'Two Women': life drawing at The Keyhole Sessions

I forgot to set my computer to record the radio show I was on, along with Jen Hosein and Pen Smith, to promote our poetry reading on the 25th. Oh well. It was a busy day. The show was truly wonderful, though, and I will share it as soon as I get a copy.

But I did go to the 2nd last Keyhole Sessions life drawing event and have a few drawings to show. Rather than filling one post with them, as usual, because they're coming to an end (only one more session), I'll post one at a time.

These are the raw sketches, before I do anything to them. Of course, I'll post any that do get worked on as well.

'Two Women,' 2012, 15" x 12", charcoal, water-soluble wax crayons and oil pastels, India ink on canvas sheet.

The pose was quite complicated and time ran out, as it always does. While it was a 25 min pose, I chose not to work on the correctness of the drawing itself; rather, I drew something general and then spent most of the time colouring it with water-soluble oil pastels. While I tend to think that I can do colouring at home, really I can't. It's best done on-site. Luckily, the painting had a half hour to dry before I grabbed a cab to get to Nik's radio show, HOWL. Later that night, at home, I added some ink lines. Sometimes I wish we could take reference photos at life drawing sessions. Here the cross-over of limbs and intertwining of figures in 3D space was hard to translate into a 2D sketch, and I can see that spending more time on the basic sketch itself would have helped. Adding colour in the time allotted for the pose meant I had to move on before feeling that the drawing was as good as I could do. Meaning, the figures are a little abstract - expressions of feeling, I guess. Still, I feel it's an okay piece in the style of colouring developing in these figure drawings from life-drawing sessions.

The photograph was taken in direct sunlight to get the best white balance, and you are also seeing all the detail; on the wall, however, it is a little darker, more solidified.
___

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An untitled painting of a man

Untitled, as of yet. I just painted this. An iPhone photo taken with a daylight bulb. 18" x 24", oil on canvas sheet.

I have been deeply troubled, as ever, by Syria, the refugee camps, the deaths, the conflagrations. And the miners in South Africa, their horrendous treatment, not just the shooting deaths, but the survivors being charged with murder (withdrawn as of today, but it influences). This is a -just-sit-down-and-paint-woman-whatever-fucking-emerges-let-it-be- painting. From the inner self, where the cauldron burns.




___

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A Palmistry (in process)

Finally working on a new painting.

A hand, yes. My current 'hand crisis' is what I think I was doing, but then the disembodied quality of the hand made me think of a nightmare long ago, of the strangenesses of our lives, which are like intersecting arcs.

These paintings are becoming a style, I guess. I work from the imagination. When I sit down I have no idea what will emerge. It's scary! Let it be messy. Yikes! Don't over-work and the way to do this is to be fast. Shivers! Just dive in. Though there is a sort of representation of my hand because it's very much a focus now. So is a psychic I saw around the time of the nightmare - a Wiccan witch from Northern Ireland who really was the real deal - who read palms.

Because of the the complex cluster of images that this painting is drawing about itself, I decided to call it, A Palmistry.

Palmistry is a way of reading the life of the person whose palm it is.

