Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's Artember in Airdrie! Solo Show at Good Earth

Good Earth is located at: 

1109, 35 Mackenzie Way SW 

Monday – Saturday 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Airdrie is awesome. If you are an artist, this is such a great community to be a part of - September is especially cool because it is all about the arts! Artember is a city wide arts and culture initiative held by Creative Airdrie.

This year, I am participating in a few ways. First off is the AIRdirondack Gala and Auction - my Koi chair will be up for grabs with the proceeds going towards building arts opportunities through Creative Airdrie. 

Another way is the aforementioned solo show at Good Earth Cafe - my paintings will go on the walls early September. Becky and her team are awesome, I had a piece hanging there in June as part of the AIRdirondack Artist show there and they were a pleasure to work with. 

Last but not least, I will be painting in house at Good Earth on September 14th and 28th from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Come and hang out! This is a chance to see my process and ask questions. If you are an artist, I'd love to see your work too! Our arts community only gets stronger the more of us that come out of the woodwork! 

Happy Artember! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Painting - Bottle

24" x  36"
Acrylic on Canvas

This was one of those pieces that once started, I literally could not pull myself away from. I believe I clocked an eight hour stretch for a portion of this..... 

My subjects were visiting on New Years Eve and we were camped out on my couch. I tried over and over again to snap a decent picture of my little friend, it took a while but I finally had success. 

I thought the biggest challenge would be the glass of the bottle, I was pleasantly surprised when it came together. This piece has red going gangbusters in it as well... had a real Bruegel moment I think.... \

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Linocut - Chi Rho/Flight of the Soul

Flight of the Soul
4" x 6"
Ink on Paper

I'm enjoying the freedom that linocutting provides me with subject matter. Since I don't have much "history" with this medium, I don't feel like I'm boxed into a corner. Right now I'm just practicing. I'm not worried about editions, pretty much most of my work is in the A/P stage. 

I have a deep love of manuscript illumination, I think part of the printmaking itch that I have comes from having that as an inspiration source for many years. One manuscript in particular that I love is the Book of Kells. (Google it)

The Chi Rho page in particular is the the pinnacle of illumination in my opinion. There is a marriage between symbolism and form that is remarkable. I think of this page often when I think of non-representational works that I deeply respect. 

Anyhoo - I decided to create this piece to enter a contest for a Mumford and Sons t-shirt. I knew I didn't have much hope in getting all the votes but it was a reason to dig out my tools. I'm glad I took the time. I took the time to make it to say "thank you" to a band that I deeply love - their art has allowed me to open up and be ready to make my art. I figured it was worth a little piece of my time to make and enter it. (No, I didn't win anything!)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Painting - Turkish Woman Cooking

Turkish Woman Cooking
18" x 20"
Acrylic on Canvas

This is another one of my paintings that I've never blogged about. Like the Fishermen and African Girl paintings, this one was on display at the APL Show in January 2013.

This painting has so much going on in it - it was a challenge for a few reasons. We took this photo in a little restaurant/shisha bar in Istanbul, Turkey. It was by far my favorite restaurant on the whole trip. Old patterned couches and cushions, rugs on the walls, super friendly staff, tasty kebabs. We came here a few times with friends of ours so the memories are thick. 

One night that we visited there was a table set up and an older lady was rolling discs of dough, putting in fillings then cooking them on a large round griddle. She clearly had been doing this for ages - it was mesmerizing watching her roll these out. She was clearly a star at this because we had never noticed that on the wall behind her was a large photograph of her doing the same thing! Underneath the photo were multiple Turkish newspaper articles about her and her craft. 

We ordered some of these (can't remember what they were called) and they had seasonings and cheese inside - they were quite tasty. Similar to a Greek style pita but fresh off the grill. 

The photo we took was not super in focus and had to be greatly cropped (reducing it's legibility further) but I wanted to try my hand at painting it. The outcome definitely exceeded expectations and I think capture her well. I love painting riotous patterns and colours - this was a good outlet for me! 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

New Camera

The irony isn't lost on me that I took a photo of my new camera with my iPhone....

Pssssst! Want to hear a secret? Many, many, many years ago I used to take photography. Old school print film and dark room photography. I've used old Mimiya C330s, developed onto Kodalith, tried my hand at colour film processing. Langley Fine Arts School and NSCAD both had amazing dark room facilities and staff.

To sum up my experiences - I loved it but it wasn't my gift.

I wanted to get decent at taking photographs though to at least give me source material to paint from as well as accurately document my finished pieces. To be honest, I have many paintings in the past few years that are either badly photographed or not photographed at all. Taking a decent portfolio shot with a point and click or an iPhone is next to impossible.

This year, we decided we needed to upgrade our camera after our last one bit the dust. We'd been going on too many overseas trips and missing too many important family moments to not have a decent device to document these things. We ended up getting a low to mid range Canon DSLR. I'm happy.

I forgot how much fun telephoto lenses are. ISO and F Stops are a language that I am relearning to speak. The pleasure of SLR photography without the expense and uncertainty of bracketing! I am in love.

Part of the reason why I am only now posting some of my paintings from the last year or so is because I finally got around to photographing them. Still figuring out some stuff with it, but hopefully my pictures are starting to improve.

I'm not in any rush to become a photographer either. I know where my strengths are.