A Summer filled with Painting

The summer has quickly passed, with family vacations and wellness at the center.  The time at home was spent enjoying the warmth of my backyard and painting in my summer studio.  My paintings are a continuation of the 1A Series that I began earlier this year.  I am really enjoying seeing all the images take shape and can already imagine them displayed in a gallery together.   They show the diversity of the sights and scenery encountered along the 1A.  I also feel that some of these paintings are my best yet.  As I continue to paint I develop my skills and abilities with the acrylic medium.  Art is the continual play between media and observation.  When the media isn’t working for me, it is usually because I am rushing and not stopping to look carefully to fully understand the details of the subject. Some of the paintings happened very quickly, while others took may attempts.  I few hours or even weeks away from a few was all that it took to realize the necessary next steps to reach completion.  I look forward the continued exploration of the 1A in images.  I have a gallery to fill and a story to tell.

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The Road Continues

Spring has finally arrived!  I feel like I have been hibernation putting on winter fat.  Painting has to be one of the enjoyable things of a cold long winter that keeps you connected to a warmer more active time of the year.  In the past few weeks, I have completed two more paintings in the 1A Series.  The first painting was the Road 2.  It is acrylic and my usual 36 by 36 inch format.  I love the simple geometry and colour palette of the painting.  It was inspired by a hot afternoon of cycling on the 1A.   The second painting is Vermillion Silence.  The original photograph was taken alongside my twelve year old daughter Sadie as we biked and photographed the leg between Banff and Johnson Canyon.  A few kilometers up the road, we had to abandon our ride due to tornetial rain and temperatures just above zero – July in the mountains of Canada.  I was happy to have gotten these shots together.  She has become quite a skilled photographer.  I wish we could have rode further together that day.

The next week will be busy as I prepare for my second solo art show.  This time I am exhibiting at Pointen Gallery in Carstairs.  I am excited to be showing my work in the community.

Winter Paintings

It has been a while since I have been able to blog.  School and life can so easily take precedent to my art making.  I am looking forward to the upcoming school break and hopefully spring arriving soon.  In the past month I have completed Big Hill Poplars 2.  The original image was taken last fall while visiting Big Hill Sprrings Provincial Park.  I have also began painting two and three of my 1A Series.  Today I roughed in the basic details and the under painting for the Road 2 and a yet-to-be-named painting of Vermillion Lakes.  I love the composition and colours already and am looking forward to the next layers of paint in the weeks ahead.

Going Solo

The past year has passed so very quickly.  I never would have dreamed a year ago that I would be standing in the middle of a Calgary art gallery on a Friday night surrounded by bright red gallery walls covered with my own paintings, while I host friends and family.  It has been an incredible year.  With the jump starting of my passion as an artist, visiting New York City and seeing some of my favourite art, and landing my first solo art show, I feel very fortunate.  It is even more enjoyable in the company of my wife, children, family and friends.  It is quite incredible to see all of your work displayed in one place.  Hanging the show was breeze with the help of my son Mason.  My Starting Points Show will be up at Art Point until January 27th.

For a virtual preview select: virtual preview

With a new year also begins the next steps in becoming an artist.  I look forward to a second solo show at the Pointen Gallery in Carstairs in May and June.  I also begin the work on my 1A Project.  Over the next months, I will be creating the paintings from our cycle trip from Calgary to Lake Louise.  I also look forward to whatever other travel, art and exhibition opportunities emerge as the year unfolds.  If it’s anything like the past last year, I am definitely excited.

The Road
This is the first painting from my 1A Series. It is called the Road (24″ x 20″ acrylic). It was created from an image taken at the west end of the Nakoda Nation on a very hot August afternoon.

