Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A New Work

River # 9, oil/cold wax on board, 10" X 8". This painting is a small work in the 'River' series. I've posted several 7" X 5" pieces in the series on my Etsy site:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Chance Encounter

Cliffside - Acrylic/Mixed Media

Today was my lucky day. Not just because I sold a painting, but because I met the purchaser. Let me back up. I belong to a co-op gallery and we take turns working there and greeting visitors. Almost at the last minute, I switched my day with another artist, and ended up at the gallery today, instead of tomorrow. By chance, a visitor from Toronto dropped in this morning, before my shift, saw one of my pieces, went for lunch, then returned to see the painting again, not knowing I would be there. It was meant to be, I guess, and I was very happy to meet the client who would be taking home a piece of my work. That makes the purchase extra special to me. Many thanks to a new art buyer. I hope my work cheers you every day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gustave Flaubert - A Dog's Life?

Dance Tunes #4, Oil/Cold Wax

Apparently, the French writer Gustave Flaubert said: "Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living" An artist might make a similar statement about making art. I could agree in some respects, except to say that the dogs that I know lead a very sweet life, and not at all hard to take.

However, just for the fun of it, lets expand on Flaubert's notion, and think about the downside of being an artist.

First of all, it can be a solitary, sometimes tedious business. After long stretches of time at work, there is the occasional reward of a fairly decent passage on the canvas, or a particularly expressive section in the clay sculpture. But mostly it's only the artist who recognizes these tiny accomplishments, as there is no one else around in the studio to tell you one way or the other if you're onto something (except the cat, and he's asleep).

Then there can be those long periods of unproductive agony, when you seriously consider taking up some other form of useful employment, such as computer repair. The mere thought of which sends you into spasms of apoplexy, which further freeze your creative juices, sending you staggering to the nearest newspaper to frantically search the "Help Wanted" ads.

Your spirit sinks further, as you constantly doubt that anyone would actually want to trade cash for one of your creations. For weeks you have tingled with excitement as you moved paint around the canvas, or sculpted the finest nose you have ever sculpted. But will anyone else's breath catch with amazement, or their eyes cast a riveting gaze at your work? Will anyone even stop to look?

Worst of all is the panic that sets in when you wonder if you will meet your self-imposed deadlines. Ten months ago it all seemed possible, with plenty of time to spare. Now you are down to the last few days before your solo show and you're wondering if the paint will dry in time, or if the kiln will break down just before your final firing, and Lord knows it takes two weeks for replacement parts to arrive!

And all this couldn't matter less to the rest of the world - it only matters to you. That's the reality. And that's why we are artists.

Next post: I'll take the dog's life, or why it matters to me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

To celebrate the beautiful full moon (or nearly) tonight: "Luna of the Lake", oil/cold wax, multiple wood panels, 24" X 22". We have been blessed with a spectacular autumn in Ontario!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fear of Different Media

Drawing 2 - Threads

Any fears I might have had in changing or adding to my approach to my artwork used to be dismissed as just a reluctance by me to take the time to change. I was too busy, too focussed, too whatever! I think I was perhaps too proud to admit fear. It sounded too much like defeat even before I had begun. It has been many years since I have spent time drawing, just for the joy of it. Not to mention the hope of improving skills, the visual fine tuning, and the many other goals that accompany the act of drawing. Paper and pencil: compact, convenient, lyrical in their use. What a lovely way to spend a half hour perched on a boulder in my woods on a cool, sunny autumn day. No "Fear". Just a full heart and a small smile.

Any other "Fears" e.g. subject matter, style, size, whatever - suddenly seem full of possibilities again. Are "Fears" our friends in disguise?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Big Draw, 2010

Drawing 1 (c)BarbaraChappelle

One of my "Saturday Gems" is a site that promotes drawing: Campaign for Drawing . October 1-31 is Big Draw Month, apparently around the world - something else I didn't know about! Here's a blurb from the site:

"October 2010 is Big Draw month in twenty countries and on five continents. Launched in 2000, this annual initiative has grown from 180 events in the UK to over 1500 worldwide. The Campaign aims to use drawing to connect visitors with museum and gallery collections, urban and rural spaces – and the wider community – in new and enjoyable ways.
Every Big Draw season offers unlimited scope for those who love to draw and those who think they can’t. "

