The largest painting that I have created so far in my career was just hung this morning high on the tall walls of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. I was surprised at how small it looked up there. The painting will hang for six months along side other large pieces from area artists. I am pleased that it is being seen at this time, as I think it's relevance has never been greater than at this moment, as our country grapples with vital issues. I hope that it can provide patrons of the Cultural Centre with a springboard to reflection, discussion and debate on the pressing issues the painting hints at. The painting is 20 years old now and never would I have imagined that it would so accurately describe my feelings about the current relationship between native and non-native Canadians and the debate over pipelines and bitumen sands expansion takening place in BC and indeed across the country.
"In the Rainforest", acrylic on canvas, 82"x104", 1993.
Prints from the Sunnyside Series are now available for purchase from Smudges Art Shoppe in the heart of old downtown Chilliwack B.C.
Artist Marko Jalava who runs Smudges also displays his own wonderful paintings and provides Giclee printing services for others. He's a friendly and interesting guy and great to deal with. Several framed prints from the Sunnyside Series are currently on display there in his beatiful new gallery on Mill Street.
I was recently asked by Paul Gessel who writes the "Artful Blogger" column for the online "Ottawa Magazine" if he could have permission to use a reproduction of my 2008 portrait of Norman Bethune for a piece he was writing about upcoming Bethune exhibitions set to appear to Ottawa and other venues in Canada. I agreed. Here is a link to the article.
It's great to see Bethune once again stirring up things in Ottawa. I think he would be amused.
"Bethune", acrylic and collage on canvas, 36"x 36", 2008
A collection of my paintings and prints is now on display at Restaurant 62 in Abbotsford. " Where rural meets urban, Restaurant 62 is Abbotsford's award winning destination for elegant regional cuisine. Named one of the Top 40 Foodies Under 40, Chef Jeff Massey creates seasonal menus that reflect the richness and diversity of local flavours from the Fraser Valley. Wine cellar boasts an award winning selection." The show will be on display for about three months.
Thanks go out to Co-owner Eric Ferris for the invite to show my work. The "Sunnyside Series" pieces in particular really look great in the restaurant.
I learned the unfortunate news today that the Grey Area Gallery in Chilliwack is now closed.
For the past three and half years I have enjoyed being represented by this gallery in Chilliwack. I'd like to thank owners Jacquie Simpson and Louisa DeVette for the opportunity to be one of the artists in what was a fabulous gallery right in my own home town. This leaves a hole in the creative landscape of Chilliwack and me without local gallery representation. I am now at the moment, solely represented by the Art Junction Gallery in Whistler.
Geoff Edwards of Streamworks.ca has produced a short video about me and my work. This video is part of his artist series and can be viewed on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MOLTi7y-yU .
Geoff's diverse set of media skills has been accumulated over a career that spans more than thirty years. He has had stints in community radio, national radio and television as a journalist and television host. During the 1980s he was a rock journalist working with Canadian networks CTV, CBC and CKVU in Vancouver.
I found out last week when I visited Harvey Lim at the Art Junction Gallery that #18 in the Sunnyside Series is appearing in the Summer/Fall edition of Whistler - the Magazine.
"#18, Sunnyside Series", acrylic on canvas, 48"x 48", 2010 Sold
The full colour reproduction is one of six images shown in an article in the Galleries section about what art lovers can expect to see this summer and fall in Whistler galleries. Thanks to Harvey for getting the series once again on to the pages of a Whistler publication. Number 18 in the series actually sold earlier this year. When I was at the gallery last week I dropped off #20 in the series.
To View the online edition of Whistler - the Magazine click here.
Note: The Galleries Section and this image appear on page 26 & 27.
Just found out today that one of my Sunnyside paintings is appearing in a May/June issue of BC Home Magazine in article about designer Linn Hepner and her beautiful home in Chilliwack. Her and her husband purchased #3 in the Series back in 2009 and have it wonderfully displayed over their fire place mantel. She is a very talented designer and I am honored to have one of my paintings so prominently displayed in her lovely home.
Here's a link to the page where the painting appears in in the online edition;
"#3, Sunnyside Series", acrylic on canvas, 18"x 72", 2009
I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable in my new studio everyday now. I still haven't finished setting up my work area and there are a few more "things" yet to be moved over from the old space but so far it's been incredibly inspiring to have such a bright, spacious and well laid out space to work in. It feels like I'm living a dream. To be honest it took me most of the first week to find my footing after moving from my old studio. At first I hadn't realized how much, after 23 years, the old space had become like a second skin for me. It had become a part of me and the act of painting.
Now that I have completed my first painting since the move I'm feeling that much more at home and excitedly looking forward to having this new space becoming a second skin as well. (Perhaps after 52 yrs I could use a second skin).
The larger space will allow me to work on several pieces at once. I have already started another new series (Waterway Series), with plans for larger paintings (early spring) in both this new series and the Sunnyside Series. Ahhh, so much to do ! I never have a shortage of ideas for new paintings it seems, just a shortage of time to complete them all. Art is long, Life is short ! (ars longa vita brevis, as the ancients would say).
I am finally moving in to my new studio. There are still a few things to finish before I can say the building is complete but it is definitely finished enough for me to start working in.
As you can see I have an area in the front of the building for displaying a few pieces. The wall in the middle of the room is on wheels and can be split in two for repositioning. I have not finished setting up my work area and desk. I'm in the process of moving my painting materials from the old studio and hope to have that done in the next few days so I can start painting. After being in my old studio for so long (23 yrs) it feels a little strange to be in this new space. I don't think I will feel totally at home until I get a painting or two under my belt.
Yes, I also play music and you can see my drums and guitars in the back corner.