Category Archives: Solo Show

Weighted wings

In my last post I wrote that I would show you the art piece that  led me to make my DIY image tracer.  Weighted wings is part of an ongoing series I am working on about anxiety and may be part of my show Catching smoke, coming in late summer to Harcourt House’s Art Incubator Gallery.  In working on my series All exits look the same, which is about developing and living with chronic illness, I found art to be a therapy of sorts.  Helping me process what was going on in my life and come to a place of acceptance. 

Just prior to becoming ill seven years ago, I was working on some abstract drawings about anxiety, having always lived with it to varying degrees.  Life happened and the idea was put aside.  Two years ago I decided to refocus my artist’s lens on the topic.  I also wanted to begin to incorporate text into some of my work, as words for me are a powerful impetus in creating, and important in telling the story of a piece.

Weighted wings is a piece about how the words, the noise in your head can hold you down, keep you from living the life you want to lead.  As I was figuring out the words, I wrote a lot over several months trying to get a better sense of what triggers my anxiety.  What I found was in doing this and in reading books about being present (thank you to Pema Chödrön) I began to develop strategies to quiet my mind.  Imagine writing down all your worries and anxieties and then just walking away from them.  They are immobilized on paper and you are free to leave them there.  It’s not quite as simple as that, but it’s definitely a start.  


Projection box in use

DIY Tracer Projector


Today’s post is about an image tracer projector I made.  It’s been a while since I posted!  I started working on this back in January or February, but got side tracked by many different things… events, appointments, tax prep, and finally COVID-19.  

I looked into making a tracer projector when I had an idea that required me to enlarge an image.  A projector, which can cost between $50 and $100 (or higher), was more than I wanted to spend for what could be a one-off use.  Next step was YouTube.  I honestly don’t know what we did before YouTube.  There seems to be tutorials for pretty much everything.

To make this you will need a cardboard box, duct tape, painter’s tape or masking tape, a box cutter, and a clear plastic sheet.

For the projector box I used this video from Home Made Simple:  If you plan to use your cell phone’s flashlight as your light source, you can omit cutting a hole in the bottom and just use the projection hole to position your phone.  In this version the maker uses a lamp as the light source.  I didn’t find that worked for me, maybe the lamp was too tall, so I opted to use my cell phone flashlight.  I also used a roll of duct tape to raise the phone inside the box.  For the image stencil or tracing material cut the hole to be slightly smaller than the material you are using so it will lay flat against the box, then tape it to the box along the top with some tape (I used painter’s tape, see images at bottom).  

For the holder for the cell phone, I used scraps from cutting the holes in the box and this video by In the Event with Karem:

It also shows how to make a box from scratch if you don’t have one the right size.  I used an old small appliance box.  

Once the box and holder were built, I focused on material to use for the image.  The maker in the first video used a clear plastic bag. Most of mine are well-used and I found the image to be too fuzzy.  I had some duralar, which is a clear plastic sheet.  I traced my image onto this and the quality when projected was good.  I think any unblemished, smooth, clear plastic should work (e.g. page protector).  

You can also use it to project words from stencils.  Just remember to turn the stencil over so it is backwards.  Here is the finished project, using a word stencil for demonstration:


When setting up the projector, you need to have space to move it forwards or backwards to get the image size you want.  You will also need a somewhat dark space.  Because I was projecting onto a large sheet of paper, I used my hallway and closed all the doors to minimize the light.  If you are projecting an image onto a wall, you may want to cover the window(s) with extra sheets or blankets.  I used books and old DVD cases to prop up the projector to get the right position.  

In my next post I will show you the artwork I created using the projector.  






Working on words

©Deann Stein Hasinoff In Progress 1 2019

Words are an important part of how I develop an artwork.  For my current series on anxiety, I wanted to use them in a more overt way.  The challenge was “how?”.  During a night when I was having trouble falling asleep due to some anxiety, I had a bit of a eureka moment.  A quick search and I thought I could possibly use stencils and paper.  Then to decide on the words.  I found if I tried to write down exactly what I was anxious about, the ideas would disappear.  I decided to think more in generalities.  I believe this will also result in the artwork being more universal.  


New series in progress & DIY light table

Light table

In a previous post, I mentioned I am working on a new series for a solo show at Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre‘s Art Incubator Gallery in 2020.  I would like to incorporate text into the series in some way.  So far I have spent a lot of time thinking about how this might work and I have not been satisfied with my attempts.  

Last week having trouble sleeping, as can happen when anxiety levels are high, I thought about a different method using embossing.  Some excited searching at 1:30 am made me think it could work.   Lucky for me I had some supplies at the ready, due to a brief flirtation with scrapbooking in the early 2000’s.  The next step was to find the right material to work with.  My work is digital and I have not bought art supplies in a long while, however I do still have a fairly good assortment of paper from my traditional art material days.  After some unsuccessful attempts, I went to You Tube to look up embossing (spoiler alert – the stencil goes under the paper).  Next step was to think about making stencils.  After trying to trace on paper taped to a window, I realized this was not sustainable.  My arm was aching something fierce.

