12 February 2019

turn, turn, turn

colourful paintings in my studio verna vogel steel sky woman

I've been able to spend a lot of time painting in the last month.
Several projects on the go, with deadlines coming up soon...

Art Calgary upcoming exhibition at CPL - painting based on Mawson Plan design

work in progress: based on the Mawson plan

Art Calgary upcoming exhibition at CPL - painting based on Mawson Plan design

for exhibition with Art Calgary
at Calgary's new Central Public Library

Art Calgary upcoming exhibition at CPL - painting based on Mawson Plan design

another exploration of Mawson plan

Inglewood Art Supplies, Kama oil sticks, Arches oil paper

work in progress: Kama oil sticks on Arches oil paper

Inglewood Art Supplies, Kama oil sticks on canvas

work in progress: Kama oil sticks on stretched canvas
under and on top of oil paint layers
_________________________________

And now my studio is turned over to "intallation mode"

Artist Frances Vettergreen and I are collaborating
for upcoming exhibition at the Leighton Art Center

Leighton Art Center upcoming exhibition, installation artwork

preliminary explorations: ink drawings on paper

The thing with creating installation artworks, for me, is to allow the work to respond to the space.  I don't want to just impose my thing, you know?  The Leighton Art Centre is located in the foothills of Alberta.  Rolling landscape with copses of poplar trees and more densely wooded areas, and also open vistas and wetlands.  Thus, my plan for this exhibition is to create tree-feeling things and river-feeling things.  

I also want to use materials found in those areas, such as twigs dipped in ink to make drawings, as above.  Which by the way will NOT be displayed on the walls.  Curious?  Come out and see!  (or wait for the blog post with photos of finished installation)  :)

I will find ways to also incorporate my circles throughout the work, because circular imagery is so important to me, and relates very much to the landscape in balance.

inspired by nature - and longer daylight hours

walking above the river near my home in the evening
daylight hours increasing rapidly

And later this week I'll be doing some workshops 

Life feels very busy and very fun right now.


23 January 2019

and so a new year begins

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

It's been a long time, hasn't it.  Well, apart from the previous post which I put together in November, but only just posted a few minutes ago.  

Our sole computer kaputzed in mid-December.  Rather than hastily buy a new one we decided to get the old one fixed, and then we had to wait for a part, because it's hard to source parts for older computers.  Our wonderful tech person eventually found the necessary part and was able to fix our computer for a fraction of the cost of a new machine.  How lucky is that?  Very grateful we are.

Overall we were without a computer for about 3 weeks.  No screen, relying on our creative minds to keep occupied sans the go-to of the interwebs... it was bliss!!  But really only because it was during xmas, with the pace of life (and work) slowed down.  Now we are very happy to have everything back up and running, and I am finally making another blog post.  (However also thinking that taking a week offline here and there might be a good practice to develop.)

So...  a few studio shots, shall we?

Culling old work.  New work begins.

culling older work.  New work begins.

First thing this year I pulled everything off my painting rack, all those half-finished paintings, some of which have languished there many moons.  Time to put the poor old things out of their misery, yes?  And I did.

destroying old paintings.  Signature on the back.

Because I am that kind of nostalgic, I photographed the backs of some before destroying them.  Believe me, this drawing on the back is far more interesting than what was happening on the front.

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

New canvases on the old stretcher frames: grounds built, drawings begun.
Excitement!
That was January 2nd.

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

This week, a few finished, perhaps...

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

finished for now. :)


Future Exhibition:

In March/April 2019, my friend Frances Vettergreen and I will show our work together at the Leighton Art Centre.  I'll be making another string drawing installation, with a few further elements to be developed.  More excitement!

Tension : No Tension  Verna Vogel at Artpoint Gallery and Studios Society, exhibition 2017/2018
Tension : No Tension at Artpoint Upstairs Gallery, 2018
I have proposed a 5-hour workshop day in conjunction with the exhibition.  It is to be an exploration of sensory perceptions together with some fun art-making processes.  I've never done a full-day workshop before and am very eager to try it, hoping enough people sign up that it can run.

Leighton Art Centre Verna Vogel workshop just turn your head a little

I will be making a newsletter about this exhibition/workshop and other things, in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

And thank you, as always, for reading my blog.  :)

The balance of November:

November 2018 I was engaged with quite a lot of teaching.
Here are a few of the projects...

verna vogel art class


3D Abstract Art
Grade 5

In a nutshell, one way to create abstract artwork: 
Begin with a simple shape, then respond to that shape, trying various angles and approaches to add (or remove!) the next bit.  Repeat, until you have something you like.  Your body's innate sense of balance will help you to know when it's right.

For this project, we made a unifying factor: each student's work had to have some sort of face somewhere on it.

verna vogel art class
Day 1: use cardboard to build forms

verna vogel art class
Day 2: apply papier-mache

verna vogel art class
Day 3: paint

verna vogel art class exhibition
Day 4: create exhibition

verna vogel art class
Hanging and lighting the pieces transformed them!

verna vogel art class
Our art gallery space was about 18x18 feet, contained on two sides with heavy black stage curtains, and a shadow screen at the front.

verna vogel art class
The white back wall was left exposed, to reflect the coloured lighting we used.



