Uvic Intro To Collage Class Produces Some Great Work!

As we approach the year end it is always a pleasure to take stock of students work with a  an overview and final critique of the work produced in the class. Here is the combined collage work from the most recent “Introduction to Collage Class” held at The University of Victoria’s Continuing Ed program. January 28 is the start of the next ” Going Beyond” Mixed Media Collage class.

  • Continuing Education Course Code: ASVA074
  • Price: $218.40 plus $40 materials fee payable in cash to Instructor


New Leadership for the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts

New Leadership for the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts

The MISSA Board of Directors are pleased to announce Dave Skilling was appointed Executive Director and Tony Bounsall was elected President of the Board at the October 1, 2011 meeting of the board. The current executive includes Isabel Tipton, Vice President; Ann Pennant, Treasurer and Barb Lovick, Secretary

Board members include Betty Burroughs, Deborah Czernecky, Carol Rae, Jo-Ann Richards, Karl Roessingh, Judy Scott and Robin Hopper, Founding President Emeritus.

“We are very fortunate to have ceramic artist and teacher, Meira Mathison coordinating the MISSA Ceramics Program,” states Tony Bounsall. “The program draws top level instructors and students from across North America each year.”

Now in it’s 28th year, the popular arts program conducted each summer on the Pearson College campus has grown from four courses and 53 participants in 1984 to over 34 workshops with more than 400 students each year.

MISSA is dedicated to providing specialized courses lead by an international faculty for adult professional artists, serious adult students and teachers. MISSA 2012, to be held June 1st – 8th and July 2nd – 13th, will offer a varied selection of courses including wood carving, photography, writing, book binding, print making and sculpture as well as encaustics, painting and beginning and intermediate jewelry making.

2012 Course details will be available at as of January 15th.

For further information, photos and interviews please contact:
Dave Skilling, Executive Director
250 391 2415

Qualicum Beach Workshop was a Blast!

The Qualicum Beach Altered Image Print Distressing & Image Transfer Workshop was a blast. We had 15 people producing some amazing work. All the work shown here is “In process” since these were shot part way through the class. As always participants left “pumped up” and ready to explore the creative potentials of the various techniques covered. A follow up class is set to run on the September 10-11 weekend. Don’t miss it!

How to cultivate creativity with compost

How to cultivate creativity with compost
by Stephanie Slater

There we were: seven artists and me gathered at the Denman Island Arts Centre for a two-day art workshop called Altered Images with Victoria-based photographer and artist Tony Bounsall. I tried to swallow my panic as I wondered, “What the heck am I doing here?”
What Was I Thinking?
Everyone else was an experienced artist. Two of them were professionals. One couple had enough art supplies to outfit a small store. And then there was me. Me, whose last forays with fine arts took place 40 years ago in elementary school and were completely forgettable. Me, who felt self-conscious drawing stick figures when pressed to do so in professional development workshop exercises.

Really, what was I thinking?

I was thinking that I needed to change things up for myself. I was thinking that I’m always encouraging my two sons to try new things – stretch themselves a bit – and I needed to model that behavior. I was thinking that this workshop took photographs as its starting point (and then did weird and wild things with them) so I would have a foundation that didn’t rely on my artistic abilities.

But as the workshop introductions got underway these grand thoughts quickly morphed into panic as it dawned on me what experienced and talented company I was keeping.
Introducing the Concept of Creative Compost
Tony Bounsall took the edge off my panic, however, when he introduced the notion of “creative compost”.

“You don’t expect your garden to grow without compost,” he said, “why would your artistic output be any different? Think of all your cast-offs as creative compost that serve to nurture the little seedlings of great ideas!”

That notion of creative compost was very freeing for me. “Guess I’ll be making a lot of compost this weekend,” I thought – and dug in without worrying too much about the outcome.

Guess what? Some of the pieces I initially dubbed ‘duds’ turned into my favorites. That’s because I figured they were toast, so I might as well cut loose and experiment with unlikely colours, combinations and techniques. I was proving Tony’s point that “good ideas often come from collections of mistakes, experiments and discards.”

Tony offered other guidelines I think are helpful for cultivating creativity in any field. Here’s an amended list in his words with my observations in italics:

• Do not judge! The key to creative expression and experimentation is freedom. Placing judgments on those explorations will only limit you.
• Don’t fall in love with any one idea or process. Variety is the spice of an artist’s life. I’ve heard this described in the marketing sector as “kill your babies!” A horrific analogy but one that aptly captures how enamored we can become with a notion, at risk of crowding out other creative ideas.
• Be open to the creative process. Allow yourself time to process information and come up with ideas. Tony, for example, finds creative inspiration comes most readily during his early morning showers. Others recommend a solitary walk.
• Cultivate a lifestyle of creativity. Creativity is like a muscle: you have to exercise it. Tony recommends a journal to help foster creative ideas. These can be in the form of words, drawings, clippings – anything that sparks your imagination.
• Be an explorer. Look for creative potential wherever you go. Tony finds inspiration in kitchen stores (“what artistic effect can I get from basting brushes?”). Writing coach Daphne Gray Grant even used her stroke as an inspiration for one of her writing columns!
• Be supportive of other people’s creative efforts. You never know, the person next to you could be someone like me who just needs a little encouragement to get her creative juices flowing!

My fellow workshop participants were kind and supportive. I enjoyed seeing their work. Each piece was unique and wonderful. Instead of this being overwhelming, it was inspiring.

In fact, I was so inspired I went on to take a collage course with Tony at the University of Victoria and a weekend art workshop called Fearless Strokes with Marlyn Farrell at Royal Roads University.

I will never be a Picasso or a Bounsall but the creative compost I churn out will nourish me in many fields. It’s fun, too!

So what are you doing to nurture creative compost?

Contributed by Stephanie Slater from her blog In this blog, Stephanie explores topics of interest to middle-aged women (MAW), including events in Victoria, B.C. and beyond.!/pages/Tony-Bounsalls-Altered-Image-Workshops-Classes/128670960509968