Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Secret of Creating 5,000 Paintings - Cliff Eyland

Seeing 5,000 paintings in one place is a rather incomprehensible experience for most people, and not to be taken lightly, or underestimated. On Monday October 20th 2014, I went to the new Halifax Public Library in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to see Cliff Eyland's installation of 5,000 paintings that he was commissioned to produce, though he actually created 6,000. The scale of the project was daunting, and the thought overwhelming, but more importantly, it was very inspiring. I can hardly imagine what it must have been like for Cliff to undertake such a monumental project, to complete and install. I'd asked him how long it took to produce all of these pieces, and he stated two years, with the help of two assistants who helped him with the logistics and he did the paintings.

On the preceding Thursday before my trip to Halifax, I had listened to an interview explaining the project on CBC Information Morning's Phlis McGregor spoke with Cliff. 

The installing...

Lots of ladders needed...

The last details...




 Having known Cliff and his family for over 38 years,  I was so happy to see him again, and see the fruition of his work come together in his remarkable exhibit in the new library. The most significant thing that struck me, among the many things I admire about him and his art, is his work habit, and commitment to the creative process.

When I think about Cliff and his commission, I reflect upon my time when I returned to finally complete my Bachelor of Fine Art degree as a mature artist, in 2009-2012, at  Mount Allison University. I distinctly remember, and will never forget what was told to me verbally, by my Professor, Adriana Kuiper. She stated how important it was for an artist to make it a regular habit to do something creative everyday, developing a regular daily practice to do one particular activity toward the creative process. My professor gave the example of Cliff Eyland, producing a painting every day. I never knew he did this until then. I knew intrinsically how a daily habit such as writing, or having the discipline of prayer or meditation can be so beneficial, and right then and there, I knew I had to apply this even more emphatically to my art practice.

I believe this is the 'secret' of being able to produce a remarkable body of work, like the one Cliff has achieved. It's no magical thing, nothing but applying yourself to the work, founded on the passion to create. It's a beautiful thing, one day, one painting, at a time.

Front Entrance
Second Floor


Top Third Floor Upstairs Installation...Over 1,000 Paintings...



 The new Halifax Public Library is a unique building and I did take a few photos while I was there. You can see more photos at this link:  http://halifaxcentrallibrary.ca/galleries/photo-gallery/





10 comments:

Joni Sen said...

Pretty mind boggling....would love to see it!
Cathy what you did is also pretty mind boggling...returning to school as a mature student in spite of the challenges.... you surpassed them all!
Kudos to both of you for sharing the meaning of perseverance, discipline and creative living!

Catherine Meyers said...

It was really remarkable Joni! I had a wonderful time and visit!

Thank you Joni for your kind comments. Hope all is well and groovy with you!

aurora virtuoso to be said...

A wonderful piece of writing Cathy! It was so great to see you and Cliff together!

Catherine Meyers said...

Thank you 'Aurora'. It was SO great to get to spend some time with him. It's been too long!

Judith Joseph said...

Well, now I really feel like a slacker! What an impressive installation. I think it will be fascinating and inspiring to library-goers. It's such a wonderful portrait of what creativity looks like. Thanks for sharing this work.

Catherine Meyers said...

Well Judith, just get more inspired, as I know you already are!!!
Yes I think about all those young people who will be amazed and perhaps fill moved to pursue creativity!
As always thanks for visiting my dear friend!

Peggy Reid said...

Beautiful building and art work! Am so glad you got to see it Cathy.

Catherine Meyers said...

Thank you Peggy. It was a wonderful visit!

Rodger D said...

Thanks for sharing this. looking forward to seeing it next time I'm home.
Thanks to both of you who produce art which makes the world better.

Catherine Meyers said...

Awww thank you so much Rodger for you kind comments. And thank you for being a great friend, a supporter of all things creative and beneficial to the human race! You are a wonderful human being!