Saturday, December 27, 2014

Moderately proud.

I'm moderately proud of myself today. I've managed quite a bit since my last post, in spite of having a cold, Christmas and all it entails (though thankfully mine is modest and quiet), working my usual 3 days a week at the dayjob, having a couple of minor crisis that got me up in the middle of the night, causing days in zombieland. Then there is the studio in the kitchen, I'm still working and nothing will stop me. It will be good to get back to a separate studio in a year or so.

It's 1:45 on a Saturday. I should be eating lunch and then going to Opus, the local art supply and framing shop, to finish off 4 small frames and buy some more foam core in order to finish off 2 larger ones. Instead I'm typing this briefly then going. Once I get those frames finished I bring them home and wire them, That will take today and tomorrow (if I fit in a big dollop of doing not much and making dinner etc.).

Then it's down to making labels, a list of work, a statement to go with the work, sending out invites, maybe doing some press outreach...  Will I make it? will it all get done? Stay tuned, and show up on January 22 at 5:30 to see what happens (I think I said 5, in an earlier post so change this on your calendar if you've already marked it down).  I'll be reminding you again.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What's this about?

Today I made another little drawing in a sketchbook I keep for the purpose of drawing notations. They are little notes to myself when I have the urge to draw and little time. They are stream of conscious drawing notes. They reflect things bubbling under the surface. The drawings usually contain humour and pathos in the end.

What's this about?
ink, graphite, watercolour pencil on paper
9 x 12"

I live with a healthy amount of anxiety (my diagnosis) and the drawings reflect that.

Speaking of anxiety, mine sent me to the doctor to investigate minor complaints; sometimes my hips ache, I've been tired a lot and thought it was probably the inordinate amount of stress this past year, I need new glasses and have to have a referral to an opthalmologist because of my complex eyes and I wanted to have a few other things checked out just because I should, you know. Turns out there is good reason I'm tired and achey. My thyroid is low and I have mild bursitis in my hips. Thank gawd I can clear these things up with stretching exercise for the hips and there are a few things I can try for the thyroid before resorting to sythroid or the desiccated cow thing. Stress probably affected my thyroid but seems the Doctor thinks it has been borderline in any case. I'm relieved really, no leukaemia or diabetes, or something dire. And, I may get my usual energy level back.

Otherwise I'm the healthiest person alive, perfect blood pressure, no iron deficiency, none of the various cancers, heart conditions and other things that run rampant in my family, yet. So let us be grateful and as happy as we can be. I've decided the next time I have anxiety about a health thing I won't put it off and go into denial and angst for a year. Instead I will go and see what it's about.

As for the art part of my life, I'm working hard on organizing for the show in January. I've ordered the large frames, and purchased the small frames and as soon as I stop typing here I am going to frame a couple of drawings/paintings and maybe get time to work on a new one. The plan is to get a couple of things framed every week until the show so that the energy levels can sustain the work and so that I don't drive my thyroid wacky again with stress.

There you go, this is my monthly report on the state of the studio and the life.

Oh, and if you want to give me advice on my thyroid and my bursitis please do. Let the advice begin.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Putting paint to paper.

I should be painting, but I'm having a hard time getting at it. Too many distractions lately. I'm determined that today I will put paint to paper. Working three days a week at the day job has put a crimp in my studio time. I plan for at least 2 seamless studio days each week. When making plans one forgets that there is a lot to do in the remaining two days a week that is part of being alive; getting things together for the upcoming show, cooking, eating, shopping (for food, and necessities only for the most part), seeing friends and being with family or at least keeping in touch occasionally, walking the dog, exercising, helping others and the occasional crisis that sucks all the life out of one for awhile. Then there is making time for rest, or doing none of the above. Not excuses, just facts. But I'm managing to make art every week too and that is something I'm very happy about, I have a life and a big part of that life is making art. But, it isn't everything. That's just fine. Now I get back in there and get to work.

A sneak peek at a detail of another piece for the upcoming show.

None of the above

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Control, No Control

Everything is under control. Sort of. Well no, never really. But, good things are happening.

