Friday, December 31, 2010

Reading about Art

In a recent newsletter, Robert Genn commented that he was reading Steve Martin's novel "An Object of Beauty" about dealings in the art world of upscale collectors. Then he added that he- and most artists- don't usually read fiction. The clickbacks now show that lots of artists *do* read fiction and many read about art. I've got 238 pages into "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follet and I'm really enjoying it. I might even end up more knowledgeable about the whole 20th century. Certainly I already know more about coal mining than I did before. However, before that, I finished "The Forest Lover" by Susan Vreeland. I've enjoyed all of Vreeland's books - my favourite is probably "Life Studies", her book of short stories and my favourite novel is"Luncheon of the Boating Party" because it gives such a complete picture of the creation of this painting. However, I had put off reading about Emily Carr as I wasn't sure how I would react to a fictionalized account. I'd read Emily Carr's journals, heard about her and been in children's art classes in the old Vancouver Art Gallery where we were on the floor under paintings by Emily Carr, Lawren Harris and others. She influenced how I saw the West Coast. But, Susan Vreeland did capture her character very well and the descriptions of her trips to First Nation's lands were very well done as was the inner struggle with expressing herself. I could understand the need to invent a character like Claude for the sake of the story - but I really think, given the conventions and morals of the times, that any relationship between a "Claude" and Emily would never have happened. Still, it was worth reading and thinking about the contribution that Emily Carr made towards recognition for female artists. Now I'm looking forward to Vreeland's new novel coming out this January. ....painting here is "The White Gown" which is Iva in a wedding dress - and has nothing to do with reading.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Down to the count-down to Christmas. I'm interested in the response to cards this year. For the past while, I have been having photocopies made of the photograph of a painting. Then I've glued that down onto a card, written on the inside, identified the painting on the back - and so on. This year I used the computer program to select a card design (plain- all photo) and took an I-photo image of my painting. Then I selected the writing for inside and ordered them from Apple. They came all nicely packaged. I felt that the quality of paint shows up better. Slightly more money but a lot less work. The drawback was that the *whole* painting wouldn't fit the card shape and there was nothing to be done except show part of it. So far, people are quite enthusiastic about the card.I painted this picture because I liked the idea of two kinds of lanterns.I think we need all the light possible in a winter-dark season. The main lantern is an actual miner's lantern that my Dad used in his mining career. Later, he wired it so it could be used with a light bulb. I used "artistic license" to not show the cord. I'm wondering how it would look with a larger painting ("Lanterns" is only 10" x 20") as to showing brushwork and so on. I guess I'll have to wait and see about that... So... Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Drawing Marathon

Behind in blogs again- one marathon was getting cards out. Then, this past weekend, I took part in a drawing marathon. I didn't do the whole 18 hours, but I did do 6. It was fun - and I certainly would take part again. Since I am not a really fast painter, I worked with coloured conte' crayons -a chalk pastel of medium softness. One session was a nude in 30-minute poses, after some warm-up poses. Another was a ballerina in a two-hour pose - again- after some warm-up poses. We had a showing with a reception at the end of the weekend and I thought I'd take my two-hour drawing. Upon reflection, I decided it was too pastel and too static and a thirty-minute pose was much more dynamic - so- here is my almost-reclining nude.