The year has begun with me experimenting with another sculptural avenue. I acquired some colourful anodized aluminum sheets, thin enough to cut by hand and gently bend by hand. Expanding on my wire work where I added some splash of colour, I moved quickly into small sculptures entirely made from the aluminum. The first few attempts were failures due to my lack of cutting skills but I feel that I am now mastering better control and have a diamond file to smooth out imperfections.
I'm still interested in expressing movement, freezing it as it is seen in a fleeting moment. In the case of the work with flat surfaces, I'm feeling that these look very much like dancers. Sometimes a single dancer and sometimes a couple synchronized in their motion.
I also discovered that some of my impromptu sketchbook work is also reflecting lines and shapes in motion.
It's December! How did that happen? It's that time of year when we look back and see what has happened during the year. As in the previous year, there has been plenty of time spent staying home and only dining at outdoor venues. Zoom featured high on my schedule of being "social". The benefit is that I didn't have to buy an airfare to California to attend three vernissage events for three exhibitions that my work was in.
Online workshops have been fun thanks to entrepreneurial artists who have worked hard to offer their skill on zoom, meaning I never had to figure out how to pack my supplies and the logistics of how to get to far flung locations along with the cost of accommodation. Not to mention jet lag.
My solo installation exhibition at the Sivarulrasa Gallery in Almonte was wonderful although the opening "party" had to be on zoom still. But that worked out will as the main street in Almonte was under construction anyway, not fit for high heels. Last month the gallery's 8th Anniversary vernissage group exhibition was in-person with limited numbers AND sidewalks.
October gave us (the 7 Works Collective) a window of opportunity to go to Montreal for some major gallery hopping, awesome food and weather that was like summer. If all goes well we do that again in the spring.
Here's wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous end to 2022 with the hope that 2023 brings you abundant joy.
The show is on! It took 7 days for the gallery staff to install the 8th ANNIVERSARY SHOW at the Sivarulrasa Gallery in Almonte - the biggest show of the year. Covering all 3 sections of the Gallery, and running from November 9th until December 30th. 28 artists from coast to coast will be exhibiting sculpture, paintings, drawings, photography and mixed media works – a festive time of year to add to your collection or start a new one.
Featured artists: Sue Adams, Sarah Anderson, Deborah Arnold, Carol Bajen-Gahm, Gizem Candan, Elaine Carr, Dale Dunning, Barbara Gamble, Catherine Gutsche, Karen Haines, Jim Hake, George Horan, Jane Irwin, Gayle Kells, William Liao, Susan Low-Beer, Iryna Merkulova, Jihane Mossalim, Mary Pfaff, Michael Pittman, Marina Raike, Wendy Robertson, Cathy Ross, Sanjeev Sivarulrasa, Louis Thériault, Susan Tooke, Eric Walker, Mirana Zuger.
Vernissage/Meet the Artists Reception
Saturday November 12th from 2pm-5pm ** I will be in attendance from 2-3pm **
(Pre-registration is not required). Please feel free to be comfortable wearing your mask, you are welcome to do so.
More exhibition information and photos:
Visit the Virtual Gallery for available works:
As many of you already know my studio over the garage has no heat. I does have Air Conditioning now after finding a second hand portable a/c unit. Yippee! Now I no longer feel like I'm in a hot yoga class in the summer months. Heating is another issue though. I do have a small portable heater that extends the season by a good month either side of the summer. So now that we are in the fall months I'm spending as much time as possible in the studio, squeezing as much time as possible out of the good weather before I must move all my water media inside the house. That's when I'll take over the dining room. No dinner parties here!
I'm concentrating currently on some really fun 8" x 8" works on paper that I mount onto panels later. These small pieces pack a lot of punch in a small space. It's a great way to grab some colours that I might not normally gravitate to just on a whim for that 'I wonder if...' chance that I'll find a surprisingly pleasing palette. Something I could repeat at a larger size down the road.
September offered us the opportunity to take a short break with some actual time AWAY. It was timed well enough that we were still able to have our meals out, outdoors. Evenings were chilly but those infrared heaters kept us toasty warm. Now I am reflecting on where we were (Prince Edward County) and what we saw. For artists we always look at places we visited and immediately think... "how can I make this into a painting?"
Now that we are home again I'm working my way through my photos and memories of this time away. Hmmm, which images or feelings will make their way into my October work?
On August 4th we hung a new show at the Arbor Gallery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. This is exhibition is the first group show for the 7 Works Collective. Our story is as follows...
"The 7 Works Collective Artists had plans in 2020 to travel to Toronto Island for an Artists' Residency. But, as often happened in 2020, well laid plans were derailed due to the COVID pandemic. Unable to attend the Artists' Residency in person, the seven artists did their best to adapt to the situation and made plans to regularly "meet" virtually to see what we were all working on. It was during one of these meetings the plan was hatched to challenge each other to biweekly art prompts. Each artist would show a work of art in their medium and the remaining 6 artists would create a piece in their own medium based on the visual prompt. Each artists' response is in their own voice."
