Archive for the ‘representational art’ Category

Disappearing Species

December 14, 2012

Mausoleum: Red List Lament, Doris Auxier, 2012, Metal framework, piano scrolls, vellum, paint, light box.

Is it a temple or a mausoleum?

Disparate elements in this installation create an eerie, warm feeling. From a distance, I felt as if I were being drawn into a Zen temple with oriental scrolls marked with calligraphy. A closer view reveals that the scrolls are not oriental at all, but player piano scrolls with sentimental words to old songs printed on the side to match the tempo or the music as it plays. The words, like Asian writing, read from bottom to top, contrary to our usual top down habit of  reading.  Hanging between these scrolls are ephemeral charcoal drawings of plants made on vellum or parchment paper, glazed with beeswax to create the same golden timbre of the piano rolls. They glow slightly. An odor of beeswax has all but been erased but lingers gently.

In the centre of the arrangement, there is a four-foot tall glass container lined with fiber glass insulation and lit from the interior. It has the feel of a stele or a mortuary box. It’s as if it contains a soul. A dying soul.

Detail, paintings on vellum, with beeswax

The piece is, in fact, a lament. It documents 14 species of native plants that have almost become extinct in the Gary Oaks area of Vancouver Island, near the city Victoria. They are red-listed – a designation that is assigned when a plant becomes endangered and threatened with extinction.

Doris Auxier, the artist of this deeply sensitive installation, is keenly involved with using her artwork to alert viewers to the ecological, environmental situations concerning endangered species.

She explains:

“While player piano scrolls are still in existence, the piano itself is rare. This makes the scrolls that were dependent upon the piano/infrastructure/system virtually useless, existing mainly in antique shops and museums. Similarly, the plants on the red list can be grown from seeds saved from the plants, but they can’t survive if the ecosystem is destroyed. The plants become museum objects that exist in research gardens and other limited environments.”

Mausoleum: Red List Lament, is a reflection on nature, displacement and loss.

Detail, charcoal on vellum, beeswax

Accompanying Auxier in this exhibition, print maker, Edith Krause has created a series of prints beautifully constructed, on the same theme.

She too laments the loss of habit, citing the importation of non-indigenous plants whose incompatibility with the existing ecosystem results in a disastrous  destruction of the local plants. When an early settler, Scotsman, planted a bit of broom he brought with him from his homeland – that hardy shrub with a cheery yellow flower – little did he think that the plant would aggressively reproduce to the point where it would rob the delicate native plants of their habitat. It’s the well-known “Butterfly effect” where a tiny decision ends up playing havoc with the environment, inflicting irreparable damage.

The Butterfly Effect No. 1: Western Sulphur, Edith Krause, Screen-print, digital print, acrylic, plywood, hardware

Each of her art pieces consists of a Plexiglas panel suspended a half-inch in front of a secondary image on plywood. The base image on the plywood appears to be a close-up view of butterfly wing, while the suspended image in front of it on Plexi is a map of the Victoria area where loss is occurring.  Superimposed on the map in black is a screen print of one of the invasive species causing the decline of the Garry Oak; like an obliterating force.

These “prints” are beautifully executed. The effect of transparency gives depth to the images. The three-dimensionality produces delicate shadows. It confirms the fragility of the plants, while the map imagery underlines that the city has superimposed itself upon a natural setting, disrupting the natural order and contributing to the demise of endangered species.

This is a thoughtful exhibition worth seeing. It’s at the Fort Gallery until December 2nd, 2012. The address is 9048 Glover Road in Fort Langley, B.C. Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

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Small Wonder!

December 13, 2012

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Low Tide, Bob Wakefield, 11×14. oil on canvas

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Prada, Bob Wakefield, Oil on Canvas, 14×18 inches

Normally, I wouldn’t post a painting complete with frame, but these two paintings just beg for frame recognition. The paintings by themselves would just not be the same.

Bob Wakefield is one of about  20 artists in the Fort Gallery artists collective in Fort Langley, B.C. The show Small Wonder! is the pre-Christmas, salons-style exhibit that allows the artists to bring out their non-series paintings, their small works, trials, sketches, etc. They are beautiful and they are affordable.

