I am so excited that my friend Melanie Desjardines is opening Groop Gallery! It has been a while since there was such a place and I know that the artists in this town have work just piling up at home with no where to display it. The grand opening is tomorrow night and I am sure the crowd will be large. I have a gorgeous piece in the show, but I you will not see it here. If you want to see it you need to show up tomorrow night on 3rd avenue across from the court house, right next door to the new farmer's market at 7pm. I hope to see you there!
I spent yesterday at a local ranch working on some new drawings. Our local art gallery asks artists to come out and work in a variety of gardens and properties and the community come out to tour them. I worked behind one of the cabins on the ground. It felt so good to be connect to the earth. I had prepared several frames with stretched hides, 2 moose and one deer hide. I want to explore these as a new drawing surface. The moose hide was only partially tanned but was already taking on a soft appearance, whereas the deer hide is still in the rawhide state. I use a chalk pastel that comes in a cake, applying it with sponges. It's like a combination of drawing and painting and I really enjoy the marks I can make. I plan to do more work in this area, conceptually using the circle as a starting point. These drawings were inspired by barbed wire and hair that I had set in a circle on the ground. With the moose hide, interupted circle I also used heat and metal to insize the hide.
I thought I would let you in on the drawing process from my point of view. I have been experimenting with ways to document artistic process. This '.gif ' image cycles through several stages of a drawing I did using an effective new pastel product called PanPastel in combination with graphite.
This is a mixed media piece I've been working on, mostly pastel work. I love using the pastels because I can really lay it on thick then scrape off layers to reveal colour that is underneath. I like to work hard on my pieces and sometimes it looks great and other times it looks, well, overworked. Robert Murray who was one of the art mentors at Well's artist's retreat last year, after viewing some of my work, asked me if I was going to beat up my next art piece.
I guess I can be hard on the paper, if you look at the detailed photos of this work, it is scored fairly deep with lines, and words. I just like to work from the inside out, whatever is inside me works its way into my art, that includes scrapes and gouges. This piece is one I started with pencil sketches a while ago, I have a name for it, but I don't think it clearly reflects the piece. What do you think I should call it?
I had the surprise of being interviewed by CBC Radio for the Daybreak North show on Friday, June 1! It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I was setting up my installation of boxes for the Red & Blue Pine Beetle Art show in Vanderhoof and CBC was there. You can listen to the clip at the Daybreak North website up until Friday, June 8th. Take the link above and scroll down to June 1st. The clip starts out, "Like a lot of the north, the road to Saik'uz is thick with dead, red pine trees but many northern artists have found inspiration amidst the devastation." You must have Real Player to hear it.
My latest pastel sketch, called Seven. It is inspired by the New Testament version of a happening during Shauvot, a Hebrew feast in Acts 2:1. Man endeavers to describe his encounters with God in many different historical writings. I am thinking about what Shavout could mean to my own spiritual growth and for that, I am not sure, but I feel connected visually through color and imagination and I guess that is what you see here.