What an inspiration!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Abstract Art at the Tweed Heritage Museum

Mistral #2, Oil/Cold Wax, 11X14 (c) Barbara Chappelle

A new show will open at the Tweed Heritage Museum this Sat., featuring an eclectic group of abstract artists, and I am delighted to be a part of it. I'll be showing 2 larger works : "To The Beach" and "Misty Vineyard". The Heritage Museum is on the main street of Tweed. Artists will be present at the reception from 2 until 4 pm. You are invited to drop by to view the artworks, and visit and chat with the artists while sharing some treats. Look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Getting Back to Normal?

Our studio tour is over for another year. Wonderful weather and brilliant fall colours made for a perfect weekend for art lovers to tour the Centre and South Hastings County, visiting artists in their studios. We are so appreciative of those who found a special clay piece or painting to take home with them, or to present as a gift to someone else. You know who you are, and we thank you for your continued patronage. It was a joy to share time with you, and in many cases, gardening ideas were exchanged as visitors toured around our overgrown, casual gardens. See you all again next year.

This piece is "Crowsong" mixed media on heavy watercolour paper, 16" X 12".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Studio Tour

In just under 2 weeks the 13th annual Tweed and Area Studio Tour will be here - Sat., Oct. 2 and Sun., Oct. 3. Yikes! We are working, working to get ready to welcome visitors to our studio. No market for Jim on the Sat., as we'll need to focus all our energy here. I will be making a quick visit to Gallery 121 on Sat. for the Opening Reception for the new show there (3-5 pm).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Miles To Go...

Yesterday was a fine day to work outside, so I spent a little time with one of the new pieces. Layers of colour are starting to build, and provide some depth:

Then I played with some of my beautiful Japanese Washi, using lots of wax and galkyd to apply the papers:

More colour/wax, and more papers:

Some mark making through the layers:

The process continues....
Gotta go............Rockin' with Randy Bachman on CBC Radio 2's "Vinyl Tap". It's Guitar 101 tonight - Live!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gallery 121 - ArtWalk - Belleville

Last night was an amazing evening in downtown Belleville. Dare I say it felt almost European, with some of the atmosphere of an Italian "La Passeggiata" ? Art galleries and businesses opened their doors until 9 pm to welcome visitors to the annual Art Walk. It was a pleasant evening for folks to stroll Front St. and Bridge St., meeting artists, sharing snacks, and viewing an eclectic mix of art works.

"Fugue With Confused Square" ( 30"X40", oil/cold wax on canvas, (c) Barbara Chappelle) in situ at Gallery 121, with a few of my clay pieces.

Many new visitors came to the gallery, all expressing their enjoyment in participating in the event. Our current show will hang until Sept. 25 at 48 Bridge St. E, Belleville. Hours are Tues. - Sat. 11 am to 5 pm.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Work in Progress

Manoeuvring a 48" X 36" canvas into my teeny workspace is a challenge, but I like creating large, so I just make it work as best as possible. At some point, I'll take it outside (weather permitting), or lay it on the dining table and work flat, then bring it back horizontal. Maybe I'll turn it clockwise or counterclockwise a few times.....

Close-ups of some areas, but they will be gone tomorrow. I have no fear of 'slaying the children' - metaphorically speaking, of course.

These thin layers of oil paint with cold wax medium will be completely covered with the next layers. The wax aids the paint in setting up, so I'm less likely to get mud with the next go at it, I hope. Everything is at the intuitive stage at this point - just playing with colour and loose shapes and relationships. Is that a figure emerging in the upper right? Mmmm.....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Artists' Reception at Gallery 121

"Trafalgar", oil/cold wax on canvas, 20" X 16"

Join us tomorrow, Sat., Aug 28, from 3 to 5 pm, for the opening reception of the new show at Gallery 121 in Belleville. We are presenting a Retrospective of the work of Leslie King (1941-2009), and Gertrud Sorensen is our guest artist. Gallery members will be exhibiting new work. The show continues until Sept. 25.

