There is always a bridge.

We live in a very divided political landscape these days.  There are a great many vocal people on both the left and the right, and sometimes it is difficult to imagine we can find any common ground with each other.

I helped found, and am the publicity director for, the Canadian branch of the International Watercolor Society (IWS Canada).  Our mission is to “promote peace, harmony, love, understanding and acceptance of each others’ differences” through the medium of watercolour.   We recently held a contest in which we asked people all over the world to express ways in which they celebrate.  We asked what celebration meant to them.  Many interpreted the question as ‘what’ do you celebrate, rather than ‘how’. In a way, we were asking for participants to build a bridge for us so we could learn about their cultures.  It has meant we’ve interacted with 1450 people all over the world.  It may be a small contribution to peace, and love, but many small contributions add up!  The 150 finalists chosen by our four jurors can be seen on our website (thanks to the hard work of Ona Kingdon, Elizabeth Franchetto Irvine, and myself ;)), along with the videos in both English and French made by our president, Ona.  We recognize, of course, that all art forms “can bring people together despite differences in race, religion, culture and distance.” We just happen to especially love watercolour.

As you know, I also happen to love digital fractal art.

This piece of mine illustrates a landscape full of great divisions, but wherever there is a chasm, the fractal algorithm has built a natural bridge.

Fractal landscape, natural bridges

There is Always a Bridge. Digital Fractal Art printed on metal, single edition. 20×20″. Artist Lianne Todd. $345.00

What if we did that?  What if each of us made it our business to build a small bridge wherever we see a chasm we can’t fill (like in that song by Sting!).  Our hearts can be open without compromising our ideals. We don’t have to have “fortresses” around them.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to argue (not fight), just for argument’s sake.  So it may seem odd to them – me talking about building bridges.  But my arguments are never meant to hurt or cause strife – they are meant to bring more understanding, both for me and for the other person.  It really saddens me when that isn’t the outcome, as is sometimes the case.  There is always a bridge that can be built or found.  We can’t/won’t always cross the bridges, and can’t expect others to cross over to us either, but at least we may get a little closer to seeing the others’ point of view, and sometimes we can meet in the middle.

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Awaiting the Tourists!

Hey everyone, the 10th Annual Oxford Studio Tour is this weekend, May 6 & 7!  That’s just in case I haven’t reached you yet… I have been so busy promoting the tour on its website, and on Facebook and Twitter, I almost forgot to post on my own blogs!

As you may know, my gallery/studio is Location #3 this year.  There is another near me, Location #4, and we are always happy when studio tourists make the trip out to the southeast corner of Oxford County, Ontario, to see us. Here is a peek at what you’ll find when you get here.

The entrance to my gallery is at the rear of the house:

I’m still saving the new art for when you get here!  😉

Have you seen our posters or picked up a brochure yet?  They are in libraries, tourist offices, and many nice businesses in and surrounding the county.  You could also get one from the first artist you visit.  This is what they look like:

But here is the basic information to get you started, and our website is full of maps as well:

Welcome Again

It is time again for those of us who are artists, artisans and specialty shopkeepers in the little town of Otterville, to open our doors and welcome visitors from all over Southwestern Ontario.  This is our 20th year holding Welcome Back to Otterville, a studio tour that was founded by my good friend Sue Goossens years before I moved here, and continues to change and evolve as do the participants.

A press release for our tour follows – please feel free to publish the release as we are on a limited advertising budget!  We are very grateful to Ashlyn Kernaghan for writing this up for us.

Welcome Back to Otterville Studio Tour Celebrates 20 Years

By Ashlyn Kernaghan
Glendale Student

On the weekend of November 19th and 20th, the artists and crafters who call the historic village of Otterville home will be opening up their doors for the 20th annual studio tour.  Visit Otterville and browse through unique shops and studios. Meet the artists and experience a world of creativity.  Studios and shops are open from 10am – 5pm and each day and the event is absolutely free to attend.

This year the studio tour includes 6 local artists – watercolours, oils, acrylics and mixed media – who will showcase the best of their best throughout the weekend in their homes or studios.  The participating artists include Mae Leonard, Lianne Todd, Linda Hoffman, Trudy Verberne, Shirley Hokke, and Sue Goossens.   In Bloom Designs featuring the jewellery of Jillian Driedger will be in the old general store in Hawtrey.  Ralph Moore & Sons has a large selection of bird seed and feeders and all things bird!  Shawn Pinnoy, owner of Styx and Skids, and Nordale Woodworking are new to the tour this year.  Shawn Pinnoy creates up-cycled decor including wreaths, bird houses, barn board signs and much more.  Nordale Woodworking, owned by Bryan Mertens, specializes in the production and sales of solid wood furniture and outdoor poly lawn furniture.  Nordale Woodworking is open all year.