Experimenting with paper


DIY Light table – dust-free, chemical-free, one stop shop

Next step, searching light tables.  These can be a bit pricey, from $60-$150 depending on what size you would like to have.  If I was going to trace things all the time, I could see making the investment, but for now I want a cheaper option.  After looking up DIY light tables I was starting to think I would need to check out some used furniture places for a glass topped end table (not my favourite activity as I find they are like a dust mite rave and I have a strong reaction). Most of the information I found in blogs involved using a router or sawing, getting a specific size of acrylic sheeting, spray painting, etc.  I wanted a dust-free, chemical-free one-stop shop kind of option.  I checked out Ikea, based on a comment made by a blogger about using an Ikea picture frame and some LED lights.  Success!  I didn’t think a picture frame would work, now that Ikea uses a thinner plastic for their glazing, but I did find another option.  

I purchased the Nesna Nightstand on sale, then sourced a white cardboard box (note: white to increase reflectivity) in the home organization section and purchased LED string lights (lights do not get hot so won’t be a fire hazard).  After assembling the nightstand, I put the lights into the box and slid the box under the table top, using the lid to raise it up for a snug fit.  Once I knew it would fit, I used a piece of paper palette left over from my painting days and taped it to the underside of the glass top with painter’s tape (you could use waxed paper or white tissue paper).  I didn’t want to make it permanent as I want to be able to repurpose the table when I don’t need it as a light table.  All in all I am pleased with the result.  It cost me about $30.  I am thinking of replacing the LED string lights with an LED camping lantern I found in the basement, as I’d like the light to be a bit stronger.  My Ikea was out of the 24 light strand, so I bought two 12 light strands, which are ok but not as bright as I’d like.  As you can see in the photo below, it will fit a pice of 9″x12″ paper.  

Light table

Light table


To make it more permanent, you could close in the sides and bottom of the table and/or use LED strip lighting, however this will increase your costs so you’ll have to decide if it still makes sense to DIY.  If you would like a larger table and you don’t mind dust, chemicals and using tools, I found this video, as well as several other options.  


All exits look the same – Artpoint Gallery 2018

I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for my show All exits look the same in the Upstairs Gallery of the ArtPoint Gallery and Studios Society in Calgary, Alberta last week. I had many interesting discussions, and was also pleased to find a community of people who have lived similar experiences to mine. It’s hard to put into words that feeling when you are among people who understand.

Art became, and continues to be, my way of processing events in my life. It can be as simple as a stick drawing or something more developed. It can be traditional pencil and paper or paints, or it can be an art-based application. The method is not as important as taking the time to make marks, or an image. Put away the critical voice in your head and just try.

Watch for my next post about art applications. If you have a smart phone or a tablet, applications are relatively inexpensive ways to be creative.


All exits look the same Edmonton 2017

“… accomplishment shouldn’t be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward.”
Harvey Mackay

My solo graduating show is now up at the Extension Gallery in Enterprise Square until October 18th.  I am grateful to those who took time out of their weekend September 30th to come to the opening reception and share their impressions with me. A few people asked what I would do next, now that I am finishing my certificate in visual arts. I plan to make more art! I have several different directions I am interested in exploring, and lots more learning to do. I can’t take typical art classes (chemicals, dust, etc.) but I will find a way to continue adding to my art education as I go. I also plan to become an expert art packer. All exits look the same will be at the Artpoint Gallery in Calgary in February 2018, and I plan to apply to other public or artist-run galleries.  Below is a selection of photos from the exhibition.

All in all, I am excited for what lies ahead and I welcome my next leap forward.

quotes:  BrainyQuote and


Solo Show: Update

I completed my final portfolio review at the end of February. The panel who reviewed my work said it was ready to show. I’m so glad we agree 🙂  It was a great feeling of accomplishment to see the works as a cohesive whole. Watch my site and Facebook page in the coming months for more information. Here is a preview of a piece that will be in the show:

Isolation I ©DeannSteinHasinoff


Solo Show Update: exploring ideas

Chemicals: 140,542                 Me: 0

Some of you know I am preparing for a solo final show for my visual arts certificate. A part of my formal plan involves exploring materials that I may be able to use in spite of my severe sensitivities. Unfortunately, my first attempt did not go so well.

I thought I might be able to create something using fabric and thread, wrapping the fabric with the thread. I chose cotton fabric, which is pretty much all I wear these days so I know I tolerate it, and bought some thread. Two tries later I knew it was a big fail – my face was bright red and my chest was tight. Likely the dye on the thread was the problem. (It’s so fine, I thought, there can’t be enough to cause a reaction. But I guess running it through your fingers for 20 minutes overrides the fine-ness.) I can consider sourcing out a different type of thread, but I did want some colour on it, so we’ll see if I get anywhere with it. I wasn’t sold on how my half finished sculpture was progressing, and I may or may not pursue it.

To console myself, I purchased two new art apps to try and I have been having fun with that. These two drawings were created using ArtRage.


Monochrome 1 2016 ©Deann Stein Hasinoff

Image at top: Monochrome 2 2016