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.  

Monday, 20 February 2017

Joy in making

Sometimes my creative fancy takes forms in design and construction not always in painting, but often derived from my paintings in some way, made of or including tiny original paintings, or printed from one of my original paintings onto fabric.
Creating these designs gives me as much pleasure as painting; at least for short periods of time, until I saturate my desire for them.  It provides me with a  much needed diversion, especially when I have painting 'dry spells' or I'm stymied in some way while working through my usual painting process.  It's a common complaint for many artists, and getting going again can often be baby steps in new directions; the creative muse soon returns and all is good with the world

I think of making my handmade goods as an extension of  what I like to do and who I am.  Prototypes for these ideas often die in infancy, but some survive and come into fruition.  It can take a long time to bring a handmade into production.  Beginning from the time the idea drives my creativity,  I can spend hours laboring on different ways to make it work...then a long time tweaking, to make time, cost, and construction methods suitable for producing it.  It needs to meet a certain aesthetic that works with my art, but also stands alone.
Tiny Townscape Chocolates

'Chickadee'  - cushion -SOLD
Original designs and small product lines are always the driving force behind anything I create in the handmade goods market.  

I love the unique quality of making something out of time and love. That doesn't necessarily transfer to profitability but I don't always care about that. It satisfies me to 'make things' and if I sell them, well then it's a bonus for me.  I don't have an interest in scaling up to large production; small production is what makes them special and uniquely mine.  I find this ethos is a quality that people who buy my handmade goods are looking for... something distinct and one-off.  


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

when it feels right.

Walk In The Woods
oil on panel - 12 x 16 -$450
Do you ever wish you could press "pause" and "rewind" while painting?  I do.  How to get back to those spontaneous and fresh marks full of  passion, before time allows sober second thought, reworking / tweaking until the original idea is lost somewhere in the blurred vision of your process?!  ha ha ha...  thankfully, it's only art; and what doesn't work, can teach us a lot!  I've been struggling with my paintings this month, so I like to think I'm gaining an education of sorts:)  Usually time and patience shows me the way.

This painting was completed in 3 separate sessions in oils...alla prima for the general idea.  A few weeks later when fully dry, I had a desire to paint out much of the original marks I'd done, using an abstract intuitive approach using opaque tones, which probably only took about half an hour, but it was a uniquely satisfying process, obliterating what I didn't like, and trusting my sub-conscious guide.  I put it on 'the shelf'.  I wasn't quite sure where it would go, but it felt good to let the muse take charge.  A couple more weeks passed, more time to ponder. Yesterday I took it off the shelf again..."what if?"... a few fresh marks.  "Ahh... so that's where my heart wanted to go."   I know it's out of season for posting on my blog in the winter... (after all I began it when it was autumn!) but I'm happy with this little painting.  
I think my favorite thing about working in oils is that it often forces me into a slow process which I have learned is best not to fight...somehow this slow unravelling feels right for me.


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Recent work

mixed media / oil on wood
30 x 30" - $1200

Finally got around to finding a resolution with this painting yesterday, using oil pastels and oil paint over my acrylic sketch.  The figures are my daughter Rachel and grandaughter Ella. 
Inspired by a spectacular family photo portrait taken by Matt's aunt, Lori MacDonald. 
I took the liberty of removing daddy and doggie from the picture...sorry Matt & Asha!  

What really spoke to me about mother and child, is their gesture /body language; reflecting that particular joy any parent experiences introducing their child to the power and awesomeness of nature.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

July in January

'Backyard, July'  - oil on canvas 48x24 in
My garden in July feels like the right subject to be painting in January... bringing my thoughts from winter doldrums to sunnier days.   I like mixing luscious tints; smearing them over top of thin washes with palette knife.  Kind of like icing a cake... the process luscious and decadent... the physicality of the oils somehow seductive.  Sometimes the drag of the canvas is a bit of a deterrent to how the paint glides.