Saturday, December 18, 2010

Semester finally over

The last three weeks has been intense with many projects due. I'm just catching my breath and assessing the situation as the saying goes. I will post the results of my efforts as soon as I can catch up on personal items that have patiently waited on the side lines.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Still Traumatized by Admissions

So I wrote my umpteenth email to Admissions asking when my English credits will be processed. Again it is registration time and again I am not able to register without permission due to the absent English credits. I was promised in the first week of September that it would be done that day. It's November and not on my transcripts.

It's not that it registration a hassle. Instead of using the online registration I need to go to each professor, have them sign off then go in person to register. It also distorts my level which then prevents me from applying for scholarships that correspond to my year. I missed this academic scholarship application (application only can be done in September). I've been looking for work to supplement my income but being over 60 this isn't as easy as it once was.

I know my problems are small compared to others in the world but that doesn't make it easier to accept as it's happening.

That's my whine for the day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Harry Kent told me about the Saatchi online  resource for online display of your art. I registered but didn't have any decent images to display my art. I have since made a portfolio and took some images with a high quality camera thanks to my Professional Practices course. You can view them here You'll also find my artist statement I crafted for my portfolio.

It was an enlightening experience (making a portfolio). I was able to see threads in my work from my very first self portrait and landscape. Neither are on the Saatchi site but are somewhere on my blog.

Saatchi has a contest called Showdown where you submit one of your pieces and the one who gets the most votes wins the $1000 or $500 prize plus the works will go on display at the Saatchi London Gallery. So the person who can rally the votes has the advantage. haha

Friday, November 5, 2010

What's Not to Love, Winter Guests

I have two piece remaining in the Performance Art studio and am researching ideas when I came across this trailer of Winter Guests dance company, choreography by Alan Lucien Oeyen. Something about it just appealed to me. Maybe it's the sentiment. Maybe how voice, music and dance are combined. Anyway thought you might like it.

What's Not to Love
Still from trailer on youtube

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Night was re-visited

I know I said I was finished but ... wasn't totally happy with the halo I created so the Night was re-visted. haha

I scraped layers away in areas and applied more wax/oil and just finished burning again. I think it's more to what I intended the previous time. I was careful with the heat because I didn't want to disturb the patterns I created with the scraping and paint application. I was able to take advantage of the texture - the paint went into the indentations leaving the top alone. I really want to continue this exploration into the encaustic process.

Just looked at the image and the photo doesn't do justice to the delicate layering. I'll see if I can get a better camera with a decent lens.

Still thee thy thundering heart. We are not alone.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Project 3 for the "Night" exhibit

I finished the final burn last night. This was an exciting project. I changed the composition from the original to respond to things as I went. I started with a brush then switched to a palette knife. There are about seven layers. I scraped and added and burned through layers to reveal the previous ones. I'm happy with the final result. The title was inspired by my bloggy friend Jared Shear whose paintings I admire and titles that make me smile.

Still Thy Pounding Heart

Friday, October 29, 2010


Thought you might be interested in an example of a

PechaKucha presentation. The image is the opening shot from "Mud Portraits"

"Canadian photographer Harold Godsoe introduces his series of "Mud Portraits", explaining what drew him to using mud, and what he feels comes out of the resulting photographs."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Intense Week!

This week is very intense. I have three projects on the go with one due today, one tomorrow and one next Tuesday. Thought I'd recap for myself and you while I catch my breath.

Today I am traveling to downtown Vancouver in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery where my Performance class will be presenting two pieces each. I am ready! This is the most nerve racking class but I think I will survive LOL. We are documenting the pieces so I'll post photos later. I should add that it's pouring rain and 8C.

The second project is my professional portfolio due tomorrow. Everything's complete except for burning the CD images. I'm applying for Graduate Studies at Goddard College in Vermont. It's a dress rehearsal for the actual application. I really was attracted to the program here until I found out foreign students pay over $7000 U.S. EACH SEMESTER!!!!!

The third is for Open Studio due Tuesday. I have layer # 5 on and have started to scrape areas to reveal the darker layers. I can't wait to take the hot air gun to it. I'll make a decision after the heat of whether to add more layers. I originally wanted 8 layers but ...

