Enchant your inner artist in a sensuous slow feast with painter Janice Tanton, singer songwriter Julia Lynxand Chef George Bayne. Explore the role of art and music in your life with a special focus on healing and rejuvenation. A two-time Canada Council award recipient, Janice’s works are represented locally at Canada House Gallery in Banff. Julia will share some of her songs unplugged. Janice created the art for Julia’s recently released debut album Wild Patience. Gather around the harvest table at The Paintbox Lodge and enjoy a 3 course dinner, live music and inspiration.
The Paintbox Lodge is an intimate boutique hotel nestled in the heart of downtown Canmore owned by Olympic medalist, Sara Renner and World Cup Champion, Thomas Grandi. The Paintbox Lodge is a reflection of the local champions – relaxed, welcoming and professional.
ONLY 10 REMAINING TICKETS AVAILABLE!
$100.00 plus GST
Includes: intimate harvest table dinner, live music and inspiration.
Unplugged: An Artful, Wildly Patient Slow Feast
Tomato and roasted pepper bisque with 3 cheese grilled cheese
Organic mixed greens with pecan praline, Sylvan Star aged gouda and sliced apples
Free range chicken supreme stuffed with goat cheese sun-dried tomato stuffed with a pomegranate glaze, truffle infused chive mash, glazed farm carrots and bacon kale
5 vegetables artichokes and red quinoa in phyllo with basmati rice with a creamy rose sauce and steamed Kale
Signature Chefs moms recipe of sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce
Come and enjoy a special evening at the Paintbox Lodge
If they’re not creating, they’re not in the same zone you are regarding your growth as an artist. Be pure in your mission to create. You are the expert on you and you alone.
2. Eyes On The Prize :: Surround Yourself with Talent Better Than Your Own.
Take stock of your skills. With a critical eye, review where you are weak. Take workshops, study and apprentice with artists who are better than you are. Read art books, watch demo videos. Learn from them. If you enjoy an artist’s vision – tell them. Open up a dialogue and engage! If you’re a realist – check out American Painting Video Magazine which profiles some of the best contemporary realists.
3. Be Authentic and Transparent.
Put it all out there with confidence. If you don’t know something, admit it. If you do – share it. This requires a lot of bravery. Go for it. No one ever grew from being fearful. Let it go. You’ll still be standing tomorrow.
4. Create A Habit To Create.
Make stuff. Lots of it. If it’s not finished, who cares. Just make it. Surround yourself with a lot of work in progress. Have a dozen pieces on the go at once and commit to paint every day for 6-8 week periods or longer. Build it up until you are creating something every day.
5. Boot “Failure” and “Success” OFF the Island.
Ignore them. There is no place for failure or success in the life of the creative. In fact, there’s little space for quantitative measurement of either. There is only the act of creation – the process. Draw from everything you know, let it all go and make something new…without thinking. Don’t judge it – either way. There is no “good” or “bad”. There is just the thing you make.
6. Focus On The Process – Never The Outcome.
Enjoy every moment process in the creation of your work. From the second you wake and pour a coffee to head to the studio, you are creating. Consider that. Enjoy each step – don’t rush until you’re ready to go to the next step. Consider every action of “make” a beautiful, complete moment of creation in itself. Don’t think about the outcome. Just do.
Be pure in every statement of your work, from the action of the brushstroke to the articulation of the piece. Never “excuse”. If you are honest in your art-making in each step, you’ll learn, create and grow beyond your wildest dreams.
8. Get The Heck Out of Dodge!
Seriously – get out of town! Take a trip far away from your hometown and studio. Visit museums, art galleries and libraries. Find a culture completely different from your own and be curious. Ask questions – learn and challenge your own beliefs. Pick something so different from your “regular beat” that it scares you.
9. Share. Share. Share.
Share everything you know – no matter what the topic – with everyone who will listen. You’ll learn, in return. Share your failures. Share surprise, success, your birthday, your family…share it all. It’s in sharing our stories, we discover our commonalities and our differences. This is the stuff “art” is made from!
