Friday, 14 July 2017

Something that ALWAYS works...

Hugh MacLeod's art blog says the one thing that always works in art is love.  He's onto something there I think.  Love is the something that ALWAYS works. 

Memory Garden 1 - oil on canvas - 24 x 8" - $500

Sorry if you thought that translates into 'the art will always work out' 😌  
Nope... That's not what it means.  We all have to put in our time with the learning that comes from art that doesn't work.
What it means is that it's worth doing because you have a love for it.  A love for your subject, a love for a process, or a love for a concept or idea.  It's all about the experience. If the art itself doesn't work out, so what?  You had the experience and that little bit of communing with love was worthwhile.

Memory Phlox - oil on wood - 30x30 - $1200
It's easy to be inspired by other artists work, but the art will never really resonate if the artist doesn't fall a little bit in love with the making of it. 

In my art making life I've tried lots of things. A huge love for the city of Kingston in 2002, when I moved here after several years away, saw me painting a gazillion townscapes with the heartbeat of Kingston thumping away in my heart as I worked them out.  Pastoral landscapes showed up in my work, because I loved the views around my house, north of the city.  I don't think I ever lost my love of light falling on form, and rhythm. Intuitive painting, is a love of process, especially when my routine is disrupted like when we were selling and moving house.  It fully satisfied the maker in me.  Love is also the inspiration for my garden memories as I explore space and light and pattern now.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Solvent Free oil painting

I've been painting with oils for a good long time now, and love their buttery quality and the true colour that stays the same when dry as when you make the mark.  These qualities are the main two reasons I love working with oils. 
What I dont love is the toxicity! My studio doesn't get the best ventilation. (there are 2 small windows but if it's freezing out or pouring rain having them open all the time isn't ideal) After a couple of hours of oil painting I notice the air quality isn't great, and I always take a break at these times.  A slight headache/watery eyes can be symptoms too. 
'Summer at Chaffey's Locks'
oil on panel 9 x 12 - $250
I was aware of Gamblin's solvent - free gel oil painting medium and found it good for panels but not great for my practice on larger canvas's because it has a rather thick consistency.  Then I read this Muddy Colors blogpost.  Yesterday I took a trip to Ottawa to the new DeSerres art store in Bell's Corners (its where the Wallack's was on Robertson Road) and I noticed they had the Gamblin solvent-free fluid medium, so I bought some.  Also purchased some Gamblin solvent-free safflower oil for cleanup. I'm excited to give these products a whirl and see if I can incorporate them into my process, because I'd be really happy to stay with oils but get rid of the toxic solvent issue.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Art at Victoria Airport

Every time I fly in and out of Victoria BC airport I am always impressed and even blown away by the level of support to which local art is celebrated in this corner of the world.  
The AGGV (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria) is a vital public gallery in Victoria.  It houses the largest (20,000 pieces) public collection of art in BC and is a vibrant & active part of Victoria's artist community. 
The AGGV runs a thriving Art Rental & Sales Gallery and it is this program that is responsible for providing works by local Vancouver Island artists exhibiting in the beautiful airport spaces.  
Not only is the original artwork doing its thing providing joy, interest & delight to travelers;  but the exhibit mounts large vivid signs with info about the AGGV as well as how to follow up on how to go about purchasing any of the art.  That really impresses me.  No wonder the AGGV thrives as it does.  It is an integral part of the community and part of the culture of Victoria, not separated from it.  Everyday people at the airport get to mingle with art from artists who are part of the fabric of the region.  I like that.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

blossom where you are

Apple Blossom - 48 x 24 inch- oil on wood - $1500
It's May, it's May...the lusty month of May...that love'ly month when everyone goes blissfully astray...(can you hear Julie Andrews singing in the background??!) ha ha!!  I do love this month.  I've been getting my blossom on :)  The trees budding and bursting with bloom always thrill me. It's gardening season, and  I'm missing my lovely garden at my old house; but I've lots going on despite no gardening to be done here. 

