Sunday, April 5, 2015

PRESENCE in Montreal




PRESENCE was a collection of paintings that I was particularly excited about showing. The venue on Boul St-Laurent in Montreal was an excellent space for the paintings to breathe and become connected as a body of work. 

For me, as the artist it was a joy to be surrounded by these paintings in an environment outside of the studio. I could feel them taking on a life of their own as they work their way into the outside world.







  
   
   
St Laurent Boul. is also known as The Main in Montreal. A lively, diverse street that divides the city into east and west. In 1996 Parks Canada gave official recognition to Saint-Laurent Boulevard as a national historic site, important because of how it has functioned as a gateway for immigrants to Canada. The Main is a place that embodies the immigrant experience and also the commercial vitality and very history of MontrĂ©al. 



I moved the Tibetan prayer flags that usually hang over the studio's double doors and hung them over the entrance to Galerie Espace for the duration of the show. The flags served as a quiet threshold blessing of welcome to PRESENCE. The gallery space was full of good energy and the paintings were released to sing with their full presence to those who ventured in to experience the exhibition.



The opening night was jam packed with people I love, friends and many fellow Montreal artists, which meant so much to me. There were also many new faces which was wonderful. One of the most common comments I received was that people who normally preferred Abstract paintings were very drawn to these "landscapes". 



I am always fascinated by how the world views the paintings. These paintings flow out of my deep connection to the earth. In fact I almost have nothing to do with them except showing up at the studio and opening my heart to what I have experienced while out amongst the rocks, forests and rivers. I can talk about the techniques I use and my own process in creating them but the rest is about following an intuitive response to a nonverbal language from within and without.



This subject lead to many conversations with friends and strangers all held within in the presence of the paintings. Yes, I did sell many of the paintings and they went to live in new homes but for me it was the presence of a dialogue about the earth that defined the show as a real success. People spoke of a "remembering" and a genuine love for the earth which I feel is akin to remembering our authentic selves and our inter-dependence on each other.

I recently came across this article about the Zen master Tich Naht Hahn that speaks of this earth love much better than I can.









Monday, March 16, 2015

Yoga, Art and the Spring Equinox

When does winter end and when does Spring begin?

Today I got up at 5:30 am and committed to an annual Spring ritual. A local yoga studio celebrates the Spring Equinox with a daily 7am morning yoga session.  I am NOT a morning person, I am a night owl, staying up into the wee hours of the night. However the morning always offers me a gift when I decide to crawl out of my warm duvet trailing dreamtime with me as I stumble around in the dark getting ready.  This morning's gift was the color of the sky, I don't think there is a word for the blue that I experienced this morning. I had to clean the snow, yes, MORE snow from my car and as I looked up, there was that sky! A blue so deep it was filled with the dreams of those still sleeping. My reward for getting up.


Rapture in a Mosaic Sky / 36" x 48" / acrylic on canvas

I was so happy to arrive at the yoga studio in this "in between time". It was still dark enough that I had my car lights on to drive and the yoga studio was lit with candles. The studio has four large arched windows that look out over a Park. I settled myself into the stillness of the room and watched as a whisper of pink glowed on the horizon. As we stretched and breathed and welcomed the morning the light increased. It was a beautiful dawn. My second gift of the morning.

Sleeping Bears 1 / 30" x 36 / acrylic


   Sleeping Bears 2 / 30" x 36" / acrylic


     
We had to set an intent for the week and carry these questions with us: 

"What wisdom do you carry from the Winter?"
"What is blossoming in you for the Spring?"

How appropriate, I thought to myself, that my exhibition PRESENCE is opening in alignment with the Spring Equinox. I have been painting all winter, burrowed into my large, cozy studio in St Henri. With the winter howling outside there were few distractions and I managed to produce a body of work that I am very excited about exhibiting!

So it turns out that my hibernation and artwork is in synch with the seasons and this makes me profoundly happy. Unconsciously I have been letting the wisdom of the work carry me forward through out the long cold months. Now the blossoming of Spring invites those same paintings out into the world.

The last painting that I did is filled with light and the title is from a line out of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay Nature: 

“Standing on the bare ground,--my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space,--all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”


Uplifted into Infinite Space / 60" x 40" / acrylic on canvas


Everything inside us is leaning towards SPRING!



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Presence


An exhibition of recent paintings that are the result of years of learning and growing and becoming. All the joys & sorrows from where the spirit meets the bone are in these paintings. Late night howling and mid day spirit-rides with the wind are all mixed into the pigment. 

You simply have to come and see the results! If you dare to pause on the edge and let the paintings fill you with their presence, you will be brought one step closer to the Imaginal Realm where anything can happen.

