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?

:)

07 July 2019

Progressions

Hello again!

First off, I'd like to share a few exhibitions and other events which I'm feeling excited about, in my most recent newsletter.  

And now on to some of my studio explorations.

At the encouragement of a friend, a couple of months ago I was playing around with watercolours, perhaps my least favourite painting medium.  *laughs*

abstract paintings watercolour 7x10"
First attempt: rather heavy-handed, 
although the silver bits are alluring.

abstract paintings watercolour 7x10"
Second attempt: getting better perhaps.  With gold bits!
Perhaps in a previous life I was a magpie...

abstract paintings watercolour 7x10"
Third attempt: actually managing a bit of transparency.
No metallic bits, though  :=(

I used w/c tube paints, and also w/c crayons and Inktense pencils.  Although I enjoyed exploring the materials, I've not picked up the watercolours since these attempts.  Perhaps in future I'll give them another go.

Last month I went on a field trip to the Weaselhead Flats with 42 third-grade students, 3 teachers and 5 adult chaperones.  It was a wonderful field trip, and I completely forgot to take any photos of the charcoal drawings we did after our nature hike!  The kids - and adults too - seemed to really enjoy the various charcoal techniques I showed them.


"Who knew you could do all that with the lowly black stick?"
*laughs*  oh the delightful eye-openings.
My own sketches were made from this tree,
on the hillside above the river near our house.

Wildwood School Grade 3 with Karen Beck, at weaselhead flats in calgary
The kids and having fun with shadows at Weaselhead Flats.

Back in the studio, I'd been itching for a bit of oil painting, so I pulled out some small paintings made long ago on MDF panels cut to various sizes, no two alike.

Very small oil paintings, first colour layers on top of old paintings.
First colour layers over the old paintings.

Very small oil paintings, first colour layers on top of old paintings.
Laid them in a drawer to dry out of the way

Very small oil paintings, first colour layers on top of old paintings.
Subsequent colour layers.
Maybe finished, maybe not.

Fragile Planets - extra pieces of plates and prints, trying out some framing ideas

Remember the Fragile Planets work I made a couple of years ago?  There were some extra plates & prints, and I've been thinking whether they might be worth framing.  Here, playing around with random materials... not sure I like this aesthetic though.  Candace Larsen at CKG may have some better ideas.

So, there you have some of the "other work" I get into, besides the stuff that makes it to the galleries & exhibitions.  What fun, eh?  

I love being an artist, and am so grateful that I'm able to spend my time this way.

Thanks as always for reading my blog posts!

19 June 2019

Three trees




three trees charcoal on paperthree trees charcoal on paper
Today, with happy anticipation,
I am leaving for Moose Jaw, SK.
Going to visit a few artist friends.


Last week, using charcoal,
I made three drawings of
one tree along the river.

three trees charcoal on paper

in the blue book: 110lb paper, 6x9"
I like this last one the best :)



13 June 2019

Exhibition: CHROMA at CKG

Christine Klassen Gallery CHROMA 2019 exhibition

A few of my newest paintings will be included in this exhibition.
Click here for more info.


Christine Klassen Gallery CHROMA 2019 exhibition

I'm feeling quite excited about my practice these days.  Feels like I've broken through some barriers, and the work is really beginning to flow.  It's so important to be persistent, even when it takes years to develop an idea.  Being able to teach children's art classes buys me the time I need to be patient with my studio practice.  I'm feeling grateful for the turns my life has taken.

Christine Klassen Gallery CHROMA 2019 exhibition

Speaking of teaching, today I go with two Grade 3 classes to the Weaselhead Conservations Area, where we will go on a guided nature hike, and then do some sketching before heading back to the school.  I've got a couple of fun charcoal techniques up my sleeve :)

Looking forward!

05 June 2019

Work in progress (1)

Working on this large painting yesterday and today:

verna vogel studio, Mobile No. 14, acrylic painting colourful original artwork
drawn out and a bit of colour added

The process has got to feeling almost the same as working in my sketchbooks... a similar immediacy, although, of course, taking a bit longer to paint a large canvas than a wee page in a book.

verna vogel studio, Mobile No. 14, acrylic painting colourful original artwork
background colour: everything left on my palette plus white

I worked until late last night, and was straight away this morning back at it.  My appreciation and love for my job is at a high point lately.

verna vogel studio, Mobile No. 14, acrylic painting colourful original artwork
with a bit of darker patterning

This painting measures 31.5 x 62 inches, and I'm still composing them with my eyes closed.  Amazingly, this has not gotten boring yet.  At least, not for me ;-)

verna vogel studio, Mobile No. 14, acrylic painting colourful original artwork
and then a bit more colour added

I'd say this is likely quite close to being finished.  It needs to sit awhile before the final bits.  Therefore I've just begun another, and had lunch while making this blog post, and now off I go back to the studio.

Bon voyage!


19 May 2019

Now, later, and again

Life has been feeling very busy but that is no excuse to not make blog posts!  I've been blogging for something like 12 years, and I have realized that I don't want this to peter out just yet.  Maybe not ever.  So here we go again...  :)


Happening now:

I've made a series of art cards using images from the "Archaea" book.
Been thinking of doing this for years, and hooray I finally did it!  *laughs*

Archaea art cards by verna vogel at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, AB Archaea art cards by verna vogel at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, AB

They are now available at Bluerock Gallery.