 

 

My Winter Studio

This weekend was a good weekend to catch up and get organized.  It was time to lay claim to the second floor room that I share with Kelly as an office and studio.  It wasn’t an easy task, as somehow when the space isn’t occupied by people, the boxes and clutter take over.  They multiply in the darkness of the empty room when no one is looking.  Once Kelly had spent a long Saturday sorting and purging, it was my turn to return with my art supplies.  The light, the view of the elms and old sandstone and brick school all act as inspiration through the long months working inside. Today I started the underpainting for my next painting:  Kootenay Forest.  This image was taken when hiking in Kootenay National Park in the summer.  I am both intrigued and challenged by the light in this piece.

 

Catching Up With My Latest Work

Its funny how September 1st arrives and I suddenly fall down the rabbit hole that is school.  As the weeks pass, I slowly start to get the rest of my artist and personal life back.  This year I have been very busy and excited about starting the VAM (Visual Arts and Media) Academy at my school.  The students and their work have already inspired me.  Check out their work at: http://whcvamacademy.weebly.com/ .
The past several weeks have seen me create four different paintings.  The first two paintings are Akamina Bear Grass and Wall Lake 2.  Both of these paintings are of images that I took while hiking in Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park.  The park is accesible on foot by hiking from Waterton National Park into British Columbia.  As you head west, you are immediately transported away from the drier Alberta mountainscapes and into the lush and magical BC forests.  Plants abound that are out my ordinary wheelhouse.  I was especially intrigued by the tall and exotic looking bear grass that was in full bloom.  Since the hot summer days of hiking through this area, it has been engulfed by massive and devastating forest fires.  I can’t help but wonder what has happened to the beautiful forests and meadows that we walked through only weeks earlier.  I am determined to return as soon as it is possible to re-visit some of these trails.
My most recent paintings are Rosebud Poplars and 766 Bales.  Both of these paintings were inspired by the incredible landsape that surrounds me.  I took the photo for Rosebud Polars on the bluffs that overlook the Rosebud River that runs through town.  The photo for 766 Bales almost didn’t happen.  I saw the dramatic field full of bales on a hurried drive home from camping in the mountains on Hwy 766 a few weeks ago.  I marvelled at the scene as I sped past with a heavy load.  Regrettably I drove on hoping that I would one day see a similar view when I was less rushed.  A week later, the opportunity returned at the same place, with more time, a smaller load and even better lighting and sky.  I instantly knew that I had captured a painting on my phone.

 

 

 

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The Dog Days of Summer

Canola Field 1Akamina Bear Grass - StudyAugust Studio

I have been frantically spending the last few days of my summer break in the studio trying to get more work done, before I have to say goodbye to the back yard and the outside painting space.  Piles of school work and regular shoes wait around the corner.  Wait!  I think that this is why my last painting was such a struggle. My state of mind meant that I hade to tackle Canola Fileds 1 (acrylic 36″ x 36″) several times.  I began it before our cycle ride, and wasn’t loving it.  So I left it.  When I returned, I found that I had the insight to finish it, although I am still uncertain about it.  Today, I spent the morning planning for school and picking my way through material on Emily Carr.  After watching a few videos about her work and reading a few essays from her book Klee Wyk, I decided to leave the school planning and get out to the studio.  I’ll have to give a shout out to artist Veronica Funk’s short Instagram video of her work process that I watched before going outside.  I think that her video and Emily Carr might have inspired me to loosen up and mess with the paint more – to not be so worried about replicating an image, but instead to use the material.  I am more interested in creating the general feel and colour of an image than the precise details – already enjoying the next painting (Akamina Bear Grass) much more.

1A Project – The Final Stretch

Rundle Reflection

Monday morning we were back on the 1A again.  This time it was Sadie and myself.  Her plan was to ride as far as her twelve-year-old legs would take her.  Her goal to enjoy the views from Vermillion Lakes with her camera in tow.  Today’s final destination – Lake Louise, 65 kilometers up the highway.  We stopped to enjoy the incredible views of Mount Rundle with the clouds building and encroaching from the west.  Our journey up the 1A was to be short.  Within 45 minutes we once again found ourselves in torrential rain.  Trying to make the best of our ride, the two of us were quickly getting soaked to the skin and the temperature had dropped to plus seven.  When the rest of the family arrived with a warm vehicle, it didn’t take much to convince us to stop the ride for the day.  As disappointed as we were, it didn’t make sense to continue on a day when photography would not be much of an option.  So over the mountains we headed for a few days break on the warmer side of the Rockies.

