08 January 2020

Small adjustments

Well, hello there!
It's time to make another blog post.


Yesterday I installed my Fragile Planets at the OAG.



Today I got back into my studio.  I'd been working on some small oil colour studies, applying the paint quite thickly.  Last week I tried translating some of that onto a larger canvas, with less than stellar results.

steel sky woman mobile painting oil on canvas
Not quite right, is it.
Let it sit awhile, while I prep and install the Fragile Planets...

steel sky woman mobile painting oil on canvassteel sky woman mobile painting oil on canvas
... Today I added a bit of pattern, some of it very subtle.  I find it interesting to create subtle effects with bright colour.  This is not always possible, so I feel happy when it works.

steel sky woman mobile painting oil on canvas
Better orientation, don't you think?  This painting may be finished.
(oil on canvas, 23x25")

steel sky woman studio abstract painting oil
A more accurate photo for colour, with less glaring light.
I really need to wash those brushes...


A yellow painting made last month.  After many weeks of teaching, I flew into the studio and released my pent-up anxiety.  This painting was made in one fell swoop, and it may be finished!  Just like that!  *laughs*

Acrylic on canvas, 40x40"


Another one from last month, still in progress.
Acrylic on canvas, approx. 30x52"


And look, there are our names on the marquee.
That gives a nice feeling.


Thank you for reading.  Hope your new year's off to a good start too.
:-)

06 October 2019

Deadfall

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

Yesterday JP and I went out into the country.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

We found a good spot near the river, and JP set out his painting gear and got to work depicting the landscape from the inside out ... that's how I view his process, because he himself so much a part of this place.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

After exploring the area a bit, I decided to re-organize some branches which were lying on the ground under a big tree.


First I made a circle around the base of the tree.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

Then I saw that animals like to gather here and, not wanting to create encumbrances for them or myself, I moved my work off to the side.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

I began with the largest branches ...

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta


deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river albertadeadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

... which became progressively smaller as I worked toward the centre.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

About two hours later, the deadfall circle was finished.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

A satisfying job!

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

Stepping back, I see that there is a nice relaxed sort of communication among the tree and its re-organized deadfall.  If the circle had been around the base of the tree as originally conceived, I think the whole thing may have looked overly contrived.

deadfall, land art, verna vogel, sheep river alberta

Response to, rather than control of the elements, that's the key for me.

03 October 2019

white world, black book

Last weekend we got a big dump of snow: 24cm at our house, and more in some other places.  "Oh, too soon!" everyone said.

verna vogel sketchbook, abstract drawing, oil sticks on black paper

*laughs*  Me, I love snow, and we went for a long walk by the river, where poplar leaves shone in brilliant golds and rich ochres in an otherwise muted landscape.  The river was steaming in the cold air, and distant hills appeared to be floating in the mist.  Such beauty, and how lucky am I to have been out walking in it, and with my favourite person too!

verna vogel sketchbook, #sketchbookverna , black paper, abstract drawing

Due to the weather, my shift at the store was very slow, so I perused the sketchbook shelves and noticed a new book of black paper.  Well, comparatively dark grey really.

verna vogel sketchbook, abstract drawings, black paper

150g weight, for "Colour Pencil, Gel Pens, Metallic Markers"

verna vogel sketchbook, abstract drawings, black paper

My friends, be not limited by the printed word!

Often, words are only suggestions.  In the drawings above, I used oil sticks, gel pens, China markers, pencil crayons, children's wax crayons, oil paint markers and acrylic paint.  See?

A book of black paper, begun in the midst of a snowstorm.  I like that.

17 September 2019

Workshop at the LAC

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

Earlier this month I facilitated a workshop at the Leighton Art Centre:

ink and twig workshop, leighton art centre

The workshop was meant to take place during the run of "just turn your head a little" exhibition, but due to snowy March weather it was delayed. 

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

This turned out for the best, since September is actually a perfect time of year to gather twigs and plant stems to draw with.

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

We began in the classroom, but soon moved out onto the large deck.

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

How lovely to work outdoors in the warm September sunshine!

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

I brought in various types of papers in big sheets and pads (because why work small when you're exploring materials, right?):

crystal clear wet-media Duralar
a roll of "mystery plastic" upon which the wet ink beaded for some cool effects
translucent Vellum paper
140lb watercolour paper
100lb bright white Bristol paper
80lb Mayfair drawing paper
a large yellow-toned Manilla drawing paper pad
We also used the protective tissue sheets that come with the Duralar.

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

Mark-making possibilities are limited only by the vast array of natural drawing materials available outdoors, coupled with one's imagination!

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

Drawing, stamping, dilution of ink, wet and dry paper, oil crayon rubbings and resists... and a spray bottle comes in handy too.

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

It was terrific fun to work with a group of adults and kids together.

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

I was impressed with the levels of openness to exploration, creative risk, and imaginative play of everyone who attended.


Below, one of my demo pieces, photographed next day in my studio:

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

I was able to make a few portraits of the kids as well.

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

Clockwise from top: 
ink + twig on vellum
ink + twig on wetted bristol
ink + twig on duralar
ink + crayon and tape resist on watercolour paper.

Below, the duralar drawing laid on top of the other drawings:

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

ink and twig drawing workshop, leighton art centre

Kinda cool, hey  :)











19 July 2019

sketchbook : integuments

exploring the possibilities of oil stick blender
with various drawing media

integuments

oil paint marker and China marker (similar to litho crayon)

integuments

graphite pencil

integuments

the book begins to develop character

10 July 2019

"Mobile" sketches

Yesterday was all-day, all-in studio.

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

I was planning to stretch a canvas
and try drawing with oil sticks on it

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

but I felt too lazy to do all that prep work
and I've been feeling ambiguous about canvas lately anyway

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

So I cleaned up the studio a bit, and found a pad of bond paper
very lightweight, translucent, and acid-free

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

and drew on that instead with the oil sticks
plus a bit of oil medium with brushes & a rag to smudge

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

and: kapow!

I have used these very materials in my portrait books with excellent results (of the materials if not the image at times, haha). However, this bond paper is somewhat different from the various sketchbooks' papers, so just to be on the safe side I will wait a few weeks to see if the oil medium bleeds and/or stains, before going forward with this particular process.  Testing, always testing.

Regardless of the long-term outcome of this particular little body of work, I must say it was a fantastic studio day, very energized and leaving me feeling full of possibility.  Really, I just love drawing, in whatever form.


Now today is errands: tending to the ever-burgeoning garden, mowing the lawn, dealing with a bit of laundry, hitting up the library for more books and picking up groceries on the way home.  Maybe I'll even make dinner!


Ambitious, huh?

:)