Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pillars of Light

Unexpected things always happen in the studio, but I am finding that right now I have to pay attention in a new kind of way. I'm not sure if I can articulate what is happening but here goes. While I often don't know where I am going with a work now it seems a more acute listening is being asked of me. Lately I have set myself a series of exercises or studies; to get a better feel of what paint wants to do with me holding a brush. Why use paint, is another medium better for what I am trying to say? By now the original intent of what I wanted to do, and why I needed to use paint, has been left behind, and these subtle marks are emerging. You might want to click on the images to see them larger.

3 Columns, 2013

Pillars of light, 2013

Lot's Wife, 4, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What I Saw At The Fair

Disclaimer...I'm not a great socializer, cocktail partygoer, ECT. In fact I tend to avoid these situations; to many people, to much art, to much theatre, it all becomes overwhelming and I tend to zone out. So after checking out friends work and chatting a bit, and discovering some lovely work by Tammi Campbell [link here], this is what I saw as I stared at the floor. I loved that floor!

Floor at the Toronto Art Fair

Floor at the Toronto Art Fair

Floor at the Toronto Art Fair

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Toronto Art Fair

My darling has his latest 3 paintings at the Odon Wagner Contemporary Gallery booth at the Toronto Art Fair. I know some would feel that I am predisposed to his work; and I am, but these really are beauties.

 Haven't had my coffee yet and I forgot to put my darlings name is John Ballantyne, you can see more of his work here I haven't updated his site lately, my bad!

Bull's Eye, 78 cm x 116 cm, acrylic on panel, 2013

Bell Rope, 2013, acrylic on panel, 76 cm x 122 cm

Milford United, 2013, acrylic on panel, 66 cm x 130 cm

If any one is going to the fair it would be great to meet up. Guess where we'll be!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Finding Old Friends

A few weeks ago I had to replace my scanner, hence all the scanned images lately, and a friend asked how it was for negatives and slides. So after hunting about for a while I found some dating back to the '70's, and have I ever had fun. I haven't seen this work for years, I'd forgotten the studios they were made in, the different places I photographed them, it really was wonderful. This work [I can't remember what it was called, but now I call it 4 Deep Blue Columns] was done in my last year at OCA, probably 1971 and so current with a piece I did last week of washes on paper 96 Shades of Radiant Yellow. I can't tell you how pleased I am to make this connection and to revisit these old friends.

4 Deep Blue Columns, 1' x 1' x 8', plywood, paint, 1971

4 Deep Blue Columns, stacked, 1' x 1' x 8', plywood, paint, 1971

4 Deep Blue Columns, vertical, 1' x 1' x 8', plywood, paint, 1971

96 Shades of Radiant Yellow, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Almost Over

It's almost over, this time of magnificence of the land. There will be a frost soon; the latest I have known, and the land will tilt towards winter. But for now there are still gems to be found and today my eyes saw these dried ferns and milkweed pod blown open, having done their job and scattered their seeds to the wind.



Milkweed leaves...I think

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

At The Pond

This fall continues to amaze. Another day of golden light and while there is less color left in the trees, the colour  has dropped to the ground creating a wonderfully jewel toned carpet. The water lily leaves are changing their colors, tiny bugs have carved their marks on the leaves, pine needles create endless patterns on the surface of the water and I yesterday I re-read a wonderfully pithy poem of Mary Oliver's about going down to the shore, I'll just substitute pond for shore.

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
From A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver’s new collection. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

I have been trying to think of words that describe our fall light and how it makes me feel; this golden, glowing, caressing almost a blessing kind of light. How it fills me with such exuberance as when I was a child, making piles of leaves and jumping in, kicking leaves, toasting hotdogs over burning piles of leaves; that sense of joy. I was reading this poem of Mary Oliver’s' last week; she says it best.

"If I Were" by Mary Oliver

There are lots of ways to dance and
to spin, sometimes it just starts my
feet first then my entire body, I am
spinning no one can see it but it is
happening. I am so glad to be alive,
I am so glad to be loving and loved.
Even if I were close to the finish,
even if I were at my final breath, I
would be here to take a stand, bereft
of such astonishments, but for them.

If I were a Sufi for sure I would be
one of the spinning kind. 
From A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver’s new collection. All rights reserved.
Happy Thanksgiving 
On our drive yesterday, just outside Montgomery Falls, Vermont

Again,  just outside Montgomery Falls, Vermont

Friday, October 11, 2013

Looking Up

Every morning that we can, we sit out on the terrace under a crab apple tree that we planted years ago, The leaves are burgundy and provide a lovely foil to all the green about; and at this time of year, as most of the leaves are on the ground, if I look up the tiny fruit is glowing in the sun.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The wind blew hard the other day, shaking the leaves into a wild dance to the ground and rustling the usual placid surface of the pond. Light glimmered and waved and shone and I was entranced. Not much got done in the studio.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Taking Apart The Square

Last night. Take 4 black rectangles and make a square. Now deconstruct it, rebuild it, take it apart, rebuild again, turn upside down, flip it; rebuild, and deconstruct again.

20, 2013
21 2013
22, 2013
23, 2013
34, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saving Seeds

Seed heads, seed pods, even just plain seeds fascinate me. At this time of the year, as I begin to cut down the garden, working in the clear golden light that has been the last week, and knowing that soon this glory will be past, I am made aware, again, of the cycles that govern our lives. I found these grasses with their intricate seed heads in a bag in the studio the other day; a lovely reminder of our prairie adventure [link here]. They were a low grass, maybe a foot high, growing in clumps along the sides of the roads, and what made them so special to me were their soft tasseled plumes which became the seed head. I hope they will grow in my garden.