Friday, January 28, 2011

Just a note...

I'm sure anyone who reads OFF CANVAS has noted the decreasing number of posts lately. Well, it's the time of year - nothing much going on except hibernation - and a focus on getting together a body of work for the new season which kicks off for me in March.
Don't if I'm that important - I'll post new work and anything Jams gets up to.

Left Behind

I've been feeling decidedly 'behind the times' lately......probably due to having been at a friend's 50th birthday party last Friday and getting into a conversation about illustrating books. You see, for special people's kids in my life, I've written and illustrated some 4 or 5 books. And they certainly are a work of art - all hand written and illustrated with original paintings. I had written and illustrated a delightful book for this particular birthday person's children some many Christmases ago and, as my present to her was a painting, she was telling the folks about the book.( I guess to let them know all the arty stuff you can score from me when you're my friend) Someone piped up with the remark "Oh, have you thought of illustrating books professionally?" (to me) And I started explaining how you needed to be versed in the specific computer skills that the book illustrating industry today requires etc etc when it hit me.....I'm being left behind because I'm a dinosaur.....I don't have computer skills. Oh, I can fumble around and stuff in a pretty low key way but I'm out of my depth when it comes to using any of the graphic applications available now.
I kinda am bummed about it. And, yes, I expect I could learn but not in this remote any case it really hits me with the fact I'm getting old.
All of a sudden time is flying by and I'm running real fast but the last person in the race passed me by some miles back. I don't recognize the names of musicians anymore and I'm out of the loop for what's cool. Never mind how I dress - that's a whole other kind of hopeless.
There is one good thing about being an Artist in all of this however. Most of what I can or can't do, act or say or wear for that matter, just is viewed as 'eccentricity' of the first order.
Once again, thanks Great Spirit for making me an Artist.
Painting is: "Eternal Almighty Medicine To Perfect Happiness" by Fuyuko Matsui. AND let's just compare this title to the earlier one some few posts back of astounding obviousness. This title would be the polar opposite.
I could use some of that medicine however. If only it was that easy, huh?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Living In The Age Of Confusion...

Like many folks who are glasses wearers; and I've been wearing them since before it was cool - as a matter of record when I got my first pair at the tender angst ridden age of 13, I spent the first part of my school year with my hands shielding the sides of my face in the hopes "no one would see" (completely counter productive for that goal); I remove them at night. I actually remove them when I have my nightly bath and put them beside my bed and, of course, this is to make putting them on upon first rising convenient.
Well, they weren't there this morning.
And I've been looking ALL day for them but they remain......lost. And it's a small apt.
Luckily, I have about 5 pairs so I can fall back on one of the extras and still's just that this whole episode is really upsetting.
The slippery slope to complete dithery senility looms before me, I am bloody sure.
Illustration: "Confusion" by Yuta Onoda, and right fine young artist!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Loose Lips Sink Your-Not-So-Clever Ship, Missy!, you know how in this day and age of instant-reply-to-something-posted on the various social networks you can find yourself spurting out some totally innocuous comment and later realizing, from the following after comments, you really just should shut up? Well, that happened to me. Worse even than that - I did this on my son's page......oh just kick me now.
The thing is, I actually had a very pithy reply to the comment made to my original post....VERY pithy. But I was struck with the realization of how unfathomably childish this was all becoming. (and may I add that my son is in his mid thirties, so no longer a (recognizable) child). Consequently,  I deleted all my comments from the post. Which may elicit more comments but I shall take the high road.
I am here and now admitting to wishing I had a 'DELETE' button on my mouth. I seem to be plagued with the inability to keep my own counsel. I've often written "SUM" on my hand before going to a meeting or event....that stands for : Shut Up Marla.
And to think I was once brutally
Painting: "Interior With Young Woman Seen From The Back" by Vilhelm Hammershoi and , again, we are bemused by the artistic naming of paintings. Unbelievably obvious. However it may be better than the other side of the coin and being titled "The End Of Light's Fight With Man's Quest For Undying Love'
" or some such incomprehensible ephemera of speech.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pass The Salt Please

I woke up today thinking about dinner, I didn't dream about chowing down with all the intriguingly diverse souls that make up my 'A' list so I have no idea where this thought grew wings and flew into my head from.
Probably the diet but let's not go there.
I used to plan lots of big dinner dos. Enjoyed the browsing for menu items and the prep and cooking and table design setting and the convivial grouping of bodies about the table but that passed away into the ether of 'other-things-going-on' some many years back.
And I miss that.
However, now that I live in a truly minuscule basement apt where the one and only table is the computer desk - a true sign of the times - there is a fair chance I won't be hosting an extravagant soiree some time soon.
More's the pity.
Painting is: "Men Eating Prawns" by Belinda Eaton who is, hands down, my most absolute favorite contemporary artist living. I adore her!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh Yeah? Well, I'm Greener Than A Chartreuse Frog On a Viridian Leaf In An Emerald Forest!

