Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Show at Hudson Community Centre

I promise.... This is the last posting about showing my work for 2012. I have had six shows in five weeks, and frankly it's time for more making and less showing. Certainly less talk about showing. I have even turned down an opportunity for a group show later this month. Enough!

Michele Meredith and I will be exhibiting our fibre and mixed-media work at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre, 394 Main Road, Hudson, Quebec, November 2 - 29. The centre is open during regular office hours, and also sometimes evenings and weekends. Please phone 450-458-6699 to confirm if in doubt.

I will be showing recent work from my Tuscany and Cityscapes series. Thank you to all friends and family who have shown their support by coming to the various vernissages and to the Studio Tour. It has meant a lot to me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stewart Hall exhibition

I am delighted to have two pieces selected for the Art Rental Collection 2013 at Stewart Hall.

The Stewart Hall Art Gallery, at 176 Bord du Lac in Pointe Claire, is a beautiful exhibition space, with gallery lighting and raw brick walls. When your work is hung there it looks like... well... art.

More than one hundred works from Montreal artists have been chosen for the annual show, which runs from October 27 - November 25.

The vernissage is this Sunday, October 28, at 2 p.m.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fibre Content show, Burlington ON

Delighted to have two of my pieces juried into Fibre Content, an important show coming up at the end of the month in Burlington, Ontario. The details are available on the poster below. I hope that you will visit the show if you're in the area. The venue is large and brightly-lit, and the organization of the show has been impeccable. Expect to see 128 examples of fibre art by 65 Canadian artists. 

Rooftop Terrasse 24" x 12" (sold)

53rd Street 24" x 18"


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hudson Artists Fall Show, Oct 19 - 21

Our local artists' group is over 60 years old, and numbers eighty members. More than thirty of us will be showing our work at the Hudson Community Centre this weekend, mostly paintings of all kinds but also some mixed media and fibre. Please see the poster below for details. I hope to see you there!


...Michele Meredith and I will be holding a joint show of our work in fibre, collage and mixed media in the lobby of the Hudson Community Centre throughout the month of November.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield

I read this book twice during my holiday. A slim little volume at 165 pages, but meaty and inspirational.

The author is an accomplished writer of historical fiction, and has also written other books about creativity. To quote Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City, "I've never read a self-help book that wasn't fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It's amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I'd assign, along with the letters of Flannery O'Connor."

In Book One, Pressfield writes about Resistance in all its forms, that force that gets between you and your accomplishment, whether it's starting an exercise program, a new business or charity, or finishing your paintings, poems or screenplays. Resistance can manifest itself as procrastination, addiction and recovery. It can show its power in ongoing family drama, allowing oneself to be victimized, and psychosomatic illness.

I was briefly a fan of The Artists's Way, by Julia Cameron. Then I decided that rather than journaling daily about my struggles with creativity, it would be better to just get in there and spend that time making my art. "Just do it." This is very much the theme of Book Two. By comparing the amateur to the pro,  Pressfield makes his points about the importance of showing up and doing the work every day. The author speaks from long personal experience that having a professional attitude is a prerequisite to achieving one's goals.

Book Three is a thorough discussion of Inspiration, and all the good things that follow from doing the work. An excellent book that would be helpful to the aspiring artist, the entrepreneur wannabe, and anyone with a dream.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Inspired by Hopper

On a guided walking tour of Montmartre, I couldn't help but take these Hopper-inspired photos. Perhaps they'll find their way into my work.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Preview: Edward Hopper

Balcon, Albert Marquet, 1904
Yesterday we saw an exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg. It featured a collection of paintings acquired by the Cercle d'Art Moderne. Basically, this was a group of wealthy businessmen centred around Le Havre, France, who bought and promoted modern art in the early years of the 20th century.

Many of their first acquisitions were Impressionist, but as artists moved beyond Impressionism, so did the collections. Even someone like Renoir, an icon of Impressionism, tired of this style in his later years, and reintroduced concerns of "form" in his work, using light, shadow and contour to model his subjects.

Le Haut-de-Forme, Vallotton, 1887

I was struck by two paintings, because they seemed to foreshadow the vision of Edward Hopper. The first, "Balcon, avenue de Versailles" by Albert Marquet, was painted in 1904. The second, "Le Haut-de-forme" or "La Visite", is by Félix Vallotton, dated 1887.

Hopper lived in Paris for two or three years between 1906 and 1910, where he studied art and was no doubt influenced by French painters of the time.

Early Sunday Morning, Edward Hopper, 1930

Sun in an Empty Room, Edward Hopper, 1963

There is a major show on Hopper opening today at the Grand Palais, and when I visit the show tomorrow, I hope to learn more about his early influences.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fibre Art at Amsterdam's Central Library

This large, colourful piece of fibre art greeted us on the fifth floor of the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, Europe's largest public library. It was made of...

...socks. That is, sections cut from never-worn socks, then folded and inserted under flaps of commercial felt. I wasn't able to find any information about the artist or the piece, but it was visually effective, and probably functional too, in that it no doubt absorbs unwanted sound in the library's "quiet" area nearby.
On arrival to the Library, visitors are welcomed by a woven woolen wallhanging that covers an entire wall by the entrance. 

As you can see in the detail shot at right, the horizontal bands are made of highly-textured yarns. I find it interesting to see the warmth and textural qualities of fibre used to enliven large, modern public spaces that might otherwise be cold and forbidding.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum

Visited the Modern Art Museum in Amsterdam today, and saw this piece of fibre art. It was made in 1932 by Dutch artist Herman Scholten, and was acquired by the Museum in the early 1970's.

Seeing this today made me think of a remark made at the recent executive meeting of one of my groups. It was noted with some satisfaction that the group, composed almost entirely of painters,  has recently accepted for membership artists who work in "craft-like media": fibre and ceramics. Picasso worked with both!

And here is another piece that I liked very much, "Charlene", by Robert Rauschenberg, 1954. This is one of his "Combines", both painting and sculpture, and certainly collage. He incorporated many found items into the piece: fibre, newspaper, plastic, wood, mirror, metal, an electric light, and a letter from his mother.

I'd like to think that my group would have considered Rauschenberg for membership, should he have applied.