13 December 2017

03 December 2017

soup and portraits

In a day or two I will post some photos of my recent exhibition opening; today it's soup and portraits.  This is the "no tension" part :)

Yesterday I spent some time with Jean Pederson and her mum.  We made roasted vegetable soup, had a lovely visit and also made a few quick portraits. 

jean pederson artist mom portrait copic markers
Jean's mum, by me
sharpie and copic markers in my 9x12 sketchbook

jean pederson mother portrait copic markers sketchbook
Jean's mum, by me
copic markers in my 9x12 sketchbook

jean pederson portrait of verna vogel copic markers sketchbook
me, by Jean
copic markers in my 9x12 sketchbook

I don't think I've ever used copic sketch markers for a portrait, but found I really like them!  I also really like Jean's portrait of me.


Roasted veggie soup:

3 carrots
3 yams
1 onion
glug of olive oil
1T cumin
1T coriander
cinnamon - jut a very tiny pinch!
butter
honey
salt & pepper

Chop carrots, yams & onion. 
Put into flat baking dish - lasagna dish or cookie sheet works well
Glug of olive oil, mix with hands
Add cumin & coriander & cinnamon
Cover with tin foil - make sure edges are closed to keep moisture in
Bake at 350 for 1 hour or longer

(if you get into the studio and lose track of time, no problem.  If the foil cover is fairly well sealed, the veggies can go for up to 3 hours, maybe longer, and still be fine)

Remove roasted veggies from oven and run them through a blender, adding water to make soup of the consistency you like.  
You will probably need to blend in batches.
Pour blended soup into large pot and heat through again.
Just before serving, add butter, honey, salt & pepper to taste.

We used carrots & yams, but you can basically roast any veggies and puree into soup.  It's very easy, and makes a delicious soup!  
Also - great way to use those veggies that are languishing in the fridge.


Soup and portraits: an excellent combination to feed body & soul!




26 November 2017

Tension : No Tension.... the lead-up

I find it's a little nerve-wracking, you know, to have an exhibition for which there is no clearly defined plan.  It's a case of going into the space and seeing what I can make in a week... 

tension : no tension exhibition of string drawings by verna vogel artpoint gallery calgary

... a week during which I'll also be teaching an art class, working a shift at the store, meeting with the printer about a new catalogue for the next G9 exhibition.  

How I wish I could have the whole week uninterrupted!  No classes, no meetings, no customers!  Visions of getting into a meditative contemplative relaxed place from which to create this installation, this murkily perfect form in my head; to create something magnificent.

But, no.  There is always life which never stands still.  And perhaps that's a good thing... compressed moments of contemplative imagination are more precious and so more keenly appreciated, and this gives the art - and the life - its power.


tension : no tension exhibition of string drawing by verna vogel at artpoint gallery calgary alberta canada


As they say: " Join the club."  It's a pretty good club, all things considered.

Thanks for reading, and wish me luck!

24 November 2017

Greenbook: continuing adventures

I am coming to really love working in sketchbooks.  Perhaps some of this work will lead to more paintings and perhaps not; it doesn't matter.  The sketchbook becomes a thing in itself.  

greenbook pages 6-7 circles, painting, drawing, colourful, blue yellow ochre
drawing: white China marker
gouache: cobalt blue + lemon yellow + raw sienna + white

greenbook pages 8-9 circles, painting, drawing, sketchbook, yellow red blue black depth
drawing: purple & yellow felt pens
gouache: quin red + cobalt blue + lemon yellow + white
black india ink

greenbook pages 12-13 circles painting drawing purple violet yellow ochre brown sketchbook
drawing: black Sharpie paint marker
Inktense pencils: various colours
gouache: cobalt blue + quin red + raw sienna + white

20 November 2017

greenbook 2-5

A green clothbound 5x5 sketchbook, purchased some months ago.

green sketchbook marker and gouache drawing on paper 5x5 inches red and green and in between

Finally opened yesterday and colour explorations begun.

green sketchbook 5x5 marker and gouache on paper blue red yellow and all they contain

What fun!

29 October 2017

Mural, part 4: finished!

The mural is finished!  It feels like a great accomplishment, and what an amazing opportunity to have been invited to create this.  

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel
beginning

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel
finish

and a few detail shots:

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel

cSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna VogelcSPACE urban-themed mural in the sandbox, by Verna Vogel

A huge "Thank You!" to the fine folks at cSPACE :)

Now I am back into my studio and enjoying very much the quiet focus of solitary work.

06 October 2017

Mural 3: in betweens

One evening while we were working on the mural, there was a talk/discussion on public art in the room above us.  We went to it, and I made a few quick drawings of people while listening.

verna vogel wall mural/installation at cSPACE King Edward, Calgary AB

verna vogel wall mural/installation at cSPACE King Edward, Calgary AB

Doing quick portrait drawings always makes me feel calm and good.  It's a way of turning down the brain, meditative and focussed.