10. Define Your Space. Raise Your Capital.
That means physical, emotional, social, psychological and financial space that will allow you to do 3 1-9. Set yourself up for success by having enough capital to totally commit yourself to your work in all these areas. If you’re looking for a helper, check out Alyson B. Stanfield. Lots of incredible art business advice and workshops here! Need help with your blog? Contact the amazing Kim Bruce. She just saved this blogpost for me!
Got any further ideas or resources? Remember #9 – Share, share share!
This post was written on May 12, 2012, as I prepared for my trip to Gwaii Haanas. Today, I’m somewhere completely remote and totally off-grid in the very waters that the Enbridge Pipeline issues threaten. Thanks to the miracle of technology, have written this post today for it to be published while I’m away. Yeah!
June 4th, not surprisingly…is a momentous day for someone very special in my life. It’s Grace’s 8th birthday today, and I’m sorry that I’m not there with her but instead – thinking about her future and the future of my grandchildren and their grandchildren by examining what we have to lose in the battle between government, big oil and the human beings and creatures that inhabit this earth.
You may well recall Dr. David Suzuki resigned from leading his foundation because of the pressures of the Harper government and so-called “ethical” oil interests began to put on charitable foundations and political involvement.
As an independent artist, I don’t have either the protection…or the encumbrances of an institution around me, and I can speak out…black out…and stand up for what I believe in and for my children’s future.
The article below was posted on http://rabble.ca on May 9th, 2012 by David Suzuki, and I’m re-blogging and sharing here with you. Please do me a favour and spread this message and as a gift for my daughter in my absence, do choose for yourself on June 4th…my daughter’s 8th birthday.
“Canada would be a different place without our 80,000 registered charities dedicated to everything from health to economic policy to the environment. We’d be much poorer without the two million employees and millions of volunteers who devote their time to causes that strengthen our nation.
Recent efforts by the federal government and its backers in media and industry front groups like Ethical Oil to demonize and silence legitimate organizations ignore the important role charities play in Canada. That’s why environmental and other organizations are joining with Canadians from all walks of life for Black Out Speak Out, launched on May 7 with ads in the Globe and Mail, La Presse, and Ottawa’s Hill Times and culminating in a website blackout June 4.
Canadians understand the value of charitable organizations. Close to 85 per cent of us over 15 years of age (22.2 million people) donate to charities every year. Often, it’s to help people in other parts of the world. According to Charity Village, Canadians gave $20 million to the Canadian Red Cross, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, UNICEF Canada, and World Vision within four days of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. For supporting worthy causes, Canadians are entitled to a small tax break.
Canadians also know that our spectacular natural environment is crucial to our national identity, health, and survival, and that we can’t always count on governments and industry to look out for its interests. And so they give their time, money, and voices to organizations working on a range of conservation issues from habitat and species protection to clean energy and global warming. The David Suzuki Foundation relies on Canadians for more than94 per cent of its funding.
Canadians also expect transparency and results, which is why our funding and spending information is public. With the help of many Canadians, and along with friends and allies, we’ve enjoyed many successes. We’ve increased demand and supply for sustainable seafood, fought for habitat protection for animals such as killer whales, and ensured that invaluable areas like the Great Bear Rainforest and the northern boreal forest get increased protection. Perhaps more importantly, we’ve facilitated opportunities for Canadians to engage in important discussions about conservation of the air, water, land, and biodiversity on which we all depend.
It’s why we’re astounded by the increasing efforts to stifle so many people and organizations that devote countless hours to the often thankless and less-than-lucrative tasks of ensuring that Canada remains a stellar example of an open and democratic country with strong social values and a clean and healthy environment.
If we are committed to these ideals then it follows we should also value freedom of speech and opportunities for a range of viewpoints on matters of national interest. It’s fair to place limits on the extent and types of work organizations with charitable status can do. It’s fair to ask questions about donations and what, if any, influence they may have on activities. But it is unacceptable to try to silence people with smear tactics designed to discredit them and deny their funding.
