I drove out to Folk Tree Lodge this afternoon after my pond exploration with Max. After a couple of days of rain, the world was brilliant green and blue. It was the absolutely most perfect day for a drive west toward the mountains.
White puffs of seed playfully made their way to the ground…magic!
May has as her vegetation, the pussy willow and as her featured animal, mother and baby moose; June, the dandelion and the bear waking after winter’s rest. I treasure these angels so much and I enjoy my monthly ride out to see Alvise. It was nice to compare travel stories about the Lake Superior route and eastern Canada experiences. It makes me hungry for a big road trip!
I was thinking about these angels and today’s news about Tragically Hip’s musician Gord Downie. Driving home, CBC radio played Courage…and I thought how appropriate that I should be collecting this beautiful series of angels.
I drove out to see Alvise (pronounced Al vee zay) at his wood working studio on location at the Folk Tree Lodge.
I gave him a call, as we arrived and in a minute or so, he appeared at the studio door, on bike with an angel raised up and suspended in one of his hands. It was a bit of a surreal image.
April’s angel features a nesting goose. I’ve been watching the same at Frank’s Flats. The nesting has begun! Our little angel’s skin tone is just slightly darker and the symbolism for the month is April showers. Such a beautiful day for Max and me! As we pulled out to come back home, there were, indeed, very light sprinkles. I think, given our dry winter, it would be a welcome thing to experience some rain showers. Another gorgeous weekend!
Max and I did our big hike-about and then decided for a drive out to see Alvise and to pick up the second angel. I am big on walking, with no purpose but to walk. The same goes for driving…nothing is more wonderful than getting out onto the roads to explore and to see how the seasons are changing. Arriving at the studio, it was so lovely to breath in that wonderful air that comes with being in close proximity to the mountains. Dripping with the scent of evergreen and melting snow, the morning has left me ready to curl up for a nap.
This month’s blue-eyed angel is embellished with the Equinox. The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year. The animal represented on this angel is the rabbit (in our neighbourhood, these guys are just losing their winter coats) and the alder lichen, one of the rabbits’ favourites. I felt the angel was calling out for a hug and so I embraced her! Beautiful!
Welcome home, little lady!
On the drive back to the city, I really enjoyed a CBC interview with musician, Hayden. In his career in music, he has experienced and thought about all of the same things as I have as a visual artist, but for slightly different reasons. It was a very affirming experience to hear this interview.
Time spent in the East Village, working with the folk from create!, was treasured time and so good for my soul. We tried to bring into our midst the energy of mothers and the feminine…welcoming memories of our mothers, the earth and, for me, Mary. It was such a beautiful two afternoons. I feel blessed to be with such creative people with so many powerful stories. I thank Wendy Lees for opening up this opportunity in my life.
The lesson involved a conversation about how artists use references in order to create, some more than others. We talked about using historical references and real life references. The act of painting landscapes on location is called plein air. I described the importance of asking for permission from photographers when using contemporary images as references.
All of this reminds me of a conversation that I once shared with Father Carroll. We always had such wonderful chats. He shared this Latin quote with me. So, while most art has roots in other art or reference points, it is important that the artist explore a personal interpretation or reaction to that reference point.
ars est celare artem
True art is to conceal art
This is evident in the following example, looking at a Frida Kahlo Self Portrait and compared to Bronwyn Schuster’s fabric sculpture.
Frida Kahlo. Self-Portrait (Dedicated to Leon Trotsky). 1937. Oil on masonite. 76.2 x 61 cm. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., USA.
Bronwyn Schuster Acquisition
Some people prefer to refer to angels as guiding spirits…for me, it doesn’t matter how you look at the theme. We have much to be grateful for, in considering the ‘maternal’ in our communities. Painting angels at the East Village was a joy.
Alanna shared that she added wings to the woman sitting before the table and that the angel was her mother. She remembered sharing a table with her own mother. It was a very powerful moment for me.
