I'm now feeling like I'm finally back on the horse. 2015 is looking like a brand new horizon and to ring in the new year, I've been back in the studio almost working full time. It's a great feeling to finally have some control back in my arm and painting hand, and I have more paintings in my head than I could possibly paint in four lifetimes.
I'm feeling so much gratitude to have been accepted this March for Bo's Master Class at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. I can't wait to spend time with the other artists and this great painter in his home town for a concentrated experience, and intelligent dialogue.
One year ago today, I left Canmore for Haida Gwaii and a life-changing artist's residency at Gwaii Haanas National Park. In a month's time, I learned more than I could absorb, met new family and friends, saw, touched, smelled and heard things that were literally Super-Natural and was inspired and welcomed with open arms by the Haida Nation and the islanders.
7 Days painting with Janice Tanton and Moresby Explorers in Gwaii Haanas National Park. June 3 - 9th, 2013. Only 8 spaces for this once in a lifetime experience in the "Galapagos of the North". Join this experienced crew in an artistic exploration like no other.
Haida Gwaii sits at the juncture of three tectonic plates, with a total of 10 fault lines. A bit like Mother Nature's weak and ticklish spot, if you will. In short, this area is as unstable as the San Andreas fault, with a powerful oblique thrust that will put some kick in your behind. A tsunami would carry dirty crude oil a very long way.
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.
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.
With nothing suggested, a blank canvas becomes the means by which thoughts can begin to have a life of their own and manifest. There is space for something to be born into.
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.