Colour is one of the most significant pieces of visual information we get from the world around us. As an artist, I use it intentionally, but am also seduced by it, sometimes disgusted by it, but always find myself under it's heady influence. Chances are you too have become calmer at the spa, more talkative and engaged in conversation at the dinner table or inexplicably compelled to look at images on your computer screen because of how colours are used. The reason why prison cells, the waiting room of your doctor's office or the interior of your car are not painted fire engine red, whilst stop signs and traffic lights are red, is simple. Red signifies danger and literally "stops" us in our tracks. It causes our pulse to quicken, our hearts to race, blood pressure to rise and increases our appetite. Red assertively asks us to pay attention.Read More
Sharing what's happening in the studio....
If you don't like or feel confused by abstract art then this blog post is for you! Straight from the burgeoning field of neuroscience, some compelling reasons to spend time with abstract art have emerged. It seems that abstract work may offer viewers some neurological advantages. I want to help you take advantage of these benefits.Read More
Now that all the painting is done, I'm enjoying writing far more then the million things I should be doing to get ready. I am super excited and nervous about this show. This one feels very different from my usual. First of all, there are a lot of artists in this show, over 150. Many of them are artists who I have admired and secretly worshipped from afar. Okay, maybe not that secretly or that far... To be sharing my work at the same venue as them is an incredible honour.
The other element that makes me both excited and nervous is the large amount of people traffic that typically attend this show. (I won't mention car traffic - because when I visited the show last year, on a glorious sunny day, I had no problems finding a parking spot... Just sayin'!) Getting to meet so many people is really exciting and a bit of a scary. Anyone who comes up and says hi, will have no clue (unless they are reading this) that I am anxious in these kinds of social situations. I love people and connecting with others once I am in the moment, but the days and hours before I wonder if I'll remember my own name or say something incredibly stupid. Oh wait, I made a sign with my own name, so it's just the saying something stupid part I need to worry about.
After I finish writing this, I will get to all the things on my to-do list for the next 4 days... Things like sanding and painting edges, buffing paintings, attaching hanging hardware and then packing my paintings in these envelopes...
I made some fancy painting envelopes. Some were made from insulation (bubble wrap in silver foil....) and some out of flooring underlay. The big ones needed the heavy duty insulation but I think the smaller paintings will be okay with underlay...
I may have neglected to mention that I've been creating some new works for the upcoming show. I am always influenced by the seasons, and come spring (well sorta Spring) I have begun working with brighter colours.
Also been working on a series of 12x12 square paintings.
You can see how messy my studio is these days. Household chores have become an all or nothing thing lately. Once I start cleaning I won't stop, and then I never get any painting done. So I have had to give up cleaning. : ( And I feel guilty (no joke) and uncomfortable about it. But I am realizing that when I share the mess, I don't feel quite as bad. So here I am embracing the mess and my bright green crocs. Absolutely embracing those too. I love love love this quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Buddy has also been getting the cold shoulder. Between me being so busy and the weather being so... crummy, he is getting shorter walks then he would like... He follows me around the studio, staying in my view no matter where I am until I finally take him out... Here he is photobombing me again....
I would love to see you at The Riverdale Art Walk, this is the link with more information including a site map of where to find me. Remember booth 21 11-6pm inside the community centre.... Riverdale Art Walk Event Info
I like looking up. Looking up at the sky and clouds offers an ideal escape from the suburban tangle of brick houses, wood fences, metal garage doors and rubber tires that all compete for my gaze when I cross the street. Sometimes an orange and purple sunset, with clouds highlighted in yellow, literally cause my jaw to drop. Sometimes, on a clear day the sky proudly displays well-defined fluffy clouds on a backdrop of brilliant blue. This is the kind of sky so joyful that only a child's drawing could do it justice. The only thing missing when I look up, is a haphazardly drawn smiley face on a yellow circle with rays vibrating out in all directions from a top corner of the page.
My first cloud painting was on the ceiling of my daughters' bathroom, which I painted in soon after they were born. While floating in their baths I wanted them to look up and be able to imagine clouds above. Painting clouds in my current body of work wasn't a strategic decision like the clouds on the ceiling of that bathroom. I noticed little bits of sky popping up in most of my paintings over the past couple of years. The pure enjoyment of creating cloudy textures, subtle variations in colours and working with interesting edges compelled me to do it again and again.
And so, I began spending more time looking up at the clouds and the sky for inspiration.. I spent car rides (while a passenger) looking up. I sat in the backyard while it was still winter, wrapped in blankets stolen from the couch, so I could sit on a frigid adirondack chair and just look up. One thing that struck me while I was looking up one day, was how no matter where I have been in the world, I see the sky that I see from home. It struck me how people from different continents who speak languages and live lives I will likely never know of, all share in the very same sky that I see. They see blue and clouds and on some nights see the moon and stars. I like to imagine that there are other people studying evocative clouds, discovering shapes, dreaming about the future and feeling part of something greater then myself. I imagine that we are all doing this together.
I really enjoy my teaching gigs. After working in solitude in my studio, the opportunity to get out and meet other artists who are passionate about creating art is so enjoyable. When I'm working I have to stay so focused and it sometimes even feels selfish. So helping and sharing in the classroom creates an opportunity to remain balanced. My point is, that I teach because I really enjoy it and find it personally enriching. That the art school wants to support us teachers by sponsoring a show is a wonderful gift. I've posted a few of the paintings I have on display.
On display at Prosserman JCC, in the visual art instructors art show. so are the paintings below.
I did wonder if wine would help sooth my studio anxiety. It's a common joke frustrated art students make, so I thought, maybe there is something to this. We all joke how we should have wine while we paint. However, when trying to paint heartfelt emotion, numbing the senses in that way only worked against me.Read More
“Taking Flight” is a new cold wax and oil painting from my current series inspired by nature. When beginning this piece, I had no idea, what forms and shapes would reveal themselves. Instead, I added layer after layer, creating shapes, covering shapes, excavating paint to reveal new shapes. I do this play and exploration until I look upon the work and my heart sings. When the feeling is right, I move in and make adjustments to the composition thinking and working in a more technical manner.
I love to tell stories, and I do tell a story in this painting. I do this in a lot of paintings actually. Unlike this painting, in some it is more predetermined, sometimes a thought, poem or quote is lingering in my mind and comes through in the work. With Taking Flight, I found myself having conversations with my work while it was in progress. I find that if I take the time, to sit back and really look, which sometimes means spending hours in the studio just looking, there is often something that the painting is sharing with me that emerges. The story that emerges for me in this painting is a reflection on this glorious time of year and about growth (which is sometimes very uncomfortable) and also about embracing uncertainty. But this is my story, perhaps not yours. I truly believe that the wonderful thing about spending time with art, is the opportunity it affords to discover our own stories, when we take time the time to really look.
This weekend marks the 14th annual studio tour. (October 15th and 16th) from 10-5. I will be showing with artist Karen Pasieka at 8 Whalen Court in Richmond Hill. I look forward to sharing more of my work with you then! richmondhill.ca/studiotour for detailed map and participating locations.