27 June 2013

how high's the water, mama?

Nine feet high and rising...

trees under the force of the water
their little island is completely submerged

the Big Muddy wide and wild
churning its way towards downtown Calgary

2 days after the water crested and the rain finally stopped, I was able to make some paintings of the river higher than I'd ever seen it - though not nearly as high as it was at the flood's peak.  
I suppose these photos do not convey very much information if you don't know the river in its usual state of calm blue-green, when the trees are standing upright rather than bowing to the force of the water, the islands they grow on completely covered by the rushing torrent still running very high.
Well, there are many explicit photos and statistics of the Alberta Flood available online.  

We had our own experience of the flood, luckily only a minor inconvenience for us though we live very near to the river.  The cleaning and sorting and repair for those who were not so lucky will take awhile, and we do what we can.
Here I post only a few hours of painting as the sun emerged.

photo taken by Arno Hoogveld
riding by on his bike, stopped to talk

Here's a website journal post I made a couple of days before the flood.  Interesting choice of words wasn't it, considering what happened just two days later.

09 June 2013


Works which may go into a new gallery....  

The owner contacted me the day after I made the post about one of my galleries closing.  Interesting timing, huh.  After some consideration as to whether this new gallery would be a good fit for me, I have decided to give it a try.  The work, if accepted, will go into a show in July and remain with the gallery for 6 months, during which time we will see what happens.

06 June 2013

artists are dangerous

in the council chamber

Yesterday I spent several hours at City Hall in the Council Chamber.  My plan was to be there during CADA's presentation in the morning, and then work a1-9pm shift at my part-time job.

The CADA meeting was supposed to take place at 9am.  What happened was this:

About 300 people showed up in support of CADA, more people than the council chamber can hold.  Therefore the Speaker declared that there would be a re-ordering of the schedule: a few other small items first would be taken care of first, thus clearing some of the seats so that more of the CADA supporters could have seats later.

Those "other small items" took close to 3 hours, and I stayed through almost all of it, observing part of the process of civic decision-making.  In the end I'm glad they switched things around, because I have never sat in a Council Chamber during bylaw debates, crime prevention strategy effectiveness reports, budget amendments - and I found the whole process quite fascinating.

While listening to the discussions, I made some drawings of the Aldermen, the City Manager and the Speaker.

In between these items I phoned my place of work to ask if I could come in later than scheduled.  Lucky me, it was a slow day and that was no problem.

There was a 1/2 hour lunch break, and then the CADA came up.  People were doing lots of tweeting during the meeting, but I don't have a cell phone or a twitter account, so I just made those drawings and listened.

First, Terry Rock made, as it happened, his final speech and presentation to the Council.  He talked about why the arts are vitally important, why they need to be factored into City plans for development.  

Other audience members also presented their ideas about why the arts are important to them personally and to the fabric of our culture.  It was so good to get a renewed sense of why what I am doing is important.  I sometimes question the validity of making paintings when there are so many other, seemingly more useful, things I could be doing, and yesterday I got a little confidence boost.

I feel I am not very articulate in explaining some things, but I can say that at the end of the meeting there was a sense of accomplishment.  This City understands the importance of, and is happy to support, the arts into the future.  If you want more details of how and why and where and what, please visit CADA's website, lots of articulate information there.

I was so glad I was able to attend this meeting!  I have not really followed or been involved with CADA in the past, and in some way I'm not even sure why I decided to go to this meeting, beyond a vague feeling that I ought to.  

A great day it was!

03 June 2013


Another call for entries, this one from Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Centre.  They are looking for figurative art.  This is a new gallery/space to me, and it looks interesting.

I used to co-ordinate life drawing sessions at various studios in and around Vancouver, BC.  For 6 years I spent an average of 10 hours per week studying and portraying the human figure during those sessions. I worked on paper, usually sized around 24x32", and at the end of those 6 years I had a stack of drawings and paintings - my paperworks - that reached from the floor to well past my knees.

Some of the paperworks sold, others were traded for things like studio rental, a stereo, help with a move, and some were buried in the wall when my old studio was renovated - at the time I had a truly misguided idea that one day they would be found by demolition workers and recognized for the great works of art that they... well, maybe were, ha.  When I left Vancouver the paperworks stack had been reduced to half of what it had been, and I still have most of those drawings.  They currently live in the lower 3 drawers of my husband's printmaking paper cabinet.

I keep thinking one day I ought to take them out again, maybe try showing them somewhere or at least photograph them properly....

01 June 2013

mail art

This looks pretty cool.  I like the serendipity of trading art anonymously, so I intend to put some work into this exhibition/swap.