Blog

  • Creative Summer Fun!

    Screen shot 2016-06-22 at 1.59.32 PMThe kids are home for the summer. Are you looking for things you can do together to keep them busy without defaulting to television and electronics? Or maybe a little something for you to do to get away from it all. How about art classes in polymer clay? Polymer Clay is an ideal medium for both kids and adults – it doesn’t dry out until you bake it – there’s no mess, and you don’t need any special equipment – just your regular kitchen oven. It’s non-toxic, easy to use and a lot of fun.

    I’m offering four in-studio projects this summer. All four projects are 3 hour beginner classes and everyone leaves with a finished sculpture. All supplies and tools are included.

    Art classes are becoming more and more popular as a way of disconnecting from technology, calming our minds and rediscovering our creative sides. Space is limited so book soon, or get in touch about booking a private art party in your home. Put a group of six or more friends together and I bring everything to you.

    Get in touch via email at maria@saracino.ca or give me a call at 613-425-1729

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  • The Ultimate Selfie . . . A MINI !

    IMG_3985Historically an aristocratic tradition, today, getting your portrait done is more than an exercise in vanity it’s an opportunity to be a part of the artistic process. On Tuesday night, I unveiled a series of mini portrait sculptures interpreting the street fashion photography of Katie Hession from YOW City Style. Although easily recognizable, these 12-14″ figurative sculptures are also about capturing the personality and essence of the subject. Christened the YOW MINI, these little mini portraits are the Ultimate “Selfie”. This unique collaboration of art and street fashion made the evening a huge success.

     “Andy Warhol’s portraits in the 1960s mark the last time the genre ofIMG_4727portrature could have conceivably been called avant-garde—and yet the best portrait painters and sculptors are still highly sought after, charging massive sums, and commanding profound respect among the very wealthy. It’s a prolific segment of contemporary art that’s been hiding in plain sight for years.” James Tary, 2015 http://www.bloomberg.com

    Screen shot 2016-06-09 at 3.37.44 PMIMG_4730IMG_4725Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I am best known for my realistic yet whimsical figurative sculptures. I try to capture those everyday moments in time that feels familiar and that we can connect with on a personal level. My medium is polymer clay and textiles. I like to say that I channel Norman Rockwell’s illustrative style through sculpture. My usual portrait commissions are in the 20-24″ size and take anywhere from 30 to 50 hours to complete. However, the YOW MINI is a condensed, more affordable version. Only $500 they are the ultimate gift to mark those special birthdays, anniversaries or milestones, or simply . . . the ultimate “selfie” to celebrate you.

    http://www.saracinocollection.com

    http://www.facebook.com/saracinocollection

    #mariasaracinoca

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  • The Thunderbird Project

    I want to share with you a project I will be working on over the next couple of months. It's called "Thunderbird" and it's a permanent installation at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa. I am excited and very honoured to be the Art Director of the installation. What's particularly special about this magnificent relief sculpture is that it will be a collaboration with you and anyone who supports the Wabano    Centre. Photo on 2016-03-03 at 16.05 #2 Together with Allison Fisher,  Director of Wabano, we have come up  with a woodlands inspired design that  represents the year of the Thunderbird.  The installation is a 3' x 8' relief sculpture  in polymer clay and wood. I'm holding a  maquette of the design in this photo and  below is another actual polymer clay  maquette. The  Thunderbird symbolizes  power and  provision, but also i  indomitable spirit and  transformation.

     The collaboration is a team effort between the Wabano staff, and  myself but also includes the general public and supporters of the  Wabano Centre. I will be teaching four art workshops at the  Wabano Centre, the dates and times are listed below. This is an  opportunity for you to participate in creating something beautiful  and a symbol of respect and support for Ottawa's Aboriginal  community. The cost is only $25. which includes the class and all s  supplies, a boxed lunch or dinner and a printed tutorial to take  home. If you enjoy participating in art nights or paint nites, this is a  great value and a great way to unwind, connect with friends and  have fun, all the while taking part in something spectacular. During  the workshop you will learn how to create a feather relief in  polymer clay in the colourful woodlands style. You will have the  opportunity to make at least two feathers, one to take home, the  other will become part of the art installation. Over 100 feathers will  be part of this wall sculpture! As a contributing artist your name  will be listed on the wall plaque as well as on all printed paper  merchandise. The installation will be officially introduced at the  "Igniting the Spirit" Gala, which takes place on June 21st. For  more information on the Gala please visit  http://www.wabano.com/events/wabano-events/igniting-spirit-  gala-2016/

    The workshops will take place at the Wabano Centre, located at 299 Montreal Road in Ottawa. Join us and be part of this inspiring art collaboration. To reserve your spot in one of the workshops please email me directly at maria@saracino.ca 

    Available Dates:

    Tuesday April 12 - 6pm to 9pm

    Saturday, April 16 - 1pm to 4pm

    Tuesday, April 19 - 6pm to 9pm

    Saturday, April 23 - 1pm to 4pm

     

    The meaning of the Thunderbird as a Native American symbol varies according to the tribe and geographic location.

