Margy and I got caught up chatting with Phillip and bid Anna and him good-bye with hugs before heading over to Weeds Cafe for a Montreal spiced meat sandwich and Italian soda. It was a pretty nice feeling. When you go out on a Love Art in Calgary tour, your brain goes “ZING” and you find yourself processing so much great insight…sometimes it’s a good decision to punctuate! On we raced to the studio of Mark Vazquez-Mackay.
Mark’s studio was magical, but how can it not be when he has such a beautiful way of seeing life and his world. I think that he is extremely generous and very community centered. His hands and mind are engaged a lot in terms of visual arts in Calgary and we need to be grateful for people like him. He generates a lot of chatter. I really do treasure the fact that we got a window into just a small part of what he does and accomplishes.
I liked learning about his use of ivory black to mix colour. I liked that he had a Lucien Freud book perched against a wall. (I am nuts over Lucien Freud’s figurative works.) I was excited to have him demonstrate his exploration of camera obscura, his connection with Vermeer, his insights after reading David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters. I felt so excited about his vision around public art and his open concept of public art everywhere. I had a warm heart as he spoke of his son, the innovative and driven musician who worked alongside his Dad to paint his mother’s eyes on his front yard fence. Generally speaking, his time spent with us was jam-packed and invaluable!
Mark, impacted personally by the spring flood of last year in Calgary, appears to have not missed a heartbeat, but, with determination and resilience, rebuilt and then some. He is a hero to our arts community. A good person.
I’ve written sometimes about the objects of our affection…about how our objects hold memory and such. In Mark’s studio, I felt that I was surrounded in a blanket of so much love, perception and imagination. Truly remarkable! Thank you.