Friday, May 25, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Last week my mom and dad came over for dinner. I don't see them all that often... they live an hour away at the moment, soon to be further due to an impending move. They're downsizing, and between their current house and their future home they are going to be living in my sister's house while she's off on an adventure.

Since mother's day had just passed, I got out my tools and made my mom something special. She is the proud owner of the first piece of jewelry I had ever made (as an adult not a child, though I'm sure she has a few of those hanging around as well), and every time I see her with it on I cringe. This one turned out much better. I had forgotten how much I enjoy making these. I get in the same zone I get in when I'm painting, but I don't have to think about theme and emotion and so its just not as exhausting. I'm thinking maybe an Etsy store is in my future....

My parents are in the process of clearing out all the stuff they've accumulated, so they brought over some stuff for me. The best was my grandmother's old photo album. There are some absolutely brilliant pictures in there. I love the old shots from the 30s and 40s. I'm thinking i may incorporate some of them in my encaustic work. Here is one of my favourites.
My grandmother on a CP train, 1941

Saturday, May 19, 2012

When the garbage is not garbage

I walk every day. Luckily, I live in an area that has a lot of parks and walking paths. A couple weeks ago doing my "around the lake" route, I came across this fun, painted garbage can. I thought maybe an industrious mom with bored children? Or perhaps someone who thought the plain black could use a little colour. I've often thought this myself. Normally, this kind of thing is not going to hang around... the city is quite anti-graffiti, and unless it is city sanctioned, any kind of public art offering will be painted over within weeks (city sanctioning usually involves committees, lots of paperwork and takes years to actually happen).

So, imagine my surprise when today I found these:

I think we have a guerrilla artist in our midst. This makes me smile. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

When you ask yourself the same question again and again...

I've been feeling a bit out of sorts the past week. My husband decided to rip up our deck so my backyard is off limits just as my flowers start blooming. My two big dogs are driving me crazy because they can't go spend hours outside when the weather is beautiful. And of course, my house looks like a bomb went off because as soon as I clean it up, someone comes along behind me and makes a mess. So my studio time this week has been spent doing intuitive painting, hoping to get myself feeling right again. What came out looks very similar to other pieces I've done...

That bird in combination with the hands has come up a few times now. I think I better figure out what it means.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Music as Inspiration

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I've been playing one instrument or another since I was five. My entire family is musical. I have a ridiculously large collection of recorded music in any genre you can think of. When my son was young he decided he wanted to learn to play guitar, and has since gone from pop to rock to classical and lately, he's playing jazz. He started high school last year, and is now attending a school for the arts, in the specialty music program. I am, to say the least, a very proud mother.... but I digress...

My first musician. Acrylic on canvas.
Over the years I've done many music inspired pieces. I regularly use sheet music as collage elements and images of instruments as subject matter. Earlier this year I had decided to see if musicians could be a workable subject for me... in particular jazz musicians. I put on one of my favorite recordings and started painting.

While I think the painting works as a painting, and I'm satisfied with it in that regard, it really didn't convey the feeling I was going after. Perhaps I had chosen the wrong music. This just doesn't have the energy. I set it aside, since I was busy and preparing for my trip to Artfest. After my trip my head was in a completely different place. I did a few other things, but after a performance at my son's school, I knew I had to go back to the musicians.

The horn player silhouette from my first piece was originally from a photo: I had the head, hands and horn, and the rest I drew in to get the composition I thought would work. The computer is a wonderful tool... having this image digitized I was able to resize and reuse it. I thought I'd try something similar, but use some more energetic music and a technique similar to what I was doing with Jesse Reno. I got out a couple small postcard sized pieces of watercolour, and here are the results.

I figured since they were actual postcards I'd use them as such.
Off in the mail they went.

I think these two are much more what I was going for. So now I have a direction. I can hardly wait.... I've got five large canvasses just screaming at me. Time to paint!!!