Monday, October 14, 2019

Sky is the Limit

I realized tonight, on Canadian Thanksgiving, that it's 10 months since I have last visited this blog!

Well, goodness gracious and my stars, that is an unprecedented period of seemingly silent reflection.

I have been busy and will talk about all of that soon. And have been sorting thoughts in addition to all else. Which has made me uncharacteristically quiet.

For the moment, I want to mention the sky. The same sky that is above all of us, but which has become very much more noticeable to me. And maybe it is not the sky so much as it is the surprises of light, the immense variety that must always be there, independent of our human attention.

Though I am not particularly remote, some things are very different where I live, for example, no street lights and no 24 hour city lights. Just the vast sky and it's constantly shifting light show.

Here are some of the views... mostly to the south or to the east, fairly similar vantage points, yet always looks different.

People ask if I feel isolated in the country. No, I most definitely feel more connected in ways that I have not had time to think about before. If I feel insignificant, that might be because I've never before looked up so often or for so long.

































Thursday, December 6, 2018

Auctioning Beautiful Historical Bassoons


Last minutes of online, one-of-a-kind auction.... 

Auctioning Beautiful Historical Bassoons – Ross/Scherer Baroque Bassoon A=415, (made in 2012) – Glier in Klingenthal,Sachsen (original ca. early 1800's?) – Anonymous German (or Viennese) Bassoon (maybe 1840, Dresden or Leipzig according to Robin Howell)


My auction of my original art, instruments and antiques ends tonight at 7:30 pm, eastern standard time.

I’ve been cheerfully blogging about my art.

But it’s harder to write about the bassoons.  So I am just going to ramble and post this blurt in the last hours of the auction.  If you are the least bit interested in them, you might enjoy reading this.

It’s  my ardent wish is that a real performer gets these precious instruments, either a seasoned player or an eager young student or professional who loves, as I did, the idea of touching the past through these instruments.

They are all real bassoons, meant to perform… the Ross Scherer is one of the best baroque bassoons on the market with a particularly warm and deep tone, was made in 2012, has a new Kim Walker gig bag. It has character and is a bit more of a handful than the Wolf HKICW that all the kids are playing (I had one of those and it was so easy to play, but a little bland) but worth the effort.  This bassoon is worth $5000US and it looks like it’s going to sell for much less on the auction… any price that is close to this or equal is worth every penny. 

The old bassoons are another story…full of history that an expert could guess and that the rest of us can only imagine. I do not possess any academic expertise in their origins, just enjoyed speculating with the experts who restored them.

They each were played for a lifetime by their original owners, and maybe others in the ca. two hundred years that they have been around, the wood burnished and the finger holes curved inwards with the wear of decades of performing.  But they are not worn out, and bassoon-maker Leslie Ross took a a couple of months to both restore them and to measure them in great detail, producing drawings that will allow her (I think) to make bassoons that are similar. 

The Anonymous bassoon, with the capital “F” carefully carved into the inner curve of the wings reminds me of a Heckel… it feels like it was really played and it springs to life more quickly than the older (I think) Glier.  I experimented with different Leslie Ross bocals (the original bocal got misplaced when I loaned this bassoon to a dear colleague in Europe who died in a tragic paragliding accident). I also have the original simple wooden box that this bassoon came in and am keeping it.  The delicate ivory bell ring has been carefully repaired more than once, and present, one small chunk has dropped out again and is carefully wrapped and in the case... a fine bassoon repair person will use the right materials (not modern glue) to repair. The bell itself has a slight curve. Robin Howell spent many hours restoring this bassoon and removed/filled some keys that he thought were not original, then in 2011, I had Leslie Ross give it a linseed oil bath and restore all the keywork and more.  Pitch is lower than A=440 and higher than A=430…. It really depends on bocal/reed choice so I think you could probably get it to produce either.  Not sure because I never got to play it in orchestra, only duets.  This bassoon has a hard sided old gig bag that is pretty good.

The Glier in Klingenthal, Sachsen was found in an antique shop in Toronto by my former stage partner, Guy Few… we were looking for furniture in one of the big stores that reclaims parts of old buildings (Smash) when Guy spotted this bassoon.
The owners had dragged it around for 12 years, fully assembled, minus bocal, before someone told them what it was.  I was so overjoyed to see this venerable, delicate beautiful bassoon.  It was very grimy, but we could see and feel the natural rings of the maple… all this became much more visible after Leslie Ross restored and totally cleaned the bassoon. Once she finished the work, we could also see the maker's stamp clearly on each joint. Very exciting. It has an extendable wing, I assume to allow for different pitches, and the high a and c keys also extend… it is mindblowing to me.  The low C hole is delicately outlined with ivory…. the bass joint is extra long and the bell is very short… Leslie gave me all the string and bits that she removed and replaced and I've got these relics in a box that I can send too. This bassoon needs much more playing to fully reveal it’s potential.
I don’t have a hard case for this bassoon because of it’s non-standard dimensions, but I have invented a gig bag out of a case cover. And there are Leslie Ross bocals with this bassoon.