Have a wonderful, art-filled weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Testimonial for Rebecca Crowell's Workshop

Today I received an email enquiry from my website about Rebecca Crowell's workshops. Unfortunately, the email address bounced back as undeliverable, so I'm hoping that Pat C. will find my blog. Here is the email I sent Pat:

Hello Pat,
I can't say enough good things about Rebecca's workshop. For me it was like a brand new beginning in my artwork, but not at all scary. After decades of experimenting in various media, with a variety of techniques, I felt I was making progress, but always had that nagging feeling that something was missing. I had just returned to oil paint after 30 years when I attended Rebecca's workshop. The experience was as if a door opened and a whole new world of art-making was before me. I know, it sounds weird, but it is so true. Finally I was painting with the results I had envisioned for many years, but had been unable to achieve.
Rebecca is a remarkable teacher, friend, mentor. Any time spent with her will be amazing. You will come away with your own vision; somehow, there is so much going on that you never worry about being a 'Rebecca Clone'.
I joined Rebecca for the first of her recent workshops in April of 2009 in Rochester NY. I was able to drive there the day before, so that was convenient for transporting materials. Looking forward to participating again in the future sometime. So much to learn and try.
So enjoy your time with her and the other participants, and keep in touch. I'd love to hear about your experiences.
Best regards,
PS Check out some earlier Rochester posts on my blog.

Above is a recent work, 'Fugue With Confused Square' , 30" X 40", oil/cold wax.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scent of a Crayon

Found a box of dozens of crayons when I was rummaging around my workspace today. Instantly, I was a 10 year old, and played with the juicy colours for an hour or so in my sketchbook. What is it about the intoxicating smell of crayolas? And the colours - a kid's delight! That hour spent with the waxy hues was almost as invigorating as a 5 km run, and I hope to make a habit of it, too. A stimulating way to work out some ideas for larger works, I spent the rest of the day happily painting.

The painting above is a parody of Schroedinger's cat experiment. My version is 'Schroedinger's Chair'(16" X 20", oil/cold wax on canvas). Not that I understand the physics behind it (I'll leave that to the Einsteins of this world!), but the history of the experiment is fascinating. I'm a cat lover, so rest assured I'm happy that Schroedinger's and Einstein's little game was only a 'mind' experiment, so the kitty was never harmed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hazy, Crazy August

Three art/craft shows (the economy is recovering :-)), family/friend visits (so much fun!), and gallery duties have kept me hopping for almost a month. Time to get down to some serious work in my painting studio, create all the ideas I have for some clay sculptural pieces, and help restock our clay inventory in the pottery studio. Very happy to be so busy - I'd be worried if we weren't.

I'm building a new website for my cooperative gallery, Gallery 121, in Belleville. It's been another learning curve, and things are coming together slowly, but surely. It will be "Under Construction" for awhile, but there are some artists' works displayed and other information, so take a look, and come back for a visit often:


In the back of my mind, I would love to be cycling along the Loire River in France, watching the bâteau, as in the painting above, "Bâteau sur Loire", oil/cold wax on cradled wood panel.

Monday, July 19, 2010

ECOAA Juried Show - 2

The second of the two pieces that will be exhibited at the East Central Ontario Arts Association juried show. Sometimes an artist can become discouraged when 'trusting the process'. Then, suddenly, something happens and you get that feeling inside that says, "Yes!". I think this painting has to be one of those rare works that spoke to me the whole time I was developing it. It began as many layers of colour and texture; then after awhile, it began to take "shape". As I worked further into the work, forms began to be built, then altered, then destroyed, hence the title: Idea Deconstructed. Great fun to work in some gold leaf, but I made myself knock it back some - just needed a few hints of richnes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ECOAA Juried Show

Very happy to have 2 pieces juried into the East Central Ontario Arts Association's annual show. The opening reception and awards presentation will be this Sat., July 24, 2-4 pm, at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery, 254 Pinnacle St., Belleville, Ontario. The show hangs until Aug. 26.
I will be exhibiting at Bon Echo Provincial Park that weekend, so will miss the opening, and will have to wait until the next week to see the show. One of my pieces in the exhibition is "Conversation With Joy". I've been wanting to incorporate some of my Japanese papers with ink designs into my oil and cold wax work, so I did a little experimenting, and was happily surprised with the result.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Opening Reception