The dream, dated June 2, 1980, was quite long, and went on to become much more scary than the beginning, the part about the hand (which is all I'll relate):
There was a darkness outside, pushing in. 'S' was here, and entertaining as always, but aware of the ominousness. He went to the bathroom and when he came out he said that there was a hand on the windowsill with a note beside it (he told me what it said but I can't remember now). I shucked it off, asked if it was an effigy and he said no, it was a real hand. I knew it was a child's hand and had been deliberately severed. I could not go and look at it directly but could only think what poor child in this dear world had been sacrificed. I thought it the work of a demonic cult, and that, like marks on houses, of the first-born to be killed by Pontious Pilate in the Roman era, or the Jews during Nazi Germany, this was a mark that was a warning. I could not consider it a symbol, for it was a real hand from a real child. I saw it clearly in my mind's eye throughout the dream. I could not step into that room, however, and see the hand in flesh and blood as a sign in the window. I could not have borne it - a child of maybe 4 - unbearable. Perhaps it was my own hand.
....The sign of the hand - I was already becoming disoriented and couldn't perceive the situation clearly. I tried to calm 'S' as best I could in my state - my senses were being scattered and broken up....The blackness all around us was growing. The atmospheric temperature was dead still, enclosing, pressing against my home. I tried to stand. All I could see were sections of the visual world - a plane of darkly embroidered fabric in the air, and nothing else. Or a distortion of furniture. Memory told me where to stand for my senses were turning the world into a 3-dimensional Cubist picture that did not have coherence. The world of time and space and the way the senses order it was shot to hell. I could barely negotiate my way around and could not think with any clarity....It was like seeing the world through a crystal prism, darkly....Other dimensions could enter.
My intention had been to write some of the text of the original dream onto the canvas, but... I'll see. It is most strange that with my SLAC wrist and the recommended removal of the scaphoid bone and the fusing of the other bones in the hand with bone taken from elsewhere in the body that I find this old dream re-surfacing.

Can my painting move beyond my immediate concerns to connect with the strangeness of hands, all hands? Look, those red dredges of oil pastel running from her neck and down are not blood, but were meant to represent a red striped top. Lol.


"A Palmistry (in process)", 2012, Brenda Clews,18" x 24", charcoal, oils, oil pastels, oil sticks on triple-primed cotton canvas sheet.


 on the easel

 earlier stage


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She, herself

She, herself, 2012, 12.5" x 12", mixed media on primed canvas sheet.

A small offering to Breast Cancer Awareness. The child-like drawing is a return to innocence. She touches herself. She is meditative, aware, loss and trust fill her, her erotic energy is strong.

May 7th is also, I suspect (it's not easy to discover which day it is), National Masturbation Day, and celebrates the many benefits of private self love from the healthy release of endorphins through to the healing that deep self acceptance provides.


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Figurative Art: 'Every Angel is terror' (Rilke) and 'Braille'



"Every Angel is terror. And yet, ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly birds of the soul" from Rilke, 2nd Duino Elegy, 2012, 18" x 24", charcoal, acrylic, primed canvas sheet.

When I go to drop-in life painting sessions, which consist of 4 hour poses, difficult for the model for sure, but rather static to paint, I like to make the painting into something which can evoke a poetry in the viewer. In this painting, to which I gave a few lines from Rilke's 2nd Duino Elegy as a title, the woman has what I call Etherics beside her. In my imagination, they are preparing her for an inner visionary journey. They are tribal soul sisters caring for her. Whether this be dream, or waking imagination, or the mysterious process of art, I don't know. You will see them as you do and they will make sense in the context of your inner life.



Charcoal sketch of the same model as in the previous painting, done after the painting from a slightly different angle, on primed canvas.



Replacing an earlier version of this poem painting with the charcoal sketch inverted (see earlier version below.)


The poem, 'Braille,' was written in 2006, and the drawing was from a drop-in life drawing session that year at the Vita Brevis Studio.


The painting came first (and soon I'll add some writing from an older journal that seems to express the figures in the painting). Then, while the painting was drying, while I was still in the studio at TSA, I did a small charcoal sketch on a sheet of the canvas pad from a slightly different angle to that of the painting. Then I paired the charcoal sketch inverted so it's like a negative with a poem that is in my poetry mms to replace an older version with another model from a life drawing session, which I added to this post as well.


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Woman of the Sea

Whiteness, a high tide drawn by the moon. Light coiled around and inside her, claiming her. Thoughts passed through like schools of fish. Luminosity opened in the depths and kept opening.


Woman of the Sea, 2011, 12" x 10", 30.5cm x 25.5cm, India ink, conte crayon, oils on [100lb archival] paper.

She got wetted and blotted and re-painted a few times. This is what she became. Below is an earlier moment on the journey towards the final version.