I also want to announce that a group of emerging artists at Kwantlen have started an artist collective. We are seeking places to exhibit our work and we've gotten positive response from various departments to hang on their walls. We are planning Pecha Kucha Night. It's a beginning!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Charcoal on paper

Last week I had 45 minutes until my husband was finished teaching. I was in the drawing studio and found some fat charcoal sticks in my bag. So I grabbed a mirror and large piece of brown paper and started to draw a self portrait. I haven't done it in a while. I quieted the little voices who did not want to draw or look at myself and started. It was a good exercise. The big hunk of charcoal made it difficult to do fine detail with a light touch. When I got home I addressed some of the problems and used white conte to add my grey hair. I need to do this more often.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Artist Trading Card Exhibit

I found this while researching for a project in my Professional Practices course. One of the local community galleries is having an Artist Trading Card Exhibit. It invites local, national and international artist to submit nine cards. It's short notice, deadline is November 1st. Exhibition dates are November 26, 2010 - January 22, 2011. For more info go here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Project 3 Layer 4

Here is the fourth layer before heat application. It takes about 24 hours before I fuse the layer with heat depending on the thickness of the wax/paint. I changed from a brush to a palette knife.  I also changed from ultramarine to cobalt blue in my mix and added the first bit of white. I hope I can get at least another 6 layers before installation day. Each layer is like opening a Christmas present. I'm never quite sure how it will look after using heat. I'm thinking of scraping a layer to reveal the previous one in areas. I'm trying to keep this in mind as I add layers but sometimes I just get into the flow of the moment.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

First 2 layers on the canvas

30"x20" oil encaustic on canvas
I have a long way to go yet but I couldn't wait to share. The flash distorts the colour so try to filter it out. Later I'll take a better photo.

Ross Bleckner

Just was revisiting items about Ross Bleckner and came across this video in which he talks about his art and also about his U.N. Ambassador experience with Ugandan children at vimeo site.

Ross Bleckner from Howard Silver on Vimeo.

Open Studio #3

I started the third project in Open Studio. Gone back to oil, encaustic on canvas (30"x20"). Subject is the night. I hot gunned my first layer and added the second today. It's a beautiful sunny day so I was able to do it outside, better than the garage. It's always an emotional roller coaster. I'm excited and prepare everything then I'm standing in front of the canvas and I have a brain freeze and have to force my hand to pick up the brush and make the first mark. Will this ever go away?!

The first two projects were installations looking at memory and place. This one will have the paintings as the main focus. If I have time I may add another element. I've used encaustic before but on board so the new element is the canvas.  Ross Bleckner is definitely my influence here. Click his name to see his work.

It's a lot of pressure because all our projects go in the Gallery for two weeks. So it's not just one day for class critiques -  the whole campus can go and see and respond. Adds a little fear factor when experimenting with new ideas or mediums.

I've not had time to resize photos for the internet. Too busy working on my portfolio which is due at the end of the month. Once the portfolio is done it'll be less hectic and I can post images from the first two projects and this one.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Elements of Art:Form, Content and Context

I came across this reference thought might interest some of you.  It was recommended by Dorothy Barenscott on her blog Avant-Guardian Musings. It's called ART HISTORY: A PRELIMINARY HANDBOOKby Dr. Robert J. Belton. It is online and free to use.
It looks like an excellent resource for persons like myself who are studying art history and in the process of defining my own art practice.
Thank you Dorothy for sharing this resource.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Mohan Rana is a beautiful poet and in this poem he expresses my feelings about life as a short journey.

To the Lost Children
·                         by Mohan Rana

I want to write to the lost children,
those whose clothes hung from the branches
of the mulberry tree, getting smaller
as the branches grew.
The tree gets thicker and thicker
until years later I see the old tree
bent over its own shadow.

The clothes turn to shreds;
their memories mix in the wind,
dissolve in water, sink under the seasons,
fade like a forgotten poem.
I set out to write about myself 
but I start talking of someone else.

My contemporaries are growing older.
One day they too will go missing
like the lost children: one day.
One day will go missing out of many.
I want to write a letter
to the lost children
posted from their lost childhood.

