Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome August.

August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a match flame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.

- Elizabeth Maua Taylor, August

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fish in a Coat

Fish in a Coat
5" x 2" x 2"
ceramic handbuilt figure; slips and glazes fired to cone 6

I made plans to go to the Lunenburg Folk Art Festival this year. This is a once a year, one day only event, for four hours from 12-4 on Sunday August 2nd. We were going to leave today, drive most of the night, or just switch drivers, and get to the campsite for camping by the ocean in Nova Scotia tomorrow night. We were planning to toodle around northern Nova Scotia taking in Digby and Bear River and then head south to Lunenburg for the folk art on Sunday and spend the 4 hours there and pretty much head home right after so I can be ready for work come Tuesday morning.

This is my third year attempting to get there. I had to cancel yet again for the same reason I had to cancel before: no money.
Well it seems if I can't go to the folk art, the folk art's flowing through me.
First it was the fish painting series and now I am making ceramic "fish in coats". This was the first one that came from nowhere. Last night I made one 3x the size of this one. It seems I am making some sort of city I think populated with fish folk, or maybe just animals wearing coats. Not sure. Anyway, if anyone is reading this who's going to the folk art festival have fun. I guess I have to start saving NOW to make sure I get there next year. You'd think I would have figured that out by now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ottawa Focus Interview

I just got word that my interview for Ottawa Focus just appeared.

I just read it. Boy I sound busy. It's funny to read about yourself.

Thanks Ren...

Fish Out of Water Series

I just started work on a new series of paintings, loosely called the Fish Out of Water series.
Here's the 2nd in the series called
"Something Fishy at the Masquerade Ball"
30" x 36" acrylic on canvas
More in this series to follow...
Look for this and others this Sunday at the Ottawa Farmers' Market as I make my colourful return to this delicious venue.

Happy Anniversary - man on the moon meets man in the moon

As a kid I remember sitting at the kitchen table, legs folded under me, leaning forward into the glass as far as I could get, gazing up and in between the leafy willow branches to see a giant red moon hanging just above the horizon.

I was 5.

To me, the moon was obviously mad. I had seen the astronauts on TV walking on the moon. I wanted to know how the moon felt about it and I wanted to know if I could see them up there from here. It was obvious to me, the moon didn't like it and it was red with anger.

I grew up in Sudbury, and while I don't recall details, having been so young, I do remember knowing the astronauts had come to town. I remember looking up to the stars. I knew they were going there... somewhere ... and they wouldn't be here (looking down at the earth at my feet). To this day I find it hard to actually gaze easily up to the night sky. As soon as my mind travels to how far that star is, and where or what all that blackness is and where it ends, or not, and how small we are, I am completely emotionally overwhelmed. Call me space sensitive but it's easy for me to feel just this big in the face of all that.

I had no idea what an effect this whole event had on me. When I took my first plane ride in 2000 I flew to the Arizona desert. I was immediately at home in the barren landscape. I felt like I was in familiar territory. The colours were new and fascinating but the landscape was soothing.
Sudbury was a black barren landscape when I lived there. It's actually now too green for me. I remember all the "make work" projects of the early 80's and the sod laying and the tree planting. Those of you out there who think Sudbury is bleak now would have run screaming a few decades ago. I think you must have had to grow there like I did to feel fondness for that but there you go. I love the bleak dark rocky harsh landscape.

When I started seriously painting I wanted to paint astronauts and this continues to follow me. I continue to gather information about the space missions and follow all of them enthusiastically. I am not so sure how I feel about the proposed plans to land again on the moon. "Why" is my first question and on the heels of that is "they're gonna ruin it" with more than a vague sense that the moon will now be used. Emotionally and spiritually, we should leave it alone. We got enough to deal with right here on Earth. Logically I see why people do this kind of thing though I really don't agree. There are alowas those who take perfectly good small houses and tear them down to build McMansions. Why? I see others with tiny bits of land here in my dense housing complex where I live, perfect soil to make tiny garden plots to grown things and as soon as they move it they put 2' square patio stones over the good earth. Why? I don't get a lot of what we do and I am sure I am equally contradictory and mysterious in my own habits. I just think about things a lot when I notice them.

Here's today's take on the moon landing in the Sudbury Star. Seems I am not alone in having been imprinted that day in my young life in Sudbury:

Headline: Sudburians recall Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind in ’69

And here is the entry for the day from

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Apollo 11: Onto a New World
Credit: Apollo 11, NASA

Explanation: A human first set foot on another world on July 20, 1969. This world was Earth's own Moon. In honor of today's 40th anniversary, NASA has released a digitally restored video of this milestone in human history. Pictured above is Neil Armstrong preparing to take the historic first step. On the way down the Lunar Module ladder, Armstrong released equipment which included the television camera that recorded this fuzzy image. Pictures and voice transmissions were broadcast live to a world wide audience estimated at one fifth of the world's population. The Apollo Moon landings have since been described as the greatest technological achievement the world has known.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Galleries Around Town & OPENING TONIGHT

BLINK OSA exhibit opens Thursday July 9th, 2009 6-9 pm.

Vernissage jeudi 6-9 pm.

Gallery Hours are:

Vendredi 1 - 6 pm Friday

Samedi 12 - 5 pm Saturday

Dimanche 12 - 5 pm Sunday

My graduating class and I are exhibiting at Blink for two weeks. I am in the first group and we are opening tonight! My compadres open next week. Come out and see our work and say hello...

Other exhibitions of our work:

Ottawa School of Art- main floor galleries
Graduation Exhibit at the Ottawa School of Art

Also IPO Gallery on O'Connor Street
Here are some recent reviews of our graduation exhibit including a video of me describing my Big Print on view at the Ottawa School of Art.
Thank you Peter Simpson of The Citizen.

Thank you Ren.

And finally...

More about the grad later.... come see our work!