Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
my sweet lord
Thursday, March 29, 2007
mask part 3
This painting will be entitled Mask and there are three different types of masks illustrated here. I remember hating and fearing Hallowe'en masks as a kid, but I find myself drawn to them as an adult. The cafe where I get my morning coffee has some wonderfully colourful papier mache masks on the walls. I enjoy them every single day. Those of you who want to tell me to stop here -- I know, I know! I face this with every painting -- but there's one more major step to take that will completely transform the way it looks. It's a total bummer when this step is better than the final one, but it's all a crap shoot in this biz anyway.
The dog, cat and I have been stuck at home with a 12 year old and his raging virus this week. The gods smote him after I bragged to a friend last week that none of us had had even a sniffle in over a year. Something about the sins of the father (or mother) being visited on the child I guess. This is what Zulu thinks of it all:
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
thinking (and funny) bloggers
1. Kyknoord of The Other Side Of The Mountain ~ One of the first blogs I ever read, I have been a loyal admirer of the razor-sharp wit of Kyknoord for almost two years. He writes about his personal life in a way in which Shakespeare would approve: tragedy and comedy seamlessly intertwined. He also keeps his picture of himself to himself. I'm guessing that this guy, from his Flickr site, is him. (And this is how I get you back for getting a digital SLR before me, you cad.)
2. Cherrypie of Dipping My Toes Back In the Water ~ Take a single mum who is a practitioner of the noble legal profession, add a major dose of self-deprecation and hilarious commentary on pop culture, and you get the most readable blog north of London. (Not only that, her legs have an uncanny resemblance to those of Sienna Miller.)
4. Chitty at Riding the Slipstream ~ What is it about Africa anyway? And why do many of my favourite blogs come from South African men? (You, too, Nomad.) (My secret obsession with Africa started when I was 10 years old and bedridden with a severely-broken leg, reading Born Free books -- but I digress.) Like Kyknoord, I have been reading Chitty's blog for a long time now. I love his hilariously no-holds-barred accounts of the life of the single(ish) guy on the urban corporate ladder: no punches pulled, no weak spots unprobed.
5. Finally, an actual art blog. I must admit that I've been irregular about reading Bad Art I Am Compelled to Share lately because, in spite of his blog's title, The Unknown is lousy at sharing -- and since I'm a self-centred so-and-so then I'm no good unless I'm getting direct stimulation myself -- but I always enjoy my visits to his blog. He cuts to the heart of the matter faster than a speeding bullet, and when not commenting on the state of American and world politics, there's a gentle humour about his art and writing that is impossible to resist.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
avatar by Hellcat
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
"Canada has a vibrant contemporary arts scene, but the country needs to take more pride in its artists' achievements," says art critic David Silcox, honoured Tuesday with a 2007 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. More on the story here.
Something to stimulate the grey matter:
These two pictures represent the eye motions of two viewers as they scan a work of art with the goal of remembering it later. One of them is a trained artist, and the other is a trained psychologist. Can you tell which is which? Read this article. (I knew immediately which was which.)
Something humorous (you knew it was coming and there's more where this one came from):
And finally, it wouldn't be right to not include a recent piece of artwork. Think I can manage 400 more posts before either this blog or I die a natural death?
(And a quick thanks to my sometime 'supplier', Rudy.)
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
A year or so ago I had some fun coming up with a feline character with cattitude and made one small painting using this self-possessed fellow as the model. I never followed up until now (my life is a series of one distracting shiny object after another) when I decided to try my hand at using him in one of my negative-spaced mixed-media drawings. Helene, in her undying loyalty (and always-superb taste in art :), snapped him up. Before I knew it I was on a roll and produced Illustration Friday's piece and the two below. Appropriately, they are called BAD CAT and are over at Etsy.
I spent a good chunk of yesterday researching digital fine art and photo papers after driving into the valley to see a demo at Opus. Interestingly, after looking at prices, results, archival data and other technical info I decided that my favourite is Hahnemuhle 308 Photo Rag. After sorting through all the literature I brought home I was surprised and pleased to discover that Ontario expert John Jones agrees. Now all I need to do is find the elusive perfect print house, but that's more difficult than I ever imagined, so I'm leaning seriously towards investing in my own inkjet printer. I'm on a really strict budget and can't even consider it until after we (hopefully) get a tax return, but meantime, I'm looking at good quality but reasonably-priced pigment ink printers. Feedback on printers and shopping chez Andrea heavily encouraged.
