Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 favourites

I try to stop and reflect on the year as it passes and am often amazed if I stop and sit and look at what I/we have been able to do in a year. This has been a year of great opportunity and travel for work-work but in amongst it all we found some time to make things; some of them things that I love and care about; some of them things I am proud of; some of them things that just make me smile...

I do love a list. They get me thru each day, each week, each month and guide me though the year. They are in recycled notepads, on A4 sheets of paper; in books and on pin-boards.  They give a sense of order to my chaos and remind me if its on a list it'll get done!

I also like to organise my thoughts into lists, so I have pulled together a list of my top ten favourites of the pieces I made this year.  It's a nice reminder when you feel wrecked and exhausted to look back and see the beauty in things you created.

I can't put them in an actual order of priority or preference as that's like choosing your favourite child kind of thing, so they are in alphabetical order instead.

1. Absences - a book that speaks of my great-grandfather's death in Flanders Fields...the poppies, the bloodlines, the huge hole he left behind.

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Absences
2. Cartogrpahy I - a piece about journeys, maps, hidden texts and stories. I just love the warmth, the hidden stories, and the way the pages said turn me around and put me like this - I don't want to be a book! I also love that it now lives at my best friend's house so I still get to see it!

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Cartography I
3. Commission for the nuns - 5 large pieces with beautiful words and shadow-play. The simplicity and elegance of these works appeals to me.

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Compassion commission
4. Folded Heart Book - I was thrilled to discover how to fold these books and have started to work on an alphabet...

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Folded Heart Book
5. Fragments of a journey - lots of little pieces, embossed with marks of journey-making. No one else seemed to get them; I just loved them!

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Fragments of a journey
6. Learning my Lines - old worn books, leather and metal strapping, so warm and friendly. I was overjoyed when this piece was finished and it worked.

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Learning my Lines
7. No Return - another book about Flanders Fields and journeys there with no return. It was a real case of this book led me and I just showed up and followed what it said to do next...

©2011 Fiona Dempster - No Return
8. Paper Wrestling - my first ever Edition!

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Paper Wrestling (BookArtObject Edition 2)
9. Pebble Scrabble - my studio has exploded with 'pebble scrabble' and there are pebbles everywhere. I even created and wrote a proper scrabble set of pebbles. What fun to play with it!

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Pebble Scrabble
10. Possibilities - I loved the words, I loved the book this came from and I loved playing with encaustic and watching a piece emerge.

©2011 Fiona Dempster - Possibilities
Thanks for putting up with my personal review and reflection on the year of art. I really enjoyed stopping and reflecting and smiling and remembering...


  1. All very beautiful works, thanks for sharing

  2. Thanks so much. Every piece a treat. What a great review of the year!! Some of these I'd forgotten, so it's lovely to be reminded and to take another look. Nothing better than an exhibition for breakfast.

  3. Hi Gail - thanks for stopping by - I'm looking forward to seeing what we all create in 2012...

    Thanks Annie - I love that final sentence! I imagined you sitting there with a cuppa and glancing thru the overnight-posted blogs! Have a happy day.

  4. Wow! I'm very impressed by how much you've achieved, what with all your travel. I hope 2012 is equally productive! Best wishes, Sara x

  5. fiona, this is wonderful, walking through your "studio" and hearing your thoughts on the year's work. bringing all these pieces together feels a bit like seeing old friends.

  6. Wow! This is such a treasure and inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time to post and share. Your work is outstanding, I look forward to what this next year brings you. Happy New Year and YAY! for your success in creating these beautiful pieces.

  7. This is such a great idea - kudos to you for having the grace to give yourself a well-deserved year-end pat on the back for all the beautiful works you've created in 2011! It seems most artists are either too proud or not proud enough - in any case, utterly lacking in objectivity about their own creations. You have found exactly the right balance in celebrating yourself! Here's to 2012.

  8. Fiona,
    What a nice idea to review your favorites, they are all so rich and varied!

  9. Such a gorgeous collection of gems Fiona! You've had a very satisfying year indeed. Hope 2012 brings much creativity, success, and joy.... and no injured fingers!

  10. Thanks Sara - in the end I surprised myself; which is probably why I think its worth stopping and reflecting every now and again...

    Thanks Velma - I enjoyed the moments of re-discovery as well

    hollis - thank you so very much. It has been such a crazy work-work year that it was wonderful to stop for a bit and see what had happened.

    G/TT - I am pleased that it was pitched right. This blog is a funny combo of sharing and journalling..

    Hi Jane - thank you. It was like stopping by with old friends - "oh yes I remember you"!

    Jo - thank you - fingers crossed for straight fingers too!

  11. These are absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing them - I can fully appreciate why they are your favourites. Can't even say which would be my favourite - there are several that speak to me. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful work in the new year.

  12. Fiona, I remember all of these joys from 2011. They are all very special but I'd like to pick a favourite if I may? For me, the works you produced for the nuns was just so right, so crisp yet so calming to look at. I wonder what's on your 'to do' list for 2012? Can't wait!

  13. Stregata - thank you kindly, and I'm pleased that some of them speak to you also...I think they might whisper...

    Thanks Lesley! I must admit they felt like a pretty good note to kind of 'finish' on for 2012. I heard they were warmly received as well and I like that they were beautiful gifts for people who are so giving...

  14. Fiona I'm so glad you decided to share your Top 10 Favourites. Amazing to think how much you have accomplished in between your day job which also happens to involve a lot of travelling and time spent away from home. Learning My Lines is still my favourite!

  15. What a wonderful mini-restrospective -- each piece beautiful! Thank you for sharing these images. Best wishes for a year of good health and much happiness.

  16. Thank you so much Robyn - I think this year I really did need to stop and reflect; as you say it's been a mad year on the road for us...Learning my Lines is very close to the top of my list too if I'm being totally honest.

    Thanks Gloria - what a great way of thinking of it - a mini-retrospective! I enjoyed my pondering time - glad you enjoyed the results. Best wishes for a happy and creative New Year.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.