Amber MacGregor - Artist


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I am in the midst of preparing for the Fernwood Art Stroll, a local artist studio tour here in Victoria BC.

It makes me realize the true extent of my difficulty with organization. Today I will sit down and write out all the things that are still left to do and then decide their order of importance. I have four more days before the Stroll. Better late than never I guess.

 

I wonder if it has to do with my particular way of thinking that makes it so difficult to focus on the task at hand? I often say I have the attention span of a small woodland creature, but really a squirrel or mouse is very task oriented, they find food, water and shelter, they avoid danger, they care for their young, they get a good sleep. 

 

So off  I go to make my list and get that last bit of stuff completed. I'm going to make those four more sleeps count too, so don't call me late, I'll be sleeping.

 

I wish you all well with your organizing duties and hope that your creative lives can thrive in whatever manner you choose to do them.

 

Cheers!



bg_42131401043545.jpgPortrait of Io (with plume) ©2014 Amber MacGregor


It's been a while, since I last put fingers to keyboard and wrote a little bit about what's been going on in my studio and in my world.

 

There has been so much horror recently in the media, the horror of watching our government sell off our natural resources to the great detriment of all living things while muzzling our scientists. The horror of watching the BC teachers union fight against the villainous attacks of the Liberal Party and their anti-union agenda. The horrors of gun violence in the United States and over seas. The horrors of the military-industrial-complex and it's ongoing agenda to profit, profit, profit from slaughter.


How do we continue to find joy when there is so much horror? I think about what Ghandi had to do to release India from the iron rule of colonialism. How he didn't resort to violence because he knew there was a better way. I think about the world that Martin Luther King Jr. lived in and worked to better and how difficult it must have been for him to find his centre of love amidst all of that hatred and misunderstanding that surrounded him. 


So that's what I've been considering lately. How people find their true soul of love when they feel like they are in the middle of a firestorm of negativity. I am doing my best to let go of doubts and fears even ones that I have held since childhood, even the small and silly ones. I hope that it will change my life and the way I see things for the better and that I won't slip back into old habits.


Artists are creators of difference, we must not allow governments, or fashion, or deep seated fears to separate us from the truth and from each other. We create difference so we can make lives better, not just our own lives but the lives of others. We give the gift of our artistic insight through our work. Make ART to make change.


I wish you all joy in whatever art you make, in whatever voice you sing in, in whatever way you find the love to continue, and make good in the world.



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Like this swirling group of heads the effect of a virus on the brain can be most dizzifying.

 

I've been getting back into the studio lately after just such a virus. Who knows where they really come from, generally I would just like them to go away. Thankfully mine is on the outs at present. Hopefully it will stay that way.

 

Though I have to say, what with fevers and my daughters fever dreams a virus can bring up much fodder for creativity. In a feverish haze my daughter told me staring intently at her hands that we had to get the yellow thread off of her fingers so we could build it a house... She also has fascinating dreams about giant peaches and gremlins. If only we could paint out these dreams, and make those bizarre and fascinating hallucinations into decipherable images. I wonder if you painted them, if they would cease to be frightening, or if it would only make matters worse by reminding you of the terrible fear you felt when you were having the original?

 

Fever dreams. What do you do with yours?

 

I hope everyone is getting back to feeling healthy, and finding ways to make sense of things. I'm hoping to be back in the studio a few more days this week...now that my Man is having fever dreams too we'll see what we can mine from this experience and hope nobody kicks anyone in their sleep.

 

Be well all!



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Early in the spring have you ever felt like your brain was trying to process too much information all at the same time? I always consider this to be a spring fever of sorts. Not the sort that makes you want to dash off with anyone you find vaguely attractive but the sort that makes one day soaringly madly, and most wonderfully light headed and the next perplexing.

 

Lately every day seems to bring a barrage of new information, some of it fantastic and amazing some of it nondescript, some of it devestating, but always too much of it and always nowhere for it to go.

 

Sometimes working in the studio is like this too. There seems to be no end to the ideas and no way to use them all or connect them in any meaningful way. That's when I try to slow things down and take stock of where I want things to be heading. 

 

Today I took out some of my old books, a book on Egon Shiele, a book on Arthur Rackham, a book of butterfies from around the world. Having to concentrate, even briefly on something other than the noise going on in my head seems to quiet the barrage into more of an orderly flow.

 

Then I get down to painting. Working in a series seems to help too. Because when I'm overwhelmed I tend to want to paint everything all at once and that doesn't seem to work very well for actually getting things completed...ever.

