Welcome to the worldly adventures of SEVEN

SEVEN is a collective of multi-disciplined artists from rural Nova Scotia. Collaboration is the foundation for creativity, where each artist responds artistically in her own medium to a selected theme. Through collective discourse, various elements combine to form a much richer body of thought - adding new and perhaps unforeseen levels of creativity and interpretation.

Rurally routed to their tidal landscape, SEVEN knows, what goes out, does come in.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Inspired SEVEN member and tapestry weaver on the loose!

July/August is coming up at an incredible speed. Well, speed is relative, but the days do keep disappearing and very soon it is not longer March but April. This means that I have to turn up the heat under myself in the effort of making my ideas for our EXCHANGE exhibit come to life sooner than three days before I have to board the plane and head for Copenhagen.
Today I picked up the glauber salts and the dyes which I had ordered at Gaspereau Valley Fibres, a much visited local yarn and fibre place.

It is not as if I had no dyes already, but it is important to always replenish your stash before you start another big production.
I had spun three ply skeins with different fibres represented in each skein. The original hue or colour of each yarn chosen for the ply was decided upon intentionally for its effect on the final dye result.

The skeins of yarn soaked in the tub  while I was out doing errands and thus when I returned home just before lunch it was nice and easy to put on the big dye-pots and all I had to do was wait for the water to get to a boil

When the two post started steaming I added dyes mixed to my liking and dumped the skeins into the bubbling liquid. I use two large pots at a time since once I am in it, it seems it just cannot go swiftly enough for me.

The next step includes lots of patient stirring and waiting for the water in the dye pots to go clear = for all the dye to be absorbed in the fibres. This can take quite a while so the trick is to have something on the go in your head or a good radio show in your ear.

Sometimes I pour the skeins into 11 liter icecream containers for their cooling period, that way I can get back to dyeing the next lot. It is interesting to watch the un-dyed wetted fibres up close to the newly dyed and vibrant skeins.

 I had  dyed some very small samples of yarn last week in order to see if I was headed down the right path with the dyes and the yarns. I checked it out by weaving and trying out techniques on my small tapestry copper frame  and this is what the sample looks like at this moment in time.

And as a little 'pre-view' to the larger not yet finished tapestry,  this is the initial idea put down with water colours to get a clearer vision of where I really wanted to go with the EXCHANGE exhibit in Denmark at Basal Elin Kunst in Copenhagen, and VærkstedsGalleriet, Kerteminde, my view of walls and surfaces which I have observed and felt inspired by here in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Cheers, Pia
Wonderous Woolerie

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SEVEN - our profile photo

 Thought I would share with you an image of all of the artists involved in the collective SEVEN. When you read through our posts, you can now put a face to our names... :)

*Middle: Pia Skaarer-Nielsen
*Marilyn Rand (far left, top row)
*Deborah Nicholson (middle, top row)
*Pam Frail (far right, top row)
*Angela Melanson (far right, bottom row)
*Marie Jardine (middle, bottom row)
*Kelly Marie Redcliffe (far left, bottom row)

Thanks for taking the time to read through and comment on our posts - we appreciate your feedback and interest.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Journey of the Everyday...

Hello...my name is Angela Melanson and I am one of the members of the art collective, SEVEN. I am lucky to have grown up in this beautiful part of the world and am very grateful to share my artistic adventures with six other fabulous and creative members of this group. Here's a little bit about me and my work:

Most of my recent work is inspired by my daily jaunts through the magical Acadian Forest which surrounds my home on a mountain top in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. My daily journey with my dog Meeya provides me with much inspiration based on the scents, sounds and my own imagination (which tends to run wild in the midst of Mother Natures' creation). Perhaps it's the song of the forest birds, the tracks left by various animals in the snow, lady slippers and ferns working their way towards the light in late spring - all of which finds its' way in various forms throughout my body of work. I am in love with the simplicity of the everyday and hope to share this with you through my visual stories.

