Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sharing the Spirit

Christmas is a time of sharing. Artists share what comes through their vision but also what is seen through their hearts and spirits and that is what makes it scary at times but also exhilarating. In keeping with the season you are invited to an open house on December 1st. Sunday 11 am-4 pm.  I see it as a time to share the beauty and warm spirit of the season. I will have a selection of my small paintings of children and angels and cards. I am also delighted to present some of my current class artists. As an instructor it is a delight to see their amazing talent and creativity come alive in my ongoing classes. Please drop by and enjoy some holiday refreshments, good cheer and creative art. Perhaps find a gift for yourself or another. We would be delighted to see you.

Christmas Studio Open House
Sunday December 1st
11am- 4:00pm
17 Fernwood park Ave.
South of Queen between Beech and Balsam Ave.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Realism or Abstraction

Colour Fantasy
    Mixed media     
We live in a time when anything goes especially in art, to the the point where we all might find ourselves questioning. In teaching painting the question of realism vs. abstraction comes up again and again. Somewhere I came across the definition of abstraction as being that which our mind has not yet affixed a label. An amorphous colour field is just that until we call it a sunset. A sunset by the British artist Turner is considered great and beautiful art yet without the title or knowing the artist it might pass for a modern abstract. Good principles of composition hold true in both abstract and realism and of course art is always subjective. The discussion is ongoing and rich.  I continue to be awed by the journey called art capable of evoking such mystery.
As an artist I love to play with colour and texture and a painting could end up as an abstract or take a form that evokes trees or sky or figures. I love both abstract and realism and don't like to be labelled or slotted into one  category or medium.  The Fall Beach Studio tour is coming up October 25th, 26th, and 27th. It is a free walking tour of the locations of participating artists.  A wine and cheese opening starts at 6 pm Friday evening and then  the show continues Saturday and Sunday. I hope to see you.
A selection of my latest work in watercolour and acrylic and mixed media will be shown; both abstract and representational.

I'm very excited about  a short video

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Life Lessons from waterolour

The greeting cards or plaques are everywhere that give whimsical but true "Rules of life I've learned from my cat or dog" or whatever. It occurred to me while painting one day that all the frustrations, struggles and joy of watercolour had taught me my own valuable life lessons. Such as the following:

Rule #1  Patience!!! If I go in before it is dry I can ruin it, turn colours to mud. Wait! Things work in their own time. Have Patience! It's a virtue.

Rule #2  Everything in art is subjective. All is relative. Colours or a palette I work with will be pronounced "wrong" by the next book I pick up or opinionated artist. Understand why you use your colours and if they work for you that is all that matters. If not, be open to explore and learn. The same with your art. What one person deems worthy will not appeal to your grandmother or the next jury committee.

Rule #3:  Watercolour is water based. Water flows. We've all heard "go with the flow". See where a painting wants to go. Allowing the water and colour to blend and flow is one of the most zen-like joys I can think of.

Rule #4: Watercolour is a transparent medium. Let it's light shine through. That goes for the artist as well. Don't try to paint like anyone else or compare yourself to anyone.

Rule #5:  It can be fun! I've heard that watercolour is a difficult medium. Yes, challenges are encountered but when I  remember to play and stay open wonderful spontaneity can happen.

Rule #6:  Turn things around. Get a fresh perspective. Stand the painting upside down. Use a mirror. They say life is a mirror.

These are a few that seem to come up often. I am sure there are more. I'm also open to observations from other painters.The creative path is if nothing else, quite the journey!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nature's Palette

Nature's Palette


   Fresh Greens, brilliant pinks, blues and lilac - beautiful colour of every shade and hue and  Spring finally arrives with Summer close behind. Creative juices stir and I find myself picking bouquets of flowers  that only last a day and must be painted before they droop. With mild sunny days I also drag everything outdoors only to be reminded once more of the joy's of  Plein air painting. There's nothing like it or the challenges and frustration as light and weather quickly change.
Carving out time and space to paint during the summer is an endeavor some of us plan. Some travel to workshops in distant locations, but others might not have the opportunity. If you are looking to take advantage of a beach location close to home I will be teaching a one week workshop in July. Living on the edge of the lake and a park offers opportunity to paint outdoor scenery but if indoors is preferred there is also the use of my home and studio as a base.