 

We returned to the valley a three days later to resume our ride.  As we passed through the last gap in the mountains, I filled with disappointment to see the valley filled with layers of thick smoke.  It looked like a photography journey up the 1A would once again be pointless.  As we set up camp and lunch settled, we noticed that the breeze had slowly started to empty the valley and clear the sky.  I returned to the place where I had quit earlier in the week and set off to finish the 50 k that were left of the IA.  I slowly ambled my way up and over the rolling hills and pine-covered slopes, with the amazing panoramas of Pilot and Castle Mountains creating my backdrop.  The views and the notion of fresh baking from the local bakery motivating my every turn.  I arrived in Lake Louise in the early evening.  The towering peaks were waiting with a standing ovation or just waiting like they always have for every grunting, sweating cyclist that has travelled the roads below.   I coasted down into the village, rolling tiredly up to the bakery.  Through the darkened windows I could see the stacked stools and freshly washed floors.  Noooo!  When the family pulled up to give me a ride and handed me a fresh cookie from the bakery, the smile once again returned to my face.  I am pleased that we did this project together.  I have realized that this is only the first step.  While the goal is to spend a year painting the images with an art show to follow, I know that I will make the journey back to parts of the 1A again to capture some of the areas in more detail and in better light. That’s ok.  It is a fantastic part of the world, and one that could be explored numerous times and not seem the same way twice.

 

1A Project – Ha Ling and Hospitals

 

The day started off with the family heading off down the 1A as I quickly navigated the stretch between Bow Valley and Canmore, with the Three Sisters and Ha Ling crowning the valley. While I stopped and took photos, everyone else went ahead to get in some mountain biking and a swim. The day took a real turn when Evan extended his biking by an hour. The plus thirty heat and his lengthy time out resulted in a very sick teenager. After a few hours spent quite sick and several ice packs, things seemed to be getting worse. Rather than continue with my ride into Banff, it was decided that we would set up camp and head to the hospital. We were very grateful with the IV that gave a speedy recovery from heat exhaustion and our camping companions that arrived from Calgary to keep an eye on the younger family members. We were out of the hospital in time for a late campground meal and some excellent company.

The next day was a chance for recovery (plus a few short rides), and conversation. We opted to leave the longer riding behind for the day. The air quality was bad, as the valley was blanketed in forest fire smoke, making it challenging to breath and limiting the opportunity for good photography. We would likely get much better shots the next day.

The next morning we woke to clear skies and cooler temperatures. It appeared to be a great day for the entire family to ride the Legacy Trail between Canmore and Banff. We wouldn’t be on the 1A for this stretch, as it doesn’t exist for 25 kilometers through the valley. No sooner had we all started our ride, than the first rainstorm in weeks began. In between bouts of torrential rain and wind, I managed to stop for only a few shots. Everyone was soaked but in good spirits as we rolled into town, and, of course, the sun appeared just as we climbed off our bikes. On the bright side, there was no more forest fire smoke to contend with and everyone was pleased with their accomplishments and ready for a much longer day of riding tomorrow.

1A Project – To Yamnuska and Beyond

 

The past two days have been filled with amazing beauty and lots of activity. An early morning paddle with Sadie took us far up the end of the Ghost Estuary. I always wondered what was around the bend past the cliffs when I crossed the bridge at Ghost Dam. Now I know. Ranches and forest tumble down to the lake. It wasn’t long after a quick breakfast and pack up before I was back on the 1A cycling west. I was a bit nervous about this stretch as it is very narrow and has hardly any shoulder, so it was decided that I would ride it alone.  I rolled along past scorched ranchland as I entered the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.   I stopped for a bit to photograph the burned remains of the McDougall Mission Church. I have passed this little white church perched on the shores of Ghost Lake dozens of times. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about its recent destruction. Was this history completing the chapter in a painful story or a cruel act of arson?