Register with your RSVP HERE and print out the ticket to bring with you to the opening so that you may be entered in the draw for an art print of this painting: 

Soul Floating in a Cosmic Star Sky

A billion starts go spinning through the night,

Blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
Will be, when all the stars are dead.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Details:  Galerie L'Espace, 4844 Boul St-Laurent, Montreal, QC

Vernissage - Thursday, March19 - 5- 8pm
                       Sunday Brunch with Art - March 22 11h-14h

Exhibition continues daily until March 24 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Five New Paintings



The Roaring Inside 2 / 28" x 22" / acrylic on canvas 

This one was done on a road trip across Canada. I stopped at "Shannon Falls" near Squamish, BC in the midst of a rain storm and those falls were roaring! A powerful and daunting sight to behold. Something about waterfalls that triggers a visceral response and echoes something from an ancient realm for me.

River Along my Path / 28" x 22" / acrylic on canvas

This piece is from the same road trip across Canada. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of this river in British Columbia but it was majestically flowing through a deeply carved canon and took my breath away.

 Winter / 30" x 36" / acrylic on canvas

This is scene from my beloved Laurentian Mountains, north of Montreal. The almost monochromatic palette of winter often interspersed with blue and purple shadows.

Edge of the Morning / 9" x 12" / acrylic on board

From the end of summer while staying at a fairy tale cabin in the woods along a lake in the Adirondacks. Every morning was bright and glorious as the light turned to golden autumn.


Rolling Lines / 6" x 12" / acrylic on board
The lines and shapes of this landscape intersected into a beautiful pattern that I just couldn't resist painting. It was late afternoon and I remember having to paint very fast as I was suddenly surrounded by a cloud of vicious, biting mosquitoes. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Warmth Video

Warmth
a midwinter collection curated and produced by Holly Friesen.
40+ Montreal artists, January 8 to January 20th, 2015


Friday, December 19, 2014

WARMTH

Stir it Up by Walt Pascoe

For the past couple of months I have been wearing my curator's hat. Having worked as curator for ArtBomb for 16 months I became acquainted with many Montreal artists and their diverse artworks. I left ArtBomb to pursue my own painting in more depth again but I remained in close contact with many of the artists. This Fall I decided to put out a call to Montreal artists for artwork related to the theme of WARMTH. In the midst of January and directly after the overindulgence of the holidays I felt it might be a good time to reassess the year in a group exhibition revolving around the theme of "Warmth". What makes us feel good from the inside out? I received 200+ submissions and was given the challenging task of selecting a cohesive body of work to illuminate the theme. The result is a show of scintillating warmth and alluring subjects.

"Warmth" promises to be an enticing event. A leisurely afternoon vernissage on Sunday, January 11 from 2 to 4pm with a traveling barista and coffee bar in keeping with the theme. The show will continue until January 20th at the E.K. Voland Art Gallery in the building where my studio is located at 4710 rue St Ambroise in Montreal (St Henri).

If you would like to attend the opening please rsvp HERE for a free ticket which you can bring to the vernissage where you will be entered in a draw for "a warm surprise".

The exhibition will continue until Jan 20 and the hours are 11am to 3pm weekdays or by appointment: 514 713-6583

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Open Studio ~ Friday, November 28, 2014

There is so much great energy in the studio these days that I have decided to open the studio door and welcome in visitors from 3pm to 7pm on Friday.


Lots of new work and a great time to catch up with some of you!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chaos Breeds Creativity

When I enter the studio I shed all my quotidian duties and enter the realm of the imagination. This is the place where rationality and pragmatism have little worth. My mind is allowed to slip into chaos, where everything is fresh and new and waiting to be born for the first time. In the summer I paint outside but I also take endless photos of everywhere I go...photos of colors, textures, shapes. I often leave these piles of photos lying everywhere.


 I have tried to organize the photos but they always end up in piles and boxes littered all over the studio. I use them as reference but not just one, all of them! It is their strewn presence that evokes memories, smells, sights, sounds and even tastes for me as I paint.

Sometimes I sketch from them and have many of these sketch books lying around as well. They are like notes to myself, or notes of a song that has yet to be written. I like having them around me as partially resolved ideas for paintings, nudging their way into my consciousness as I work.






I like the pandemonium of colors and textures surrounding me in the studio. This is how fresh, new relationships between things are made. I let my mind slide into the music and disappear as I begin to work in a dreamy, unfocused state. Looking but not looking too hard. It's more like I am feeling the colors, shapes and textures that are emerging onto the canvas and I am falling into "dreamtime" as I paint. I definitely enter an altered state of consciousness and it is very difficult to articulate what I am doing when I am painting. It is as though language drops away during this state. 


Below is a series I am working on called "Notes from the Road." I am having fun exploring the multiple numinous moments that have occurred during numerous road trips, including a solo one across Canada a couple of years ago. These paintings are available HERE.


Many of these small ones are the preliminaries to larger paintings such as the one just fresh off the easel below:
Blue November / 24" x 30" / acrylic on canvas