Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bread and Roses

This is a difficult time of year for those of us who need warmth and light. I have been painting with reds and pinks lately to help to satisfy my craving for colour. I have enough warmth and food and light to function - but need something dazzling to give me energy. "Give us bread but give us roses". I was so excited to find these roses hiding in the sedum plants of an otherwise dormant garden.

I pull aside the browns and a treasure garden of pink roses waits for me.

And sometimes, when minature roses aren't enough to cheer my heart, the muffling clouds depart and reveal an evening like we had two days ago. As Henry and I stood on the roof deck, wrapped in blankets, I noticed neighbours coming out of their houses too, drawn by the extraordinary sunset.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Absinthe Dreams

I have finished my mural surrounding the projection screen at Cancan night club. I wish these pictures could convey the size. I didn't measure and am poor at guessing. I suppose it is about fifteen feet high. The plants are wormwood and anise.

Are these animals the visions of someone drinking absinthe? Emile Zola said that everything is a dream. (Tout n'est qu'un rĂªve)

I painted a quotation from Zola along the bottom of the screen "Je n'ai guere de soucis de beaute ni de perfection... Je n'ai souci que de vie, de lutte, de fievre. (I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity.) No wonder he needed a drink!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Still Untitled

This painting started with a trip to the Burke Museum to photograph their taxidermy collection. The moose head was so wonderful, mounted high up on the wall, as tall as a moose. I remember when I was a kid in rural New Brunswick, Canada, my school bus had to stop to let a moose cross the road. It sauntered past and had a good look at us sitting up high in our yellow school bus and it was so big that it looked DOWN at us. They are giants. (and much more thrilling alive than stuffed. So sad)

Once I had painted the moose I started painting other things that caught my fancy with no rhyme or reason. Love-in-the-mist seed pods. Beauty berry. Black moths. And finally I wanted to be part of this strange twilight landscape so I painted a rabbit as my representative.

Usually I have a narrative to go with each painting I make. This painting has suggested many different narratives. They are all about relationships. Moose to bunny. Moths to moose. Animals to plants. Living things to the twilight.

I hope that it speaks to some relationships in your own life.

I can't decide on a name for this painting. "Moths to a Flame" maybe or "Moths to a Moose". Some creatures are so charismatic. And little bunnies sit and watch.

This painting is oil on panel and measures 36"x24". You can click on it to see the details I think.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Treasures in a January garden

Though I am suffering from the dark and wet weather I made the most of the warmth today by getting into the garden where, as well as a little vitamin D, I found this treasure. It is a half rotted poppy seed pod. I used the photographs of the amazing Karl Blossfeldt as inspiration for these snap shots. If you like plants or photography or wrought iron you'd enjoy his work.

I also photographed this Magnolia grandiflora found on the ground after a wind storm.

A sycamore pom pom.

And the plants I am painting at the moment, Love-in-a-mist.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Group Show Opening

I will be part of a new group show at Woodside Braseth with my painting "Time Flies" It's a pretty one that I painted this summer showing Isobel on a swing with hollyhocks and the suggestion of time passing quickly. I was in quite a serious mood! You can see it here. The show opens tonight and I will be there from 6 - 8:30. Drop by and see the gallery. It's a wonderful space full of inspiring art.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wormwood and Anise

While I usually paint small tender images of thoughtful moments and gentle animals from the solitude of my cosy studio I have started the new year by doing something nearly opposite. I am painting murals on the wall of a burlesque and absinthe club in Seattle called Cancan.

Balanced on a very tall ladder and surrounded by dancers, carpenters and electritians I have been trying to adjust to the chaos. This mural surrounds a silver screen onto which images of historic burlesque acts will be projected. I am painting the plants used in the making of absinthe; wormwood and anise - and some crazy animals that one might see after drinking a little too much absinthe - or maybe just the right amount! Happy New Year!