Prolific

The first person to call me prolific is a brilliant impressionist. My friend Patrick.

I had to look it up.

Pro-lif-ic 

/prəˈlifik/ dictionary 

adjective

adjective: prolific

1. ( of plant, animal or person) producing much fruit or foliage or many offspring. 

2. present in large numbers or quantities. Plentiful. Abundant.  Productive, creative, inventive, fertile.

What’s interesting about this definition, not once does it say “easily”.  
Yet, it’s a common misunderstanding it must be for creatives who are prolific.
Those two words in conjunction with another fly around me fairly often. “Prolific, easy, natural”.
Only one is true. I am prolific.
I produce a mountain of work, not because its easy or natural. Not one little iota. 

Iota – [ahy-oh-tuh]“something very small, iota is the smallest letter in the Greek Alphabet”.

There are very few natural genius’s. I have met many artists, musicians, writers who agree. In fact, I have yet to meet one who said the work came easily.

 
There’s danger in assuming every artist is a natural easy talent. 
First: it devalues their work effort, education, evolved skill. 
Second: it becomes a cop out for those who want to attempt creative practice. I hear this all the time. “Oh I wasn’t born with it like you were, so why bother.”

Friends, I wasn’t born with it either. 
Dad describes it best, sharing his perspective with Mr. Shurniak recently, “For years she drew and drew and drew, and it never looked like anything. Then one day it did.” I love that he continues to share this story, because it’s honest. 

Last week a friend asked what the hardest part of my job is.

It’s creating the work. Because without quality work, without feeling good about what I release, the rest  of it, selling, promoting, etc, is not just challenging, it’s impossible.

I still produce duds. It comes with the territory. Perhaps where I excel is being able to overcome the frustration.To not be bogged down, or hampered by it. Or, like some, insulted by it. 

Privileged to do what I love, not knowing how long I will be able to do it, I am driven by a sense of urgency. With an unquenchable thirst to improve, to delight and engage you, I just get back to work.

 “Keep busy while you are waiting for something to happen.” Robert Genn. 

~

NEW!

“Beach” 11×14 oil on canvas $660.oo

“Carnation” oil on board sketch

“Sky over Field” 8×10 oil on canvas $500.oo

“Out of the Ashes, Into the Clouds” 24×30 work in progress oil $1,980.oo

Decsendants & Decisions


 I think about your great grand babies at tax time. 

Your descendants, great nephews, nieces, friends of the family.

New “Blue Skies”

To explain, I’ll share a story from one of the most recognized art dealers in the country. 

Many amazing artists hail from eastern Canada. Once such painter from rural Quebec reached fame with his beautiful compositions. He built his business without the assistance of dealers. From his home studio, raising his family on his earnings, he did very well. His work was collected across the country, internationally, and exhibited in the National Gallery. After he passed collectors approached art dealers to sell their treasures, hoping to collect on their investment. 

Not one dealer or auctioneer could accept the paintings. 

You see, his art enterprise was a cash business. With no established paper trail, or secondary market record, dealers could not legally accept the work. 

Before an art dealer/ broker /auctioneer purchases or accepts art on consignment, they have to establish provenance, and prove the work was not stolen. They might believe wholeheartedly your attic art collection belonged to Auntie May, they also need to proof.

I direct clients asking about selling historical work to appraisers/ accredited art dealers and suggest they gather evidence on their collection. This may include receipts of purchase, insurance records, letters between the artist & themselves, letters describing the gift, or purchase. 

New “Ocean” finally complete!

Original art sold thru auction is called the secondary market. Art is submitted thru a recognized art dealer ( gallery), not the artist. 

For the seller, art may take time to establish value when first introduced at auction. The purpose is to establish public record of sale. Like fancy street creds, the artist’s work & name becomes more recognized, adding value to all original work by the artist, benefiting the collectors. ( more on the auction industry, see post “Canadian Art Specialist”)

Three new paintings shipped to Hambleton Galleries this week!

Artists have access to a global market with the web at their fingertips. Many ask why work with Galleries, who’s commission fees are usually 50%, when the work is selling well from my own studio.

I could have my work in other galleries, why choose the challenging route of working with known dealers and who sell both contemporary & historical art? 

  1. They can introduce my work to the secondary market . 
  2. Corporate collectors are often restricted to purchase work directly from galleries & not the artist. 
  3. High end collectors purchasing historical work, see mine among it. Value by association. 
  4. They expose my work to clients I would not have access to on my own. Many have an established reputation in the industry spanning decades.                                         

Working hard to create quality paintings, in conjunction with business decisions like these, producing paper trails, declaring income for taxes, all come to mind when I think of your great grand babies. 

