Every year I like to kick it off with something just a wee bit different. This year I signed up for a free sample workshop with TextileArtist.org If you have ever been curious about fiber art check out this website. They offer some amazing workshops from some extremely creative textile artists. The workshop I enjoyed was give by textile artist and author, Gwen Hedley. She showed us her process to paint on fabric, dissemble then re-assemble the fabric by stitching it back together. After that she demonstrated how she embellishes her work with hand embroidery, backing it and edging it for a finished look.
This kind of work is not completely outside of my comfort zone, I'm a lifelong sewer, but it's been years if not decades since I have done any hand embroidery. Combining it with paint brought it right into my zone of comfort. I think I will be bringing this process to some of my work on paper. Below is a sample of what I did in the workshop.
It's only February and already the 2022 shows are lining up. Due to COVID many more opportunities have opened up for artists for online exhibitions. Applying to and being in international shows is always a tremendous amount of work, not to mention expense when shipping to galleries. Online exhibitions offer artists the chance to be in some very prestigious shows without the worry of navigating borders.
I'm grateful to have been accepted in two new galleries in the USA that are being hosted strictly online.
As 2021 comes to a close we are once again being ravaged by COVID. There were moments in 2021 when we thought things were wrapping up and we were seeing numbers go down. I even manged to gather with my fellow artists on Toronto Island for a week long Artist Residency in relative safety with masking and dining outdoors in what turned out to be an awesome week for beautiful fall weather. Then BAZINGA we are back into yet another round. This darned boxer just won't lay down for the count.
My gallerist worked very hard and made some online sales for me. I understand that people are wanting their homes to be beautiful places where they can hunker down for the duration. Thank you to every last one of you who gave my work a new place to call home.
Keeping to my home territory kept me close to my studio where I enjoyed many long hours painting and thinking of new projects, dabbling in some 3D work which you can see at the Sivarulrasa Gallery. I zoomed with my 7 Works Collective friends at least every other week to keep up with each other's work. I joined an artist-run gallery in Kingston called Modern Fuel where I showed in 2 exhibitions. A couple of my paintings went to the Ottawa Art Gallery Annexe, one of which is currently out on a rental contract, the other on display in the year end show & sale. And most recently I was accepted into the Herringbone Online Gallery hosted out of Port Williams, NS where I am showing my works on paper for sale.
For the most part this year I enjoyed working in acrylics on wood panels. I really like the panels for their sturdy surface. They give me the opportunity to use a somewhat heavier hand. Even when I have been working on canvas, I'm usually working on unstretched canvas stapled to wood so that I can get the same feel.
Here's hoping that 2022 holds the promise of a safer, healthier world where we can meet up in person. Keep safe, see you in 2022.
I'm pleased to announce that three of my small Cold Wax & Oils paintings will be in the Modern Fuel Gallery's RE:MEMBER 2021 members' show & sale beginning on December 10 through to December 18. The opening reception will be held on December 10 at 7PM. Works will be available for purchase in person or on the gallery's website with pick up after December 18th.
At the opening reception, you'll also have the opportunity to win exciting raffle prizes, catch up with the Modern Fuel community, and enjoy some fabulous wine from Rosehall Run!
Register here. Registration is required for the opening reception to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Thank you for your cooperation.
This month you will find my "Cranberry Bark" painting hanging in the OAG Annexe Art + Parcel: Holiday Sale.
Art + Parcel: A Holiday Sale 13 November 2021 – 10 January 2022
The OAG Shop is dedicated to supporting Canadian, with a focus on regional, makers and artists. They have a number of unique and wonderful gift ideas for the art lover in your life including ceramics, textiles, jewelery, books, homewares, art supplies and educational kids crafts.
OAG Shop is connected to the Galerie Annexe, a commercial gallery space dedicated to supporting regional artists through the exhibition, sale and rental of our work. Revenues from the OAG Shop and Galerie Annexe support artists and the Ottawa Art Gallery programming.
Members receive 10% off shop purchases.
Open: Wednesday – Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Closed: Monday and Tuesday
50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa, ON, K1N 0C5 (1st floor of the Ottawa Art Gallery)
If you are a keen proofreader, you will have noticed that my title is "Artists' Residency Realized". I used the word Artists' and not Artist's because this residency facility can accommodate several artists on site at one time. This residency was the coming together of the 7 Works Collective therefore I used the plural possessive. Six of our seven members came to Artscape Gibraltar together. Our 7th member stayed behind to work BUT we did include her via Zoom while at the residency so she was not left out. This was an important aspect, as the whole reason that the 7 Works Collective formed was because of a residency that had to be repeatedly postponed due to COVID restrictions. However, now that ALL members are fully vaccinated and we exercised extreme caution along with strict COVID protocols we deemed it safe to gather.
Each of us had our own studio plus accommodation, giving us both separate working time along with together time sharing walks on the beach, cycling, meals and studio visits. Everyone freely gave comments on the other's, in progress, works in an environment of creativity.
For me, this was my third Artist's Residency at Artscape Gibraltar. In 2018, I concentrated for 2 weeks on cold wax & oils with an artist friend joining me for the second week in her own studio space. The following year the two of us invited two additional artists to join us where I concentrated on large acrylic works. Then in 2020 our group was to be seven artists but of course COVID hit and it wasn't until fall 2021 that we managed to make it happen.
