Tuesday, 10 April 2018

New directions

Over the Edge - oil media on wood- 12 x 12 - $400
As some of you may know already, I have been hanging out in Victoria, BC for a number of months; I'm loving' it!  BUT heaps of changes in my home life also mean juggling changes to my art business too.  I'm considering all options:)

These past few months, I've learned to work in a new shared studio space instead of my beloved home studio, but it's actually working out okay, despite a few hiccups in my routine....ie: having to clean up after myself after every session!  ha ha...ya that's not so great, but I get on with it.

Not everything about moving is great...like I'll be leaving good friends, and I'll be much further away from my darling grand-kiddies...but overall, I know it's the right thing for us now.  And after the winter this year in Ontario...ya...well need I say more?

I'm realistic in expecting it will take a while to find my niche with any galleries in BC,  but in the interim  I'm happy to continue to show some work in Ontario at these galleries:
Studio 87, Perth, ON
Kingston Frameworks, Kingston, ON
Meraqi Art Annex, Kingston, ON 
Little Pumphouse, Gananoque, ON

*newsflash*...I am currently doing in depth study delving into new ways to share my work online; stay tuned...I'll share more about that asap!  


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Again, Again, Again...!

What instinct is built into an artists DNA that compels them to paint the same subjects over and over?  I've often wondered about this.  I think, returning to the same subject matter for an artist, is a little like finding your way home.   You might go out exploring from time to time, but its always nice to get home, isn't it?  
"Home is where the heart is" after all.   Sorry for the cheesy quote, but  it does apply.  
An artist learning their chops needs adventures while they grow their visual language.  Exploring subject matter and different techniques is how one learns to feel what to keep and what to let go of.  Truth in painting is about getting in touch with the good feels, the ones that are right for you; your home base so to speak.  What you have to say works from this place of centre.

Children know this instinctively.  When they experience something they love, something that makes them laugh, love, feel joy...what is their squeal, shout, exclamation?
"Again... Again...!! "  

  I feel like I'm always returning to a place of flowers.  Even when I know it's a bit too 'girlie' and often considered "oh, so cliche"...even when I think I want to paint something 'way cooler'.   And so...I go out and explore other things;  and when I'm done, I head 'home' again.     

Monday, 1 January 2018

Ignoring the critics and doing what you love

3 works in progress, oil & coldwax on wood
Going forward into the new year brings heaps of new things for most people, and I'm certainly no exception.  I've got so much to be thankful /grateful for.  Most importantly my family... but also for my art practice. 

I love, love, love, to make art that feeds my soul.   This means tuning into what I love, exploring possibilities, embracing risk and yes...pretty much ignoring what others think.  It's not like I don't hear what others think, I do...but I prefer them in the back seat(or the trunk) while I do the driving.
2017 has been an exceptional year as I fit changes into my lifestyle that in turn effect my art. Moving, a ton of traveling, and consequently, loss of studio space and time has forced me to find new solutions to make my painting practice work for me. Basically, size and process's change according to the spaces. For example small space; smaller works, new larger shared studio space...well, we'll see now wont we? heh.
Thank you to all my clients and friends who have supported and encouraged my art over this past year and made 2017 an excellent year for me.  I'm excited to see what 2018 holds!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Loving the Tribe

There's a special connection between art makers; a connection akin to a tribe.  In the tribe, one feels a spark, a mutual understanding with the other tribe members what it is to share a creative path.  I have the best discussions with other artists.  It's also why I enjoy listening to the Savvy Painter podcasts sometimes while I paint.  
They are great while I'm working on my mini wood blocks, because I paint them responsively, not too much cerebral stuff in them.  When I need to think I cant listen to any podcasts or music (only exception is birdsong).  It feels good to know there's others out there all around the world working away on their own creative paths, going through similar ups and downs as me.  I love the tribe!  

