Creativity continues, with a few hiccoughs

I’m coming out of a dry period, so challenged myself with a 24 x 36 inch canvas – no need to take things slow!

My intention was to create a sister work for 421 Cornered II from September 2021.

I worked with similar colours but an opposing motivation–I knew this work would be called Boundless.

This is an early draft:

There were many iterations to get here: shapes and colours added, removed, covered. It was getting close but was missing focus and WOW. I enlisted the help of artist friends for comments.

  • I’ve turned my laptop this way & that & upside down & it looks very balanced to me. The eye travels around nicely from all viewpoints. I think if you outlined the circle, it would concentrate the eye a bit too much on the circle & it would not flow as well.
  • I love all the varied elements in this, & the colours. My eye stays within the plane & roams pleasingly around it. I really like the checkerboard on the left.   
  • The pale circle is crying out to be the focal point. It doesn’t know why? It’s intriguing. It’s really pulling me in.                   
  • I think it’s wonderful! Outlining the white circle? Maybe…or maybe just the half against the yellow/green side.

I listened, reflected, then acted. And this is the result.

Next up, a smaller work for the series!

Life Emerges!

Thanksgiving weekend I visited the Marlin Orchard Pottery Show in Cornwall, the return of an annual show after the interference of COVID. It was a revelation!

The show is always interesting, with a good assortment of ceramicists. But this year the colours and forms were eye-popping. And inspiring. Seeing their work move from comfortable to extraordinary –juxtaposing shapes and colours–set me on fire.

Following six months of painter’s block, odd shapes and colours came together for me in a small triptych on cradled panel. What crawled out of that dark time I call . . . Primordial Oohs.

The devil’s name is Murphy?

Think I’ve mentioned being in a slight creative (painterly) slump since April. I’m working imaginative magic tweaking my home, making aesthetic changes inside and out. But generating art? Not so much. Dishes emerging from my kitchen are varied and delicioso — I’ve got the extra pounds to prove it! But it’s not feeding my urge to paint. Though I did do a nice red chalk-paint job on a small side table (not sure furniture counts as fine art in this case.)

We all experience dry periods so I’m not worried, really. Much. I’m reading about art, visiting art galleries. I’m buying exciting art materials too. I’m also very involved in organizing and hanging Collectif art shows – so I’m not divorced from art, just not making very much. At all.

Yet, ironically, this has been a year with many shows, interested viewers and strong sales. Normally that would spur me to splash paint around but . . . bupkiss. Sigh.

Perhaps the hyperactivity of fall with cooler temperatures will help and, soon, I’ll focus and happily share my quirky worldview in paint. As in this piece from a workshop: I didn’t like the model but the chap in front of me was fascinating!

249. The Colourist. 20 x 16″ Acrylic on Board

Where do the time go?

Some months since last we updated these pages, with nothing much (personally) new in this time of changes.

Planning shows for the Glengarry Artists’ Collective – details will be posted – and struggling with several canvases. Or, more accurately, with the way I’m reacting to the canvases. I’m attempting calmer and quieter paint applications.

By calmer I mean 

  • Waiting to paint until I know what the next paint stroke will be: more mindful if you will
  • Tamer colours (mostly!)
  • Limited palette.

Is an education! Four more canvases in the studio now at various levels of . . . doneness. Will also be experimenting with other media including ink sticks, pastels. And doing another ceramic class with Brenda Sutton Mader.

Unaccustomed to moving slowly, but it IS generating some different results.


Bringing Art To the World (well, to my town anyway)

As a co-founder and energetic volunteer for the Glengarry Artists’ Collective I’ve been heavily involved in the third iteration of this art show. 6-weeks of Art in the Street, 24/7 as WOW Returns to Alexandria

The popular art expo returns to Main Street, Alexandria, Ontario on 11 September. Open to the art-curious 24 hours/day, WOW is 104 works by 23 eclectic artists in more than 20 venues through the town centre. 

Windows on Our World, or WOW, hangs in business windows between Peel and Kenyon Streets on Main Street, Alexandria from 11 September to 24 October. Folks can vote for their favourites – winner will be announced at the close, 24 October. 

The six-week exhibit kicks off with WOWfest in Mill Square on Saturday, 11 September. Events include:

  • Art in the Square, from 10:00 to 13:00.
    • Families can try painting and multi-media work on site, all materials supplied. Local artists share tips and techniques. Come discover your inner van Gogh!
    • Or, practice painting alla prima (all in one go) en pleine aire (in the great outdoors.)
  • ArtMart, from 10:00 to 16:00
    • Local artists selling small art works, jewellery, cards, creative items (I’ll be there!)
  • Live Music Under the Tent, from 13:00 
    • Noël Campbell and Stephen Blondin
    • Katie Ditschun

The weekend of 25 & 26 September, piggyback on the Apples & Art tour by visiting local studios and the Main Street show!

Finally, on Sunday, 24 October, the People’s Choice winner is announced at Sandfield Centre in Island Park between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m. There will also be an art gift to the Township of North Glengarry.

What is Collectif d’artistes de Glengarry Artists’ Collective?

Founded in October 2016, the group has 70 members. To date our not-for-profit group has created:

  • Annual exhibitions: in a funeral home [2017-20]–though art isn’t dead; Glengarry Pioneer Museum [2018-21]; Windows on Our World [WOW 2017, 18, 21]
  • Workshops for members & non
  • County-wide art displays, readings, concerts, the Stuart McCormick Tribute
  • ArtBank: putting art in businesses year round
  • Three mural projects decorating the community 

The Collective’s intention is to make art a living asset in our area. (And we’re doing that!)