As the year draws down to embers, I sit in the warmth of my studio fire and reflect on the gratitude I feel for each of those known and unknown connections to people such as yourselves that have been part of making this year rich with opportunities and growth. The myth of the lone artist is just that, a myth. I may experience solitude in the studio, but without the myriad sources of support with which I am gifted, the work would not find its life and place in the world. Thank you.
Wishing you and your loved ones a winter holiday season of warmth, light, creativity and peace.
Please join me in an afternoon of celebration December 15th, in the iconic Parker St Studios. I have some paintings on offer, including French Suite seen above, along with a select group of artists curated by Sarah Dobbs of the gallery Parker Projects.
The gallery is open Wed – Sat 12 noon to 6pm or by appointment, call Sarah at 604 254 8743.
See details of Saturday’s Salon the 15th December below.
December at Parker Projects is a celebration appealing to your senses.
Saturday December 15
2pm to 6pm
Come celebrate the season with us –
a feast for your eyes, ears and taste buds.
Escape the mayhem of downtown to reflect, relax and have fun with live performances, fine art, and a warm drink and baked goods. Everyone is welcome!
2:00 – 3:30 Jazz Guitar Duo
Alex Flock and Daniel Favell are two versatile guitarists who have cut their teeth on music ranging from funk to punk, from rock to Bach, and more than a little bit of jazz.
4:00 – 5:00 Reading/Performance
Nick Pound will read two pieces of Christmas Folklore:
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry and
Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause (1897 editorial)
Festive drinks and food will be served.
We are accepting donations and any profits will directly provide art supplies for refugee children’s art programs at Immigrant Settlement Services – a program taught by Harem Jamal.
December 6th to December 22nd
Feast your eyes on an eclectic selection of artworks ranging from mixed media to painting to photography to kinetic sculpture. Featured artists include Nancy Boyd, Gabryel Harrison, Harem Jamal, Brenda Spielmann, Doug Taylor, and Michal Tkachenko.
Sunday December 4th, 2-6pm 7520 Balaclava St. Vancouver B.C.
My open studio event has become an exciting winter holiday tradition. Each year I open for a few hours to celebrate my friends, family and supporters with a small exhibition of eclectic work curated from the year’s studies, experiments and explorations.
I welcome this opportunity to present works in a very different scale and to play with poetic texts and collage as well as my more well known floral motifs. I conceive these paintings as petite meditations, bringing surprises to the color palette and continuing to introduce small studies of the landscape inspired by my riverside location. For a modest cost, I am also offering you the chance to purchase a limited edition woodblock print.
You will be treated to amazing live jazz with the Max Zipursky Trio, inspired food, wine and the pleasures of meeting and mingling with great people in the warmth of a room heated by a wood fire.
This year I am delighted to share that I am pledging 10% of all sales to support Rebecca Bligh in her igolu Global Leadership journey to Ethiopia. This is an amazing initiative of leadership development and will be a fully facilitated training for 325 government officials, community leaders and teachers in communities throughout Ethiopia to empower and elevate the education system. Rebecca will be in attendance to answer your questions, or you can go to www.igolu.com/rebecca-bligh for more information.
I look forward to seeing you
For those of you who cannot attend, I wish you a great holiday with your friends and family. May it be peaceful and reflect brightly, the values of oneness and harmony.
Welcome. I am happy to share with you my updated website. A very big thank you to Mia, John and her team at Kits Media. They have been amazing and with their excellent work have brought my site to another level. I hope that you enjoy it’s new look and functionality. One of my new features is this blog, read on if you wish, and if you don’t, I invite you with one click to unsubscribe at any time.
Beginning is difficult. Making your mark on the white page, the blank canvas, taking the first step in the sand swept clean from your life’s last storm, each time we leave the known to embrace the unknown we are acting from the heart of courage.
Why blog I ask myself? Why now? Why go public with inner musings, why bring conversations left unsaid or expose revelations buried in the pages of my artist’s notebooks? Why does a painter choose words?
Curiosity. Fumbling with words like small consolations in my desire to understand; your curiosity and mine. Two of the most commonly asked questions I receive are, “How long did it take you to paint that?” and “Is there a story?” There is always a story, people hunger for story. It’s my intention in this blog to share with you some of the inspirations and challenges, some of the stories that connect unraveled threads in relation to my own rabbit holes, my reading, my studio practice, painting, poetry and the study of the dharma. Oh, and sometimes bees. I am intrigued with the alchemy of the hive and the creative power of bees. Why? Because passion is necessary and I am as passionate about bees as beauty, the beauty of language and paint and how we create, all of us. We are all creators, every day making our lives.
Which leads me to a story about a Hare, and how my blog comes to be using the tagline “How to Explain Pictures”.
A very long time ago…I was a young naïve student adrift in the art department of a university far from home, a bit like Dorothy, clearly lost and out of context, juggling an athletic scholarship with courses spoken in what was to me a foreign language, filled with words sounding more like speaking in tongues than a language meant to help me discern meaning in any given text, literary or visual. But there was one intriguing, shaman like figure that appeared and reappeared and continues to appear throughout my education and investigations beyond that faraway school. Joseph Beuys. I never understood a word at the time. Nothing the artist made of felt and fat, iron and beeswax made any sense to me at all, but I felt something. Something I knew I needed to keep my curiosity open, my senses alive to the mystery encoded in his performance, “How to explain pictures to a dead hare”.
The artist in his solo performance, (unless you count the hare) was being filmed and photographed as he moved through the space of the Schmela Gallery. On his right foot, attached to the sole, was a great clanging piece of iron, on his left foot, a felt sole. But why had Beuys covered his head with honey and gold leaf? Why was he cradling in his arms a dead hare with all the tenderness I had come to associate with slide after slide of gorgeous renaissance pietas punctuating the darkness of art history class? And what was he whispering to the dead hare. Who was listening?
For years, I have been listening to this mysterious piece from the echo it has formed in my own consciousness. It has offered me much. I am grateful to the artist Joseph Beuys who has challenged me and expanded my awareness. I am grateful to all those who are courageous enough to share a piece of their own journey.
Joseph Beuys was asking something of me and therefore of all of us, as well as giving back to us the knowledge of our innate inheritance as beings of spirit. Beuys was asking us to bring all of our senses of perception to an artwork, not just the organs of our sight, scent and touch, but also the inner organs of perception, our intuition, imagination, inspiration and above all, our heart. He was a person in tune with the unseen realms, in tune with the wild in nature and in us. He believed the task of art was to further develop the creative potential of all people, not just “artists”. He felt works of art could bring us closer to our feeling body and to our emotional intelligence. Beuys believed in the power of this kind of embodied intelligence to create a new future for humanity unbound from more rigid, linear and analytical thinking. Though his action, “How to explain pictures to a dead hare” was first performed in 1965, it remains relevant, evidenced by artists continuing to perform cover versions in our time.
So, it is begun. Like any work of art, the greatest of these being your own life, artistic expressions find their final form only after a great series of destructions. This blog will find its way failure by failure, arriving somewhere as yet unknown to me, only as I create over and over again.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Beuys: “Art enters into the person and the person enters into the work of art”.
As for the other question, “How long did it take you to paint that?” I leave it like Degas’ dancers, waiting in the wings.
I sincerely hope that you the reader, rich with your own stories, will find something here that holds meaning for you. You are part of a community including friends, family, artists, curators, collectors, educators, and various other creative, curious creatures. I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please feel free to comment, repost, tweet, pin or email me with questions
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