The opening reception tonight for the juried show at the John Parrott Art Gallery in Belleville showcased a wonderful variety of interpretations of the theme "Music as Muse". Although many artists claim to feel constrained by a required theme, it seems they all rise to the occasion and push themselves creatively. I'll be returning to revisit the many works at a quieter time.My small woman sculpture "Singing the Blues" won one of 4 Honourable Mention awards. A beautiful glass piece by Vanessa Pandos won the Jurors' Choice award, well deserving.
Dona Knudsen and I touching base, with Barb Whalen enjoying David Alexander's large canvas in the background.

My oil/cold wax canvas "Hallelujah(L.Cohen)" held its own in the "red" zone of the gallery.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Music as Muse

An uncropped image of "Hallelujah(L.Cohen)", an oil/cold wax painting that was accepted into the John Parrott Gallery's juried show, along with my little woman sculpture "Singing the Blues". The opening reception is Thurs., June 10, 6-7:30. You are invited to join us for an exciting exhibit. I'm anticipating seeing a wide variety of interesting work relating to music as a source of inspiration. Leonard Cohen was playing in my studio at the time I was working on this piece, and I think his lyrics influenced where I was going, and where I ended. It was one of those rare times when I entered the 'zone' and didn't come out until many days later. I was on a high for several days as I worked through the process, trusting that eventually I would get to where I felt I should be with the painting. So hard to explain without sounding trite, but it really was a strange week or so, as I was working. I don't think I could ever plan that event again, so I'll just keep working, and maybe I'll get lucky again. Trust the Process.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gallery 121 Opening Reception

The opening for the new show at Gallery 121, 48 Bridge St. E, Belleville is this Sat., June 5, from 3 to 5 pm. Andrew Innes is our guest artist (County Landscapes), and I will be the featured artist for this show (Elemental Colour). We are also exhibiting the works of 2 new artists, Michael Amar and Barney Goldberg, along with new works by the gallery membership. It's a bright, eclectic show, not to be missed! The painting above is "Genus", a multi-panel piece in oil with cold wax on wood panels. It is one of the first group of oil/cold wax paintings that I completed when I first took a new direction with this medium. The journey continues with a renewed commitment to oil paint.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oak Hills Studio Tour

This weekend is the second half of the springtime Oak Hills Studio Tour. There are 14 artists at 8 studio settings in the beautiful Oak Hills area near Stirling, in Hastings County. I'm a guest artist at painter Donna Bonin's studio - a beautiful location on the shores of Oak Lake. I'm exhibiting some of my clay sculptural pieces along with our functional claywork from Deer Creek Pottery. More information and a map can be found at www.oakhillsstudiotour.ca. Look forward to seeing you on the tour this weekend (June 5 and 6).

Friday, May 28, 2010

The First Newsletter

Nothing, IMHO, is more daunting than writing and publishing your first artist newsletter. In my previous life as a teacher, writing classroom newsletters was relatively easy - one had the students to rely on for subject matter/content, and it was all about them. How different it is to write a newsletter about oneself! Now it is completed, and sent to my client lists, and I feel a little bit empowered. I'm also relieved that the hurdle has been cleared, for better or worse. The next one should be a little easier.
The painting above is 'Hallelujah(L.Cohen)' 40" X 30", oil/cold wax on canvas. I'll be submitting it to the John M Parrott Art Gallery's 8th juried exhibition next week. The theme is 'Music as Muse'. I hope Leonard will approve. I often listen to his CD's while I'm painting. My photo editing programme Picassa has gone rogue, so I was unable to crop this photo. It's going to take some time to get it under control again.


Website: www.barbarachappelle.com Blog: http://catsartravel.blogspot.com
Email: b_citta@yahoo.ca Facebook Fan Page

Welcome Art-Lovers,
With this monthly newsletter, I plan to let you know of upcoming events in my art world, and share art ideas, techniques, and connections with other artists. You are invited to comment/reply to any article, and if at any time you do not wish to receive the newsletter, just click ‘reply’ and let me know - I will completely understand and respect your wishes.

