People in galleries…

People in galleries...

People in galleries…

Once upon a time, it was verboten to take photos in galleries. Now of course, most allow cameras (without flash). It’s so easy to just photograph everything in sight rather than contemplating the art itself. That’s the trouble with technology generally I suppose, as it can take over at the expense of the life experience.

I like taking a few shots of artwork in context – the exhibition space and particularly in the company of gallery goers. People in galleries hold a special attraction. The viewed and the viewer. Often incidental, arbitrary, perhaps distracted and always interesting. Here are a few of my favorite gallery snaps.

I took this shot recently at our National gallery, in front of Barnett Newman’s "Voice of fire" and for evident reasons. Art meets design, we all carry a little art with us.

I took this shot recently at our National gallery, in front of Barnett Newman’s “Voice of fire” and for evident reasons. Art meets design, we all carry a little art with us.

I’m always fascinated when gallery viewers seem unaware of the artwork and with all of today’s technology, it’s so easy to be somewhere else:

At this point in New York’s Metropolitan, Jackson Pollock’s "Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)" was not the main attraction.

At this point in New York’s Metropolitan, Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” was not the main attraction.

Here’s another momentarily unloved painting, Théodore Rousseau's "The Forest in Winter at Sunset". Rousseau worked on this monumental,unfinished work throughout his career. This painting defies presence on a small screen, however is wonderfully moving in person.

Here’s another momentarily unloved painting, Théodore Rousseau’s “The Forest in Winter at Sunset”. Rousseau worked on this monumental, unfinished work throughout his career. This painting defies presence on a small screen, however is wonderfully moving in person.

The last time I went to New York’s MOMA was on a free-entry Friday night – it was the only space in our schedule. On Friday night the MOMA is a zoo. The noise level is incredible and Friday nighters casually swarm, perhaps as a prelude to late night activities.

It’s often tricky to even get a clear view as with Van Gogh’s "The Starry Night".

It’s often tricky to even get a clear view as with Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”.

The scale of paintings is something that always surprises – impossible to adequately convey on a website or in a book.

At the MOMA again, Henri Rousseau’s "The Dream" is imposing in a way all the wall posters could never be.

At the MOMA again, Henri Rousseau’s “The Dream” is imposing in a way all the wall posters could never be.

 

Somehow I always associate Dali with larger gallery-sized works. In fact, he completed some monumental pieces. Here's his smaller gems at the MOMA the famous "The Persistence of Memory".

Somehow I always associate Dali with larger gallery-sized works. In fact, he completed some monumental pieces. Here’s one of his his smaller gems at the MOMA, the famous “The Persistence of Memory”.

Finally a prerequisite selfie!

Finally a prerequisite selfie!

This one at the Metropolitan, with John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”, the subject of my previous blog posting: Sargent and that profile

Summer Exhibitions!

I'm showing works in pastel, acrylic and watercolour this summer.

I’m showing works in pastel, acrylic and watercolour this summer.

I’ve been busy preparing for a trio of exhibitions this summer. There are upcoming Instructors exhibitions at the Ottawa School of Art, downtown and at the Orleans campus. In addition to these two regular fixtures, I’m also participating in an exhibition at the Sivarulrasa Gallery in downtown Almonte – a collection of painting and sculpture titled “Unbound”.

I’m really excited to be part of each of these shows: Downtown at the OSA I’ll be previewing one of my new series of pastels. “With both hands now” is a combination of line work completed with my right hand, with colour and context using my (normal) left hand. At the Orleans campus, I’ll be showing 3 recent classwork demonstrations, continuing my “Sur le vif” theme…. one of my favorite approaches…quick studies on the spot, in acrylic, pastel, and watercolour. Over in Almonte, Sanjeev at the Sivarulrasa Gallery has chosen 5 of my expressive figurative works from a few years ago for the “Unbound” exhibition. I’m so pleased to show them the light of day once more. Art should be hung regularly!

Ultimately, sharing the breadth of my work this summer is what I’m looking forward to. I hope that you can join me in celebrating:

“Unbound”, Sivarulrasa Gallery, 83 Little Bridge Street, Almonte, July 22 – Aug 28. Vernissage Sunday 24 July, 2:00-5:00 pm. Information: http://sivarulrasa.com/

Downtown Instructors Exhibition, 35 George St, 28 July to 28 August. Vernissage Thursday 28 July, 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Information: http://artottawa.ca/galleries/

Orleans Instructors Exhibition, Shenkman Centre, 12 Aug to 18 Sept, Reception Sunday 28 Aug, 1:00 to 3:00pm. Information: http://artottawa.ca/galleries/

Here’s a preview of my work on display:

 

Summer in Wakefield

Everyone's raring to go!

A Plein-air session in beautiful Wakefield….we’ll be back again this year!

Last summer, France and I held a couple of plein-air sessions in Wakefield. With warm support from the Community Centre, Fairbairn House Museum and elsewhere throughout the village, we townies were as welcome as long lost Wakefielders!

We’re returning this year! Get ready with plenty of crimson to paint that famous covered bridge, powder tones for the colourful village and greens galore to capture the harmony of nature – not forgetting some deep cool blues for the Gatineau river.

Join us in our explorations: July: 26, 27 & 28, and
August: 23, 24, 25. Check out the details on the courses page of the website.

Browse our our photo album  – fond Memories of Wakefield 2015!

 

Another Hand…

A helping hand

Give that hand a rest!

Those who know my courses are not surprised when I have participants practice a few exercises using their other hand. That is, the non-dominant hand. This fairly well- established idea puts you outside of your comfort zone and can yield some great results, by slowing down the drawing process and increasing concentration. The focus becomes observation over dexterity –  and so much of drawing is about observation. I wrote about this previously, in my blog article ”on the other hand”.

Fair’s fair of course, so I often do a short demonstration. Perhaps it’s lack of facility that’s quietly freeing – it’s not me really drawing after all is it? I can relax, enjoy the path of the line unraveling, generally following someone’s bidding, surprising with interesting and random side paths. Here are a few of my recent other-handed studies! Try it!

Isobel Scott Kearn (1924 – 2016)

Mum and award-winning painting circa 1985

Mum and award-winning painting in the 1980’s

My mother painted and did so quietly. She started after I left the UK for Canada in the early 80’s and throughout my life over here, it did not really come up as a major subject of conversation. There was always lots to catch up on whenever I came back to visit and never enough time.

Mum was entirely self-taught and set out to capture the places and subjects that meant so much to her: the highlands and valleys of Scotland and the Lake District, flowers from her garden. She knew what she liked in a painting. These days, I’ve been enjoying her views of the places she and Dad once walked. Always true to the subject, her work has an unassuming sense of place and and an easy coherence.

I’m proud to share some of Mum’s work.