Wakefield was originally a student of Susan Falk, who is also with the gallery, and they work in thick impasto and expressionist style.  Falk’s is showing some farm-related imagery – a painting of a red barn, a large drawing of a sunflower, and a painting of her beautiful little iris-rimmed pond that is just big enough for a small row boat and a gaggle of geese. Pond Study is loose and dramatic with autumn colours contrasting with an ultramarine blue.

051 (Small)

Pond Study, Susan Falk. 24×12, oil on canvas

033 (Small)  034 (Small)

Two paintings from the series “From the bus: Coquihalla“, Veronica Plewman, each 6×8 inches, acrylic on board.

Plewman is showing 6 paintings from the series, “From the Bus: Coquihalla”.  The paintings describe the area near Merritt and Kamloops in British Columbia where the highway cuts through the mountain pass on Highway 5.  Plewman has captured the wonderful quality of colour that sings through a snowy landscape where, to the unschooled eye, one might be excused to think that there was just white and dark. She paints the blues, rusts, ceruleans and yellow greens that sparkle through when a bit of winter sunshine illuminates the hills. In these small paintings, she manages to describe the mightiness of the mountains and the detail of soft fog captured between the hills or a stand of bare alder with their raw umber branches. These are simply jewels of craftsmanship and vision.

039 (Small)

Search, Bloom, Shine, and Drift,  four prints by Edith Krause, , approximately 9×12 or 10×10 inches.

Several of Edith Krause’s small prints from “The Butterfly Effect” series are available in the show. I wrote about them recently so if you would like to see samples of those, go looking back a post or two.  Search, Bloom Shine and Drift are new works to the gallery and have quite a different feel to them. Krause creates prints with great attention not only to the inherent ecological message but also to the texture and surface qualities of her work. She pays great attention to finishing detail. These works are simply  perfect in craftsmanship.

050 (Small)

“Inukshuk” Pat Barker, Acrylic and Mirror on board. Approximately 8×8 inches.

With Inukshuk, Pat Barker gives us a preview of her upcoming show. She experiments with materials and includes bits of mirror in her design, enhancing the feeling of ice and snow.

040 (Small)

Carolina Poplars, France, Kristin Krimmel, gouache,  6×8 inches approx,

There are a number of works by artist Kristin Krimmel. This early gouache of hers describes the lines of trees along the roadside in France in the Department of the Marne.  Another landscape she offers is a watercolour of a farmhouse near Montpellier. It’s inspiration in style is an adaptation of the pointillists method or working. By overlapping small strokes of pure colour she blends and nuances the image to represent the special heat and light qualities of the Languedoc region on the Mediterranean.

042 (Small)

The Mas, Kristin Krimmel, watercolour on Arches paper

The surrealist of the group, Olga Khodyreva has contributed this fluid image:

062 (Small)

Drama, Olga Khodyreva, Gouache and ink on Paper. 12×12 inches.

It’s reminiscent of Joan Miro, Alexander Calder and Picasso with it’s tumbling figures.

059 (Small)

Winter wandering, Jennifer Chew, 8×10,  Velum and charcoal on wood panel.

Winter wandering describes fine branches emerging from snow. There is a delicate quality of calligraphy in this finely composed drawing.

FH Dempster Highway #1 (Small)

Salmon Glacier, Fiona Howath, 11 x 14, Silver Gelatin photograph

FH Fallen Giant (Small)

Fallen Giant, Fiona Howath,  Silver gelatin photograph, 11 x 14

Fiona Howath is an upcoming photographer whose work, in this exhibition, focuses on the natural landscape. She has crisp focus and  captures exceptional lighting. Detail is as important in the foreground as it is in the back. I particularly like the feathery quality of the ferns in Fallen Giant and in Salmon Glacier, I find the light/dark composition is excellent with the cloud, white above the mountain, casting dark on its slopes and brilliant sunshine delineating the character of the geological formation.

There are lots of paintings from each of the artists. As one is sold, it goes away with the purchaser and another gets put up.
I encourage you to go see the show and maybe even treat yourself to a painting. They are reasonably priced and there is lots of variety. Also there are several smaller items – greeting cards by four or five of the artists, fused glass tree ornaments (Judy Jones),  chap books and other small gift items.

Also featured in this show: Richard Bond, Lucy Adams, Doris Auxier, Fiona Howarth, Dorthe Eisenhardt, Judy Jones.