If our leaders want to pin all their hopes and our future on a twinned pipeline through Alberta and B.C. to ship raw tar sands bitumen to China, then Canadians at least deserve a proper conversation about it. We’ve seen recent signs of hope, with the Alberta government calling for a national energy strategy, for example, and with people in the media and elsewhere questioning the wisdom of employing an omnibus budget act to gut environmental laws and attack charitable organizations.
With continued suppression of those who speak out about the environment and women’s and human rights, along with muzzling of government scientists and cuts to government scientific and environmental programs and departments, it’s clear we’re facing a growing campaign, in part backed by industrial interests, to silence opposition.
We expect and deserve better. That’s why we’re speaking out. Silence is not an option. We’re asking all Canadians to join us to help preserve two core national values: nature and democracy. Let’s keep Canada strong and free. Please visit the websites of your favourite environmental organizations on June 4 to add your voice.
Canadian War Artist, Allan Harding MacKay destroyed five of his own works, in protest of the Harper-led Canadian government and their erosion of democratic rights. In his “Speak Up, Speak Out” expression, MacKay states, “The value of openness, justice, honesty, fairness and unfettered participation by all MP’s is being held hostage by a government that holds the Parliamentary System in deliberate contempt…”
You can listen more about what Allan has to say in this interview on the radio show “Q”, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, a former music artist himself. Begging the question, “Why”…or more deeply – “Who Owns the Work?” goes directly to the root of the sacrifice of the original art. To my mind, driving attention to the government’s tactics is well worth the sacrifice of several works of art, and is an act of art in itself.
Allan sent me this small clip, and there will be more information, discussion and debate over this “act of art” in coming days through Allan’s website. You can visit and review some of the comments, discussions and links at Speak Up Speak Out.
What do you think? How do artists influence politically? What would you do? What do you think a democracy is worth?
Art Matters. It has a way of creating bonds between human beings that is beyond words. On those rare occasions when it happens with impact, it’s a soul-filling experience for everyone.
Sometimes it’s just not possible or desirable when you’re dealing through an agent but a great gallery will foster a brilliant three-way relationship. With the middle man, you’re one step removed from the relationship. Those new adoptive parents of that baby you’ve spent months nurturing, growing and creating are just a little bit further away.
Like all great parents, you raise those babies right so they go out and stand on their own. You send them off into the world not always knowing where they’ll end up. It’s a great privilege to know when they’ve found a new home where they’re cared for, loved and cherished…and it’s lovely to know where they live.
I care that the collector has as much information about my process in creating the work, the thought and materials that go into it, and the person that created it. That’s more than 80% of the reason why I write this blog..the other 20% is obviously therapy. Ha. Giving that back-story makes it all somehow more relevant from my point of view. There are special moments and connections that I cherish.
About five years ago, I was out painting at Spray Lake, and while I was working on the piece, my family was playing on the shore of the lake – a large family gathered at the point near my painting location, and their lives literally walked into the painting and into ours.
Their purpose that day was to honour the life of a husband, a grandfather…a father. They spent awhile on the point in service and then scattered his ashes. That’s a moment in my painting life that I will never forget. I painted all of that in – I was suddenly a part of all of their lives and this event. When a young girl from the family wandered down to see what I was doing, she told me that it was her grandfather, and that this had been his favourite place on the planet. It’s pretty much one of our favourite places on the planet too. I finished the work, gave it to her and asked that she give it to her grandma. A few weeks later, I received the most beautiful note from the family but more importantly, it was the day and the connectivity through art to life and death that mattered.
Jeff had been searching for six years to find a piece that fit into his collection in a certain spot in his home, and was struck by the image of this work in progress that I’d posted on Facebook. That’s an early stage to feel those heartstrings pull. Six weeks later, when the painting was completed, I sent Jeff a jpeg of it. He wasn’t sure that it had “grown up” to be the piece for the two spots he thought it would work so we thought it would be worthwhile to at least try it out in the space and see.
