And… that’s another year almost put to bed. Truth be told, it’s one I’ll be glad to see the ass end of (I briefly considered titling this post “Kiss My Ass 2012”).
Definitely a BIG year for me, by any standard, and one of constant change. When we went to bed in the wee hours of January 1st, I had pretty concrete, definite ideas of where 2012 would go. For better or worse, though, very few of those ideas came to fruition.
It’s interesting to view it in comparison with the previous year. 2011 started badly, marked with illness and drama. But every month after that was better than the preceding one, culminating in December – which, despite certain difficulties, was easily the happiest month of my entire life.
Which only made January of 2012 even shittier in comparison, as everything bottomed out on me at once.
By the time that month was over, everything that had been good about December was gone.
And I was done.
Each of the next three months had some further catastrophic event to add to the trauma. But fortunately, lots of work was happening, and my creativity never waned. So I kept painting, kept working, and kept my head above water.
Since then it’s been up and down.
It’s only in the last month or so that things feel like they’re coming together again, and my bruised ego finally put in an appearance again. So let’s focus on that, shall we? Who had the most positive, supportive impact on my life in December?
The roll call, in no particular order:
My family, Cynthia Griffiths, Jocelyn Aspa, Greg Lexiphanic, Brendan Moran, Lori Kittelberg, Pardeep, Ceci Graber, Terry Burns, Louise Perrin, Allison Vincent, Donna-Jay Crowe, Donna Jaggard & Dan Udey, Christine Warner, Lindsay Bayne, Alex Stewart, Dan Parker, Candice Roach, Bryce Pugh, Jewel Staite, Mike Watson, John Watson, George Smeltzer, Amanda West, Jaime Lee Purgavie, Rochele Potter, Andrea Waters, Geoff Seymour, Jennifer Juniper, Lyndsey MacEwen, Cathy Browne, Cindy McShane, Mila Pasco, Felice Lam, Chantal Michaud, Geoff Gauthier, Bon Bahar, Annie Friesen, Lynn McIlwee, Tawna Taylor, Jenn Ashton, Lisa Jarvis, Jackie Teel, Kevin Meyers, Jonny Warkentin, August Wiled, Nicola Proctor, and Victoria Pattison Denault.
I thank you one and all.
Disclaimer: if I missed you, you have my sincerest apologies. And I’ll keep editing names in as they occur to me.
Sometimes a painting almost seems to come out of nowhere and touch all kinds of people. Other times, the process can be a lengthy, involved one. In this particular case, it’s a bit of both.
One night last summer I was chatting with a new friend and she happened to mention that she wanted a painting in hot pink. Further to that, she told me that she used to dance, and that she wanted art along that theme – feet and legs in pointe shoes. Time went by and we became much closer. But this idea stayed in my head. In November I drew a rough sketch of her legs and feet in the pointe shoes she’d had since she was a teenager. That original sketch has since been framed and now hangs on her living room wall:
By this point I could see the finished painting in my head pretty clearly. I started creating another of my metalflake paintings with the intention of giving it to her as a Christmas present. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the metalflake pieces take a lot longer to dry in mid-winter, because the shorter days and crappy weather mean a vastly-reduced amount of UV radiation (which speeds the drying process along).
In the end I bought her a Leonard Cohen book for Christmas, and the hot pink painting proceeded oh-so-slowly. A couple days ago I was inspecting the painting and noted that the thick, thick clearcoat was finally dry.
The end of this journey was finally in sight.
On Friday night I found myself at loose ends. I wanted to go do something social with friends, but any and all attempts to make that happen simply failed. So I mixed myself a strong Sailor Jerry’s & Coke, and started masking the painting. The whole process came together pretty quickly, and with the encouragement of my Muse, the painting was soon finished:
So there you have it – the painting was a labour of love, and it’s actually done.