 Subah kii Daak, Morning Post

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Open Studio Project Two: The Mulberry Tree

We are continuing on the theme of secret/hidden places. I'm still feeling melancholy in the sense of loss but if you use the stages of grief I am accepting it. There is a certain comfort in grieving. I am warmed by the memories of the past. It's partly due to visiting "The Wilderness Downtown" project. I visited two places of my childhood which brought a flood of childhood memories.

One was the summer I first tasted a tomato straight from the garden. I never like tomatoes, they always seemed tasteless to me. But these tomatoes were absolutely delicious. I couldn't believe my taste buds. I happily sat on the swing set with my friend eating tomatoes from the neighbour's garden.

My friend introduced me to another tasty treat. In her yard there was a tree I had never seen before. Its branches draped down to the ground. She said "Let's go inside the Mulberry Tree" Huh?! I followed her and sure enough there was a secret, hidden place inside the boughs of the tree. Inside there were many, many black berries, fat and juicy and so sweet. I often went here by myself, sitting inside being invisible, eating berries.

So the Mulberry Tree is my subject for the next project. I'm following Caio's example "Don't You Dare Do What's Been Done". I am making the series with acrylic which I've not used except a couple of small flower paintings over the summer on canvas and frosted mylar in an expressive style. You see how you all are influencing me? ; D I have finished two on canvas and two on mylar. I'm just beginning to loosen up with my brush strokes. I am feeling my way in this so I hope my more experienced friends will forgive my clumsiness.

Below are a few reference photos.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Quick Check In

Hello everyone

My hard drive died a few days ago so I'm on a borrowed computer. Paired with a heavy schedule at school I haven't been able to leisurely read everyone's blog posts which I enjoy thoroughly. I can't thank you enough for sharing your work, insights and rants. I look forward to more of the same.

I'm glad that my resource posts are sometimes useful and or amusing.

Cheers to all my bloggy friends. :D

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More on The Wilderness Downtown

This piece is interactive. Before it begins you put in the place where you grew up, then Google puts live video from there into the video. At one point you are asked to send a postcard to your young self. When the video is finished you can send it to share with others in the project. I think you can be anywhere in the world that Google has satellite to participate. Let me know what you think of the experience.
It is designed to be used with Chrome browser that can be downloaded from Google. However you can try it with your usual browser and see if it works.

The Wilderness Downtown

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Wilderness Downtown

Dorothy posted this link, The Wilderness Downtown on her blog Avant-Guardian Musing 
 is an experimental online  interactive film by Chris Milk Featuring "We Used To Wait" Built in HTML5

I think you'll be amazed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What is Art

Here is a video of Bob Gregson's work. I discovered it through the Thea's Encaustic newsletter. It is fun to watch and it challenges the view of what is art. His art is fun and interactive and he certainly has me thinking in a different direction. Here's a link to his website.

Encaustic Bath

Since I was asked what an encaustic bath entailed I looked up the link where I got the idea. It was a link in an encaustic newsletter I subscribe to: Thea Haubrich who is a B.C. artist residing in Penticton.  Check out other items or subscribe to the newsletter.

I didn't use this exact method. Instead I brush cold wax onto the digital image then when dry I fused it by placing the image between layers of parchment and used an iron to fuse wax to the paper.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Open Studio Conceptual Collaboration

Tuesday is installation and critique day. Hmm that gives 3 days to test the encaustic bath idea and have the images ready to place.

The topic is memory - vivid memories, faded memories, discarded and forgotten ones.
Materials: Collage, acrylic paint and encaustic images placed among the branches hanging from the ceiling. Branches form a path and supports for images. Light cast shadows on the walls.

Hopefully it will work. I'll take photos of the finished construction.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Visual Culture Blog

My Art History professor has just put up a blog called Avant-Guardian Musings,

  "Avant-Guardian Musings is a curated space of ideas and information, resources, reviews and readings for undergraduate and graduate students studying modern and contemporary art history and visual art theory, film and photography studies, and the expanding field of visual culture. For students currently enrolled in my courses, this blog also serves as a place of reflection and an extension of the ideas raised in lecture and seminar discussions"

Drop by her blog there is everything from film to performance art to photography to paintings, you get the picture. There are also links to various art publications like NYT, Artforum, Canadian Art. It has a wealth of information of the visual arts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Open Studio Project

First project is collaborative. There are three of us working together. Next Tuesday is installation and critique. Yikes!

