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It's looking brighter!

Well, here it is almost the end of July already! I went to write on my blog and realized I never actually published this bit that I wrote in the spring. It expresses my feelings at the time, so I will begin this post with it and add an update.

In the north it is always such a joy as the days get longer, the snow disappears and the plants start to show their bright foliage. There is a tremendous sense of positivity and new possibilities. Today we also feel a sense of lightness as COVID gets a bit more manageable, vaccines get into arms and restrictions begin to relax. In the Yukon we feel a sense of optimism and relief and yet as we move forward we are also aware of an underlying knowledge that the world has changed. Like many other people this time hunkered down has somehow led me to sidestep into a new direction with my art.

Lately I have been focussing on applying my prints to clothing that I have taken from my closet, purchased at our local thrift store, been given by friends, salvaged from bags destined for the recycling centre or sewn myself. I am currently buried in piles of old clothing with so much potential as I work towards a small show of "The Martha Ritchie Collection" in Whitehorse in July. What started as just a personal experiment, a few t-shirts to sell and a friend coming to spend a couple of days printing on clothes with me, has led into a wormhole with endless possibilities.

It is funny how ideas go around in circles. I first printed a duvet cover for myself in 1993 and as a teenager in the 1970's my sisters and I sewed many of our own clothes. Even then, we enjoyed the possibility of creating something unique and original. I'm not sure how long I will continue doing this, as the large prints on paper and loads of drawings are still beckoning, but for now, it is fun.

So, now here we are in July!

Time has passed and my show is hanging at Northern Front Studio's Free Space Gallery in Whitehorse, Yukon.

In fact, it is almost time for me to take the work down. I think it is a success. I had so much fun combining the prints with fabric and hand colouring them and got quite excited to be sewing with them. In the end, I combined works on paper and fabric as well as some pieces from other shows, to create a colourful and uplifting installation.

I was really happy to finally hang my kites in a gallery setting too. A big thank you to Mark for all of his patience in helping me to put up the work as well as his long reach and tolerance for heights.

If you haven't seen 'The Martha Ritchie Collection', there are still a couple of days left (it finishes July 28th). Northern Front Studio kindly offers the Free Space Gallery to artists from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. They are located at 110-2237 2nd Avenue, Whitehorse, Yukon. Why not check it out?

So many things have happened during this roller coaster of a year! The Yukon has been delayed in so many ways this summer. A late spring melt meant my garden went in later than usual. It looks pretty happy now, but the nights are beginning to feel cool again already and we still haven't had anything more than greens, rhubarb and wild berries. I am hopeful that the carrots and beets will have time to mature!

As summer progresses we are still hopeful that we will once again have visitors from outside. We look forward to the borders opening for travellers from the USA and hope to see our friends and neighbours from Alaska (if they are fully vaccinated. In the meantime I am grateful for the loyalty and support of fellow Yukoners.

We continue to find pleasure in our own beautiful territory, but anxiously await a change of scene and hugs from family and friends further afield. I am hopeful that in the fall we will be able to travel to see them. Until that time, please keep safe and happy. Get out and enjoy the summer (wear sunscreen) and support each other.

Happy Creating!


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