Another Woman of the Sea, mostly oils on [100lb archival] paper. Those white scraping marks, like dots, on her right bother me, yet if I remove them the foreground, where she is, and the background, where the dark ocean is, separate from each other too much to my liking. Those white scrapes anchor her to the swirl of fluidity, the sea.

 .... yet I am still finding my relation to this painting like it was to the drawing, difficult.

But it's quite detailed, isn't it. About 4 layers of different coloured paint. Interesting what can emerge when you prepare for a run. :) The living room/dining room in my tiny apartment is currently set up as a make-shift studio, so it's just a few feet to the work table. But it takes gumption to get there. I did, and I done.

So tuckered out now, after that jaunt of paint, I'll have to have lunch and a rest. [ps It looks better in a large size -click on it -it'll open to a new screen.]

I am seeing the Symbolists here, and the French Surrealists.


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Figures


Figures, 25.5cm x 34.5cm, 10" x 13.5", India ink, oil on 100lb archival paper.

Freshly painted sketch from the life drawing session I went to in August. Probably two 3 minute poses drawn on the same page, but the imagination runs wild...

_
With thanks to Pierre-Marie Coedes for pointing out that the figures look like a couple - which I hadn't seen but did after he mentioned it.


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Old Woman of the Sea


Old Woman of the Sea, 35.5cm x 39.5cm, 14" x 15.5", India ink, conte crayon, oils on 100lb archival paper.

It's not that I paint, but that the painting paints me. It changes me somehow. It's not that I paint something but rather that I paint what's changing in me through the process of creating the painting.

Old Women of the Sea: the old woman is in the ocean; the ocean moves through her; she is the ocean. Like a mother ocean.

A figurative landscape, or, rather, seascape.

I painted her in near darkness last night, in a dimly lit room. The colours looked almost the same on the paper - I only knew which was which because of the names on the tubes, which I could just make out. As I painted, I trusted my intuitive aesthetic senses.

In the midnight air I went to the table I've set up for painting while my children are away (at their Dad's - it's Canadian Thanksgiving and my half of the family wined and dined on Saturday night). I chose a sketch. And began painting, hardly being able to see what I was doing. Doing it by intuitive sense. And I wanted to let go of the naysayers in my head, and paint with an emotional clarity.

And I guess that's perhaps that's why I have to be alone to work. My children's presence or absence has nothing to do with it. I'm learning who I am when I paint. Or being taught by my painting. It's a very intimate, private process - until it's finished, and then you can show the world.


I'm painting some of the sketches I did at a life drawing drop-in session at TSA (Toronto School of Art) in August.

The original sketch as I did it in the life drawing session
that I went to with my niece. If you click on it, you'll go to the album.



Lifedrawing6, 28cm x 35.5cm, 11"x14", India ink, conte crayon, 100lb archival paper.


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Theatrics of the Age

Ancient Grecian, red ochre of pottery, a Venus on a pedestal, the theatrics of the age.


Theatrics of the Age, 25.5cm x 30.5cm, 10" x 12", India ink, conte crayon, oil on 100lb archival paper. The original sketch all but gone in the painting, what looks like conte crayon sweeps is oil paint swept on a large dry brush.

Today I painted some of the sketches I did at a life drawing drop-in session at TSA (Toronto School of Art) in August.

An earlier version of the painting.




The original sketch as I did it in the life drawing session
that I went to with my niece. You can also view the whole album.



Lifedrawing9, 28cm x 35.5cm, 11"x14", India ink,
conte crayon, 100lb archival paper.


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Old Woman

As I painted, I thought of the blue, and of sticks. And it is like she is surrounded by a nest, isn't it.


Old Woman, 2011, 25.5cm x 32cm, 10" x 12.5", oil on archival paper.


Today I painted one of the sketches I did at a life drawing drop-in session at TSA (Toronto School of Art) in August - one I hadn't posted.