Below are digital photos I took. I added omnidirectional lighting in Photoshop. The chairs were abandoned around the property. Placed there by someone in the past. Now nature is slowly absorbing them.

The last photo is looking in through the window to the older woman sharing her memories of a trip to the Antarctic. It has a reflection of a window in the window pane giving it an altered appearance

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Mozart's Requiem

Thought I'd share another movement of Mozart's Requiem used in the dance performance by choreographer Gary Masters.

The music is so beautiful. Being a part of this dance performance was an awesome experience. This first segment was a quiet introduction of loss while the following sections had a mix of emotions. I love the softness in the opening. The music soothes and comforts before it intensifies. It was easy to imagine carrying a candle to represent someone I had lost. There also was a gentle comfort at times, a ritual in the movement.

I'd like to bring that range of emotion into a piece. I'm thinking it needs many layers by using multimedia. A challenge I know. It may not work the first time but I can refine it in another piece.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mozart's Requiem Mass

This is a beautiful piece from Mozart. When I was in Simon Fraser University Summer Institute Dance Intensive (1988) I had the privilege of working with Gary Masters, contemporary choreographer, New York. The Intensive was 9 am - 4:00 pm classes Monday to Friday with extra 2 hours of learning choreography and rehearsing for the end of summer performances. Some summers the choreographer already had a piece ready other times the piece was created during the program. Masters came with an idea but developed the piece with the dancers. It was truly amazing as a dancer to be the instrument for a choreographer's creative process. It was called Requiem and it was dedicated to the loss of friends. It was personal for anyone who experienced loss of a loved one while at the same time transcended to the symbolic ritual of grief and loss. Performing it I could feel the power and loss of life.

In some way I want to explore death, loss, and grief. Mozart's Requiem Mass and remembering this moment is the beginning of my exploration.

As you listen visualize 15 dancers entering from the back of the theatre dressed in black carrying a lit candle down to the stage. Each dancer set their candle on the floor at the back of the stage and quietly took their place on stage waiting for the last candle to be placed. At that moment the dance began the first section, the realization of loss and grief.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Open Studio continued

I got so involved with looking into the artists on page one I didn't realize that our journey would go on to another theme. The next project is "The Night Project" and we will be looking at the artists Daniel Richter and James Turrell. The parameters are the examination of our reactions and observations of night. Hmmm this will be interesting. I have been known to scare myself when I'm alone at night.

The next framework is our choice from Surveillance, Voyeurism and Social Media. We will be looking at the artist, Nan Goldin, photographer.
She said of her work:
My work originally came from the snapshot aesthetic…. Snapshots are taken out of love and to remember people, places, and shared times. They're about creating a history by recording a history. 
The last project will be our choice.

I will be mulling over all of this and then some before the first class next week. It's going to be an interesting journey.

P.S.  As I was galavanting across the internet I came across a virtual tour of Satchi gallery's new building in London and was curious of an institution that sold art for millions of dollars. Here's the link

Open Studio Preparation

I just received the course outline for Open Studio.  The parameters are steeped in the theme nature/environment/human. Some of the artists we will be looking at are Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Peter Doig, David Milne, Group of Seven, Edward Burtinsky, Sally Mann, Robert Longo, Robert Smithson, Tony Cragg, Jim Dine, Elizabeth Magill (her bio and technique), Isamu Noguchi, Horiso Sugimoto, Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, Fiona Bowie, Myfanwy Macleod.
I've made links to the artists i have looked up, I'll add additional links as I explore more. Their works reflect a range of artistic styles in a variety of mediums. It looks like it will be challenging studio work but also exciting.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Experiment with acrylics and gels

acrylic on canvas 6"x6"
Took this photo with my laptop camera software so not the best shot, a little shaky. The yellow is a curtain in the background, not part of the painting.

