A Different Day

February 12, 2016
Thanks to those of you who stood ... I can't think of a more fitting description...  and testified my anger and emotion this week. I appreciate each and every one of you. xo

While the anger hasn't entirely abated I have managed to rise above. At least for today.

I also lightened up my Big Painting, testimony to A Different Day.

I'm seriously considering doing a Daily Painting on this one canvas.
What do you think?? Worthy of consideration?

One thing I do need to remember [NOTE TO SELF]: after finishing an online class, take some time away from art altogether. My brain says, "Go! Practice! Put all that new knowledge to good use!" but in reality, I usually end up making mush. My week would have been much more productively spent, I dunno, cleaning the house or something!

I did make this one lovely bit of detritus. A simple charcoal on a slip of Kraft paper, with some gestural gesso and hint of colour. I just love it! Study for a much bigger canvas I think.

Stay safe my friends. Be kind to one another.

Don't forget YOU could win this plaster'n'wax piece, "Oh! Myron" by subscribing to my newsletter. 
{in the sidebar. over there! ---------->}

Winners announced on Monday, February 15, 2016. 

Happy Valentine's My Sweets!


Life. Art. Art. Life.

February 10, 2016
In Canada right now, there is a case being tried about sexual assault

It is pushing all the buttons.
The accused was (he got fired) a high profile, well-loved radio personality. And two of the main witnesses  are well-known actresses. He said. She said. Add in a hot-shot female defense lawyer, known for doing whatever it takes to get her client off. And you have an open spark to a very, very big flame.

As a general rule I try not to get embedded in public or political tests of strength as I get mired in 'all the feels'. But this case is pushing all my buttons, too.

I walked up to my studio and just let the emotions fly. A visceral, physical response to an otherwise overwhelming sense of ineptitude, helplessness and anger. Deep. Deep anger.


Week 4 - Grit and Grace Recap

February 08, 2016

Well that's a wrap!
How quickly 4 weeks have passed. It's been a wonderfully frenetic, artFULL, maybe even life changing, month. Thanks Miss Katie!

So what have I learned, you ask? 
  1. Without setting the right intention ..."right" being ANY... be prepared to flow against the grain. Occasionally good art will be made but that will be the exception rather than the rule. By taking the time to get in touch with myself, become body aware first, only then will the creativity flow effortlessly.
  2. Warming up is just as important in creative endeavours as it is with physical ones. And there are so many juicy ways to warm up! 
  3. Journals are my friend. For so long I've been intimidated by the words "Art Journal". When I see other artist's gorgeous pages filled with amazingly beautifully composed works I begin to doubt my ability. Two things from this ... A) they are choosing to show you the best and B) so what? Comparing myself to other artists is such wasted energy. Finite Days, Jen. Finite Days!
  4. Paint. Just paint has opened a channel like no other medium I've ever tried. Go figure. [this is kinda vaguebooking and I apologize. perhaps someday I will go into it. more likely in my newsletter than on here. forgive the plug.]
  5. When my direction is random ...when I am not listening to my inner voice... my colours go dark. The irony is not lost on me. 
  6. I have fallen hook, line and sinker for water soluble graphite. Just. Swoon.
  7. I have also fallen for painting BIG. This could prove to be difficult given my current, rather crampe, quarters. I'll figure out how to make it work. Because B.I.G.
  8. Nothing is every completely finished. Though never too concerned with end results, I might've opted to ship stuff out before fully exploring all the options. Remember to stay firmly in the moment, in future. (Think if I only ever paint on one canvas for the rest of my life. Imagine the layers and heft that thing would have?!?)
That's all I can think of right now.
I'm sure more will come to me as I ruminate. In the meantime, here are some works from this past week. Ironically, I haven't touched my big painting at all. I'm savouring it for next week I think!

This was a painted over canvas. No faces, as was the exercise, but it felt really good to just re-use something that's been sitting around waiting for months. Further, a delightful discovery, when scraping through the top layers all that hidden goodness underneath shows up. Love that!

Journal Excavations ... I am so digging this practice. My current process, glue shit down. Overlay some white gesso with a credit card ... makes the best textures! Mark making. With charcoal. With water soluble graphite. With ink. With stamps. With whatever! Then paint. Such randomness.

I'm going to end with this piece. The exercise was Metaphysical House ... to divide a wood substrate into 3 and determine, through whatever medium, one's basement, main floor and attic and what that meant to us. I had music on and just kinda closed my eyes and went for it. The paint is thickly applied right outta the tube for the lighter attic portion. It feels very portent of where my head is at ... struggling through a mired past up into the light. If I do nothing else with this class ...THIS... was worth it. Can't ask for more than that.


Week 3 Recap - Grit and Grace

February 01, 2016
One of the main reasons for taking Katie's class was to break out of my comfort zone. While I started my art journey creating watercolours, it has been many years since I have relied solely on paint as my medium of choice. Further, when I was creating solely in mixed media, thematically they stretched from abstract to scenics. Rarely, if ever, did I focus on people and virtually never, portraiture. So imagine my distress when this week's lessons were all about faces. Ack!

To say there were some misses would be an understatement.
One morning I drew and scribbled over face after face after face. Re-gessoing the canvas, I'd try again. I wasn't sure if I would ever get over the hump.

Mid-week, I did a longer meditation, turned on the music, closed my eyes and surrendered myself to the process. This was the result:

Okay. Not stellar. A little muddy but it was a FACE! Imagine my surprise when it began to dictate the direction. I was humming ... literally AND figuratively. The process completely took over and the final result was, I think, a message from Spirit.

Comfort zone? Gone! I've been blasted into new territory via hyper-drive. Even though my previous process was frenetic, it often wasn't directed. More like a timed event. Paste as much shit down as I could in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1. STOP! This current phase is still frenetic but broken by giant pauses to listen. What do I need to do now? Where does this need to go? As soon as *I* start directing, the process goes downhill in a hurry. Things get muddy again and my brain feels swathed in giant bundles of cotton batting.

Take this journal spread above ... I stopped working on the right side when I stopped hearing what else to do. I did however continue on the left side. For me, they tell very different stories ... one (mr. dog) on the precipice of 'what's next-ness' while the dude has lost all life, bunged down under my undirected smoodging around.

This one (above) I'm really excited about ... still a work-in-progress. But look at how alive and vibrant it is?! Lots of stuff going on here. And again Spirit Dog comes out to talk. Is that my face behind the crow mask?? I dunno. Looks remarkably like my Bear & Crow dude up above to me.
I can't wait for where our final week will take me!

And finally, I thought it would be fun to see the progress on the Big Painting starting from when I initially created this canvas 10 years or so ago.


Throw Back Thursday

January 28, 2016
For many years January was "make something for the 100 Artists Show" month.I'm not sure how I managed to get on Mary Lou Zeek's mailing list but I'm so glad I did. Each year, she'd send us a unique item which we'd have to incorporate into our submission ... an empty box, collaborative letter even a tin can. Further all monies were donated to a different charity or unique cause. 

2006: Shrines to the Environment.  Wood box with door. "REcycle"

2007: Shelters. Wooden house-shaped box. "Comforts of Home"

2008: What's Inside.Wood Box. "What's Inside"

2010: Nourish And Sustain. Beans in a Tin Can. "Teach a Man to Fish"

2012: The Art of Communication. Letter from collaborating artist. "The Art of Communication is NOT Lost"

I kinda miss it.

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