    “Among the tribes of the Great Lakes, the Indians recognized supernatural spirits (Manitos) in all physical phenomena, animals, trees, rocks, or cosmic forces. Some dwelt in the sky, some on earth, underground, or underwater; some were helpful and others malevolent, such as ghosts, underwater monsters and cannibal ice giants (Windigos), and spirits were placated through prayers. Over all was a paramount deity, Kitchi-Manito, although this concept may be the result of Christian influence. Of major importance were the Sun, Moon, the Four Winds, the Four Directions, Thunder, and Lightning. Two great Manitos, the Thunderbird and the Underwater Panther, are dominant in Great Lakes mythology. The Thunderbirds were a class of spirits associated both with war, and with rain to nurture crops.” (Excerpt from North American Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes by Michael Johnson)

    Thunderbirds are the rulers of all airborne species. These manitos could bestow many blessings on human beings including success in war.  Thunder and lightning were created by the flashing of their eyes and the flapping of their wings, bringing the rain that made the earth fertile. Besides power and provision, other symbolic Thunderbird meanings include indomitable spirit and transformation.

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  • Moments in Time Exhibit

    My exhibit “Moments in Time” opens in a few days. The sculptures I’ve created for this exhibit explore life’s everyday candid moments. Moments that stir a familiar memory, a feeling, a reflection of modern life and, most importantly, they are presented in a happy or entertaining way. This is my style of art. In the fine art world this is not always accepted in a positive way. Good art is often equated with edginess, boldness and inner pain, whereas happy art or uplifting art is often equated with dullness, laziness and lack of creativity.

    According to blogger Jeff Goins, he believes “There is an underlying sadness in all art, a melancholy we feel when we face true beauty. It’s that ache, that longing, that we can’t quite describe when we witness something trulywonderful.” http://goinswriter.com/sad-art/  I agree with this statement somewhat– I believe art should evoke a feeling, but art does not have to disturb us to qualify as good. What we feel does not have to be sadness, it could be joy, comfort, nostalgia. What is important is that we feel something. Perhaps it’s in happiness that art really flourishes. Many artists, including myself, experienced anguish and frustration in their early years as young artists and these
    feelings were often reflected in their art. Over time, as they master their techniques and skills and as they evolve and accept who they are as humans, they become happier and they make better art. 

    Sharon Salzberg wrote an article for the Huffington Post titled “What’s Better for Creativity: Depression or Happiness”. In the article she quotes the Dali Lama saying “In the West many people believe that creativity comes from torment, while in the East there is more of a tradition of great art coming from balance and realization.” She then goes on to say “I suspect that the Dalai Lama couldn’t even imagine the concept that one might cling to suffering for a creative edge or think of happiness as a dulling agent. Happiness in Buddhist teaching is seen as inner abundance, resourcefulness, the wellspring of energy within that allows us to serve, give, offer, create. If we don’t ever think we have enough, we’re not motivated to give. If we are depleted, exhausted, demoralized and despondent, we don’t nearly have the energy

    to help others, to
    express, to go forth and try to make a difference. So happiness isn’t at all seen as laziness but the foundation of very great activity of all kinds.”
     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-salzberg/happiness-creativity_b_775573.html

     

    On both Saturday, February 20th and 27th I will be at the Orange Art Gallery for a “Meet the Artist” event from noon to 3pm. I will talk about the stories and inspiration behind some of my sculptures in the exhibit and my journey to finding happiness.

     

    Photos:                                                                                                                                                 Top – Playtime 17″ H x 14″W x 11″D                                                                                         Middle photos – Game Night 22″H x 15″ W x 15″ D                                                               Bottom Photo – The Bucket List 21″H x 8″W x 8″D

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  • Moments in Time

    Some of my favourite happy memories are not found in a photo album, they are mental snapshots of a particular moment. The image comes with a feeling, a reaction, and a story. It’s those candid Moments in Time that inspired my new collection and solo exhibit. The exhibit will run from February 17 to March 6 at the Orange Art Gallery located at 290 City Centre Drive in Ottawa. For those of you in the Ottawa area, the opening night reception is Thursday, February 18th. There’s also a “Meet the Artist” talk and demonstration on Saturday, February 20 and 27th from noon to 3pm. Hope you will drop by. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at one of the new sculptures – “ Playtime”.

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  • Art Night!

    What better way to spend a cold winter night than with a group of friends, a bottle or two of wine, some munchies and a fun art project to stir up the creative juices. People have been rediscovering the pleasure and satisfaction of creating art and I'm so happy to be able to share my medium of sculpting in polymer   clay with all of you. After a busy and successful holiday season, I'm kicking off the new year with some new workshops. From beginner to advance there are six workshops to choose from. Gather your friends for a perfect bachelorette, shower or birthday occasion, or simply organize your own private art night (or afternoon) in your home. As the hostess your class is FREE!  Give your employees a fun and memorable team-building boost with a workshop in your office or restaurant. Or ask me how I can help you with your fundraising event while your guests get to focus on having fun. 

    The 2016 line-up of live workshops, video workshops and downloadable tutorials are now ready to view. Check them out on the "Workshops" page. Join an open class or get in touch to book your own private party. I'm looking forward to creating together!

     

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