The bonnets that protect the low D keys on each of the original bassoons are also very lovely (see below)

These instruments deserve to be owned  and played by someone who is a position to show them to the world, share them with other players and students… someone with a good university job, or simply the means to take care of them.  I got them started with thousands of dollars of restoration.

Write to me if you have any questions.  Make a bid on history.

Ross/Scherer Baroque Bassoon, A=415
Anonymous 19th Century Bassoon, A= 430 +
Glier in Klingethal, Sachsen, A= 430+




Glier in Klingenthal, Sachsen

Glier (Low D bonnet)

Anonymous "F" bassoon... 
ivory bell ring needs another repair,
 note the natural maple rings and 
the curve of this old old bell



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Auction Art – GOLDBIRD; THREE FINEAPPLES (2018);ORANGE TABBY UNDER STARRY SKY (20150; BRUSH FIRE (2009); DUCK STORM (2009) - Mixed Media - ink, wax, watercolour, acrylic, oil on paper, canvas & foam

Just in case you wondered, I am a bassoonist who has always made art. I have had 7 dedicated solo art shows in my career and over 60 people own my art (in the beginning, I didn't keep track, so more than 60). If you want to check the market values, go to my website (shop section).

Moving Sale Auction ends tomorrow...7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 . An easy way to avoid the crush of bids at the end of the day is to post your max bid now. The system will only go up by $2.50 at a time, so even if your maximum bid is $100,000,000, the system adds your bid only when someone else makes a bid on your chosen items, so if the last other person high bids $20, you get it for $22.50  Quite clever, old chap.

On with the stories.  All of these are “parallel works”, i.e. pieces that I made while working on larger works or preparing concerti….

I’ll start with the silliest piece.

Lot 132
THREE FINEAPPLES (2018) – 8.5” x 17” sharpie marker on foam sheets

I bought a stack of 8.5” x 11” multicoloured sheets of quarter inch foam at a local Staples store, and made art objects from them, working on a few things with and for neigbour children, and making two art pieces of which this is one. I sold one work in this series, Three Fine Mice, to a collector in Montreal , the clarinetist, Jean-François Normand.

The mounting system is low-tech, comprising of 6 clear (or red, as in pic) push pins and is interactive, meaning there are three separate pieces and you can choose the order of the images, reverse one or two of them to create a band of colour bar or display them vertically.

I called this work silly but it WAS A LOT OF FUN TO MAKE. I use very sharp utility knives to cut the shapes and you will note that the negative shape is larger than the actual fineapple, allowing for the contrasting colours to show.  And because I trust it’s strength, I used archival bookmaker’s glue to secure the images, though I remain unsure of the archival nature of the candy-coloured foam sheets.

This relatively robust work fits into a normal mailing envelope and is the absolute cheapest to ship.
Three Fineapples, 8.5" x 17"
fuzzy photo by Nadina


LOT 131
GOLDBIRD (1999) 8.5” x 11” – india ink on paper, saturated with beeswax and touched with gold leaf, secured with 4 golden threads to a piece of black paper, recycled from previous service as a backmount for a paragraph I wrote about the Mark Morris Dance Company.

I did many very intricate works that were based on antique middle eastern rugs and I would soak these ink drawings in beeswax and secure them to heavy painted paper… all of these works sold and one became an album cover for Pentaedre's album, Airs Anciens.

All that remains in my personal collection are a few simple studies and this bird.  Though he is light-weight and small, the saturation with beeswax seems to have made him very strong and he has travelled with me since 1999. And though he is called Goldbird, it really is his environment that is golden.
GOLDBIRD, 8.5" x 11", ink on paper with beeswax and gold leaf
photo by Dawn McLeod


Lot 139
ORANGE TABBY UNDER STARRY SKY (2014) 14.25” x 28.25” – watercolour on handmade paper from Quebec

Painted on unusually shaped and beautifully textured handmade paper from Quebec, this is a simple watercolour sketch of a very relaxed and slumbering orange tabby.  And one day, I had a brush loaded with mica-infused acrylic paint, and I added it to the background of the cat, making the deep smoky purple sky shimmer behind the indifferent feline; the frame (not visible in photo) cleverly enhances the shimmering effect but you have to see it in person to appreciate.
ORANGE TABBY UNDER STARRY SKY (2014) 14.25” x 28.25” – watercolour on handmade paper from Quebec
photo by Dawn McLeod


Lot 138
DUCK STORM (2009) 48” x 48” – oil on canvas
This is one of my anatomically incorrect domestic fowl with a lovely subtle texture both to the bird, his sorrowful small eye and the rippling background.