Ok, like all good citizens of Mother Earth, I care about my planet; I really do; you can't be an artist without the realization of this phenomenal gift of a planet we have; and I try to be as eco conscious as possible. I recycle and I refrain from plastic and I buy second hand 80% of the time; etc. etc. I often agonize over the fact that often art materials are not as environmentally correct as one would wish; 'in a perfect world'.....
BUT! And it's a big but.....I'm noticing an alarming trend towards a tone of 'holier than thou' with a great many of my contemporaries/friends in their postings. It's as though there is  some kind of 'Green Olympics' going on and the guilt I feel when I fall short of the oft times, very high mark. There is also, I'm bemused to see, a wee bit of hypocrisy happening too. Such as the strongest proponent is also the one who takes the longest car trips.....but there ya go, balance in all things.
Don't misunderstand me; I truly believe that we as a species NEED to get our act together and LIVE what we know is right for the health of our world. Or we ARE doomed - that's not rocket science to see what is happening because of our greed and slovenly behavior here on the 3rd rock from the sun. And there's nothing else to run to out there, folks!
AnymayIlivewhatIpreachway, perhaps there need to be a bit of 'mirror reflection' by some of these strident proselytizers and a tad more 'leading by example' going on.
Oh, and a 'give-your-head-a-shake' when berating all us poor souls for using soap/shampoo to wash ourselves.
Seriously now.
The painting: "Evan In Green" by Leanne Wildermuth - a perfect reflection of the somewhat 'childish' nature I see.
P.S. Remember to live as best you can. Thank you. Well done.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Been A Long, Long, Long Time

It's been 40 years, ladies and gentlemens*, 40 YEARS, since I resembled this little innocent.......and I used to think I was 'plain'. Sheesh.
Anywearesoblindway, I received an email from an old high School chum wanting to start organizing a 40th year reunion. Wow. At the chance of sounding 'trite'; where did the time go.....
I'm excited actually. I like reunions....strangely enough I want to see all the 'kids' I went to school with even though I had a pretty brutal time in school until @ Gr. 11 when I was accepted into the 'Hippie' bunch.
I believe there are many folks out there that hate the idea of reunions for much the same reasons and I sort of get it but, really - we change so damn much from that earlier time of life when we were such naive, innocent, full of 'holier-than-thou' verve. We were so brilliantly stupid.......sigh.
Yes, indeed. Still and all, am I just one of the few that is fascinated with what time does to us? Once again in the possibility of sounding trite or perhaps as a generalization, often those who were the pariahs become the brilliant stars and those who seemed to dwell among the gods are, well, brought horribly to earth.
People and their journeys enthrall me. Maybe it's akin to seeing the process of how your art changes and matures and grows depth - the juxtaposition is obvious.
Great things ahead for this year already! Now I shall be planning out my time to:
a) loose weight (is there a woman alive who doesn't want to loose weight for a reunion?!) I know, I know.....

* = I have a wonderful friend who hails from Trinidad who has the most endearing malapropisms......she always says 'Gentlemens' and I love it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

...and We're coming 'round Again

Ah...New Year and the old 'let's-change-all-the-bad-habits/things/actions-and-it-all-will-be-better'.......uh huh. We all do it or at least make a passing glance at the tradition. It has me thinking about the 'symbolism', if you will, of 'new beginnings'.
Life is pretty much full of things we do that cause us second thoughts and contemplation about the 'I shudda's and I wisha's' and we can torture ourselves to distraction with them. (usually at around 3 a.m.) I think we need the symbolic gesture of the Resolution that comes with New Years so that we can feel we've been given a new page to continue the story of our lives. Apparently every 7 years our own bodies completely start anew -you know, new cells generated etc and if our own bodies seemingly believe in 'new beginnings', I guess we in our minds can as well. Certainly the life of an artist is filled with 'start anews'......all you ever do and create leads you to the 'new' style or vision. And that's a huge gift when you think on it.

The painting: "New Beginnings" by Victoria Pearce. I admit to choosing this for the title but I think a Sunflower is pretty symbolic too.