In late autumn I was commissioned to make a painting for our new hospice building here in the Cowichan Valley. The brief was for a panorama landscape on five canvases that was recognizable as a place here in our valley. I chose the Cowichan estuary because I love it for it’s openness and light and because it is central to the ecosystem of the area. From it one can see two landmarks familiar to anyone living here – Mount Tzouhalem in the centre and Mount Provost in the distance.
I’m honoured to have been asked to do this because of the work the Hospice Society does with sensitivity and compassion.
On 17 June 2013, in response to weeks of violent police attacks on protesters, the performance artist Erdem Gündüz stood in Istanbul’s Taksim Square for eight hours. He had a backpack at his feet and his hands in his pockets, and stared fixedly at the Ataturk Cultural Centre. Over the following weeks, men and women recreated Gündüz’s vigil, bringing with them books like 1984, The Metamorphosis, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
The Taksim Square Book Club is powerful because of its contradiction. It is resistance suitable for the Instagram era, quiet and unobtrusive, but photogenic and viral. These public displays of private thought remind us of the end goal of contemporary authoritarian states: not the control of space, but the control of minds. In Turkey, after months of protest and state violence, the act of reading literature in public became dangerous in a way that it hasn’t been for decades—at least in the west. These public gatherings also politicize a private moment that cannot be reached by an authoritarian government—at least, not until the clubs come out.
I am startled by their powerful vulnerability and that such a simple act can be so moving.
Text courtesy of Rebecca Campbell
We have just finished five full days of life drawing. It was intense and thoroughly satisfying to spend time together with other artists in pursuit of a decent drawing and more importantly – skill. Here are a few examples of my work. These range from two to five minute sketches (the first three) to thirty to forty five minute studies (the rest).
In preparation for this series I read a report on the Cowichan Bay Pacific oysters published by Dr. Goetz Schuerholz. Dr. Schuerholz’ paper elucidated the importance of these creatures as a keystone species: they provide habitat for other organisms, sequester carbon, purify and filter water, absorb bio-toxins. Any of these elements would make worthy subject matter for paintings. However, of the many aspects of these creatures and habitat I have chosen three elements on which to focus for this series of paintings; 1) the layering of silt and gravel to create the habitat, 2) the flow of tides and of the fresh waters into the bay, and 3) the shapes of the oysters and their accretion in beds.
Rather than render the appearance of beds I have chosen to interpret these phenomena more abstractly – 1) by applying multiple layers of semi transparent paint over marks and other colours, 2) by using wandering line and shapes suggesting movement to evoke a sense of flow, and 3) by using a theme of ovoid shapes suggesting the oysters.
Acrylic 12 x 12
oil 7 x 7
Acrylic 16 x 20
These are small (8×8 inches) acrylic on raised panels. They lend themselves to being arrayed in grids.
Off Wilmot Road, Oil
Mill Bay Rocks, Oil
Mt Tzouhalem, Oil
This evening was the opening of my solo show at Shibui Gallery in Maple Bay. I’m posting images of paintings here. They are mostly in oil with a few acrylic and cold wax. Also included in the show were the works in the posts ‘Estuary’ and ‘More Estuary’.
Acrylic 8 x 12
Acrylic 24 x 24
I have been working on a series based on one of my favorite places in the valley, the Cowichan Valley Estuary. For decades it has been the site of industry resulting in damage to the delicate ecosystem. Last week I attended a fund raising event to support projects aimed at it’s recovery – part of which was an art show. These are a few pieces from the show.
This week we started our fourth annual week of drawing the figure. I’ll be posting at least one drawing from each day. These graphite drawings were done on Thursday and Friday.
I still do representational work.Oil on panel 24″ x 48″
This is new work using oil paint with cold wax as the carrying medium. Neither of these pieces are particularly original nor finished but provide me with the opportunity to learn how to use the medium.
I’m looking for a less literal way to deal with the landscape in which I live. So much to learn!
Oil and cold wax on panel 24″ x 24′
Oil and cold wax on panel 34″ x 48′
I have always wanted to do purely abstract art but have found it to be much more difficult than it looks. Lately I have made another attempt. Here are a few examples – which may or may not be finished. I have used acrylic because it lends itself to doing thin layers of glazes and it dries quickly so I can easily do as was done in these and paint over it. Each of these has several paintings underneath.
Some time ago my sister and I were in Ireland. These are a few paintings from that trip.
This is painting of a steep path to the beach on De Courcy Island.
Oil, 24″ x 36″
Yesterday was the last of five days of drawing with good friends and fine artists. We worked hard, had fun together and fully enjoyed the coffee breaks. Every year I prime myself for the breakthrough that will bring about a masterpiece and yet again that experience has eluded me. In making art the flashes of genius and inspiration are rare to nonexistant and the putting of one foot in front of the other to reach the objective is the norm. Here are a few pieces from the last few days.
Conte – 30 minutes Tafi, our new model
I suggest that you have a look at Anne’s art blog .
She has some really good drawings from the same session.