Category Archives: professional artists

Melding two groovy mediums

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I’ve come to a place in my artistic life where I need to jerk myself away from the traps of technology and just shutter down for a bit.

My son visited me a few weeks ago. He came to spend time with his mother and to kiss his babies goodbye. See, for quite a few years he has been collecting some rather impressive vinyl. If I had appreciated them like he does I would not have asked him to get them out of my house. He gave them snuggles and then sold them all before heading back to Calgary. It was very hard on him. But it took spending several days listening to them with him to really get it. THIS SHIT IS GOOD. And his eclectic variety in music still makes me shake my head.

After he left to go home to his beautiful wife, my two sisters, the oldest and the youngest, descended upon my home to visit me and my mother who lives one floor above me. She has dementia so I am working hard to give her as much independence as she can have for as long as she can have it. That was a beautiful weekend and I loved the true feeling of family that I came away with.

This is week one of nobody in my home and I thought for sure I would dive into the studio and start the next project. My team, The Otown Bombers, had completed a yarnbombing of an entire park three weeks ago. I am proud to say we broke a record with this one. No media coverage this time, but I did post our own signs requesting that, while we know our stuff is awesome, could you possibly leave it for two weeks before you steal it so that the whole community can enjoy our art form. I also posted a Thank You at the four corners of the park to the Algonquin for the use of their land. It was a good bomb.

But I did not dive into a new project, I ignored the studio for two days but finally went in with the intention of tidying it as it had become a dumping ground. That done, you would think I would be inspired to start a new creation right? With a pinch of shame I say I was not inspired. I dragged my ass for 5 days more.

Tonight, as I walked down the hallway I caught myself peeking into the studio. I walked back to the living room and sat my big ass on the couch to watch tv. After 30 minutes of that felt uneasy. I went past the studio again and said to myself, “Don’t go in there.” Then I heard myself ask myself, ” What are you afraid of?” And my damn self replied, “If I go in I may never want to come out.”

This is the reason my life feels so mundane lately. I’m not feeding my soul, my calling, my intelligence and passion. I’m stuffing it with digital, meaningless and utterly consuming techgarbage. TV, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, asscheck, spitneck, when the heck this shit gonna let me alone! Realistically, I had to ask my own self, ” when am I going to walk away?”

That would be today. I am challenging myself to pay attention to the artist that I am. Realistically I know in this day and age and my level of discipline, that I cannot walk away permanently. I am connected to a lot of special people through technology that I otherwise wouldn’t have the resources or energy to stay connected to people I love.

So, what am I willing to do? Well, sitting here listening to my son’s Rolling Stones, Black and Blue, I am willing to trade one noise for another. I will be replacing the the hum of the internet for the scratchy whispers of all the vinyl in my possesion and if I run out, I’ll just buy some more and learn to appreciate the passion of collecting music like my son. I challenge myself to leave my tv off for 30 days. No more News, Netflix, Crave etc. that keep me bound to a big screened idiot box. I will refrain from social media. I will post nothing. If  in an urgent moment, only private messages to save a life or help someone. I can do anything else I chose while listening to music. I am allowed to listen to music online but no videos.

Now, that I’m blogging about this is kinda oxymoronic,  yes?  Ummm yeah, and it will be my last public post for 30 days beginning June 1st. My birthday falls within the 30 day challenge but if I don’t do it now I know I never will.

You ever have one of those moments where the idea is larger than you logic or fear? This is one of mine.

I hope this made some sense to fellow creatives who get or are snarled in the morass of THE MUNDANE. It happens more often than our free frolic but I do hope this is a way for me to push myself past the swamp and onto the beach.

 

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Open Studio Weekend One

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What a great weekend for art and weather. Both were amazing and plentiful. Lots of sunshine and lots of art enthusiasts and artists all in one building. If you didn’t get a chance to come to The Loft and EBA open studio you have another chance this coming weekend to treat your eyes, heart, mind and soul with incredible, some edible, treasures.

 

 

My absence is a signal

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Well it’s been some months since my last blog. Sound the alarms!

I am sure I am not the only person to look at the world and scream “FUCK YOU!!”  As a matter of fact I just uttered the same phrase to my keyboard that insists on switching to French anytime it gets a croissant moment. This is the definite starting point of machines taking over. I’m serious yo~!

I’m reaching around many things in my mind these days about my social status. And I don’t mean where I stand in my career and financial blessings. I mean, where do I fit in this community and do people associate me with one thing or another and…..where do I want to be if anywhere at all? As of late, I’ve not wanted to be around big social events surrounded by people that I “should be” networking with.  I haven’t felt generous at all and have grown weary of giving away my art to charity.

As a matter of fact I’ve not wanted to be with people at all for the past 2 months. It’s nothing about you…it’s all about me so you can exhale. I’m hating my bloated body and acne scars vehemently lately. I know once I let go of my attachment to such self defeating thoughts I will be fine but it has really rocked me to the core recently. I blame it on the winter. You see, I’m a summer solstice baby and nothing makes me more angry and depressed than snow, hail, sub zero temps and general miserable weather with very little or no sun. I have a legitimate “out” when I’m being a royal C U Next Tuesday. And, deep down, I know that I shouldn’t be let off the hook quite so easily but I can usually persuade people to leave me the fuck alone quickly.

I’d like to apologize to those that I’ve fluffed off and left hanging because I couldn’t get my shit together. I won’t promise it won’t happen again because it probably will. I’m prone to winter blues and I’ve accepted that for some time now. I tend to loose a friend or two during the winter but those are the people that don’t know me well enough yet and have not invested heavily in forming a friendship or getting to know me. If you read this and want to stick it out…it’s all good, just be ready for the wrath of winter.