The location is 9048 Glover Road, Fort Langley, B.C. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and the show closes Sunday December 23rd.

Don’t forget to check out the web-site too:

www.fortgallery.ca 

October 18, 2012

Spectacles, Kristin Krimmel, 36 x 36 inches. Acrylic on Canvas

The show is just about over. I’ve had great feed back. Clearly the favorite painting is “Spectacles”, three panels forming a 36 x 36 inch triptych. Next comes “Hallelulia!” amd then the renamed painting “Grow Op”.

Hallelulia!  Kristin Krimmel, 2 panels creating a 36 x 36 image, acrylic on canvas.

There’s a story to tell here.

I did the larger 24×36 inches portion and it always seemed not quite complete. I kept thinking that it looked like a musical score with the cables curling along like musical clefs, and the wires like the staff one writes music on. My piano music was not giving me quite the image I wanted so I asked my friend Karen who taught Voice lessons and choral music. She brought me a beautiful collection of Handel’s works for voice which included the Hallelulia Chorus in it. What you see on the second panel to the right is the first chords of the Hallelulia Chorus.

When next she saw the painting, I had created the second part enought for her to see the structure of it. “Why,” she asked, “had I made the bass clef like that?” It was pointed in the wrong direction and had an extra curl to it, making it look more like a snail shell than an ear.

I pointed out to her that I had copied it directly from the music she had given me. So she went home to research that symbol that she had not noticed before in her musical career.  It turns out that it is called a C-clef and the dot rests on a line that then becomes C. It was an old way of writing music that has generally speaking become obsolete.

“Grow Op”  Kristin Krimmel, 24 x 3 6 inches acrylic on canvas

I originally called this one Distribution: Tangle and Shadow.
I was in the sign shop picking up my vinyl lettering for the gallery opening. I always talk to Pat, the graphic designer, because he, too, is an artist, although of quite different style and intent. I was explaining the upcoming exhibition and mentioned that it was all about Power Poles.  The older fellow at the till piped up “I’d like to see that!” so I encouraged him to look at my web site on line. It only took a few seconds before he was howling with laughter.

“What’s so funny?” I asked as his laughter subsided. “What are you looking at?”

He turned around the computer and pointed to this painting and said, “I worked for Telus for years. I trained the electricians to look out for this type of wiring – he pointed to the scrawny brown wires coming down the centre of the picture.An electrician could electrocute himself on a set up like this if he didn’t pay attention to it. Do you know where this is?”

“I don’t have a clue. I’ve been taking photos for over 10 years on this subject.  I’ve no idea where it is.”

At the opening of the exhibition, everyone loved the story of this painting, so now it’s  renamed “Grow Op.”

Love, Decay and Repair

October 7, 2012

At the far end of the gallery, in direct line from the entry, are three large hooked hangings inspired by hosta leaves. They engage the entire wall with their soft new-green colour, six feet high, 27 inches wide each. They belong to each other, like triplets . Not that each is identical, but the colours and the method of working are the same; and together they describe a greater whole than the parts individually do.

These are called rugs, but I would hate to see such fine, detailed workmanship put on the floor to be walked on. Each is composed of strips of fabric cut into narrow strips which are hooked into the linen base from below, surfacing on “the right side” as loops no higher than 3/4 of an inch. By the way they are pulled up from underneath, they can be twisted or organized to lie parallel to each other or in circular patterns and this creates tactile passages of great visual interest. The attention to such  detail is what makes these large works sing.

Michelle Sirois-Silver is the artist and this is her Hosta Series number 2.  In this series, the plants are alive and well, unlike her Hosta Series 3 where Sirois-Silver explores the decay of the plant as it comes to maturity and then returns to the earth. In Series 3, the colours change to autumn rich rusts, soft tans and reds with deep  blue shadows; then just as the plant collapses into more muted colours, the soft beiges and browns like dry earth that it is about to join in the birth-life-death cycle.

Sirois-Silver says, “Love Decay Repair reflects my philosophy about art and craft and the seamless integration of traditional and contemporary design, techniques, practice and attitues. Applying and integrating unexpected materials and techniquies into hand hooked work has always intrigued me. In the “decay” pieces, the surface of the leaf begins to disintegrate, taking on a vulnerable quality. The colours are dull and muted. Tears and cracks begin to appear on the surface and new materials and layered techniques such as hand stitching, needle felt and machine stitching are used to depict aspects of decay and repair.”

