Self-Portrait painting nearly done!

Self-Portrait, ©Brenda Clews, 2016, 20" x 16" x 1.5", oil on canvas.

It is if-y to post something not-quite-but-almost finished, and yet I am so close to the end... the veil needs to be defined more, and the photo of the painting was taken in the last rays of sun in downtown Toronto and that light caught the paint at an odd angle and made some glistens that don't belong there. I want one side of the face to be becoming perhaps a white mask and 'that other' side of the face to be rather strange, sinewy, the skein of colours almost nice, but also like the sinews and muscles underneath the skin. A face lit by a light that is composing it on one side while it is twisting on the other and undoing itself in a skein of muscley colours. Yet oddly polished too - as if this is an ordinary state (which it is). A self-portrait.

VERVE Showcase was Wonderful!!!

Verve Showcase on August 25th was a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who came out - so good to see you all! The art in the room was fantastic; everyone was so friendly; the musicians rocked; the fashion runway show at the end was darling. It's hard for me to gauge how my performance went, but I seemed to have the attention of most of the people in the room, about 300-400 people at that point. It was an amazing experience to be performing on a runway in a mask and a headdress with my Split Mask and book trailer videos on three screens! (I stripped the sound in the videos and performed poems.) I sold books, raglan tees and a painting, which made it a lovely evening. The last photo in the row above is from the end of the night looking down on the floor from my artist's spot upstairs. On the aftermath of Verve, yeah, I'd say, a beautiful evening.

Cate McKim wrote a fab article on RAW Artist's Verve Showcase  highlighting some of the artists and offering a slideshow from t…

Verve Showcase Thurs Aug 25th & some raglan tees!

I would like to thank everyone who purchased a ticket to Verve Showcase!!! So happy! Looking forward to seeing you all!!! ❤️ I will be performing two multi-media poems on stage, and will have an artist's display upstairs by the bar on Thurs Aug 25th. With 700+ people expected, it's gonna be a big, wild art party!!!

Verve Showcase
8pm - 1am
The Mod Club
722 College St
Thursday Aug 25 (my night) and ticket good for Fri Aug 26th too
(If you thought to come, and hadn't got a ticket yet, you can pre-purchase right up until the event for a bit cheaper - and can also get a ticket at the door.)

I was told it best to also offer prints at Verve Showcase. But the cost of giclee prints, prohibitive, and which drawings or paintings to choose? So, I thought, wearables. Even I would buy a nice t-shirt. But I like sleeves! I found a local company that did raglan tees. Their reviews were great. I took the plunge. I bought 40 raglan tees in different si…

"My Studio" Ha!

"My Studio" - or what my apartment turns into when I am painting. I can't have guests when I'm working on paintings since there is literally no room. The set-up works, though, and I get paintings of all sizes done. These small canvases (16"x20"x1.5") are almost finished - but not quite yet - especially the one on the right needs more hours. I am very busy this weekend socializing and won't get much done, and these will not be dry for Verve Showcase on Thursday, but that is no reason not to finish them anyhow.

Close-up Portraits of Women, last one *almost* finished

Have re-painted this gorgeous face multiple times, and maybe finally almost there (painted while watching Bolt's astounding final race in the Rio Olympics). Tomorrow have to work on the eyes when hopefully the paint is a little drier. The flourescent daylight bulb in the studio light picks up the blues and accentuates them. Nice effect though. 16"x20"x1.5", oil on canvas. © Brenda Clews 2016

I did a series on the masculine in watercolours and so I thought, I'll do a series on close-ups of women's faces in oils. Oils are harder to work with in the style that I am doing but perhaps the end result is satisfying in different ways - these paintings are much smaller than the sizes I usually work in, and the oils are lovely, thick, rich and there's nothing like the fragrance of oils in your studio (which is what my living room becomes when I'm working).