Archaea art cards by verna vogel at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, AB
Displayed in a vertical column.  I like that.


Happening soon:

May 31 - June 2, 2019
Their biggest yearly fundraiser, which I am happy to participate in especially after my terrific experience of installing "just turn your head a little" in their main gallery in March.

Some of my paintings on 22x30 Arches w/c paper will be available:

Subterranean - paintings on Arches watercolour paper 22x30" verna vogelMeninx - paintings on Arches watercolour paper 22x30" verna vogelWhat They Saw Next - paintings on Arches watercolour paper 22x30" verna vogel
Subterranean - Meninx - What They Saw Next Is True

Autotroph - paintings on Arches watercolour paper 22x30" verna vogelInteguments - paintings on Arches watercolour paper 22x30" verna vogel
Autotroph - Integuments


And some of my (very small) "Seeds" paintings too:

Seeds - small paintings on masonite panel by verna vogelSeeds - small paintings on masonite panel by verna vogel

Seeds - small paintings on masonite panel by verna vogelSeeds - small paintings on masonite panel by verna vogel
These are on masonite panel, and will fit in your hand.

I will be in attendance on June 1-2, demonstrating some of my art-making processes.  Please drop by and say hello!

Have I mentioned how wonderful the The Leighton Art Centre is?  They are an education centre and make all their programs available to kids from all walks of life.  Some of the kids who access the LAC programs are inner-city poor and have rarely, if ever, spent a day out in the country.  While I was installing my work in March, a few school groups came through on tours, and I had such fun interacting with them.  

I cannot say enough good things about the LAC, and I hope lots and lots of people come buy to enjoy nature, music, and food, and purchase artworks!


Happening a bit later:

My artwork included in a book!
"Vistas of the West: Poems and Visuals of Nature"
published by Lorene Shyba.


This book will go on tour!

Confirmed exhibitions and readings:

Exhibition of art at Framed on Fifth in Calgary for the full month of August.
Readings at Sheep River Library, Turner Valley, September 8.
Readings at Audreys Books, Edmonton, September 14.
Readings at Whyte Museum, Banff, October 17.

A tour of art galleries, libraries, books stores and museums - what fun!
With more readings and viewings pending.


Until next time, dear Reader.

29 March 2019

Exhibition: just turn your head a little

Below are a few photos of the exhibition just turn your head a little, created by Frances Vettergreen and I at the Leighton Art Centre.

Our exhibition will be up until Saturday April 13, 2019. 
While pictures and blog posts are lovely, they really do not compare to an in-person experience of any type of art.  If you have never yet been to there, this would be a great reason to go and visit the truly wonderful Leighton Art Centre!

Frances' paintings are a remembered record of her experiences.  My installation works are created in response to the place in which they are made.  

Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "
Sky Land
String drawings with hanging branches
Dimensions 26" and 16" in diameter, approx 60" height
Reflecting the sky and rolling land around the Leighton Art Centre, these drawings also pay homage to the playful nature of some of Barbara Leighton's own artworks.


Roots
Strings and tree roots collected after the 2013 flood
16 x 32" each side
Strings: to work with the window frame, and to mirror shapes in Frances' painting.  
Roots: because the basement of the LAC is a world unto itself, and knowing the roots is integral to  knowing any person, place or thing.

Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "
with Frances' painting "A Garden To Feed Her Family"

Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "
front: One suspended transparent drawing
back: Tea-dyed office paper with root and branch, 50" in diameter x 120" height
Tea-dyed office paper, because Barbara Leighton liked to offer her guests tea, and because the LAC remains operable through the efforts of the admin staff.


Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "
front: Two suspended transparent drawings
back: String drawing with stones, 59" in diameter
The string drawing is on the wall.  The stones are suspended 18" in front.  Both circles are exactly the same diameter, despite appearances to the contrary. 

This work relates to the calm and elegant feeling of the LAC.  Situated in nature, surrounded by extended vistas, the scale of human endeavours can be perceived in an alternate proportion relative to the environs.


Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "
right: String drawing with stones, 59" diameter
left: Suspended transparent drawings, 24 x 90" each
Drawings: sinuous like trees, to bring the outside in.
Transparent: to see through, as in a winter forest.
Suspended: on sensitive swivel hooks, so that they move in the tiniest ambient air currents, as trees do.  These drawings are always in motion.

Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "
front: Suspended transparent drawings
back: Frances' badlands paintings, which are also like drawings.
The part of the tree that we see above ground is the same size as the part we cannot see: the roots below ground.  In these suspended drawings, both parts are transparent.

It occurs to me that the transparent drawings can also be viewed as water rivulets...

Really, I hope they can be seen in many ways by many people.  I do love when people  see all sorts of things in my work.  Sometimes what someone sees gives me a kind of "ahhhhhhh...." feeling, sometimes it is very surprising to me.  

That is a big part of the fun of making art: we all do our own very individual thing, and at its best our work relates universally to other people, all of whom see their own very individual things in it.  I just love that.


Leighton Art Centre exhibition " just turn your head a little "

p.s.  I should mention that I'll be teaching an all-day art-making workshop at the LAC Education Centre on Saturday April 6th.  I believe there are still some spots available if you'd like to join us.


Until next time,
Verna