Friday, June 29, 2018

Veering Back

Shifting, experimenting.

The new work mentioned in the last post is veering back to the figurative. I seem to reach a point after 20 to 30 paintings in a group where I have had enough. Enough (is) said. I look for a new challenge, or, maybe just to get closer to what "I really want to say".  I never get there, lurking below the surface is the feeling that I need to go deeper, harder, more real alternating with quieter, calmer more soothing. There is something I'm trying to get to, that I never will. But, I'll die trying. Am I alone in this? Probably not...

Undo Undo, Oil on Paper, 2018



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Steady on

Getting a bit more of a grip on things (see last post for losing a grip), I think.

Some travel and time outdoors has helped a lot. I'm moving into a new series and doing a lot of drawing. And accepting how things are. This, what I'm doing now, is what I need. It is slowly evolving and changing. When I can I will update my website, and look for a show. Right now I will travel and make art. When it is ready I'll put it out there. Sometimes you just have to be quiet and work.

A photo from my recent trip.

The river flows steadily on after the rushing water of spring has passed.



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Teeny Tiny Art Problems

I should call this blog "Talking to Myself". After the last post, talking to myself, I did some self examination as an adjunct to talking to myself. I examined the frame of mind I am in right now with regard to art making, and just about everything else. I do not have the market drive, I surmised. I have a teeny tiny income from my pension, with which I can pay my teeny tiny bills and my rent, which, though not teeny tiny, is affordable if I am very very careful.

For a long time the possibility of money and a wish for admiration and approval of my skills, and also a wish for communication with like minded others motivated me, and then it didn't. So crass, I know. But, no longer crass, presently, just unmotivated. But, this unmotivation is about showing and selling, not about making. But, without the second part, I question even more drastically the first part and it makes me a bit down at times (mostly when it's cloudy or raining, which is a lot here in Vancouver)

My biggest drive at the moment is to travel, to go out into the wilds. I enjoy all that is involved. The meeting of new people in new places, the going there and the leaving, the seeing of all the things, the hardship of rainstorms, freezing nights, travelling down dirt roads in a van through potholes and washboard, the hikes, the kayaking, the lugging of things. I'm not interested in comfort, I'm interested in challenge, physical and mental.

At the same time, I can't do that ALL the time, and don't want to. I want to feel motivated to put my art out there, to show it, to go after exhibitions, but I'm stalled.

For instance, I know I need to redo my website, as mentioned in the last post, before I apply for anything. But, that means money from my teeny tiny income and an enormous block of time. For some reason, I can't commit. Maybe it has to do with the feeling that the work is just not good enough, not developed enough, so what's the point. I'm waiting for that magic moment when I see it all come together and say to me. YES, this is it, we are here now.

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 2018 Studio Journal Update

I'm still working on the "lost for words" series. I've uploaded a few of these paintings to Saatchi to put out there what I'm doing. And it allows me to price my work for anyone interested. My website needs updating. I'm thinking of changing it completely to a more artist friendly layout. That is an enormous task for which I'm not ready.

All I've done this year is paint and draw and post on social media. I've done no marketing or applying for shows. I felt the need to just make work and see where it goes. In past years I experimented with working hard at showing and marketing. It took a lot of energy and the results were modest. Marketing also affected how I worked, I fear. I don't want to consider my "audience", to be "professional". I want to make work from my heart not from a formula laid down by marketing and, so called, professionalism. It's good to be painting and drawing without these distractions.

When I'm not in the studio, I'm performing activities of daily living, and traveling and being outdoors. I post photos of my excursions and drawings from a drawing diary as well on my instagram account.

Below are examples of both, from a day trip to West Dyke in Richmond just outside Vancouver BC.

  



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lost for Words

In the last post I was looking at where I'm going with the latest paintings. Wanting to pick a lane to travel in for a while. I seem to have picked a lane. Some photos below. I'm not feeling very articulate about these, a bit lost for words.

All the text and the language has disappeared from what I'm doing in the studio, even titles are mute. Maybe I will look at them all later and they will tell me what to say, and how to name them.










Saturday, September 2, 2017

Flounderer in the Shallows of Art

Summer studio has been productive. Now what? I need to update my website, photograph work properly, look for a way to show what I've been doing. I'm kind of torn between two "bodies of work" I'm working through.

Why do I always do this, start one thing and have to have another project happening at the same time? Henry Samelson , in his blog, calls it having a Buddy of Work, or work you do alongside of your main preoccupation at the time. Trouble is my preoccupation seems to be divided down the middle. I tell myself "pick a lane road warrior" (a line from a Frasier episode).

I'm sitting here now between a wall full of paintings in the"weathering realities" series and, on the other side of the room, two of the oil paintings on old paintings with an old painting waiting on the easel to be set upon.

Two, of a large number of  oil paintings, behind and on the floor.
An old landscape I'm painting over on the easel.

Just a few of the many many paintings in the
'weathering realities' series
I'm not finished either series yet. I want to continue for a while before I start deliberately looking for venues, although I've already had an online show of some of the weathering realities series. It came my way, I didn't seek it out and if something comes my way I would consider showing some of this work again.

Do I have to choose a lane? What does it mean if I don't? How do I present them? Do I look for shows of the two separate bodies, or do I look to show them together? Am I just a flounderer in the shallows of art? Maybe you shouldn't answer that, it might crush me.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Studio Glimpse

Wow! since my last post, in April, the studio is humming. It's been a long few years of various stresses, illness, moves, accident, death, day job. Through it all I've painted and drawn. I've shown and I've sold work. I feel I've moved to a more solid place in making work.

For now, I don't have a 9-5 part-time job and other life stresses have let up. I'm able to spend more time in the studio and travel. I feel the difference. There is time, there is space and, in my new studio, there is light.

As usual I have two projects on the go. A project I'm calling Weathering Realities in ink and acrylic paint on paper that I showed, in part, at Galerie Cerulean last month. The second project, going on in the background, is a series of oil paintings over old paintings. 

The ink on paper paintings are not as cohesive a group as the oil paintings. They are wildly experimental within the confines of materials and subject matter, the subject matter being my response to and attempt to weather psychologically the impact of current political realities. In other words, making them helps me get through the awful days in which we live. 

The latest Weathering Realities experiments alongside some of the oil paintings on  the right.

The oil paintings started out as a side project, but they are a more consistent and calmer companion to the other work.

Painting over old paintings, a more cohesive group that started out as a side project.

All together now. One side of the studio, with dog, where I look at
some works from both groups of paintings
  
More oil paintings. The one on the floor is the first larger work.
I find it too blatant, too disjointedly expressive so far, I'll be going back in.

Studio vignette. The blue elephant sculpture (studio mascot) was made by my daughter in
elementary school a long long time ago.


A new start, ink on paper.

The most recent oil painting in progress.