You may not sell your Dawn collection, but they might. Not only do I want that option available to my collectors, I feel accountable. It’s not about my legacy, but yours. 

~

New!

Blue Skies 4ftx2ft oil on canvas $3,960.00

“Ocean” complete two days ago with final light added. It has a lovely soft feel. 4ftx3ft oil on canvas $4,345.00

Three new paintings above shipped to Hambleton Galleries, arriving in the Kelowna Gallery TODAY!


The “To Do” List

Write your “to do” list.  Now put the word “Get” in front of it.
This simple exercise inspires a perspective of gratitude. 

SKY

Not the type to benefit seeing thru rose coloured glasses? Science suggests you are. 

The human mind has tremendous power over how we react to or anticipate experience. It has a direct impact on outcome, and friends, it can go a longgg way.

How much information we absorb, complete tasks, respond to crisis, or stay true to new years resolutions, can begin with attitude. 

lavender farm

Weeks prior to her 2 year booster shot, my cousin prepared her daughter saying she was one of the luckiest girls in the world… to be getting a needle. 

“Many little girls won’t have this opportunity, it is going to be so AWESOME and so FUN!” my cousin explained. No need to sway her cooperation with a promised treat, the booster shot was the treat.

The drive to the clinic had a festive party feel, my tiny cousin beside herself with joy.

Little Allie announced to her good fortune to wait room patients, her excitement nearly uncontainable. Hopping up on the table, she thanked the nurse for this amazing shot, didn’t cry, and glowed showing off her needle mark like a Bunny tattoo. 

Not easily convinced as perhaps, a two year old? Hang on to your party hat, because purposefully reframing events can still influence your experience & the outcome. Awareness of our external and internal words we apply to events and being mindful is important. In our culture we often apply the words ” have to” Ie: ” I have to go for groceries. I have to pick up the kids, I have to.. ” Changing words changes perspective and lessens mental burden. Having a growth mindset or fixed mindset can also be a determining factor in potential. 

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

Sunset over lakeside Vineyard

Proper mental health care coping with challenging experiences/ emotions is so important. This isn’t about sweeping tough experiences under the rug, rather it’s about applying positive thinking appropriately as a tool, not a poster cliche. 

Ocean

Envisioning circumstance in a positive light makes space for peace, fuels opportunity, ignites solutions, builds resilience, and may increase compassion for others. It can begin with a heart of gratitude.

So, what do you get to do today? ~ 

Note: Congrats to my ‘little cousin’ Allie, who graduated Medical school in 2018, now working full time as a GP MD.

NEW WORK!

“SKY” 4ft x3ft now complete! available $4,345.00

“Lavender Farm” 24×30 original oil 

Sunset over Lakeside Vineyard” 22×28 original oil ~ With Lavender Farm will be shipped to the Hambleton Galleries (& a third in the works) avail for purchase.

“Ocean” 4ftx3ft has new features to engage you, so happy with it! $4,345.00

 All available ART for purchase, please click here.  Email dawn@dawnbanning.com to purchase.

Note: So happy to donate Autumn Forest Trail 4ftx3ft to Transition to Betterness Charity Gala Jan 26, Which provides comfort to patients and families impacted by life-altering illness.

Where the Light Gets In

Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” drifted in my mind while tracing a brushstroke with my bare hand thru the half finished painting.

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

It completely changed the dynamics of the painting.

Planning art exhibitions is a little like planning your birthday party for strangers. 

There may be months or, in this case years of preparations.

You hope dear friends arrive, to meet new ones, have inspiring conversations, enjoying exchanging of gifts.

It can be an exciting, nerve wracking, rewarding event inspiring a desire to sleep for month after.

This is how I have felt since returning from a whirlwind year & month long western ‘tour’.

It is only the second time in a decade I put down the brush for more than a week. 

Painting after a month away can be a challenge, like your first season golf swing, or running after a month break. One may feel daunted & rusty. 

I prepare for a painting hiatus by leaving at least two paintings near completion & one barely begun. Upon return, projects are viewed with fresh eyes, without the pressure of starting a completely blank canvas. I ease my way in by finishing two the first two fairly quickly, encouraging a feeling of accomplishment. 

Next, for the project in early progress (or the first blank canvas) I use a completely different approach by choosing a difficult composition. One that scares my socks off.

Painting a canvas in progress facilities bravery, because there is nothing left to lose, or fear of ruining a new canvas in case it goes south.

Some of my best creations came to fruition applying this method. For one thing, the underpainting contributes to the composition in ways I could not have imagined. 

