Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bass Line

With all the stuff going on lately, I've been posting about local events and not what I'm working on. The painting continues though... I've got a bunch of stuff on the go. This is the latest in my Musician series. I've got two more nearing completion, to be posted (hopefully) in the next couple weeks.

Acrylic on Canvas

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sketchbook Project Tour 2012 Hits Toronto

The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto
This week, the ArtHouse Co-op's wonderful Sketchbook Project hit Toronto. It was held in the beautiful Gladstone Hotel, a great old building at Dufferin and Queen. Since I have signed up for next year's project, I figured I'd go check it out... maybe get some inspiration. I got my book over a month ago, and haven't touched it. The paper threw me off a bit.... I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I knew that if I put paint on that paper it was just going to wrinkle up on me and look awful. So I put it away until I had some idea of what to do with it.

The "library" set-up. You choose a category at the computer and the ArtHouse person goes finds your books for you. Worked quite efficiently. At times during the afternoon the lineup was long, but I never waited more than a few minutes.
I signed up for my "library card" and started signing out books. You could choose by any number of categories... theme, presentation, profession of the artists (this project is open to anyone), location... or you could search by artist name. The first couple I got somewhat traditional "sketchbook" type of books. But then I started getting some interesting ones.

This one was drawings in the first half, but when I hit the centre I got this. How cool is that? So my next trip up I selected fold out books, and got some interesting selections. I was totally captivated by the ingenuity of some of these artists. I had planned on staying for an hour or so, and was there the entire afternoon. I finally left when I was so hungry I was thinking more about dinner than what I was looking at.

Fold out sketchbook by Sumi Perera

This one I actually needed help assembling. By the time I got it completely open
the whole table was participating. There was a QR code attached to the string... took you to a YouTube
video of an actual carrousel. Artist is Rachael Manley.

My only observation with the event was that the room was clearly too small for the crowds that showed up. I'm assuming the organizers didn't expect such a great turn-out. The couple small tables set out were always full, people were looking at the books while sitting on the floor, leaning on walls, basically anywhere they could find a spot. It was great the way everyone talked to each other and shared what they were looking at. That doesn't always happen in Toronto. If you'd like to take a look at some of the books on display, many of them are online.

So, now I guess I better think about what I'm going to fill my own book with...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Outdoor Art in the GTA

Toronto Outdoor Art Show.
Photo from
There are lots of outdoor art shows in the summer in the Greater Toronto Area. I like to go wander around and see what other artists are up to, even though I don't generally do outdoor shows myself. I did a few many years back and while it could be fun, it could also be pretty awful. It totally depended on the weather. This year the weather has been hot and sunny. Perfect for both the vendors and the patrons. 

Last weekend was the big one, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. There is always some new, interesting stuff at this show, and a wide variety of artists. This year the thing that really caught my eye was an encaustic artist named Kevin Ghiglione. His work is really beautiful, and he is a really nice man who obviously loves what he does. He gave me lots of information on how he builds up his layers, what types of materials he uses, and even offered to let me come to his studio to watch if I wanted (I was likely the most enthusiastic person he'd talked to all day... I really do love his work. The photos do not do it justice). Totally made me want to break out the wax when I got home, but with the intense heat we've had here lately... well, not likely. My studio has inadequate ventilation for encaustic so I work outside, and combining high temperatures with molten wax and a heat gun/blow torch means almost certain heat stroke. No, thank you.

Port Credit Marina, with the outdoor art show in the distance.
This weekend was the Port Credit Outdoor Art Show. Not nearly as big, and it really seems to be more of a craft/artesian show than a Capital A Art show.  Lovely location right on the water. I did this show quite a few years ago... but the weather was not nearly so nice. There was a thunder storm with really intense wind, resulting in at least one tent being blown into the lake and quite a bit of broken glass. I remember spending a few hours desperately hanging on to the poles holding up my tent, after having bungee-corded all my hanging racks to concrete cinderblocks. It was so not fun. This year the weather was again hot and sunny, lots of people were out and it seemed that they were actually buying. Nice to see. One of the artists told me there was a big show at the Distillery District the August long weekend. I think I'll try to get out and see that one too.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's been a busy week... a couple more paintings

My niece Melissa posed for me while I took a
bunch of photos of her... This one is on paper but I think
I'll do another one on canvas.

Acrylic on canvas

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Paintings

My stretch of insomnia seems to be over (thank goodness). I think the little diversion was just what I needed. After a couple good nights sleep, things seemed to flow much easier. I feel like I've actually made some progress. I've got a pile more that I've started, so hopefully I'll have a few more to post next week.

Acrylic on paper.

Acrylic on paper