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Showing posts from July, 2009

Art and Fear

I looked at an old sketch book from 2007 yesterday. From time to time I review my old sketch books to find inspiration and to see what I was thinking one year, three years, five years ago. I'm often surprised to find that similar ideas circulate throughout my work. Sometimes I complete a painting only to discover later on when perusing my sketchbooks that I had made an earlier sketch of the same image.

Yesterday what inspired me were some quotes from the book, "Art and Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

I wrote these notes in my sketchbook that continue to resonate with me.

"As an artist you're expected to make each successive piece uniquely new and different yet reassuringly familiar when set alongside your earlier work. You're expected to make art that's intimately (perhaps even painfully) personal-yet alluring and easily grasped by an audience that has never known you personally."

"..for most art there is no client, and in making it y…

River of Longing

This is a recently completed painting in my new series called, "River of Longing".
I continue to work on images of waterlilies and 'vessels', which are boats/canoes or bowls, as in the Evening on the Lake of Dreams Series. But recently the energy seemed to subtly shift into a new series as I begin to work with images to create a new myth which will accompany this work.

Drawing on my interest in and study of Shamanism over the years, the empty canoe image serves as a powerful symbol. In an article in the San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, "the symbolism of the boat/ship emanates from what Jung calls, 'the primordial era when the unconscious was predominant and the conscious weak', when myth and lore were taken for factual reality and gods and goddesses for granted as projections of the immutable, incomprehensible forces of nature. Long connected in various world religions with magic, death and rebirth, the boat as archetype has a powerful sign…

How do you keep the creative fire burning?

I find the creative process to be a fragile place between the conscious and the unconscious. Sometimes I have intensely creative periods and then periods of lower energy, where I still love painting, but the energy behind a series of paintings begins to dissipate.

The composer John Adams said in an interview on CBC radio that he doesn't wait for the Muse to come to him, he improvises and then inspiration comes to him.

My process is similar and yet my own. I keep working even when I find the energy is letting go of a series I've been working on. But there comes a time, as I keep working, when I get a flash of a new idea, maybe in a dream, or just as a clear thought.

I have artist friends who seem to work steadily at their painting with no diminution of their energy. As an outsider looking on, it appears that they have consistent energy in their work from one year to the next. Part of me envies this consistency. Part of me knows that I am not like that and I need to work in …

New Work

Here are three recent paintings that are currently on the walls at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario as part of the Ontario Society of Artists, "OSA Summer Exhibitions".
I continue to work on the series, "Evening on the Lake of Dreams". The myth that accompanies this work is on my website. I went to the opening last night on a fabulous warm summer evening. There are five Oakville Galleries involved in this exhibition, so it made for a wonderful gallery walk to see all of the work in each gallery.