Another evening, I was feeling physically low-energy so did not work much on the mural.  Instead, I went home early and made a few small abstract sketches.  The sketches brought back into focus my current studio work, quite different from the mural's aesthetic.

verna vogel drawing painting mixed-media on paper in sketchbook abstract augury

verna vogel drawing painting mixed-media on paper in sketchbook abstract augury

verna vogel drawing and painting on paper in sketchbook abstract augury

It was a energy nice re-set, and then I could continue with the mural in a good frame of mind.  Yesterday we added more bits & pieces, and taped off part of the wall which will be painted a dark grey colour, so the painters would know what to do with that wall.

verna vogel wall mural/installation at cSPACE King Edward, Calgary AB

verna vogel wall mural/installation at cSPACE King Edward, Calgary AB

We are in the very final stages of the mural now.  I look forward to its completion within a few days... if all goes according to plan. (x) Once it is complete, I will probably miss working on it!  *laughs*  So it goes.

Thanks as always for reading.

V

28 September 2017

mural 2

Yesterday we performed structural and cosmetic surgery on the mural.

vernavogel mural at cSPACE King Edward day 4

Holes were drilled, metal parts inserted, things bound together.

vernavogel mural at cSPACE King Edward day 5

Silhouettes were reshaped.

....


23 September 2017

mural 1

I have been commissioned to create a wall mural/installation at cSPACE King Edward.  There was a catch: they wanted an urban-themed work...

I have made very few urban paintings over the last few years, essentially because I got bored with "producing" them.  I wanted to explore more process-based approaches to making art, and that's what I've been doing.  So one of my conditions for accepting the commission was that I would do only very basic planning, allowing the process to inform the final aesthetic.

And to their credit they are fine with "subject to change" being the prevailing catchphrase.  What luck!  Of all the places in this city to create a permanent artwork, cSPACE may be tops.

vernavogel mural cSPACE, working with slavaged materials in the yard
playing around with materials in the yard

Even better: I get to work with my husband on this one.  He's mostly a landscape painter now, but he has quite a lot of building experience and he loves historical buildings.  Since we will be creatively incorporating some materials salvaged from the original building, he is an ideal partner for this project. (and for many, many reasons an ideal partner in life)

vernavogel cSPACE King Edward mural working with ideas
"subject to change"

After a few weeks of exploring ideas and materials - and waiting for the wall to be built - the underpainting has begun.

vernavogel day 1 mural painting just beginning at cSPACE King Edward
Day 1: 5pm

vernavogel mural painting end of day 1  cSPACE King Edward, Calgary Alberta
Day 1: 11pm

It sure felt good to finally get that wall covered in a first layer of paint!  I think it actually looks rather ugly at this point, but that may be because I haven't done urban stuff in awhile and I have more memory of "product" than "process" when it comes to the urban paintings.

I'm excited about the evolution of this thing, especially once we begin to involve some of the built elements.

Thanks as always for reading,

:)
V

22 August 2017

What they saw next was true

Fragile Planets

I have a type of very focussed multiple attention span in the studio.  Lately I've been engaged with three different but connected streams of work: Large oil paintings, small acrylic paintings, and poured-paint paintings.  All exploring circles, ellipses, arced lines and shapes.

I've begun making some paintings based on the small stitched pieces of my recent Fragile Planets installation.  Fragile Planets received a very enthusiastic response from gallery-goers, and then it sort of went underground for a bit.  Now it is resurfacing in a further incarnation.  

What they saw next was true

Above: stitched canvas 16x16"

Below: detail bits of three finished acrylic paintings

What they saw next was true

What they saw next was true

What they saw next was true

The leftover acrylic paint is not wasted!  No, it is more fun and productive to pour leftover paint onto pieces of canvas.  Sometimes the canvas is cut fresh from the roll, other times I pour the leftover paint on top of old paintings that had never made it to being stretched.

verna vogel paint pour to create ground on canvas
It is summer and warm, so I do this outdoors.
Then I play with my shadow.

verna vogel paint pour to create ground

It has been mentioned to me that the details of these poured grounds/paintings could make paintings in and of themselves.  Perhaps I will go there in future, and perhaps not.

verna vogel acrylic painting detail

verna vogel acrylic painting detail

Once in awhile, with just a few tweaks a finished painting emerges from the layers of pours.  When that happens I get excited.  Then I have to restrain myself from trying to make more of my pours into finished paintings, because this type of painting has to feel particularly effortless in order to be true.

What they saw next was true

It can be the most difficult thing in the world to do something effortlessly and well.  It is a type of freedom that requires great and concentrated focus, often flying in the face of an innate human urge to define, classify, produce calibrated results.

What they saw next was true

And there you have the fundamental discipline of being an artist.