Toronto Triptych – Part I


482Gosia_baitedhookhandmadeSticks in a basket beside a painting in Gosia's studio.

What better way to end a work week. I am picking up my Date Night pieces from Kelly Grace and also interviewing 3 artists for my next blog. Gosia, Kyle Stewart and Shaun Downey are all

studio-mates of Kelly Grace (who I interviewed a few weeks back).

484Little WatchmenLittle Watchmen by Gosia.

When I arrive at the studio it is REALLY noisy. Shaun is smoothing down 2 of his large canvases with an electric sander, there is music playing and I walk in unnoticed. I loudly say hello but nobody looks up – everyone is busy working. I feel like a fish out of water and I desperately scope the space for Kelly.

483TheGreatEscape_byGosiaThe Great Escape by Gosia.

Gosia sees me and motions for me to join her. She is working on one of her larger dioramas. Large is slightly misleading – Gosia's dioramas are small shadow boxes that contain the tiniest of figures. This larger piece is probably only 16 inches high. In these boxes she builds miniature worlds for her elf and fairy sculptures to live in. This particular piece is of her character called "Deer Boy" (a boy who has deer antlers) who is showing a lost and scared little girl the beauty of the forest at night. This is a glimpse of a story that she is working on in her head. Maybe one day she will have time to make it into a book. Gosia herself is terrified of the forest at night and even writing a book about the wonders of the woods does not ease these fears.

477Gosia_JarsNature filled jars in Gosia's studio space.

I look beyond her work table and see small glass jars filled with little pine cones, milk weed fluff and other woodsy items. "My boyfriend collected those for me," she explain. ...sigh... how very romantic. On the windowsill is a collection of small boxes made from what looks like drift wood. She has bought these small boxes from an artisan in preparation for the upcoming One of a Kind Christmas Show. She wants to incorporate her fairies onto these boxes and sell them at the show.

478Gosia_BaitedhookhandmadeSmall boxes waiting to be elved by Gosia.

Hanging on the wall are her paintings which are illustrative in nature. The lines are fluid, capturing the wind, the water and the spirit of nature. She graduated from Sheridan as an illustrator but found that, being a fairly shy person, cold-calling was not for her. Instead she participated in a Speakeasy Spring Show where a woman from the The One of a Kind Show saw her work and approached her. When she inquired further about the Show she was told that there were no more spots left for the new artisans (or "Rising Stars" in the parlance of the OOAK) only regular booths were left. She took the dive and that was when it all began. She has been working on her own projects ever since.

479Gosia_RedPoppyTattooSketch and final of Red Poppy Tattoo by Gosia.

When she begins a painting she sketches first but working on a sculpture is different. Sketching doesn't help with sculpting because when she works with the material it evolves and takes on a life of it's own.

480Gosia_DioramaBuildingGosia demonstrates how one of her dioramas will look when completed.

I keep looking back into the dioramas and the sculptures inside. They are so tiny and so detailed. "It's so hard," she tells me. I usually have to break my paintbrushes so that I can get them into the box to work. "The corners are the hardest". All the elements that go into these boxes are made by her, from the sticks that she whittles into tiny trees to the microscopic mushrooms and flowers. The sculptures are done with sculpey which needs to be baked in order to harden. "I just burned a whole tray of elves," she tells me as she holds up a platter of blackened bodies which have been gessoed back to white. "They are so small I have to watch them very carefully. I use the toaster oven for the small pieces and the big oven for everything else", she yells. Shaun has finally finished sanding and we are aware that we have been shouting at each other for the past 30 minutes.

485When I Ride My Bike by Gosia.WhenI Ride My Bike by Gosia.

I snap a few more pictures of tiny mushrooms and little dancing elves. Kyle is next and has been waiting patiently – painting a large, wonderfully earth coloured canvas. To be continued next week.

487GosiaHouse of The Rising Sun by Gosia