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Underpainting I- Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones


Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones, 2010,
24" x 30", 61cm x 76.2cm, underpainting. (opens to a resizable pop-up window)

Now that I have rinsed off the chalk drawing and covered the painting in a fine layer of Liquin, which is semi-gloss, it reflects light and this makes it harder to photograph. I have boosted the colour slightly so that it doesn't appear too 'washed out.' On the easel, however, it's looking possible.

A video at YouTube on the painting process, and on the chalk
sketch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsUQVGXSWro


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Underpainting- Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones


Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones, 2010,
24" x 30", 61cm x 76.2cm, underpainting. (opens to a resizable pop-up window)

A video at YouTube on painting process, and on the chalk
sketch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsUQVGXSWro

When I hit the undo button on this post, everything was deleted... trying to remember what I wrote.

Ummm, oh, yes, I did some research on the NET and decided to try a new technique. In the post-midnight darkness I mixed a little Golden® acrylic paint and scrubbed the figures in Raw Sienna with a touch of Titanium White. Today I'll block in the background with the lightest wash of Golden® Raw Sienna and Bone Black. When it's dry, I'll rinse off the original chalk drawing. Then I'll paint the whole canvas with a layer of Windsor & Newton's® Liquin Original and let it dry until tomorrow.

From what I read at Windsor & Newton's® site, I believe the Liquin will change my water-soluble oil paints into traditional oil paints and rather than diluting in water and washing the brushes after in water, I'll have to use turpentine.

I haven't explored this process before and so don't know the parameters or how the colours of the oils will work over the underpainting. In the last two 'on black' paintings I found it was necessary to paint very thick layers of oil paint and I wasn't able to work on detail as I might have liked.


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Untitled

From Untitled

A long, slow process, clearly. While I don't yet know who these people are, I'm getting to know them. In a way I like this as is, the whitely drawn figures on swish of black paint. But colour inevitably beckons. Now that I've learned how to post large images in small packets, you can better see what's there when you click to full screen. This image is an unbelievable 1496×1872 pixels and is only 292KB!


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My next painting in progress...

             
From Next Painting

untitled, 24" x 30", 61cm x 76.2cm, acrylic bone black base, chalk sketch

Titled, my 'next painting' until the images become clearer and I can see what is emerging. The first figure has been sitting on my easel for a week or two now. I hadn't intended to draw a male, or a figure like that, and it's taken some time to accept what arose in the chalk. Today I thought to add another similar figure, so traced the original onto parchment paper, cut it out, and quickly chalked the edges in to get what you see in the second image. Waiting for a title to make itself known.


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Midnight Sun: Wind Over Grass

From Midnight Sun: Wind Over Grass, 28" x 22", 71cm x 56cm, oil on canvas, 2010.

A painting depicting contact dance - which is... out of the dance studio, for sure, and into the dreamtime! And a solar eclipse, which reminds me of the black light, the midnight sun of the mystics.

When the river runs in bands, water ribbons her arm. Or she dances on rocks across. Those who support uphold everything in the underpainting. What is there to say of wheat fields or grass curling flames? Under the midnight sun strange dreams dance with intent.


This painting took 20 days to complete, from Jan 5th to 25th. Though I did initially work from an old sketch, I discarded it. The images developed, like in a dream, of their own volition organically. The figures and landscape are imaginal. It's finished, even if in 6 months when the oil paint is dry, I add a few details.


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Still working on Wind Over Grass...

From Wind Over Grass, a painting (click for larger)

Wind Over Grass, 28"x22", 71x56cm, oil paint on acrylic black base, 2010, blocking shape and colour - solar eclipse added. Photographed indoors in window light, no flash.


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Wind Over Grass - blocking shape and colour

It's not that I'm absent. I'm always here. There's so much I cannot speak of. Before it was different, I was able to weave things into prosepoetry that obscured while clarifying, you know how that is.

I am doing things I want to be doing, though. Today I had my second hour editing a manuscript. I have to go to a coffee shop, be trapped with nothing else to do; it works. On this mms I give myself until the end of June, that should be amble time.

