31 July 2015

slow and fast


The "oil drying wall" is in the part of my studio with the lowest ceiling and most uneven wall space.  A good place for slow drying.


Above, under the cool overhead studio light.
Below, warm lighting from one side.


I find it useful to have different lighting options in my studio.



While the oil layers dry I begin a new series of acrylic paintings, using some pieces of canvas given to me a few years ago.  The pieces already had some paint on them.  Sometimes I really enjoy working with someone else's cast-off things, because beginning with an aesthetic that did not originate from myself is a good creative stretch.


First I stained over the painted canvas pieces to vary the colour.  Then I applied colour washes to some larger pieces cut from one of my canvas rolls.


Lay out the smaller pieces on top of the larger, and the thing looks like a quilt!

Stitch patterns into the smaller pieces, then stitch the smaller onto the larger pieces.  Stretch them and paint the edges, and:


Those are the first two.  I'm not entirely pleased with them yet.  The edge colours are off.  The proportions of the edge colours are off.  
Whenever I work like this, it's the edges that take the most time to resolve!  *laughs*  

In contrast, the stitched part of this type of image is almost effortless for me.  Although I do take some care in choosing the thread and the small coloured bits, I don't draw anything out before stitching.  I basically just let the sewing machine do it.  


It's like automatic drawing, a technique developed by the Surrealists wherein the drawing is done without conscious self-censorship.


I'm setting up to make 24 of these little paintings, each measuring 12x12 inches.  When I need a break from them, I will turn to the oil paintings and add more layers.  It's good to have several things on the go at once.

Until next time,


18 July 2015

one week later...

The exhibition opening was wonderful, with quite a few people from various walks of life stopping by.  There were some thoughtful responses to the work, and I had a good conversation with Mike Binzer, the other featured artist.

And then - Wheeee!!! - I got back into my studio!  It seems that in the studio I think with my hands, and my hands were feeling a bit rusty after a long break from painting.

So I began at random with this old thing:

verna vogel artist

Layering some more colour & pencil drawing on top:

verna vogel artist

I am not really keen on it as an object - but as an evolving idea it holds some excitement.  

So I decided to work it out in series format.  Over this last week I've got 10 canvases prepared, a couple more stretchers to use in the project, and got the first colour layer on 3 of them.  I'm using oils for these.  Sizes range from 8x13 to 19x30 inches:

verna vogel artist

Many of the canvases are repurposed old paintings.  I removed the canvas, turned it around, stitched & re-stretched it.  I like the way they look before the gesso covers up the old titles/signatures.

verna vogel artist

verna vogel artist

Next week I'll prep canvas onto those last two stretchers and lay the first colours on them all.  Then it will be a case of working on other, acrylic, paintings while the oil layers dry.  

I have often thought painting is like music - in particular Western classical music with its many layers all travelling at different speeds so to speak, yet working together to create a unified and coherent and beautiful whole thing.  And so in my studio.  Setting up for the long, slow oil process in between the faster acrylic works should make for an interesting tempo over the next few months.

06 July 2015

exhibition: CHROMA

Next, the exhibition at Christine Klassen Gallery.

I'm feeling quite excited about the opening.  This is anxiety turned to its positive aspect.  This week I will make sure to sleep well, eat well, drink lots of water, go for walks.  Take care of a few last-minute details.  Stay focussed.

And then... oh, I am so looking forward to getting back into the studio!


exhibition: "This House Is On Fire"

A few images from the recent collective exhibition at the New Edward Gallery:

Andrew Mirth - laquered panelChris Zajko - watercolour paintings
Doug Haslam - wood tables

Mandy Stobo - "bad portraits"

Doug Williamson - oil paintings

Christy Menzies - Alberta Landscape 

Holly Timpener - performance piece residue
Dee Fontans - jewellery
Sean Mahon - oil painting

Dee Fontans - jewellery
Sean Mahon
 - oil painting
Jack Bride - watermedia painting

Chris Zajko - watercolour paintings
Eddie Nyikes - drawing
Odessa Weasel Child - drawings

Verna Vogel - 3D string art
with Dee Fontans and Dough Williamson

I really like the flow of Dee's jewellery into my string art in to Doug's painting with the chain link fence.  Here are a few more images of my string art piece:

"Rock Knot"
cotton and Jute twines, rocks, brass hooks
18 x 18 x 64 inches