Monday, August 27, 2012

Busker Weekend

Piano Keys Crosswalk
in Port Credit
We seem to love the idea of a festival. Why not? It gets people out and off their computers, they interact, there's entertainment, food, music, fun... what's not to love? The last two weeks have been for "Buskerfest"... this past weekend was the one in downtown Toronto, and the weekend before it was held in Port Credit (home of the wonderful piano keys crosswalks). I went to that one, since I had to run an errand in the area and it was a lovely summer day.

 The acts were spread out over a few blocks, and you could pick up a schedule if there was something specific you wanted to catch. There were a few acts that caught my attention. These guys (right) were pretty funny; some juggling, some dancing, some jokes and a few stunts. Hard to tell from the photo... the two guys on the ground were holding a beam of some kind and the other guy was doing flips off it. I'm really glad he didn't miss, because although those mats look like they are under him, they were actually way too far away to be of any help if he fell.

These two were probably my favourite performers of the day. They call themselves "Strings on Fire", and at one point they actually light the ends of the bows on fire and play, while she is standing on his shoulders. In this photo they are each playing a part of the same piece on the same violin. Having played violin for a bit myself, I can't even imagine how difficult this would be. It was quite an impressive show. I hope they'll be back next year.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In-between Days

I'm having a bit of an off week. I've got a couple paintings that aren't really working for me and I'm feeling a bit out of sorts. I suppose not every painting session can be successful, but more than two in a row and it throws me off (and I'm sure that having a house full of teenagers playing really loud electric guitars had nothing at all to do with it). What to do? I decided to take a couple days off and focus on something else. I'll get back to the musicians when I get back to feeling like myself.

11x14" Acrylic on canvas
I've been working on a couple of other projects... thought since I didn't have any other completed paintings to post I'd share one of those.

I suppose this one goes with my other "bird" pieces, even though it's quite different. I was planning on doing a musician when I started, but instead of my usual upbeat jazz I put on classical guitar (Julian Bream). It still amazes me how much my choice of music influences the feeling of the finished painting. I was pleased with how this turned out, so I've started a couple other small canvases to classical pieces. Haven't finished anything else yet, but I've taken to writing down what i was listening to on the back of the stretcher bar. I know that once I get a bunch going I won't be able to remember, and I don't want to change the outcome by switching the music.

As much as this intrigues me, this isn't the time for me to get sidetracked. I'm taking part in a group show at the Art Gallery of Lambeth in September, and have about 3 weeks to get everything finished up. I've got two paintings left, one of which is much larger that what I usually do.  I can get it finished if I don't get distracted... and maybe if I can get the kids to go practice at someone else's house.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another Painting Completed

I had to do another pianist... the other one is smaller and on paper, but also has a totally different feel.

Acrylic on canvas