Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sir Anthony Caro passes away

Tony Caro will be missed by many artists, especially the Canadian ones who met him at workshops here in Saskatchewan at Emma Lake or in upstate New York at Triangle.  He was a great role model, with his engaged approach to making sculpture and his enthusiasm for new work.  When we went to London, if we phoned him we would be sure to get an invitation to his studio to look at what was going on there.  Afterward, over an hospitable glass of wine, he would enquire after our own progress and  make us believe that everything was possible.

Here is a photo of him at Triangle Workshop:

That is Darby Bannard closely examining a sculpture, while Tony keeps his council directly behind; in 1983 he already has his white hair and beard.  Clement Greenberg is the one in the hat, but I can't remember the names of the others.  That is me on the left, thinking I was very cool I guess.  The photo is courtesy of Cora Kelley Ward, who documented much of that workshop.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Show Up in London, Ontario - COLOUR TREE PAINTING

My exhibition in London is now hanging!

You can see the others at Michael Gibson Gallery.  Thanks to Ian Thomson, for being able to do my stretchers at short notice; to Karyn Nelson for helping me to stretch and prepare the canvases in my studio; to West Art Framers for making some beautiful frames; and to Denbigh Shippers for getting them there in good time.  And of course thanks to Michael and Jennie for putting it all together.  It was a tight schedule but, with some luck, it all worked out.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Summer Group Show in Toronto "PAINT"

The Nikola Rukaj Gallery in Toronto included me in a group exhibition this summer:

Paint Exhibition

J U L Y . A U G U S T 
S E L E C T E D  A R T I S T S


Nikola Rukaj Gallery
384 Eglinton Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario M5N 1A2
(416) 481-5995

They showed some of my Vivid Lake paintings.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Portrait Hits The Big-Time

This spring Oliver Simon Design did up the loft of actor Callum Keith Rennie and their work is featured in the current issue of Canadian House & Home (September 2013, P.60).  The designers chose one of my funny portraits for the 'art wall'.  They also hung one of my lake landscapes but, wouldn't you know it,  the editor replaced it with text.

This portrait is part of a series I did a few years ago, with made-up faces from people passing by when I was out and about.   Sometimes friends were the starting point, but I didn't tell them; they wouldn't like how they ended up.  This is one of the last of the series; the paintings were getting too much like real people and I lost interest.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

City Drawings

Here are some drawings I sent to Art Placement in Saskatoon for their summer drawing show:

They are all quarter sheet watercolour paper.  Art Placement did not seem to mind that they are drawings of Vancouver.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My First Studio

On early 1980 I got up the nerve to search for studio space in an old building down in gastown.  The Gault Building on Water Street was completely undeveloped at the time and I talked the manager into renting me a space on the 6th floor.  Here is the view from the window:

It was a great space, for I think about $50 a month.  Here is my work table:

And here are some watercolours in progress:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Problem with Commissions

On occasion I have been asked to paint a painting as a commission, perhaps the same as another painting of mine that has been seen and liked.  As much as I would like to accept, I always refuse.  I try to explain that  it is impossible to duplicate a painting, that no one painting is ever the same as another.  However, this is a difficult concept for people to understand and I think they often wonder why I won't do it.

Recently I was delighted to read James Elkins writing about this individuality of every brushstroke in every painting:

"...each painting would insist on its own uniqueness, because no mark can be like any other, and no picture can duplicate another....  A painting or unique, and so is every mark on it.  As every artist knows, a single brushmark can never be retrieved: if it is painted over, it is gone, and no matter how many times the same hand passes over the same inch of canvas, the mark can never be reproduced.  Every mark is a different beginning ...."    P. 41, "What Painting Is" by James Elkins.

If every brushstroke is unique, you can imagine how a whole bunch of brushstrokes can never add up to the same painting.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"What Painting Is" by James Elkins

How is it that this man (I mean the author, not Rembrandt) understands so much about the studio?  Here Elkins writes about paint as a creeping virus:  "...the paint gradually finds its way onto every surface and every possession....   Sooner or later every one of a painter's possessions will get stained.  First to go are the studio clothes and the old sneakers that get the full shower of paint every day.   Next are the painter's favorite books, the ones that have to be consulted in the studio.  Then come the better clothes, one after another as they are worn just once into the studio and end up with the inevitable stain."   P. 148, James Elkin, "What Painting Is."  Routledge, 1999.

No matter how careful I am, if I wear something nice in the studio, it gets paint on it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Installation Shots at The Reach, Abbotsford

Here are some installation shots of the show in Abbotsford:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Exhibition at The Reach, Abbotsford

Next week my paintings will be in an exhibition at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford.  Called "Nests and Trees", this is a two-artist show of Vicky Marshall's 'nest' paintings and my 'trees'.  Curator Scott Marsden notes our 'explorations of minimalism and abstraction' while using nature as a reference point.  Here are three of my contributions to the show:

"Take Me"  70x66 inches  2012 

"Minder"  70x66 inches  2012

"Five Trees"  70x66 inches  2012

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"New Beginnings" Group Exhibition

I just learned that one of my paintings is presently on exhibition in the small gallery at Art Placement in Saskatoon.  The company is excellent:  William Perehudoff, Jonathan Forrest, and Lorenzo Dupuis.  This is how we look:

Thanks to the powers to be at Art Placement for including me.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Paintings Ready for Shipment

Here are some of my paintings ready for pick-up and delivery to The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford. It took me a while to figure out how to pack them but a big roll of bubble wrap helped.