SKY began as a moonlit tree. 

Returning to the studio I traced a beam of light along a painted branch and a light filled sky filled my mind. 

The painting changed direction and SKY emerged.

The vertical rather abstract orientation, and focal point near centre make the composition challenging. It’s balanced by amazing diagonals soaring across the sky painted in a more realistic style. It helps you feel at one immersed within and pulled along.

I could spend a lifetime painting skies and it would be enough. An impactful exhibit of time made visible. Fleeting whispers merge, vibrate, disappear and change form as quickly as a thought threads thru your mind. 

The sky overhead is a wonderful reminder of the life’s fluidity. We bear witness to it in real time. The drama, action, and contrast is all there, each unique in moments, colour, movement, and light playing on the landscape. 

A tangible force of energy we can observe daily. 

While adding filtered light near completion in the painting, Cohen’s song drifted in my mind, bringing a heartfelt warmth.

How appropriate for a painting that was not meant to be, but contributed to what is. How fitting for a sky that moves in light with darkness giving way. 

“Forget your perfect offering.” How true of Impressionism, not illustrative of  photo perfection, but reflecting something beyond, with emotional intensity, offered in love.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

“~

New Work “ SKY” 4ft x 3ft original oil $4,345.00

Note: Looking up is the quickest way for a mood lift. Why? Head position greatly influences mood.

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-8-secrets-to-using-your-body-to-instantly-boost-your-mood/

Arena of Possibility

Invest in your potential’ is a powerful call to action. 

While envisioning possibility is part of the equation, recognizing your controlling ability puts dreams into motion.

It makes them tangible. 

Red Canoe avail.

Author Jen Sincero relates her statement to professional development, and, like many business advisors, she says changing or ’upgrading’ your environment has a direct influence on your growth.

You already have a lot going for you. 

Nearly every experience, job, interaction, has been an opportunity for growth. Even the tough ones.

Whether it be as monumental as coping with great loss, illness, business failure, challenging circumstance & people or simply figuring out how to fix your own plumbing.

 If you haven’t recognized your achiever or hero within yet, know it exists. Look in your past when you shone in the face of adversity. 

Everyone has potential, every single person has the right to be in the arena of possibility.

Bruce Springsteen says “I am just a boy from new jersey” during his broadway play. Thou he recognized the ‘fire in his belly’ to be a successful musician at a young age, he quit guitar lessons after two weeks, because it “was too hard’.

Stories of success in career, health, fitness, creativity, innovation, are littered with stages of quitting, changing direction, challenging peaks and valleys. 

Mountain sunrise avail.

Achievers know there isn’t an absolute end game. Success is fluid. Growth is a continuous lifestyle path.

They embrace change, new ideas, persist, reframe failure as a stepping stone, not cement boots. 

Mostly, they believe. 

Deep down they know they are worthy, with great potential, regardless of age or circumstance. 

Lucky breaks do not fall in their lap, they create their own. They build support systems, gather knowledge & teams who support the dream.

Achievements hard won have longevity. The strength & resilience you build is transferable to other aspects in your life. 

Accepting that it will not be easy, there may be times you will want to give up, or feel grouchy about the whole deal is, in itself, freeing. Because when they happen you aren’t surprised, and you can get on with it.

Whatever mountains you face, know you are not alone, you have potential and can equip yourself with the tools to make your dreams reality. 

 4 Investment Potential keys :

1) Believe. Live & breathe awareness that you embody potential. 

2) Invest in knowledge. Research others success’s in varying fields. Dreams don’t happen overnight, they take preparation and real life strategy. Discover the steps to make it happen. *Baby steps still move you forward.

3) Improve your surroundings. Invest in things that inspire, delight, calm and motivate you. A positive organized space is a productive one. Whether it be clearing your pantry of junk food, or having clean tools handy, the things ( and people) that surround you contribute to your ( demise) or success. 

*Art positively affects work, fitness, & home environments.JUST three examples: Fitness Endurance:Runner’s World reported athletes were able to work out longer while viewing art of their favourite vacation spots. Productive, Happy & Communicative: Corporate staff stated they were more productive, positive and communicative when original art was placed in their office environment. Healthcare: research states patients heal faster & need less pain medication when exposed to nature art.

4) Invest in your body, mind & spirit. (Self care.) Everything requires energy. Deplete it by living an unhealthy lifestyle and it will be challenging to be of service to your family, work, community, or your dreams. A foundation of good health is necessity. * You are never too old to put this in motion.

