Monday, 24 April 2017

Painting and More

Life has been busy here. I just finished a 4 day workshop with Robert Burridge and I am tired but excited to get back into my studio and painting. Thanks again to Leading Edge Art Workshops for organizing this workshop.

Just before this workshop started I received news that two of my paintings have been juried into the Leighton Art Centre's 15th Annual Juried Members show. I submitted three paintings and was so excited when I received the news.

I find myself at a good point in my art. I had stopped painting in 2010 and returned to art making in 2013. It was a struggle. I didn't return to printmaking but instead started using acrylics. Steep, steep learning curve and at times my level of frustration and disappointment at my results made me think about quitting. A few things happened between 2013 and now. I read Malcolm Gladwell's book 'Outliers' (you know the chapter - '10,000 hours of practice' - I liked the whole book) and reread 'Art and Fear' - if you haven't read this book do! And also read Steven Pressfield's book 'The War of Art'. Lots of food for thought in those books. In 2016 I took my second workshop with Brian Atyeo  (big breakthrough during that workshop) and signed up for my first 30 Paintings in 30 Days with Leslie Saeta in September 2016. None of this was 'luck' (I did have a couple of people tell me that I was 'lucky'). I have been committing myself to practicing my art and continuing to take workshops and grow in my art. I am starting to develop my own style and having a great time doing it. Yes, there are days where nothing seems to be going right and I am struggling and 'uncomfortable' with what I am painting. But I find if I stick with it and push through it I am making some big breakthroughs and growing as an artist. So after saying all of the above I want to tell you not to give up - continue to explore, take workshops, practice, practice, practice and enjoy this journey. At this stage in my life I can't think of anything I would rather be than an artist. It feels great when filling out forms to put under 'occupation' - ARTIST!

Here are the two paintings that were accepted to the Leighton Art Centre Show. The prairies and foothills are images close to my heart.

'Across the Valley'
Acrylic mixed media on cradled birch panel

'Prairie Fields Spring Thaw'
Acrylic mixed media on cradled birch panel

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Preparing for an 'Open Studio' workshop in August

I don't know where the time is going - and I just don't seem to have enough to do all things I want to do (versus 'have' to do)!

The workshop with Brian Atyeo was wonderful. I will do a short writeup as soon as I go through my notes and photos. Brian is coming back to the Calgary area the end of August and I was fortunate to get the last available space. He will be doing a 5 day workshop at the beautiful River Rock Studio near Cochrane, Alberta. It will be an open studio workshop - lots and lots of painting in a small group (12 participants) with daily discussion and critiques. I have started thinking about what I would like to paint and doing some research into my subject. This was suggested by Brian - you don't want to show up without some ideas and pre-planning. The subject I want to explore is 'abstracted/interpretive landscapes'. I am leaning towards the prairies - uncultivated native grasslands and cultivated 'scapes' - although I think the Foothills will probably appear as well. I will be working large - again at Brian's suggestion....30"X30" and larger! Now that is a little scary, but could also be very freeing. I will be starting a journal filled with sketches, small landscape studies, colour swatches and some favourite artist's thoughts on painting and subject matter. I am a bit of a research junkie so this will be right up my alley. I am looking forward to lots of painting between now and the workshop and at least a couple of trips to the prairie grasslands. I will leave you with some inspiration from some of my favourite artists.

**These paintings are done by the artists listed under the images**

*Kurt Jackson*

*Richard Diebenkorn*

*Barbara Rae*

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Workshop: Abstracted Still Life with Brian Atyeo

*Brian Atyeo

*All artwork is by Brian Atyeo

I am very excited to be attending Canadian artist Brian Atyeo's workshop in Calgary next week. I have attended two of his workshops and have learned so much! I am using more layers of paint, mixing and using more neutral colours, designing better compositions and becoming more confident in my painting. I am starting to understand the principles & elements of design and slowly but surely applying them to my painting. How can you not like that!

The subject for this workshop is Abstracted Still Life in acrylic and collage. '.....layering of paint and collage paper will be the prime focus of this workshop.' I am looking forward to being inspired by Brian's painting and the other participants and I will be seeing painting friends that I don't get to see as often as I would like.

You can read a complete description of the workshop here.

I will post a short write-up of the workshop after the dust has settled or the paint has dried! Happy painting to you!

Here are a few more of Brian Atyeo's paintings...

*Brian Atyeo

*Brian Atyeo

*Brian Atyeo