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.

And I found another moose at 4am…

Apparently, once again, sleep deprivation leads to interesting things. The moose, which was a sketch, and then a sketch on canvas, and then some colours here and there, came full circle at 4 am. There are still some more details and finishing touches, but it appears that this is the direction I am going in for a while yet.

Moose

Moose

And a turtle, and a bird and a moose…

They are done. At least for now. A bit of this style, a bit of another, they seem to compliment the directions I have been taking as of late.

Ghost Spirit-Oil on canvas

Ghost Spirit-Oil on canvas

Spirit Wind-oil on Canvas

Spirit Wind-oil on Canvas

Turtle-Oil on canvas

Turtle-Oil on canvas

The moose is done…well…sort of…

For those of you who either know me, or who have been following the artistic journey I have been on, you know that I am always into trying new things, whether as a professional artist, or as an educator. In the classroom, to facilitate all the students’ needs, I sometimes modify or play around with projects…I mean, isn’t that what art is all about?

One of my students enjoyed building a massive spider for the haunted house. So much so, that when I thought about a possible next project “Hey____, how would you like to build a moose?” slipped out of my mouth. A Moose?!? Reindeer given the time of year maybe. This was promptly followed up by the thought, “What WAS I thinking?!” Within 10 minutes, said student had taken a garbage bag, stuffed it with newspaper, wrapped tape around it, and had produced a very life-sized replica of a moose head. What to do, what to do…You can’t exactly make a life-sized free form paper mache moose, so I needed a substructure. Luckily enough, I am fortunate to have some great colleagues who help me out when I engage on these wanderings of madness. He built a sawhorse out of wood to give me a stable structure. Hence, when you see the pic, you can see we were somewhat limited by the shape of it when doing the legs (they are slightly splayed lol).

Bunches and bunches of recycled newspaper were used with masking tape to create the sculptural form. Then layers and layers of paper mache were added. A coat of gesso and voila, we were ready to paint. There were some discussion as to whether or not to make it a Christmas moose given the season, or a natural moose as one would see in the wild. After some thought, I remembered the famous Toronto moose where each one was turned into a work of art. I thought about possible art to work into the piece and decided on a mixture of Haida, Woodland School and Australian Aboriginal styles. It isn’t done yet as there is a lot of detail work I would like to add, but you get the idea…who knows where we will go next!

the moose