03 December 2016

From the Archives (2)

Every image has a story.  Here are some images containing stories about my life after I returned from Malaysia back to Canada.  

I got my first real artist studio!  What a fine feeling, to have "a room of my own".  Although still a shared space, this studio was a big step up from painting in the tiny galley-style kitchen of my (also shared) apartment.  First thing I did was to stretch and gesso a few canvases.

I got back into "real" life drawing - in Malaysia, officially a Muslim country, art models were clothed.  The frustration of the interrupted line when drawing may have been a factor in spurring me to get more serious in my figure drawing/painting explorations over the next few years.

One day on leaving my apartment I found a plant upside-down under its pot on the walkway.  How could I not rescue it?  After a bit of attention it began to thrive again, and I made a painting of it.  This plant lives with me still; it is commonly known as a fig tree.

26 November 2016

blind line

Life has got very busy these last few weeks, and I continue along with the blind line drawings.  They have become a sort of meditation for me, an activity for which there is no hoped-for end result and therefore no pressure.

lines circles colour blind drawings verna vogel

The drawings have morphed a bit over time, as my hand develops a memory for the shapes and lines.  Some of the coloured-in bits I can also now do without looking, an interesting development.  

sketchbook verna vogel

Where will this practice take me?  For the time being I just keep drawing and watching and waiting.

lines circles colour blind drawings verna vogel

12 November 2016

patterns and people

I started my morning with a couple of quick sketches.  First an eyes-closed drawing (the colouring-in parts are done with eyes open) and then a portrait of my husband.  

Both done with Sharpie paint markers + watercolour crayons on 130lb paper, 9x12 inches.

patterns and people verna vogel

patterns and people verna vogel

Patterns and people.  A good start to this day.

08 November 2016

From the Archives (1)

I've been going through some old image files...

I went to Capilano College in 1994-6, enrolled in the Studio Arts Foundation program there.  I recently discovered, to my dismay, that the Studio Arts program no longer exists at what is now Capilano University.

While at the College, I applied for and received an international study grant which allowed me to live in Kuala Lumpur and study Fine Arts at the Institut Seni Lukis Malaysia.  It was a grand adventure, both exhilarating and at times very difficult, as all grand adventures are.  

Among other things I made some portraits while living and studying in KL.

self-portrait in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Portraits of Thain Cooi and Chine Sui made while living n Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Portraits of Laurent and Maria, made while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

self-portraits made while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Portraits made while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

self-portrait made while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

And I continued to make portraits when I returned to Canada.

portrait made while living n Vancouver, BC
portrait made while living n Vancouver, BC

portrait made while living n Vancouver, BC
portrait made while living n Vancouver, BC 

It's interesting to look through older work, sort of nostalgic and also affirming: I've been at this art practice thing for awhile now, getting on a couple of decades.

Sometimes I feel frustrated with what seems a lack of worldly success... but then I think about all the twists and turns a life can take, and I feel fortunate to have been able to persevere with making art of one sort or another pretty much all my life.

There are many more archives and I may post some more images over the next few weeks.  It seems like a necessary sort of grounding exercise right now.

Thanks for reading :)

29 October 2016

travelling and drawing and painting

Staying entertained on an airplane is not too difficult when I have a sketchbook with me.  During each flight I decided to make drawings with my eyes closed, and I quite like how some of them turned out.  

These drawings were done in a 4x6" book of 90lb paper, using a fine-tip Sharpie marker and a gold Slicci pen:

travel drawings by verna vogel

blind drawings by verna vogel

travel drawings by verna vogel

blind drawings by verna vogel

travel drawings by verna vogel

blind drawings by verna vogel

travel drawings by verna vogel

drawing with my eyes closed by verna vogel

I also made some portraits of fellow passengers during my flights.  One must be very surreptitious in order to avoid anyone realizing they have become an artist's model and so begin to "pose".  People who are just being themselves are generally more interesting to draw than people who are trying to hold still.

my fellow passengers on WestJet flight drawings by verna vogel

travel portraits by verna vogel

my fellow passengers on WestJet flight drawings by verna vogel

travel portraits by verna vogel

Finally, a few portraits of family members and friends which I made during my stay in Ontario.  These were done in a 9x12-inch sketchbook of 130lb paper, using the Sharpie marker, oil pastels and gouache paints in quinacridone red, raw sienna, pthalocyanine green and cobalt blue:

sketchbook portrait of my brother by verna vogel made with sharpie marker and M. Graham gouache

portrait of my sister by verna vogel made with M. Graham gouache and sharpie marker

portrait drawing with gouache in sketchbook paper

portrait drawing painting with M. Graham gouache and oil pastel by verna vogel

portrait drawing painting in oil pastel and M. Graham gouache by verna vogel

portrait drawing painting with oil pastel and M. Graham brand gouache by verna vogel

Whew!  That was a lot of art-making over the course of one week.  It's always exciting to be somewhere different, and I prefer drawing over taking photographs as a method of recording my experiences.  Drawing takes more time and so contains more feeling, and in that way is a more "accurate" record for me.

Returning home, I'll be teaching a couple of classes straight away next week and working a shift at the art-supply store.  

Then, finally, I will get back into the studio to install some lighting and finish painting the ceiling.  Have I mentioned that I am in the process of moving into a *new* studio?  My studio will now be in the garage instead of in the basement of our home, which is a great improvement.  Having a work space separate from the house - even if only by a few meters - feels so wonderful.  More on that in my next posting, if all goes according to plan.


27 October 2016

Ontario Landscape #2

This one was done from near the top of Harold Town Conservation Area.  Another gorgeous spot with lots of trails and varying topography.  After making the painting, I realized I had chosen a view that is similar to what one might find in Southern Alberta... with a few more trees.

the view

the palette

the beginning

the middle

the finish

the artist

25 October 2016

Ontario landscape #1

landscape oil painting mill creek conservation area Ontario

I'm in Ontario, and I brought my painting kit!  This was made in the Miller Creek Wildlife Area, a beautiful wetland-and-woods type area full of birds and beavers and gorgeous views.

27 September 2016

"En Plein Air" upcoming exhibition

Two days ago:  Yet another landscape painting!  Autumn is here, the weather is very fine and I want to spend as much time outdoors as possible before the wintry cold arrives.

finished painting on location, trees and river in autumn

This week I do some final prep, and then on the weekend we go to hang our landscapes at the Western GM Gallery in Drumheller, AB.  It is the first time I show my landscapes here in Alberta, and quite special for my husband and I to be showing our paintings together.  We are quite excited about seeing our work up in this beautiful gallery!

landscape painting exhibition at Western GN Gallery in Drumheller, October 2016

23 September 2016

sketchbook patterns

Exploring patterns in a 9x12", 212 gsm sketchbook.

patterned collage work in a 9x12 sketchbook

The heavy paper makes a perfect base for collages.

working with paper in a sketchbook

The sketchbook has its own integrity and appeal.

paper collage by verna vogel

It becomes a collection of explorations, a unified thing between two covers.

decorative paper collage exploring patterns

An intimate thing which needs to be touched to be experienced. 

beautiful paper collage

Paper is so versatile, so welcoming.