Drawn Festival in Photos

Meeting the public while drawing live at the Drawn Festival Launch party
Meeting the public while drawing live at the Drawn Festival Launch party
Val and Paul Conroy of Marion Scott Gallery at Drawn Festival Launch
Shameless headshot with Paul Conroy of Marion Scott Gallery at Drawn Festival Launch
Val and Kavavaow Monnamee at Marion Scott Gallery
With the talented Kavavaow Monnamee and his wonderful drawing at Marion Scott Gallery
Drawn Festival Exhibition 2009, Bau-xi Gallery, Vancouver
Drawn Festival Exhibition 2009, Bau-xi Gallery, Vancouver
Artist talk on drawing at Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver
Artist talk on drawing at Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver

It’s a drawing party, and you’re invited!

Val Nelson, Dining Room_Sergeev (detail), 2009, graphite and pencil crayon on vellum and stonehenge paper
Val Nelson, Dining Room_Sergeev (detail), 2009, graphite and pencil crayon on vellum and stonehenge paper


Join us July 17 for the official launch of Drawn 2009, Metro Vancouver’s inaugural festival of drawing. Watch and mingle as some of Vancouver’s best emerging and established artists create large-scale drawings right before your eyes, with Thomas Anfield, Davida Kidd, Kavavaow Mannomee, Val Nelson, Christian Nicolay, Justin Ogilvie, Carolyn Stockbridge.

You too are invited to draw live, and celebrate the act of drawing!

Music, canapes, performances, installations and more.

Friday, July 17, 7-11pm
One Alexander St in Gastown, Vancouver
(beneath Chill Winston Restaurant & Lounge)

Tell your friends, and be prepared to mark it up!

RSVP: info@drawnfestival.ca

or 604-685-1934

Cash bar (proceeds benefit the Vancouver Drawing Festival Society)
Curated by Julie Lee


On the Drawn Festival: For three weeks in July and August, Vancouver-area galleries and museums will come together to host an unprecedented series of exhibitions devoted to the medium of drawing. The first celebration of its kind in Canada and possibly the world, this unique multi-venue event will include an exciting program of free lectures, gallery tours, exhibition openings, artist talks, and more.

Don’t miss the art talk by Ann Kipling, who is a huge talent in the little-known world of Canadian drawing, at noon on July 18 at the Douglas Udell Gallery, 1558 West 6th Avenue.

Also on July 18, I will be showing new drawings alongside the wonderful work of Brent Boechler and David Alexander at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver, 3045 Granville Street, opening 2-4pm. Please join us at 3 pm when we will give a talk about our process.

For more information on other exciting events, click here.

Beauty, construction, destruction

Detail from Vanitas Still Life (Skulls on a Table) Aelbert Jansz van der Schoor c. 1660
Detail from Vanitas Still Life (Skulls on a Table); Aelbert Jansz van der Schoor c. 1660

At the Vancouver Art Gallery throughout the summer is a thought-provoking mix of works: 17th century Dutch still life paintings of skulls and flowers, Reece Terris’ stacked rooms organized by decade starting with the 1950’s installed in the gallery’s rotunda, Reece Terrisand Andreas Gursky’s images of excessive human activity, topped off by the large-scale image of an abstracted Nascar-style race track in Bahrain’s desert, three riffs on an old artistic subject–the vanitas.

Well worth several viewings.

Searching for Constable

The last time I was in London, I visited the old Tate, anticipating what I thought would be a room full of Constable paintings. Looking forward to some illuminating picture-viewing I followed the gallery map to the appropriate room and found instead scaffolding, dropsheets, paint cans, and other materials scattered about. At first a little disappointed, I did however find this an interesting subject that might make a painting, so I took some photographs. It looked a lot to me like a contemporary art installation.

Searching for Constable, oil and acrylic on wood, 24 x 36 ins
Searching for Constable, oil and acrylic on wood, 24 x 36 ins

Painting as a Pastime

Winston Churchill, Sunset over the Atlas Mountains, 1935
Winston Churchill, Sunset over the Atlas Mountains, 1935

Winston Churchill, excerpt from Painting as a Pastime, 1950:

Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen. They pass out into shadow and darkness. All one’s mental light, such as it is, becomes concentrated on the task. Time stands respectfully aside.

drawing the world

John Hartman, Broadway and Fifth Avenue, NYC, 2006, three-colour drypoint
John Hartman, Broadway and Fifth Avenue, NYC, 2006, three-colour drypoint

Invention and Revival:

The Colour Drypoints of David Milne and John Hartman

Burnaby Art Gallery, June 2 – July 19, 2009


David Milne invented and mastered the colour drypoint technique at the beginning of the 20th Century. John Hartman revived and sought to explore the technique some forty years later. Though their lives only overlapped for three years, the combination of each artist’s work demonstrates adept skill and insight into a lesser known primaking medium through the subjects they have chosen to explore, document and capture.

Invention and Revival: The Colour Drypoints of David Milne and John Hartman was curated by Rosemarie Tovell with an essay by Anne-marie Ninacs. The exhibition has been organized and circulated by Carleton University Art Gallery.

Artist tour and talk with John Hartman – Sunday, June 7, 4:30 pm

Curator tour and talk with Rosemarie Tovell – Sunday, July 19, 4:30 pm

This fabulous exhibition is part of Vancouver’s first Drawn Festival.

On astonishment

Lemur

Excerpted from an essay by Michael Cox

When was the last time you heard someone (probably young, probably female) say, “Oh my God!” about something, anything, they heard or were relating to someone else? It would be an understatement sans pareil to say it is not an uncommon expression these days. But because of its ubiquity, it has perhaps lost its capacity to truly express astonishment.

read more here

Negotiating Uncertainty

Living Room (below) has come a long way in six days. I guess Malcolm Morley was right: “if the inspiration is there, the process follows”. I think it’s well on its way.

The process of making a painting is rarely straight-ahead. Since I don’t work with formulas, each piece is a way of starting again. At the first lay-in (starting layer of paint) of a multi-panel piece, my initial excitement was followed by huge self-doubt. Convinced that I had begun a project impossible to complete, I pronounced the painting a failure, and turned the panels against the wall for about a week. In a brave moment, I showed them to some supportive painter friends, who thought the project worth pursuing.

If I feel a glimmer of excitement about the possibilities, that’s a good sign. These things never work out if I just do something because I think it will be good for me (martyrdom definitely not on the agenda).

Only through time and effort will I know whether I can pull it off. There’s still a possibility that three or four weeks of work will go nowhere, but I’m optimistic it will be worth the effort. Or will it?

This painting is based on a photograph sent to me by my friend and amazing artist, Chris Dorosz.

livingroominprogress1

livingroom_inprocess22

Nelson_Conversation1_Dorosz
Nelson_Conversation1_Dorosz, 72 x 102 inches, oil and acrylic on wood (4 panels), 2009
Detailpaintinginprocess3web
Some details of paintings

Detailpaintinginprocess4web
Detailpainting-in-proces-5

Hall 2, 2009, graphite and pencil crayon on vellum and stonehenge papers
Hall 2, 2009, graphite and pencil crayon on vellum and stonehenge papers
Hall 1, 15 x 22 inches, 2009, graphite and pencil crayon on vellum and stonehenge papers
Hall 1, 15 x 22 inches, 2009, graphite and pencil crayon on vellum and stonehenge papers

StudioMay20_2009