But spring is………….almost……………here…………I think.

Last week I attended an art conference with a very good American woman who consistently feeds me with opportunities to grow artistically. She’s a silent art ninja and can sometimes coax me out of my cave. It was a well organized and intimate event in Carp. It was informative, interesting and I learned quite a bit about stone masons (the history and traditions of stone masons is uber cool), copper printing and social media.  Each expert gave a one hour talk.  The final speaker was Jesse Stewart who really amazed me with his mandalas, his collecting everyday articles and actually using them in large scale, impressive audio and visual masterpieces. I would do this conference every spring for sure.

Afterward we went on a little tour of Almonte. I recommend this town to anyone living in Ottawa. It’s a little gem that reminds you that simple is simply delicious. Big, bold and shiny is great but sometimes humble is necessary.  Lo and behold we found one of Otown’s brilliant artists, Cynthia O’Brien in Almonte. She was exhibiting the experience of her residency in Australia at General Fine Craft and Art . I was automatically impressed and envious. I dream is to do a residency in a warm climate…it will happen..until then…I am and will be envious. Cynthia always makes me investigate every inch of her sculptures. She’s a clever artist and I look forward to everything she does.

We then mowsied down to a tiny little gallery for the vernisage of my art ninja’s relative. She was also a speaker at our Art Conference in Carp. Her name is Barbara Gamble and I was most impressed with her dedication to artists’ rights and to preserving endangered species of Canadian flora through her art. I think her encaustics are stunning!

That lifted my spirits so much that I went straight to the studio for a week straight. I’ve begun work on the second zentangle and have plans for two more. Then I will begin work on smaller pieces. I have an idea for a show and I want to have enough pieces to pull it off. Stay tuned on that one. Send me some steel balls and a bowl full of gusto too would you? This is a leap for me.

Even though spring and summer are hesitating like mofos I’m going to pursue gardening and acrylics for the next three months. Please be patient with my constant declinations to your invitations to be consistently drunk and dancing this summer! I might dip in once in a while but this summer is all about my art. To quote our Madonna, “And I’m not sorry, It’s human nature, and I’m not sorry, I’m not your bitch don’t hang your shit on me.”

But seriously, don’t take it personally,  tee hee .

Back in January I began my journey with Zentangle. I am so enjoying this trip. Here are some teasers from my “giantangles” as I like to call them. Stay tuned for the complete collection this fall.

   bw      bw2     bw1

turq3    turq1     turq2

Many new insights into me

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mlgcomish2

..because it’s all about me…didn’t you know?

I’m having some AHA’s lately. I’ve realized that I love my job and am fighting for it tooth and nail. I’ve been here 15 years, that’s not a mistake . I had a conversation with someone trying to recall what we said we wanted to be when we grew up. I can remember always wanting to be an artist and when I hit typing class in high school (of course I was always pretty high for typing class)  I knew I wanted to be a receptionist. This was recently confirmed when I came across an old report card from grade 9 and my only A was in Typing class. The rest of the marks never made it past a B and were as low as D (math ickkk). I wanted to work in a highrise office building in a big city like the women on TV did from 9 to 5. Guess what? I’m doing both and I’m doing both very well I might add.  I just have to learn not to become the old dog that people need to teach new tricks to. I think I’m keeping up pretty well there too.

Often, in the back of my mind I worry that I might have wasted my time by not diving full-time into my art but if I’m not making enough money at it so far, it’s a no brainer that I stick with my day job as well, nes pas? There is an argument that I might be able to sell more of my art if I dedicated more time to it. It’s a very hard act to balance but I like a roof over my head and food in my belly. I sometimes feel less of an artist than professional artists are. The only difference between they and I are that they can live off what they produce and I have not been able to yet. What does it take to make that leap of faith and just trust that your art will sustain you? Do I wait until someone discovers my work and wisks me off into instant fame and fortune (every artist’s dream I guarantee) or do I have to die so that my son can become wealthy off my small collection?

I have made “some” money selling my art and I’m about to make another little chunk of change with my first ever commission. I love the idea of someone giving me a phrase and asking me to paint it for them. I think that my client has put a tremendous amount of faith in me and for that I am more grateful than I am for the cash in my bank account. Pictured above is the beginning of the commissioned piece…I love posting paintings at various stages of birth. The phrase is, ” We live on a blue planet that circles a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea and you don’t believe in miracles?” Brilliant!

The Zentangle is coming along quite nicely too. I’m loving that I can’t seem to tear myself away from the studio lately. I missed a great social event last Friday night (sorry Miss China Doll) because I got so caught up in the zone that I didn’t even leave the studio until midnight! Then on Saturday I rushed back to the studio but forced myself to leave by 6:30 pm so that I wouldn’t miss Bill Staubi’s 60th birthday party/fundraiser for some pretty incredible young dancers named the Dandelion Dance Company. It was kizmet because I got to hang out, chill and sing with my favorite Diva, Thank You Miss China Doll . What a great night. I have learned my lesson, all paint and no play can make Justy, well, forgettable. And we can’t have that. NO NO NO NO!

I’ve come to the conclusion that this art community will have me no matter what I try to do to sabotage it. I’m pretty good at that but this art community is even gooder, yes I said gooder, at surrounding, supporting and loving their local, quirky, kooky, fantastic artists no matter what level they are on. Wait, are there levels? Or did I just make that up? Can someone clear that up for me please? gigglesnorts

Oh, an aside for yall…I won another Martelock work of art. And so in sync with my owl obsession as of late. Shown off by the loverly, lucious and oh so classy, Miss China Doll

Chinabucket