Friday, March 28, 2008

Kapadokya, Turkey

I am fortunate enough to be on an adventure that began a few days ago in Ankara, Turkey. Last night I arrived at my hotel in Kapadokya in the dark of night and when I opened the curtains of my room this morning, the view of this other-worldly landscape took my breathe away. The tufa hills on the left were carved into dwellings by the people of Kapadokya nearly two thousand years ago - they must be the world's first condominiums.

If you look closely, you can see a hot air balloon in the distance, up to watch the sunrise.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

No more images this week

OK, I didn't quite manage to get any more work done on Circumnavigate, but that's only because I had a date with the Easter Bunny and now I'm sitting at an airport waiting for my next flights that will eventually get me to Turkey. I'm going to see if my clever cousin Craig will be able to help me post images of my adventure once I board the ship. So stay tuned ...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A little progress

After I've done the ho-hum work on the underpainting, these dry-brush layers are my favourite to apply as they bring out a time-worn sense of depth to the images. The wee houses begin to take on personalities and I get a sense of the character of the occupants as they lean upon and support one another. Another layer of colour for the rooftops and some outlining is left to be done before I begin the next cut wood layer to fill the gaping circle. Hopefully I'll get a bit more done and post an image before my upcoming month-long hiatus. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New on the easel - Circumnavigate

I had an idea for the word "Circumnavigate" for Leap's Play on Words show last month, but didn't have time to get started on it until after the show was over. I started the new work last week, sketching out the 28 houses around the edge of the piece, cutting the wood with a box cutter, priming, and then outlining the house shapes.
Here's today's progress.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Visual Language

Last week I was the featured artist for First Thursday Artist Talk at the Surrey Art Gallery. The topic was my symbolic use of colour, pattern, numbers and archetypes in my series With Sturdy Shoes. Thanks to the timely advice of an acquaintance who is a keynote speaker involved with Toastmasters, I was able to overcome my abject fear of public speaking and spoke with ease about my work in front of the audience - thank you David Bayley!

For nearly 10 years now I've incorporated the symbolic elements mentioned above in my works and over time they've evolved into a visual language that expresses the deeper meanings behind my images. For the benefit of interested folks attending my exhibitions, I have a binder filled with images of my works together with the interpretation of the symbolism I've used; when I sell a work or print I give a copy to the purchaser. Collectors and viewers have expressed a great appreciation for my interpretations - I hope you enjoy this one for Mask:
This work is a celebration of diversity within community: there are seven houses in a row - they represent the seven days of the week and therefore every day - they refer to every day in the community they form, leaning against one another for support; the many leaves behind the houses represent growth - emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth that paves the way for understanding and tolerance; the leaves are all the colours of the rainbow, representing the diverse members of the community living together in harmony despite differences of ethnicity, religion, culture, politics, socio-economic situations, and physical and mental abilities. The foundation layer is covered in gold leaf as an homage to the mask traditions of Venice. The similarity of the houses mask the underlying diversity.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Angled View

Here's Mask at an angle showing a better view of the grommets and copper wire; this shot also shows the richness of the gold leaf.

Completed Mask

Here's an update from several posts ago (early-mid-January). The completed Mask with 3 separate layers of visible surface, grommets, and copper wire. I used gold leaf for the background foundation layer; it appears much richer in indoor lighting than it does here in natural light. With the reflective qualities of the gold leaf, the intensity of the gold colour changes according to the light cast upon it at different times of the day.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Eagles in the City

The media launch for the BC Lions Society project Eagles in the City was yesterday morning. Native blessings, Mayor Sam Sullivan, President of the Board of Trade, President of the BC Lions Society, unveiling the eagle, native artist Jody Broomfield begins painting his eagle, dozens of media people are there filming, photographing, interviewing. Here's a link to the Province newspaper's article from this morning.

Stay tuned ... my A&A Contract Customs Broker sponsored eagle won't arrive at my studio door for a few months yet, but here I am standing next to the first one off the production line.