Soaring / 6" x 4" / acrylic on cradle board
Friday, October 18, 2013
This Autumn has been extended for me by traveling South and following the changing colors into New England. It has been a glorious time of replenishment for the senses.
I now look forward to a winter of hibernation in my Montreal studio where I will release all these images onto canvas!
Forest Incantation / 28" x 22" / acrylic on canvas
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The twisted roots embracing the rocks, the ancient rock cliffs, the deep dark pools and the roaring waterfalls all make me ecstatically happy when I am around them.
Walt and I hiked down the Flume trail alongside this tumbling, laughing river that is filled with boulders and waterfalls. We were both enchanted and spent the entire day by her side, watching the light change and listening to her roar. (These photos are all taken on my iphone as I brought my good camera but forgot the camera card at home.)
This was one of those extraordinary days.
The colors were reflected in the water and at times the water looked like gold leaf. Photos can never do this justice because the color was flowing and moving but this is a glimpse into the gold.
As the day unfolded we worked our way further and further down river until we came to an intricate grouping of rock cairns marking the most magical spot of all.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
It has been a while since I have posted anything. I have been off on many new adventures and it has been hard to keep up with my online communication. A tremendously full and prosperous summer has flown by. There has been much hard work, lugging paintings to and from exhibitions, working at starting up "ArtBomb Montreal" and continuing to paint in spite of all this activity.
The highlight of my summer and the counterpoint to all this business has been some dazzling moments in the Adirondacks. My muse seems to love it there and every trail hiked or waterfall discovered opens up another possibility for a painting. The paintings continue to pour forth and I am grateful for this.
|Gray Morning 24" x 30 in process|
"In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me."
- John Fowles
I was fortunate enough to visit this beautiful region in the summer but now I have returned in the autumn and the firey colors of the turning leaves only enhances all the beauty tenfold.
I have the good fortune of a small secluded cabin to return to in the evenings where I can paint to my heart's content, without distraction, listening to music and the quiet of the night while I paint. There is no greater joy on earth for me.
"Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it" ~Claude Monet
Monday, September 2, 2013
This spring after a yoga class I went and searched out the Lachine Rapids which I had never seen before. I had to walk through a bird sanctuary that was erupting with spring birdsong. There were photographers everywhere capturing the many different species singing their hearts out in the marshes leading up to the river. I heard and felt the river before I saw it. As it was early spring there were a few tender green buds on the trees but no leaves yet and the water was roaring! I sat on a rock by the rapids and felt a wellspring of gratitude bubble up from inside. Sitting in that spot of sunshine listening to the roar of the rapids, I felt thrilled to be alive in the moment. I love when life takes you by surprise and knocks the breath out of you with one of its endless forms of beauty!
Saturday, August 31, 2013
|Erratic Moment / Deep Forest I, 36" x 48" acrylic on canvas|
|Resting Ground / Deep Forest II, 36" x 48" acrylic on canvas|
Monday, August 19, 2013
|Tumbling into Ecstasy / 60" x 40" / oil on canvas|
I love to sculpt the rocks with brush and pigment onto canvas and then paint those swirls of flowing, tumbling water that erupts over and around the ancient rock. I love the relationship the water has with the rock. One so solid and unmoving the other so fluid and full of movement, perfect partners.
|Carving Rock / 60" x 40" / acrylic on canvas|
The two paintings above were inspired by the same place, different times, different moods, different energies. No one moment is like another and so it is with paint and painting. If I painted the same place over one hundred times, each painting would be different. Every moment is fresh, alive and new when we are able to see it that way.
"Rough and Tumble" is a smaller piece that was painted with much love for this erratic tumble of rocks. A place in the forest where the light and the water are left to play and tumble across the rock's surfaces in an endless choreography of changing beauty.
|Rough & Tumble / 30" x 24" / acrylic on canvas|
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” ~Auguste Rodin
I was inadvertently asked the question, "how do you become an artist?" the other day and I have been thinking about this. When did I "become" an artist? I think I am still "becoming" and hope I will always be on this journey to becoming. I am continually filled with doubt and discomfort about my status as "artist".
The first step to "becoming" would be listening to your soul speak to you. In my case, it never stopped speaking to me from the first moments I can remember. Life spoke to me through the trees and the forests, the wind and the sky, the light and the shadows. As a child I knew that I was a part of all this and could never be disconnected from it if I wanted to feel alive. I could not have articulated this in words but I knew it deep down in my bones. I found I could express this connection with shapes and colors better than i could with words.
Finding your voice as an artist is not easy. The first attempts are sloppy and difficult. Learning to master your tools and have the self discipline to stay the course in spite of all the voices around you telling you that this is not a rational life choice are all grist for the mill.
Learning not to take rejection personally, learning to stand up again after your ego takes blow after blow, learning to develop a strong enough ego to contain all that bubbles up to the surface from the unconscious when you start to paint seriously. There is much to learn and navigate and unless you find a strong mentor, much of this road must be navigated alone.
My advice would be this: Find your voice by painting steadily for at least a year. Sequester yourself and listen within during this period, find your own way apart from all the outside influences and opinions. Once you have done this develop a strong body of work and then, and only then, create a professional portfolio to introduce yourself to the outside world.
Now you are ready to bring the outside world in and you will find your own natural rhythm in this. For me summer is a more extroverted energy, the out breath, where I attend shows, exhibit my work, travel with my paintings, do artist talks, look at other art and so on. Winter is my inhale time. I slow down, turn inward, read more, hunker down in my studio and let the impressions of the summer emerge onto the canvas.
Other thoughts and suggestions:
- Always use the best materials you can afford
- Open your heart to beauty and grace, they are happening all around us
- Be courageous and listen within
- Fiercely protect your creative time and space
- Be kind to other artists, there are always those greater and lesser than us.
- Share with and encourage other artists
- Look beyond the visible surface of things and feel the life force beneath.
- Spend time alone in nature
- Go to as many gallery openings as you can
- Spend time looking at great art
- Stay humble
- Stay on the edge, never get too comfortable with your work
- Stay passionate and keep the work alive
- Never stop "becoming"
“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.” ~John O’Donohue