At night I spend a minimum of an hour painting. To do that has its odd requirements too, but I am able to settle myself enough to enter the paint.

There is duress. Energy, focus, not easy. Yet I am doing it - with a few tricks. Since I know myself so well I know what'll motivate and what won't.

We are our last mysteries, aren't we. Though after many years of living as who we are, we become accustomed to ourselves, and our idiosyncracies. We learn how to negotiate our devious psychic terrains, how to point ourselves in a direction, how to stay on track.

_
Wind Over Grass, 28"x22", 71x56cm, 2010, blocking shape and  colour. Photographed at night with flash, two photos merged to make it appear as it is (so far - still far to go).

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Wind Over Grass - first wash of colour

From Wind Over Grass, a painting

Wind Over Grass, 28"x22", 71x56cm, 2010, first wash of colour. Click for larger. Photographed in shadow on a sunny day. The texture of the brushstroke and colour is quite good. This painting is going to take awhile - still far to go.


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Wind Over Grass - underpainting

From Wind Over Grass, a painting
Wind Over Grass, 28"x22", 71x56cm, 2010, underpainting, on canvas.

Underpainting- an acrylic base, a chalk drawing that instead of erasing I painted over in 'Bone Black.' Difficult to photograph! Click for larger size that's easier to see (you'll go to Picasa, to the album for this painting-to-be).

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Daphne


Daphne, 2009, 8"x11", 21.5cmx28cm, India ink, acrylic, oil pastel on archival paper. Sketch & poem here. Click on image for larger size.

I am happier with this painting now. In it I see elements from different fairy and mythic tales, but she is Daphne. She is composed from my imagination.

Steven said, 'I have only been able to give the picture a quick look.  But I enjoyed a strange chilliness – not in a sense of anything emotionally frigid, but something wintery, something gelid, something in the tree branches that suggested icicles.  And I loved the eyes.  Two such different eyes to have on one face, and both so full of personality.  And the way the tilt of the eyes was taken up by the mouth.'

Yes, I felt Persephone, the onset of Winter, as I was drawing her!
_

Here is a little slideshow of the stages of the poem painting (click to go to Picasa for a larger viewing):



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Shaman



'Shaman: Reflective Face,' 2009, 13"x16"; 33cmx41cm;
India inks, oil pastels, acrylic, varnish and dried leaves on archival paper

No idea why I keep working on it - wasn't my original idea or even close (which was some colorful decorative masks) and I don't know where he came from, or why painting his face is so difficile. Because I took him to DOWH yesterday for the alter, and the women said, 'oh he's a shaman!' he now has a new title. Shaman, he is.

(In my original conception one aspect I wished for was cat eyes, not quite but almost-sort-of, eyes that can see in the dark - how else is a shaman to get about in the obscure spirit worlds?)

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Dancers After Midnight


Dancers After Midnight, 2009, 8"x11", 20cmx28cm, oil pastel, India inks on paper

It's called 'Dancers After Midnight' because I sketched it in the midnight air, and finished at maybe 2am, when the air was still dark smoky blue-black.

Recently I've been 'put through the paces' over my work by someone I considered a friend but who turned out not to be supportive of my painting. In summarily dismissing almost all of my work, it was called 'abstract,' a label that mystifies me. I would say that if one liked a more Classical style of painting, stillness, realism, then my work would not be adequate, but neither would I call what I do 'abstract.'

How can I explain my art? Let me try.

When I work I like to create something realistic enough for you to recognize the subject matter, yet I like imperfection because life is like that. I like to see the brush-stroke, which to me is like the breath of the artist breathing onto the canvas. And a calligraphy of drawing, the poetry of the lines, is crucial. As is motion: rhythms of colour, sweeps of brushstroke, moments of tension between forms.

Slick does not suit me; I like it raw.

When I paint, it tears my heart out of my chest. Can you see my pulse beating there, in the dance of oils and inks?