I'm not sure into what psychological slot you can put my inertness (the 'lazy' category would be my guess), but I have totally stalled on my final Primal Landscape painting. Now that I have a few BAD CATs out of my system, though, I promise part three ... soon.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
happy st patrick's day
Tomorrow I'll be seeing my first Gaelic Football match as our Cougars (Australian Football) take on the Irish Vancouver Harps at their own sport:
Gaelic Football originates in Ireland and is often described as a combination of soccer and rugby but predates both sports. In what has become a tradition, a team of the Irish Vancouver Harps will take on the Cougars, the local Vancouver Aussie rules club, in a keenly contested game of Gaelic rules football.
Friday, March 16, 2007
illustration friday: total
Thursday, March 15, 2007
update from the trenches
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
painting #12 part 2
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
taxes, marketing, creativity
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
And, with any luck, the number-cruncher guy won't be an:
2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
My fondest wish is that he's as creative at his job as the marketers of the number paintings are at theirs.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Now -- the exhibition. There are three of my paintings hanging at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island (1241 Cartwright Street) for the next two weeks for the Success! exhibition. You may now kiss my feet. I decided to bite the bullet this year and apply for signature status with the Federation of Canadian Artists (I never had the nerve before now to apply) and found out yesterday that I had been accepted. You may now call me Didrooglie AFCA. Besides Ancient Floor, the paintings Tide (below) and Rootbound are also up. Oh yeah -- and the work of the other successful applicants.
I finally started the last painting in the never-ending series. It's been a struggle because I'm already thinking (and even starting) other projects, but I'm just so close that I thought I'd post its progress here as an additional kick-in-the-butt to get me over this last hurdle. I present to you, um ... something:
Saturday, March 10, 2007
pick me pick me
Friday, March 09, 2007
This morning I was lucky enough to catch a radio interview Shelagh Rogers had with the 86 year old Canadian painter Alex Colville in Halifax. He is arguably the most famous living painter in Canada today, one of the great Maritime magic realists, and still a lively and fascinating interviewee.
Any Canadian with an interest in art is well acquainted with this painting, 1954's Horse and Train. It is an incredibly haunting image, unforgettable and with deeply existential overtones. But did you know how tiny it actually is? Its value per square inch must be astronomical, especially after his less celebrated Soldier and Girl At Station sold for $663,750 at auction last year. Horse and Train was inspired by a poem published in 1949 by the South African writer Roy Campbell. The poem includes the lines: "Against a regiment I oppose a brain / And a dark horse against an armoured train."
Seven years ago, at the age of 80, Colville painted a nude self-portrait called Studio that created a bit of a stir. It took me awhile to track down the image online but finally found it here (page 4). I was delighted to see that, as an octegenarian, he's still got it. It also reminded me of my favourite studio art instructor at UVic. Glenn Howarth always challenged us in our life drawing classes, regularly bringing in nude models as disparate as his nine-months pregnant girlfriend, an almost emaciated young man, two lazy Golden Retrievers and, best of all, a woman in her sixties or seventies who he sat in an old dentist's chair. I even still have have the drawing I did that day. Howarth was a fantastic teacher, the best I had at university (and, interestingly, the one with the fewest academic qualifications). If I still lived in Victoria I would so be taking drawing classes with him.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
While I was gone, Etsy added a great little widget feature for sidebars called the Etsy Mini, which caused me to reorganise that, too and remove a few superfluous links.And speaking of space organisation, check out glumbert.com - the folding chair and the origami car.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
the dance of art
Friday, March 02, 2007
I got this huge parcel in the mail today. I was baffled because the two measly prints I ordered were on 10" x 12" paper, so why the big package? Then I saw how amazingly they had protected, wrapped and boxed the prints. Unveiling them was even better; the quality of the prints is the best I've ever seen. They weren't cheap but the results were well worth the investment.
Now the commercial: The prints came from a New York state printer called iPrintfromHome.com recommended to me by Angela. I was totally blown away by the quality of the whole transaction and highly recommend them to anyone needing top-notch printing work done.
Now I need your input. I have added both these prints to my Etsy shop. I need feedback re. the marketability/saleability of (a) small, top quality art prints and (b) these particular images. Are my Primal Landscapes best left as large original paintings, or do you think they're mainstream enough to appeal to the small print buyer's market?