisure Involvement for Everyone). I really enjoy working with the recreation centre because the facilities and staff are great, and the students are so happy to be out having fun in their community!

Here is all the information you need to register in my courses:

(Note – this is an old post from my previous website. The following courses are no longer available. – Caro, January 2016)

All you can Art!
Fill up on creativity and sample a variety of art techniques and materials, using a new medium each session. Learn drawing, painting and mixed media art techniques from our enthusiastic instructor.
INSTRUCTOR: Caroline Stengl
JDF SPINNAKER ROOM
W 7:00- 9:00pm Jan 18-Mar 07 $130/8 71342

Printmaking Explorations
Create handmade greeting cards and mini print editions in both single and multicolours. Add other materials such as paints, drawing, metallic foils, glitter and hand colouring. Start your own collection!
INSTRUCTOR: Caroline Stengl
JDF SPINNAKER ROOM
W 7:00- 9:00pm Mar 28-May 02 $100/6 71346

Registration:
250-478-8384
www.westshorerecreation.ca

L.I.F.E. Liesure Involvement for Everyone
http://www.westshorerecreation.ca/programs/the-l-i-f-e-program/

Lately I have been more and more interested in environmental activism and current events in BC. At first I thought maybe political stuff doesn’t belong in my blog, but when I think about myself as an artist, I see how deeply nature matters to me. This passion is inseparable from my art practice. So although I am very nervous about putting my views out there, I think the risks I take are very tiny compared to the grave risk our world faces due to human carelessness and greed. Therefore I am offering you some information and my own views in the hopes you will join me in doing something to protect nature and ultimately our own human survival.

During the federal election I brought Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, to the Saanich Adult Education Centre where I work. Ms. May helped us with a natural building project using cob, a sustainable method that uses local, natural materials to create habitable and useful structures. She got muddy and worked with the rest of us in her gumboots! It was really great to meet her and support her campaign! She has been involved in significant environmental activism for most of her life. I was really thrilled to see Ms. May elected as MP for Saanich – Gulf Islands. She is doing an amazing job as her area’s MP and as the one-woman representative of the Green Party in the House of Commons.

I also have great admiration for Dr. David Suzuki, a long-time environmental activist in Canada, made famous by his presence on television, his writing and speaking, and his active involvement in environmental causes. When I was a child I wrote him a letter and was thrilled to receive a hand written postcard from him. Last year I wrote him another letter, this time as an adult, and was very happy to receive another reply. He is very kind to answer since I know he is incredibly busy.

Through watching the activities of these two Canadian heroes and watching the news I have heard about the proposed Enbridge pipeline project.  I’ve been watching documentaries about the pristine wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest and the vibrant First Peoples living along the fjord that is the proposed oil supertanker route.

To see a documentary about the coastline affected please view this short film:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAnRFd3jBqQ

All it would take is ONE spill, just one, and all of this rich biodiversity and the local First Nations way of life would be destroyed. Accidents happen. Human error, metal fatigue, harsh ocean conditions and powerful currents, so many factors make this supertanker proposal unsafe. Even BC Ferries has lost a vessel in this area! I simply can’t stand by and do nothing while our Canadian government and oil corporations push through this catastrophic plan. So I am urging you to pay attention, read about it, find out as much as you can, and make your voice heard on the issue. If you support the healthy future of our beautiful coastline please consider signing the NoTankers petition and share it with your network:

http://dogwoodinitiative.org/no-tankers/petition

Thank you for listening to my political views with respect. You are all welcome to form your own opinion and do your own research on the subject.

Lastly I will share some little art tidbits I created for fun. These are Artist Trading Cards, miniature art originals at 2.5×3.5 inches. They fit nicely into plastic sports card sleeves, with nine cards making a full page or set. These cards are an internationally collected item among artist communities, and really enjoyable to make! The ones shown in this blog entry are a set of nine paintings that together form an image of a fiddle player (me!) and one tiny portrait of our dog, Luci. If you would like to make a set yourself and trade with me please send an email to me and we’ll talk!

Until next time, enjoy the rest of the winter (may it be brief!) and best wishes for 2012!

Caroline