More energies…

I finished ( at least I think I did lol) the latest large painting. A mass of energy directed onto the canvas, this one is what it is and the responses to it have been interesting and diverse, which is what all art should evoke. At 40 by 60, with the bold colours and movement, it is not for the weak of heart, or for those who favour more subdued colours or scenes, but I love it…I think…unless I work on it more. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to get a photo that captures the essence of it live as the light tends to play with the layering of glazes and changes the colours and the details.

untitled-View 1 oil on canvas 40/60 knives

untitled-View 1
oil on canvas
40/60
knives

Untitled-View 2 Different light Oil on canvas 40/60 Knives

Untitled-View 2
Different light
Oil on canvas
40/60
Knives

And something that harkens back to the series I have been playing with. This one shows the complimentary yet conflicting energies that sometimes we deal with in our souls.

Energies Oil on Canvas Knives

Energies
Oil on Canvas
Knives

Energies

After a while of different directions (turtles, moose, aboriginal inspired styles), I found myself swinging back to the knives. I had a need to return to bolder, bigger, more movement. There were energies at play, building, waiting to be told in giant stories with broad strokes, energetic slashes and colour, colour and more colour.

Awakenings was the first to emerge, followed by Vertigo, the largest canvas to date that I have worked on, almost as tall as I am. Both of these are going to TAG Art Gallery in St Catherines, along with Ghost Spirit and others.

The last one is untitled to date as it is still a work in progress, but it is pure energy, an explosion of colour. We will see where that one ends up, but channeling energies seems to be where I will be playing for the next while.

Awakenings Oil on Canvas

Awakenings
Oil on Canvas

Vertigo Oil on Canvas

Vertigo
Oil on Canvas

Size perspective-artist and Vertigo

Size perspective-artist and Vertigo

Untitled-Unfinished yet

Untitled-Unfinished yet

Energy

I am a firm believer that we as artists are conduits for energies. Sometimes a work will “flow” effortlessly onto the canvas a symbiotic meeting of spirit and media. Other times, there is a battle, a struggle where it seems like energies are at cross purposes. Perhaps, the story being told isn’t the “right” one for the moment, the intuitive spirit is waging an inner war with the logical, what is thought to be the “right” story.

For this painting, I started off with an idea or concept. I have always loved Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings and saw a plate created to represent her work that was stunning, a balance between delicate and powerful. I loved the energy that it had so started off with that in mind. Wrong. Somewhere deep within, my own energies, the place where I am in my psyche, spirit, was at counterpoint to what I thought I wanted to do. I started off in one direction and absolutely hated it. It was not subtle (not that many of my works ever are). It sat there, heavy on the canvas, flat and boring and disappointing.

I looked at it. Left it. Looked at it again. Was tempted to pitch it. But stubborn woman that I am, I was determined to fix the damnable thing. And that was when I let it go-the preconceived notions of what I thought I wanted to achieve, the ideas of what it “should” look like. I pulled out my knives, mixed a crap load (technical term) of colours that I “felt” at that moment, and hit it blind, no direction, no “have to”, no “thinking” or “should”, just “be”, let the energy and where I am take me into the space and place where the energies are just channeled from the soul onto canvas.

I am much happier with the energy of the piece, the flow of colours, contrasts and movements because that is where “I” am. And that is the whole point really sometimes 🙂 Not the best pic as I took it on my phone since the painting is wet, really large and hard to move, but you get the idea I hope.

Energy

Have you ever?

There are so many things that I would like to capture on canvas-so many things I would like to try.

Have you ever wanted to paint a full wall? Take a blank slate and just cover it in colour? A huge canvas and just set yourself free and smoosh, and splatter? What about taking the canvas and becoming the implement that paints, use your hands, your feet, your whole body to immerse yourself in the process so that you and the canvas become one.

Have you ever wanted to paint the smell of spring rain? The sound of the loons on the lake as it stills and reflects during the magic hour? The smell of the wood smoke from the sauna-the anticipation of relaxation before the plunge into the chill water that refreshed and rejuvenated the soul? The hush in the forest in winter when giant snowflakes drifting delicately to the ground is the only sound you will hear? The sound of a child’s laughter-the full belly kind that is pure unabashed joy? The feeling you get when you play with little baby toes and fingers? That kiss at the moment where things click and you melt? The warmth of a hug where all you need is the strength of the arms around you? The taste of tears? That deep satisfying moment where you are sitting with someone and not saying a word, and everything is good in the world?

Oh the things left to try.

Something borrowed…something blue

Let me tell you a story shall I? Admittedly, I’m going to “age” myself right off the bat, but, oh well.

Once upon a time…way back in the day when there were “junior high schools” and classes were called “Home Ec” and “Shop”. This was when the “Shop” teacher was horrified by the mere thought of girls invading his sacred male domain. Mind you, I suppose that when I managed to somehow forget to tighten the little dowhatsit (you know, the thing that looks like a sewing machine foot” on the bottom of the jigsaw), turned the machine on and proceeded to watch in fascination the lumber go flying up and down thereby twisting the blade thingy into a pretzel-like formation, well it didn’t help his impression much.

Anyhow, back to the story. While faced with yet another troublesome piece of machinery-no not the table saw or welding torches, this would be about my nemesis, the sewing machine. After “stitching” wobbly lines, chewing up fabric, breaking needles, jamming bobbins and muttering more than a few choice words…I mean, after “learning how to sew basic stitches”, we were expected to complete a “project”. I would like to say that I almost looked forward to making my wood bread cutting board more, but I digress. I chose to do an apron. Ok, not a “girly” apron. I wanted to make a denim workshop apron to hold tools and such for my dad. I am sure I swore up and down, couldn’t get the stitches right, and probably stabbed my hand seven kabillion times, but I finished it. And drunken seams dancing on those front pockets, I gave it to him anyhow. Now, I can’t say I remember his reaction, nor do I have any distinct memory of him wearing it.

Here is the “funny” thing. Years and years later, not too long after he passed away, my sister and I were cleaning out his little workshop shed, where he puttered around on his wood projects, creating things with love for people he knew. There, covered in little bits of sawdust, hung in place with all his other well used tools…there was that denim apron. The strap that went around the neck was held together with a safety-pin, and dad must have kept on wearing it safety-pin and all.

I’ve been mulling over what to wear this weekend to paint at The Brush Off. When I paint at home, it’s a pair of pink track pants from yesteryear, and an old t-shirt, both with more holes than public decency allows. I’ll most likely have to “upgrade” to something at least in one piece. There is one thing that I am sure of, it doesn’t matter.  You see, the first time I painted my first painting, I set up my palette and brushes and knives. I took a deep breath. Then, I pulled the denim strap over my head, making sure the safety-pin still held, and have never looked back. My dad never saw me paint; I hadn’t started before he died. But I am bringing him along for the ride this weekend with something borrowed, something blue.