My greatest enjoyment at Artscape is the huge studio space that I have, enabling me to paint BIG. I took 6 yards of canvas to create 2 paintings that were 3 yards each. The works I did in 2019 were split into paintings that are 1.5 yards each. But this year, at least one painting, will either remain as one piece at 3 yards in length or I will divide the piece into a triptych. Currently, I have it hanging in my studio (the wrong way around due to smaller walls) waiting for me to make that final decision. The second piece which I am admittedly not as happy with (yet) is rolled up in the corner waiting for me to revisit. It may become a sculpture but that remains to be seen. Sometimes I need as much time thinking about a work and it's next steps, as I need actually painting it.
It was in May 2020 when a group of artist friends were to be on Toronto Island for an artists' residency. Initially there were thoughts that we could go because we innocently thought that the pandemic was wrapping up. Oh how little we knew then. We even had thoughts that May 2021 could happen. NOPE, still not safe. But now that the vaccine has come and we have all been double dosed, September 27th was named the date to go. BUT with very careful restrictions. No train travel as once planned, we'll drive. We'll get on the island and we'll stay on the island. No museums, no galleries and no visits to friends off the island. Groceries will be delivered and we'll take advantage of the few eating establishments on the island.
While we patiently waited for the residency to become reality, we kept busy meeting on Zoom every couple of weeks. We even came up with a name for our group: 7 Works Collective. Check out our website to see how we kept busy and inspired when we could not meet face to face. 7workscollective.weebly.com
It's only 2 sleeps away and our excitement is growing. We have all our ducks in a row or island geese as it may be normal on Toronto Island. All we need is good weather to make this all worth waiting for. Come back in a couple weeks and I'll share with you what we each accomplished.
A few images from our 2019 Artists' Residency at Artscape Gibraltar.
Please visit the Modern Fuel Gallery in Kingston for the Annual Juried Exhibition called "Where from here?" featuring work by Elham Fatapour, Catherine Gutsche, Posy Legge, Elyse Longair, Tara Lynn MacDougall, María Moreno, Andrew Rabyniuk.
"This body of work depicts my 2020 journey through incomplete lock downs, restricted travel and encounters forbidden." ~ Catherine Gutsche
"Finding My Bubble" (2020), cold wax & oils, 24x18
Early on we were given permissions to choose those we'd include in our close-knit worlds.
"The Path We've Been On!" (2020), cold wax & oils, 12x12
The path throughout 2020 had its twists and turns with no one knowing which way to go.
"Safely Inside" (2020), cold wax & oils, 11x14 with "One More May Enter" (2020), cold wax & oils, 11x14
Then we finally chose to close the door on others, keeping to ourselves only opening the door only inches to allow others in one at a time.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess.
These are the most asked questions of an artist. Who inspires you? What drew you to abstract art? Where did you learn to paint? And... When did you start painting full time?
These questions can take on many different variations like... Who would you like to meet in the history of art? What other areas of art have you worked in? Where would you like to see your art hanging? When is a painting finished?
But it all boils down to people want to get to know the artist behind the art. So I'll pick a couple of my favourite questions and hopefully you'll get to know me and my art a wee bit better.
Who are your biggest influences? I've been influenced but the Abstract Expressionist artists right from the first time I was introduced to the movement. Abstract art engages my brain. It doesn't just show me the world, it make me think about it. In a gallery you will see me looking very closely at famous paintings like a Turner and enjoying the 2" square where I see an amazing abstract painting.
What does your work aim to say? My work is a reflection of my surroundings and my place in those surroundings. I'm not attempting to replicate what I see but more often I'm expressing HOW I see my environment and HOW I feel about it.
Where did you study art? I studied fine art at York University but I feel like my studies never finished. Every day I'm seeing art from different perspectives and learning more and more about techniques, expression and me.
When is a painting finished? That is one of the hardest things for many artists. My favourite computer button is "Undo", if only painters had that too. Generally it is finished just a wee bit before the artist thinks it's a wrap. The next step would be overworking the painting which naturally causes the artist to think long and hard, walk away, then stop. But the saving grace is that when we forget and mess it up... there is always another painting down the road, just not the one you had just moments ago. We lament these loses but revel in the unpredictable path that paint takes us on. It is the joy of the process.
If you have a question, ask me.
Have a look how these two started and how they finished.
Even when you love what you do (PAINTING) you have to take a day off now and again just to chill out, recharge and get refreshed.
I recently replaced my decades old camera with a new beginner model that has some amazing options on it. Digital cameras have come a long way. One aspect of my old camera that I loved was its twisty body. I could hold it up in a crowd at a rock concert, twist the body so I could still see the screen and get a photo. My new toy has a screen that can also change angles so I can also put it on the ground without needing to lay on my belly in the sand. My aging knees appreciate this feature.
So my "days off" have entailed learning to use my new toy. Remember I said 'beginner camera', so yes I have a lot to learn. I'm grateful that it is digital and I can take hundreds of trials with all sorts of settings to see what happens.
I'm having lots of fun with it and hopefully getting some nice photos that may worm their ways into new paintings. I just need to start making notes on my settings so I can repeat the successes. Perhaps a hand bound notebook is a new project in my studio soon.
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.