There was a casual meet & greet after the exhibition was installed. On Sunday August 28 you can meet the artists and learn about this Artists' Residency that was re-worked to keep the group creative during the roller coaster past few years. It is at this exhibition where the artists have, for the first time, viewed our work all together hanging in this beautiful gallery.
Come and meet us on Sunday August 28 between 3-4pm.
Click here to buy the 96 page book about the exhibition.
Today is opening day for my solo exhibition and installation called "Improv" at the Sivarulrasa Gallery in Almonte Ontario. Over the past few years I have assembled a series of paintings featuring works that talk about the randomness of nature and how it is always changing. This collection shows how I capture moments in time freezing them in one instant.
In this installation I have included three elements from nature. First when you enter the gallery space you see the "Twig Rain" featuring a branch of leaves and twigs suspended from the ceiling. As the show continues, the leaves change over time, as does nature in the external world. Below that I have assembled a slice of a pine tree that was removed from our garden. When it dried, it split, in that split I have added shards of glass resembling sap that oozes from trees. Lastly, I have in the center of the gallery, the "Rust River" where you will see smooth river rocks parting for the river of rusted metal that flows through the middle.
Please join me for my artist talk and virtual vernissage live on Zoom from my studio: Wednesday August 3, 7:00pm-8:00pm. You can join from the comfort of your home – email the gallery at email@example.com to register for this Zoom event.
Keeping up the momentum for workshopping. Is that a word? Whatever, let's make it one today. One of the benefits that has come out of the past 2 years of being isolated is the plethora of online workshops. And I hope these continue. It gives teaching artists access to students from around the world. For students, it gives us access to teachers in all corners of the globe. (I've always wondered about that term..."all corners of the globe", which to my knowledge is round. Where are the corners?) That aside, these workshops give us easy access, quite often, to free tasters, no charge samplers. Then we can dive deep into the paid versions be become immersed. Awhile back I showed you my work from a fiber artist's taster class. I've watched many demos by Bob Burridge, with whom I took a paid week long workshop (see last month's blog), I sampled Judy Woods mixed media zoom all the way from Australia, and most recently I enjoyed Louise Fletcher's online taster class.
At the moment, I'm not signed up for any paid workshops but that's never off the table, maybe one day. In the meantime I thoroughly enjoyed hear about and testing the techniques and processes from other artists. Below are samples of what came out of those workshops. What I really liked was that these were not paint parties where you reproduce what the instructor shows you. These teachers were bent on pulling from their students their own creativity through new thinking and processes.
FINALLY the workshop that I registered for over 2 years ago was going to really happen.
It was hard to believe but I was in the car and on my way to Montreal to meet Bob Burridge and gain knowledge of his artistic methods and painting processes. Once that would be under my belt, I could adapt many of these approaches to my own work. I was most impressed with his approach to starting out with a subject or theme in mind right from the beginning and keeping his brush in motion so that the work would not suffer from over thinking resulting in a work that is way to tight. I'm still trying to get his very specific colour wheel in my head. Surprisingly though I mixed some yummy greys and was off and running in this limited palette concentrating on the collage materials and focal point exercise. Normally, I'm into colour, colour, colour, but this muted selection was really tickling my fancy along with the cruciform composition. I wanted to explore both these aspects with a theme and series in mind.
I took advantage of this complete week of art with a room full of other artists to talk art art art. Both the in-person aspect of really being with people AND having everyone in the room concentrating on art was food for the soul!!!!
Oh and don't worry, I didn't abandon colour entirely for the week. I did spend some time experimenting with Bob's goof proof colour wheel, attempting to understand the percentages and colour selections that work best together. AND understanding that when you pick red as your dominant colour, red's neighbours can also play in the same garden, along with knowing that there is a time and place for breaking the rules and 'making it work'.
I'll certainly have fun playing with these colour concepts down the road.
When April arrives all we want, in this area of Canada, is to see the snow MELT. This always seems to inspire something in me that requires me to express how I feel about the melt down. This year the concept of the slow tedious melt that gradually reveals what lays beneath was my visual. Beginning with a grounding layer of multi coloured and patterned collage papers, I created the initial layer of the work with texture whose topography would show through on all the layers to come. This layer would soon be concealed with several more layers of coloured paint applied in patches and relief lines. Every few layers, I would pause and sand back to reveal, as in the melt, what was below. The final layer was applied with white, like the snow, that was still hanging on through until mid-April. The final sanding revealed just enough to give me the feeling that spring was about to surface with joyful colouration, nodding towards the warmer days of summer.
This initial work is the first of a series that I am planning on the theme of layers, stratification, uncovering, revealing, unearthing, excavation... Each piece will be alive with a history of the past layers left behind. The collage elements will be important as they will consist of past paintings, sketches, letters, photos, printed words, most of which you will not be able to read but parts may be seen. Viewers will bring to each painting their own deeper history and unearth what they need to see.
I am preoccupied by the intuitive journey that paint takes me on with its colour and texture when working with layers that can be revealed through scratching back, rubbing away or lifting, to bring back the history of the previous layers.