Investing in your potential can be empowering and fun. Sourcing ways to bring your dream to fruition is like building a support system in your honour. ~

Note:

It has been a marathon year of painting and record number of exhibitions/sales last month.  So many highlights include the thrill of having two of my paintings purchased by Mr. Shurniak. His world class diverse collection of art will never be sold, auctioned, or broken up, always available to the public, as per his estate. My work will now permanently hang forever with great masters such as: The Group of Seven, ( Casson, Lismer, Jackson, Harris) Nicolas deGrandmaison,Doris McCarthy, Allen Sapp, Arthur Shilling, James Henderson,Joe Fafard, Bernard Cathelin, Carlos Nadal, Goodridge Roberts, numerous international masters, and my dear late friend Robert Genn. 

I arrived back in Ontario 2 days ago after a month away attending the exhibits. So excited to return to the studio soon and see what emerges! ( that is, after I have a long rest.)

It’s been a great joy & learning experience, inspiring meeting new friends & collectors, hearing your stories first hand. 

Congratulations to new & veteran collectors of the work, thanks to all of you for attending the exhibits, and those who have been following the journey on Instagram & Linked In. 

Over the last few months interviews with reporters, artists & collectors seek insight. Some ask for a straight forward ‘easy path to success’. My road to becoming a professional artist hasn’t been direct, unchallenging, nor is currently, easy. 

In retrospect, this is just one the aspects in my career I am most grateful for.

 May you be you be peaceful, may you be well…..may you have grit. 

P.S   I once asked a 2x cancer survivor friend how devastating it must have been to be diagnosed a second time. He said the second diagnosis was much easier, because “I knew what I had to do.”

2018 Reflection

By making space to enrich your life with original art & craft, the world benefits too.

In art, craft & music, humanity isn’t just equipped with beauty & function, it’s gifted with hope.
People exposed to art have less mental fatigue, ‘stronger critical thinking skills and are more socially tolerant.’
Solutions rise along with open-mindedness.

By collecting, you inspire others, creating tradition & legacy, opportunities to prosper, improve health, awareness and ideas. Art is an energy game changer. Your place becomes not just functional, but a place to thrive.

Original art & craft become a part of a family’s stories & legacy, inherited, gifted or auctioned, unlike so many disposable items today. In this way, dwellings become more sustainable, encouraging generations of conscious consumerism.

When we stop filling our spaces, and start filling our lives with thoughtful intention, mindfulness flourishes.
Cradling a mug of favourite tea made by a makers hands becomes an event. A caress in the curve of an armchair carved by hand gives one pause.
Art can empower and enlighten, stopping you mid stride with emotion. Paint & linen didn’t do that, the maker did.

“Support the arts” suggests a charitable act.
Yet, the arts support & unite humanity. Arts root us to past & present, inspire future possibility.
The arts are one of the largest contributors to fundraising for healthcare, conservation and educational venues.

But if we don’t include, collect, share art, artists become fewer, less inspired, less hopeful there is a place for them, and their work.

Dealers, Gallery owners and Artists report it’s become challenging motivating the public to visit & purchase original work.
“Screensavers have become their art collection” said one. Some people confessed not ever experiencing art in person, social media supplies their art viewing.

In this instance, the free online view deprives the artist of funds & fuel for further art, and the viewer is denied authentic experience. Art on a screen vs in person is like viewing a picture of a cupcake vs. savouring one.


These great electronic tools with their pixilated screens are intended as invitation to engage with real art.

In a time where fewer may be visiting galleries, a handful of resilient art lovers traveled thru a snow storm to the Shurniak Gallery opening.

my cousin Linda at the Shurniak
When new three paintings arrived in Kelowna, BC at the Hambleton Gallery this fall, two quickly sold, …to a couple from Toronto.

It’s been a wonderful 2018, you fill me with gratitude & inspiration by making room for and enriching your lives with art. The world thanks you too.

~
News~
This is my last post for 2018, as I will be traveling to the exhibit this week without a laptop.
I will be available by email, and updating Instagram.
All artwork shown is available for purchase.

“We have been told often enough that craft is threatened.
But the truth is that craft can be so powerful, so convincing, that we will gladly stand helpless before it.”
The invention of craft 2013 Glenn Adamson

Glenn Adamson’s inspiring commencement speech May 2018 is truly worth the read.

 

Swiftly Flowing River

*Important: Due to upcoming Sask exhibit travels, studio will be closed Nov 28-Jan. Please be in touch asap for purchasing art from the studio. ( this includes holiday purchases)
*All Prices increase in Jan.
~

The Cree name translates ‘swiftly flowing river’, apt, for a province that hosts 100,000 lakes & rivers, with 30 varieties of shore birds, and moose capital of the World.


