Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This is a remarkable find and an even more remarkable artist, Vivian Maier, street photographer.

Thanks to Al Rae for posting this link on Facebook. It seems to me my photographer Professor, Thaddeus Holownia mentioned this discovery of these negatives in our photography class over the past while.

There is nothing quite like street photography or simply the person  like Vivian Maier, who is ready to capture the spontaneous moment. In my opinion black and white photography strips down the image in a powerful way bringing the focus on on the subject matter  in a way that colour does not. I know I may be a bit of a purist but nothing compares to black and white photography for me these days.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Painting - The Ugly Duckling

On the 2nd of December until the 14th , I had my first solo show, "Woman Who Runs With The Wolves" at Start Gallery in Sackville New Brunswick. Start Gallery is the student run part of the larger Struts Gallery, and artist run centre. It was a very special night for me.

I have never been one much interested in aspiring to display my work in commercial run galleries. Partly due to the fact I was intimidated and not really confident. I have since demystified some of these issues and become more aware of the importance and necessity of artist run centres, where artists have an egalitarian and cooperative, supportive relationship, and the chances of power struggles and personality conflicts are lessened, if next to non-existent.

It is hard to put into words what this show meant to me. The fact that I returned to school at the age of 56 and am about to graduate this coming Spring made it all very poignant. I had a dear friend I've known since early adolescence attend, along with some other good friends that have been very supportive and encouraging to me these past three years and for this I am so very grateful, because it has made all the difference.

I have started my next group of paintings, the ongoing series, depicting my own images from Clarissa Pinkola's book," Women Who Run With The Wolves." This one is "The Ugly Duckling". It is a very relevant story I think, especially this time of year when we all want and need to feel a sense of belonging.

 "See to it now that you spend less time on what they didn't give you and more time on finding the people you belong to. You may not belong to your original family at all."
--"Women Who Run With the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Monday, December 19, 2011


I am enjoying my holiday off away from the school deadlines and traveling back and forth to Sackville everyday out on the road hitch hiking. This Christmas is an unexpectedly different one for me, but every Christmas brings particular blessings, little and big miracles and surprises, and for many of us it is a difficult time. It is always  bitter sweet because I always think about those of us that experience the season with a variety of challenges. Especially those who are in need in one way or another.

Many folks rush around, getting their underwear in a knot, stressing about purchasing gifts, aimlessly wondering the malls, going in debt for one day. Christmas is much more than one day. I always leave up some of my decorations throughout the year to remind me of the Spirit of Christmas which I want to remain, every day within my heart. Life is about our relationships with those we love, and with our fellow man. Christmas brings this all into focus.

We all have a choice as to how we celebrate the season and life. I pray to the Creator that I become a better person this Christmas and for the coming year. Because I am a person in recovery the Serenity Prayer is a very important powerful prayer and part of my daily walk in life until I am released from the earthly cord.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

School's Out On The Road

The last day of classes at Mount Allison were officially over on December 5th 2011. I still have a few loose ends to tie up and that's it for me. I am so looking forward to next term, my last before graduation.
Wow, the reality of my pending graduation and last term is beginning to seriously sink in. It's a wonderful, somewhat daunting reality and I'm certain when the end finally comes the experience will be very surreal to me.

There are several surreal moments in time that stand out for me, while attending the Fine Art program at Mount Allison. These moments in time covered the gambit from fantastic to freaky, frustrating, funny to plain silly. Suffice to say, certainly far from the bottom of the list, was stress. I admit I had a melt down or two out on my "highway of dreams".

There have been challenges that would perhaps boggle some folks minds. Frankly it boggles my mind, when I contemplate hitchhiking back and forth, from home to school and back home again, an hour and fifteen minutes away, for seven months. I did that. Some of these "rides" were like out of a page from a Stephen King novel. The very peculiar , 50 something woman, who picked me up at 9 o'clock in the morning. Considering I  grew up in the sixties, nothing quite prepared me for seeing her holding a joint in a long extended roach clip, asking if it would bother me if she lite this up. I thought, she must be smoking that rolled smoke in order to keep her fingers from getting brown with tobacco. I told her I was allergic, maybe she could put the window down, it was her car, so go ahead. At this point, I still hadn't clued in it was a doobie, until she stated she wouldn't light it up at the bridge where the road crew was working, because she was afraid someone would call the cops on her.

As we motored along, she eventually lite up and the familiar aroma reminiscent  of my fringe-hippie days gone by, wafted up my nostrils. I had a meeting that morning with my Professor. Then I thought, oh God, I am going to reek of dope and he is going to think I've been indulging. Fortunately she didn't smoke the whole thing and soon put it out, and I wasn't able to get to my appointment on time. On the way, she began to explain the details about how she was actually a twin, but her twin didn't survive and was some how, now growing out of her neck and her ribs. She then described how her ex-husband had abused her and caused her to loose the use of her eye. It was three weeks  she said, until she could get to a doctor, she would pop her eye in and out of it's socket and would wash her eyeball and pop in back in. Needless to say I was glad to get out of that car.

There are many lessons learned here and many weren't at University, they were, on the road.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh..."

Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Use Art To Turn The World Inside Out

Thank you to Cliff Eyland for sharing this!

Beloved Works Of Art...

We were asked to describe one of our most beloved works of art of all time without naming the artist, title, or the medium. Here is mine.  

Details slowly became very evident the closer I examined the branches. There were people, faces, babies, men, women, old, young, in various stages, events, and scenes throughout life. Death, birth, love, weddings, funerals all were depicted within the huge and massive tree. It was incredible and I never forgot this experience of seeing this work of art.

I would be very interested in hearing what others have experienced when seeing their most beloved works of art.