…art that honors the art and artist as well as its content, and apprehends it as more than its socio-political reality. Art is hard to do and not everybody can do it. It is not merely a pretext for theory.Doug Anderson: Negative Capability — Vox Populi
The Creative process is:
• Like an ear worm but it plays a song in your head no one else has heard.
• Like the best story you ever heard that you wish someone would write so you could read it again.
• Madness, insanity.
• Devotion, inspiration.
• Why many people live in basements, though there are other reasons too and you may never know for sure which ones are the most compelling.
• The Muse. She will kill you if you follow her and she tells you this repeatedly, and if you want to live well and happy into old age, you’ll spend your life trying to ignore her. Because following her, you will forget to eat, pay bills, have friends; you will cry alone, you will laugh alone. If you share your madness, you risk seeing her dissolve like a dream upon waking. And when she leaves (and she will leave you often) you’ll wander around looking for losers to hang out with only to drop them when she returns.
• The smallest part of writing anything.
I saw some of my favourites and some new work too!
I was not good at taking photos this year but I caught Lori Mirabelli off guard and she said “yes”. She then said, “ummm, did I agree to that?” but you can see she is very amiable, also my very, very favourite artist this year. I want to live in one of her paintings and I want to paint everything she paints.
The quality of art is really quite astounding, but this is something that the Artist’s Network has worked to maintain and build on. While I won’t list every artist, even though I almost want to, I will say these are the ones that caught my fancy this year:
Stavros, a digital artist
I was once a member of the Artist’s Network of Riverdale back before the area was gentrified and you could find studio space for cheap. It was an exciting time in my life, I was emboldened by my recent brush with death (non-hodgkins lymphoma) and liberation from fear (went on a trip with my teacher as her soto deshi).
The Riverdale Art Walk has survived for twenty years now as an initiative of The Artist’s Network. It has artists showing in the Jimmie Simpson Park and building along with some of the businesses on Queen Street. It is respected as a great venue for Fine Artist’s, from emerging to mid-career artists of all visual media.
For some time I found it very painful to visit as I grieved that that part of my life because the demands of my personal life had made it impossible to actively pursue a career. Now that I am older I have come to terms with the fact that I can not physically paint any longer (and I have found other expressions for creativity) I am just happy to see old friends and be amazed by the work. It is a great way to spend a day!
I had a diagnosis of stage four Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2002. I got in a panic about several areas of my life that needed addressing. So as soon as I well enough after the chemo rounds were done I started painting. I joined the Scarborough Artist’s Group. I also took probationary monks vows in the Soto Zen lineage.
this was one. “Opening to Openness, the four great vows”.
I don’t know where it is now. I am still practicing just about everything there is to practice about being a human being.
Walking Woman’s post about Doris McCarthy brought back this reminiscence at: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/1450339/posts/1210833758
Got invited again this year to face paint at a street party in the East End. Took it easy this year and kept it to only two and a half hours. A sign was posted ahead of time alerting the street to the hours, a much better approach as it avoided tears and breaking my back! Still I have promised some kids to come back next year as they had SO MANY GOOD IDEAS and only one face to paint each.
I had two pumpkins this year. I never had a request for a pumpkin face before! Also the usual jungle camouflage, lots of those, several butterflies and angels. The little girl in the picture showing me the heart she made was my favorite. They had a painting station with an easel and paints and instead of freaking out when a smaller child put a mark on her page she took my advice and incorporated it in her composition! A happy happenstance!
This was taken only ten years or so, before I was with the Artists Network, then the Artists’ Network of Riverdale. I am holding a painting called, Opening to Opennes. I didnt get much positive feedback for it but I was really happy with it. Making it included embracing some randomness. I had been painting endless “enso” and gaining a better appreciation of “letting go” in general. I was at a wonderful place in my life having been scared out of my usual reticence due to surviving a real battle with a blood cancer, stage 4, NHL.
I felt I took a really big chance with it. I suffered the confusion of those who knew my portraiture work, (it’s worse when I tell them I am making quilts now) but I did sell one: “Epi-graffiti” the last one pictured here. Since then I have seen other local artists exploring mixed media in similar ways, so that is fun to see. It was a good time creatively at least personally if not financially.
I have it still. It still makes me happy. It reminds me that shit can happen no matter how hard we try to hide from it, that doing so can lead to our being frozen and buried. But even trapped by a long winter we can see through it.
Went to the Riverdale Art Walk with Iceland Penny yesterday. Had a wonderful and exhausting time!
She said she liked streetcars. I once painted one, from the inside. Here it is:
I am not any sort of genius but I am good at copying stuff. 😛
I try to buy something small when I go. This year I got a print of Lorie Slater’s, a wonderful photographer. It will make a perfect gift for a visiting relative. She is from a place that doesn’t have graffiti art. Imagine!
Two Years of Rengas
three moths spiral
into the blue sky –
summer clouds over hills
the drone of male cicadas
background sound for a hot day
shimmering heat hazy
reflecting the blue horizon –
cooling wet puddles
the hiss of steel in water
awakens the sleeping dog
the old dog stretches
paws, claws and back a line –
warm winter corner
i must have fallen asleep
making two seasons vanish
the sky gets lighter
as the sun begins to rise
a stand of skinny gum trees
breaks the hill’s smooth silhouette
mirroring the trees
shadows dance; winds gently blow
across cool mornings
jeweled in dew the flowers
loose thier fragrance for the bees
Branches like brush strokes
painted on a burning sky
framed by days ending.