11 January 2014

the old and the new

The old and the new are coming together lately.  Taking a few months off to make small explorations and not worry about producing anything for any of my galleries has had an interesting effect on my perspective.  

Here are a few things that are happening lately.

1.  At the end of 2013, AXIS Contemporary Art Gallery closed its doors for good.  Owner Rob Mabee and I had worked together since 2008.  My paintings were featured in two solo shows, one double-artist show and quite a few group shows in the gallery over the last 5 years.  

Rob Mabee and Verna Vogel
Artists and collectors alike will miss working with Rob at AXIS
verna vogel abstract paintings
I still like these small abstract works, returned from AXIS 

2.  After a two-year haitus, I have again taken up doing portraits via Skype.  Last week I connected with a mom and daughter duo and we had a blast!

Many more images here

3.  Again after a two-year haitus, I have begun revisiting the Snapshot series.  Stitching photo-prints together with canvas both raw and pre-painted makes for some very interesting juxtapositions.

verna vogel snapshots series
New "Snapshot" series underway, mostly unfinished as of yet

4.  Another exploration then laid aside mostly incomplete about a year ago.  I would like to revisit this idea, complete the pieces I started and continue with some new manifestations.  I think of them as the "Plane" works.  Here's an example of one of the finished pieces:

plane series by verna vogel
Aerial, acrylic on stitched canvas, 54w x 49h inches

5.  In November I took a workshop with Lori Lukasewich and it got the old abstract juices flowing.  Completely, totally 100% non-representational paintings is something I have not done since art school - 17 years ago!  After Lori's workshop I made some abstract explorations with acrylics, and it was great fun.  Now I have begun to try a bit of oil painting.  I'm doing this slowly and carefully, ever mindful of air quality and cleanliness in my home studio.

abstract series by verna vogel
re-painting of unfinished oil works

6.  And lastly but not leastly: I have taken the leap!  I will be sending 7 small landscape paintings to the AyrSpace Gallery in Ontario, just as soon as the touched-up edges are dry enough to ship.  I've been doing plein air paintings for about 3 years, and have never yet shown any of them, so this is a pretty big leap for me.

verna vogel with her plein air paintings
The works that Jill from AyrSpace got to choose from

Feels like I am going into 2014 with a lot of ideas...!  I need to make sure I work on just one "main" idea at a time so that I don't get confused and stretch myself too thin.   

OK.  I have begun this year with a focus on the photo-print "Snapshots" series, which I'm thinking will occupy me for at least a couple of months.  My vision is that I will focus on the Snapshots until they are almost finished.  At some point I will need to set them aside and work on something else - perhaps further developing my stitched abstract ideas, like the"Plane", the Skin or the Paperworks - and then going back to finish the Snapshots.  I think this kind of back-and-forth gives me a more complete view of my own work, and also helps me to see how all my ideas relate to one another.

In between I will surely make more plein-air paintings, simply because I love the outdoor meditation of observing the landscape around me.

I also hope to continue making Skype portraits from time to time, because I think it is a good way to keep in touch with other artists, especially if we are not geographically near one another.

I feel I've been off on tangents for the last couple of years - ever since I switched to acrylic paint and the home studio - and now I begin to see how all these things relate to one another.  This is very good!



Jill said...

Verna...you are energy!

Looking forward to having your plein air landscapes with us at AyrSpace Gallery.

Verna Vogel said...

Hello Jill, thank you for your message - and I am looking forward to sending the landscapes! Very eager and curious as to what, if any, response they may bring.