Sketching Ann…

Ann sketching on the Rockcliffe Parkway

Ann sketching by the Ottawa River

One of the nicest comments I’ve had in a long time came this summer, when I was showing a little watercolour sketch featuring of one of our workshop participants. “Now I’ve been drawn by two artists” quipped Ann – “David Kearn and Arthur Lismer”!

I was, of course much honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as a stalwart of the Group of Seven, so I inquired: As a child, Ann was playing at the beach when her parents noticed someone doing a quick sketch of her. Introducing himself as Arthur Lismer, he handed them the resulting unsigned study – featuring a young Ann with an outsized piece of kelp!

“Ann plus kelp - July 1963” by Arthur Lismer

“Ann plus kelp – July 1963” by Arthur Lismer

Lismer was a keen observer of life and people, an accomplished draftsman with a keen sense of humor and humanity – you always feel his work is in the moment. He probably captured more of the informal moments than all the other members of the Group of Seven. Arthur Lismer had a lifelong passion for the arts and teaching. How many other unknown sketches like this must there be out there?

Thank you Ann!

Arthur Lismer

Arthur Lismer

Kicking-off Fall Art Programs!

join me this Saturday for Painting Demonstrations and Open House at the Ottawa School of Art.

Join me this Saturday for Painting Demonstrations at the Ottawa School of Art.

The Ottawa School of Art (35 George St.) will be opening its doors to the public on September 10th from 12pm to 4pm for an Open House! There will be information, live demos and workshops in a variety of artistic fields, showcasing what you could expect from classes at the OSA.

I’ll be demonstrating paint techniques, answering questions and I’ll be sure to bring along some examples of my recent art projects too. I’ll be doing three demonstrations:

12:30 –  Portrait painting with watercolour

01:30 –  Landscape painting with acrylics

03:00 –  Still life painting with oils

In addition to teaching at the OSA, this fall France and I are running six Saturday “Break-a-Brush” painting workshops in the central-east end. Should you be considering some art endeavours, check out the full range of sessions available on my website.

I’m always keen to hear about you and your art interests as well as discussing the wide variety of courses and workshops on offer throughout the region. Whether or not you’re considering an art course or workshop, I’d love to see you on Saturday.

Drop by and Break-a-Brush!

Photo courtesy Greg Abraszko

Photo courtesy Greg Abraszko

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!