All participants on the tour live in Otterville and area and create their own unique products or own a shop in town.  The event has evolved throughout the past 20 years with three of the original participants still on the tour – Sue Goossens, Linda Hoffman and Shirley Hokke.

“Artists truly enjoy meeting new visitors, old friends and sharing their passion for the arts.”
“Each year the tour attracts visitors from all over Southwestern Ontario from Windsor to Toronto,” said tour organizer Goossens. “People are always impressed with the quality of the artwork that is available.  We have the reputation of having many accomplished artists in Otterville.”

This self-directed tour provides the opportunity to personally explore the creative approach of various artists, along with the chance to wrap up some Christmas shopping.  Tour participants can visit as few or as many of the artists as they wish, over one or both days.  The Otter Creek Golf Course club house will be open for lunch Saturday and Sunday.
Welcome Back to Otterville brochures and maps can be found at participating sites, the Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg, and online at http://www.welcomebacktootterville.ca.  Look for yellow flags that mark the studios.

Styx and Skids is not on the map, but can be found just around the corner from Linda Hoffman’s studio, on Grove St.
For more information call 519-879-6352 or visit www.welcomebacktootterville.ca

 

Here is the map of the tour.  Hope you can make it out!

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New designs…

It came to my attention recently that my site was not terribly friendly for those who are unaccustomed to reading blogs, and that I should make the images of my work more accessible to the attention span of the casual visitor.  So, I spent a little time the other day doing just that.  The home page is now a static gallery of my fractal work, and the blog has its own new page on the menu.  Please have a look at the newly designed site – is there anything that you as a viewer would suggest to improve it?  I am open to suggestion – although there are of course limits to what I can do since I am using a template.

Now, it’s time for me to introduce another fractal that you may not have seen yet.  I’ve exhibited it already but you may have missed it.  This one was difficult to title.  What I saw in it first, changed for me, until I was seeing it a number of different ways.  Perhaps that is why it appeals to me so much.  I decided it deserved a name fitting its ‘behaviour’, one that would allow the viewer to perceive it their own way as well.  So, I called it “Indeterminate”.  This image is a small watermarked version of the digital image used to create the piece of art, as photographing the final art printed on acrylic proves difficult with all the reflections.  If you’d like to tell me what you see in it, I would love to hear – but please do it in a private message using the contact page.  I would like all viewers to see it with fresh eyes uninfluenced by the perceptions of others!

Indeterminate. Fractal Digital Image. Available as an original single edition print on acrylic, 20x20". Lianne Todd. $360

Indeterminate. Fractal Digital Image. Available as an original single edition print on acrylic, 20×20″. Artist Lianne Todd. $375.00

An Archetypal Image

I think I have mentioned before how I see many fractals as somewhat archetypal in nature.  We have, in our decorative past, incorporated many motifs that turn out to be quite common in fractal geometry.  The swirls and whorls, the spirals and branches, the radiating patterns… it is like we knew about fractals before we knew about fractals.  But of course we did, didn’t we?  Because fractals are the shapes of nature, and we are a part of nature ourselves, and surrounded by it.  We noticed the regular and irregular natural patterns around us and we appreciated them.  We began to find them beautiful. Then we began to associate them with ideas, and some of them became symbolic.

This particular fractal is one of those ones that seems to be archetypal.  Of course the cross shape, as a symbol, is much more ancient than the Christian religion.  This is more complicated than a simple cross, though.  What other associations does your mind bring to this image?

Symbol. Digital fractal art on metal. Single edition print. 16x16". Lianne Todd

Symbol. Digital fractal art on metal. Single edition print. 16×16″. Artist Lianne Todd. Private Collection.

I hope you’ll come out to my studio this coming weekend during the Oxford Studio Tour to see this piece and more.

New Fractals

I’m excited to have some new fractal art to show you in a week at the Oxford Studio Tour.

We have thirty-one artists at seventeen locations throughout Oxford County, Ontario, Canada in the heart of the southwestern part of this province.  It will be a fun day trip for anyone in the region – even those coming out from Toronto! (Wouldn’t it be nice to get out of the city for a day or two?)