Everything's under control
24 x 18"
oil on mylar

I have a solo show coming up in January of the new paintings. Stoked. If you are a friend or follow me on Facebook you already know that. It’s at The Firehall Arts Centre here in Vancouver. I’ll send you an invitation if you are on my list, if not, and you want one, sign up on the right. Now I have to find a way to pay for all those frames, make the time to frame the work, to do the pre-show outreach… I have to hang the show myself and will have to find someone to help me. Exciting though.

I will post details closer to the date.

And, I’ve been asked to participate in an art project, The Mixed-Media Tapes, that involves artists making recordings about their thoughts on something that interests them, at least that’s my interpretation of the project. I’ve chosen “intuition” as my prompt for this recording. I’ve been developing my skill at following my intuition for a long time now; I’m going to try to talk about that. I googled “intuition”. Google said intuition is receiving input and ideas without knowing exactly how and from where you got them. I have stuff to say about that.

I will keep you informed about the The Mixed-Media Tapes project.

Summer’s over! my place is still full of boxes from the temporary move made in June. Looks like they will be there until after January, and then what would be the point of unpacking, only to re-pack in less than a year. Can’t face it, too many more interesting and necessary things to do. Letting go of that control.

If you want to see a sample of some of the paintings that will be in the show, titled "Today's Lesson Will be in Life", click over to my website. There will be other work in the show as well. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Accidental meaning.

Hard days recently but now I'm able to get time to be outside in this perfect weather, go camping, hiking, swimming, floating and recover from the recent move as well as find time and energy for the studio again. I've been feeling so much about what's really important. It's really important to work, to give, to make art that is meaningful to you, to have people you love around you, to support yourself and be independent in your art. I've been taking note.

All these words are inadequate. That's why I make things, really, I make things up, some times it's drawings, sometimes paintings, sometimes other things to try to communicate. I make things that can, accidentally, have meaning for me and I hope for someone else.

Right now I am working on two series that feel very connected and more so the more work I make. Besides these two series I'm making drawings at the beginning of each studio day. It seems that the pieces are all working together. The drawings feel somehow ahead of the works in oil paint on paper and the works on mylar. The works on paper feel somehow ahead of the work on mylar, but sometimes a work on mylar feels as though it has jumped the cue.  I'm noticing the drawings at the beginning of the day sometimes don't have obvious figurative elements in them like the other work does.

Here are three examples:

I accidentally meant that
24 x 18"
ink and collage on paper

24 x 18"
oil on mylar

What am I not seeing
10 x 8"
oil on huile paper

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Where Does it All Lead?

I'm painting again. And here's where it's going.The first is oil on mylar the second is oil on paper. They are small, first one 12 x 9", second one 7 x 101/2". I just re-watched the film Herb and Dorothy. I approach these paintings the way they do collecting. It is something I want to do, enjoy doing, something that gives me deep non-verbal fulfilment. The years of practice, patience, education lead here. Not to greatness but to the ability to do what I want to do.

Friday, February 28, 2014

I Give Up

Now that I'm making a little money on the side, I'm giving myself a break and permission to stop feeling pressured. I'm just painting. Making some paintings whenever I can.

I read this today, it made sense to me.

"And if the work can touch or ignite areas of my psyche that I am not normally aware of, then someone looking at it might come in contact with areas of their psyche that they are not normally aware of. It doesn’t have to be the same areas as mine. The great Italian painters of the past had to illustrate biblical stories to an audience that couldn’t read. Maybe today we need artists to keep us in touch with our visual, non-literal consciousness. In these areas of our consciousness, wars do not start and prejudices do not exist. They are areas of our psyche before the I, me, you, and it."

..Bill Jensen from John Yau interview in Bomb Magazine.

This painting is definitely from non-literal consciousness. You can find more here. The other series is still ongoing but needs something that I'm finding in making these. Throwing myself into it, following its train of not thinking. For now. This might be a bit bright at the bottom. I might need to dull it down. Oh, oh thinking. Well, really, it's feeling, it feels not quite right, but maybe I'll let it live, keep it around, next.

Starry Eyed
12 x 9" oil on prepared paper