Dec 8th I've been invited to attend the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's  December meeting.  woohoo! It's a great little public art gallery very enthusiastically supported out here in Victoria...cant wait to see what the other members will bring, it's a show & tell.  ...feel like I meet some of the tribe :)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

still painting in Victoria

Here I am in Victoria for the next few weeks; happy to find a little space in the days to do a bit of painting.   The first couple of days I was tired from traveling and fighting jetlag, but now I'm getting into the rhythm of the days here.
Yesterday I set up my paints in my mother-in-law's sun-room.  It's unheated in there but we had beautiful sunshine in the afternoon, which warmed it up enough to paint while Gma puttered in the garden trimming her hydrangea heads.

On the weekend Holly & Jeff picked me up and we wandered along Ella beach in Sooke, hunting for treasures. For Holly, that's beach glass and interesting driftwood pieces that she turns into cute Xmas crafts. For me it's inspiration for my mini wood block paintings.  I cant wait to share a table with her at a Xmas craft/art fair next Thursday; so fun to get the opportunity to hang with my girl and sell our goodies! 

Friday, 3 November 2017

fitting art-making into life

The Soul Know's - oil on wood 20x20
$600 - on view at Frameworks
Ideally I love painting in my studio with a few canvas's on the go at the same time, all in various states of flux.  The process of going from one to the other like 'a bee in a meadow' suits my flow, and encourages my voice, best.  I learn the best stuff in these moments alone, asking questions, finding my way and solving problems within each work.   BUT, this way of working only suits me when my life is ordered and has a routine, as it requires large blocks of  un-interrupted working time.

For me, art making is such an itch that needs scratching,  even when I cant be in my studio like usual, I want to make things.  I mean after all...life happens, doesn't it?  I love taking part in family activities. 
In these small time frames, while visiting or hanging out with family or friends, my art making takes on quite a different rhythm.   I switch to small projects, like the mini wood block paintings...they're are a good fix, letting me enjoy art-making and taking part in life too. 
They take concentration, but somehow, it's possible to work on them with other things going on around me.  I feel grateful to have a way to make my art fit my life.  I used to do  needlework when my kids were little, fitting it into small moments between naps or children's telly.  It's sort of the same way with the little paintings now.  I fit them into life's busier times. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Art Trip to Venice

gallery cafe booth with a view
Last week I took an art trip with my friend Trudy, to Venice. I had never been before. As a young girl, when I'd heard about Venice, my thoughts of a city with canals for streets seemed quite impossible, and so in my mind it was kind of like a fantasy to me. Perhaps this is why I was swept away by it's magic. It's a stunning city.  Venice in October is perfect for getting out and about, not too hot, but not cold either.  There are less tourists in the fall than in the spring and summer months, so that's a bonus.
shop window on a canal
What impressed me about the city more than anything else is the emphasis on art & culture.  It's everywhere!  In the architecture, the food, the music, the people(fashion) and of course the art galleries, of which we took in as much as we could.
The Venice Biennial is on and so we saw some of Britain's contribution, Damien Hirst's exhibit titled:  'Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable'...a massive effort of inventiveness, both freakish and beautiful. 
The Gallerie dell' Accademia transported us to Byzantine & medieval Venice through the renaissance and baroque periods.  Most paintings from these era's are huge canvas's or panel's or even mosaic's.  Commissioned by the wealthy or by churches to adorn palaces & places of worship, they are huge in scale.  Some are allegorical, others depict scenes from important occasions;  most tell us how life was lived in Venice during these times. (made me glad I live in this century though) If I had to choose a favorite Italian painter from the academy gallery, it would be Bellini, so much emotion in his work.
Joaquin Sorolla - Mending the Sail
Felice Casorati -The Young Maidens
We went to the modernist art gallery Ca Pesaro, to see works by Klimpt, Sorolla, Rodin, among others, and found joy in discovering some modernist Italian artist's whom we had not even known about before: Casorati & Bosioni to name a few

 In the same gallery, a whole floor features 82 portraits by David Hockney of the artist's friends, family and aquaintances; done in 3 day sittings, painted in garish acrylic, all sitting in the same chair with the same background.  
Here's a piccy of me sitting in the chair ...a mock-up of the setting for the benefit of museum visitors taking photos. ha ha.

I hope to do a body of work inspired by my time in Venice. As of yet, ideas are only percolating, we'll see where it goes.