We are travelling. I brought sketchbooks & drawing/painting supplies.
03 December 2017
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's mum, by me
sharpie and copic markers in my 9x12 sketchbook
Jean's mum, by me
copic markers in my 9x12 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:
glug of olive oil
cinnamon - jut a very tiny pinch!
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
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...
... 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.
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
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.
drawing: white China marker
gouache: cobalt blue + lemon yellow + raw sienna + white
drawing: purple & yellow felt pens
gouache: quin red + cobalt blue + lemon yellow + white
black india ink
drawing: black Sharpie paint marker
Inktense pencils: various colours
gouache: cobalt blue + quin red + raw sienna + white
20 November 2017
29 October 2017
The mural is finished! It feels like a great accomplishment, and what an amazing opportunity to have been invited to create this.
and a few detail shots:
A huge "Thank You!" to the fine folks at cSPACE :)
06 October 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
28 September 2017
23 September 2017
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.
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)
"subject to change"
After a few weeks of exploring ideas and materials - and waiting for the wall to be built - the underpainting has begun.
Day 1: 5pm
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,
22 August 2017
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.
Above: stitched canvas 16x16"
Below: detail bits of three finished acrylic paintings
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.
It is summer and warm, so I do this outdoors.
Then I play with my shadow.
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.
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.
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.
And there you have the fundamental discipline of being an artist.