I wanted to do something quick so I drew the cone flower in charcoal over acrylic blues background.  then started painting. The charcoal made it fairly muddy so I added more light but I think it was too much. I think I washed out the variation in tones. I used the charcoal to begin with to give it that variation, sigh. Too much, too little, one day I hope to get it just right.

The gels are interesting. I used semi-gloss, gloss and sculpting gels over the paint rather than mixing it with the paint.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good News, it was meant to be

Two more spaces became available today in Open Studio and I got one! I am so ready to work.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer's ending soon, want to howl

My brother and sister-in-law were here for a visit from Ontario. It was wonderful to see them! Our last visit was over ten years ago, way too long but travel is expensive. It makes the visit very special.

I am now re-establishing a routine of painting, house repair and preparing for the fall semester at school. I still have my admission/transfer English credit to deal with. Argh.

Another decision regarding school - do I take 3rd year courses which are not offered every semester or stay with the first year courses. I also found that there are spaces in 3rd year Open Studio which came available in the last week. I really want to do this one because it has the freedom to use any medium and more open to set own parameters for my work. I can only afford to take three courses both in time and money. If I'm not able to get a part time job or scholarships I may not be able to finish my degree so there is more pressure on choosing courses. This is the negative side to having more life time behind then in front of me. There is not the luxury of working a year and then going back to school.

A lot of life decisions are looming in the foreground. My husband has been working half time for the last five years but he will be retiring September 2011. Our income will be cut in half again so decisions of where to live which means can we afford to stay in our house or do we need to sell and downsize. We live in a subdivision with small lots and modest houses. We are lucky in the sense it is a luxurious choice to be able to make. Some don't even have that so their standard of living drops with no safety net.

So my fantasy of staying put for another three years while finishing a BFA is in jeopardy. Time for a reality check for many dreams. Sigh.  Harry I feel a need to howl!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alison Lambert technique

 charcoal, mylar, paper, glue, etc etc. about 6' x 4'?

Chelsea won Faculty Choice award in the 2010 Student Show, "Tangent"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When it all began

These two pieces are from my first and second semester of painting. I had just recovered from an epic appendicitis and was still seeing a home-care nurse three times a week during the first semester. It's one of those times when you feel capable doing the small things and think it means recovered. Then you go into the big world into unfamiliar places and you realize that maybe you aren't normal yet.

I had a lot of trouble getting my brain, and hand to work together. It was so different from charcoal and ink that it seemed impossible to transfer what I learned there to this new situation -oil painting.  I wondered what the hay was I doing in this class and hated the feeling of helplessness. But I stayed and gradually became more comfortable and gained more control.

Our final assignment in the first semester was a contemporary still life.  To do this we had a box in the same ratio of our canvas and placed items inside. I chose a theme that reflected my activist history. I had a lot of buttons from various campaigns and started to construct the still life. The items I placed in the box had some relationship to my values and actions as a concerned citizen. So stones, an origami peace crane, sand paper to simulate beach and a piece of driftwood. For the back I chose a photograph of myself which was taken in front of a billboard celebrating Nelson Mandela's release from prison. I was finally excited to paint. I decided to paint the photo in black and white to avoid the added dilemma of skin tones. Everything else was colour of the objects. I pinned the buttons on the flaps so they would frame the boxed items and provide a context for the still life.

Photo of the still life construction.
It's been bumped around a bit.
Had to move out the dust bunnies :)

My first self portrait in contemporary still life. 
2'x3' oil on board

You can see that I simplified the background of the photo. Most of my classmates didn't believe I could do it especially the stones. But my instructor, Robert Gelineau was very encouraging. When I froze facing the blank canvas Robert said I needed to get something on it by the end of the class and the only way to get over the fear was to paint and he was right. I started with blocking in the buttons. Once that was done it was easier to tackle blocking in the rest and then the details.

4' x 5' oil on canvas

The next semester we tackled landscape. Our last assignment needed to combine three different sources.  I chose to combine figures and landscape to create a piece that had meaning for me. It is based on a photo I took of my daughter who was a professional mountain bike racer. This race was at a local farm (wasn't a mountain race). You can see her in the distance about to ride into the sunlight. The older woman is my mother-in-law who at the time of this photo was somewhere in her late eighties. She is a counterpoint to the youth who is attacking a competition, in her prime. The No Stopping sign seemed to fit with how we live life, no stopping until we're done, just like the race the goal is to do your best and finish.