Thanks to the group, for sharing flowers and a birthday gift bag with me. Thanks to Mark who gave me a rosary. Thanks for the genuine hearts.
Thanks to Rich Theroux for realizing his vision! Photo credit to Doug Wong.
Photo courtesy of Doug Wong
Great fun, collaboration and creative energy was exerted in another action-packed art battle at the Gorilla House. I was pleased to meet another blogging-artist in the mix and think that Belinda creates intensely coloured and dynamically patterned works. (she also takes amazing archives and I appreciate her loan of a photograph) Welcome to the battles, girlie!
Belinda, Courtesy of Calgary’s Doug Wong
The three concepts of the evening were 1. science and progress 2. she left me for another and 3. angels. As I began to ruminate about the first topic, pattern came to mind. I think that what we have discovered as scientists and engineers has much to do about the discovery of patterns…I assembled bits of cast off pattern pieces that I inherited from my seamstress-mother and applied them to the surface of my panel.
Photo Credit: Doug Wong
This base informed the remainder of the piece….as I contemplated lost love, my mother, progression through life, of any sort and finally, in the literal sense, an angel. I stylized her to a great extent. I think that the part of the process I most-questioned was my colour palette. I suppose it felt ‘cotton candy’ for me. It was a tad too sweet for my liking. I am very grateful to Laurane who generously purchased this piece at auction. I also thank my mother who seemed to be informing this piece. The only text I wrote in gold metallic pen was, “Your love was enough.”
My readers are likely wondering when this wall mural is going to be completed…it’s coming!! I continue to embellish and paint into the negative spaces and today Marilyn worked to create a rich sense of warm violet/red soil beneath the tree. You will know that the piece is completed once I paint the Omega symbol in the bottom right of the picture plane.
Today, ten-year-old Dylan was welcomed into the space and adhered his angel to the wall, shown here just to the left of his head. I told him that in twenty-five years, he will be able to bring his friends and family into this space and explain that this is where he stood in 2012 and posed for this photograph for me. Thank you, Dylan. I think that his angel is a bit of a caricature…so whimsical and lovely.
More than One Hundred Angels Contributed by Children
Water in the Font...Remembrances of Baptisms Just This Past Weekend
It was very peaceful at St. Albert the Great Parish, as Marilyn and I painted yesterday afternoon.
Everywhere, symbols of our Easter journey! It had been pouring down rain all afternoon and the light was subdued. Working in the St. Anne’s room on the Tree of Life, felt like being cozy at home on a bad-weather day.
Kindergarten Angel...Like an Egg...A Spirit Yet Unborn...Small Cry in a Cacophony Of Angel Voices
By the time we left the church, it had begun to snow…large wet flakes. A magical transformation that led, eventually, to about a five inch accumulation on everything. The trees were particularly beautiful. Because there was so much snow, I didn’t go out to Change the Landscape: One Bag At a Time and it was a wonderful respite.
A very brief slide show, with a few images from our home parish, St. Albert the Great.
Because I teach today, I went into the church to paint yesterday afternoon. Marilyn joined me again and together, we shared stories of faith and immersed ourselves in the whimsy of the angels on the wall. It’s rewarding to see the layers building and from a distance, a rich surface is coming to life. Ajay is one of the grade six students who will be confirmed by the Bishop next week. I keep him in my prayers as he makes his journey of faith.
If you look up to the top left hand corner, you will see some progress on the painting. I’m reading the work from left to right, two feet at a time….then back to left right, until I reach the bottom and the Omega. This process involves developing the background and the childrens’ angels with layers of paint, scripture and more names of the baptized.
Jesus is at the Root of Things
Prayer on my heart throughout this time…
“May the heart of Jesus, in the most Blessed Sacrament,
Be praised, adored and loved, with grateful affection,
At every moment in the tabernacles of the world.
Even to the end of time. Amen”
The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert