32″ x 24″
Mixed Media on Canvas
A few months ago I happened to look up at the sky and I almost fell down at the vision. What would normally be a waxing moon seemed to me suddenly like a pregnant belly, the rest of the woman submerged under the evening sky. I knew I had to share that image. This painting is dark, but so full of light everywhere! The teepees are a row of warm invitation, the roaring fire a beacon to home and safety. I like to imagine someone is out there, tending to the living fire, watching the sparks rise against the stars as they form a seamless union between heaven and earth. The mystery of the Northern Lights hovers up above, muted as it goes to rest with the rest of the world, and there she is. Dancing in the spinning cosmos, giving life in the same breath as she bequeaths death. We are all on a one way ticket from the moment we board this physical plane, and it is this balance of light and dark, birth and death, joy and melancholy – these things give meaning to it all.
40″ x 10″
Mixed Media on Canvas
Sun, sky and water. All fluid, all in flux. Alive with light, this painting dances and moves in an enduring place of calm. This piece developed over a span of three years, I was in no rush with it and it wasn’t in a rush with me. It grew as I grew. It waited patiently for hands that could give it the life it wanted, for hands that understood. I respond to this piece in such a joyful way, it touches something deep inside me for which I have no words. When I’m away from it, it seems enormous to me, a large, almost overpowering piece, but then I see it again and marvel at the slightness of it, the unassuming proportions. It has captured some essence of illumination and shares it again.
Lay Down Your Burdens
36″ x 28″
Mixed Media on Canvas
This is one of a group of paintings that flashed across my inner eye and I quickly sketched it out. The painting took me 9 months of labour to complete, growing at its own pace. I couldn’t have rushed it if I tried, and sometimes I did try. As it came closer and closer to completion I realized how much of my life was hidden in this piece like small bits of secret code, almost indecipherable. I look at it with a sense of satisfaction at being finished, and a sense of longing for the work to always continue.
There is a simplicity and a complexity to this piece. Some will see the hand as comforting, others will see it as threatening. What does it mean? I honestly don’t know. All I did was transcribe the already formed image onto canvas. Sometimes I feel like the Raven, defeated, hungry, hurt and weary. I just need to rest. And sometimes I feel like the Woman. Is my heart open, or has it been ripped out? Am I an angel, a mother, or a destroyer?
In the end it doesn’t matter. And that’s the way it works for life, too. All that matters is that there is a connection and a truth.
In the end, what else can we ask for?
It’s hot today.
So I’m outside. Answering backed up emails (story of my life), drinking a coffee and getting a little sunburned. The show went really well and I was so happy to see all the people who came out. My only regret is that I don’t always have time to talk to everyone that I would like. If all we had a chance to do was say a quick hello, well, at least we had that.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, the show continues until the 27th of May. If you’re in Edmonton, use it as an excuse to get outside. It’s 28C today and will be 31C tomorrow! Sooo good.
My Birthday was over the weekend and I went golfing (badly) with my soon to be Brothers In Law and we had family over for a really nice get together. It also gave me an opportunity to slow down and enjoy my time with loved ones and Loved One. Life just keepings rolling along, tickety tick in that all too real illusion of time. As I sit here in the sun watching the summer dresses float by I am reminded just how GOOD life is. An afternoon in the sun. Breathing. Old couples strolling along, young couples laughing nervously, bored couples looking at everything but each other…all faces of each other, of you, of me…dramas, played out as if we actually care about them, or as if they’re actually important.
I laugh in delight at Us. We human, thinking beings sure know how to expect things, and become disappointed if what unfolds doesn’t meet our expectations – which is almost always. The greatest moment in my life occurred when I realized that to stop getting nuts all I had to do was stop expecting. I just had to be. Be, observe, and refrain from reacting. I’m not perfect at it, but even a 10% improvement has made an enormous difference.
As you can see, spending an afternoon in the sun with me would have you frantically looking for your Blackberry or iPod just so you could escape and actually enjoy yourself!
Thoughts in the sun. Maybe I’m getting heat stroke.
Here are two paintings from the show, and the thoughts that went along with them:
Mixed Media on Canvas
9″ x 12″
Without the H
ompany there wouldn’t be this show, H
ulture. Without opening up trade routes and exploiting the land, without the Voyageurs, the Metis, immigration and so on, none of us would be here. While we sometimes revile our past because of injustices done the fact remains that without all those events our world would be unrecognizable. Some say for the worse, others for the best. In the end, it’s a trade off. Because of my personal genetic background, I can’t be angry at anyone. I can only accept the past. And since I can’t change it, what else can I do? What can any of us do but accept that along with the benefits came atrocity? All we can do is decide what to do now. Not we will do in the future, but right now in this living moment. What trade offs do we make? Are we aware of them?
This piece can be seen in many ways. On one level, it is my personal story, the items in it representing different concepts and events, but it can also be a discussion about exploitation of cultures, small pox, and ongoing social issues. Or it can be just a funny old crow who loves shiny beads and is sitting there with his beak full, satisfied.
All these possible meanings, all right on the money. And on it goes. This piece is exactly why I am so passionate about creating art: the conversation you have with the work all depends on what you bring to the table, and the conversations we have with each other open the doors to new ideas, new ways of thinking that had never been there before. We trade off one another and by doing so weave our thoughts, our hearts, together.
A Good Trade
Mixed Media on Paper
14″ x 11″
Somewhat of a companion piece to Trade Offs, this work continues the visual exploration of the concepts I was exploring. Here our hero sits wrapped in his blanket, warm and content, and maybe just a little bit proud! He earned this fine blanket. Perhaps he gave his furs for it, getting back an interesting, soft, beautiful covering. Maybe he has more and will gift them to those in need. Lightweight, portable, weather resistant. It’s a good trade.