Saturday, April 30, 2011

The new series: LIVING THE MYTH - Down The Rabbit Hole

And here it is, finally, the newest painting. This one certainly has been a journey to complete. It started as a large canvas 40" X 60" and the figure was first standing up against the wall with legs akimbo (and isn't that a great word?) and the rabbit going through the door from between the legs. However part way through the start of painting that, I had a visit from a very dear young artist friend who is the manager of a prestigious gallery in Vancouver and someone who I mentored as a child. Kinda cool that. Anyawaywegoagainway, he came to a small show I was doing at a new venue here and was giving me some hints and pointers. The problem is that I got tangled up in the 'maybe-I'm-not-painting-the-right-way-so-I-need-to-change' idiocy due to the shaky self confidence we creative souls often have. It made me fool around with the original painting lay out and, well, basically, screw it up royally.
So I just redid the whole thing; cut down the frame to 38" X 40", and redrew the figure. And this is what came from that.
I'm thinking this worked out just right.
The background was a hand carved stamp of a tree that I painted to make it more sharp. The cat is Jams....and isn't she just perfect. I had to redo her wonky eye mind you. I hand painted them as well. That's got to be the coolest effect.
Never give up. And stay true to your vision.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Riders Of The Storm

I was a witness to something today that has left me feeling...well, ugly and disturbed. Our little town has maybe @ 1800 or so souls that live in it and as we reside in a traditional land of First Nations People, there is a healthy population of our native folk that make up the population as well. Earlier today when I was in town doing some banking at the C Union, I happened upon two young native girls, perhaps 13 or 14, all of a sudden turning upon each other and whaling the crap out of each other. Not just a push/shove thing, but full on face punching and vicious kicking.   In the 30 odd years of living here, that's a first for me. It was over long before any cop would've been able to attend and the kids scattered like leaves as soon as it was over.
I am finding this hard to fathom. Granted I'm pretty much out-of-sync with the times but still and all it saddens me to see that now we women are falling down to this level of violence. And to see young women particularly is disheartening.
Mind you I've known some pretty savage girls in my youth. One particular one who springs to mind, would wield her skipping rope with such force you would end up with welts.
Maybe this just points out the reality of life as a First Nations girl and that is just more sad to me.
I don't know what else to say about this and, truthfully, it would most likely sound sanctimonious and hypocritical.
I grieve for my sisters.
On a more positive note, the new painting is almost done and I'm right chuffed about it! It's been a bit of a trial but I think the end product is pretty kick-ass. Mind you knowing me I'll be frustrated with it about 1/2 hour after laying down my brush.......but then, that's what keeps you keeping on.

The paintings are from a series titled " Femme Maison " by Louise Bourgeois a titan in the world of feminist art. This series showed the way that we as women were 'branded' by our proscribed lives as 'housewives' not that long ago. I remember one time that I had been listed as 'Housewife' on a census tally and was outraged that the typically misogynist male census taker had so cavalierly treated my assertion that I was an Artist.
How long, Lord, how long.......

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apologies with a story.

Ah my friends, I have been truly amiss in my attentions to this blog.....what can we say. Life seems to overwhelm at times in the way it does and all becomes impossibly chaotic. And my mind becomes blank with thinking about what to entertain you with.
have been busy with painting - that never changes and thank all that is wonderfully creative it is so. My BIG piece has caused much tearing-out-of-hair but the end product seems to be working.
Anyflingingpaintaboutway, I thought to 'sugar-coat' my bad behavior that I'd tell you a story. It's called:

When I was a child growing up in the 1950's, my best friend lived two houses away from me. Marilyn was two years older than me but that seemed inconsequential to the bond we formed. I believe I spent more time at her home than at my own. I certainly looked upon her mom as mine too.
Marilyn had a younger brother, Barry, but opposite of my deep abiding affection for my own brother, Barry was viewed by both Marilyn and me as 'the enemy'. We openly disdained his presence whenever around him.
So it was completely out of character the day I 'played' with him. As I recall, Marilyn was not there and time has lost the reason why.
Barry had a power of dark persuasion in any group of children . We all knew it but it never failed that every child was enthralled by him. He could suggest the most wicked behavior  and each and every one of us would blindly obey. However, he himself never participated. And, true to form, we others would then be caught by any parental authority with Barry loudly exclaiming "I told them not to!"
In retrospect it defies belief to remember how we children could all be taken in each and every time.
On the particular day I'm telling about here, Barry convinced me to spit upon a young boy who was 'different' He and his family were recent immigrants and had moved to our neighbourhood. He spoke little English and to our censorious eyes, dressed 'funny'. Oh how cruel children can be. In the world of childish 'rules' he was a target indeed.
I carried out the heinous act and, of course, was observed by the young boy's mother who promptly informed mine. Summarily I was marched over to their house and made to apologise. Oh! The horror! Fifty years have not dulled the cringing shame of that moment.
And Barry?
As my my mother and I passed him by, me, with my arm firmly clasped in my mother's fist and sobbing wildly, Barry called out, "I told her not to!"

The painting: 'Children's Games" by Pieter Brueghel - try to look at this painting in a close up. So incredible to see that kids have been kids, well, forever.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Please See Version Two For That

Every once in a while, I'd like to have a duplicate 'me' to handle everyday stuff.
Don't we all?
You have to admit having the 'other' to deal with appointments and interrupting telephone calls and the myriad stuff that makes up our day would be nice.
For me this thought always jumps to the forefront of my mind around this time of year because it goes from the desert of nothing going on to the tidal wave of a full schedule of events. And it's seemingly all at once.
This month of March is generally the kick off to my 'arty' year with the PRAS Art Show that has 3 works  I need to create. That leads into assorted other things and these can depend on the reception of work displayed  at the show which may mean a commission or 2. Then there is my 'BIGDEAL' show - Sooke Fine Arts Show- that I try to create 3 major works for. In 'major' I mean that I push my boundaries and kick up my work a notch or two. And for some reason that calls the working of the universe into question, I get asked to do many various things - all art related! - that end up with me having to make a list and timeline to stick on my high-tech bulletin board, (the back of my door (I LOOK at it every time Jams needs a stroll in the outside environment....every 1/2 hr it seems)) all so that I can keep the balls all in the air.
At the current moment I have:
* Painting for Sooke Show (only 1/3 way through first piece)
* Designing, building and painting a photo Cut-Out board for the Chamber of Commerce.
* Poster for a local DJ
* Set up of work and ccommitment to appearance during Arts Week March 10th to 15th
All (or most) to be done by month end.

In addition to above, I must make a not-so-nice trip into Port (1 1/2 hrs away) for a 'special' ultra sound on a gimpy body part and you can understand why I'd like to be cloned.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, Jams has morphed into a clingy 14 month old.
I cannot sit down at the computer with out her immediately positioning herself by my knee and constantly putting out her paw - with claws extended- into said knee, demanding a pick-up-and-scratch-me-pet-me scenario.
That is the monster I've created.
Now, if I cloned myself.....
Picture is of a sculpture called "The First Human Clone" by Wesley Anderegg. I like this because that's how my clone would feel and look doing all the above.
I know I do.