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Showing posts from July, 2016

The private lives of paintings

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There are many reasons why I paint, and they are all about me.  I paint to explore concepts like movement or stillness, play, joy, and childhood; or to explore phenomenon like light, colour, texture, and visual vibration.  But, unless it's a commission, I don't paint with an audience in mind.  That way lies the madness of trying to appeal to an audience that I don't know and certainly can't predict.

So it's sometimes a surprise to be pulled out of the insular world in which I create only for myself and learn that my work speaks to the people who do me the honour of buying it.  Sometimes it surprises me with what it says.
"Summer's Child" sold last week to a vacationing couple who recognized their son, as he was as a young boy, in it.  Apparently the resemblance is uncanny.  Their son is no longer living, and the painting, which they saw in the window of Rendezvous Gallery, spoke to them with such force that they bought it and are sending it to their…

Attitude matters

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I taught a still life workshop for the Stave Falls Artist Group in Maple Ridge, BC last week and had a super time!  
There were 10 painters in artist Janis Eaglesham's rural studio, nestled in lush, West Coast forest. Everyone worked hard and with great spirit.  Every time I heard "this is so hard!" the painter would always follow it with, "but that's a good thing!"  They recognized that a new technique couldn't be acquired in 4 days, but, hopefully, they could explore the new skills under my direction and then it would percolate for the next weeks and months, adding another layer to their studio practise.  
It's been my experience that artists - especially those of us who are past the sensitivity of our youthful egos - make great learners.  They find value in the struggle to learn a new painting method, knowing from experience, that something that comes easily isn't as thrilling as a skill that's come through thoughtfulness, practise, and …