"Scotty, Energize"

It was a great week for me even though I didn’t actually do too much painting, meaning I did manage to spend a couple of days painting but I got to do things a little differently than the usual thing I do each week.

Heating Up 2011-12, oil on canvas (48 x 72in. diptych)

First I had a meeting with the director of a downtown hotel for a potential three month exhibition in their lobby, beginning in March of this year. This project sounds pretty exciting because it can lead to some new exposure for my work and also potential clients from other countries.

Right after the meeting, I met with Holly Friesen an artist whom I’ve known for awhile, for a coffee and we ended up having a two hour chat.  It had been a while since we talked and it was nice to see her and actually seeing her sitting in one place for more than five minutes, being as busy as she is.

I decided as the new year rolled in, that I wanted to prioritize my days in the studio and my time making art. I had a tendency to sometimes waver and not concentrate on what I needed to get done. Part of that was to also spend time creating more opportunities for my work to be seen and to stay more in touch with my friends and fellow artists. It is a great way to share ideas, encourage and feed off each other. It seems to be working so far because I seem busier but with a purpose in mind and that pays dividends in the studio with the work pouring out of me. Art is lots of hard work, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I want to create conversations with my fellow artists and open up to new ideas. The art world is definitely changing and it is important for us to stay focused and to support and care for one another. No two artists are alike and If my opportunities might also work for another artist and I can relay that info to them, all the better for all of us. 

Heather working on paintings

Movement and lots of energy

Later in the week I invited Heather Yamada to my studio to paint. She wanted to use a space that was big enough for her to paint these beautiful large works on paper.

There was so much energy in the studio as I watched Heather moving from one painting to another, throwing paint, using brushes and brooms and mixing tools to get the effect that she wanted and working on each piece as she saw fit to do.

Someone curiously asked me why she worked on so many pieces all at once, “wouldn’t they all end up looking the same?” they asked. I think the answer to that is that there is so much energy involved when you’re working on large pieces that you can’t help but work on so many at once.

The energy, our energy needs to get expended over a larger surface to be considered successful and by only working on one, your energy would drain rather quickly while you wait to decide what to do next. Especially when dealing with water and paper. By moving from one to another, you give each a chance to absorb the paint and water and not end up with mud before going back in to do more.

I would love to have a different artist come to my studio every week, to paint and just spend the day talking and working. That would be so energizing and inspiring. So after a not so painterly week, next week will involve more painting, lots of energy and new inspiration from being with two of my friends whom I admire and love hanging out with.

Great Bones

Happy New Year Everyone!!
The promise of a new year always brings thoughts of change and doing things different. May this year be your best one yet.

Just getting into the studio this morning after a couple of days off celebrating the new year and spending time with my family. It is so quiet and peaceful here, I can really sit and relax and think as I wait for my creative juices to get flowing.

I love being here and thinking about my work, making plans and things I want to do. It is not easy finding a quiet area at home with the kids wanting your attention and so much activity going on. At least here my focus is more concentrated and on art. There is a  lot that goes into the daily life of an artist and sometimes it doesn’t end there. When I get home I find I still need to spend time in the evening doing research on the internet, looking at galleries and updating my portfolio but after a day of creating and being on your feet, it is quite exhausting.

I decided that coming to the studio earlier in the mornings might be a better option for me to try and do some writing then. I feel more refreshed and the thoughts seem to flow easier for me at that time of day.

Red Sky 2012, oil on canvas 72 x 48 in.

Lately, I have been concentrating on creating work from some older paintings that where shelved or abandoned after numerous attempts to paint something and failing miserably. This often happens to me when I am trying something new at the easel. 

As I am someone who hardly ever throws anything away, I would rather put it aside for another day. It might also be that you lose interest in what you are doing at the time, get side-tracked or turn your attention to some new idea that just popped into your head.

At the very least these forgotten works all have  ‘great bones’ to start something new on. They all have this great build up of texture and paint on the surface which I think is always a great way to start a painting.

These abandoned works have so much movement and character and by adding more to what is already there, they somehow feel fresher and newer and giving them a second life is both interesting and challenging. They instantly become new-older work.

I wonder what else is hiding in the ‘unfinished artwork’ pile.

Note to self: Start a bunch of paintings, put them aside and come back to them in six months. Reminds me of letting steaks age for awhile before you eat them…so much tastier.

Have a great day everyone.

Find Your Balance.

It’s that time of year again when we all start making new plans and thinking about things we’d like to do this coming year.
It is always a time to reflect and wonder and start anew for what you want to change. That’s the thing about your life and what you do, you can change it in a minute. You can plan to make it better or even different. We can sometimes get so caught up in our daily routines that change is not an option. It’s either too much work or we are so settled that we wouldn’t know where to start.

workin’ it during a live painting/musical performance

Myself, I could say that this past year has taught me to really go for my dreams. One of which is to take my art career to another level by firstly trying to be a little more meticulous in my work. Really take the time to do things the right way, which is not always easy.
Another is to try and plan out my work more. Think and plan rather than just getting to the easel and painting. This won’t really affect the spontaneous factor because the spontaneity is usually done on the canvas anyway.

JUST READ THIS!!!

I have to say that being on a path is not an easy task. We tend to get side-tracked and lose focus along the way.
I, personally have to listen less to others who always seem to have an opinion and do more by myself, for myself. I have to trust and believe more and just really go for it. Life certainly seems shorter than we think when we are busy doing and too long when we don’t do enough. As my mentor Heather said to me recently, find a balance. Center yourself physically, mentally and spiritually and find what makes you happy.
Peace and love to everyone this coming new year. Make it your best year ever!!
Thanks for your support