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.  

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.