Sunday, January 28, 2018

Spiralling Evolution

It is pretty amazing how when your attention is drawn to something, in this case the spiral as can be observed in the carapace of a snail, you begin seeing the object of your focus everywhere you look. For instance, spirals are present all around us in nature; from fiddlehead ferns to the seed head of a sunflower to the centre of a tornado and to galaxies far far away. In fact, in countless plants and elements of nature, the spiral form, be it Fibonacci or logarithmic, draws you to the centre as if by hypnosis. 

Perhaps it is hypnosis that drew me to focus on moon snail shells on the beach. Some of them look as old as time, some look like they are at the pinacle of their existence. Although each one is unique, the spiral on each is unmistakable. 

Moon Snail at Cap LumiƩre, NB, Canada on the coast of the Northumberland Straight

In creating my next series of paintings, I feel myself spiralling towards evolution. The other options, devolution or stagnation, are not very enticing to me. That being said, "spiralling towards evolution"  might be a bit of an exaggeration because this series of paintings is a long and slow process. As a matter of fact, the use of oil paints has been a key factor in the reduction of the rush to completion. Most of these paintings are weeks, even months, in the making. I started using oils when I did my Natural Abstracts series. It is very hard to go back to acrylics which were at one time my favorite medium. I digress. ;-)

Here are a few of my latest paintings:
Lunatia, Oil, 61cm x 61 cm
(This piece was chosen as part of a Juried Exhibition, Moncton Gallery, Moncton, NB)
Oil, 15cm x 15cm
Oil, 15cm x 15 cm
Oil, 51cm x 51cm

This is not the last of them. I still need to centre myself as I continue spiralling towards that what it may!

(All images and text in this blog are protected by copyright by virtue of their publication.)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Harder than one might think...

Taking a break from your work or even an activity you love can be just what you need to renew your interest or give you a totally new perspective. You can get back at it feeling refreshed and full of the vital energy needed to dedicate yourself to the tasks at hand or it can be a little more challenging...Maybe the length of the break has a lot to do with it.

Don't get me wrong, I have been busy creating, it just hasn't been with any particular purpose or goal.  My home is filled with new paintings and photographs, but now what? Some will say it's like riding a bike, but truth be known, I was never the best bike rider.

I get the distinct feeling I'm just rambling on. I am just writing whatever pops in my head. Sometimes that might be just what one needs to get those juices flowing. Of course, it could easily go the other way and just turn into crazy-maker thoughts! I'm going to go with 'creative juices"...Yup, that's what is brewing in my head. And, until a path comes in to focus, I'm just going to post and share some of the work I have been doing in the past couple of years.

Background- Painting of moon snail shell 50cm x 50cm oil on canvas 2017
Forefront- Ceramic wave with celadon glaze, bits of ceramic messages, an shells 2005
Shells, waves, rivers, oceans...It's all about nature again, only this time I'm not land-locked. I'm more water-logged. ;-)

The shell paintings were destined for a group show that I had to bow out of due to health concerns and in the end they inspired me to redecorate the living room!

This is one of the livingroom wall arrangements.
Living on the coast also had a part to play. I started observing shells, much like I did the rocks in my previous series, and noticed that although they are similar, each one has it's own identity. Each one is unique, as these photographs which I have taken in the last couple of years demonstrates.


Some of these photographs are framed; all of the shells are part of a growing collection; all are art in themselves. Many inspired a few oil paintings, which I will be posting in the next few weeks.

In the meantime...Namaste!

(All images and text in this blog are protected by copyright by virtue of their publication.)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018-The Year of Endless Possibilities

Over five years since I have written in my blog...I can hardly believe it!

It has always been beyond my comprehension this concept of time. Certain things in life seem like they happened yesterday even if they happened years ago and vice versa. For instance, I can hardly remember a time without my children and yet it's as if they were born just yesterday, every detail as fresh as can be. And the same applies to the passing of my parents over 35 years ago...but wasn't I just talking with them? Perhaps the concept of everything happening at the same time has merit...That being said, I am hardly the right person to enter into that conversation.

As an artist, it's more feelings that I like to explore rather than abstract concepts. But don't get me wrong, I do love the abstract and like my previous series of paintings, I continue to see abstract art in all that surrounds me.