Shortly after I was pushing west over the ever-increasing rolling hills. My only regret was that I didn’t begin the ride before it got so hot. The golden ranches and fields soon gave way to spruce, pine and polar forests. Homes from the Stoney Nakoda Reserve were tucked in amongst the hills and forests. Mount Yamnuska was beckoning in the distance and becoming clearer with each kilometer.   I was happy, hot and tired when I pulled into camp with the family waiting at Bow Valley.

 

Our next day in this area was spent away from the turning wheels of the highway. We climbed up Yamnuska. I had forgotten how tiring the constant ascent is, but was very pleased when we made it to the top. There were so many outstanding photo ops. What I hadn’t remembered from my previous hike up, was the incredible valley tucked in behind. While the views over the front face are great, the valley behind impresses even more. After some hard scrambling we enjoyed laying on the rock edge peaking over to the Bow Valley stretching below and to the east. We felt like cowards in the company of several small chipmunks that danced and teased us from the ledges.   Many posed for photos – or perhaps were waiting for a free handout. We finished our day late, and tired, but extremely happy that we had made the effort to complete the climb. A child that had tried to change the day’s itinerary, constantly suggested stopping for lunch 30 minutes into the hike, and wanted to turn back once or twice couldn’t stop chattering about her accomplishments on the journey down. It is the constant pushing and challenging of oneself that make life the adventure that it is.

1A Project: Heritage Hills and High Heel

 

The 1A is a highway that winds its way from Calgary through the foothills into the mountains and ends at Lake Louise in the majestic Canadian Rockies. As a family, we travel parts of it frequently. It serves as the well-worn path to visit friends or a quick short cut to camping and skiing. Every time that I have travelled this road, I am always in awe at the beauty as I zip past. Very seldom have I stopped to appreciate the colours and forms of the surrounding landscape. Hence my 1A Project. The idea is to cycle the 1A as it slowly winds its way from urban through rural and eventually through mountain terrain. As we journey this incredible stretch of road, I will take as many photographs as possible. Over the next year and a bit, I will paint the images that inspire me the most. Then, I will put all my work together in an exhibition.

Day one. After some challenges organizing bikes, family members, travel trailer and shuttles we finally got to our first destination. With kids all in place, Mom and Dad departed the edge of Calgary late in the afternoon. Yup – the beginning of rush hour on a very heavily commuted stretch of the road. We rolled along through acreages and farms as we snapped photos and enjoyed the endless panorama across the Bow Valley. Before long we were careening down the large Cochrane hill and decided it would only be proper to stop for a cold iced coffee. Remembering that the idea of this is to slooooow things dooooown.

The next stretch was much quieter as we passed expansive ranches and entered the rolling foothills. Kelly was a bit ahead when she stopped to point out a photo op. I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. Then there they were – a rather large pair of brown ladies high heals shoes lying on the shoulder of the road. I am sure that there is a perfectly good story behind this, the things that would be missed if I had been zipping by in a car. On we went, breathing in the hot summer hay fields under Simpson’s blue puffy skies, nothing too strenuous. Always stopping to capture the beauty around. We pulled into the Ghost Lake Reservoir just in time to feed the card playing, mountain biking masses (three hungry children) that were patiently waiting for us. Our evening was spent enjoying the shoreline with family friends that had been kind enough to shuttle our abandoned vehicle out to our first stop. It was a gentle easy day that was filled with great sights and lots of photos – just as I had hoped.

