Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Inspiration: Alla Prima Painting

The Artist Daily sent an email today: "Create a Painting On My First Try? Yes, Please!" featuring  two art peices from artist Al Gury. (Al Gury also wrote an interesting blog post on "women artist ancestors and role models" worth a read)

Al Gury

I love this style!

Alla Prima style (Italian, meaning at first attempt), is a painting technique, used mostly in oil painting, in which layers of wet paint are applied to previous layers of wet paint.

 The French term is "premier coup".

"A Bend In the Pond" by Jennifer Young

If ever I worked in oils (not now)- this would definitely be the technique I would want to perfect. No pre-planning, no glazing and drying - just a skillful economy of brushstrokes done in the moment in limited timeframes.

Other artists using this technique:
Books on the alla prima technique:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Art Teachers

I feel privileged to have receieved my early art training from many incredible teachers

Sr. Collette Michniewicz, 

Sr. Collette seated in the front row
Sr. Collette is a member of the Felician Sisters and a teacher who taught art for many years at the original Holy Name of Mary high school.

She was my first teacher in fine arts. I learned to paint with oils from her. Her instruction was inspiring and she had incredible patience. I developed a lifelong love for the creative process through her love for art.

She organized the first art exhibit that I participated in (1971) at Holy Name Of Mary. The art piece that I was most proud of in the art show was an oil painting that was a blue monochromatic night scene of a car parked under a street light.

Central Technical School 

Central Technical Art School in Toronto was my first official art school. I attended summer classes here and was the youngest student in my life drawing class. I lived outside the boundaries for the school and they made an exception for me. I took public transportation all the way from Cooksville, Ontario each day.
I loved my time at this school.

T.L. Kennedy Vocational Art Program (Mississauga)
I left Holy Name of Mary after Grade 10 (1971) specifically to attend the Vocational Art Program that was being offered at T.L. Kennedy. This program offered commercial art (Mr. Domenici), life drawing, etc (Miss Kertesz) and pottery-ceramics (Mr Rahkola)

My Teachers
From the 1972-73 Yearbook


My Grade 11 Class
Commercial Art Training
1976 (Dave Winfield FB photograph)
My favourite project: designing jam jar labels
Pottery - Ceramics Class
1976 (Dave Winfdield FB photo)
My favourite sculpture that I made: Ahand holding a paint brush
Life Drawing Class
1976 (Dave Winfield FB photo)
My most challenging life drawing sketch: when the model pointed directly at me.
(also my best life drawing sketch)

1972 Friends Gary Meyers, Rene Arnolis and Jennifer Jenkins
1972 Ms. Kertesz with art students
1969 (Note Mr Rahkola in the third row)
Graduate Links
If anyone knows of any other practicing artists, please let me know in the comments below.

Ottawa's Annual New Art Festival

The New Art Festival is run for artists by artists in Ottawa's Central Park in the Glebe.

The festival is in its' 22nd year!

The 2014 artists directory features hundreds of artists with email and web addresses. (AND I plan to be on that list for 2015!)

The festival takes place in a beautiful park setting in the Glebe.

2014 Map
I managed to see studio potter  Chandler Swain  pictured below (who attended the same art school that I did in Mississauga and later went to OCA and Hornsey College of Art in London England ). Chandler now lives in the beautiful village of Blakeney (near Almonte) and has been a pottery technician and teacher for more than 30 years!!

Studio Potter chandler Swain

I also finally viewed the wonderful landscape paintings of David Lidbetter. I met David through the art demonstrations at the Wallack's art store but I had never seen his beautiful paintings until today.

I bought a print from Daniel Bombardier of Denial Art . He uses spray paint and creates these amazing pieces of art on wood. He drove all the way from Windsor that morning.

Denial Art
I really enjoyed the current work of rosepink. They said were at the festival last year but with very different work. This year it is printmaking combined with miniatures. Very reasonably priced. I just loved them!

I was surprised that there was only one encaustic artist this year? Susan Ukkola's work is wonderful! She offers one-day and two-day classes

Susan Ukkola's booth
I really looked closely at the artist's booth set ups. I noted which ones were really inviting and which ones were not. While I was there, a welcomed wind blew in through the park but unfortunately sent some paintings to the ground. Nothing was damaged thankfully!

Some of the artists cards.

I bought a print of "Make Something Beautiful" from Denial Art

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday #FemArt: Artist Louise Bourgeois

"I want to be both secretive and exhibitionist"
This post is about Artist Louise Bourgeois (famous for sculpting spiders such as the one in front of the National Gallery in Ottawa). The Telegraph ran an article: Inside Louise Bourgeois' New York home.

Her townhouse in New York was 13 feet wide.
Louise loved to sit by this window drawing and writing, watching the street.
What I loved learning about her from this article:
  • At 13ft wide, her townhouse in New York served as both her home and her studio. 
  • Bourgeois moved there in 1962 when she was 51 years old. 
  • She would die there almost half a century later at the age of 98.
  • Drawing, painting and sculpting since 1938, incredible success would come to her in the 1980s
  • “She was already 70,” says assistant and friend Jerry Gorovoy, “yet things were just beginning.”
  • Saving and re-using things came to characterise much of Louise’s life. 
  • Louise filled her journals religiously, sometimes three times a day.
  • On a wall to wall pinboard in the town house hangs an exhibition poster that reads,‘Does feminism conflict with artistic standards?’
  • The Chelsea townhouse reminds Gorovoy of Louise and he sees her spirit there: "But when I see her, she’s always sitting in the back room with the window open, listening to the children in the schoolyard behind. She was like a child, in the end. An arrested child.”

  ‘The spider – why the spider?
Because my best friend was my mother 
 and she was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, 
 reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, 
 and as useful as a spider… 
 I shall never tire of representing her.’ 

 (‘Louise Bourgeois’, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2000) 

 “She was already 70, yet things were just beginning.”

Louise Bourgeois Images
Thread and pencil on cloth

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Father's Day Blessing

"Moynahan Men" study
Artist: Cindi Moynahan-Foreman
My heart is filled with such gratitude
to have these two wonderful men in my life.

 Bless the Space Between Us

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. 
It draws no attention to itself,
though it is always secretly there. 

It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, 
our desire to seek possibility,
and our hearts to love life.

Without this subtle quickening 
our days would be empty and wearisome,
and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. 

Our passion for life is quietly sustained 
from somewhere in us 
that is welded to the energy and excitement of life. 

This shy inner light is what enables us
 to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. 

We enter the world as strangers 
who all at once become heirs 
to a harvest of memory,spirit,and dream
 that has long preceded us 
and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us. 

The gift of the world is our first blessing. 

The opening paragraph of the book 
"To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings" 
 John O'Donohue

Monday, June 2, 2014

In the Moment and in Retrospect

Watercolor of Keenan at La pointe à David 
Artist: Cindi Moynahan-Foreman
'We write to taste life twice
in the moment and in retrospect.'
Anais Nin ~

I believe that we could take this famous quote and rewrite it to say, "We paint to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

Making art about the folks I love is so therapeutic for me. The process involves me sitting silently, and regarding them with fresh eyes. The less words floating around me and in my head the better. Intrusive thoughts are unwelcomed and forced to leave by shifting my thoughts back to the reverence and love that inspired me to choose the subject in the first place.

Feelings of love, joy and happiness flow through my eyes, through my heart, through my hands and pour on to the page where I enjoy them twice: in the moment and again in retrospect.