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

28 March 2019

Blackbook: continuing adventures

I find myself working in sketchbooks quite a lot these last couple of years.  I mean besides the portrait books which are ongoing for decades, there are now books dedicated to the exploration of abstract imagery and ideas.

Here are a few images from the Blackbook 6x8"...

Sketchbook of blind drawings, then painted in with acrylics.

Sketchbook of blind drawings, then painted in with acrylics.

Sketchbook of blind drawings, then painted in with acrylics.

Sketchbook of blind drawings, then painted in with acrylics.

Sketchbook of blind drawings, then painted in with acrylics.

First I close my eyes and draw the lines with various sorts of markers and pens, then I open my eyes and colour them in with acrylic paints, sometimes gouache.

The very repetitive process goes a long way toward developing the visual language.





01 March 2019

installation week

Exhibition: "just turn your head a little"
March 2 - April 13, 2019

verna vogel and frances vettergreen: installation and paintings
Work in progress:
my installation artworks with Frances' paintings.
Frances and I brought her paintings last weekend, and then I spent the week at the Leighton Art Centre, conceiving, creating and installing most of my work on location.

"just turn your head a little" installation in progress by Verna Vogel
In the main gallery:
my hanging drawings move with the slightest change in air currents, 
such as those made by the movement of people in the gallery.
All my pieces, by concept and by materials, relate to the LAC in some way.

The hanging drawings of trees intertwined with circles were created by dipping twigs and branches in ink, and hung from a branch at the top.  This reflects the beautifully treed environment around the house, and the cycles of nature.


just turn your head a little by Verna Vogel
First wall piece: tea-dyed paper
The circle on the far wall was created with tea-dyed office paper.  This reflects the fact that the late Barbara Leighton liked to offer her guests tea, and also the current work of administrative staff at the Art Centre.


verna vogel exhibition "just turn your head a little"
Second wall piece: strings and stones.
A circle created with strings and stones reflects the the simultaneously energized and peaceful feeling that pervades the property and house.


vernavogel and frances vettergreen "just turn your head a little"
Third wall piece, in the hallway.
A multi-circular piece reflects the undulating landscape and mountains, as well as a light sense of playfulness, which I believe would resonate with Barbara Leighton as evidenced in her own artwork.

There is a fourth wall piece which uses sections of tree roots.  No photo yet, but it is reminiscent of music, and the tree roots indicate that what lies underneath the surface is very important for understanding the history of a place.


Reflections: the hanging drawings in action.

Conceiving and creating these pieces inside the gallery has been very fulfilling for me.  It's been like a mini artist residency.

Warm thanks to the very fine folks at the LAC (including the "spirit of Barbara Leighton") for allowing me to take over the house this week!



























23 February 2019

just turn your head a little

Things are feeling a bit hectic right now, as I prepare to install my part of the exhibition at the Leighton Art Centre.  I have prepared ahead some ink drawings, and will balance them with string drawings throughout the gallery, which are unplanned and will be created on the spot.

As you can see, I have opted for tree imagery incorporated with circles.  :)

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

above: studies, approx. 12x24"

below: finished drawings, 24x40"

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

These drawings have been made with twigs dipped in ink, on various types of surfaces.  I do love the slightly uncontrolled quality of the line work with this technique.

Here is a link to my latest newsletter, with information about the exhibition and a couple of other things.

Thanks as always for your interest, dear Reader!

12 February 2019

turn, turn, turn

colourful paintings in my studio verna vogel steel sky woman

I've been able to spend a lot of time painting in the last month.
Several projects on the go, with deadlines coming up soon...

Art Calgary upcoming exhibition at CPL - painting based on Mawson Plan design

work in progress: based on the Mawson plan

Art Calgary upcoming exhibition at CPL - painting based on Mawson Plan design

for exhibition with Art Calgary
at Calgary's new Central Public Library

Art Calgary upcoming exhibition at CPL - painting based on Mawson Plan design

another exploration of Mawson plan

Inglewood Art Supplies, Kama oil sticks, Arches oil paper

work in progress: Kama oil sticks on Arches oil paper

Inglewood Art Supplies, Kama oil sticks on canvas

work in progress: Kama oil sticks on stretched canvas
under and on top of oil paint layers
_________________________________

And now my studio is turned over to "intallation mode"

Artist Frances Vettergreen and I are collaborating
for upcoming exhibition at the Leighton Art Center

Leighton Art Center upcoming exhibition, installation artwork

preliminary explorations: ink drawings on paper

The thing with creating installation artworks, for me, is to allow the work to respond to the space.  I don't want to just impose my thing, you know?  The Leighton Art Centre is located in the foothills of Alberta.  Rolling landscape with copses of poplar trees and more densely wooded areas, and also open vistas and wetlands.  Thus, my plan for this exhibition is to create tree-feeling things and river-feeling things.  

I also want to use materials found in those areas, such as twigs dipped in ink to make drawings, as above.  Which by the way will NOT be displayed on the walls.  Curious?  Come out and see!  (or wait for the blog post with photos of finished installation)  :)

I will find ways to also incorporate my circles throughout the work, because circular imagery is so important to me, and relates very much to the landscape in balance.

inspired by nature - and longer daylight hours

walking above the river near my home in the evening
daylight hours increasing rapidly

And later this week I'll be doing some workshops 

Life feels very busy and very fun right now.


23 January 2019

and so a new year begins

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

It's been a long time, hasn't it.  Well, apart from the previous post which I put together in November, but only just posted a few minutes ago.  

Our sole computer kaputzed in mid-December.  Rather than hastily buy a new one we decided to get the old one fixed, and then we had to wait for a part, because it's hard to source parts for older computers.  Our wonderful tech person eventually found the necessary part and was able to fix our computer for a fraction of the cost of a new machine.  How lucky is that?  Very grateful we are.

Overall we were without a computer for about 3 weeks.  No screen, relying on our creative minds to keep occupied sans the go-to of the interwebs... it was bliss!!  But really only because it was during xmas, with the pace of life (and work) slowed down.  Now we are very happy to have everything back up and running, and I am finally making another blog post.  (However also thinking that taking a week offline here and there might be a good practice to develop.)

So...  a few studio shots, shall we?

Culling old work.  New work begins.

culling older work.  New work begins.

First thing this year I pulled everything off my painting rack, all those half-finished paintings, some of which have languished there many moons.  Time to put the poor old things out of their misery, yes?  And I did.

destroying old paintings.  Signature on the back.

Because I am that kind of nostalgic, I photographed the backs of some before destroying them.  Believe me, this drawing on the back is far more interesting than what was happening on the front.

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

New canvases on the old stretcher frames: grounds built, drawings begun.
Excitement!
That was January 2nd.

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

This week, a few finished, perhaps...

verna vogel studio new work paintings mid-century aesthetic

finished for now. :)


Future Exhibition:

In March/April 2019, my friend Frances Vettergreen and I will show our work together at the Leighton Art Centre.  I'll be making another string drawing installation, with a few further elements to be developed.  More excitement!

Tension : No Tension  Verna Vogel at Artpoint Gallery and Studios Society, exhibition 2017/2018
Tension : No Tension at Artpoint Upstairs Gallery, 2018
I have proposed a 5-hour workshop day in conjunction with the exhibition.  It is to be an exploration of sensory perceptions together with some fun art-making processes.  I've never done a full-day workshop before and am very eager to try it, hoping enough people sign up that it can run.

Leighton Art Centre Verna Vogel workshop just turn your head a little

I will be making a newsletter about this exhibition/workshop and other things, in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

And thank you, as always, for reading my blog.  :)