Wall Lake

Wall Lake 1

I just finished painting Wall Lake 1 (acrylic 36″x36″).  The original image for this painting was taken earlier in July at Wall Lake.  Wall Lake is a 10 km hike into Akimina-Kishenina Provincial Park in British Columbia.  It is accessed from the Akimina Parkway in Waterton National Park.  It was a beautiful hike through fir and pine forests.  As we approached the lake there were large meadows of wild flowers.  The lake suddenly appears through the forests and reveals its towering wall that encircles the entire east and south end of the lake.  It is an incredible site as the lake and wall shimmer through the trees.  We enjoyed our lunch at the end of the trail, situated at the site of a massive avalanche slope covered in broken trees that had smashed their way down to fill a small bay.  It was at once sense grotesque with the smell of rotting wet wood, but at the same time quite inspiring to be so close to the power of nature.  Wall Lake is a very magical place.  So glad that we were able to experience it.  Even more satisfied with the results of my painting to capture this magic.

Back to the Studio

The last week has been fantastic.  We have traveled to some amazing places, and enjoyed the best that summer has to offer – camping, kayaking, hiking, eating outside, and visiting with good friends.  Its time to get back into the studio and do some painting.  I have collected so many images that it will be challenging to decide which to work on first.  I thought that I would let some of you help me decide which ones might make the best paintings.  I have included the original photograph and the image after I have worked with it in a few apps.  Please message me (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, text, email, etc.) or like your favorite 4-5 painting ideas.  I look forward to your valuable input and to getting back into the studio this week. (Tap photo to get name)

Five Crows and a Rooster

 

Sunday morning.  I am sitting in the still of the backyard with a big cup of coffee and my summer reading.  It is shortly after 7 am.  Now, normally on a Sunday morning I would be blissfully sleeping in – recharging for a busy day or week ahead.  Why am I up so early?  Well, it’s like this….ever since about the middle of June I have been jarred from my sleep shortly after sunrise.  My alarm has not been set.  The repeated ruckus of a group of crows and the neighbour’s rooster have been my trusted alarm clock for a few weeks now.  Although there was that one rainy day a week ago when the windows were closed up…and I slept in.  While I could get very worked up about the urban-farm-run-amok that wakes me daily, I have decided to embrace the whole idea.  How else would I get some art done, do some summer reading and notice the sun rising and erasing shadows from the back garden if it weren’t for these uninvited strangers.  Today, I read a chapter, curated a few YouTube videos for art class in the fall, and went for a short unexpected drive through the local canola fields when the clouds suddenly rolled through.  All this before anyone else was up – except for five crows and a rooster.

First Gallery Pieces

 

It was an exciting day, as I delivered my first pieces of work to Artpoint Gallery in Ramsay.  Less than a year ago, I set the goal to begin painting and doing more art.  I look back at my very first blog entry on my Work a Month Project where I said, “as the year progresses, I am hoping to develop some themes in my work and eventually have some pieces ready to show and maybe sell next fall.”  I have totally surprised myself and the entire process speaks to the importance of setting and sharing a goal.  By blogging and speaking my ideas/goals, I have been forced to make it happen.  I am looking forward to the year ahead where I will continue to create art and explore the whole idea of marketing and exhibiting my work to a much larger audience.  Drop in to Art Point Gallery to see my work on a regular basis, the group show in September, and my solo show in January, 2018.

Memorial 2001- July 11, 20

 

I remember the day that the towers came down like it was yesterday.  I think that everyone remembers every moment of that dreadful day.  We had just had our first child and we held him in our arms while we asked big questions about the future.  Sixteen years later I found myself at the 9/11 Memorial in Manhatten.  Feelings and images from that day in 2001 came flooding back to me as I walked through the memorial.  One thing that really struck me were the iron beams that originally supported the twin towers.  They stode like silent sentinels sharing the worn photos of the missing, images and graffiti that memorialized that day.  FDNY 343 represents the number of New York fire fighters who lost their lives.  The imagery was strong and I felt compelled to share it in a painting.  The image on the right is Memorial 2001 (oil, 30″ x 48″).  It was inspired by the photo that I took on the left.  This was also my first attempt at oil paint.  I used water soluble oil paint.  I really enjoyed the ability to take my time and return to blend several hours later.  I was originally concerned about painting the angel in the middle of the image, as it was such an important part of the work.  In the end it was my favourite part of the painting.