Acrylic, pastel & pencil on wood panel
5' x 4'
c 2009

Friday, March 12, 2010

International Transplant

Hi, I am Pia, the transplanted Dane in the group who has had the immense fortune of landing in this beautiful spot on earth, Nova Scotia, Canada. I am a textile artist, a weaver of shawls and scarves, and a tapestry weaver from the inner core of my being.

Barn wall, inspiration for Tapestry #1
I have lived here since July 1989 and have enjoyed each day, every day, all day. Watched my kids grow up and fly away from our comfy nest on strong Canadian wings with a feather or two of their Danish genes shining through.
So many opportunities have shown themselves and one of the biggest ones I would say is when life took a turn of its own and I suddenly found myself with this group of fun, interesting and inspiring women. We are all full of passion about what we do. I think we dream it at night, and float away on thoughts about projects in the middle of the day. Our creativity is pervasive in our every breath and........ it is lovely, exhausting and very inspiring.
I grew up in Copenhagen, Østerbro to be more precise, and it is lovely that our first exhibit in Denmark will take place in Trepkasgade at Galleri Basal Elin, just a few blocks away from where some of my siblings still live and bring up their families. Big City surroundings, lots of buses, cars, bicycles, and bicycle paths, trains galore to get from A to B or just strong legs, used to getting from here to there at a brisk walk.

Living here in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia is something I would never trade - I cannot easily see myself anywhere else now. It has to be added though that when Seven decided to travel with me to Denmark and we were given the opportunity to exhibit our artwork, not only in one or two places, but a third place turned up - well, then I did get rather and extra excited about the whole plan.
National pride is something funny, you never know when it will turn up and how it will express itself. As it is for me right now, I have so may interesting places I would like to take my group to when we arrive in Copenhagen - Cannot wait to take them all to the top of Rundetaarn, so they can look at the city roofs, new and old, a place which I usually go to when I do go back for visits. Art museums - Statens Museum for Kunst, where I remember doing an essay about a most humongous painting when I was 17 and getting a good grade for it. I spent hours in front of that painting - do not know if it is still there, but ...... I know the museum was renovated some years ago and so there will be so much more and other pieces of art for us to look at and to get inspired by.
My approach to "Exchange" is to study and get inspired by the surfaces, textures and colours on buildings surrounding me where I live, and when I go to Copenhagen I will study the surfaces surrounding me where I grew up - back then I may not exactly have noticed them.

This is a steaming pot of newly dyed yarn for the first project which is off the loom already.

Piece #1 came of last Sunday, it still needs to be finished up for hanging, but it is off the loom and the warp has been re-tied and tightened so when the yarn has been dyed I can sit down and start to weave this next expression of joy which is galloping around in my brain.
Today I will start organizing wool and yarn for the next tapestry piece which I will bring to Denmark. 
Until next time I have an overflow of words spilling out of my fingers,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let's Do The Time Warp...

Because our blog is new and our artist collective is 3 years old, it seems appropriate to take jump into our time machine and visit some of our past creations.  In no particular order...

a bit of sculpture from Pam Frail...

... silk fusion with encaustic from Marilyn...

...acorns from Pia...
...Marie's copperwork...

...a painting by Angela...

... Deborah's digital serigraph...

and, last, but certainly not least some of Kelly's poetry...

Staying Awake
by Kelly Marie Redcliffe

i . sleep

Awake? No, please, begin with sleep
a crow on murkied ice tugged out with tide. Bye

bye to time its hazards
no questions no accomodations
a herd of cloud-animals
galloping off to moon.

Quiet, the wingflap's darkling
I recognize as love.

ii wakesleeping

Waking is emergence, a yellow scope
poking from Calla Lily spathe.

Peek-a-boo I see you
squash-blossom horns delivering

pitch-perfect hellos
crayon streaks for sunshine

Now up
how to stay awake?

Gooped corners needing
excavation folding socks dirtied in a day.

Manners a white cane prattling pavement
safe across minutes.

Action a game of checkmarks
ta-dah! Cha-ching.

Washing machine is musac slish-sloshing upstairs
down. A sigh wants an excuse

a deep breath wants time
a trapped truth hates pretending

white lies white noise clutter
an aggressive unspoken wanting

forging forward
people aside


Don't walk away from it.
If you do you'll pay for it.