 It will be every morning 9:30-1:00 pm Monday to Friday.
Dates are July 15th -19th
Fee: $200 for the week
materials list will be provided

A consecutive block of time is a great way to immerse yourself in a body of work whether indoors or outside. Last summer enthusiasm ran high and I loved seeing the amazing work created. I'm looking forward to another great session. To register: email me at shamanstree@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Home is Where the Art IS

Home is where the art is

Home is where the art is- a catchy little phrase?  My day starts with coffee, but with a choice of which hand made mug. I love all my pottery mugs, some brought back from travels, some gifts, some collected from Toronto artisans. A special woven scarf, a piece of jewelry made by someone I know and beauty on my walls and I define myself separate from mass produced sameness. Something created from love can't help but add a bit of heart as well as art to your home.
Plan to visit the homes and studios of
 The Beach Studio Tour.
May 3rd. 4th and 5th
My location is 17 Fernwood Park Ave.

View my latest collection of work on YouTube (and subscribe to my channel while you are there please).

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Arrivals

Beach Studio Tour
 Brings New Spring arrivals
In the cold dark months of Winter new paintings have been simmering and they can be viewed during the upcoming Spring tour which opens Friday evening May 3rd.  Come by Friday evening for an opening reception and then throughout the rest of the weekend, May 4th and 5th.  I have new watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. It is always a pleasure to see old friends and new. Enjoy the beautiful Beach and visit the other artist locations on the tour as well. 

Winter's Dream

You are invitied to my home and studio for
 the Spring Beach Studio Tour
Friday night May 3rd 6-9 pm
Saturday May 4th 10am -6pm
SundayMay 5th 11am-6pm

for more information: www.beachstudiotour.ca
or shamanstree@gmail.com

Monday, March 11, 2013

Returning Light

  Light. I started noticing it in January. It's slow incremental return. It's searing cold beauty on fresh fallen snow. Now it has warmth.  Light and dark. I talk about it as a painting instructor. It can make a painting dynamic and exciting. That could be said about life as well I suppose. Light can't exist without dark, but the struggle between the two at times seems to eclipse all else. Who wins or can they both. Why is it that art is so often a metaphor for life. "Life is short, Art endures".  Maybe. Perhaps the important thing is to create, feeling alive and vital in the struggle to give light and value to what has meaning in the moment. Standing back from the painting the dark helps shape and bring out forms and colour, but it is the light that awakens the magic and warmth. Welcome Spring!
With spring's return comes a new series of classes starting March 19th and 21st. Check classes for more information.
The Beach Studio Tour is the first weekend of May. It is always a fun event.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

New Year's Resolutions

I never make New Year's resolutions. The main reason is that they're broken or forgotten within hours of making them. That's not to say I don't think about the direction or flow in which my life is going. I find it easier to talk about intentions and being a painter it relates I suppose to how I view painting. I often see it as a journey, an exploration. What do I want to learn, how do I want to play, experiment or explore a certain theme? Sometimes it works in wonderful ways beyond my expectations and sometimes not. The most important thing is to create. A favorite quote of mine is: "Curving back into myself  I create again and again." Ovid.
My New Year's intention is to allow myself the space and time to curve back into that infinite source of being and create........... no judgment, no expectation.

Some of us like to create on our own, but some like the motivation of a class setting. I have new classes starting in the Beach on Tueaday evenings,  Jan. 15th and Thursday evenings January 17th. There is a 4 week Saturday class in the Yonge-Lawrence area at Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre starting January 19th. Beginner or more experienced all are welcome.