DUCK STORM (2009) 48” x 48” – oil on canvas
photo by Dawn McLeod

Lot 136
BRUSH FIRE (2009) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas

This big, vibrant acrylic painting has many textures and surfaces and is presently pulled off the stretcher so you would have to provide your own stretcher  (I used it’s stretcher to paint AIR MARE). It also looks fantastic just stapled to the wall.
BRUSH FIRE (2009) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas
photo byDawn McLeod








Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Auction Art – AURORA (2004) - 36” x 48” and AIR MARE (2017) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas – – transcendent domestic beasts




Auction Art – AURORA (2004) -  36” x 48”  and AIR MARE (2017) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas –   transcendent domestic beasts  

Art stories continued, auction bidding open until 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 6

Lot 133
AIR MARE (2017) 48” x 60”, acrylic on canvas – original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson

This acrylic painting is done with very transparent paint over a lightly gessoed, heavy-weight canvas on a very heavy stretcher. One of the works painted while I lived in the repurposed church in the beautiful small Ontario town of Drayton… while many of my neighbours are involved in breeding race horses, there was not a literal inspiration for this abstract-style horse, just a sense of summertime elation.  Not sure they would approve of my horse's particular gait either! Like most of my canvas art, AIR MARE can come apart for shipping (roll the canvas, bundle the stretcher).


AIR MARE
 (2017) 48” x 60”, acrylic on canvas – original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson
Photo by Dawn McLeod

Lot 134
AURORE (2004) 36” x 48” original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson

This is the third painting in a series that I did in 2004.  There are two others in this series, one entitled “Princesse” (purchased by Dr Nancy Mingo in 2004) and  “Orpheline” (purchased by Deborah Whale in 2018).
Painted in very thin layers of luminous acrylic, these painting gives a feel of summer sun and the, to those who entertain such idea, the depth of soul in the innocent cow. That, and the fact that this quintessentially earthy creature seems to be levitating.AURORE can come apart for shipping (roll the canvas, bundle the stretcher).

AURORE (2004) 36” x 48” original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson
Photo by Dawn McLeod






Auction Art - BLUE UNICORN (2017) and YOUR JEWELLED ABSENCE (2004/2014) - transmogrifications


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Auction Art – BLUE UNICORN and YOUR JEWELLED ABSENCE – transmogrifications

continuing my descriptions of the art that is up for auction this week

The bidding continues for 2 more days on my online moving sale auction, ending at 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 6.

To reiterate, bidding is anonymous and progresses in increments of $2.50. You can pre-set your highest bid and the system will notify you if someone outbids you.

The auction house will ship at buyers’ expense.

Now back to the stories. The next two paintings I’m telling you about have been drastically changed from their original forms in different ways. They both bear scars yet are more beautiful than they were in the beginning.

Lot 135
For reasons I cannot explain, I was inspired/provoked by the title of the book by the original nasty old Scottish religious reformer, John Knox. His diatribe was The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. And that phrase rang uncomfortably in my mind, so I started an abstract painting and called it What Women Are Really Thinking . 

After I stretched the canvas, I used a black gesso as a primer for the first and last time in my career. While the painting was too good to destroy, I didn’t like it. After carrying it around for a few years, and after seeing an art book in Calgary about the artist Cynthia Girard called Unicorns and Dictators , I decided to release my own inner unicorn and paint on top of  What Women Are Really Thinking. I cut down the canvas of the original work and re-stretched it on a 36” x 48” frame, then rapidly sketched my unicorn with a white pencil crayon, then using a sea sponge, painted out the negative space with black gesso. The result is a luminous little unicorn… the colours shine through the darkness in a somehow refracted but undeniable way.  Because of all the overpainting  and tumult, there is some cracking on the sides, which seems appropriate to the history of the piece, and I committed the further cardinal sin of using the black acrylic gesso on top of the oil to create the negative space, but even if it flakes a bit, the unicorn will prance on.

Photo by Dawn McLeod

Lot 142
This was my first very large oil painting.  In 2003, my now ex-husband went to Washington to sub for 3 months with the National Symphony, then went on tour with them. I stayed home with our young son and continued preparing for my third solo album, Notes From Abroad.

 While it was a bit challenging to be completely on my own with my child and elderly mother for so long, it was also completely wonderful.
I stretched a large canvas, I think it was 36” x 60” and started my first large-scale oil abstract, finishing in 2004. And because it was summer, and the oil smelled powerfully, it was my first time completing a work outside.  I liked this painting very much but something always bothered me about the part of the work… it was expressively appropriate but the lower section was nebulous and unformed. So after a decade, I chopped it down to 36” x 48”.  Some of my male colleagues were dismayed, having preferred the larger painting, but I kept the beautiful part.  Again, the painting is slightly distressed from being stretched a second time, but is so saturated in colour and texture that it can withstand a few cracks.  I used the offcuts to make many smaller items such as heart-shaped coasters and book covers. Used the whole animal.
Photo by Dawn McLeod

This is a chance to buy one of my large paper-based or canvas artworks below market price.  My works are in in the collections of more than 60 people and the majority of my art is still available on my website for sale at market price.  

Love and thanks for following and supporting my efforts.
Nadina