Gallery 121
June begins with my first solo member exhibition at Gallery 121 in Belleville. The Gallery is located at 48 Bridge St. E (613 962 4609), next door to Dinkle’s Restaurant and Courtyard. The exhibition will run from June 1 to July 10, and the Opening Reception is June 5th from 3 to 5 pm.
I have returned to working in oil paint, after a long hiatus. And, I have discovered a new medium: cold wax, which allows me to use oil paint in a layered, translucent way. I look forward to seeing you at the opening on Sat., June 5 to share thoughts about my new work.

Oak Hills Studio Tour
I am excited to be part of the Oak Hills Studio Tour this spring, at the studio of painter Donna Bonin. Dates are Sat. and Sun., May 29 & 30, and June 5 & 6 from 10 am to 5 pm. Donna invited me to show my clay work at her beautiful property, and I am delighted with the space she has for me. In addition to my clay sculptural pieces, I will be showing some of our functional pottery(from Deer Creek Pottery). For more information and a map, visit www.oakhillsstudiotour.ca . It will be a beautiful tour of artists and artisans working in Hastings County.

Friends of Bon Echo Park, 15th Art Exhibition and Sale
Once again, I will be happy to be part of the annual show and sale of original Canadian art, with paintings, clay sculpture and pottery, all on a theme of Canadian nature, and “dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Bon Echo Provincial Park”(from the mission statement of the Friends of Bon Echo Park). The Exhibition is for 3 days, July 23, 24, 25 and is always a glorious event in a beautiful park glade, with majestic shade trees. Come see the art and spend the day. For more information, visit
www.mazinaw.on.ca/fobecho and click on Art Exhibit and Sale. Here is the latest news release from the Friends of Bon Echo:

News Release
May 12, 2010


The Friends of Bon Echo Park will host the 15th Bon Echo Art Exhibition and Sale on July 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Mazinaw Lake and the Rock at Bon Echo have captivated artists for hundreds of years. Aboriginal Peoples left many pictographs on the Mazinaw Rock which are still visible today. The rugged Canadian Shield and the magnificent white pines captured on canvas by the Group of Seven brought attention to the area as an inspiring destination. Today artists using a variety of media are creating interpretations of our uniquely beautiful Canadian landscapes.

West Wings, Stirling
Currently, I have 11 smaller paintings in oil/cold wax, mixed media, and acrylic hanging at West Wings, 14 West Front Street, Stirling, ON. (Phone: 613 395 0990). This funky bookshop/coffee shop has expanded, and carries a variety of gift items and a clothing shop. Well worth a visit - and the coffee is heavenly.

Juried Show - Belleville Public Library - “Music as Muse”
The John M Parrott Art Gallery, Belleville will be holding their juried show “Music as Muse” from June 10 to July 15, 2010. The jurying is open to all Quinte area artists and all forms of media, so it is always an exciting show. I’ll be submitting 2 pieces, with fingers crossed. Juried shows are an important part of any artist’s schedule, not just for the recognition, but for the critique after the jurying. Curator Susan Holland and her team always design an exciting show. I hope to be part of it again this year.

…and this just in…
Yesterday, I had a pleasant visit with Andrew Innes and his partner Don at our studio. They are owners of Round the Bend Gallery just outside Picton in Prince Edward County. Andrew will be the guest artist at Gallery 121 in June/July. Deer Creek Pottery has been invited to exhibit some of our clay pieces and functional pottery in their gallery, to be delivered by June 10.
A busy month ahead - how lucky we are! Please drop by for a visit at the studio if you are traveling in Centre Hastings. It’s sometimes a good idea to call ahead at 613 473 2200, in case we’re digging in the gardens, and for directions, just north of Belleville, Ontario. Or by chance, anytime.

