Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Dempster,

Fall Colours on the Dempster, Yukon Canada
Original Acrylic on Canvas
#2 In Commission for Yukon Government
8 more to go!

For those of you who do not live in this part of the world, yes! the colours are this intense and breathtaking.  One of the reasons why I say the Yukon is a constant inspiration for me.  The scenery is known to be world-class and as a landscape painter it does not get much better than this.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Bread and Butter Paintings

Anvil Range
Original 5x7 
Acrylic on Canvas

I am in the process of doing a commission for an upcoming Yukon Government Conference in Whitehorse in July.  I need to complete 10 small paintings that will be used as gifts for the Ministers attending.

Over the years I have painted many small paintings and they are what I call my bread and butter because I sell a lot of them and they actually do make me a fair bit of income - they sell very well and it adds up quickly. 
My hundred paintings in a 100 days were mostly 
6x8, 5x7 and a few 8x10's and there are under 10 left.  
Some artists feel that doing really small work is a waste of time but I really love these small paintings. When my children were little it was all I had time for and they kept me in practice and most importantly they kept me painting.  Another great use for small paintings is for reference for larger works.  The really nice small ones are thumbnails for these larger works and the composition is worked out for you.
Lastly they are small originals and very affordable for everyone.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Art and Depression

"Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling," said Madeleine L'Engle. "Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one," said Stella Adler. "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge," said Pablo Picasso. “Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity,” said T.S. Eliot. “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star,” said Friedrich Nietzsche.

Rain over the Pelly Mountains
Original 24"x36" Acrylic on Canvas

It has been said that artists experience mood disorders, depression and anxiety and it is part of the reason why they are inspired to create.  I, for one,  am not thrilled about this.  For as long as I can remember I have suffered from bouts of depression.  I have been in one for about 5 weeks now.  I have made peace with this part of myself and know there are things that I must do when I am in this state, but it is hard.  
I feel flat, uninspired, negative, irritable, anxious and sad.  Physical Symptoms include poor sleep, poor concentration, lack of energy, and appetite changes. There is so much information out there on the subject of depression and anxiety but what I have discovered is that I have to do what works for me, self-knowledge is the key.  My depressions are usually triggered by the change of the seasons: spring and fall. So it is very powerful to know that it is not something I have done wrong when the black cloud descends on my life but... oh yes it is March and this is usually the time.  As a young woman I suffered terribly not knowing that what I suffered from, it really eroded my self-worth.

 Self-care is essential, being mindful... exercising, walking, eating right, reading positive and spiritual literature and talking with a trusted person in a constructive manner about what is happening usually help me to get through. It takes self-discipline.  Sometimes it leaves quickly, other times not. I have learned to accept it and do what I can, it is hard when you don't feel like doing anything.   I choose to take some St. John's Wort as well to help me along with the whole process.  

Then one day I wake up and I realize that the depression has passed.  This usually signals a great surge of creative energy. Maybe this is nature's way of balancing the energies.

"In his book Van Gogh Blues  Eric Maisel proclaims that virtually one hundred percent of creative people suffer from bouts of depression. What might explain this intimate connection between depression and artistic expression? Several reasons have been reported anecdotally. Some say that—like many therapists—artists and writers engage in their special line of work as a kind of self-therapy for depression. Others claim that the experience of depression provides a valuable subject matter for artistic creations, as witnessed by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Emily Dickinson’s poem “There’s a Certain Slant of Light." Finally some claim that artists cannot truly understand and artistically express the human condition unless they have experienced "the lowest of emotional lows."
Quotes taken from:
Positives of Art and Creativity

Poor memory and deep sadness, yet superhuman creativity.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Changing a Painting to Make it Better

Spring: Mount Mye Sheep Viewing Cabin
Faro Yukon
Original 16x20 Acrylic on Canvas

I posted this picture a few weeks ago and I have looked at it while drinking my morning coffee and was not satisfied with the finished product.  There are far too many browns in this composition for my liking but this it the scene I picked to initially challenge myself. The modified painting now has spring crocuses in the 
foreground and I have varied the middle ground and changed some of the colours.

The original piece

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Pelly from Rose Mountain

Looking to the Pelly from Rose Mountain
16x20 Original 
Acrylic on Canvas

When you are high up in the mountains you often see rain in the distance.  I love to put this in a painting, it creates a mood.  I am not a geologist but the Yukon has some incredible rock formations and they are interesting to look at and nice to paint, they have a lot of texture and light & shadow.