Category Archives: Studio

My absence is a signal

Standard

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

Standard

 

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

 

 

Inspiration Salvation

Standard

10568851_10154486826805594_8490199310403792710_n

As discussed in my previous posts I’ve been out of sorts with my studio as of late. Well this weekend my grandaughter renewed my faith in the power of paint, the power of creativity. We spent the entire day in my studio. She painted, I played with paper clay and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. She makes me smile and I love teaching her the techniques that I know. She sometimes teaches me something I didn’t know. For instance, she learned on you tube to glue gun crayons to a canvas and then use a blow dryer to melt them. The potential of this art form is immense. I think I will try it with her next time we are in studio together! In the meantime..here are some more pics of her hard at work on her creations and a little tease of what belongs in trees that I worked on.

1919675_10154486742085594_2907498257163322567_n 10408625_10154486740200594_6517693536288420798_n 10494596_10154486740205594_4143666512739361075_n 10559735_10154486801205594_1287241468350174745_n 10565118_10154486742095594_4031630887354677573_n 10592767_10154486826845594_1301291662827694382_n 10606395_10154486740210594_1630311687206395807_n 10615499_10154486740225594_426525625304346974_n

Anxiously Seeking Significance

Standard

andy-goldsworthy-2art by Andy Goldsworthy

 

I find my life has become mundane. Where my most exciting moments are about my crazy cat or my aging mother. I don’t often talk about the office because, let’s face it, it’s just another office. I love the people I work with I really do. If I had a magic wand I would be making a living in art. I just haven’t had the balls to do that yet.

I have this empty space in my mind, heart and soul right now and I am looking for something significant to fill it up with. I’m still single so it could be that I’m seeking companionship. I’ve really been neglecting my studio so maybe I need to immerse myself for an entire week. I miss my son but I won’t see him for quite some time yet. I’ve started working on my health and have lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks. All of these things are not that inspiring to me. There is something else missing.

I need a cause, perhaps a higher purpose. I need some depth in my life because at the moment I feel I could be blown away by the slightest breeze. I don’t feel like I am contributing anything meaningful.

This void, this void, what is this void?

Neglect? No more!

Standard

I’ve actually stayed away from the studio for 2 entire weeks. In those two weeks I basically ate, slept and crocheted. Oh, had to work my day job as well. Yes, I still have the day job. I’m pretty grateful for it ….most days.

So I forced myself to hit the studio last Saturday. I had every intention of getting an early start in the morning but I stalled all the way to noon. I’m very good at stalling. But I kicked my butt into gear, packed a picnic, strapped my saddle bags to the bike and made it to the studio with only two stops along the way. One was at this wonderful new little place on Gladstone right beside Detroit Soul Food. It’s called From Seed to Sausage and if I was a little more flush with cash I would have purchased something. It was a tad pricey but it’s all hand made products. You can get anything from jam to sausage to cheese and crackers and homemade extra hot horseradish. Very cool set up, like a small deli and the smells were great too. I will be stopping in again when I have moe monay. The second stop was at Cardamom and Cloves. I promised myself after I purchased all those wonderful herbs and spices for my father on Father’s Day that I would treat myself next time I went to the studio. And I did. I bought Baharat spice blend (good for grilled veggies and lamb), Long Pepper (looks like tiny black pinecones that you crush in your pestle and mortar), Thai Spice Blend (freeking amazing on shrimp and veggies in a wok, then simmer with some coconut milk..nummmm), and finally I bought some Garlic Granules (much better than powder or salt). My saddle bags smelled heavenly for days!

At the studio I struggled with where to begin. I have this huge easel to work on but no big canvases yet. I haven’t quite figured out how to get them to the studio after I purchase them. Oh yeah, I also have to budget myself to purchase them. It’s all a bit daunting at the moment but I will get there. I found these four tiny little 6″x6″ canvases that I had already primed in black. I was going to paint something else on them but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet so I went with another idea I had two days ago. I started to put the canvas on my giant easel and giggled how stupid it looked. It didn’t even stay it place because it was so small. No, these paintings were going to be done sitting at my table because anything else would be ludicrous!

So here is what I came up with. It’s just the beginning but it will be built upon to create a 3-D effect. Some glow in the dark paint and yarn will be added and then I’ll share more with you! Weeeee heee….Felt good to spend the day in the studio again. I went home when it was dark out. I almost did not want to leave.

bluetree fourtrees whitetree

 

Oh and as a post script…..I purchased my domain on WordPress today so now you can find me just by hitting the ole justydennis.com! Wooooooooohoooooooo