I like to look at art work without reference to the artist’s intent and explanation. It allows me to feel, instead of analyzing. It helps me integrate the whole rather than to deconstruct. Having said that, I declare my deep interest in the constructive or creative process that is involved in making art. It is for this reason that, of all the works on display, I was spell-bound by the documentation that was tucked on a plinth beside the gallery attendant’s desk.

 

In two books, journals really,  Sirois-Silver collected her lively samples of colours, her explorations of composition, texture and tone. There is page after page of sketches with variations on her theme. There is an awesome display of creativity. .

The drawings are fresh. The ideas are recorded not only in pen, pencil and paint but in swatches of fabric, trial bits of hooking, buttons, fabric, threads and yarns.. You can see some of her visual art process. This, I think, is absolutely wonderful.Imperfect. Living.  Engaging.

I was very thankful to see these, precursors to the fine work that she has conceived into perfect, flawless wall hangings.

These are still on display until October 13, 2012, so if you have a chance come to see them, or look for her news on her web site:

http://www.michellesirois-silver.com/

power and connection

October 6, 2012

We pass them by, not even thinking of their significance to our lives. As we photograph, we curse the way they traverse a perfect landscape or clutter our alleyways. Yet the pole and their wires bring us light, telephone, electronic information and mechanization.

They are a metaphor for connectivity and for communication.

I chose to look at them for what they are. I chose to put them in the picture instead of taking them out.

All Paintings in this exhibition are by Kristin Krimmel. They are works in acrylic paint on canvas.

In each painting, I discover things that I did not know. For instance the wires that I thought were all black are in fact varied in colours of white, red, turquoise blue and black. There are ceramic insulators that are a deep burgundy colour and others that are white. Some are glass, in transparent aquamarine. There are more ways to connect and more ways for a line to travel than I had ever suspected.

 

I see that a single wire bending and twisting in the light can change colour just because of  the light source and the shadows which occur.

 

This series is about observation and finding  in the common objects around us. Every painting is a discovery.

This exhibition of all new acrylic paintings by Kristin Krimmel is currently underway at the Fort Gallery at 9048 Glover Road in Fort Langley, B.C.  It runs  October 3 to 21, 2012.

Claire Moore – The Packaging show

May 6, 2012

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Primed and Packaged, Gayle, mixed media on paper, Claire Moore.

Three artists showed recently with a theme of Packaging at the Fort Gallery. (See previous post). I was in a hurry to get something written before the show ended, so posted their press release.  But I felt there was more to say, so here I am with a few more comments about Claire Moore’s work.

First of all, it’s a privilege as an artist to know her because she has this incredible ability to think outside of the box, to generate very original ideas. She can change from one medium to another without seeming to blink an eye. Yet it is all stamped with Moore’s personality- the various bodies of work that she creates all have a continuity of style. It’s simply inspiring.

In this show, she tackles the idea of packaging that evokes a sense of place.

Primed and Packaged – Kenojuak, mixed media on paper, 18×24, Claire Moore

  ,

In “Primed and Packaged – Kenojuak”, a print maker is designing a stone lithograph; behind her, a repetitive pattern of the sailor from the Players cigarette packages forms a backgkround like wall paper. At the bottom of the image, there is a band of writing that says:

The story of the origins of the Cape Dorset printmaking co-operative has become almost legendary:

Osuitok Ipeelee, an established carver and sculptor and James Houston who went on to promote Inuit Art in all forms, were sharing a smoke  outside Houston’s tent on the land near cape Dorset. Ipeelee, who was carving a walrus tusk at the time, looked at the pack of Players cigarettes and asked, “doesn’t  the artist in the south not get tired painting the same little sailor over and over again?”

Unable to explain the printing process in Inuktituk. Houston took the relief carved tusk from Ipeelee,    mixed lamp soot and spit in his hand and spread it on the carving . He then made a crude print by pressing a piece of toilet paper onto the tusk. Ipeelee’s response on seeing the resultant image was , “We could do that,”

The first collection of Cape Dorset prints was released in 1959

Each of the other  Moore paintings in the exhibition recount some story redolent of time gone by, with the same general organization – a “wallpaper” of repeated packaging imagery and a friend’s face.

