June 16, 2009
June 10, 2009
News from Denmark
My week in Denmark was wonderful. I slept most of the first day, having not slept much on the trip over. My flight left Halifax at midnight and I expected to be able to catch a few but watched two movies instead (one was To Kill a Mockingbird . . what a good film! I had read the book recently and loved it.) I had a long wait in Heathrow so I lay down on the benches along with the other weary travelers and took a brief nap.
It was mostly cool and sunny in Denmark, very beautiful, as I had remembered it. Thora found me a wonderful place to stay. Part of an old farm complex, quiet and clean and beautiful, like all of Denmark. Although people drive very very fast on the country roads, disturbing at first. And they drive a lot because everything is so far apart.
On Friday, I went to Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, to meet Joanne and Aaron. It was a quick trip. I took the bus and train down and rode back with them the same way. We saw some sculpture by the sea. It was the opening reception, with a marching band of high school girls, speeches and balloons. The crown prince had met his bride at the exhibit in Tasmania. They had both fallen in love with the sculpture and with each other, so they wanted to bring the exhibit to Denmark. I was able to get some pix of the royal couple.
The opening reception for my exhibit was on Saturday. It was well attended and well received. Two large paintings sold right away and then several other people wanted the same pieces. Interesting.
On Sunday we went to Skagen, the northernmost point of Denmark. Then in the evening, Joanne went back to Exeter. Monday Thora, Aaron and I went to Ebeltoft, a town with lots of old houses. We traveled around all day. Very very beautiful country. (I took lots of photos and will post them when I return home. I'm having major camera lust for Aaron's camera. I think mine has a time limit on its remaining days.)
I’m now in Exeter, U.K. with Aaron and Joanne, after a very long trip from Denmark. Aaron and I had a lovely time in Aarlborg before returning the car I had rented (and before loading ourselves onto the plane to Gatwick). We just hung out, took pix and ate. The town is on water, a harbor town like most of Denmark. Not too big, the third largest city in Denmark. The plane left Aarlborg on time, 6:50 pm, but the bus connections were lousy and one of them, the one to Exeter, broke down. We didn't get in until 4:15 am, to bed at 5 am and up again at 10 am. I'm lucky to have slept so well when I did.
Today Aaron showed me around Exeter a little. More tomorrow when we are better rested. Lots to see and do.
June 01, 2009
I'm off to Denmark tonight. My plane leaves at 11:45 pm. Twelve hours of travel, changing planes in London with a long layover there. I'll take a shower and a nap.
Sean is staying with Lila. He loves her almost as much as I do so she will be happy. The weather here is beautiful, my garden abundant. It's hard to leave and exciting to be leaving for a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to two weeks abroad. No problem there!
May 29, 2009
Birthday on the beach
Wednesday was my friend Gwen's birthday. Several of us went to McCoo's Island (in St. Margaret's Bay) for a surprise party. At low tide you can walk to the island.
It was chilly so we made a fire.
Lila enjoyed playing on the beach
and the deviled eggs!
May 18, 2009
For a few weeks recently I was occasionally having twinges of anxiety. I didn’t know why. Nothing was on my mind that was upsetting. Maybe the travel, but I’ve done such trips before. Then as soon as the boxes of paintings were picked up (last Wednesday) and shipped to Denmark, I felt so relaxed. No more anxiety, just excitement about my travels.
I leave here June 1 and arrive in Denmark June 2. Aaron and Joanne will meet me there. The opening reception at the Galleri Saltum is June 6 from 2 to 6 pm. Do stop by if you are in the area!
Joanne has to go back to Exeter June 7. Aaron and I will hang around Scandinavia (no definite plan yet) until June 10. Then on to London to see the Queen (I actually did see her the last time I was in London, at the Parade of Colours). From there a few days in Exeter and surroundings, and then home on June 15.
In the two weeks before my trip, I’m just hanging out, gardening, reading, cleaning house, having lunch with friends. I’m beginning to want to get back into painting mode, did some work yesterday and probably will again. I need to order more canvas stretchers, start some new paintings. Fill up the (not too) empty corners of my studio.
May 16, 2009
The big day
Friday I had lunch with a good friend in a Mediterranean restaurant, one I had never been to before. The food was great, the company the best. Then I went to Graduation Day for NSCAD University students. I sat in the middle of the faculty section and bathed in the thick artsy atmosphere. Everything in the ceremony was about becoming/being an artist, working in a field of creative process with no definite return other than the excitement of discovery. The graduating kids looked fresh and excited, ready for their next adventure. For the first time, most of the females wore dresses, and pretty ones at that. A delightful fashion show as a side bar.
Of the comments made by speakers, the memorable ones were:
Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Friendship is important.
It’s not about being the best but about doing your best.
Generosity is important.
Have lunch with friends.
May 11, 2009
Tomorrow Brian is coming over to help me pack up my paintings to go to Denmark. It will be good to see them go. I won't be able to fuss with them anymore.
Here are some that will be in the exhibit:
May 07, 2009
An open book
I recently taught a six-week abstract painting class. I don’t know why I didn’t say anything here. Maybe because it was such a new experience for me. I’ve never taught nor been taught about abstract painting. That doesn’t mean I’m not qualified to teach it but that I needed to figure out how to teach it. I’ve been working in abstraction for fifty years. It was a commitment I made long before I went to art school. Non-representational painting just feels right to me. But I had to learn about it on my own.
My education in art school was not representational but process oriented, with objects for reference. Now, if you understand that, you can paint abstract! To translate, we studied how to create form with color (or marks of color) and the form includes the space the objects live in. I hope that makes sense. It is a difficult concept for young painters to understand. I’ve tried to teach the way I was taught but rarely find a willing student. It took me two months of struggle in art school to even begin to understand this way of working. So I thought abstract painting would be a more enjoyable subject for me to teach since it is my main preoccupation. It’s something I know a lot about now, after so many years of painting.
In the class I gave them lots of exercises that were taken from ways in which I approach a piece of artwork. There were times when various students expressed frustration with the exercises, with abstraction, with their work, my teaching methods. But in the fifth class, suddenly everyone in the class got it. A very thrilling moment for all of us. I felt I could eat the excitement in the room with a spoon. I plan to teach the class again in the fall, with a few changes, additions, and this time I’ll know it can be done.
May 06, 2009
The paintings offered for bids at GPI Atlantic:
Art and Jazz
This event is a fund-raiser for GPI Atlantic. "Founded in 1997, GPIAtlantic is an independent, non-profit research and education organization committed to the development of the Genuine Progress Index (GPI) – a new measure of sustainability, wellbeing and quality of life." I've donated three paintings for a silent auction. The paintings are on display in the GPI office.
Arielle Legere is a fifteen year old jazz singer who sang at the Montreal Jazz Festival. This should be a really good event. If you are in the area, do stop by!