Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” The photos are the best part!
In This Issue: We are pleased to have with us Michigan artist Lynette Dawson. We met Lynette a few years ago and she is a true gourd ambassador in every sense of the word. Down to earth, her warm personality spells instant friendship. Her award-winning art is memorable as it comes alive with thread and embellishment. Please welcome Lynette to the December pages of Gourd Fever.
Throughout the year we are honoured to meet so many talented and diverse artists. Some have only been creating gourd art for a short time while others have been at it for decades. All, regardless of their experience, are exciting and inspire us. Art is what makes our lives rich and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for sharing their art and their lives with us.
As is our tradition at this time of year we like to go back and revisit the artists that have been featured in this newsletter. This year we have caught up with Andree Piche, an artist from Quebec, Canada and Maureen Hall, who lives in Australia. Both are still into gourds and as you will see, their work is more beautiful than ever.
Christmas Santas & helpers by Andree Piche
In 1997 a friend asked Lynette Dawson if she would like some ornamental gourds. Lynette rushed over and while collecting, she tripped over a rather large gourd shaped like a swan. Her friend had no idea how it got there but she gave it to Lynette to take home. It was beautiful when set with Lynette's fall decor.
Once winter came she promptly forgot about it but in the spring, once dried, Lynette began to wonder if she could wash it and maybe paint it. It worked! Lynette believed that she had discovered a new art form and was thrilled.
That was until the summer issue of Birds and Blooms came out. On those pages were photos of decorated gourds and a listing of a number of gourd societies. What better way to learn she thought; she became a member. In 1999 she attended the Florida Gourd Show and on the home front her son built her a computer. She became active on-line meeting other gourders and exploring gourd art. What a welcome she received into the gourd world and now, twelve years later, Lynette is still excited, involved and happy.
Lynette didn't get involved with art until she was in her twenties. Her mom gifted her with some fabric paint and with 3 kids and a farm with animals and numerous pets she didn't have to look far to find a canvas. Stains were the bane of her life and the paints came in handy. As she says "I would draw and paint animals or characters over the stains to hide them. Shirts, jackets and pants...nothing was sacred or safe from my paintbrush!"
She started to do commissioned work and was recognized and registered by the Detroit Institute of Art. She travelled with their art show for about a year, which led to doing an album cover for the rock group called Atlantis and a write-up in the newspapers. Lynette was also mentioned in the Who's Who of Michigan Blue Book in the Pop Art section. When the kids started to attend school all day she had to take a step back from the Detroit Institute of Art for awhile.
When looking at Lynette's art, many pieces tell a story and in order for the story to be told, unique embellishments are used. For example about ten years ago Lynette purchased some beetle wings from a vendor. She had no clue as to when or how they would be used but she knew they would be used at some point. Now they have been pulled from the drawer and will find a place on an exquisite peacock that Lynette has been thinking about for a while now.
Lynette is involved with the Michigan Gourd Society as well as the American Gourd Society. One major project she worked on was putting together the American Gourd Society's wall hanging. One hundred and twelve artists from across the US sent in gourd tiles and it was Lynette, her daughter Mug and others that sewed them together to make an amazing wall hanging.
This wall hanging has been shown throughout the US at various gourd festivals and galleries as well as in Canada at the CGS Annual Gourd Festival. It was quite an accomplishment and demonstrated how the US gourd movement is strong and still growing.
On a more personal note Lynette says, " I was married for 43 years to Byron, a wonderful man. When he died a part of me died too - it left a hollow. But boy oh boy do I have memories!"
"I've been and am so blessed. I live back off the road secluded in and by a dense woodlot. It took us about 15 years of doing the work ourselves, along with the cash, to carve and build a home back in here."
"In the late 70's and 80's our lives were in the fast track. Byron owned and operated Dawson's Concrete and Masonary Co. I went to work at the Ford Motor Co. interior division. We also built, owned and operated a fast food ice cream store named Muggy's."
"After the kids were out of school we decided to liquidate most of our assets, buy a motor home and live and work in California for the winters. We did this for ten years traveling to so many different places. I am so glad we did this together, especially while we were still young enough to enjoy it."
Lynette it was great getting caught up. If you are ever out this way make sure to give me a call. PS Love your work as much now as when I first saw it! Greetings to Mugs.
Visiting Old Friends
Papillons by Andree Piche
As you know I am French speaking so please excuse my mistakes. I don't remember exactly when you featured me but I have been creating since then. I have explored new ways to use and create with gourds. The gourds with rabbits and the carousel are examples of these last creations.
The use of light with gourds also interest me. I created some lamps: the one with painted butterflies (we see butterflies in the day) and in the darkness we see the butterflies reflected on the wall. Magical. The same with the red one and small hearts.
Like you see my interest for animals is yet there and that is related to my work with shamanism and the power animal. Shamanism helps me to be in contact with the inner energy of living creature (everything at the end.)
My project: new lamps with landscapes and trees. Specially trees, trying to create the feeling of being in a forest with the silhouette of trees reflected on the wall. A challenge.
And for Christmas I like to paint small Santa's with his little helpers. I hope you understand all of this.
Thank you Andree, it has been a long time (Issue 24). The detail in your art are beautiful and your lamps amazing. Please send us a photo of the tree lamps once you have completed one. They sound very intriquing.
Happy Yule, Carolyn and Linda
(PS I'm sorry that the French accents aren't in place in your name but I could not figure out how to add them.)