Best regards,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Featured Artist, Gallery 121

June 1 st is fast approaching, and there is much work to finish for my solo exhibit at Gallery 121 in Belleville. Gallery artists take turns as Featured Artist, and this exhibit will include some of my new oil/cold wax paintings, perhaps some sculptural clay work if the kiln gods are on my side, work by guest artist Andrew Innes, and new work by the other members of the gallery. We all extend an invitation to the opening reception on June 5, 3pm to 5pm, 48 Bridge Street East, Belleville, next to Dinkle's Restaurant. I'd love to see you there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Earth Day Collage

In two weeks we once again celebrate Earth Day. Here's a small mixed media collage to help remind us to celebrate our earth every day of the year. Several more are available on my ETSY shop. Can you find the word EARTH somewhere in each collage?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Musical Chairs

Quinte Symphony will be celebrating 50 years in 2010, and 20 Quinte area artists were invited to create a painting on a garden chair to be auctioned at their gala on May 14. I invite you to click on Quinte Symphony for more information, and to see all the completed art chairs. It was a fun project for me to complete my abstract "Moonlight Sonata" chair, and an honour to be one of the artists asked to assist with the Symphony's fund raiser.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Three years ago, I visited The Paper Place in downtown Toronto. It's chock full of wonderful papers for artists to use in their work, along with beautiful decorative sheets for use in scrapbooking, invitations, etc. At the AFAC conference this March I had the good fortune to meet Nancy Jacobi, the owner of The Paper Place. Her presentation included a slideshow of the history of handmade Japanese paper, and the story of how she became involved with bringing these gorgeous papers, and their makers, to Toronto. The retail store has now been sold, and is called the Japanese Paper Place, while Nancy and her husband run the warehouse, supplying their former store and other art supply stores with handmade Japanese papers, or Washi, as I believe they are called. We learned about Gampi and Kozo, and the careful, labour-intensive process of producing them. I can't wait to work with some of the samples that Nancy generously gave to us. Some of the artwork on Japanese paper is shown below in the photos.

Monday, March 15, 2010

AFAC Conference-One Week Later

This past week has gone by so quickly - unpacking art supplies from the Toronto conference demo, cleaning up, and getting refocussed for the work that lies ahead. A solo exhibition is on the horizon for July, and although I've done some preparation for it, I need to get my thoughts together and start the process that will bring the project to a more tangible state. Right now it's ideas, text and rough sketches. The journey begins...

The weekend in Toronto was motivating and exciting, as most trips/workshops/conferences are for me. I had a chance to spend the day at the AGO and absorb some of that renewed space - it is gorgeous, and I'll need many more visits to satisfy me.

The rest of the weekend (Sat. and Sun.) was spent at the Art for All Canada Conference. I had planned to give my camera to someone in the audience to take photos for me, but totally forgot. I'm hoping to make contact with someone who was taking photos, so I may be able to add some later. Meanwhile, I was so happy to reconnect with Katherine Bevier from Rochester, NY. We met last April at Rebecca Crowell's workshop. She is the rep. for Enkaustikos Wax Supplies, and was demonstrating their products for hot wax use (encaustic). I'm getting interested in using the hot wax also, but that will have to wait till the future. I've so many ideas for using the cold wax at the moment. Also, space to work and funding will keep me focussed on where I'm presently going (for the time being, anyway). Here are some photos of Katherine at work at the conference:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Name That Artist

At my Co-Op gallery, Gallery 121 in Belleville, we kicked off the New Year with a fun 'contest' for visitors to the gallery. Many of the gallery artists were persuaded to do small 14" X 11" self-portraits to hang on one wall in the main gallery. In the smaller gallery room, we invited elementary students from Prince of Wales PS, working with artist Maya Jagger, to do some self-portraits also. Some of the gallery artists were a bit nervous at first, but everyone did a spectacular job, and the 'Name That Artist' wall is a real focal point when visitors arrive. We now have a box bursting with ballots (visitors are asked to try and match a portrait to a photo of the artist). No one really cares if the answers are all correct (a challenging task), but clients are spending a good half hour trying to match everyone up, having a lot of fun, and spending more time viewing all the other art in the gallery. The 'game' is free, and 9 of the participating artists have agreed to donate their portrait for the upcoming draw at our next reception on Feb.28. The student work, of course, is outstanding. As artists, we've learned that it's not only actors who can be upstaged by youngsters! All in all, it's been an exciting event, and there's still lots of time to take part. The local photo-journal Quinte Snap published a few photos. I'll post a few of my own later next week.
Photo courtesy of Quinte Snap.