Natural Abstracts focused on rocks and stones and the art that could be observed while quietly contemplating the surfaces that surround us. Even exploring what lies within some rocks was revealing, as the image of this large stone a friend brought to me demonstrates.  
Sometimes things are going on under the surface that we are not conscious of and they are wondrous.

The inside to me was like a work of art, a nucleus intrinsic to it's host.

My next series of photographs and paintings focuses on nature's abstracts again but this time it was the sea that inspired me as in the abstracts you can find in shells. And while I was focusing on those abstracts I was of course confronted with the golden spiral, a prominent aspect of the Lunatia hero, the Northern moon snail.

The results of those observations will be the focus of my next few posts but for now, just getting back to my blog feels great.

2018 - Let's hope it's a good one.... Namaste

(All images and text in this blog are protected by copyright by virtue of their publication.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

To be continued....

After three exhibits in three different communities, the paintings in my series Nature's Abstracts have each found a home. The culmination of this two year project came to fruition this week. Many were sold, some were traded with other artists and some were given to family.


In My Studio
Of  the 34 paintings, there were only three I could not part with.
45cm x 60cm
Oil paint and paste on canvas
36cm x 36cm
Oil paint, stone and resin on canvas

30cm x 20cm
Oil paint on raw canvas, stone and feather
And a few were very difficult to part with.

10 cm x 12.5 cm
Oil paint, paste and stone on canvas

60cm x 51 cm
Oil paint and resin on canvas

Oil paint on Canvas
70 cm x 27 cm

The feedback I received from the three exhibits by way of written and verbal comments was most rewarding. It seems that this series of oil paintings successfully conveyed the very message I was trying to transmit-abstract art is all around us! I'm not sure yet if I am quite done with this theme because as I developed it so many new yet related ideas emerged. I am leaving them ferment as I take care of a few slightly more mundane tasks, i.e. cleaning my studio and prepping house and home for winter.

As for my blog, what can I say - To be continued....

(Note: I have been having the hardest time putting pics in my posts that it has really reduced my entries...Soooo frustrating!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And yet another year of promise begins...

Well it has been a while. I might even say too long if I hadn't been busy creating during these past months. And with good reason...solo show coming in April. Still, as exciting as that is for me, the creating part hasn't really been about the show. It has really been about being inspired. Frankly, I just can't get enough of it. A rock is no longer just a rock...I feel like I've connected with something bigger than me. Each rock I choose soon becomes a monument to some creative process that has me enraptured.
Oil on canvas, 24" x 36" (2012)
Although the paintings may not do justice to the thousands of years that go into the creation of a rock, I have this deep hope that they may awaken the observer to become as enthralled as I find myself when admiring the natural beauty that surrounds us, even in the tiniest of stones. Truly, I marvel at the complexity of it all.

Featured are two of the paintings I've been working on. I was hoping to post many more pics but I seem to be having the same problem shared by many...I can't upload my images. Of the two paintings featured here, one is accompanied by the stone that inspired it and the other is not. In the case of the other paintings I've been working on, some have the stone embedded, some are embellished with metals such as copper mesh, while others are surrounded by wooden frames. They will not all make it to my show but I'll worry about selection later. Then decisions on framing will take place and whether or not to present the inspiration stone with them.
Oil on canvas, 16" x 20" (2012)
As I always say, and fervently hope, I will try to post more often for I see it as the perfect journal to keep track of my creative endeavours.

And now the time has come to catch up with those blogs which I have so enjoyed and from which I have drawn so much inspiration, and , sadly, which I have woefully neglected.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Rock, Paper, Paint

Oil stained canvas - 25cm X 25cm
(Inspiration rock wrapped with wire hangs in upper section.)
From hundreds of rocks just a few will inspire. The search for that perfect inspiration, that scenery, that image in the surface of a small stone, that search has no end and no boundaries. I find myself acutely studying rocks wherever I come upon them. The most embarrasing place in in stores where bags of tumbled rocks can be bought for 1$. I will look at every rock before I buy the bag because there must be at least one that I visualize as a painting.
Oil on stretched canvas - 30cm x 30cm
(Stone inspiration attached -lower lefthand corner)
It's not a monetary issue. It's an accumulation issue.

I have rocks by the buckets; my studio is peppered with them. There are the tumbled ones, those found by the river bed where I picked fiddlehead ferns, those spotted on the road as I walked along, those found in a shovel full of dirt as I did some landscaping...There truly is an endless supply.

