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
“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.
After not painting for a month, I wondered this morning, while sipping my morning Nespresso, would I struggle today? Would that little devil sitting on my shoulder cause me to doubt myself?Read More
Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, forever changed my perception of what it means to be a mother. Fortunately, my own mother, was no Joan Crawford. Instead, she was a rigorous advocate of my art, and cheered on all my creative activities. She was momentarily playful and unencumbered when she participated. She loved to sit at the table with me, and while I painted she doodled and sang.
On a very tight budget, she always managed to have money for art supplies. She let me turn the kitchen table into my own studio, which she quickly cleaned up before my father got home and she even encouraged me to paint murals on the bedroom walls of our semidetached home. During my teen years, as Cancer, then Parkinson's, and finally early onset Dementia began to erode her mind and spirit, her support and encouragement faded. I didn't realize until recently how this unintended withdrawal impacted my youthful decision to not pursue art as a career. Between the ages of 15 and 30 I rarely picked up a paintbrush. I just stopped thinking about art.
When my mother passed away in 2007, I was 39 and already working in Interior Design. I had taken courses at the Toronto School of Art, and was slowly beginning my journey back to myself. Since I had lost her to Dementia a long time ago, I was surprised by how deeply her death devastated me. I was equally surprised by the flood of memories I began to slowly unpack. The memories of her singing along in the kitchen while I painted, her letting me bake a Strawberry Cake all by myself, and then how she splurged on an expensive cab ride, because I had taken too long, and we would be late for the Baking Contest, if we took the bus. I remember how proud she was, when that Strawberry Cake won a first prize ribbon and a hardcover copy of Laura Ingalls' The Little House Cookbook. I also remembered her stories about growing up in Romania, some charming, and others so sad.
When she died, I grieved for her and for myself. For the nurturing that I'd lost when I was 15 years old. However, going back to those memories at that kitchen table brought me back to my easel. To that place, once upon a time, where I had unconditional love and support. While creating art, I found that I was able to nurture myself, and eventually turn my grief into appreciation, gratitude and joy. My mother's nurturing voice never left, I just needed to listen.
Going to classes, joining artists groups, making friends with other artists resulted in another discovery. That there are so many wonderful, kind and supportive people in my life who nurture my artistic spirit. Becoming an artist, meant finally finding my tribe. There have been art teachers and mentors who gently encourage me to push myself further, friends who cheer me on, students who explore and play with me, family members who come out to every show and of course, my husband and daughters who help with the physical demands of each show. And also the art buyers. Individuals who believe in supporting local artists in their community, who believe that what artists do is important and worth recognizing. These people all nurture my spirit and motivate me to keep on going.
It's because of my mother that I left art. It's also because of her that I came back. And I sincerely thank her for both of these things. The seeds were planted and I believe, are blooming at just the right time. When Mother's Day rolls around I think of my mom, I think about how she passed on her caring ways, which I strive to share inwardly and outwardly. I also think of my dear teachers, mentors, art students, friends, family and the wonderful lovers of art I have met. Thank you for nurturing me and loving my art. For feeding and nurturing my passion. Although I am not my mother, and these wonderful people are not my mother, they have mothered me in the most important of ways. It is to them and you, that I am most grateful for this Mother's Day.