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Picasso - From Africa to the Americas

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts currently has an exhibit entitled: From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present. This exhibits gives us some insights on how Picasso tapped into Africa to redefine art in the 20th century. It is a new way to view Picasso and the influence of Africa.
During this exhibit you see a number of African and other art (including Rousseau) that Picasso acquired, not necessarily as a personal art collection but to have an internal dialogue about the meaning of art.
“The greatest artistic emotion I have felt was when I was suddenly struck by the sublime beauty of the sculptures carved by anonymous artists in Africa,” Picasso would say. “Passionately religious, yet rigorously logical, these works are the most powerful and most beautiful things ever produced by the human imagination.”
I visited the exhibit with a number artists from the local art association.  The overall response to the exhibit was varied.  Some truly loved it while others …
Recent posts

Painting Crystal #1

I've always enjoyed looking at crystal.  A few months ago when I attended the Ottawa antique show, I bought a few different recipients made of crystal.  I'm considering painting a series of paintings with crystal vases and other shapes.

Painting crystal may appear complicated at first glance.  I can confirm that it requires lots of patience. First I start off with the large shapes and then break them down.  Using masking fluid allows one to preserve the white of the paper to make the glass sparkle. Trying to convey transparency and light requires attention to details and the use of dark colours.

Here is maybe the first painting in the series.  As you can see, I prefer to paint the background first for topics like this. This was necessary to ensure the flow of the fabric.

Next week, you will get to see the final painting.

Have a great week


Thirst for Knowledge

We've all heard the cliché that if "you do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life" . Although I'm not a full time artist, I never consider my time with my watercolours as work.

There is never enough time in a day, in a week or in a month to paint. I always wish for more time in a day not only to paint but to satisfy my hunger to learn and grow. Its not possible but wouldn't it be great if we could learn everything about a particular subject.  But then the challenges of learning is part of the attraction and there would be less fun learning.
This past week, I went back to some of my watercolour books and videos. My collection of books and videos on this topic is quite voluminous. It felt great to pick up on some forgotten watercolour tips.
In the past week, I was able to finish my latest painting of a blue jar and blue marbles. This was the first time that I tackled painting marbles. 

Next week, I'll be taking a workshops on the basics of glass fus…

Benefit of a lack of formal art education?

A few weeks ago, I was honoured to receive first place in the watercolour category at the Ottawa Art Association juried show.  Being recognized for the hard work I have been putting into my watercolours during the past couple of years made me proud.

When looking at all of the watercolour paintings that evening, I was struck by how much mine was different from the others.  For a few seconds, I questioned my style and wondered if my lack of formal training was holding me back and whether I should conform more to traditional watercolours.  Then I read the comments of the jurors and appreciated the path I had taken.  All three judges mentioned my unique style as a contributing factor for the first place.

Therefore, I will continue down the path I'm on and continue developing my unique style and most importantly stop doubting my lack of a formal art education.  I'm fortunate that I am disciplined, focused and like challenges that force me to constantly learn. Although, this doesn&#…

Where's the Power Button

In the past week, I found time to complete my painting of an old typewriter.

When I see typewriters, they remind me how in high school I did not sign up for typing classes because I did not want to be a secretary.  At that time, I was contemplating being a biologist.  That's how little foresight I had about the value of typing. Then in university I struggled to type my assignments. It would take me hours to type my papers.  At that time I saw that there was minimal value to learning this skill. 

A few years later when I entered government, I was faced with having to pass the dreaded typing test to be accepted as a clerk.  I must have taken that test at least four times before being successful and I was never a fast typist.  Although I was only a clerk for four months, the need to learn to type never disappeared.

Well then the computer appeared and like it or not, typing is a necessary evil. It would have made things so much easier if someone had encouraged me to take typing in high s…

Creativity and Ageing

Recently I had the benefit of jurying a show of young artists. I was struck by the level of creativity. The level exceeded what I have seen in other adult artists in the area.

Interestingly, I read an article recently that seemed to indicate that the aging brain is more distractible and somewhat more disinhibited than the younger brain Apparently changes in the aging brain may make it ideally suited to accomplish work in a number of creative domains.

A number of studies on aging suggest that the aging brain is characterized by a broadening focus of attention. These studies indicate that highly creative individuals also employ a broadened rather than focused state of attention. 
Other studies indicate that older individuals have access to an increasing store of knowledge gained over a lifetime of learning and experience. Combining bits of knowledge into novel and original ideas is what the creative brain is all about.
It's not clear at what age this process begins.  In any event, I l…

Demonstration of painting

Well that's it for tulips - at least for this year. Artress3 has finished painting its three 5ft tulips that will be on display at Lansdowne Park as part of the “The United Nations 5ft Tulip Friendship Garden” in a few days for the duration of the Canadian Tulip Festival - Festival canadien des tulipes. We were assigned - Kenya, Singapore, Kenya, and Afghanistan. There will be a total of 193 of these tulips on display.
Here are the tulips: I had a lot of fun painting these with the other member of Artress3. I'm fortunate to have found such a great friend through art and it's wonderful how our interests align.

I had never used acrylics before this experience and I learned enough about that medium to realize how much I love watercolours. Since I now have a few jars of acrylics, I might try to do something with it some day.
This afternoon, I'm off to the vernissage of the Ottawa Watercolour Society at the Old Chelsea Gallery since I have a painting as part of this exhibit…