16 April 2014


verna vogel steel sky woman

I have been enjoying the switch away from "multiples" to finishing these older works.
Delving into unknown territory makes for a wonderful but sort of exhausting journey.  It feels good to refuel with a more familiar aesthetic for awhile.

The yellow one has got to here:

verna vogel steel sky woman

And I've just collaged in a few more bits that need to be weighted down while they set:

verna vogel steel sky woman

Jars of preserves can be just the handiest things to have around!

13 April 2014


I need to clear some space, get some distance.

About a year ago I began a series titled "plane" and then, halfway into it, put most of them away to wait.  Today I pulled a few out and felt excited about them again.  Here's one:

verna vogel steel sky woman
verna vogel steel sky woman

Here are a couple more that need some work:

And here are a couple of finished pieces from the series:

verna vogel steel sky woman
56w x 49h inches

verna vogel steel sky woman
34w x 31h inches

When a series of work goes "pfoof" halfway through, and I cannot work up the energy or excitement to continue with it, then I lay the pieces aside for a few weeks, months, sometimes a year or two.  When some time has passed I will bring them out and find my energy to continue is renewed.  

Not a very efficient way of working is it, but that's OK - efficiency isn't everything and in the end I always manage to finish what I start, even if it takes a couple of years.

Maybe I pulled the "Plane" pieces out because I need a break now from the multiples.  
Here's the most recent multiple piece finished:

verna vogel steel sky woman

The texts
are insistent:
it takes two points
to make a distance.

The cubit,
for instance,
is nothing
till you use it.

Then it is rigid
and bracelike;
it has actual strength.

Something metal
runs through
every length -

the very armature
of love, perhaps.

Only distance
lets distance collapse.

- Kay Ryan

It seems I need a bit of distance now.  Finishing some of the "plane" works will accomplish two immediate things: emotional distance from the multiples, and a feeling of accomplishment that I'm finishing some older works.  

Also one longer-term effect I hope to gain is seeing the multiples more in context with my other work and not so much separate, which is how I have been perceiving them.

04 April 2014

black and white

White multiple series recently finished, working title: A Memory Of Flight.  
Here they are in my studio:

verna vogel - a memory of flight

Those stretchers in the photo above are meant for a black multiple series begun this week.  There will be 9 blacks in total.  Here are the first two in progress:

verna vogel - two points

verna vogel - two points

It's proving to be an interesting process to me, working on these multiple series.  I'm going very intuitively, not thinking much beyond simple aesthetics as they come together.  After they are made, stepping back to look and think, I find they invariably remind me of something...  a kind of hazy memory feeling.  I like this aspect of the work.

My parents are immigrants and from earliest childhood we moved from place to place, and what with one thing and another the continuity of memory was not much developed in me.  Now, working in this intuitive way - which is a bit unnerving (not being able to explain in a world that demands explanations, art gallery world included) - working in this really intuitive way seems to be opening up some kind of connective channels.  I am becoming a follower of threads!  haha

House Of Leaves

House Of Leaves
acrylic on 12 stitched canvases
10x10 inches each piece

The title of this piece originates in John Steinbeck's book "East of Eden"  In the latter part of the book, Caleb and Abra meet to talk under a weeping willow tree, and their hideaway is referred to as a "house of leaves".  This phrase gave me a wonderful image of a place apart from the pressures of the world, a restful place where nature soothes the soul.

When I made this work I was feeling very restless and anxious.  I believe that a lot of my artwork comes about through an attempt to balance myself, to "fill in" the bits that are missing, so to speak.  So this work is very calm and inviting, with softly scintillating colour in subtle hues.  When it was finished, I realized I had built my own house of leaves.