Paint the Town Red

The storefront window of the Fort Gallery, Judy Jones glass work at the fore.

Olympic fever is upon us. To stir up the nationalistic pride, communities are celebrating with Canadian-flag red events. To quote the current publicity campaign, “the new black is red”.

I’m not sure quite how to interpret that. Perhaps it is to say that businesses are usually good when they are ” in the black” where as “in the red” means that you are not making any money; but in the new regime,  the Olympic fever and the tourism that is therefore generated, business should be making money, and it’s Canadian red that is doing it for us.
The slogan is convoluted. Nonetheless, it’s driving community events, and close to my heart, in Fort Langley, it has driven the name for Fort Langley’s publicity campaign that is in conjunction with the Olympic flame being brought through the local community’s streets.

Caught up under the umbrella of these celebrations, the Fort Gallery’s new exhibition is called “Paint the town red”. Every painting has a theme of red running through it. Every artist in the collective is submitting three to four pieces. There are some beauties.

We hung the show today and as I am now a member of the artists’ collective, I was there while we were deciding whose pieces should go where.

I was challenged to get good photographs. There was a lot of glare on the glass-framed artworks. I reflect in the glass with my camera glued to my nose. The lighting sometimes put a strong spot of light on a single part of a canvas work. Nevertheless, the paintings below will give you an idea of what is to be shown. There are about 60 pieces, so I had to do some selection; and besides, you need to come and see the show, if you are in the vicinity.

In theory, I should have been helping to hang, but it was my first time and I spent some considerable time just figuring out the dynamics of eleven or so ladies as they made suggestions, consulted, hung and de-hung, moved things from one place to another. It was all done in less than three hours. Miracle!

When it was almost done, I helped one of my new colleagues by drawing a little red line on the wall where the top of the painting should be.  I actually did it twice. I hope they aren’t concerned about my lack of participation.
It will come. It will come.

So here are some of the images that are in store for you if you should wish to see these paintings in the flesh, so as to speak.

Here’s my key entry for the show. Unfortunately, I’ve not got a good photograph of it, just this glarey one:

Poppies, late afternoon, Kristin Krimmel ,watercolor, 22×30 on Arches paper.

Terry Nurmi provided these two images:

Terry Nurmi, acrylic on canvas


Terry Nurmi, mixed media

Maggie Woycenko brought this vibrant woman and parrot that for all it’s dynamic color has an incredible stillness to it and a very thoughtful ellipsis – you have to guess at where the body ends and the background starts. I rather like these visual challenges that make an observer work to understand the image.

Woman and yellow parrot, Maggie Woycenko, oil on canvas

This woodcut, below, is all hand-rubbed rather than put through a press. One woodcut block has been used in alternate color and alternate position, repetitively in a grid to form a larger image. Woodgrain rubbings separate the variations. It’s a marvelous example how one can work with small resources (the 4 x 4 inch wood cut block and no press) and still come up with a good sized image.  I’ve shown this work complete with framing because it marries so well.

The overall image has an oriental feel to it, like Japanese fabrics, and yet

Jo-Ann Sheen, wood cut on rice paper

Claire Moore’s poster of a female ski-jumper is a protest against the Olympic committee that deemed women ski-jumpers ineligible for the games.

Denied – 2010, Claire Moore, acrylic on paper

The skiing figure is dynamic. It vaults into the picture plane, suspended, just like the skiers seem to be, compact and motionless as they fall towards the ski-run. Symbolic of anger and passion, the red signifies the sentiment the women feel over being banned from the games. There’s a great balance between large flat shapes and the textural portion at the base; and between the action of the dynamic figure and the implacable, immovable mountain. Dare I say it is a symbol of the Olympic committee on this issue?

For this show, Suzanne Northcott has brought this large painting, Woman with red stockings, a pensive, mysterious figure.

Woman with red stockings, Suzanne Northcott, oil on canvas

Betty Laughy offers this child in a white dress, seen from above:

Baby Ballerina, Betty Laughy, acrylic on board, 32 x 24 inches.

