Monday, June 30, 2008

More Slippery Slopes

Close to being finished:

I'm on a roll now (thanks for the inadvertent kick in the pants, Andrea). Ideas for these slipping houses are coming fast and furious and I'm thinking faster than I'm able to paint - a thrilling if frustrating experience for me (usually I'm speaking faster than I'm able to think and this leads to all sorts of unimaginably embarrassing conversations and to many odd looks sent my way). I'm boldly going where I've never gone before ... cerulean blue skies and wavy waterways ... I'm breaking out of the restraints of my ridiculous and arbitrary self-imposed painting rules and am enjoying every moment of feeling absolutely wicked about it! Why didn't I do this years earlier?! Perhaps it has something to do with 2008 being my 50th year on the planet and I'm feeling ever so free to be imperfect (just to give you an inkling as to how long, long ago 50 years was - Sputnik fell to earth 50 years ago).

I'm enjoying life and my work more than ever and I'm take risks I'd never imagined half a lifetime ago (I'm not talking about painting now .... nor about sex, so don't worry).


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Slippery Slopes

I've been working vigorously in the studio preparing for next weekend's show at a local winery. I've taken a ruthless tack and have painted over several unfinished works on canvas to create new pieces. A long-experienced artist once told me to paint over unsold works that have been laying about for a couple of years collecting dust, however I could never quite manage it, until now. I'm finding it uplifting to give old canvases new life and activate stagnant chi. So here goes ... The beginnings of this new piece cover what was once a field of sunflowers from my Villages of the South of France series.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rumour of an Eagle

I don't know quite why I have been putting off getting back into the studio this week - the sunshine perhaps? The weeds overrunning my garden? The dust-bunnies overrunning my house? The yearly bout of self-doubt about my talent as an artist (or a poet, given the "... bout of self-doubt about ..."). Actually, it's too late, or too early for that particular avoidance-inducer as a local commercial gallery just sold one of my paintings. Anyway, today, just as I was running out of reasons to putter about instead of returning to the blank canvases in my studio, I received a telephone message ... "when can the Eagle be delivered?"

I am delighted to think that this latest cause for an excuse will be fairly legitimate - I couldn't possibly attack those canvases when I must clear room in the studio for the 7' eagle sculpture ... it could take hours and hours, or even days and days ...

Friday, June 13, 2008

OK, so it does take more than just two days ...

... especially when the sun shines and my garden beckons. It's nearly finished - just needs a little work on the background and some finishing touches to the figure, leaves, baby.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A little detour ...

Instead of beginning the new series I mentioned in yesterday's blog, today I felt inspired to begin this petite work for a show in early July and tomorrow I'll add more layers and the finishing details. It's enjoyable to work so small (10" x 8") and complete a work in just a couple of days; I'm anticipating each work for the new series to take several weeks to complete.

Monday, June 09, 2008


It's rather difficult this time of year to appreciate the rain bouncing with exuberant enthusiasm off the patio outside my studio window. It's no delicate pitter-pat, but rather a determined slap!-slap!-slap! I'm hearing through double-paned glass; in fact I do believe I can actually feel the vibration in the floor from this unrelenting pounding. I could bemoan the fact that my gardening efforts will continue to be delayed and that the perennial flower borders will continue to fill with buttercups that need uprooting, and with dandelions that will soon send their tiny umbrella-like seeds flying and floating a la Mary Poppins across the entire back lawn to repopulate the lovely green expanse with uninvited miniature sunbursts. However, instead I shall deem this as the perfect opportunity to cast away any further excuses and get working in my studio on the new series that has been percolating in the back of my wee brain.

Wish me focus and a little more rain!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Leaves, flowers, and butterflies

Finished the project just as the final bell rang. Whewwwwwww - lots of leaves, flowers, butterflies, and hard work on the part of these lively 7 and 8 year-olds.

Tree of Life

Klimt's Tree of Life is the inspirational image for the artwork the kids are creating - it bears the same title as Klimt's famous Stoclet Frieze, c.1909. I've simplified the background for the children to work with and they've done an excellent job on it (see previous post). Today we'll continue to stitch the individual panels together with yarn (one of yesterday's activities), add the second layer (a tree created from wire, tissue paper, and glossy paper triangular 'leaves'), additional details such as butterflies and flowers, and finally, the hanging device. I'm excited to see the finished work and to share that image with you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Getting creative outside the studio

Although I'm not back in the studio yet, creativity abounds. I'm working with a grade 2/3 class to create a mixed media work based on Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. The school's year-end art show opens in just a few days, so I was delighted to see these enthusiastic young artists work diligently throughout the day yesterday to complete the first layer of the piece. Here's the progress made yesterday.

I forgot my camera today, but will make up for it tomorrow.