All posts by borealisboutique

That Alley Downtown

That Alley Downtown 2020. T Cote, watercolour on graphite, line and wash
9-1/2” x 13-1/2”

I always enjoyed this alley in downtown Saskatoon, with its iconic architecture, gaining access to some unique local businesses.

The two major buildings in the foreground are the Avenue Building on the right, which was built in 1912 and originally known as the MacMillan Department Store. It was built by Saskatoon’s then future mayor Frank R. MacMillan and designed by Winnipeg architect William Fingland. The T. Eaton Company purchased MacMillan’s store and it was the single largest department store in the city before selling the business, but not the building, to T. Eaton Company in 1927. MacMillan extensively remodeled his building, inside and out, to convert it to office space, and renamed it the Avenue Building.

In the left foreground is the Travellers block annex followed by a private alley and the original Travellers block. You can peer down the lane and see the street front of 3rd Avenue South, and the jewel in the vanishing point is an edit I made. I historically changed the storefront to be that of Mikado Silk in the McKay Block, 223 2nd Avenue South. The style of the McKay Block is characteristic of Edwardian architecture. The building is named for Dr. William J.McKay, a physician and Saskatoon’s medical health officer (1906-1912). and Dr. McKay’s office from 1907-1911. Mikado Silk is no longer there, but was a historic business in downtown Saskatoon starting in 1933 for over 40 years and being a prolific sewer, I had more of a connection to it.

Buttercream Roses

Buttercream Roses, Sculptural Cake, Rug Hooking and Crochet Work

My recently completed piece ‘Buttercream Roses’, has been accepted into a show called ‘From Scratch’  beginning in August in Saskatoon.   

Rug hooking is a traditional craft, using techniques from hundreds of years ago. I envisioned the concept and creation of  ‘Buttercream Roses’ in my process and engaged with the theme ‘From Scratch’ to mean no pre-made materials, packaged, or kitted items were used. 

I associated the theme ‘From Scratch’ with baking as that is where I first heard the term. To bake a cake from scratch meant to use a recipe and not a cake mix. I wanted to challenge myself in the textile arts area. My piece, a two-tiered cake structure, involved the design and creation of a three-dimensional hooked rug piece from sketch to completion. I sketched a repeating rose and vine pattern on a frosted buttercream background and created a watercolor to determine the wool colors. From this color plan, I transferred the design onto linen foundation cloth and chose the colors to resemble a frosted, two-tiered layered cake. The sides and top are hooked using the traditional rug hooking technique with strips of wool on linen foundation cloth. The second tier was joined to the first, using cotton floss and yarn crocheted together to resemble piped frosting. I then structured the piece over a form that I have sewn and assembled.

The show runs August 3 – November 6, 2020 at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery, 813 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

 

Off To War

Off To War by T. Cote

Camille BonSeigneur
1918-1940 Off to War, circa 1939. Camille BonSeigneur, pictured at his Saskatchewan farm home, shortly before leaving for London to become part of the Royal Air Force and ultimately becoming a war hero, making the ultimate sacrifice at the Battle of Britain.

Hand Painted glass, kiln-fired glass tile from a family photo. #paintedglass #glasspainting #instagramartists #ancestryportraits #battleofbritain #acommonthread #war hero

Memories of a knitted passion

Waltzing with Memories, by T.Cote

My grandma taught me to knit when I was a very young girl.  As a child, I used to go over there after school each day until my parents returned home from work. 

One of the first projects I did with her that I remember was a knit pillow cover.  It was pink and worked in stockinette stitch.  It took me what I thought was forever to finish.  If there were any stitches out of place, she used to say, albeit with love, ‘Well there now! No, you must rip it and try again’. It seemed heartbreaking at the time, but she was right, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, or understand why it wasn’t good enough just to finish my first project, she was trying to show me how to do my best work and appreciate it always!

I finished knitting the pillow cover, although it was smaller than most standard cushions, but she said I did an excellent job, and that meant the world to me. Next, she showed me how to weave a simple design between the stitches. A simple pattern, but this is where I got to be creative! She gave me my first knitting needles and a project bag. The needles were a tortoiseshell and were so beautiful!  I felt so proud and special to have them, and I still remember that cushion. It sat proudly on our family couch for many years.

I still remember this first project, and it brings back the joy of spending time with my grandma and what she taught me about the pride, appreciation, and integrity of a job well done! She passed many years ago, but I still carry those memories with me today. I still love to knit and I think of her and what her spirit is whispering in my year as I tackle each new project!

Words of The Woman Who Knows

I was happy and excited to be notified that a textile piece I recently completed has been accepted into the 2020 FFAA Focus on Fibre Arts show in Alberta. The theme this year was Focus On Your Future.

The show will be on display online and at the new gallery space from July 20th to August 31st 2020 at the new Focus On Fibre Art Studio in Strathearn Centre in Edmonton. The full exhibition will also be viewable on the FFAA website. 

I entered a rug hooking piece entitled ‘Words of the Woman Who Knows’

Artist Statement:

To determine what our future holds, some consult a fortune teller. Depicted here is a stereotypical seer, one you may happen upon at a country fair. 

Looking to see what is in our future, the seers base their knowledge on their tools: crystal balls, palmistry, tea leaves, tarot cards, and potions to give them sight into our future, what is in store for us, and how they interpret this vision in our future. Even though she has seen our future, it is up to us to ultimately understand it, act on it, and make it our own!

The Clouds Tell The Story

IMG_7082

The Clouds Tell The Story   by:  T.Cote©2020

The colourful landscape contrasts with an active sky and each day is different. The great wide-open of Saskatchewan lets you breathe and meditate as you consider where you fit in the perspective of this great wide open.

The clouds are full and low in an active sky with a multitude of sizes and shapes and the summer light kisses the fields of canola amidst a deep green meadow which looks far into the horizon as the sky shows gradation from dark to light. Similar to the minor and major chords in music, balancing into a harmonic scale.

The posts and gate disappear into the purview as the path seems to go on forever. The contrasts of the landscape are analogous to the contrasts of life.  Truly the land of the living skies, It is my think place.

 

Your Road

Your Road by T. Cote

River Flood Reflections by T Cote

The road in your mind may be wide open or you may find obstacles that weren’t there before. A familiar place made different will bring choices; double back and take a different path but know that whatever path you take, keep going, even if you slip and stumble. It may lead to wonderful things !

Wind and water may wash away the footprints in the sand , but choose to lead and make your way, even if it’s new and unfamiliar. Your fresh start may just make a better path for others to follow!

What Is Left Behind

At first glance, and by its shape, it looks like an amulet on a leather cord.  But it’s simply the remains of a tree branch hanging by its root, eroded by the river and wind on the edge of the river. It’s protected, by the rim of the bank, yet exposed to the elements. 

Above the object, it looks like petroglyphs or fossils and the sands of the bank are the result of many years of eroded deposits. 

I was pleased to find this special place, natural and untouched. A lesson to examine what you see and not to accept what your eyes understands it to be. The untainted landscape of what was left naturally behind. 

Angel Of Disquietude

Angel of Disquietude

Artwork by Toby Cote

In these first weeks of summer, there’s an air of worry, stepping into an unknown time with no past to base experiences on. A new time, looking for hope and light in these unparalleled times, finding a path to navigate our reality. In as much as our Angel is pondering to lead and teach us all.