Primed and Packaged – Tom, Claire Moore, mixed media

In Primed and Packaged – Tom there is some delightfully loose drawing in the plaid shirt. The person in the portrait remembers hot days and her uncle taking her into a grocery store to buy ice cream bars.

Primed and Packaged – Cora, mixed media, 18 x 24 inches, Claire Moore

In Primed and Packaged – Cora  , an native child remembers being unconscious of her ethnic origins, how it confuses her own perception of self with the unrealistic “Indian” image on the Land of Lakes butter wrapping.

Primed and Packaged – Dyana, mixed media, 18x 24 inches, Claire Moore

Primed and Packaged – Dyana reminds the woman with a parrot of pleasant times with friends over a cup of spicy tea.

Each of these images (there were several more) has a different composition. The paintings are not cookie-cutter formulas. The drawings are freely done and specific. Each face has a personality much different from the next. They are lively drawings with a strong sense of tonal balance provided by the colour. All of these things are important to me in the appreciation of a painting.

Moore’s facility in drawing is underlined with the Kenojuak painting , with the foreshortening of the head that has been captured in a graceful pose. It’s not an easy one to portray. In each of the paintings, there is a good balance of the hand-drawn and the painted image in comparison to the appropriated packaging imagery. In each one, there is some informative drawing in the faces and then some bravura drawing that gives a sense rather than the specifics of the remainder of the image. This too makes for a good balance, focusing on what is important and letting the less important lay back in the  imagery.

If you would like to explore more of Claire Moore’s very interesting body of work, visit her website at http://clairemoore.ca/gallery/the_package_deal/

You will find an artist whose continuing theme is social responsibility and the welfare of humankind. You will find lots to explore in her previous galleries of her work.

Claire Moore lives and works in Surrey B.C.

Roger Watt – a chance meeting – and Toni Onley

December 4, 2011

The Canadian, Roger Watt, graphite on paper

My day did not go as expected. I had trouble getting the frozen locks on the car to open and in doing so activated it’s anti-theft mode. Door locks became non-functional and the key would not start the car. I couldn’t use the car and, in my typical frustration with mechanical things I can’t control, I muttered loudly once again that my aging  vehicle would be replace before long.

A friend came and took me to my morning meeting. I left the passenger door open on my own car thinking I might not be able to get into it otherwise, while I went off to fulfill Thursday’s first obligation. Another friend brought me home from the meeting to face this immovable car that I was imagining I would have to have towed to Port Moody.

I had plans for Vancouver that all had to be altered. I had already cancelled two meetings when Frank arrived. He laughed at my car-selling threats and commanded me to get the manual out of the car. There on the page for anti-theft devices I learned that, had I gotten out of the car, closed it up for thirty seconds and tried again, it would have started. By eleven in the morning, the locks had unfrozen and I was operative again,

I still had time to get into Vancouver for the core reason I was going in – to collect paintings from an exhibition that was over.

I’ve long ago learned to take adversity as opportunity. The cancelled appointments gave me time to stop by the Elliott Louis Gallery longer and take in the Toni Onley exhibition, Letters to Yukiko,  which runs until December 24th. It’s an excellent exhibition to see. I’ll describe it for you in a moment.

But first, I want to tell you that by the fact of being delayed in my trip to Vancouver, I happened upon a chance first meeting with Roger Watt.

Roger Watt is another of the represented artists of this gallery. You might have seen his work in the Drawing show back in July. He does small graphite drawings that are meticulous gems of observation, mostly of mechanical things that shine. He captures every nuance of light and shadow, of gleaming polish and detail of texture.

He had brought in two new works in this same genre, but diverging from what I had previously seen in that they took on an aspect of what I call “abstract realism”. That is, on first observation, you might think you were looking at something completely abstract, but on second inspection, you might find the close-up detail exposes a well know object. It might be the cropping of the of the imge that makes you focus on a small part of the oboject, or the cast of light brings to attention a point of view uncommonly taken.

