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Showing posts from June, 2012

What Happened to the Idea of the Artist as Visionary?

 "Quiet"   30x30"  Oil, cold wax on panel  ©2012 Janice Mason Steeves As well as teaching painting in my workshops,  I encourage students to think beyond themselves in their work and consider the idea of the artist as visionary.   I talk about the possibility of art as being more than a reflection of current society.  When I googled 'artist as visionary', Wikipedia and many other sites, translate my phrase as Visionary Art.  "Visionary Art  is art  that purports to transcend the physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes, or is based in such experiences."  Another link was to The American Visionary Art Museum, which defines Visionary art as " produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself."  But I'm not speaking of art that is done by artist

Exhibition of 60 Painters

I saw the exhibition 60 Painters last week at Humber College Art and Media Studio in Etobicoke, just the day before the exhibition closed.  The show was described as "  the most ambitious overview of contemporary Canadian painting in recent memory. The artists are a mixture of emerging artists and very well established artists. Some of the artists are within the first few years of their practice while others are in their third or fourth decade of exhibiting."  The exhibition was organized by Scott Sawtell , an instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and at Brock University in St. Catharine's. The show was spread over 12,000 sq feet of space at Humber College's art and Media Studios, winding in and out of classrooms, hallways, theatres and film studios. The statement on the wall at the entrance to the exhibition read, in part: "We now live in an age where information and imagery operate with unrivalled speed and vastness.  It is be

Decisions, Decisions

24x24" oil on panel © 2012 Janice Mason Steeves I'm in the process of making a lot of decisions.  I am making reservations to go to Cill Rialaig , my artist's residency in Ireland in October.  Afterwards,  I'll travel on to Scotland to visit my relatives who live near Aberdeen.  Then I'll go to the island of Iona for Quiet Week,  a program which will involve meditation, sharing and contemplative prayer.  I have many, many small decisions to make about flights, places to stay, where to leave my big suitcase full of art supplies so I don't have to lug it around Scotland. Those sorts of things.  I am thinking today about the process of decision-making in life and in art. This reminds me of a story my daughter once told me.  She was working at a camp in western Canada. She and her friend had gone into town for groceries.  As she was nearing the checkout, she was hesitating to decide which checkout had the shortest line....back and forth she went, intent o