And I am developing such a connection to each one, even those which have no artistic potential. I feel that ultimately they all have the greatest of roles for they are of the earth, without which we would not be standing on firm ground. Perhaps that explains why when I hold a rock in my hands and I feel the ridges, the protrusions and the uniqueness of each one I feel so grounded.
Oil and modeling paste on stretched canvas - 10cm x 13cm
(Stone embebbed - midway left. Supported on small brass easel.)

I hope my most recent paintings are testament to the beauty within each stone that I choose to incorporate in my work.
Oil and oil stick on stretched canvas - 28cm x 70cm
(The art for the stone face you see is below. The actual inspiration for this painting is on the back of the stone. I wanted to tie these two together because both sides of the stone had so much to offer.)
Not quite finished with this one-Oil and oil stick on stretched canvas
60cm x 90cm
 There is a Japanese saying that states: "The pebble in the brook secretly believes itself to be a precious stone." ...I believe that as well!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Speaking Natural Abstract

I started drawing and painting some thirty years ago yet in 2006 I called my first real solo exhibit "In search of a voice". Although I had been painting just as a hobby you'd think I would have found my personal style in all those years. I even completed a four year degree in visual arts...Yet only now do I feel I can speak.

I'll admit, I mumbled a few words in this language every now and again but I always fell short in the vocabulary. The syntax and grammar left a lot to be desired as well. And now, today, I feel like a babbling brook. My language of choice-Natural Abstract.
I have often created inspired by what I saw as the abstract in nature but it was always just a piece or two. In no time at all, my inspirations seemed mundane. Then a few weeks ago I held a small river rock in my hand and I really looked at it, I read ever line and crevice, I really felt it's story.
Then I held another, and another, and another...and it became evident that each stone has it's own story.
Suddenly, I have a studio full of rocks and stones, full of ideas and inspirations...And I am the story teller.
As you might tell, I treat each stone as a unique artifact. The only common denominator is that they are all oil paintings. As for the composition, I let each stone tell me how it wants to be expressed. Some want to be part of the painting, some just want to accompany it, while others just want to inspire and return to the earth from whence they came. Others I feel so connected to that they will become my personal treasures, my personal rock collection.

Recently I heard a quote on the radio that seems to fit how I've been feeling "I love ideas because ideas are always pregnant". Are they ever! I had the idea to paint what I observed in one stone and twelve paintings later, I see no end in sight.

(All images and text in this blog are protected by copyright by virtue of their publication.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creative Spring Springing

Here we are...the first day of spring. Almost three months gone by and this is just my second post of the year. In my defense, I have been busy creating and painting. I've also been quite involved with a local cultural society and the opening of a new cultural centre. And now the time has come to return to the studio and focus on a new series of paintings I've been trying to work on for the last few months. Everything is slowly coming together and I'm hoping to have an exhibition this summer. Although I may eventually apply to different venues, I am choosing to open my studio for this exhibit. This will allow me to include a tour of my gardens where a lot of my sculptural work is displayed in situ.
That being said, this year is also as much about learning as it is about doing. I read very little fiction, preferring to read about what people are thinking, what they're creating and how they are getting results. Inspiration is always what motivates my book choices.

So here is a list of some of the books I will finish reading and refer to on an ongoing basis this year and for years to come. If you have books that have sparked your creativity and that I can add to my library of inspiration, don't hesitate to leave me the title and author in the comment section.
The Artist Unique - Carmen Torbus

Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists - Ann Baldwin
Urgent 2nd Class - Nick Bantock
The Artist's Muse - Betsy Dillard Stroud
New books in my reading library:

Secrets of Rusty Things - Michael de Meng
Kaleidoscope - Suzanne Simanaitis

 Metal Craft Discovery Workshop - Linda & Opie O'Brien

The Pulse of Mixed Media - Seth Apter
And the highlight this year will be The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed (Seth Apter)...not only because one of my paintings was selected to be featured in this book but also artwork and thoughts of many blogging friends I've gotten to know via their blogs in the last few years. I'm looking forward to the book being available in Canada later this month. Having seen many of Seth's projects, I know this will be an inspiring and beautiful addition to my library. (And I'll admit, a feather in my cap!)
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