 Summer Studio – July 3, 20

 

In the past few days, I have packed up my easel and painting supplies and set up in my “summer studio”.  My summer studio isn’t far – simply a trip across the backyard.  Several years ago we took the old garage that sat full of extra stuff and cobwebs and converted it into our “cabana”.  The inside got a thorough cleaning and a spray of white paint.  We wanted to keep all of the architectural features like the hipped roof with the beautiful exposed beams.  We added decking for floor and extended it out into the yard.  This has truly become a great outdoor living space.  It has soft patio furniture and hanging chairs.  Over the past few years, it has served as a place to escape the heat, the rain, a place to play board games, have kids sleep overs, eat a summer meal, enjoy the morning yard, sip some wine, and now – my summer studio.

I look forward to the possibilities that creating in this removed corner of the world and that summer might bring.

A Work a Month Project

October, 2016:  The idea for this project is to set a goal for creating art.  Often during the crazy schedule of teaching and parenting it becomes challenging to find time to work on my art.  My goal for this school year is to create a piece of art every month until the end of June.  The work doesn’t necessarily need to be large or monumental.  It can be in any medium.  As the year progresses, I am hoping to develop some themes in my work and eventually have some pieces ready to show and maybe sell next fall.  I will show my progress in this blog.

January 3, 2017:  I am really enjoying the commitment to this project.  I now find a level of anxiousness if I don’t get into the studio and work on my art.  I find that I am now constantly considering what the next piece will be.  My camera / iPhone are constantly on the ready to capture inspiration.  My students and family are also enjoying sharing my progress.  I am relating my design problems to students as they work through their art.

big-hill-poplars

January 29, 2017:  Today I finished Big Hill Poplars.  The inspiration for this painting was taken from some photos that I took at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park.  It was mid November and the weather was superb.  This park is one of my favourite places, because it seems like mountain wilderness tucked amongst wide open rolling prairie hills. The fall colours were still strong and weren’t encapsulated in the usual deep snow that would usually be here in November. I took a more abstract approach on this one.  I think I was also inspired by watching local artist Michelle Weibe paint live and quickly before the audience at the Mayor’s Arts Awards last night.  I felt a need to complete this painting in one sitting and to loosen up my brushstrokes and colour choices.  I can’t wait to get started on my next piece.

rundle-1-acrylic

February 4, 2016:  Rundle 1 (acrylic 36″x36″) was just finished this afternoon. This painting began as a peak jutting its way out of a frigid fog enshrouded valley.  Hot chocolate at the Cliffhouse at the top of the North American chairlift at Mount Norquay resulted in one of the most stunning views of Rundle Mountain that I have ever experienced.  I am used to seeing this mountain every time that I visit, but never like this.

forest-cathedral

February 20, 2017:  Forest Cathedral (acrylic 36″ x 36″) was inspired by the aspen trees on the Didsbury Golf Course.  Whenever I walk through here I am in awe at the towering aspen forest that surrounds both the drive and the pathway between the 7th and the 8th holes.  The trees create a symphony of branches that arch together overhead creating a cathedral-like experience.  When I looked at my photos and processed them in app, the trees created a stained glass effect.  I like how the real and the abstract play against each other in this piece.

winter-silence

February 26, 2017:  Winter Silence (acrylic 36″ x 36″) was created from images collected on the Didsbury Golf Course.  Simple things like the form of the trees and the many different tints in the snow were important in creating depth in this painting.

March 11, 2017:  Ruckle Ewe (acrylic 36″ x 48″) emerged as the final product of an interaction with a rather curious sheep when we were hiking at Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island.  The old abandoned homestead has its heard of resident sheep.  I originally took a photo that I thought had an interesting composition.  When I experimented with image in various apps, the image took on a life of its own.  I liked the colour, the symmetry and the Pop Art stylings that emerged as I edited the image.  The painting was a struggle as I wrestled with the colours and texture of the wool.  The photo of the final image doesn’t really do the final painting justice.