Delivering the piece over to the house to see if it was a fit, my son Jacob and I were in for a treat as Jeff so graciously toured us through his home and introduced us to his magnificent collection and his lovely daughter Jodi who was visiting.
I knew Jeff as a friend and a colleague from his role as the Chair of the Board of Governors of The Banff Centre when I worked there as Program Manager for Aboriginal Leadership. We’d had occasion to have lunch together after he learned of The Community Fusion project and he graciously opened the film and exhibition for the project on it’s launch.
Jeff ‘s enthusiasm and care for artists, the artistic process and the state of the world is evident in his support of every facet of disciplinary study in the arts, and we’re grateful to know him. His love for the arts is evident, not only in his service and leadership capacity but in the beautiful and superbly self-curated works that hang in his residence, from the thoughtfully situated sculptures… to the music by the invisible piano player on a wondrous grand (player) piano that plays magically throughout his home – a work of art in itself. Every piece has a story and a provenance.
This ….is art-full living!
We so enjoyed this wine together in the studio.
Holding up the painting in the selected spot, I think we were all surprised at how well it fit – that it belonged right there in that very spot – no other home…no other place. If I had tried to create a work specifically for the placement, I’m not certain that I would have been successful – it was somehow meant deep-down for Jeff. Art finds it’s own way. My baby had found it’s place in the world and I’ve extended my family.
Kevin and I hung the painting for Jeff. It was the first time that we’d ever done this together and it was a special experience for both of us. There were a few laughs along the way, that’s for sure! Kevin makes the stretchers and stretches the linen for me so it was fitting for him and meaningful for us both to be a part of the final process of seeing it where it belonged. To celebrate the work, Jeff gave us a lovely bottle of wine. We enjoyed it together in the studio that evening, toasting our baby into the world and wishing well to those who would encounter it as well as it’s new caretaker. I have to say that I am truly more pleased that this piece is with our friend who has it, than I am that the painting has been sold. It’s good to know and serves my heart well.
This is what I love so much about art and it’s many forms – there are relationships everywhere. I have a relationship with the work as I think about it, watch it become reality before my eyes and create it. There are times when I can look at a piece that I’ve done, and remember the conversations I had, the meals, the music I listened to and the times and events in my life while I worked on it – those are the stories that are embedded in the work. For instance, the work above, “Lie To Me” was created while listening to Jonny Lang‘s music and named for the same song, “Lie To Me”. His music inspired me and by a freak chance (or perhaps NOT such a freak chance…) we met Jonny and his backup singer Jason Eskridge and had the opportunity to share a coffee and talk about the painting, the song and the connectivity between artforms.
I have a lovely client now who was so moved by this work, that she’s commissioned a similar piece…and I’m thrilled to work with her, because it’s the relationships that I know will grow as she sits for this work that will matter.
There is a relationship now with the experience we had while placing the work with Jeff, and there will be new relationships formed for him while it lives in his home. Art connects us and creates space for new experiences and dialogue. This is the true value of a work, whether it is a piece of theatre, music, writing, sculpture, dance or a painting that somehow moves us.
Yesterday, an artist friend asked me some questions about how I make videos of my artwork process. Hmmm…let me see…..
I’ll be the first to admit it – the last thing I think about as I’m about to start a painting is to set up the video camera and hit record. In my rush to create, it’s not a habit that I’ve gotten into, and yet it’s one of the best ways to share technique, information and tips with other artists. After all…isn’t that what it’s all about? Getting better and being the best we can be?
I’m resolved to do better at this in the future so look for some additional video tips…and if I don’t get them done, then DOG me and remind me I said it here.
Here is a video that I recorded when I was of sound mind and had everything ready to go. When time lapsed, it helps me to review my own process in making an underpainting and also to share, from concept to finish – how a work is created with other artists and some of my students.
Pretty cool, huh? I got “into” it when I finished this painting, and missed hitting the “Play” button for Episode 2. Live and Learn…I have to make this a better habit.
