Currently viewing the category: "The Residency Chronicles"

I admit being a worka­holic. The cre­ation of images fas­ci­nates me and bor­ders on obses­sion. What does it mean to pro­duce really great work, in a pro­lific man­ner? I think the answer to that lies in a con­cen­trated res­i­dency period that allows exper­i­men­ta­tion. Quan­tifi­able data can help flesh out part of the pic­ture, but not all of it. Here was my short expe­ri­ence at The Banff Centre.

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When I came back from Gwaii Haanas National Park in June, my head was filled with so many images, expe­ri­ences and thoughts that I needed some time to sort through them before pick­ing up a paint­brush. I’m still going through that, with over 5000 pho­tographs, a full sketch­book, sound files and video. One of the things I’m start­ing to do now is to thumb­nail sketch out in “sto­ry­board” form, my trip through the park itself which took 5 days. I’m look­ing at every pho­to­graph, recall­ing the expe­ri­ence and pick­ing a few moments that inter­est me. One of the great­est tools any artist can use is the thumb­nail to do this, and it’s a great tool that I learned way back in my col­lege days as a graphic designer.

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Get­ting an idea out of my heart and head is not always easy. Some­times it comes together, and some­times it doesn’t. I wanted to try a dif­fer­ent approach to my work and under­paint­ings on this group, which are slated for exhi­bi­tion from my Gwaii Haanas Artist In Res­i­dence expe­ri­ence. The colours on the under­paint­ing are dif­fer­ent from how I gen­er­ally com­bine the sub­ject and tech­nique. I’ve taken an approach to com­bine the quick onsite plein-air expe­ri­ence with the more aca­d­e­mic fig­u­ra­tive approach. So far, it’s com­ing along, and I antic­i­pate that it will pro­vide the results that I’m look­ing for.

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When you’ve got friends to wish you well…you’ll find a point when you will exhale” And with that, I’ve begun my res­i­dency. What a bless­ing to see folks that have been par­tic­i­pants and co-workers in both arts and admin­is­tra­tive capac­i­ties, from all cor­ners of the world. It was a flurry of activ­ity, and also quite strange — almost like being trans­ported back into a space that I’d long ago left.

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An artist needs to be pre­pared for just about any­thing. When the cre­ative spirit strikes, don’t be caught with your can­vas down!

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Choices are one and the same. Through the process of cre­ation, we destroy. Through destruc­tion, we cre­ate. Through imagery of Haida Gwaii, con­tem­plate your choices as an artist.

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There is a big dif­fer­ence in work­ing on site, with all of the sen­sory input of the moment. Sound, light, colour, smells…they all ADD to the moment of rap­ture when cre­at­ing the work, and for me as an artist, there is noth­ing quite like that pure energy of cre­at­ing the “feel­ing” of what you have in that one moment and place.

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A Study in Contrasts

On May 23, 2012 By

Noth­ing quite so excit­ing than start­ing your trip by get­ting this close to a bear. I had a great day on the road, expe­ri­enc­ing every form of weather from snow to sun­shine. In one day, I spot­ted two black bears, a huge male elk, bighorn sheep, deer, loons, bald eagles.

It’s made me real­ize once again, how priv­i­leged I am to live in this part of the world, and that so much is right in my own backyard.

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Here are a cou­ple of beau­ti­ful videos made by Parks Canada of the Gwaii Haanas Marine Park. I will be there this June, as Artist in Residence.

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