Shame an upturned tree
roots groping moss dangling.

Midday hoot of an owl
clear cylindrical.

Even ants build highways a pencil mark
through sand to get where they are going.

iii. waking up

If you want to change
you can! Vigilence

splayed under brush
chin stiffed into hand-heals pshaw

truthsayers and mimics here yea
hear yea stop waving exclamations at me

(please). Do not tease with aphorisms crowd
fear with sensations a throng of Cedar Waxwings

gorge fruit half-eaten spluttering to ground
red planets sweet squished

not an ounce of beauty wasted: eyes meet
in shared caring know that I love

doing as I said I would. Want

Squash palms may ponder growth meanwhile
collect sunshine.

I lay on lawn on hand-stitched quilt from a friend's ex-partner's mother
sky-story writing shadows the universe on my back.

Being awake is what I do when

Skip routines try
a tidied entrance

soup made creamy with béchamel
spoon clunked in empty bowl. Satisfaction

yet incomplete weed-root
half in hand.

Learn flight
from reocurring dreams.

iv. awake again and again

It's so quiet I hear thirst lies
carelessly scrawled on chalkboard

sponged clean. A sunflower's root
drawing dew.

I am one who has not yet fallen
in love with herself believes it possible.

Squiggles of half-formed words
piled up falling asleep elongate into

stories lived in moonlit day. Sadness
turns orange is harvested. A last

yellow leaf twitches teardroplets plunk
in pond a harmonica note shudders
still a kiss is soft pucker blow
dandelion seed-darts are bubbles

encoded with hope

Hi , Let me introduce myself

I'm Pam , a member of this collective. I like to crochet...alot... with whatever can be made into a loop. I've used precious metals and beach ropes to fulfill this desire to put things together with a sense of beauty. I am not limited to crochet though. I like to recycle too. And paint ...recycled things.
For 'Exchange' I'll be continuing with a theme I've been working with for the past year using pennies and pots and thoughts. Here are a couple pieces that I can now call studies for the works in progress.
I'd love to hear from any other mad crocheters out there!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Spring is in the air in our beautiful valley. Looking forward to our Seven slumber party at Marilyn's next week.  Lately, our monthly meetings have been all business, business, business - building up towards our trip to Copenhagen.  (It's mind-boggling how many decisions and tasks there are!) 

We all agree that we need more fun, more creativity, more cheer and perhaps some wine or chocolate martinis and popcorn.  Natchos and salza would be nice, and those yummy chocolate coated peanuts, and oooo humus and crackers!  Oh, and gummy bears, jelly beans are good too...  cake!  Got to have cake, oh and cookies!

- Deborah

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simple Jewellery Repair with the Lakeville Woman's Institute

I have lived in Lakeville, N.S. for 27 years. It has been a wonderful place to raise a family, and grow our souls by living rurally and enjoying all the benefits that come with this life style. To meet the community  I joined the Lakeville Woman's Institute. I was a 'younger' member and was welcomed whole heartedly by an incredibly diverse and busy group. While a member I attended outings, catered dinners, ran community projects, and raised funds for our community and other women with needs around the world. It was a supportive community to learn how to do many things. Many of these things I have been able to use in our Art Collective 'Seven".
I look forward to tomorrow when I will go back to the Lakeville Community Hall and an afternoon meeting of the Lakeville Woman's Institute to share some simple jewellery repair techniques.

EXCHANGE  (noun)  giving of one thing and receiving of another in its place.

Seems to me this is how community is built and 'exchange' is happening around the world. I am optimistic!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting excited.

The Countdown has begun for me.  Just 4 more monthly Seven meetings and a few committee meetings and 6 of Seven will be off to present our work to the people of Denmark.  It sounds easy but there are a lot of logistics to work out, and artwork in progress to be completed first. With every meeting I am inspired to get
to work on completing projects.  A peek at others work helps too.  "Exchange" our theme reflects in the work each of us are doing.