I’d like to share some tips with you on things I have found helpful in the process of producing your own artist’s video.
Lighting – make sure that your working area is well lit. You can see in my video, the sun moves back and forth across the room a little bit and it’s not as well lit as it could be. I don’t mind this, because it’s a reflection of my working studio and it doesn’t seem to interfere with the video quality too much. I could also have adjusted this in the editing phase, but just got too excited to upload it and share. If you’re setting up lighting for the camera – make sure that you do some cross-lighting with about three floods if you need them, all from different angles and that don’t conflict with what you need for your painting light, or cast an Alfred Hitchcock-like silhouette of you on the canvas while you’re working. Not so pretty.
Canon Vixia HF S200
Get a GOOD tripod and leave it setup in your studio all the time. I actually use my EasyL Easel tripod that came with my plain air kit. It rocks, is light and folds up into a handy carry kit that I’ve packed on and off planes without any security trouble. Make sure your camera is charged and ready to go all the time, or that you have a power supply (and a neatly tucked away cord system) so you don’t have to trip over it in your studio….(that’s happened to me, I’m such a klutz!).
Make sure that you have the best camera angle to your easel. If you have more than one camera, by all means shoot at several angles so that you have interesting camera shots to edit together in post-production. This is where it’s cool for artists interested in filming more often, to have a couple of inexpensive Flip cameras to use. (see below)
Rule #1: Buy the best video camera you can afford. Film in HD.
We have a Canon Vixia HFS 200 that is super and we’ve dragged it across Canada, filming in various lighting conditions for many different projects. We also use two FLIP Ultra HD cameras. (You can get one through our Amazon affiliate store page – they are under Film, Cameras and Media) They’re super portable and great for plein air or mobile work. We use our iPhones sometimes, but usually that’s a spur of the moment thing and I never have a proper tripod setup for it.
We also have a GoPro that we use. My husband Kevin is into aerial video photography. You can learn lots of techie stuff from him over at RCHelimenace if you’re into gimbals, gyros and transceivers (<<that’s all GEEK to me. I have no idea what they are, but he does, so if you’re interested…ask him!)
The GoProHD Hero2 has a lovely wide-angle view setting and a fish-eye setting too so that you can get some super-wide panoramic shots if you need them. It’s a tiny little thing. You’ll feel like you’re someone out of Mission Impossible. This camera is one of the most used action-filming cameras in the ski industry. It also mounts on a helmet, the truck or any moveable object which makes it great for hiking shots and various other shots that require a small camera in a fast-moving environment. Here’s one of our family favourite videos by Jeb Corliss, “Grinding The Crack”. It takes our breath away every time. Maybe a bit more adrenalin than I get in the studio…but close sometimes! You can see the high quality that the GoPro gives. Fun little toy with some power packed into it!
Do what you do best. Filming is about telling a story, so think about what you might want to tell…before you tell it. Make a plan and have it ready. Look for a beginning, a middle and an end.
In this case, I simply wanted to “tell” about my process from sketch and through a final painting. It would be boring to sit through three or four hours of watching me paint but thinking ahead artistically, about HOW to tell this, I thought it would be good to speed up the film in a time-lapse and show it that way. Most folks are awed at the process of the artist, but don’t have the patience to truly understand what goes into this…or watch you paint….or watch your paint dry. How you tell the story is as important as the story itself.
A three minute video is about what you should be shooting for in this online video medium. Folks are used to the “three minute” rule and as you can see, it’s pretty simple to find a three minute song that accompanies the story. That’s about as long as you’re going to keep their attention. In this case, Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had A Boat” was the soundtrack to my film, and appropriate for the intent of the visual art piece.