Monday, January 25, 2010

AFAC Conference, Toronto, Canada

Mistral # 1 Oil with cold wax

Last year in March, I was lucky to find some promotional material online about a conference in Toronto, Ontario called Art For All Canada. As a first year event, the conference was for one day. And what a jammed-packed, exciting day it was! Artists from across the country, (and maybe even across the continent - there were so many sessions, I couldn't attend them all!) presented their ideas on a myriad of topics of concern and interest to anyone in the art world. This year, the conference will be a two day event. I am looking forward to being one of the presenters this time, and will demonstrate some abstract techniques that I use with oil paint and cold wax. Click here for more information, and a listing of all the sessions. I highly recommend attending, if you can - the networking alone is worth the registraton fee.

The painting above is from my "Somewhere South of Paris" exhibition, on view in Ottawa until this Sun., Jan. 31.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Art at Francesco's

A couple of photos of "Somewhere South of Paris", installed at Francesco's Coffee Company in Ottawa for the month of January. The shop - serving great coffee and yummy treats - is located at 857 Bank Street in our nation's capital.

Red Tango in Cahors and Vin Rouge. Also, three small cradled wood panels from the "Field" series.

Misty Vineyard in the window area. Coffee and brioche, anyone?

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dream of Studio Space

When an artist doesn't have what one would consider a 'studio' space, it's necessary to make good use of what one has. I have read about artists who create in a 'closet studio', or in a tiny nook under the stairs. Because we have a small pottery/clay sculpture studio in the basement area of our wee cottage, painting/drawing/matting/framing has to be done somewhere in the upstairs part of the house. In many ways, I'm lucky that I don't have to work on a really small scale in cramped quarters, but I have always had to set up and take down after each painting session. I am limited to size, but in the last couple of years, I've been able to manage 30" X 40" canvases. I'd like to work bigger, but right now, I know storage would be a problem, so I will limit my size desires. Recently, I analysed my situation and realized I needed to be more organized and eliminate some of the clutter - a tricky task for someone like me. In the fall, I decided I would try not to move out to other parts of the house to work. Now that I'm painting more in oil/cold wax, it's not pleasant to have the odours throughout the house, as windows can't be flung open in winter in Canada.
This is a typical setup before I made some changes in my workspace.

Take a look at the mess in our daughter's former room. It is a smallish space, and there was hardly room to walk in, because I kept dumping things, let alone room to actually set up to paint.

So I spent about 2 or 3 days sifting through all the stuff, separating the 'wheat from the chaff', recycling as much as I could. And I ended up with a little corner and 2 medium-sized painting walls. It's not gorgeous, but it will do, and has made a big difference in the amount of time I am spending doing my artwork. For my larger pieces, I find I still need to take them out to another part of the house so I can stand back a distance to evaluate them. All in all, I'm feeling more focussed and creative by just making this small change in my environment.

These pieces are some of the oil/cold wax work from the "Somewhere South of Paris" show in Ottawa. The grouping on the right are fixed together as a multiple canvas work; the ones on the left are hanging as singles.

The last couple of days have been spent setting up my Etsy Shop - Elemental Abstract Art. Another learning curve for me, but it just takes working through the process to become accustomed to the workings of Etsy. I've listed a few smaller oil/cold wax pieces, and some collage work. Please click here to visit my new shop.
Have a creative, satisfying art weekend.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year

The Christmas/New Year's festivities are my favourite celebrations, and they come and go so quickly. I wish peace, health, and prosperity to all in this new decade. Collectively, we have the means to take positive action - just small acts of kindness every day - to make a better world.

This is an invitation to an exhibition of some of my new oil and cold wax paintings, taking place in Ottawa from Jan. 4 to Feb. 1 at Francesco's Coffee Company. All the pieces have dried in time, thank goodness. Today I finished the labels and wiring, and we will load up my wagon on Mon. morning for the 3 hour trip to Ottawa. A few more last minute tasks to do tomorrow, and I should be ready. There is a lot of work to mounting an art exhibiton, even a small one. I appreciate the help and advice I've gotten from Donna Randall, an Ottawa artist, who coordinates the shows at Francesco's. She will help me hang the show on Mon., also. More photos later.