September 27, 28, and 29 are designated as Culture Days right across Canada, or les Journées de la Culture as it is known in Quebec. There are seven thousand free activities organized by artists and cultural groups from coast to coast. This year I am part of this celebration of the creative spirit. My studio will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 4:30 pm. I will be in there working, so feel free to stop by and check out my collage technique, ask questions, hang out and eat some cookies!
Photo by Anna Kiraly.
The studio address is 138 Rang Ste. Anne, in St. Chrysostome, QC- just about an hour's drive from Montreal. See ya!
I'm really happy to be getting walls at last, but not so happy with the chaos and dust. I can't even get at my collage supplies at the moment. Fortunately, I could lay my hands on my old portable easel which I dragged into the house so I could start something at least resembling work.
Today I started an oil painting, something I haven't done in a while. I have a total of FOUR commissioned oil paintings to execute in the next little while, and I feel very out of practice since I haven't held a brush for that purpose in over a year. I thought I needed a warm up instead of diving right into the commissioned work, something to take the pressure off a little.
I spotted the photo of a pretty pony filly on a friend's Facebook page a while ago and asked if I could use the picture as a reference. I made the drawing a couple of weeks ago.
This morning I transferred the drawing to a small, square panel.
First, I like to figure out where the main dark areas will be.
Then I do a general "blocking in" of basic colours in the dark to mid value range. I always marvel at painters who can finsh a painting in sections. I was taught to bring all the parts of a painting along at the same rate.
I can still hear one of my old painting teachers bellowing, "START EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME; FINISH EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME!" Or maybe it's just because I am using his old portable Jullian easel and it's HAUNTED!
Having hit the point where I am simply moving paint around, this is as far as I could get today. I will try to get her finished tomorrow.
Hmmm...monthly blog posts seem to be all I can manage these days. Still, I suppose monthly is better than not at all.
Summer is in full swing here on the farm. Crops are getting tall; roosters are getting fat, and the garden has sped into that uber productive phase of mid-summer. We recently arrived at the "if we don't grow it, we don't eat it" point of no return. Goodbye, supermarket produce!
And mostly it has been a good summer. Sure, some crops fail, but far more are succeeding. We tried to grow some new varieties this year. I couldn't resist the name of this lettuce in the seed catalogue: Drunken Woman! Isn't she lovely? Tasty, too. Not quite sure how she got the name, though.
A few years ago I bought a small black currant bush and plonked it into the vegetable garden. It has bloomed for a couple of years, but never produced fruit - until this year! The black currants are just about ripe, and the small bush is weighed down with fruit. I'm thinking about jam...
Here are a few more garden photos to whet your appetite.
Green Bush Beans
A nice crisp lettuce - I forget the name!
Ruby Red Chard
Loads of red currants
Oh, were you expecting some art? Yes, there is that, too! Here are a few recent pieces.
"Colorful Gray" 10X8" painted paper collage on cradled panel.
"Flower Box" 5x7 painted paper collage on panel.
"Thought" 24X24" painted paper collage on cradled panel.
These are some new pieces which are available at the gallery:
"Arch Rock" 8 X 6 painted paper collage on panel
"CYC Race to Mackinac" 10 X 10 painted paper collage on panel.
"The Iroquois Hotel" 4 3/4 X 9 painted paper collage on panel.
I am also very happy to announce my new affiliation with Solaris Gallery of Versailles, Kentucky. If you are in the Lexington, KY area, stop in and check out the beautiful, varied work. Besides art, the gallery holds a bunch of regular events, including a philosophy club!
These equine collages are currently available at Solaris:
"Capture the Wind" 7 X 5 painted paper collage on panel.
"Pinto" 7 X 5 painted paper collage on panel.
And, of course, new work is also available on my website here.
So far it hasn't been a great month for weather. However, April IS turning out to be a good month for art exhibitions.
Along the English River
20 X 24 painted paper collage on panel
"Along the English River" is currently on display at TAG, the public art gallery of the town of Cornwall, Ontario. A friend kindly let me know that my collage had received an honourable mention from the judges. I was unable to attend the opening, so this bit of information came as a pleasant surprise. TAG (The Art Gallery) of Cornwall is at 168 Pitt Street. Opening hours are from 10 am- 5 pm, Wednesday to Saturday. The exhibition is on display until until May 10th.
Capture the Wind
7 X 5 painted paper collage on panel
"Capture the Wind" is part of the American Academy of Equine Art's Spring Invitational Exhibition and is currently on display in the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery, Georgetown College (corner Mulberry and East College Street), in historic Georgetown, Kentucky. If should find yourself in the Lexington KY area this spring, I hope you will check it out. The exhibition runs from April 12 - May 24th, 2013.
Three Greys and a Bay
14 X 20 painted paper collage on panel
And last but not least, "Three Greys and a Bay" (above) is on the wall of the Marietta Cobb Art Museum, Marietta, Georgia. The museum (pictured below) is situated about 15 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Marietta Cobb Museum interior
Marietta Cobb Museum exterior
The exhibition is on view from April 13 - June 30th. Opening hours are from Tuesday through Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m, Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m, and on Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
I'm starting to think that this slow spring is some kind of seasonal protest. Maybe Winter overslept and just refuses to get out of bed. Or perhaps Spring is "working to rule", hoping to wrest better job conditions, pay, and benefits from Mother Nature. Whatever the case, the outdoors are uniformly drab.
When I look out the window, I see our yard is a field of mud and construction debris leftover from the Great House Jacking of 2012. On a good day, the mud is frozen; on a bad day, my dogs coat the ground floor of our house with it.
When I look out the window with my mind's eye, I see the yard as I want it to be: green grass, a lush canopy of trees, and flower beds all a-bloom. I think about where I would like to plant flowers and fruit trees, what colour palettes and garden designs I want to use, where I would like to put a walk way or steps, a raised bed or two...
Sadly, we are a long way from that reality. For the time being, I content myself with making some floral collages. Whatever it looks like outside, the garden in my studio is in full bloom and awash in colour!
Spring officially arrived here a couple of days ago. It was, of course, ushered in by a snow storm. This is what my studio entrance looked like on the vernal equinox.
And as I look outside the window of my office right now, I see that it is snowing. Again.
I know I'm not the only one looking forward to a change in temperature. Our sheep were shorn last week and now they find it too cold to go outside. The chickens remain trapped in their coop. Even the barn cats don't care to be out much. I should say that I use the term "barn cats" loosely. Yes, we do have some cats in the barn, but I also have three who objected to the cold winter temperatures so much that they took up residence in my studio and are now studio cats. Safe as they are from the elements, it's practically impossible to get them to go outside. Honestly, who can blame them? They know they have it good!
From left to right they are Trinket, Penny, and Primrose in the box. Primrose spends a lot of time in boxes. So much so that she is featured in my newest collage, appropriately titled "Cat in the Box"
"Cat in the Box" 9x12 painted and found paper and cardboard on cradled mdf panel.
Yes, part of the box in the collage is made from a real box. Collage is fun like that!