D’Elegance, Roger Watt, graphite on paper

My appreciation of simple observation in this meticulous genre tends to not last long if there isn’t a secondary meaning that comes with it. I admire the skill and ability of the artist, but when I see one of these works that gives me that extra pleasure of something to think about, either from the subject matter or the abstract arrangement of the composition that works from afar and becomes something more close up, then I am in full admiration.

We spoke for a few minutes and I was happy to have the encounter.It’s always a treat to meet another artist.Then Roger had to get going and I did too, so we moved on.  In the back of my mind, I was thinking, if the car hadn’t given me such trouble, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Here I was, thanking my car for having given me grief.

I then took some time to view the Toni Onley exhibition.

The star items in this show are a collection of letters from Onley to his wife, Yukiko, as they are separating. From various places where he is away on painting expeditions, he writes passionate pleas for her to stay, quoting poetry of others on the subject of love, and writing some beautifully crafted poems of his own.

I have reservations however, about publicly posting the raw emotions of a man addressed to his wife in the middle of a split-up.

Somewhere in the curated writings about the exhibition, Yukiko explains that she couldn’t publish them while he was alive. My question is, why does she think they should be published now that he has passed away, exposing his raw sensitivities. Who needs to know?

Each of the letters is illustrated in watercolour with a view of the place he is writing with, or with a small image relevant to the text – a cat, an oriental figure, painted in typical Toni Onley’s calligraphic and  minimalist hand. The text is in a beautiful calligraphic style.

These have been reproduced very elegantly and are being offered up in a limited edition boxed set.

The letters take up a small portion of the show. The remainder comprise a series of oil on canvas landscapes. In addition, there are a few typical, elegant watercolours. If you show great interest in the work, the gallery owner may also show you a series of unframed watercolours. Of the twenty or so, I would easily have gone away with six of them, had I won the lottery. It’s not that they are so expensive, it’s just my pocket book is smaller than my acquisitory desires.

Untitled 1 and 2 , Toni Onley, Ink on paper on board, 10.5 x 14.5 inches

I was particularly taken with two of Onley’s Naples Yellow abstracts on paper marouflé* on board. They are fresh and clear coloured, and the compositions please me no end.

It’s clear that Onley’s strength was in watercolour. He reaches a finer nuance of colour in this medium than in oil and the “hand”, the brush strokes, look fresher.

From the Elliott Louis Gallery, I moved on to my framer and picked up some work; left some there too; then went to get my paintings from Hycroft.

In all, I think it was very well done that I had troubles with my car in the morning. It changed the course of my day and I was very happy at end of it to have met another artist and to have had time to soak up an exhibition that is rich in imagery and in meaning.

A final cautionary note on the car. If you have a similar trouble, do not close all the doors with yourself or anyone else in it. You may never get out.

References:

Roger Watt: http://www.folioart.co.uk/illustration/folio/artists/illustrator/roger-watt/

and     http://watt-art.com/drawings

Elliott Louis Gallery: http://www.elliottlouis.com/

* Marouflage is a technique whereby paper is glued to a support, usually wooden panel, and then painted. It provides a different texture than canvas and gives greater support and durability to paper. I don’t know if it is French in origin, but that is where I learned it; and the name is certainly French, so it may just be so.

Framing

November 21, 2011

I sometimes rescue paintings from secondhand shops or thrifts – originals that people have junked, not knowing what they have. Many are anonymous. I can’t figure out the signature (which is a good reason in favour of clearly printing one’s name when signing an original work of art).  It’s amazing what you can find. It’s also amazing what you cannot find – like any information on the author of the work. If anyone can help me out on that front, please do so.

Sometimes they come with framing and sometimes not.

I found a subtle watercolour portrait marked Don Quixote, very sensitively done, about six months ago is a beat-up black frame with a hand cut mat around it. The image is done in loose watercolour washes with blues for the shadows and warm tones of peach, rose madder and yellows in the warm tones. The eyes are beautifully drawn and the mouth and nose sensitively described.

Signature not clear: Kjariscal or K. Jariscal? Don Quixote, 2000. watercolor

“Never fear!” I thought, “I’ll just re-mat and re-frame it.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take it out of it’s frame. Oy vey!

It’s backing was a dusty, dirty pulp board – the cheapest kind of cardboard with no refinement whatsoever and prone to picking up moisture. It was full of acid. The mat wasn’t acid free either. Where it had touched the painting, the watercolour paper was going brown. Yuck.

