Working from photography is a little dull these days. What I seem to need to do right now is paint what’s in front of me. The underpainting for the piece below was a failed experiment in acrylic from the summer of 2011, which lay dormant in the storage rack all this time. If it’s dry by tomorrow, it will be off to the Toronto International Art Fair. You may see it at the Bau-Xi Gallery booth on the Preview Night, October 25.
The piece below was inspired by 19th century Berlin artist Adolph Menzel’s drawing of a bookcase I sawin my excellent Michael Fried book on the artist.
Inspired by the paintings and drawings of hands and feet by Adolph von Menzel I saw recently in Berlin, I decided to do one myself. A fascinating study of those weird appendages we may not really think about much in our day to day busy-ness. The longer you look the more strange and wondrous they appear.
Had the best day and am feeling so happy–life drawing in the morning at the wonderful Basic Inquiry studio, then massage and chiropractor (because I’m all twisted up from painting so much), then to the art supply store to see about buying some Winsor and Newton water-mixable oil colors.
I’ve been curious about these paints, and like the idea of not working with solvents. Having materials that are more safe and portable for working with at home and potentially plein air is an attractive option.
When I got home I tried them out by making a quick portrait of my husband. Underneath the painting is the beginning of a drawing I started in Vermont but aborted; I’m glad it has a new life.
This life-drawing/painting thing is thrilling. I’ve missed it.
At the moment I have three bodies of work on the go: studies from life; “Divided Attention” paintings; and more direct paintings from my travels, some of which will be in my upcoming exhibition at Galerie de Bellefeuille, June 30-July 10, 2012.
Working from life again is super exciting. I haven’t done a self-portrait in ten years, and this time the experience was altogether different. I’m interested in getting at a fairly raw, short-hand quality, an economy of means. I may look stern (from extreme concentration), but I’m actually having a blast.
How to bring the open quality of drawing into my painting practice?
I’ve been researching the best materials for what I want to do, and recently I’ve been flirting with acrylics. The possibilities of layering quickly with acrylics are more akin to the flexible nature of drawing. The painting above was done in a single session.
After making this painting, however, I realize I still have a love affair with oil paint, so I’m now working out how to bring some of the qualities of the painting above into my ongoing body of work. Back to the studio for more problem-solving. It’s August, the sun is finally here, I may just goof off next week instead of flaying myself!
Many thanks to all my friends for sending their travel photos, especially to Chris Dorosz, Anya Laskin, and cyberfriend Andre Sergeev, whose pixels became paintings for my current exhibition, Voyage en Zigzag, which took place November 7-19, 2010, at Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto.
Also thanks to Katherine Surridge and Stefany Hemming at In Progress Video for making a nice little video glimpse of my process.
This July in Vancouver there will be a pilot project launched by curators Lynn Ruscheinsky and Bob Kardosh. A wonderful new initiative, the Drawn Festival will celebrate the drawn form, hosted by galleries across the city. Along with the exhibitions, symposia, and artist talks, a new drawing prize will soon be part of the yearly festival. Modelled after Toronto’s Contact Photography Festival, this will the first festival of its kind in Canada. You can find out more about this event by clicking here.