The class came up with a fun title for their exhibition



verna vogel art class

and they wrote about their work

verna vogel art class

it seems some students really got the "think through your hands" idea  :)


Collage + Drawing
Grade 2

verna vogel art class

I taught this several times with various parameters

verna vogel art class

here, to create mostly-2D images


with a focus on prairie imagery


 Crankie Project
Grade 4

Here, collage + drawing to create a scrolling image for a crankie box.  Before taking on this project I did not know what a crankie was.  But then I learned, and built two crankies out of two old dresser drawers, a few pieces of dowelling and a bit of simple hardware.


Here is the larger crankie box in action, with the not-quite-finished image scroll.

A few kinks to work out, as you can see from that awkward bit in the middle.  Turned out the collage was very thick and bulky in that spot, but I was able to pare it back some, and in the end the crankie functioned quite smoothly.

The full image scroll was 15" x 12 yards.


The Bottle Project
Grade 4

...of which I have no images except this one:
2L pop bottles being washed in my tub the day before the class.

verna vogel art class

This was an interesting project, to create art with detritus that goes well beyond the "pile of garbage as installation artwork" one still sometimes sees in galleries.  
I encouraged the students to really explore the aesthetic possibilities of cutting the bottles, drawing on them and inside them, filling them with various things, gluing them together, creating hanging chains of bottles, etc.

Another aim of this project was to address the reality of street bottle pickers who use this same detritus to earn income, to acknowledge that they are human beings who perform a vital function in their work.

The students' work was eventually installed outdoors as a temporary public art piece.

I also taught several Grade 3 printmaking and mask-making classes in November.  It's a pity I did not take photos, because I got the students to push these projects beyond what I usually do with them, and of course they surpassed their own (and my) expectations in doing so.  Sometimes I get so involved in the class that I forget about taking pictures!  C'est la vie, next time I will remember.  :)
...................

I've been enjoying being back to work in my studio this month, and will write more about it in my next post here.

Thank you as always for reading!




04 November 2018

staying sane

One way to stay sane

acrylic and mixed-media paintings on paper in my 5x7 sketchbook titled ARCHAEA

when I can't get into my studio

acrylic and mixed-media paintings on paper in my 5x7 sketchbook titled ARCHAEA

is to work in a sketchbook

acrylic and mixed-media paintings on paper in my 5x7 sketchbook titled ARCHAEA

at the kitchen table

acrylic and mixed-media paintings on paper in my 5x7 sketchbook titled ARCHAEA

this book measures 5x7"

acrylic and mixed-media paintings on paper in my 5x7 sketchbook titled ARCHAEA

50 pages, almost filled

21 October 2018

working like mad

I have been working like mad in my studio these last few weeks.

working like mad, mixed-media paintings, blue and gold, oil on panel, artist studio

A spate of teaching looms ahead, which will monopolize my focus for the next three weeks.

working like mad, mixed-media paintings, blue and gold and violet, oil on panel, artist studio

  Being a person of slow shifts, I have never quite got the hang of teaching one day, painting the next, then back to teaching, etc.

working like mad, mixed-media paintings, sea green, oil on panel, artist studio

It'll be great fun to work with the kids again, and afterwards I will return to my studio with a renewed energy.

working like mad, mixed-media paintings, blue and gold, red and silver, violet, oil on panel, artist studio

Until next time, dear Reader  :)

13 October 2018

piece-a-crap kind of day

Tried a new-to-me technique today on an old piece-a-crap oil painting.

trying a different painting technique

Mix a black...
... well it's supposed to be black but I'm out of ultramarine blue so I used prussian blue instead and it went quite green, but OK no problem.

trying a different painting technique

Old ugly painting gets obliterated, ahhhh...  *grin*

trying a different painting technique

Rub most of it off with a rag (this was the new-to-me part).

trying a different painting technique

Draw through residue a little bit with finger in same rag.
Those loose shapes over the precise geometry, hmmm. 
Kinda liking that.

painting circles collage

End of day, glued some stuff to an old piece-a-crap acrylic painting.


It was a very satisfying piece-a-crap kind of day in the studio.

trying a new painting technique in the studio

:)

06 October 2018

Bits and pieces from the studio

Bits and pieces from the studio these last few weeks...

Re-organization and clean-up:

re-organization and clean up - taking it all apart
taking it all apart

re-organization and clean up - putting it back together
putting it all back together

re-organization and clean up - tossing some of it out
tossing some of it out


Framing considerations:

framing consideration - more difficult than painting
this is more difficult than painting!

framing consideration - sometimes it works out all right
but sometimes it works out all right


Trucking along with colour layers on small oil paintings:

trucking along with colour layers oil paintings

trucking along with colour layers oil paintings

trucking along with colour layers oil paintings
none finished yet, but they begin to show promise


Trucking along with colour layers on larger oil paintings:

trucking along with colour layers larger oil paintings
not sure about the (very similar) colours

morning studio in natural light
morning studio in natural light


And in the life:

downtown building with little coloured square windows reflecting
downtown, before the epic snowfall

epic snowfall
front stoop, after the epic snowfall