Pushing Clay

Artwork

When I push the clay onto the board it performs one of a variety of moves: skin, cloud, earth, water. To my eye at any rate, it is clear in what direction the clay wants to be pushed and which referent is driving the future of the piece. These snowy, windy beginnings are on my table right now.

Once the paint has its say, we will see how the clay’s inclinations are subverted or overdrawn.

WARNING: Christmas images that may be upsetting, premature or stress-causing to some viewers. Too bad, so sad.

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A Morbid Little Project

Artwork

I think we need an updated Book Of The Dead. The Egyptians got a lot of use out of The Book Of Going Forth By Day but the charms, spells and hymns needed to get the modern dead safely to the other side are now quite different.

For starters, I don’t believe we expect to take very much with us in the way of material goods. In fact, I suspect most of us are buried without the ferry fare. (Canadians you’d better grab some pennies now before they are gone.) The little book I’m working on may be all the psychopomp you’ll need.

Here’s my table with the first 9-page edition in the works. The pages are drying right now after which I will decorate them, as is fitting.

"Any Last Words" a book in progress

“Any Last Words” a book in progress

And, post title aside, I don’t actually think of this project as morbid. Taking care of yourself is a good idea, here and now as well as then and there.

Pieces Of Eight

Artwork

Here's the show card.

Pieces Of Eight Show Card

I’m in a group show at The Dam Gallery in the Alton Mill Arts Centre. The title of the show is Pieces of Eight. There are eight of us (no kidding): Rosemarie Armstrong, John Ashbourne, Iris Casey, Rosemary Hasner, Pete Herlihy, Andrea Trace, Steve Volpe and Freda Wrench. I’ve done some new work for this show that I am quite happy with. The new pieces were done in the two workshops I have attended recently: one with Mary Wood and one with Claudia Jean McCabe.

They represent a new direction for me. I have tried many times, without success to really pare a painting down to essentials. Mirage does that, or at least, is a long-awaited step in the right direction. Big sigh of relief.

The other new work is Festival which is a free-form, palette-knifed composition on raw canvas. Heck, yeah. That was fun. It is sort of festive in appearance, but the real festival was in the making.

It’s adhered with medium to a birch panel but left raw in places. I mean, I did not cover the work with more medium, gloss or matte, so the canvas maintains its quality which I like. Gives the piece immediacy and does not divorce it from its roots. Framing so often formalizes a work beyond where I want it to go.