I like beautiful, on this side of frenzied.

If I had to accept a label, I would say my art is somewhere between drawing and painting. My main influences are an incredibly diverse range of artists both contemporary and throughout history. I think the way you paint is linked to your biological gesture in the world. That paint and inks do not come out of tubes or bottles but fingertips.

My ex-friend and I have parted ways.

I guess the lesson is that you have to believe in yourself. That's most important.

Be true to yourself and follow your vision.

It's important not just to support and nurture the talents of others, but to have friends who support and nurture ours. When there is a balance, of give and take, a crucial reciprocity, we can freely explore and express our gifts, which are, afterall, our sacred offerings.


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Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes



Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes, pencil, India ink, fixative, acrylic matte medium, watercolour pencils, oil paint on archival paper, 12¾"x10", 2006. Digital version, 2009.

This morning I vacuumed the apartment (uh huh), and then did yoga (yah) with the intent to "do" the tasks I'd set for the day (a major clean-out of a closet, working on 2 paintings). The 'yoga with intent' didn't seem to be working since after the yoga I ended up dancing like a crazy cotton-tail all about my small space grateful that I was alone. What do you expect if you're listening to Buddha Bar? That went on for some time. Song after song found me kicking and jumping and shaking my hips, I couldn't stop. After I settled down after lunch, oh strange occurrence considering there hasn't been a night in many months that I haven't thought about starting the final painting in the Women in the Seasons series and day after day I've resisted, you know, I put a large piece of Plexiglas on the twin pull-out leaves of my desk, a few clamp lamps underneath, and transferred figures to delicious 300lb Arches watercolour paper! Pleased to report that guilt for a year (over not starting this final painting of a series) = gone.

While I was looking for the set of figure drawings I've been using for the Women in Seasons series, I found this little painting. Yeah, she's the same life drawing model who graces the Women in Seasons series, only I've not painted this pose in those paintings. I find the final digital composition of my afternoon's work on how best to present the image with its layering (only about half a dozen layers in the image), multiples, repetitions, colouring intriguing. It's fun to play digitally, though I like to base my digital work on images of an actual drawing or painting, which in turn is composed from sketches from lifedrawing sessions... (didn't Wallace Stevens say something about always basing your work on the 'real'? I like that.)

I scanned the painting in two sections and stitched it together in Photoshop Elements 6, which is what I use on my iMac. The central image that I have titled is the high resolution scan. Then I took a photograph of the painting on the smoky-coloured Plexiglass with the light shining through it. Through the afternoon the images got attached to each other, and then a third, and digitally painting a framing, and, here it is, sharing...

(click on Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes for a larger version)

Later: after 2am now... since this was a simple project with few layers , I created a short slideshow out of saved versions. Click through to Picasa if you'd like to see it larger, with captions:



Direct link:
Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes

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Celestial Dancer III - mid-way



When this painting is a little drier, I'll work on the details - though surprisingly if cropped a bit it looks almost finished now. It was not easy to come back to this figure when I have let her sit in storage and my rooms here and in Vancouver unfinished for 5 years. With courage and force of will, I began to complete it. First I tried painting her on an easel, which  perhaps isn't my style in that I probably dance over the work as I am painting. A quick trip out to purchase 2 yards of thick clear plastic at Honest Ed's, the kind for tables in Italian restaurants, would protect my living room floor. I placed it on the floor, with a little prayer that neither my cat nor my dog would inadvertently wander over the painting space, the canvas surface of wet oils, along with a long piece of unused canvas on the side in case of spills, and shone a clamp lamp with a daylight bulb on the area. And then carefully laid the painting flat and wetted it and painted from the tube with fingers and washes with a large thick brush and oh solitary dramatics in an attempt to feel my way into the movement of the dance, her moment of stillness... she is graceful, beautiful, I don't know if that comes across. Hope so!

