"My biggest influences were people like painters and poets.
These are solitary workers."~Robert Wyatt
I think sometimes people might wonder what exactly goes on in a painter's studio? I mean, painting takes place obviously, but what else? I can only speak for myself, but daily life typically consists of the steady hum of artworks being developed, priming future works, snuggling with my cats, writing my blog and keeping up with the business aspects of this vocation such as talking with clients and emailing.
If I have time I bike and do yoga. It is all about balance. Exercising the body exercises the mind and helps oxygenate it. It fills you with ideas and energy to pour into your work. I know of some artists who paint every day, literally every day, for 10 hours. I can't do it...I would produce a whole bunch of weak paintings and drive myself crazy in the process...When you are producing your best work, striking while the iron is hot. Yet knowing when to step away so that you can again crave to return to the easel, is just as important.
I have included some photographs of my studio in the past few weeks, along with other activities or friends who make life truly fulfilling. Recently some people have asked to watch me paint. I have no problem with that, and frankly, am touched that folks would want to watch me work...but right now I have a tiny little dark studio in a basement...it wouldn't be a good space. One day however I aspire to have a studio away from the home where folks can come and peruse paintings in progress, talk about commissions, and buy works, should the spirit move them. I believe this will happen.
Here is a photograph of when I was sitting on the floor while working on the painting "Gayle, Waiting". The canvas is 60" high, and I have low ceilings. I had to improvise and so enjoyed a brief stint of painting while on the floor.
Improvisation is the name of the game.
"Gayle, Waiting" sold within 24 hours of being in Abbozzo Gallery. It is part of my upcoming exhibition "An Aesthetic Voyage: Paintings Inspired By The Life And Travels Of Christopher McCandless". Along with the McCandless-inspired works, I have a few other non-related works, such as "Gayle, Waiting". I was elated that this piece sold so quickly. I believe if the PAINTER enjoys the creation of a piece, there is an energy transference that others can discern.
Here is a shot of the advertisement promoting my show last weekend in the Globe And Mail's art section for the Saturday edition. I think the gallery did a nice job of designing the ad and hope it brings some people out this weekend to the opening on Friday night from 7-10pm at the gallery. Perhaps I shall see you there too! There are about twelve different paintings inspired by Chris and his journey, organized chronologically, as he embraced living life intensely from 1990-1992. The exhibition runs from June 3-18th and, among other pieces, will have a life-sized painting of Christopher's belt that he carved at the beginning of 1992, an amazing artifact.
Below are two photos of recent outings. Leaving the studio is so important so that you come back to it with a receptive heart. Here is a rainy run I was on at dusk a couple of weeks ago. Light and colour, provided with the mist of rain and falling light, produced some interesting effects.
New Street on a run at night..
Although I have no Alaskan plans this summer like last year, these little shoes are the perfect solution to the hiker/runner who wants to feel connected to the earth. Vibram Five Fingers was developed for people who wanted to run barefoot, but they can be used for almost any outdoor pursuit. They are amphibious, comfortable and they make you feel like a superhero. I used them hiking in Yosemite National Park and Denali National Park last year. Most recently I used them hiking through Dundas Valley Conservation Area. I HIGHLY recommended them.
My last photo from the studio is of my studio assistant, Sasha. Words cannot express how much I adore him and he carefully wends his way around my work, the paints and supplies. He's savvy. He is one of a kind. I am privileged to share a life with him :)
"I love cats because I enjoy my home;
and little by little, they become its visible soul."~Jean Cocteau
I will blog again soon about "Back To The Wild: The Photographs And Writings Of Christopher McCandless"...the release date for the book and DVD is June 15h! You can find out more information on the link provided. We are so excited and thank-you for your support and interest in this project. Happy painting/creating to you all!