Here is a preview of one of the fractals.  I have printed it (using Posterjack) on metal, 20×20″ and that is the only print I will do, so it is an original piece.  It is created digitally using the Mandelbulb 3D software.  As I find usual and striking for fractals, it looks very natural. It is pretty obvious what I thought it resembled!  I hope you’ll come and see it.  I think it would make a great piece to gaze at from anywhere in your house, while you consider nature and its mysteries, and it draws you in close, as well – as all fractals do with their self-similarity on smaller and smaller scales.

I call this one Ocean Floor:

Ocean Floor. Digital Fractal Art. Lianne Todd.

Ocean Floor. Digital Fractal Art. Lianne Todd.  This image has now been printed on metal as a single edition. 20×20″. $345.00

 

A Farewell to “Wind”

A while back I found out one of my fractal pieces had sold from the Art Gallery of Lambeth.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for representing me and for selling this piece.  I didn’t find out which one it was, until recently, and then I was not surprised, as many people at various exhibits have told me it is their favourite.

I was going to find the image on this site and change the caption to say it was sold… and then realized I have never posted it here!  I’ve used the image to advertise some of my shows, but have never quite written the blog post I wanted to write about it.

While “archetypal” comes to mind (and is wrong) to describe this image, I confess I’m at a loss otherwise.   And maybe that is why it took me this long to write about it.  There is just something about it that speaks to people, and while I feel it too, I can’t describe it.  Who needs words when it comes to visual art anyway, right?  But I would love to hear your ideas.

My original title for this was “The Birth of Wind”, but then it just became “Wind”.  I don’t even have an explanation for that!

All I really have to say is, while this image is also one of my favourites and will stay with me for a long time, I am glad someone else is now able to enjoy it on a daily basis.  If you are the buyer, thank you and please let me know as I haven’t been told who you are.

Wind. Digital Fractal Art on metal, single edition print. 20x20". Lianne Todd. SOLD

Wind. Digital Fractal Art on metal, single edition print. 20×20″. Lianne Todd. SOLD.  Private Collection.

Scarf Arrival

Yesterday, my scarf order FINALLY arrived.  (I ordered it December 15.  It is now March 1 –  Hardly the 30 days between order and shipping that was promised by the company).  I received several surprises between then and now, and not all of them were pleasant.  Please know, I have been on their case about the lateness of the order fulfillment, among  other things, and while they were not prompt with their response, either, they have responded and are taking measures to remedy the situation for the future.  At least, that is what they are trying to do.  They are a pretty new company, so I guess we can give them the benefit of the doubt.  If you, like me, placed an order, I hope yours has also arrived.  If not, I am sure it will, very soon.  And I am sorry if it hasn’t.  In every other way, the VIDA company has dealt with me fairly and has generously kept my page live past the original deadline.  For that I thank them.

Now, on to the scarf!  I only ordered the one design, so I don’t know how other designs will turn out.  The colours are a little different from the original design – some are more intense and others a slightly different hue, but the clarity of the image is great and the quality of the scarf is quite nice.  All in all, I’m happy.  I hope you will be too if you purchased any.  Thank you for doing so!

The original design compared to the actual scarf (which I haven’t ironed yet – sorry!):

Design&RealityArtifactAnd here it is on me, tied a few different ways:

Artifactsscarf4

Artifactsscarf1ArtifactsScarf2aArtifactsScarf3

 

 

Show opening this weekend

The artists’ group I am a member of, the Artists of Oxford, is having a group show at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre and the opening for the show is this Sunday, 2-4 pm.  I’ve got two pieces in the show, and they are both digital fractals printed on acrylic.  One is called Diaphanous, the other is called Indeterminate.

I hope you’ll be able to join us for the opening or make it to the show while it is on!

Artists-of-Oxford---postcard-good

back of invite to email

The scarves are selling!

I still have my design page on VIDA, where you can purchase the 100% natural Charmeuse silk square scarves with my fractal designs on them.  These are larger (34.5×34.5″) than any of my wall pieces with the added value of being wearable!  VIDA emailed me the other day letting me know traffic to my page has been strong, and in the email they sent a few coupon codes for me to pass along.

Here they are!

5 USD Gift Card off Orders 50 USD+ (use code PMCG3191V3IX)
15 USD Gift Card off Orders 100 USD+ (use code 83PNNJ8ZCUCE)
40 USD Gift Card off Orders 200 USD+ (use code NHJTDLZ2XS7P)

This offer expires on Sunday January 24th at midnight PST.

GroovyPageVIDA

HiggsBosonPageVIDA

ArtifactsPageVIDA