Unfinished Self-Portrait, Close-ups of Women Series

Self-Portrait, unfinished (the fascinator has a veil that has yet to be painted in), ©Brenda Clews, 2016, 20" x 16" x 1.5", oil on canvas.

About 12 hours later:

The middle one not finished. The fascinator on the one on the right has a veil to come. Night-time photos (not the best). Close-ups of Women. Each painting is 16" x 20"x 1.5", oil on canvas. ©Brenda Clews 2016 ___

Bänoo's Portrait almost done

Portrait of Bänoo Zan, 2016, 16"x20"x1.5", oil on canvas. ©Brenda Clews 2016. Photo taken inside with room light and colour-corrected (this is not the official photo which I will take when the painting is complete and dry and varnished).
Struggled with this all day and am okay with it now. A few touch-ups to do, but it is essentially done. I don't think it will be dry for Verve on Aug 25th, but... used water-soluble oils, so you never know. I still have two more portraits to do. I wish I hadn't been so busy in the last few weeks, not just with people and events, but with stress from same. ___

I'm in VERVE Showcase Thurs Aug 25th Toronto!

Howdy y'all!

I will hit the stage on Thursday, August 25th at Verve Showcase at the Mod Club (720 College St, Toronto, 8pm-1am), as well as have an artist's display upstairs by the bar.

VERVE Showcase is 2 days of live performances, runway shows, live hair and make-up, accessory design and visual art displays! 80+ talented artists involved! RAW Artist's BIGGEST and BOLDEST show yet! One ticket gets you in on both nights! Support local art and come out to see the vast talent that exists in Toronto.

Thursday August 25th, Friday August 26th 2016 at the Mod Club (722 College St.)
8pm-12am (Performances, Runways, Art Displays, etc.)
12am-2am (After Party with music by Tony Smart)

$20 advanced (will count towards my tickets, buy on-line or email or message me to pay cash to buy a ticket from me)
$25 at door
19+ event

If you buy an advanced ticket through my website at RAW Artists or from me in person, you get 20% off the 100% cotton r…

First photo with 'Tidal Fury'

First photo of my copy of Tidal Fury on July 26th, within hours of  receiving it by courier from my publisher! Photo by Eugene Styles.  Thank you Michael Mirolla and Guernica Editions!


2nd Wash of Oils on Three Close-ups of Women Portraits

Three Close-Up Portraits of Women, works-in-process, 2nd wash of oils, which, when they are dried a bit, will be stretched back onto their canvas stretchers and painted like regular oil paintings. They are each 16" x 20", oils on canvas. © Brenda Clews 2016

They've had two oil washes, and one of them had their paint removed, but they are women, they are ongoing. When they are dry, I'll begin painting. What you see here is mostly scrubby thick brushes and fingers and a washcloth without any delicacy.

Photos taken indoors with daylight fluorescent bulbs.

The last one, a self-portrait based on a photograph from a video that I did in 2013, when I had auburn hair, I am not happy with - been too busy lately, and under a lot of stress, and I realized that I was simply too exhausted to continue to work on it until I got it to a place of leaving. Perhaps it is the hair on the right side, and the shadows on the skin that need work. I don't know when I can come back to it,…

First Wash of Oils on the Three Portraits

Photo later than the video, and it is after a bit of work on the lower right portrait. First Wash of Oils, there is a 2nd wash to go, and then they will be stretched back onto their canvas stretchers and painted like regualr oil paintings. 16" x 20", oils on canvas. © Brenda Clews 2016

direct link: First Wash of Oils

Yeah, well. It's deliberately a small video. It's a bit much, the way my cut-off exercise tights/shorts slipped a bit. I speeded this up to 5000x to get it to fit into a minute though I spent well over an hour getting to this point with these paintings. It was gruelling and I wasn't happy with how they turned out. The second wash will help, I know. Then they will be stretched back onto their stretchers and painted like regular oil paintings. :) The video shows the hardest part of the whole process - beginning.