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Showing posts from February, 2010

Courage in Art

Requiem ©Janice Mason Steeves 2010

This is one of my new paintings that will be in my show at Wallace Galleriesin Calgary, AB from April 24 to May 8, 2010.

I have written a number of articles about changing direction in art. It's topic that interests me because it happens to me now and again so I enjoy reading articles about other artists' thoughts on this. There was an article in the Artdaily newsletter this week about the work of Therese Oulton with a comment on her changing styles. Her work is being shown at Marlborough Fine Art in London, England.

"Those who are familiar with Thérèse’s work will be initially surprised by the apparent change of direction that her work has taken. In place of the large scale abstract compositions of the recent past, she is exhibiting here a new series of 24 small format landscapes. The artist, however, sees this new body of work as representing the continuation of …

Night Garden

Carrizo © 2010 Janice Mason Steeves

I think one of the things I love best about painting is play. I love constantly trying out new techniques and materials and using them to push my work into new and unexpected directions.

Robert Genn in one of his recent newsletters, suggested a project encouraging play. He encourages an artist to: "Line up a hundred or so small inexpensive panels, papers or canvases and have them ready to go. Give yourself a more limited palette--perhaps half your normal range. Put all reference material and prior works out of sight. If this is not possible, work in a new environment such as a hotel room or friend's cottage. In preparation for starting the program, bring yourself to a mentally uncluttered, dream-like state. Now, over a relatively short period of time, fill the first support with a limited number of strokes. Get your subject matter from the deep well of your memory. Don't finish, move on to th…

The Black Madonna: My Journey

I've begun doing more and more research on the Black Madonna, spurred on by my upcoming artist residency near Montserrat next fall. I realize though, that I've been interested in the Black Madonna for many years, although I'm not a Catholic or attached to any particular faith. I'm interested mostly in the dark aspect of her.

Matthew Fox, is an American Episcopal priest and theologian. He is an exponent of Creation Spirituality, a movement grounded in the mystical philosophies of medieval visionaries, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart and Nicolas of Cusa. He has written more than 22 books which have sold millions of copies.

In his essay, called "Welcome: The Return of the Black Madonna", Fox says that the "Black Madonna calls us to darkness. Darkness is something we need to get used to again-the 'Enlightenment' has deceived us into being afraid of the dark and distant from it. Meister Eckhart observes that the 'ground of…

Artist Residency

I had some exciting news last week. I've been accepted to do an artist residency in Can Serrat, Spain for next fall. It's about 45km from Barcelona. There are a couple of websites devoted to artist residencies. The one I used is called Res Artis.

What mainly drew me to this area of Spain was my interest in seeing the Black Madonna in the monastery at Montserrat, about a three hour uphill hike from Can Serrat. This famous site of holy visions became a place of religious pilgrimage and has been for centuries, possibly going back to pre-Christian times.

"The history of Montserrat is fascinating and started in 880 when a small group of shepherd children saw a bright light descending from the sky in the Montserrat mountains. In the same moment the children heard angels singing and the music filled their hearts with a radiant joy.
Overwhelmed by the experience the children ran home to frantically recall the experience to their parents. The parents were sceptical but knew th…