 

So here's to finding some flow that is comfortable, and getting some productive art made, thoughts completed, writing finished, whatever it is you want to be doing.

 

I wish you all the best with your spring fever, however it presents itself, I hope you find the productive value in all the extra energy it seems to provide and don't get bogged down by any adverse effects. 

 


 

 



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Hi All, 

I'm wondering how others are gearing up for their creative practise for this new year?

 

I feel like it's time to really get going on some serious painting. However I also need to go out there and make some money this year. it's been amazing to be free of out of the home work commitments for almost a year, however the money has pretty much run out. So, I have to knuckle down and get some kind of a regular money making job. I have been looking for work the whole time I've been off but work hours don't really work for parents, I'm sure any parent can attest to that. The 9-5 just doesn't work well.

 

At any rate I will be spending 2014 trying to balance parenting,art making and money making. We shall see what comes of that. 

 

I am postitive that this will be a year of transformative positive change in the World. I hope I can document and express some of it in my work.

 

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2014. Keep striving for good!



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I Just started up a new craft collective called the Golden Goose Collective. I have always wondered what it would be like to climb that bean stalk just like Jack and find the goose that lays the golden eggs. This collective is my attempt to find out. "Golden" is such a multifaceted word, we use it to connote wealth, and light and extreme talent. So, "golden" in every possible positive meaning of the word. 

 

I wanted to start something that other people could be a part of. It's all very well to create in a vacuum but it's really nice to have a community of self minded individuals around you too. I found that out in art school and later relived it in part working at Opus Art Supplies and Framing. Having artsy people around is inspiring. 

 

Basically the craft collective is a sales venue right now so it doesn't mean anyone has to commit to being at meetings or joining something that will take up too much time out of their regular schedule.

 

So for now there's an Etsy shop for the collective at http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/goldengoosecollectiv 

It still only has a few things in it as it is Just Sharilyn from Plain Jane Designs and myself right now, but I am hoping to fill it with things as the days go by. I am also hoping to organize getting items to some craft fairs in the coming year (2014) in Victoria BC.

 

If you are interested in selling any crafty stuff that you've been making or know someone who might be interested please email me at goldengoosecollective@yahoo.ca, I can also be contacted via the contact page on this website or through the Golden Goose Collective Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/GoldenGooseCollective. I will give you the scoop on the collective as it stands so far, Etsy fees (which are small) and how you can get paid when you sell things!

 

I'm looking forward to a crafty year! Oh and getting back into the studio for some painting time as well.

 

All the best to everyone!



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Striving to remain optimistic?

 

Art is a great source of comfort in uncertain times. The reason for this is because it helps to open our minds to other ways of viewing the World around us. This allows for all sorts of ideas to come into our heads, ideas that may help to make massive positive changes in the World a reality.  

 

Even if you don't engage in any so called artistic pursuit you can benefit from the creativity within yourself and that of those around you. Make a batch of gingerbread cookies, learn to knit, go to an art gallery, read a book, consider some poetry, go to the theatre, take yoga, listen to music, engage in higher mathematice, take a course in physics, play with your kids, build a play structure, wander in your neighbourhood or go somewhere new...has my stream of consciousness rambling got you thinking towards any creative avenues yet? Just be here now, unplug and be.

 

Get creative, we can always change the World for the better. 



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I've been struggling with what to say here. I keep starting and then rethinking and changing what I've written. Who knew that Halloween, that fabled time of year when the veil between the worlds becomes nebulous, was such a huge issue for me? It's a shame that it's been turned into such a consumerist madhouse, but then hasn't every little thing? I think the thing I don't appreciate about what Halloween has become is the infusion of horror. Why do we need to be bombarded with horror at Halloween? I think it's kind of sick that we take our children out at night to brave unknown manufactured horrors for candy. What does that teach a child? We are desensitizing our children to horror by following it with positive reinforcement. I know you can tell me I'm "blowing it out of proportion", or that I need to "lighten up", but I really don't think this is a good societal advancement.

 

Instead, I consider Halloween as a time to reflect on all things otherworldly. Spectres, ghosts, mysterious creatures of all stripes and the outer reaches of the imagination. I think it is a time to think about death, but by remembering those we have known and loved that have died, to imagine them somehow closer to us on that one day of the year.

 

I don't want to be desensitized to horror, I've been there and it isn't a good place to travel to. I don't want it for my child either or anyone else's for that matter. We have dark places in our psyches , I say let that be enough.

 

In that vein I wish you well. I hope you verge toward the light, as I hope always to do.


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