a detail of oil painting 'Spring Quilt'
available through Studio 87, Perth
(formerly Gallery On Gore)
In my last post I mentioned that we are moving at the end of this month...we'll be at 803 Lotus Avenue in Kingston's east end, starting June 1st.  It will take us about a week to settle in, and then 'poof!' it will be summer!  
This year, summer is full of visits with family and a couple of weddings for us, so again this year I'm unable to commit to do any art shows over the summer at all.  I'm kind of missing that.  I'm that person who loves connecting with people who show up at the art shows I take part in.  I'm hoping I'll be able to do a few autumn art shows before the year ends.
Next weekend I'll be giving an art workshop in the little village of Bath, with the Bath Artisans group.  It should be rather fun; we're going to be painting upside down :) It's a method I often employ to help me switch off  brain chatter when I paint.  I thought it might be fun and interesting to share with other artists, especially if they've not tried it before.  The workshop is called "Turn Your Inner Critic Upside Down" and it's on Sat. May 13th.  
We'll be in Victoria for a week this month, so I feel like the month is going to fly. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

moving studio again

Waterlily Pond, oil on linen, 14x18, $450
We are moving again.  On May 29th.  This time it is just 1 block over & around the corner!  We're staying in the same neighborhood.  My studio space in the new space will be downstairs on our lower level and is a little larger space than what I have now, which should work better.  I like to paint on several paintings all at the same time, flitting from one to the other like a 'bee in a meadow'.  in my current space that's hard to do as it's a small bedroom, which doesn't allow for several big canvas's at any one time.  I'm not crazy about having a studio in a basement, but  I can easily rig up some extra lighting if needed.  My friend Sarah made her basement studio work for her for many years, so I know I can too.  However, I have pledged to not even start thinking about packing up until the 1st of May.  I'm saving April for us!

May 13th I'm giving a 1 day workshop in Bath with the Bath Artisans.  The workshop is called 'Turning Your Inner Critic Upside Down'.  It isn't a beginner workshop, it's aimed at sharing techniques of getting past hurdles in our creativity, so painters with some experience already might enjoy it.
Apparently there are 8 already signed up, so it will definately be a go, unless something unforseen comes up. 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

For reasons deeply felt

Why does any artist make art?  Most artists wonder about this from time to time through their journey of art making. I know I do.  I think the reasons evolve much like the art does.  I can start with the intention of developing an idea in a certain way, but eventually throughout the process, it is the art itself that speaks and I respond to it.  Painting is a search. It is a reveal.  For reason's only deeply felt by the artist guide the way along the path...memories, sparks of thought, joy, surprise, disappointment, anticipation, fear, celebration, doubt, all these things accompany the painter.  

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Sell on Instagram ? why not?

Waterlily Meditation
I'm fairly new to Instagram.  My daughter Holly showed me how to work it a couple of months ago, and since then, I have to say I really love it.  I enjoy being able to see and share with so many other artists and art lovers on the site.  It's a fun way to relax and connect with artists all over the world.  Although I've been posting some of my work there for the past few months, until recently I'd never thought of selling my art on Instagram.  "Really?  One can do that?  For art?  Will I put off my friends? Would my galleries care? "  These were some of the questions I had.   But then I thought about how things have changed so much in this age of technology.(whoa, have they ever, just look at politics in the age of technology!!)   And I thought, "What have I got to lose?" I couldn't really think of anything, so now, occasionally I will be posting some of my work on Instagram for sale under the hashtag: #sallychupickpaintingsforsale.  New pieces to be added from time to time.  To make it easy, someone can either comment 'sold' or direct message me privately on Instagram.  How easy is that??!!

A recent waterlily pond inspiration took me in the direction for the painting above.  It went through many transformations before it's present state;  the struggle definitely is ingrained in the work.  Beginning as more of an allover pond landscape, I felt so ho-hum about it until some bold decisions allowed intuition and process to take over which was much more satisfying to me. Something about responding to the voice in my heart.   It's 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas.
The rowboat painting is 12 x 24 inch oil on canvas, and it's currently for sale at Studio 87 gallery in Perth, ON.