It was taped in with brown paper tape – kraft tape, it’s sometimes called. The backing was nailed in with rusty nails. I don’t suppose they were rusty when they were first tapped in there.

This is just a reminder – a cautionary tale. It just costs a small amount more to buy acid free matting and backing; or to use barrier paper (an acid free paper that separates the work of art from a cardboard backing).

An acid free framing will last a lifetime or more without losing its crisp whiteness; the non-acid free will be brown in two years and spoil the appearance of your gem, not only dulling the framing, but eventually attacking the work of art itself.

My new acquisition is now looking crisp and proud in its new frame.

My favorite custom framing place is Final Touch Frames in Vancouver on the corner of  4th and Quebec in a blue warehouse space. They are reasonably priced; and if you have works on paper that need mats in the smaller sizes, there are a lot of pre-cut mats that might suit your work.

construction/deconstruction

June 29, 2011

Hitachi Graffiti, Kristin Krimmel, Acrylic on Canvas, 32 x  40 inches, 2010

The first visitors to walk in the door on this exhibition were prior colleagues of mine in my Property Management persona – the day job that kept me, the artist, going.

“Whoa!” says Jim, an electrician,  a huge grin on his face, ” Where did the flowers go?”  !!!!!!

Over the past four years since I went artist full time,  I’ve had the luxury to explore other avenues. While I was working, often a flower was the closest I could get to having a model, and the most compliant, time-wise, for me to paint. I threw that all over when I emerged from my working cocoon and went fishing for more exciting material to work with.

These paintings link back to my property management experiences.

The work specific to this show has taken two years to paint. Some of you who have followed my post during this time may have seen some of these images, but then, I decided that if they were all posted, there would be no surprise at the opening of my exhibition at the Fort Gallery in Fort Langley, B.C.
So I stopped posting the images… well, time ran out – I stopped blogging altogether.


Pylons, Kristin Krimmel, Acrylic on Canvas, 32 x  60 inches, 2010

Here is what I had to say in the artist statement:
Over the past five years, there has been an unusual amount of construction going on around Vancouver in preparation for the Olympics, including the cut and cover construction of the Canada Line nearby my former home at Cambie and 41st; and later in Maple Ridge near my new home, with the construction of the new Pitt and the Golden Ears Bridges.

While the construction itself was disruptive and grungy, I took a childlike interest in the bright coloured machines that made it all happen – the excavators, bulldozers, cranes and other equipment. On a grey day, a bright yellow ‘dozer or a bright orange excavator can be the only lively looking thing, amidst dirt and gravel.

Construction is about new building. It sometimes requires demolishing or taking apart what was there before. Deconstruction is the act of taking things apart.

In painting, I’m interested in the “guts” of an image – the shapes, the textures, the surface qualities, the spatial relationships and the colour harmonies.
The construction machines have given me the opportunity to deconstruct the original photo-like image into component parts, to abstract it, to play with ideas of weight and balance, shapes, formalities of composition, and ideas.

Bulldozer, Kristin Krimmel, Acrylic on canvas, 32 x 40 inches, 2010

Liebherr Crane – Pulleys,  Kristin Krimmel, acrylic on canvas, 36×24 inches, 2011

Liebherr Crane, Kristin Krimmel, acrylic on canvas, 36×24 inches, 2011

Liebherr – Site Warrior, Kristin Krimmel, Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 4 0 inches. 2011

To see more of my paintings, see this web site

http://www.kristinkrimmel.com

John Koerner’s retrospective

June 28, 2011

Orchard 2, John Koerner, 8×10 inches, watercolour on  illustration board, 1963

There’s a tangible buzz mid afternoon in the Elliott Louis Gallery on Saturday. June 25th.   Celebration time is six o’clock, but the preparations are no accident. Everything is well planned to ensure the guests are greeted warmly and that they enjoy themselves during the two hours that follow. Those who cannot be there for six are arriving early, circling amongst the fifty -plus paintings of John Koerner, one of British Columbia’s most respected artists, and likely the oldest, too. He’s nighty- eight and not missing a beat.

Many of the paintings come from private collections, and they span a sixty year career of this remarkable artist.

