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Showing posts with the label painting

An old painting, a stretcher for new paintings

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Phoning lumber yards, plywood only comes in 4' x 8' sheets, and I need 5' x 6', so... I remembered this old painting of self-portraits, and dug up the post I wrote on the story behind them at Xanga, where I was blogging at the time. Reading the post brings tears to my eyes (even if I think the painting unsuccessful). Anyway, I can tear the canvas off, and staple new pieces to the frame and thus satisfy my muse (see yesterday's post for clarification). 


Sunday, 01 August 2004

This is a large painting, 4ft by 5ft, and it was many years in the making.

What I went through over it, I can barely look at it. It was my post polar bear painting. Pure soul retrieval. It consists of three actual self portraits, and one psychic self-portrait. It was about finding myself again after my marriage collapsed.

This painting had something to do with that collapse. A bit of paint on canvas, but not as innocent as it looks. After we bought our cottage, I stopped painting. The cott…

An untitled painting of a man

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Untitled, as of yet. I just painted this. An iPhone photo taken with a daylight bulb. 18" x 24", oil on canvas sheet.

I have been deeply troubled, as ever, by Syria, the refugee camps, the deaths, the conflagrations. And the miners in South Africa, their horrendous treatment, not just the shooting deaths, but the survivors being charged with murder (withdrawn as of today, but it influences). This is a -just-sit-down-and-paint-woman-whatever-fucking-emerges-let-it-be- painting. From the inner self, where the cauldron burns.




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Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

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After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is str…

A Palmistry (in process)

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Finally working on a new painting.

A hand, yes. My current 'hand crisis' is what I think I was doing, but then the disembodied quality of the hand made me think of a nightmare long ago, of the strangenesses of our lives, which are like intersecting arcs.

These paintings are becoming a style, I guess. I work from the imagination. When I sit down I have no idea what will emerge. It's scary! Let it be messy. Yikes! Don't over-work and the way to do this is to be fast. Shivers! Just dive in. Though there is a sort of representation of my hand because it's very much a focus now. So is a psychic I saw around the time of the nightmare - a Wiccan witch from Northern Ireland who really was the real deal - who read palms.

Because of the the complex cluster of images that this painting is drawing about itself, I decided to call it, A Palmistry.

Palmistry is a way of reading the life of the person whose palm it is.

The dream, dated June 2, 1980, was quite long, and went on to …

As if Death Were a Passion

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As if Death Were a Passion, Brenda Clews, 2012, 12" x 16", graphite and acrylic on triple-primed cotton canvas sheet.

outline the skeleton
in red
make the lines of the bones
red

alizarin crimson, cadmium red
flame red, poppy bright

ok, blood too

the passion of death

as if death
were a passion


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It's taken many weeks for me to watch this great little instructional video on how to draw a skeleton. I've never taken anatomy, so I fully appreciate teaching tools like this (thank you Kenny Mencher!). I'll have to get myself a wee skeleton at a Medical Supply store at some point. :)

I meant to take a photo before I started working it. Ah well. It's not perfectly drawn because I don't want that.

The instructional video is here: http://kenney-mencher.blogspot.ca/2011/11/video-drawing-skeleton-front-view.html?m=1 (if, like me, you'll probably watch it later do bookmark it since it's an unlisted video you won't be able to find it on YouTube withou…

Celestial Dancer V put out on the street and taken!

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I've been clearing out a lot of stuff the last few weeks, many bags of clothes to the drop-box, lots simply to garbage. This painting was one of the first I did with water-soluble oil paints in 2004. I did it on a canvas board - dumb, the cardboard warps, impossible to frame ever - and I didn't really like it. I drew it from an image of Nijinski in a dark body stocking, so always felt, though I love the richness of black skin, that this painting was a bit misleading even though it was grouped with my Celestial Dancer series and called it Celestial Dancer V.

Last weekend cleaning up my art supplies, I came across it wedged behind my desk, where it's been stored for years. I pulled it out, not sure what to do with it. The thought of standing on it to crack it in half for the garbage was too much at that moment.

On impulse, I took it outside and put it against the fence on the sidewalk. When I looked 5 minutes later, it was gone.

I hope whoever found it either likes it and h…

Two Lamps and a Pot of Orchids

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This is a sketch to toss. Part of my enterprise this year: to go backward to go forward. To return to before I got sidetracked and see where a more natural route would take me.


Two Lamps and a Pot of Orchids, Brenda Clews, 2012, 13" x 10", acrylic on archival paper.

The charcoal sketch.

Retreat to Beautiful Objects

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direct link: Retreat to Beautiful Objects

When I retreated to my world of beautiful objects.

She was a dream, not the mask but how I composed her in Tangled Garden.

A vegetative force, Nature, birth, life, death, decay, mulch, compost. Beautiful and frightening. Strange dreams, the unknowable body itself. Life consuming life to live, plant or animal. Cells fuse to make new life, new connections, new hybrids. Wood/trees; metal/circuitry; bone/grafts; skin/love. Teeming presence.

