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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Photographs of Landfills in Alberta

Amber Glass Slope 2010 Cloverbar Edmonton, AB

Here's a link to a site that posted a selection of photographs from my June-July 2010 tour of picturesque waste disposal facilities across Alberta:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ellipses and Recent Oval Paintings

Signals and chatter.

An array of microwave drums on a relay tower

Robert Motherwell's Elegies to the Spanish Republic

Mercury With High Collar and Ascot 2011 a+o/c 8 x 10"

Rapt Attention 2011 a/c 8 x 10"

Monet's Water Lilies, up-ended: Ellipses used to describe receding space.
Ferric Oval 2011 a+o/c 16 x 12"

Martian Fuel Dump 2010 a/c 16 x 20"

I'm uncertain of the origins of these two palettes. Purloined from the net. (Shhhhh)

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Friedrich A Graf Rutowski

Sebastiano Ricci

Jacopo Tintoretto Jona Leaves the Whale's Belly

William Adolphe Bouguereau Portrait of Eugene Bouguereau 1850

Giderot Troison Mademoiselle Lange as Danae

Baron Francois Pascal Simon Gerard Desiree Clary, Queen of Sweden

Jean Baptiste Greuze The White Hat

Frederick Church Edwin Moses viewing the Promised Land 1846

I have become obsessed with exploring ovals, as a format and as a compositional motif.
As with most creative explorations, this fascination reared its rounded head unexpectedly.
In the past, I've made circular pictures and painted elliptical subject matter (fuel drums receding into space, satellite dishes, tank farms, and so forth) - but I have never worked on oval canvasses, deeming them too emotional, corny or retardataire. No time to address this nagging insecurity, this unreasonable fear, like the present! Above are a fistful of art historical examples of this tried and true shape; a superb shape for portraiture (busts) because of the way it echoes the contours of the sitter's head and the attitude of the shoulders. Excellent for landscape when tipped sideways. Maybe it has something to do with our perception - the way we see, given the shape of the human eye socket - our scope of vision. I hope to post a few of my own 'ovals' in my next installment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Early March Musings

On the night of February 24th, I was lucky to have been able to attend Harcourt House's 'double-header' openings of Lindsey Bond's Negotiating Spaces: Visual Recollections of Train Travel Across Canada and Marie-Eve Martel's Agricultural Eclipse. Both artist's exhibitions lament, each in their distinct way, the loss of simpler times and solid values that Canadians are experiencing in the face of the juggernaut of 'progress'. Martel depicts farm buildings that are about to be leveled to make way for ever-expanding urban development.
Bond has traveled by passenger train from one end of the country to the other, rediscovering a now archaic mode of transportation while photo-documenting the trip using several different cameras. Both artists seem to be taking fond glances back in time, asking the viewer(s) what might happen next: How will history unfold? Sadness, hope and beauty pervade in the two shows.
The next afternoon I was delighted to have a studio visit from Marie-Eve Martel. My current output has much in common with her recent imagery so we were able to compare notes and get to know each other a little better. Solidarity!

What else? Between paying attention to a plethora of life's duties, I've been making small paintings to donate to gallery fundraisers; AGA, HH, VAAA. Cross Currents, the painting featured at the top of this post, is a restructured pine crucifix with 'value-added' glow-in-the-dark edges. Tiny, at 19 x 15 cm, it goes to the Visual Arts Alberta Association's pre-Easter show and sale.

Another recent interest branching off the main stem of my regular studio activity is an exploration of oval formats and objects. I'm revisiting and reprising formal concerns that
I was exploring twenty years ago. That's material for the next post, though.