Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slay the Children (paintings, that is)

At last the panels are finished that I started at Rebecca Crowell's workshop. In addition to developing the original panels, several additional smaller panels were worked on once I returned home, and now everything is drying. The next step is to experiment in putting the panels together. Unlike Rebecca's deep cradles, mine are only 1" deep, and they have a slight curve on the inside where they join the panel. This makes bolting tricky, so I'm looking at other ideas, or how I can adapt. It's all about being flexible, right? A trip to my nearby building centre for some advice may help. I keep saying to myself, "Don't be afraid to slay the children", but at this point, it's a little nerve-wracking. I will post photos when done.

These are the last of the photos from the workshop. How I wish I had taken more; I guess I needed an extra pair of hands.

In this photo, Rebecca is applying solvent to a panel and carefully wiping back layers of paint.

Here, she has just drawn an image with a paint stick, ( a new material for me, and they are so interesting to work with), and she will further embed and manipulate the marks into her image.
I am fascinated with the intuitiveness of the oil/cold wax methods that Rebecca uses, without ever sacrificing the intellectual side of the process.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Artists from Rochester Area

Still working on finishing some mixed media collage works on old 78 vinyl records for an exhibit at APW Gallery in NYC - myself and about 400 other artists. The idea is to hang 2000 vinyl records in their gallery. I've seen photos of a previous show, but it would be quite a sight to see in person. Hope to get mine finished and sent out on time.

Back to the Oil/Wax Workshop in Rochester:

This is Jim M. creating beautiful floating layers on his panels.

Wendy M. combines human figures and animal forms in her fantastical, whimsical figurative and landscape work.

Kathryn produces subtle spring-like paintings that reflect her experience with encaustic.

And Rebecca's demos had all of us with our noses close to the surface, looking into the depths of her work.

Inspiring people - inspiring art.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More From Rochester Workshop

Progress is being made on the pieces that were begun at Rebecca Crowell's Oil/Wax workshop. Lots of ideas floating through my head, and several panels have been added. Hope to have them completed and photographed by the weekend.

Here are photos of some of the techniques that Rebecca demonstrated. Just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. She came well-prepared with many materials and boundless ideas, coupled with a strong ability to articulate her processes and her philosophical ideas of abstract art. I appreciated her teaching techniques, and her engaging human qualities as well. An excellent instructor, Rebecca inspired us to aim high. Even though we may not have achieved those goals immediately, we have the tools and inspiration to continue to grow and develop.

In this photo, Rebecca is applying pigment from a paint stick onto her brayer.

She carefully rolls the design onto her painting.

By applying solvent to a dried painting, she demonstrates how to carefully scrape back pigment to reveal layers of colour below.

These are a few of the techniques that Rebecca shared with us.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What a Weekend.

I always feel fortunate when I've experience something extra-special. This past weekend ranks very high on my list of memorable events in my life, and I will often reflect on the abstract painting workshop with Rebecca Crowell at Rochester Art Supply/Cascade Art Centre in Rochester, NY.

People make the difference in one's life, and the folks I met in Rochester this past weekend were all remarkable. Thank you to all. There was such a spirit of giving, sharing, connecting and positive feedback throughout the weekend, that I believe we all went our separate ways a little reluctantly, albeit anxious to return to our studios to see how our work will change. And change it will, I'm sure.

More photos and text in future posts; there's lots to share. The photo above is Rebecca Crowell, our workshop facilitator, and Jim Mott, one of the participating artists: we deserved a great meal and art-talk time after a hard day's work on Sat. at the Cascade Art Centre.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Incentive to Work on Sculpture

The United Way celebrated their 50th year Gala a while ago, and Belleville Arts Association members were asked to donate 50 pieces of artwork for their fundraising draw. It was quite a night, and although I was not able to attend (at another art show in Napanee), reports indicate that everyone had a great time, and significant funds were raised through the draw. My submission was a smoke-fired sculpture, the first this year. I really need to get more sculpture work done, as I am constantly asked for this kind of art. Hopefully the flooding in our basement studio will be cleared up this week and we can get back to our clay work. My partner in clay-crime is chomping at the bit, and sweeping out water, so we're almost ready to get back to production. Needless to say, our studio conditions for the pottery are, shall we say, primitive. Onward and upward...Spring is here.

The sculpture, "Sanctuary", is comprised of 2 figures that sit on a piece of granite that I got from my friend Steve Smith who is a sculptor for Campbell Monuments. He was kind enough to take me through their "rubble" yard and I scrounged a few good hunks.

I smoked the figures in my small bin, as there were only 2 parts - and the weather was still cold outside so I wasn't into digging the snow out of the meter and a half deep pit. Brr. I'm getting to be a real wimp.

Computer-wise, I've be fooling around with document size, etc. to see if I can get photos to load faster. We live rurally, and are on dialup, still. No end of technical frustration sometimes. I can see that I need to work on my computer skills. I have some computer workshops coming up in the near future, so I'm looking forward to some real improvement in my knowledge of things technical.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Long Time Away

Happy to have returned to blogging after a long absence. Life happens.
Working on a variety of projects: a sculpture piece for donation to the United Way 50th Gala in Belleville last week, and new work to get ready for exhibiting at Expressions '09, the BAA Gallery and Gallery 121. In addition, we've booked many art shows for the season within 200 km or so of home. It's been very busy, and will only get busier. That's good.

Next weekend I will be lucky enough to be attending an oil/wax workshop in Rochester, NY, led by Rebecca Crowell . It will mean getting back to oils, something I've been interested in doing for a while. The focus will be abstract work. So there's lots to prepare, and the topping up of oil supplies; then I'm off next Friday.

Had a fun time working on some 5" X 7" mixed media collages themed to Earth Hour in March, and the upcoming Earth Day in April.