Friday, October 11, 2013

I'll Hold the Baby

     It's been a while since I've blogged about new artwork, it seems. Well, I've been busy. I finished my third term at Athabasca University at the end of September and took a little time off to begin the new homeschooling year with my kids and to open my studio for the Fall studio tour, as some of you know already. I also took it into my head to develop some of my older sketches and watercolour paintings into acrylic paintings. Acrylic is a medium I enjoy the least. I have never felt a true affinity for this medium because it seems so unimposing... or something. It seems so eager to be used whereas watercolour paints and oil paints seem to have an exterior of some kind that you have to dig into and under in order to make them do what you want them to do. At least that is how I feel about these things.  But, lately, my opinions have changed. I worked with acrylics exclusively with this newest painting and I love what came of it. I layered and layered my colours and then sanded them off again with a very mildly-grained (not the proper term, I am sure) sandpaper block. This canvas had already been painted on several times so there was already an existing texture. The sanding, the texture, and the layers of paint all came together to create something quite striking. I was reminded during my studio tour that my work translates much differently in person than it does online. I could not agree more. I think all art loses a dimension that is a necessary component to its true meaning, value, and message when it is viewed through the screen of a computer. But, these are the times we are living in. All the great artists I admire rely heavily on the current technology to make and market their art. I think that is the sign a truly evolved spirit. Making the technological elements of our age work for us and adapting to its benefits is a sign of real determination and dedication. It is also a sign of evolution. We could hide out in our studios and beg for galleries to show our work for us now and then, but why? Why do that when you can reach a global audience from your laptop? That's not to berate the necessity and importance of art galleries, but in the interim, an online presence is a good way to go. Case in point: this last month I have had the honour of having images of my artwork projected onto the side of a "massive skyscraper" in New York City through the art based website See.Me.. Last month images of my work was in a show at the New York City gallery called "The Story of the Creative." I am a part of that story. My work has been seen by thousands of people at this point. There is no denying the power of the online connections we create. It's not about sales in these circumstances, its about the knowledge that people I will never meet laying eyes on something I've created. That's powerful stuff. 

     So, there's that. 

     As you can see, I developed my drawing (at the end of the group of photos) into this newest painting I have decided to call this piece I'll Hold the Baby. I've noticed a lot of artists recreate their forms over and over and over again. In the process of these recreations they create something entirely new, not just a copy. So it is with this painting. I used my own drawing as a guide. My drawing came straight from my brain, as most of my drawings do. I never refer to anything when I draw... the energy just seems to flow when I have a pencil in my hand. So, I thought... other artists recreate their work all the time. I have also seen other artists recreate the work of the old masters (Van Gogh's Stary Night for example). I think there must be something to that. Recreating things over and over is not like trying to reinvent the wheel. It is something entirely different. The artist's vision and temperament shine through in such dynamic ways. 

"I'll Hold the Baby" is a painting about the ways in which we embrace our children. It is about the way we carry them and the way they are carried by others. It's about human contact and the innocence of a newborn in need of love and protection. A baby is so vulnerable to his or her siblings and other family members. Everyone who embraces a child has a hand in the development of that child. I hope to not objectify the infant in my work. The birth of a baby is about the mother, but not only about the mother. The baby has rights. The baby is not a thing. The baby is a tiny human being, vulnerable to all, even his or her mother. I seek to find balance between the humanity of the child and the adult while conveying the way they (infants) are in a position of trust against the entire world. How we love (and must love) our babies. This painting is for sale. Here is a link to it as it is listed in my Etsy shop--> HERE.

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