Last Saturday I participated in Lumière.

Lumière is an annual art walk event in downtown Sydney here in Cape Breton. For one night, artists display their art in unconventional spaces, like storefronts, alcoves, alleyways, and along the street, and art enthusiasts walk around to experience and contemplate the displays.

I really can’t tell you how excited I was to contribute!


I first heard about Lumière last year on the night it was happening. Hubby and I decided to go, and I fell madly in love with the event. Last year’s Lumière was on a chilly, misty, dark fall evening — definitely my kinda weather — and with the crowds and the mist, not to mention the artistic displays, the creative atmosphere was palpable.

So, I teamed up with a friend of mine, the owner of a wonderful game/comics/collectibles shop, The Local NPC (311 Charlotte), to take part in Lumière 2013!


I called my project “Windows to The Soul.” It consisted of three elements: a representation of an eye, a time-lapse video, and various tools and sketches.

For the eye, I sketched an eye shape on foamcore, painted it, and cut out the iris. I mounted the eye onto a TV so that the screen would show through the cut-out iris. In front of the TV, I displayed various tools that artists use to create their work — or at least, tools that I might use. And on the TV, I played time-lapse videos of The Storm that I recorded while I was drawing it. A print of The Storm was nearby, so viewers could see the completed artwork and compare it to the in-progress version on the screen.


But, there’s a twist: I did this twice!

The Local NPC has two display windows on either side of the door, so I made two eyes and turned the building into a face!

The Concept

The concept behind my display had many layers.

Many people are fascinated by art in progress. They love to see how art gets created, because even for artists themselves, it can seem like a mystical process. The time-lapse video shows that process.

Additionally, the video and the tools combined provide an “artist’s eye view” of the world. Viewers could peer through the foamcore eyes to see the art being created, and combined with the artist tools on display, the eyes gave the illusion of viewing the art creation process through the artist’s eyes. Especially since the foamcore eyes were modeled after my own. However, I don’t wear green eyeshadow. {:

And of course, I call my art style Soulprints, and eyes have long been described as “the windows to the soul.” In cutting out the iris of the foamcore eyes, I created “windows” through which viewers could watch the video, thereby taking that phrase to a literal level.


The tools shown with the left eye consisted of assorted pencils, erasers, and geometric tools I use to create graphite sketches of plants — flowers, weeds, and grasses mostly. Combined with a couple representatives from my beloved set of Golden Guides that I use as drawing references and hiking buddies, the viewer can see that only a few focused tools are needed to create the pencil drawings, which were also on display.


The right eye’s spread focused on ink. Dip pens, inkwells, ink pens, and drafting tools accompany various ink doodles I’ve made as a warmup or when testing out a design. A notable item is the inkwell. It was handed down through generations from a family member who lived in a time before modern ink pens were invented, when dip pens were the only way to write. The fantastic drafting tool set is also notable, but alas, it isn’t mine. Very generous friends let me borrow it for the event.*

Some other photos from Lumière night:

(The photo of the kids thrills me beyond belief.)

*Special thanks must go out to EM and JD, to SS and SC, and of course to Hubby. My project wouldn’t have happened, nor would it have been as successful, without any of you! <3

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