Canadian Icon

Iconic Canadian Painter Alex Colville would have been 96 today. The extensive exhibition of his works at the AGO two years ago was both exhilarating and oppressive. His work is at once unbelievably controlled, yet teeming with deeply unsettling emotional undercurrents. It could just be me though.

dog-and-priest-1978

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Dog and Priest, 1978 © Alex Colville

I love this painting. So deceptively static and so smooth. The man and the dog almost meld into one, the cloth and the fur so alike at a distance but so detailed up close. The man, anonymous (except for being a priest), maybe lost in thought, maybe gazing at the horizon,  while his companion stays alert and protective. Every hair bristles on that dog, and the suit is impeccable, velvety, rich. You can almost feel the wind, smell this shore, touch that beautiful dog. Amazing.

Yikes! It’s almost back to school time. Woohoo!

You know this commercial with the dad gleefully skipping through the aisles of an office supply store to the tune of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, while the kids mournfully drag their feet behind him?

That’s how I feel!

Gleeful, that is – but not because I’m happy to get rid of my kids like the commercial implies (I actually love being with my girls, they’re adorable), but because YAY! new pens and markers for less! I’m stocking up! Fresh, pristine erasers and pencils, new packaging smell, stacks of paper … I love this stuff, always have.

Of course, this wonderful time of the year also means actually going BACK TO school. Which may or may not have been one of my most favourite ways to pass the time as a child.

 

Fall Trees, Acrylic, Tween/Teen Workshops. © Art just for me, 2016

Fall Trees, Acrylic, Tween/Teen Workshops. © Art just for me, 2016

I do have another favourite, lifelong pastime though … or occupation, or obsession – whatever… I love trying out new art materials and techniques. These new creations with black gesso from my tween and teen mixed media classes are a good example of time well spent this summer 🙂

Another reason to love back-to-school time:
it’s also back-to-regular-schedule workshop time!
You can now register for my September workshops online here.
The registration process is now much more streamlined and a lot easier to use. As usual, you can also contact me directly if you’re having any trouble doing it through the website.

Andy Warhol would have loved 2016

Andy Warhol, Pop Art’s enfant terrible, would have loved today’s celebrity-obsessed, selfie-driven, gnat’s-attention-span North American culture – and he would have celebrated its profoundly consumerist heart with twinkling relish. His birthday is on August 6.

By Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15047586

By Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15047586

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol_Museum_of_Modern_Art

Mural at the lesser-known Andy Warhol Museum in Medzilaborce, Slovakia

Everyone knows what this is, right? Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4268566

Everyone knows what this is, right? Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4268566

A Little Arts & Crafts at VAB

Copy of papiers colles 2

I don’t know who’s been having having more fun this spring at Visual Arts Brampton, me or my adorable 6-9 year olds. So far, we’ve played with watercolours, rubbings and textures, paper weaving and zendoodles. Check out the kiddos’ work:

If you’d like to book some really fun workshops for your group of 6-9 year olds in English or French, check out my school page here or contact me. For my in-studio workshops for this age group, follow this link to Little Hands/ Mon petit atelier.

A Doodle By Any Other Name Is Still Fun

Have you tried art doodles yet?

They’ve been called (and trademarked…) Zendoodles, meditation art, Zentangles®, and Yoga for Your Brain ™. Whatever you want to call them, they are really cool to get into.

Patterns with simple shapes

Patterns with simple shapes

Patterns on coloured art paper

Patterns on coloured art paper

Hand of Fatima pattern (Y., age 14)

Hand of Fatima pattern (Y., age 14)

It’s not really all that complicated: You’re essentially using repeating patterns with varying degrees of complexity to create some wonderful designs.

They are a great exercise to add to your practice, even if you’re not a “drawer” – you can use simple shapes like lines and dots, and still achieve something you’ll be proud of.

The upside is that you’ll also be practicing pen or pencil control. You’ll also be surprised at what your hand-left brain connection can come up with. The bigger upside is that – probably because the human brain really likes patterns – you’ll find this kind of drawing blissfully relaxing (hence the meditation, zen and yoga part).

Art doodles are great for relaxation and flexing that creativity muscle. If you’d love to give it a shot but don’t know where to start, or if you want to try out some new ideas, sign up for one of our doodly-do workshops.

And we’re off! (sorta…)

Art Just For Me Poster

Art Just For Me Poster

Well, I’ve been dragging my heels long enough on launching this website… but here it is, for real, all flesh and bones (or pixels and dpi and soon with some really pretty pictures 🙂 ). Just in time too! Sunday is my first official Art Just For Me booth at the very first official Many Feathers Market . Come say hi!