Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Entangled exhibit at VAG

I went to see the current painting show at the Vancouver Art Gallery earlier this week. It is entitled "Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting." I'm usually not particularly excited about painting that is non-figurative, but I knew of some of the artists in the show (Sandra Meigs, Elizabeth McIntosh, Colleen Heslin) and decided to check it out. They are currently between shows right now so the ticket price was discounted ;) but it also meant that the gallery was pretty empty. I like it when the gallery is empty because then you actually have time to stay with a painting for a while, without the pressure of being hurried along by someone next to you. My favourite thing to do is to sit down on the benches they have set up a stare at the work for a longer period of time (sometime fantasizing about what my work would look like in the space, but that's another story) and just let my eyes soak in the work. It takes awhile for a painting to unfold for you sometimes. I think good painting does that. Here are some of the highlights.

Nice to see Sandra Meigs' work on the huge banner outside :)

Sandra Meigs

Elizabeth McIntosh

John Kissick

John Kissick

Nathalie Thibault

Jeremy Hof

Neil Harrison

I have to say that I think I'm the "Performative Painting" camp (painting that values actions and materiality). Painting that reveals itself to you, its form, its meaning as you make it is what interests me. I still hold onto figuration because I need it as a base of which to push off. But then again, who knows where I'll be at the end of my BFA :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Identity is a wall of self-portraits

Here's the final install images from my project about identity.

You gotta love that laser level ;)
Some of the comments were: studying, casual, repetition
-like vampires drawing each other, drawing yourself to know yourself
-process: specific vs general
-impressive scale
-tape, appropriate lack of refinement
-container? (referring to overall shape) amount
-space them out more to fill the wall? that would give each one a little more autonomy and enable the viewer to engage with them one on one, with each one individually
-represents the failure of pictures, how 10 seconds interacting with me gives a more complete impression than this series of images ever could (debatable)
-logos: name
-familiarity drives the work
-takes us on a journey, variety of exploration

All in all it was a good crit and my classmates had some good projects too!
On to the next one . . .

Monday, October 9, 2017

No title yet

This is one of my newest paintings and I am absolutely obsessed with it. I am using my fetish of striped socks as a jumping off point to create these images that are both figurative (imply the figure) and abstract (the stripe is a stripe, but it is also a mark from a brush). I love where these images are taking me and it has got me all fired up. My only problem is that I don't what to call them . . . maybe something will come to me later as I work on these :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

124 self-portraits

Well! I did it. I made 124 self-portraits. I think that'll be enough to create an installation for my critique next week. Gonna have to be up early that morning to set it up cuz I think the VA building will be closed on Monday because of Thanksgiving. Anyhoo, here are some more images from my self-portrait-o-thon.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Stripey stripedness

A study for an idea for a painting that I've had in the back of my mind for quite a while now. I was thinking about what kinds I'm obsessed with. One thing on the list was striped socks. I'm attracted to the graphic simplicity of stripes and I like the way in which clothing indirectly references the figure. I'm going to do a few more bigger studies and see what happens.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Identi-tea: images of Pete drinking tea?

For our next project for the interdisciplinary studio class, we are to created a work that deals with the issue of identity; the self. Identity politics seems to be an issue that is being revisited in our current socio-political climate by artists. As an artist, your art is intrinsically linked to your identity, just at varying scales of importance. So it is difficult to define what the "self" is, but you can't help but express it in your art.
I started off by considering this project in terms of using my self-portrait to explore emotion and psychological spaces of the self. As I started working, I found that it might be more interesting to express the self as fragments because a single portrait can only capture a fraction of a person's character. In order to create a more complete expression of myself, my plan is to create 100 small self-portraits in oils on paper (quick and easy, no fuss no muss) and then edit it down for the final presentation. I'm quite enjoying myself with this work :)
Here are some samples.

And I like tea :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sculpture Yard

Here's the results of the first assignment. The main critique to the work was that it felt overworked or overconsidered. I can see that now to a certain degree, but I don't think the painting was finished when I had last checked in. I guess something I'll have to remember is that if the painting takes a turn, that means you should make a second painting instead of trying to combine two paintings in one. "Have the courage to know when you've done enough." Below is an early image to compare.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Kim Dorland - Nemophilia at Equinox Gallery

While I was in town for the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Finals reception, I went to see the show of Kim Dorland's paintings at Equinox Gallery in Vancouver. The show is titled "Nemophilia." One definition of that word is:
Nemophila species are mainly native to the western United States, though some species are also found in western Canada and Mexico, and in the southeastern United States.
I've been interested in Dorland's work since he had an interview published in Border Crossings magazine a couple of years ago. I was drawn to his subject matter (teenage memories) and his garish use of colour. At the time, thick paint bugged me so I didn't dig that in his work. Fast forward a few years, and however many paintings I've made since then, and now I think that thick paint is almost necessary to convey the idea of paint! 
Viewing Dorland's paintings is a confrontational experience. The paintings attack you with their vibrancy (playing with simultaneous contrasts of greys and complements) and their materiality (the paint is literally slathered on in some areas giving the image a precarious feel). 
I left the gallery very energized because I want my paintings to do that too! It was just the kind of recharge I needed to start off my school year :) Below are some images.
It's my dream to have a show in this amazing space.

Landscape Painting, this was my favourite of the show. You can't see it here, but that grey wall was pulsating from the simultaneous contrast caused by the neon pink under-painting.

Side shot. Look how much paint there is one there!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Junkyard dogs 02

Here's some progress images of my painting of the sculpture yard. When I was out sketching out some studies, I found the space to be really oppressive due to the sun. It was quite uncomfortable. I'm hoping to evoke that feeling of needing to squint because of the harsh sun through the bright yellows and dirty greys (I love what grey does to the other colours on the canvas), using bleeds and layering and letting some of the canvas come through.

small study

So far so good. Hit a bit of a wall before doing the washes but thanks to some prof input, I got the ball rolling again :)

Surly Teen Boy

Surly Teen Boy, 48" by 36", oil on canvas, 2017