Some of my classmates didn't like that I included the old woman. It didn't make sense to them. How ever it made perfect sense to me. One thing I would do differently is to place the old woman more toward the centre.

The photo is a bit blurred because I didn't use a flash so it took forever to process and I never hold it as still as needed for a clear crisp shot.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Alex Kanevsky & Frosted Mylar

I haven't experimented with mylar but I found someone who has, William Whitaker, find details on the Forum for Professional Portrait Painters and Serious Students. 

Also found another forum of Studio 2012 where Kanevsky gave a workshop. There are a couple of posts sharing student's notes. The second student captured a point that struck me, "Another point that I have heard so often before. He said someone asked him about who his favorite teacher was. He could not remember a single teacher but his fellow students he could remember. People who are constantly feeding off of each other learn."  I think this describes how I feel about my experience of blogging. I'm learning so much through everyone's reflections and art.

A classmate of mine in Open Studio also experimented with clear mylar sheets. She used it to create several layers which she hung behind one another with several inches in between. She set a light to shine from back to front with the intent that all layers could be seen superimposed on each from a front view or individually from the side view. It was somewhat successful but she needed more time to experiment with spacing and lighting. I should mention she used acrylic paint rather than oil.

Alex Kanevsky Interview

I revisited an interview with Alex Kanevsky (link to full interview). I like his advice to artists just starting out,

"Build up your self esteem to the level that might seem unwarranted. This will help you ignore both positive and negative responses to your paintings. Both are usually misguided, since they come from the outside. Be your most severe and devastating critic, while never doubting that you are the best thing since sliced bread."

Missed comments

I am still learning how to use the blog process. I just discovered new comments on older posts which asked for a reply. So I am in the process of reviewing my older posts. And I just discovered that moderating comments on older posts can alert me of them so I don't miss anyone.

I find your comments very valuable because it asks that I shift my self perspective on my art making. It's always good to have outside eyes while at the same time remembering I don't always have to agree (this has been very true during our student critiques where some believe that everyone should paint as they do, so if you don't it's automatically wrong, hahaha. Gotta love those student critiques sometimes. It can get pretty intense). I should mention as well that our class critiques can also very useful. There are surprises when a painting is read completely different from your intention.

Latent Presences

I am fascinated by the numerous ways of approaching art-making. One of my student colleagues, Chelsea Lawrick, reminded me of an approach by Allson Lambert when I visited her blog, Secret Places.

Lambert uses charcoal and black pastel, photo on left links to more of her pieces:
"The process continues--redrawing, ripping, scraping, and layering--creating an almost sculptural surface of frayed, stratified paper covered with shadings of black and gray. The result is a profound sense of presence. Each drawn head or figure is virtually the imprint of a soul, with the artist's laborious process seeming to echo the decisions, thoughts, and feelings that through a lifetime have subtly engraved themselves on the person's spirit.  " (link Latent Presences   for full text and photos of her work).

It reminds me of Harry Kent's exploration of mark-making using oil and charcoal and that he wants to experiment with fabrics for textures and colour as well as combining other paints with traditional oils. You can see images of his work at his blog 

I don't have any drawing or painting studio courses this fall but I think I'd like to use Lambert's technique as an independent project. I would need to make use of the university's studio since mine is in the corner of my kitchen where charcoal dust doesn't get accommodated very well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Home Reno Blues

One more task to finish the kitchen renos which started last year with a burst pipe, water everywhere. Putting in a tiled back splash to protect the new counter top. I've never done it before so fear is playing a part in my procrastination. But I need to get it done so I can get back to using Harry's technique again with a fresh canvas and a little more wisdom. It was hard to ignore the portrait underneath especially when the charcoal kept falling off.