Celestial Dancer III, 2004-2009, 2'x3', 61x91.5cm, oil on canvas

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Julie McGregor's Art: A Spectral Mine


Julie McGregor's art is figurative, richly coloured, with dense backgrounds of oil embedded into the canvas. An heir of the Impressionists and the Group of Seven, she takes the palette further, exploring the nuances and depths of her subjects, their beauty, their slight asymmetries, the way they are contained in the multi-coloured brushwork she has sculpted them out of. Not just thick light revealing the features of her figures, but the surfaces glow with jewel-like dabs and dashes giving the sense of a spectral mine illumined from within by its precious ores. In all of her works an inner power emanates, as if from the energies of the earth itself. Check out her paintings. Beautiful.

Julie McGregor is a Toronto artist and jazz singer.







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Birth Paintings, 1986-1989



It's only taken me 10 years to do this! A slideshow. Large enough to see. A page at my Art & Writings Website. Even a price sticker. The option to order art prints is always available and preferable.


(Click on the slideshow anywhere to go to Picasa and view a 'larger show.' If you have Cooliris installed, then of course you can view at fullscreen.)

From Brenda Clews, Birth Paintings 1987-1989

______
Direct Link: Birth Paintings, 1987-1989
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Women In Summer, 2008, Picasa Slideshow



Women In Summer, Oil paint, watercolour pencils, India ink on Waterford watercolour paper, 72.5cm x 52cm, 28.5" x 20.5"

I've posted a slideshow of the process of this painting before, but that was a Flickr slideshow (that I could only get to run backwards, if readers at that time recall), and this is a Picasa one (which runs forward very nicely, thank you Picasa). Apparently I did not keep the larger originals when I uploaded the series to Flickr. What. Else. Is. New. Hours spent searching on various hard drives and finally downloading what I'd uploaded at Flickr, and then uploaded to Picasa with embedded copyright info in each photo for the new Art Website.

Via an inserted 'Google Spreadsheet' I can get comments at my new Google Site art & poetry site! Sweet!

From Women In Summer - the process of painting



direct link to the slideshow: Women In Summer
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Women In Spring Slideshow for 'Under Construction' Art Website



Women In Spring, 2008

I've spent the last few hours locating these images between two computers, and attempting to represent the colour accurately by uploading, fiddling in Photoshop Elements, uploading... you get the idea. They are larger images than I have previously uploaded.

Hopefully in Picasa I'll figure out how to do 'individual slideshows' and then one large one since I am doing these for my new art website: https://sites.google.com/site/brendaclews/

For reasons I accept (if it's a team website the danger of images being accidentally deleted by any number of users is quite high), Google Sites does not allow you to delete images you've uploaded. So I'm going to host the images from Google's Picasa.

This painting is one of my favourites, and looks better 'in the painted flesh,' on my wall, than in the final image (perhaps I need to take a new photo of it), but I hope it imparts some joy to you.

There's a bunch of writing around it at the website on the main page.

Brenda's Art Website.

From Women In Spring - Brenda Clews
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"Mujeres," by Juan Gelman

A bello compliment I found on the Internet. Juan Gelman is a well-known Argentinian poet.


Igooh | Letras
Thumbnail del usuario: betzalel
betzalel | 18/09/2008 |

"Debía tener unas 12397 mujeres en su mujer"

"Mujeres", un hermoso poema de Juan Gelman, recitado en su voz.

Tags: juan gelman, mujeres, mujer, poema, poesía, audio, brenda clews


"Mujeres en verano". (Brenda Clews)