The Lighthouse: Opus 119, John Koerner, acrylic on canvas, 42 x 52 inches, 1995

I fell in love with his paintings many, many years ago. Particularly, I loved his use of blues and turquoise in his landscapes.  I contemplated getting one of his oils, years back, but it didn’t happen; and then ten years later, was able to purchase a small watercolor, which I cherish still. It’s called Orchard 2 and is about 8 inches by 10.  I promised myself that, one day, I could purchase an oil and remembered the one I’d seen at the Diane Farris gallery on that early occasion. Then, miraculously, a still life in oranges and peachy colours came up at auction and I got it. I was thrilled. To actually own one! It sits in my office and I see it every day.

Just look at the paintings here. They are fresh and alive. There is no hesitation nor overworking. All the colours are harmonious,  clear and sparklingly clean. In the Lighthouse: Opus 119, you can see how he establishes depth of field with the large bouquet signifying the here-and-now, and the lighthouse, small in the distance, an ever present available guiding spirit.

Now I was here, well before the crowds would arrive, at leisure to get up close and contemplate each painting carefully. I can find new things in his paintings every time I look. There are ways of using acrylic so that it creates it’s own texture like when oil paint separates slightly when diluted with water. It’s a glaze that leaves a pebbly surface – hard to achieve while still maintaining control in acrylics. There are the overlays areas of small strokes  built up in a stained-glass like fragmentation. Most of the paintings contain  a compendium of different marks that can run from flat and smooth, to build-ups of jagged, direct ones, overlaid one upon another, giving a richness of pattern or depth of color. And, holding all this together is an overall composition of a meditative nature and a sensation of light.

Hikari 3, John Koerner, Acrylic on Canvas, 42 x 52 inches

The Lighthouse Series was inspired by the Point Atkinson Lighthouse – a monolithic white tower in West Vancouver, visible on a clear day from the University of British Columbia where he spent his career teaching in the Fine Arts Faculty. The lighthouse recurs in many paintings, signifying the source of light and the power it gives to guide us spiritually, inspirationally and physically.

The Pacific Gateway series, implies the link between Canada and Asian countries, as well as signifying peace, a visual play on words with “pacific”. In addition there are paintings with a Japanese flavour with suggestions of Kimono shapes; and a some paintings of African landscapes.

Harbour Reflections, John Koerner, 36 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas, 1960

I couldn’t attend the opening due to another engagement, but once my other event was over, I hastened back to the Gallery to join the celebration. It was all but finished, but the attendance had been spectacular – well over 200 people had come. There were still at least 40 people there. John Koerner had already gone. But the symbiotic energy that was still reigning in the gallery  was exciting to join.  People did not want to go home!  Ted Lederer who owns the gallery greeted me in his usual enthusiastic fashion and immediately introduced me to David Bellman and Meirion Cynog Evans, the team of curators who had put up the show.

“You have to see this,” says Ted, leaving me with David, Meirion and a well known art collector in the back office where incoming new art is put out of the way of the day-to-day activities.

Up on the wall were some of Lionel Thomas’s late works, flowers on canvas painted in tempera, some geometric abstracts and exceptionally, about ten, two- sided copper enamel works. Size is approximately 8 x 10 inches. They are framed so that they can be seen as sculptures, free standing,  The color are brilliant (because copper enamelling is a process of affixing glass onto a metal base), with lots of pure bright hues of reds and blues. They are like jewels.

David Bellman and Merion Evans are in the process of preparing the Lionel Thomas collection of his works for an up-coming exhibition at the Elliott Louis Gallery. But that’s another story, since this was the celebration for John Koerner.

I couldn’t stay long; but was long enough to bring back some images to share on this blog.  Here are a few more favorites:

Still Life, John Koerner, Gouache, ink and paper collage, 1965

If you live in Vancouver, hasten to see this show. The  exhibition is very short – just 10 days in all, and it’s taken almost 20 years since the last retrospective of Koerner’s work.  It’s an opportunity not to be missed. It’s located at 258 East 1st Avenue, just one block east of Main and one north of Great Northern Way.

Check out the the Elliott Louis Gallery web-site. Lots of the Koerner images are there – but you will want to see the real thing. They are very tasty!

http://www.elliottlouis.com/