Susan Falk brings this red toned horse:

Horse on Parade, Susan Falk, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches

Dorthe Eisenhardt contributes her signature abstract images.

Passages 7, Dorthe Eisenhardt, acrylic on canvas 30 x 30 inches

Red figure, Kristin Krimmel, oil on board

A few artists did not turn up during the hanging process but they are expected to bring something before opening day, so there is lots to see.

The opening is on Friday, February 5th at 9048 Glover Road in Fort Langley at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. These are usually lively affairs with a good crowd of artists and nibbles and a bit of the liquid form of the fruit of the vine.

Why don’t you come, wearing red, and join the festivities?


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9 Responses to “Paint the Town Red”

  1. kseverny Says:

    well, in all of these cases red has really done a great job

  2. lesliepaints Says:

    What an interesting show! I love it. I’ll bet all these artists are seeing red. 🙂 I like your poppies, K. They look like they are moving in a gentle breeze. Thank-you for sharing this.

  3. forestrat Says:

    Taking photos of art under glass is a real challenge, especially when you aren’t in control of the lighting. Using a polarizing filter on your camera can help although its effectiveness depends a lot on the angle of the light. Wearing black or dark colored clothing helps too.

    Red is my favorite color so I liked everything!


  4. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Hi Forest Rat,
    Thanks for coming by and for the photo tips.
    I’m glad you liked everything – I’ve joined a great group of artists.

  5. Stephen Says:

    these are beautiful K – i love the woman in red stockings and the poppies are really quite special – lots of talent out there – thanks for sharing them here. S

    • lookingforbeauty Says:

      Hi Stephen, How are you? I’m glad to hear you via cyberspace. I think this gallery is going to be good for me. I sold a painting out of this show for a goodly price. I was quite happy about that. My reproduction via photo of the one that sold is quite poor – I couldn’t adjust the colour properly – and now it is sold. I didn’t want to take it out of its frame. I think you can get the idea of it though. It’s caller Almond trees, Portugal.

      I had to mind the gallery on Sunday and that was good because I met several other artists from the area who dropped by to see the show and chat. Betty Spackman was teaching in the Open Studio, a storefront gallery next to the Fort Gallery, and she had times while her students were working that we could chat. She’s quite well known in Toronto and in Europe. She’ll be going back to Toronto soon, so I felt quite privileged to have the afternoon to talk with her.

      I’ve got a few things coming up – the local Art Studio Tour, where people come through the house (or studio, if one has a studio separately) and look at paintings, then go on to the next artist and studio. I’ve a show with my sister in Vancouver at the University Women’s Club at Hycroft, and now that I belong to the Fort Gallery I will have my own show in the space you saw in this blog, in late July, early August. So now I have to get going and frame stuff and get a few more paintings done. I’ve been fascinated with the mogul competitions and snowboarding cross in the Olympics. I get riveted to the person being able to balance all the way down the hill at an incredible rate of speed. Much like surfing, I think, in terms of having to use the entire body to balance and stay standing. Of course, it’s here in our community so I’m going to try to get down into Vancouver on the weekend with my cousin to see a bit of the celebrations and the decorations of the city. It’s far too pricey to actually go to any of the events – and I find that I would rather see it on television anyway (the skating) because you can see the replays and the slow motion and hear the commentaries. I hope all is well with you, Kristin

  6. Sonya Chasey Says:

    I particularly like the poppies & also the woodcut. The poppies almost have a screenprint feel about them – I like the flatness.

  7. Stephen Says:

    Well – coming back to see this work I am struck by the beauty of your poppies.
    You seem to be on a roll – I hope you keep it up.

    Congratulations on your North Shore exhibition
    Are you going to show us your work here or just leave us in suspense?


    All the best my friend


    • lookingforbeauty Says:

      Hi Stephen, Thanks for the kudos; I’ll post some soon. I’m taking everything into the gallery tomorrow morning for the hanging, and then I’ll be able to breathe a little. K

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