Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Big and Small
I started painting when I was 18 years old. I didn't study Fine Art in university but English Literature. I started taking a neighbourhood painting course to serve as a creative counterpoint to my studies. I was never told that I had an ability in art when I was in elementary school, to the point that I didn't take any art courses when I was in high school. I was more often told that I was a good writer. So I didn't expect to love painting as much as I did. Even after I graduated from university and started working in the corporate communications field, I continued painting in the evenings and taking art courses. I even thought of getting a second degree in Art History but realized that the actual doing of it was what I loved the most. It wasn't until I was in my thirties and in the middle of a burnout related to my corporate job that I realized that painting was what I wanted to do--all of the time.
What I am finding as I clean my studio is work from years ago. It's quite mindblowing. Some of it feels like it was done by another person and I guess in a way it was. I have a ton of stuff but picked out a few that I thought you might enjoy seeing.
These three really surprised me as I don't have any clear memory of painting them. Isn't that strange? I am thinking that they were perhaps done during one of the evening courses I took at a lovely little independent art school that existed on Queen Street in Toronto in the 1980s. It was called Arts' Sake. These are all on full-sized sheets of very ordinary newsprint paper.
This mosaic was the result of a class I took about six years ago at the Visual Arts Centre in Montreal. I have taken several courses there. We were asked by the teacher to bring in a watercolour that we weren't happy with, without being told why. I brought in a still life I had done of a tea pot, butternut squash and orange. When we arrived, we were told to cut the painting into squares (eek!), rearrange them and then add painted detail. I added three tea bags, flowers and lines and the sentence 'I will make time for tea and art and tranquillity'. It ended up being a piece that I like to this day.