I work with Final Cut Pro Studio. It’s a massive editing suite that most professional filmmakers rely on, and the only place I can see where it’s still available is through Amazon, although some retailers might still have it kicking around. There is a new version that Apple has come out with, Final Cut Pro X now, not nearly as expensive as my original software copy, but reviews are mixed. I can’t recommend or diss it, as I haven’t tried it, although I’ve had a look at the interface and it looks much easier and intuitive than the older FCP version. It retails through the Apple Store for $299 Canadian. I haven’t switched over to that yet, as I’m still comfy with Final Cut Pro Studio which includes other modules such as Motion Graphics (the bumper that sets up the front end and back end of the video above…which I love and could play with forever), Colour, and Soundtrack Pro.
My sons use iMovie and they are whizzes at it… which is wonderful, but I’ve grown accustomed to FCP now, so find iMovie not quite all there for the things I ultimately require when making artful-type movies.
If you aren’t a tech lover, I’d suggest iMovie as it has a much lower learning curve. However, if you’ve got your eye on “Hollywood” and wanting to learn enough to produce some pretty fancy videos, you can learn FCP Studio through Lynda.com. Both versions of training are there for FCP Studio and FCPX. They have a fabulous training library which is always being updated and the instructors are fantastic, knowledgeable and easy to understand. All in your own time, on your own computer and really reasonably priced at around $25.00 a month for a subscription.
I edited the video above, “Self Portrait In Canoe” for use in an installation for an exhibition that I did in 2010. Converting old family footage and splicing it all together with FCP, I spliced Johnny Cash’s rendition. The video actually played inside a real canoe in the gallery, surrounded by objects from my life and that of my co-artist for the show, Don Ahnahnsisi McIntyre.
Distribution – Your Own Studio System
Not much good having a great video and not sharing it. I like to host my videos on other sites rather than my blog. This increases the traffic and the sharing. And you know how much I love to share! YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, Metacafe are all video channels to which I post my video content.
What?!…you say? That will take me forever. How do I do all that, paint, deal with social media, marketing, yadda…yadda…yadda.
Easy-peasy, I say. There is a fabulous service called TubeMogul that will upload your video in one shot to all your channels and give you some rocking stats by which to gauge your distribution success or failure. I love TubeMogul, and it’s easy to use. MGM…move aside. Independent internet distribution is here!
Now I realize that this post is a bit general in focus. I’ll expand on the topics on future Artful Techie Tuesdays.
I’ve been working on a large project since October 2010. It’s involved a lot of research, travel and prep work. Lots of painting, an epic residency, lots of sleepless nights and lots of worry. I’ve been in knots thinking that the only place to exhibit this work was in a gallery setting and that somehow I had to conform to those requirements and demands…..Wrong-oh, Janice…quit being so colonized by the system!
Take things that belong in special places,
and make them in their special places.
Fit the art to the sacred space it should belong to. (Fancy curator talk will call it “site specific”.) I think it’s important to make the art where the Creator guides us to make it. De-institutionalize art and you make it more human. Claim that space loud and clear. Make a land claim of your own. Do it because you must.
Sometimes, you just get those moments of clarity that tell you you’re on the right track.
I wondered what would be the worth of my words in the world if i write them and then recite them are they worth being heard just because i like them does that mean i should mic them and see what might unfurl
i think of the significance of my opinions here is it significant to be giving them does anybody care just because i’m into this does that mean i should live like it and really do i dare
art, art i want you art you make it pretty hard not too and my heart is trying hard here to follow you but i can’t always tell if i ought to
so i pondered the point of my art in this life if i make it will someone take it and think it’s genuine will they be glad that i did ’cause they got something good out of it will they leave me and be any more inspired
i question the outcome of the outpouring of myself if i tell everyone my stories will this keep me healthy and well will it give me purpose, to this world some sort of service is it worth it, how can i tell
Fellow Canadian, writer, poet and songstress Tanya Davis is pure genius in this. Canadian artist & filmmaker Andrea Dorfman teams with her… putting it all together.
Just watch it. Memorize it. Sing it. Spread it. Honour it…and support the artists that create such work to inspire us all.
(Links below to Tanya’s new book and Sandbar Music where you can purchase her music. You can also find her albums on iTunes.)
to vanquish doubt & vulnerability.
Thank you, Tanya and Andrea!