Mujeres



decir que esa mujer era dos mujeres es decir poquito
debía tener unas 12397 mujeres en su mujer
era difícil saber con quién trataba uno
en ese pueblo de mujeres
ejemplo:

yacíamos en un lecho de amor
ella era un alba de algas fosforescentes
cuando la fui a abrazar
se convirtió en singapur llena de perros que aullaban
recuerdo
cuando se apareció envuelta en rosas de agadir
parecía una constelación en la tierra
parecía que la cruz del sur había bajado a la tierra
esa mujer brillaba como la luna de su voz derecha

como el sol que se ponía en su voz
en las rosas estaban escritos todos los nombres de esa mujer menos uno
y cuando se dio vuelta
su nuca era el plan económico
tenía miles de cifras y la balanza de muertes favorables a la dictadura militar
nunca sabía uno adónde iba a parar esa mujer
yo estaba ligeramente desconcertado
una noche le golpeé el hombro para ver con quién era
y vi en sus ojos desiertos un camello

a veces
esa mujer era la banda municipal de mi pueblo
tocaba dulces valses hasta que el trombón empezaba a desafinar
y los demás desafinaban con él
esa mujer tenía la memoria desafinada

usté podía amarla hasta el delirio
hacerle crecer días del sexo tembloroso
hacerla volar como pajarito de sábana
al día siguiente se despertaba hablando de malevich

la memoria le andaba como un reloj con rabia
a las tres de la tarde se acordaba del mulo
que le pateó la infancia una noche del ser
ellaba mucho esa mujer y era una banda municipal

yo
compañeros
una noche como ésta que
nos empapan los rostros que a lo mejor morimos
monté en el camellito que esperaba en sus ojos
y me fui de las costas tibias de esa mujer

callado como un niño bajo los gordos buitres
que me comen de todo
menos el pensamiento
de cuando ella se unía como un ramo
de dulzura y lo tiraba en la tarde

Visitar la galería de cuadros de Brenda Clews en Flickr


"Debía tener unas 12397 mujeres en su mujer" fue publicada por betzalel el 18/09/2008 a las 11.28 en Letras.
Ha sido marcada con los tags juan gelman, mujeres, mujer, poema, poesía, audio, brenda clews
y recibido 0 comentarios.

Link to the original page.
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First Wash of a new painting...



This drawing sat on my desk, it's 55mm x 74mm, 300lb archive watercolour paper, on that piece of plywood, under tissue paper, since last Summer. Many things have rested on it, papers, purses, gloves, hat, scarf, sweaters, until I cleaned it all up a week ago. Yesterday afternoon I threw water all over it, which ran everywhere, on the floor, all over my class notes (requiring a 'drying out' on a towel in the living room) but never mind that, and started rubbing paint in.

The painting wasn't too bad, really it wasn't. But for no reason that I can think of I found a Waterman fountain pen that still had ink in it (oh, rue the day for pens with ink when you shouldn't!) and inked in the figures, after they'd had their first wash of paint. I only looked at the lines, was comforted in the process of outlining and ignored the whole painting in my act.

What a mess! Why'd I do that? Inking by rote, rather than with a sensitivity to the image?

Now I have to try to clean up- the inked lines far too dark and insensitive. Because I drew them after the first wash of colour, the colour doesn't adhere to them, nor did they bleed into that first wash as would normally happen (since I used to ink first, then paint).

Oooh, la!

Is this why it sat like an accuser on my desk for over 6 months saying, paint, paint, when I would choose the 'by rote' path rather than the 'in the moment' shifting and changing as light and colour asked, and be forced to confront my own predilections, my own habitual patterns, all the immovable grids in my perception?

Arghhhh.........

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First Wash



Painting with water-soluble oil pastels, a figure that became sinewy with flesh tones, reds, greens and tree-trunk browns, while listening to "Alex," my computer's best voice, reading a long piece of writing by a young friend...

Highlight the text to be read, hit the keys you've set up to start the text-to-speech recognition, and voilà! Free to work and listen to whatever you'd like in the big net-wide world.
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Women In Summer



If anyone knows the code to reverse the order of a Flikr slideshow I'd appreciate it. It's currently running backwards, from finished painting through all the stages to the drawing, which is a bit awkward. Women In Summer, I'm happy to say, is finished.

(Clicking any of the images will stop the slideshow and provide more of the info I included for the picture.)

Also, I've grouped this series on one page by the tag, WomenInSummer, at Flickr, here.
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