The Square and the Circle by Maureen Hall
Greetings from Australia!
Wonderful to hear from you! Certainly I remember you...you made me feel so special when you contacted me last year and who could forget such a wonderful article.
I have been gourding and harvested a lovely crop last year; enough to keep me in stock and give me that lovely privilege of experimentation without the guilt of damaging a costly gourd. In fact only last night I had my first opening night at a local art exhibition. Mine were very different to the other artists but they did create a lot of interest. It made me feel very good considering I have no idea where my artwork fits into the greater scheme of things in the "art world."
Another interest we now have is that we have just opened our home as a Bed and Breakfast which has been very rewarding. The link is:
The Old Wesleyan Chapel"
So hopefully I will be able to sell some of my work from home as I just don't have the time to go to the markets now. Just another little adventure, you never know how things are going to turn out and where ideas are going to lead to.
Thank you once again for thinking of me. I am touched that there are people out there who are interested in what I am doing here downunder.
Regards, Maureen Hall
Maureen it was so good to hear from you. When I think of you I think of your unique art, the long trip you and your husband took looking for a place where you knew you would belong after retirement, and your garden at the Old Wesleyan Chapel.
We checked out your website and suspect that you will be quite busy with your new B & B. The history is fascinating, your B&B gorgeous, and the town charming.
Good luck to you, keep in touch, love to hear from those who live downunder!
Merry Christmas Maureen, Caroyn and Linda
Hello Carolyn and Linda,
As promised we are keeping our eyes open for gourds. This fall we took a road trip to Columbus, Ohio to attend a fall craft show and there were lots of gourd sightings. Some of what we saw was very cool indeed. Dana and Antonella
Pretty birdies in a row
Looking Ahead: January, 2012
Here we are once again at year end. 2011 has been a tough year for many around the world. A failing economy, social unrest and infrastructures that are crumbling play on our minds and in our pocketbooks.
We can all do our part in our own small way to help ease the stress. Make the 'Random Acts of Kindness' a daily event, buy a homeless person a hot coffee or spend an extra moment talking to a lonely senior in your neighbourhood. There are lots of ways to make our own little worlds and our communities a better place to be.
Looking ahead, 2012 is right around the corner and we are opening up the year on a high note with featured artist Cheryl Polk. We came across Cheryl and her art purely by accident while surfing the Net. We immediately wrote her as we loved what we saw and wanted to learn more. After our interview we are glad we did because Cheryl is as interesting as her art.
We will also have some new workshops in January and February. We are excited about this as they are workshops we have not offered before. Keep in mind that for those gourders on your list we do offer gift certificates which could be used for a New Year workshop.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and joyous holiday season. All the best in 2012.
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond
PS Comments, stories and photos can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 7, Number 81
In this issue
Lynette Dawson - Tripping Out on Gourds
The Bulletin Board - News From Northern Dipper
Visiting Old Friends
Out of the Mailbag, Gourd Sightings & Trivia
The Bulletin Board
Originals Christmas Craft Show
When: December 8 - 18, 2011
Where: Lansdowne Park, Ottawa
Northern Dipper is pulling out all the stops at this busy Ottawa Christmas Craft Show.
They, along with 150 other vendors, will fulfill your every fantasy and the fantasies of everyone on your shopping
list. There will be gourd art, glass, jewellery, clothing
and food to entice you
along with a few surprises.
Originals is a fun and festive event. We hope to see you there.
For more information click here:
"When I was looking and asking for Peace of Mind, I tripped on a gourd. It is my tranquilizer and passion. As long as I can breathe I intend to have gourds in my life."
"I love doing the embroidered work on gourds. My mom was an embroider, and as a child I would sit on the floor and ask her a million questions."
"I think it was after three
years of doing gourds that I thought about putting embroidery onto a gourd. I was trying everything and looking for my niche,
never realizing it was something I already knew."
"I never considered myself an artist, especially having not done well in art classes during my school years. I could draw but didn't like the discipline involved to accomplish what everyone else was drawing."
"I want to learn and do everything so I'll go to the library, borrow books or search on-line for information to teach me a technique. Then the practice begins (which I hate.")
Advice For New Artists
"Always wear safety protection while working with gourds. I wish I had known about the hazards of gourd dust and the molds when I first started. I
did hundreds of gourds the
first two years without protection and I shudder to think of what harm I did to myself."
"Gary Devine is my gourd idol, that man is a true artist. There are many others that I respect for their work but Gary is the best of the best in my honest opinion." (Many others would agree too)
"I am teaching myself to do more conventional and dimensional embroidery work, with the intention of combining it with weaving and coiling."
To see more of Lynette's
dolls click on her link.
This gourd mitten dryer is perfect for anyone with kids!
Visiting Old Friends
ART by ANDREE PICHE
This image; the dark clouds with 2 ravens drumming on a golden drum, was seen during a shamanic journey.
ART by MAUREEN HALL
Rainstick & Gourd Planters
Dana and Antonella's sightings at a craft show in Columbus, Ohio.
Thanks you two, we love hearing from you!
A beautiful fall door wreath.
It's A Dog's Life
Fall leaves are a real smorgasbord to a dog's nose.
Tuckered out after a vigorous game of retrieve that ball.
Did you know when we make a stew we humans will smell the predominate scent, which would most likely be spice?
A dog's nose will smell every individual ingredient in the stew. Can you just imagine!
Happy Holidays from
Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Rd 56
L0L 1L0, Canada