Here You Go!

Everyone Is Invited To The Feast
Acrylic, Gold Leaf
On Canvas
2009
(click on image to enlarge)

I wanted to paint something that made me very happy. Although it took a very long time to complete, for me it was well worth the effort and the seemingly endless days!

As you can see, everyone is coming to the feast, guests are still arriving, and there will be something for everyone on the table. The celebration will last as long as there is something to celebrate. In other words, it just won’t stop!

Some people might not come to the feast. They doubt there will be enough left over for them. Others will grab as much as they can and run away, thinking that the pie might run out so they better get theirs while the getting’s good! And then there are those who will take a bite of this or that, never stopping, never savouring, just trying to fill a hole that they think is one kind of hunger, but is really another. Sadly, what will be left behind is a bit of a mess!

Some might show up empty handed, feeling out of place and awkward, feeling that they really don’t have much to offer. But they do! Once they sit down at the table, their company will be another type of nourishment for their companions.

Still others will be happily serving, clearing up, filling plates and glasses, making sure as many as have want or need are getting their fill.

In the end, what you bring to the feast is what you will get. Hopefully, hopefully, when you sit down at that warm, heavy laden table that just groans with all the good things it has to share, you’ll bring a happy heart. Or at least, a heart that is willing to be happy! Sometimes just being open is all we’ll need. Even if it’s just a tiny, teensy, microscopic crack. Yes, even just the hope of a crack will be sufficient.

Welcome to the feast, everyone!

There is enough and more.

Dig in!

Enjoy.

.

Little Helpers

10″ x 40″
Mixed Media
On Canvas

I’m not sure that I ever posted this image before. I painted it at the tail end of summer in 2005. I love watching beavers as they munch away at trees and swim around dragging ridiculously cumbersome branches behind them as they prepare winter caches and put the finishing touches on lodges and dams.

It’s especially fun when there are little ones about trying to help mom or dad, grabbing little twigs and swimming along beside their parents.

You have to be patient if you want to see this. You have to sit very still and you can’t shift or eat or sing or anything to pass the time. Just stillness and a good spot downwind (I assume…I actually don’t know much about beavers’ sense of smell). I do know that they are shy.

My dad used to to take us out to watch the beavers when I was small and the wonder I felt then continues to this day. Of course, the difference is that these days I don’t toss pebbles at them to hear the smack of their tails on the water surface anymore! Well, not always.

One thing that never left me is a sweet yearning to be able to dive down with them and watch as they make their home snug and secure; observe their little expressions of love and family; listen to the whimper of their gentle communication. Good old beavers. Their numbers aren’t so low now that we don’t make ostentatiously tall hats out of them (do we still make small hats?) but they are threatened by this manic development Alberta’s boom has brought.

Ah well, for now you can go out to almost any wetland-ish area with some deep waters and if you are very patient and very quiet, you can see them for yourself.

Unlike those stingy fairies. But that’s another story.

Never Tell Me The Odds
12″ x 24″
Acrylic
on Canvas
2007

In the stories, coyote battles monsters. It’s just what coyote does. In one legend from the Nez Perce, Monster was devouring everything in the land. Monster was clever, but he couldn’t seem to capture the last remaining morsel: Coyote. Now, Coyote missed all his animal friends so he was angry at Monster for eating them. One day, Coyote tied himself to a mountain and called out to Monster:

“Come, and get me, if you can!”

So, Monster seeing the coyote defenseless tried to suck him into his belly, but the ropes were strong and tied so well there was nothing Monster could do. Finally, he gave up…but he was still so hungry.

“Coyote….” Monster said slyly, “won’t you come and be my dinner guest tonight?”

“Certainly! Let us put this anger behind us.”

So that night, Coyote came to Monster and as they were preparing for the evening Coyote said, “Monster, I miss my friends so terribly. Won’t you let me in to your stomach so I can see them once more?”

Monster had to hide us delight. At last! He would devour Coyote and his dominance over the land would be complete.

“Step right in,” and he opened his mouth wide.

Coyote leaped in, fearlessly and with all his might, but he didn’t go into Monster’s stomach at all! He tore his way into Monster’s heart and ripped and shredded his way through the giant, beating heart, finally killing Monster and ripping him open, freeing all the animals.

The carcass, Coyote hurled to the four corners of the world and this is how the people came to be. He had no pieces left where he was, so he took the blood on his paws from Monster’s great heart and formed the center people, the Nez Perce.

And that is how coyote did it.

Show Starts in One Week!

The Bearclaw Gallery Presents
124st – 104ave
780.482.1204

TRICKSTER
New Works by Aaron Paquette

March 3 – March 15 2007
artist will be in attendance 2-4pm opening day

An Unexplored Dream
4″ x 6″
Encaustic, Oil
on Canvas

2007

There is nothing so compelling to me than a waking dream that has not, or can not, be explored. The mystery and meaning must lie asleep until the truth unravels on its own.

In this piece, I’m using encaustic (to be more specific, Beeswax). I’ve melted it until it runs smooth and then I spread it over the surface of the work. During this first stage, I layered in Oil Paint to give colour to the wax. When the wax hardened, I took a sculpting tool and carved my design into the surface of the wax and then worked more Oil paint into the incisions. I finished it up with a few glazes of Oil, again, worked into the surface of the encaustic, and set it aside to cure.

I had a hard time getting a picture of this piece as there are translucent layers that seemed to be vying for the camera’s auto-focus and most of the results were fairly blurry. If you haven’t seen encaustic work, go check it out. The medium is as versatile as there are artists to use it, and when the layering effect is captured, it can add a subtle beauty to a piece that is difficult to achieve in any other way.

In many examples I have seen, there is a brightness to the work as light bounces down through the layers and then shoots right back out from the surface. For my effort here, I chose a more moody quality. The piece is filled with shadow and a murkiness which fit my intent perfectly.