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Showing posts from March, 2011

Are You Too Old to Change?

I taught a Cold Wax and Oil Painting workshop this past weekend with a group of women who were likely all over sixty years of age.  By the time we get into our 60's we bring  a rich life experience to our work: most have been married once or maybe 4 times, have grown children and now grandchildren,  had long and successful careers in business or education or medicine, cared for ailing parents when they were dying.  They bring the wealth of years of learning and life to their art and to this workshop.

One thing about getting older I find is that there is a clear awareness that time is limited.  I could tell myself when I was 50 that I was only half way through my life.  But not now! Barbara, one of the women in the workshop, worried that at this age, she was too old to change her subject matter in her painting.  My own feeling is, why not spend that time doing exactly what I want to do?  Why not change? Let my work lead me to new worlds, new ways of working.  We don't stop growi…

Talking about Art

For the past three days I've had my friend Rebecca Crowell and her husband, Don Ticknor, visiting me from Wisconsin. I met Rebecca last March when I was taking a cold wax workshop from her near Madison Wisconsin.  I introduced her to Gallery 133 in Toronto which is one of the galleries where I show my work.  The gallery invited her to bring some of her work up to Toronto, which prompted this visit.

Besides talking continuously about our work and our teaching, and discovering that we have the same sense of hilarity, we spent two days visiting galleries in Toronto, especially in the Distillery District and Yorkville.  I especially liked the work of Maya Bar and Ram Samocha at Julie M. Gallery, Ed Bartram's Rockscapes and a Stu Oxley monoprint at Mira Godard Gallery, Leonard Cohen's drawings atDrabinsky Gallery and Zhang He's deliciously thick oil paintings at Odon Wagner Gallery.

cold wax + oil: new work

This is my first painting of 2011.  The influence of Spain and my artist residency at Can Serrat seems to be appearing in my work unexpectedly.  Playing with colour so freely during the residency was inspirational and combined with my interest in layered, weathered and decaying surfaces, I'm heading toward a new body of work.

This non-objective work requires that I completely surrender to the process, not knowing from moment to moment where the work will take me.  It rides on the back of many years of painting but demands letting all of that go.  It is a demanding force, like "duende"Angeles Arrien in her book, "The Second Half of Life", says that the 'igniting power of fire that comes from the depths of the human spirit, is known cross-culturally by different names: as duende in Spain's flamenco; verissimo in Italian opera; fado in Portugal; tango in Argentina; sandade in Latin America; and jazz in America.  All are forms of passion that hinge on th…