Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Little Bird Big Dreams

Little Bird Big Dreams

My studio is open to the public this Saturday, Saturday, September 29 from 11 am to 4 pm at 16 Spring Street, Drayton.

There will be 107 works of my art on view and friends will join me for casual outbursts of music throughout the day…. pianists Heather Taves, PhilipMorehead, and composer/oboist Patricia Morehead.

The show is a broad arc of paintings and as with all my previous shows, there are several works on loan from private collectors.   I am working on getting my web designer to create an online gallery for the privately owned paintings. And slowly, I am getting all of the currently available works online.  

The newest painting, Little Bird BigDreams, was finished just a couple days ago up north at the log house.  This piece took years to complete… I had experimented with carving lines into the wooden panel, then painting in many layers of oil paint.  It didn’t blossom as I expected, seemed opaque and aloof, and over the years, I would add a layer or thrash away on it with a steel brush (didn’t change much), then one day, I picked up the Festool electric sander. This fine piece of equipment was in the house thanks to logbuilder David Rogers who used it in the restoration of my Dad’s log house last spring. Using a light touch with fine sandpaper, I smoothed the surface of the painting and something completely different emerged.  Atmospheric bursts and lines were revealed, and interesting concentrations of colour in some of the knife cuts. When I posted the results on FaceBook, one of my friends (thank you, Randy Rennie) noticed there was a hint of a bird in the lower centre.  There were actually two potential birds…. A streaking swallow or a dreaming cockatiel. I picked the dreamer.

And this is an active dream… it doesn’t represent longing or escape but rather, the kinetic panchromatic reality of the bird’s private spirit... 

big picture......................

and a closeup of the little bird...

and I was going to show this work-in-progress but the heavy white oil paint was too wet to move from the studio last week (oil on rough-sawn and cracked plank, ca. 14" x 50", called I Will Always Love You)

This is all part of Cultural Days Ontario. The other big event in Drayton will be tours of the magnificent DraytonFestival Theatre, three doors down from my place on Spring Street. You can easily fit in both visits. And we will have snacks from Drayton's A La Mode and River's Edge Goat Dairy.


Monday, September 17, 2018

artist life --- sold a few paintings, met a few people

Art Show #1

On Saturday, Sept 15, I hosted the first of two art shows at my studio home in Drayton.

Glad to say that I sold 4 works (possibly five pending if painting matches someone's couch) including Sweet Trash, Bright Bassoon, Diva, Missive and Fox Trot II and these works will be making their homes in Waterloo, Orangeville, Drayton and Los Angeles.

Next show is Saturday, Sept 29 from 11am to 4pm for Culture Days Ontario and I will be showing some hitherto unseen new works for the first time. There will also be posters and cock-a-doodle-doo coffee mugs available with the cultured rooster from my poster!

This past weekend, I displayed a large swath of my work, from 1998 to date with 30 new works being shown for the first time. My junior artist colleagues came over early to set up their art and treated the numbered catalogue as the key to a treasure hunt.

On the beautiful hot September afternoon, friends and neighbours came to visit and the even the mayor of Mapleton attended. And ten young people came to look at the art, ranging in age of 3 to 15 years old. They were vocal about which paintings they would like to buy and they generally had expensive taste.

I featured guest artists, including Dawn McLeod, a Drayton-based photographer who specializes in wildlife and nature shots. She is working on a new website to show her remarkable and sensitive art photos. She also photographed all of my art for my website shop, a difficult task and a godsend for me to have.

The junior guest artists were my youngest neighbours, Caitlin, Hannah, Daniel and George Rogerson who displayed a large selection of the clay objects that we created during the year after our intermittent bassoon lessons, plus paintings that they have done. I wanted them to have the opportunity to expose their art to more people and also to see it in a new space.

At the end of the day, after almost everyone had left, I taught a bassoon lesson to a gifted young player who had driven in from Toronto, starting our official lessons for the year. After a day of thinking about art, we focused on the fundamentals of sound, finding ways to let the full spectrum of tone colour emerge from having a correctly formed embouchure and airstream… amazing how quickly and immediately young people can understand. The sympathetic acoustic of my church-turned-studio, which is even more resonant now that I have decluttered, revealed the quick changes in tone production that my student was able to make.

Having an art show is a bit like presenting a solo concert… you muster the faith and courage to present your best work in the present moment.  Doubt may flicker, but really, taking the step to bring our work to other people is as important as anything in becoming an artist. Oddly though, I am fearless when it comes to showing my visual art, though I was quite tired the next day! Regardless, I know that it is essential to have many and frequent opportunities to present my work and music, and for that reason, I also work hard to provide opportunity and support to others. And I am as grateful as can be to those who helped me on my way, including everyone who came to the show, the kids, the neighbours, the buyers and fellow musicians and artists.  We really are all in this together. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

New Art, New Start

New Art, New Start  

I am hosting two art shows in my studio this month and hope you can come to one or both. There will be snacks from local vendors including A La Mode and River’s Edge Goat Dairy.

Saturday, September 15 from 3pm to 6pm at 16 Spring Street, Drayton, Ontario.

Featuring about 30 new works that I have done since moving to Drayton and a sampling of my art from the past two decades.  The cover feature is Fox Trot. This large oil painting celebrates the fox that ran past me at 5 am on the day I moved to Drayton in 2015.  Photographer Dawn McLeod will also be showing some of her works and there will be a display by local junior artists, Caitlin, Hannah, Daniel and George Rogerson.

The second art show will be on September 29 from 11am to 4 pm as part of Culture Days Ontario and will feature some extra works that won’t be at the first show (logistics), with a total of 103 works. And there will be posters of this featured rooster... 18" x 24" for $40 as the original is in a private collection.

Various musicians will join me at both shows, including Philip Morehead, Pat Morehead, Lucas Rogerson and others. All musician friends are welcome to make the walls ring during the show.

And if you want to buy the walls that the paintings are hung on.... I've been working hard all summer to move my archives and gear up north, and preparing to put my big beautiful historical 1890 stone and brick former church studio building officially on the market September 29.  Here is a sneak preview of the photos… heaven on earth for musicians, artists and anyone who relishes the high building standards of the past combined with modern upgrades!

I will be touring again in 2019 and rebuilding my teaching studio in Toronto. I am still on faculty at University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School. And my big fat everything you want-to-know-about-my-bassoon-technique tome that I am writing with bassoonist Kevin Harris will be ready this fall.

Yesterday, played a most enjoyable concert with Pat and Philip Morehead for the 15th anniversary of one of the PROBUS (business) association in Huntsville, then drove to Toronto for dinner with my son before he flies to San Francisco to start an internship with another AI company. While awaiting his delayed visa, he continued work on one of his own development, Tab Nine... a program to help coders program more quickly (auto completer)... at least, that's what I think it is... take a look at Tab Nine here.

Many of the paintings are uploaded to myshop on my website and I have a catalogue that I cannot figure out how to upload.  Once I figure it out, proofreaders always welcome to pipe up!

I will write again soon and meanwhile, I am always glad to hear from you about the music or the art or anything.