So excited to present a portion of my work on display at Café 349, in Shawville, Québec. The café is such a great supporter of local artists, and this is the third year I am exhibiting at this locale.
And after an embarrassing amount of paint, and starts and stops, I finally finished the centrepiece of the exhibition: “Under the Constellations.” I had a certain vision in my head of romance and open sky an while the end product doesn’t quite match the vision, I’ve learned that it’s completely okay to revision the vision.
I spent a few hours this afternoon knife painting the sky. I had initially laid a flat colour of blue, and had a dark orange horizon line for a sunset, but today I took out the thicker acrylics and palette knives and got done to the very serious business of creating texture.
I have never painted a canvas so large. I have painted a commissioned sign that was larger, but never a painting for my own series. And to me, this is a huge canvas – 3 by 4 feet! Working the paint onto the canvas with the knife was such a physical task that every fibre of my being felt spent.
I’m still in the early stages of this piece, but I’m already so deeply attached to it, and that’s probably because it has been so laborious to create. I know I have to display it, and I know I may have to sell it. I makes me wonder how some of the great artists parts with their work. After labouring over the Mona Lisa for almost a decade, did DaVinci feel as though he was giving away one of his children?
I finished this off this evening, and I’m quite pleased with the results. This is the eighth pastel painting in the constellation series. I’d like to get two more before the vernissage, so I better cross my fingers, and get back to the drawing board!
I read an artist’s statement once where she described herself as a “creative explorer.” I thought that was awfully hippy-dippy-hokey at the time, but the more I think about it, the more it accurately describes me as well!
Last night was a particularly difficult evening, due to a lot of confusion about my upcoming art show. I decided to put my malaise in a box for a bit and put together these earrings I had planned out. I brewed some green tea and threw in a sprinkling of lavender, got out some crazy rainbow beads, glossed up some pretty Fall findings, and settled my soul.
So it seems that in working with my Fall findings, I actually found parts of myself. And the malaise that I had been feeling – well, I discovered a good resolution. Through my own creative exploration, as hippy-dippy-hokey-pokey as it may sound, I was able to discover a lot about myself. And isn’t that what art is supposed to do, anyways?
I have a soft pastel painting in progress on my easel. It’s eventually going to become Gemini. But every time I set out to my studio, warm drink in hand, take stance before the painting to take stock of where to go… I just get a million and one creative ideas for other things that I’d like to try out and I have trouble focusing. I’ve decided to follow that strange creative intuition. It led me to create the ‘Children at Night’ set, and tonight, I made this trio.
I’ve used oil pastel before, but never with a true direction in mind. It was always simple doodling or sketching – the quick stuff. These were rather quick to make, but it was a fun experience to use oil pastel more purposefully. It won’t ever replace my love of soft pastel – that’s a love affair that’s in it for the long haul – but these simple illustrations are perfect for the media.
I call this trio The Star Flowers. Left to right, they are Cygnus, the swan, inside a sunflower, Vulpecula, the fox, with foxgloves, and Crux, the Southern Cross, with a cactus.
I started a pastel piece based on the Gemini constellation earlier this week, but then I’ve been a little under the weather and just not up to the usual focus it takes to work on pastel. In order to get back into the artistic swing, I worked on my children’s trio. This is the second piece.
These little mixed media works take no time at all – even the little embroidery stars. What seems to be the most difficult is choosing a paper and developing a matching silhouette! I’ve been pretty lucky to have found some fantastic vintage children’s books to put towards these projects.
It seems that when you work with kids – even when you don’t have your own – you’re always thinking about them. Much of my earlier work features children and lovely moments of childhood, and it’s a subject I love. Growing up on a farm, I had a pretty great childhood. And I just love to capture moments that remind me of how great it is to be young.
When I first moved into my home, I knew the large living room would be my painting studio, despite the suggestions from most friends and family that I use the second bedroom to keep it contained. I could not give up the thought of painting in front of that beautiful floor to ceiling window on a sunny afternoon. I know that most artists will argue for morning light being the best, but I’m really quite taken by the warmth of the autumn afternoons here.
The countdown is on for my exhibition: 20 days left to go! I want to finish off five more 8×10″ paintings, do my main 3x4ft centrepiece, and a couple miniatures. This means pulling out all the stops. This means soaking up every second of afternoon sun, absorbing it for all its worth, and creating something magical.