As I sort and toss, a practice that seems to be going on forever, I am getting to the end (I THINK) and I might have some valuable advice to give to young artists. I may not have a hope in Hades of ever really getting my art on a roll, but for you young sprouts, now that you live in a digitized world, please try to keep a record of your progress. Second to that, take quality photographs.
An artist who really inspires me with his practice is Mark Dicey, on Instagram. @paddlecoffin If you don’t follow his work, he is absolutely breathtakingly amazing.
Part of this revisit, just last week, included digitizing my grade nine-eleven sketchbook from 52 years ago! Cough! Sputter! It’s never too late, right?
Today, I came upon a white envelope filled with some very poor quality glossy photos of some flower paintings I did for a Tribute Show for my parents. The subjects were all based on their country gardens in Frankford, Ontario. It was an exhibit dating back a lot of years, hosted by the West End Galleries in their Edmonton location. (I have that date in my art archives somewhere.) I remember, at the time, hearing other artists poo poo painting flowers, as a subject. One person gave me permission and that was Ed Bader. Thank you, Ed. At the time, I was painting my own series of poppies as a response to losing two former students to a tragic car accident. Ed pulled together a series of books featuring a number of very significant paintings created by important historical artists, dealing with the subject of flowers. He was covering for another teacher at ACAD back in 1997.
This morning, I took photographs with my phone of some of the these teeny photographs. Now, I can toss them as I’ve got a bit of a record. As more flower paintings/sketches surface, I will post them here. If you paint flowers, I give you permission. There are a myriad of subjects for art and through any subject, you can address the ideas that are floating around in your head. It’s all valid, representational or not. Make art…and keep a record of it.
These images are all fuzzy/unfocused, cropped badly to replace their original wonky formats…likely bad colour…but, they are illusions of the originals and they make me happy. I learned a lot painting these…and they are a mere sampling of the many works present in that show. I wonder where they are now.