And I have two more paintings that are waiting for more work (sources - carcinoid tumour slides). I bought myself some cool safety glasses to use when i heat gun the cold wax paint.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Well it seems my persistence has paid off. I looked at my Admissions record and it now says I'm officially inside the gates as a BFA student. Considering I have most of my upper level courses it's about time. The next step is to make an academic plan that will prepare me to apply for a MFA. I will need to have a really good portfolio since I'm coming from a brand new program. This gives me incentive to practice, work, explore, take risks. Yahoo!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tried Harry's technique

Well Harry you have even more of my respect than before. This was an extremely difficult technique to do. It may have been complicated by using a previously painted canvas. The charcoal wasn't grabbing the surface. I understand fully that a light touch is needed. It took me a bit trial and error to get the right brush. What seemed a soft enough brush turned out to be way too stiff.

It didn't help to have Admissions call me in the middle of painting wanting to talk about transfer credits. While I listened to the Admissions officer I did my best to keep painting before everything dried.

In spite of the difficulties it was a good exercise and I plan to do it again but with a fresh canvas, gesso with a sponge roller to give more tooth for the charcoal, choose my brushes before I start LOL.

I was in a rush to try it but sometimes it's a way to get started- show no fear.
Funny I can see where and how I lost depth around the neck. Hmm I wish I could recognize these things earlier. Anyway below are the results.

reference photo, charcoal over painted, oil over charcoal

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

When a child ...

"When a child was a child it walked with its arms swinging"  Wings of Desire, film by Wim Wenders, 1987 My favorite film.

Two stills from the opening sequence:

You can watch the complete film on youtube with English subtitles. 

The film has many story levels which makes it most interesting and the film is very beautiful.
It is black and white through the angel eyes and in colour through human eyes

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wondering if

I am so inspired by the many artists I meet through this strange doorway into the world. I'm also feeling like a small child who admires all the older children who can do so much more than me and so much better. And wonder will I ever grow up. Beautiful paintings. Interestingly curious paintings. Soft comforting paintings and disturbingly beautiful paintings. I feel insignificant but I am a tenacious person with many years of practicing tenacity so I will keep painting.

I distract myself with domestic chores where I feel competent. I love an ordered house where I can find what I want quickly. I hate having to look for something longer than the time it takes to use it. My mind feels less cluttered and I can think leisurely or deliberately. I'm almost there and it feels good. My environment has suffered as I recovered from various medical challenges and my ability to get things done is a sign I am healthy and physically capable again. I am excited that I will have more energy to create and become more skillful at making art. I will find my voice. I am determined. Thank you all for sharing your work and yourselves.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hmmm spam

Oh my goodness. My last post sounds harsh and unfriendly. It was in response to someone leaving a link and description of services. I removed it before I thought of contacting the person and ask not to leave ads. I wanted to be simple, clear and to the point but... I didn't expect spam but then I started to look at the forum and it's not uncommon. I now understand why some blogs monitor comments before publishing.
Sorry everyone.  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Still playing with glazes

Still working through my paintings from previous semesters. These ones were a series from Spring 2010 in Narrative Painting. I prepared the canvases by collaging brown craft paper on the surface. I wanted the surface to have texture and the brown to affect the paint. I used photos as references from my trip to Girona Spain. I've been experimenting with glazes to give subtle changes to the values. I used a cadmium yellow glaze and burnt sienna on top. I'm waiting a few days to see if I want to add more layers. The photos are a bit skewed from the way I propped them against a chair.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Update of Abstract

An update of the abstract which I'm now tentatively calling "Rebirth". 3' x 2' 6" oil on canvas

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Abstract based on cell slide of a carcinoid Tumor

In the 2009 fall semester I did a series of abstract paintings using carcinoid tumor slides as a subject. It interested me not only because of the visual aspect of these slides but also because when I went through my burst appendix saga a carcinoid tumor was found on the tip of my appendix still intact. It was removed with my appendix.

I wasn't happy with this painting because it was too busy. There was no place for the eye to rest. The first photo shows the painting with a light covering of red glaze. It didn't have the calming effect I wanted so I decided to introduce new colour. I chose orange because it was complimentary to blue. The colour orange departs from what the cellular slide depicts. I think it's beginning to look the way I want it but it's not finished. A figure has started to emerge and I like this.

Close-ups of Sojourn piece

Finally took photos of the individual paintings in my last project in Narrative Painting, Sojourn.