March 28, 2013

Rocks, studiously

High Falls Gorge, Lake Placid

I hung the new landscapes of the Eastern Townships over the fireplace last week and, for a lark, quizzed three-year-old Ada on the effects of different lights on the paintings. We have several lamps in our living and dining room, each with different light colours. She surprised me by easily pegging how each light brought out different colours in the paintings.

Above is my rendition of High Falls Gorge near Lake Placid, which we visited last year. My teacher describes painting as problem-solving. I found balancing the palette and finding the right brush and stroke to be the most challenging parts. I already knew that colour and line mattered a lot to me, but texture was a main event this time.

March 21, 2013

Scratchify no. 2

This picture fits with my toys post from January. Never drawn toys before, which seems odd when I think about it. Since they're everywhere. We have a small house, no playroom, so our home mixes Rainbow of Plastic with Roadside Furniture Treasures. (Or, as I like to call it, "British Colonial.") It's a mess. Chewed over playthings can be found every which way, including the kitchen table, which is where I was when I began this drawing.

I stopped working on this eventually, though I think it would look better with another, larger toy at bottom (maybe the side of a doll's face?). Scratchboard is great, but I don't think it's for me. I can't figure out why. That's probablyy why it took a month for me to realise I was not going to finish this picture -- because I didn't want to!

I have a terrible time knowing which voices in my head to listen to when it comes to picking subjects, media, and whatever in art. My teacher told us about a book called The Widening Stream, which is apparently all about that sorta thing. I checked it out of the library but found it too spiritual for me. It doesn't fit my reality [ref. para. 1, above]. Oh well, onward I trudge.

March 13, 2013

Ottawa art: what's stirring me these days

Painting rocks and water and skies lately. It's hard and delightful. I feel my work developing quickly and I think I will really miss this stage. I struggle with which colour to use or which brushstroke. Something is growing but I can only help it along through trial and error. Areas of my current painting are getting re-painted over and over. It means I have nothing to show right now, so I thought I'd share some artists and paintings I'm loving lately, mostly by local artists. First, three paintings, then some series of works. Yum yum yum.

by Claude Marquis. Title unknown.

(Marquis has no art website because his thing now is his music with the Ottawa-based band The PepTides). This painting must have been tough to do. First there's how well he executed the landscape, then there's the what's-that-she's-holding-oh-it's-a-gun moment. The two realities sort of... throb... against each other. Even if you don't like the subject, it's an amazing piece, I think.

Paul Huot Africa

Pierre Huot is an Ottawa-based artist who paints abstractly now. How has he managed to balance so many blues?

Rufino Tamayo Landscape with Rocks

Rufino Tamayo's Landscape with Rocks appears to have been a bit of a departure. The other paintings I could find online by this Mexican artist were quite different, often a bit violent in tone, featured roaring animals and barren land. Very compelling as you can imagine. In this painting, I love all the different shapes and brushstrokes. It's so alive!

Adrian Baker I gasped when I saw the series on women giving birth. I've never seen anything like this, ever.
Click Labours of Love.

Karen Bailey Check out her work for the Artists in Afghanistan program. The medical staff paintings compel you. She has an interesting style for such a project -- it's not gritty, which contrasts with the subject matter. Would I ever love to join the Artists in Afghanistan program! Such an incredible, multi-dimensional challenge.

Philip Craig and his gorgeous landscapes. His mastery of colour! These are enjoyable, soft pieces that I want to look at again and again. My favourite is The Boat Slip, in catalogue 2008.

Sarah Hatton I linked directly to her series called Role Models. These close-up paintings of children wake the protective mother in me who never sleeps soundly anyway.

Jaya Krishnan has gallery after gallery of gorgeous scenes of Cambodia, but my favourite is his last gallery of amazing Ottawa snow scenes.