I come from a jungle, the nature I write of is not pastoral, pretty. A fibrous network of vast connections. Natural processes. We are Nature looking at herself through her own eyes. This slip of consciousness viewing the universe for a knowing moment, soon to be lost. How can we forget the hungry ghosts, the floral opera singing in us?

An ecology of consciousness. An understanding of the parasitical and angelic. Leave the savageries. Our worlds of beautiful objects call us to retreat.

_________________________…

Tangled Garden painting finished!

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Tangled Garden Painting, 18" x 24" compressed charcoal, watercolour pencils, a touch of acrylic but mostly oils on triple-primed 100% cotton canvas sheet.

My Tangled Garden painting is finished. Or is it? I painted without have any pre-conceived notions about how I wanted the final piece to be and so I am having to accept what has transpired under my paint brush. Yet it works in the video of this painting's process that I have been concurrently working on. Can't believe I've been painting this painting for over a week! Usually I'm done in a half a day's hours, with some tinkering later.

Taking you back though memory lane below. :) And I'll subject you to a video of the process of this painting in the next week or few weeks too! Enjoy!








Tangled Garden, close to 900 views since Jan 25th as of this moment (unheard of for a loong videopoem featuring original poems - most videopoems maybe reach 100 views in a year), is a slow art film of a triptych of earth …

Tangled Garden painting continues to in-process

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Where it could be if I had the courage to invert all the colours! The other one is closer to the way it is. I just took these in not enough light and there is also too much shine (that's why matte fixative was invented). Tangled Garden, a painting that's not a gift anymore since it's not working the way I had envisaged. Also, I'm not really thinking about painting or anything when I work on it; rather, letting it paint itself. I sort of follow along (though I do take responsibility you understand).




I likely overdo the sharing-of-process, but here's a little clip (45sec!) from this morning (uploaded to another of my YouTube sites).



direct link: http://youtu.be/DkbvmCyWrIU

Tangled Garden painting in-process

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Tangled Garden Painting, in-process (7), 18" x 24" compressed charcoal, watercolour pencils, oils, and other stuff (yeah, the catch-all: mixed media) on triple-primed 100% cotton canvas sheet.

I am not happy with how this painting is developing and likely will not offer it as a 'gift' when Tangled Garden reaches 1500 views. I'll think of something else.

Anyhow, the blue sky and green grass are painted in oils, the colour on the mask was drawn on with watercolour pencils and I can mostly rub it off if I like.

The good news is that I am working on a video that I hope will be interesting when it is finished - I bought long "Ladies Sexy Fishnet Mitts" for this and future painting videos (which alone should qualify as 'interesting').

'Tangled Garden' is a slow art film of a triptych of earth poems, Surreal, mythopoetic, a rhizoma of images, metaphors, explorations, philosophies (with English subtitles). -A Floral Opera (2011) -In the Hands …

'Every Angel is terror' (Rilke): painting in-progress

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I was photographing this in a patch of sunlight, my backside in the alley, and a man drove by in a large red SUV, and the man with the puppy that is part husky called Maggie was trying to get her on leash so she wouldn't run on my still-wet painting, and then the man in the large red SUV started backing up, and Maggie's owner and I, well, what's going on? He stuck his head out the window. 'Do you paint?' 'Yeah.' 'Is that yours?' 'Yeah.' 'Do you sell your work?' 'Yeah.' 'Do you have a studio?' 'No, just my apartment.' 'Can I come by to see your work? I like paintings.' 'Sure.' 'Is that one for sale? I like it.' 'Yes.' So I gave him my phone number. He's the general contrator for a store going in around the corner.

A cute story, that I share. My apartment is getting so filled with paintings and drawings from all these lifedrawing sessions I've been going to I am consider…

'Every Angel is terror' (Rilke) painting-in-process

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"Every Angel is terror. And yet,
ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly
birds of the soul" from Rilke, 2nd Duino Elegy, 2012, 18" x 24", painting-in-progress, charcoal, acrylic, canvas sheet.

TSA tonight. I'll work on it over the next few days. A rough draft, you could say.

Figment, or what is departing?

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Figment, or what is departing?, 2012, 20.5" x 16", mixed media on 90lb archival paper.

For me, I see strange and unintentional resonance of the woman with one of the earliest cave paintings, the Shaman of Trois Frères (scroll down a bit). She is half elk, a shaman, and he is a primal man who may transform on the full moon, an adept of the great goddess. Does the strength of moonlight compose him? There's something Fellini-like about them. As if from a dream. Or a poetic metaphor. The animal soul and its poetry of desire.

Her dress is made of red ink.

[One figure is from the OCAD figure drawing sessions; the other is a rendition from the Keyhole session. Together they make another story.]