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.