Interestingly enough, I posted updates live on Twitter and then Facebook as the night progressed, and the response was stunning. So much support, so much praise, so many questions, so many people sharing the final image with friends and followers. So, I’d like to thank the people who made this so much easier: Meghan Low, Donna Jaggard, Kelly St-Laurent, Natalie Smith, Mandy Fisher, Nick Voikos, Mark Kretzschmar, Chris Hobrecker, Bruce Ng, Adé Win, Brandy Trudeau, Heather Prost, Liam Rines, Elaine Shiel, Leanne Corrigan, Tony Dunphy, Fiona Flowers, Nicole Crosby, Sean Parrack, Elizabeth Whalen, Jaime Purgavie, Melissa Hartfiel, Ceci Graber, Dale Deruiter, Vince Ng, Melissa Berg, John Lee, Dilara Litonjua, Cathy Browne, Risto Paalanen, Emily Brandt, Jackie McCaughan, Nick Routley, Amanda West, Christine Warner, Kathleen Ralph, Gary Hayden, Donna Jay-Crowe, Tina Power, Tom Van Hoose, Jackie Teel, Geoff Seymour, Winnie Huang, James Dickson, Marion Vincent, Sarah Merris, Katherine Bowes Pieters, Jewel Staite, Paulette Brown, John Bell …
… and Tess McCann, without whom this would never have even been conceivable.
12×24 inches, acrylic on canvas.
Hello again. I haven’t had much to say this past week; the Metal Flake show kinda left me drained. Been picking away at some illustration work and loosely planning two more shows, but nothing significant has gotten accomplished.
What seems to be dominating my psyche these days is a Top Secret Painting. I’m still keeping the details on the down-low, but think of it as a hymn to the Muse.
Overall piece here, prior to clearcoating and such:
And of course, the teaser:
Stay tuned, faithful readers. Further clues will be revealed in time.
One of the things that makes being an artist so fulfilling is the feedback I get from people. Another big one is knowing that my art is in so many people’s homes and offices. Ideally I’d like to have something of mine in every Canadian province and U.S. state (among many other places).
Off the top of my head, there is art of mine in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. That only leaves Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In the U.S.: California, Ohio, North Dakota, D.C., Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Virginia… obviously I’ve got a long way to go there. I’ve also sold prints, calendars and t-shirts in England and Australia.
What really floats my boat, though, is seeing the art in context – hanging on someone’s wall, where people see it every day. It’s kinda mindblowing sometimes to think that people are spending their time looking at my art that way. A handful of people have even been kind enough to send me photos:
Honestly, this does my heart good. Thanks, everybody.
Just a brief end-of-the-year post. I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support for my art over this past year: invaluable creative input on many fronts, inspiration, commissions, and print sales. I can’t begin to express how important this has all been to me. I’m starting to have an actual art career, and I couldn’t have done it without that support.
Hell, why don’t I just list some names? In no particular order: Cynthia McShane, Regan Taylor, Chad Horwedel, Berkley McLean, Lori Kittelberg & George Smeltzer, John & Chrissy Watson, Joe Clark, Mike Watson, Brandee Brown Barker, Genina Dovale, Ben Lipman, Rob Cooper, Nicole & Todd Cruickshank, Linda Kat Spencer, Cathryn Smith, Holly Morrison, Brian Cronin, Jason Williams, Eric & Jennifer Davis, Don Lloyd, Gus Lindgren, Tina Power, Neil Ford, Asa Ellerup, Alyson B. Stanfield, Paul Sizer, Lola Augustine Brown, Gary Bolt & Morna Tudor, Sean Parrack, Mike Rooth, Jeff Hotchkiss, Donald Milliken, Jason Light, Chris Nowlin, Ray Rivard, Gene Gillespie, Robert Genn, Amber Mac, Eddy Crosby, Wes Thompson, Jeff Clow, Jessi Sensabaugh, Kevin Bungay, Laura Whaley, Pól Rua, Thom Taylor, Jaye Frisina, Lisa and Rev. Paul from Mojave, Matt Osepchook, Paula McCloskey, Lief Peng, Mordechai Luchins, Daphna Luchins, Mystery Shopper, the gang(s) at CBR, deviantArt, WetCanvas, Whitechapel, Flickr and Motorburg…
… and most of all my extended family, without whom none of this would even be happening.
Thank you all so very, very much.
P.S. If I forgot to mention you, it’s a headcold-induced oversite on my part. No offense intended.