September Poplars

March 25, 2017:  September Poplars (acrylic 36 ” x 36″) This painting is very similar to Big Hill Poplars that I painted a few months ago.  I really like painting from a reference, but giving the work an abstract spin.  I find that I begin trying to stick to the original imagery, but as I get further into the painting I become consumed by the paint, the colour, and the brushstrokes.  It is when this happens that I truly get the painting that I want.  It becomes a painting of emotion and feeling rather than just a study in reality.

Lisbon2

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April, 30 2017:  Lisbon 2 (acrylic 36 ” x 48″) This is the second painting  in the series of work inspired by architecture.  I took the original photo in 2015 while walking around on the hills above the city center in Lisbon, Portugal.  The thing that strikes me the most from the buildings in this part of the world are the vibrant colours.  They are begging to be the subject of photography and of course painting.  This painting took me a while as I struggled with the subtle colours and tones found on the front wall and street.  I am very happy with the light, line, and colour in finished piece.

 

October Birches

May 7, 2017:  October Birches (acrylic 36 ” x 48″) This is the third painting  in the series of work inspired by the parkland forests that dot the river edges and coulees around where I live.  This image was chosen because of its colour and design.

 

May 24, 2017:  New York City Series (photography) This entry is a series of photos taken while leading a school trip to New York City this past week.  They are mostly taken using a Caon T5i.  Some are colour, while others are black and white.  I did some editing in my Iphone after transfering the original images.  I was so inspired by the lines and shapes of the architecture in New York City.  It is a city just waiting to recorded and captured in photos – every turn a new set of patterns and textures. I was also very impressed by some of the students that I was travelling with.  Two in particular where always at my side with their cameras pointed at the same unusual angles – not noticing the shopping, or their sore feet, but truly paying attention to the details – thinking like artists.  I look forward to using some of the imagery in future paintings.

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A trip to New York could not be made without experiencing some of the world’s best art.  Some of these paintings have been on my bucket list for years.  In the last week, there were times when I felt like I might have to pinch myself.  Was I really seeing this? The art at the Met and MOMA was my nirvana – I felt like my pilgramage was complete.  Chuck Close, Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh, and Picasso – were just a few.  It was so much more to be learning from and experiencing real paint.

Artists

July 1, 2017:  Happy Joy (Acrylic 36″ x 48″) Wow.  What a year it has been.  When I set the goal of creating a work a month last autumn, I thought that it would be like all other goal setting endeavors – forgotten within a few weeks.  The usual New Year’s resolution sort of thing.  I guess that I surprised myself a bit.  The momentum was infectious.  I will have to say when a colleague bought one of my pieces as soon as I tweeted the image, it sent a clear message that my work was “ok” or “good enough” that others would also like it.  The creation of art has become a “happy habit” over the past year and I can’t wait to continue.  When I set the goal, it was just to get creative and start working on art again.  To put away some of the day-to-day “business” of life and actually make the time.  I never thought that by the time the year was over that I would have sold several pieces and also got juried into an artist run collective gallery and society in the city (http://www.artpoint.ca/).  Along with exhibiting regularly at Artpoint, I will be having two solo shows in the upcoming year:  January, 2018 at Artpoint and May/June, 2018 at Pointen Gallery in Carstairs.  It has truly been a very rewarding and fulfilling year.  I think that I have learned a great deal about goal setting over the year.  You must name it and you must speak it.  If you silently set a goal privately in your head, it will most likely never come to fruition.  Naming it and speaking makes it happen – then you have no choice but to commit.  Thanks to everyone who bought work and “liked” my constant posts and tweets.  Your constant encouragement kept me motivated to create and share.   I look forward to the year ahead.

Happy Joy
Happy Joy – Acrylic (36′ x 36″)- $500

 

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Yesterday Re-visited

 

Several boxes of slides have been sitting on a shelf in the basement for many years.  In them are the images of places almost forgotten.  I knew that I had to get these images out of their dark box, edited, published and printed.  It seemed to be a real shame to not explore this work further.  So over the next few months, I will be scanning and editing these photos to share.

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