Can’t begin to articulate how much I welcome the daily discipline of being in studio again. Unlike last year , a dry season, one of resistance whereupon the bravest of pictoral passages survived, this time round the harsh editor has been appeased and the flow revived. I have witnessed some really ugly looking passages but in those I have come upon a significant breakthrough. I suppose the work will speak for itself when it is all done.
How can the economic market not affect the artist?
Last to feel the upswing and first to feel the fall.
Golly, I have to impose some austerity measures of my own.
Some work got made.
Other work failed to resolve and I razed the surface, yet again.
A gripping read: Michal Glowinski’s ‘The Black Seasons’
and ‘his motif of the liminal space between memory and forgetting’
…I am gluing and building cradles
Drawing lines in graphite.
and sometimes I paint. And I fret.
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy sounds real fine right now.
Alas, on the horizon space and time are aligning themselves to open up a welcome withdrawal into my beloved studio. Although it’s a humble space, it is home to countless visual incubations: births, battles, causalities, and when lucky, rebirths.
I admit the feast and famine cycle I presently occupy, and with all probability will forever occupy as a 21st century visual artist, is trying and stressful, but it’s also vibrant and engaging. Perhaps, therein lays the drive for the creative process, the dichotomy of the two circumstances – always a tension – the binding thread in my visual narrative.
I recall an art teacher from the past righteously claiming that inevitably the artist’s life becomes like the artist’s work. Damned right! 18 years ago I was baffled by the riddle. The accumulation of years, more behind less in front, and of paint has formed an intimate relationship with that claim and there’s no shaking it off now. It’s too late!
‘Prospect: Steps away from my mother’s house’ (oil on wood panel), is a new acquisition of Toronto’s Canadian Fine Arts gallery.
Available for viewing are several of my new works from ‘Prospect’ and paintings from ‘Summer and Smoke’.
Abstract Painter | Toronto| Canada
Hours spent hovering over a painting; once tender and nurturing strokes turn to movements of apprehension and fear. The surface has become a no man’s land where my direction is lost.
At this stage, paint becomes infuriating like a philandering man. The surface seems to unravel before the eye. It and I are at a standstill. How to proceed? Naturally, I move on to one of the dozen or so surfaces on the go, carrying forward something of the predecessor.
What goes on in my mind when engaged in painting?
That’s a dangerous question.
In the front end, I’m focused on the aesthetic and technical aspects. In the back end, it’s a dense forest. The effects of globalization, the quality of food and the resultant crop in life expectancy for the upcoming generation of children, the razor’s edge of hope and despair, just to name some.
The complexity of thought and inner ramblings imbue the body of the paint. James Elkins, in What Painting Is, describes this transference best: paint becomes ‘a fine tuned antenna, reacting to every unnoticed movement of the painter’s hand, fixing the faintest shadow of a thought in colour and texture.’
This is paint as liquid thought.
I survived the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. Two and a half days at the show and two and a half days in the hospital. My apologies for not waving while being wheeled out to the ambulance – a grand exit, indeed. For those of you, who saw my paintings at the show and want to contact me, or arrange for a studio visit, please submit a comment. Sorry I wasn’t there.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
July 9, 10 and ll at Nathan Phillips Square
Friday 10:30 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday 10:30 am – 7:30 pm,
Sunday 10:30 am – 6:30 pm
Yikes! Lengths of bubble wrap consume the flat, cardboard everywhere, works in process and food simmering on the stove. Is it any wonder that I don’t put my clothes on inside out, or mistake a dust ball for a cradle in the sky?
The show is a go and I am busy organizing the logistics for the 3-day event. Never too old, I suppose, to be schlepping work about, rain or shine.
Cauldron boil and cauldron bubble.
Bits of flesh, shards of crimson
and a relentless ideology.
Time, space and ambiguities co mingle.
Building a fire of things known and unknown.
Ah hah, the studio is in transition.
I wrung dry the acrylic.
Bring out the oils – Queen of alchemy!
I have encountered an artist fascinated with Ping. Tap the end of a metal rod upon a concrete floor and you hear, a Ping! The sound is held, somewhere in mid air, ‘where time and space are epitomized’.
The theme of self betrayal inspires a colleague to negotiate it through dance.
Figurative collages by Wangechi Mutu, currently on show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, are distinctive in style. Her work is provocative; seduction and disturbance are at play; the final image is powerful. A mother protectively draws her young son’s gaze away from the encased collages – something caught his curiosity – a familiarity perhaps, disturbingly incomprehensible to a child’s mind.
Uncertain as to how these seemingly disparate short term events will act upon my mind and my heart.