Its home to 2 national parks, 35 provincial parks, 288,00o kms of forest, equaling 44% of the province.
Boreal forest covers over half the province.

If you still believe Saskatchewan is a flatland of wheat fields, view my cousin Megan’s photo below.

I was born in the village of Fort Qu’ Appelle’s Indian Hospital, Echo Valley Provincial park. The ‘Fort’ is located on a small section of land nestled between Echo and Pasqua lake, known as The Calling Lakes.

( google images of hospital & valley below. My photo of the lakeshore includes the chimney of the old hospital, google image of the Indian Hospital below.)

This beautiful valley is the home of Buffy St Marie, prominent artist James Henderson, and the historic Hansen Ross pottery studio.

James Henderson”the River” FortQ.

Chief Walter Dieter of the Peepeekisis became Head of Federation of Saskatchewan Indians the year I was born, two years later forming the Brotherhood of First Nations known today as the Assembly of First Nations.

In my Father’s Prov. Parks career it was mandatory to reside within amazing places like Echo Valley, including Greenwater and Kenosee Parks.

Employees were encouraged to experience diversity of the parks firsthand, therefore often transferred around the province. Living in varied remote wilderness, abundant with wildlife near first nation communities taught us appreciation for landscape/ culture diversity and adaptability.*

It’s a beautiful collective experience written in my soul.

I return to close the Saskatchewan Exhibit Dec 2.

It’s a body of work I am proud of, as varied, colourful & bold as the Canadian landscapes I have been fortunate to thrive in.
Special Thanks to the Shurniak Gallery for this opportunity & those who have traveled to the exhibit.

~New Work & MORE NEWS!!~

Lake Shore 18×24 $1100.00

New Sunset 24×36 oil fresh on the easel $2170.oo

All prices will be increasing in 2019! Website will reflect new pricing in January.
Website has a new user friendly ART page. Please peruse the art at your leisure. http://www.dawnbanning.com/newsblog/art-gallery/
~
If you wish to purchase paintings from the Shurniak Exhibit, or from my studio please contact me asap.I will be away from the studio in December.
New “Mountain Snowfall’ is at the Hambleton Gallery for the Winter Exhibit due to open end of Nov!


~
Due to the Canada Post Strike, I am using alternative methods for shipping, primarily UPS.
~
PS To see video shorts, glimpses of new work & process, follow on Instagram, a user friendly media made for art lovers & creatives.


My page is open to the public, no need to subscribe!
https://www.instagram.com/dawnartworks/
sample views above & below:

* as an artist, these are key characteristics, enabling one to quickly engage with landscapes & relate those I haven’t experienced firsthand.

Selfie

The face you know best is your own.
From the time you learned to touch your nose, you’ve come to know every facial curve under your fingertips and your reflection in every mirror surface.
It is the reason artists are instructed to draw a self portrait before attempting another’s.

Oblivious to this kind of instruction, I drew portraits as a teenager, without ever creating my own.
I never had a desire to.
For one thing, I know my own stories.
In the faces of others, I saw so many, and hoped to share those stories with the world.
At 25 I began to paint landscape, a universal subject with powerful potential to connect humanity to nature.

So when Julia took this photo in the boreal, I never dreamt it would one day be my first self portrait.

Julia

Standing across a wee bay from one another in the morning sun, we were capturing photos for documentation on the most wonderful expedition experience of my life.

Dawn

I recently remarked on my ‘carefree’ look, awkwardly balancing on a narrow rock ledge, “That’s me weeks without a shower in the wilderness!” Julia replied ‘It was Day 2.”

It’s a beautiful photo composition, with wonderful paintable elements. You have seen this island in a few paintings, and that lovely curve of rock.

What inspired me to paint its entirety, scruffy character & all, isn’t a sudden desire to study self portraiture.
I was filing photos when my Painters Keys subscription popped up Oct. 12th.
Sara Genn’s moving letter “Ninth Street Women” motivated me to completely switch gears that day.
( click here to read the full letter)

….“Elaine de Kooning had debuted with 71 other artists at the Ninth Street Gallery in New York. The show featured eleven women and sixty-one men, including Elaine’s husband, Willem de Kooning, plus Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock, the husband of another exhibitor, Lee Krasner. The month-long show launched a new wave of up-until-then virtual unknowns — loft squatters soon to become the Modern Masters of American Abstract Expressionism. Well, the men were soon recognized, at least. The women lumped along on a circuitous path as the at-times painter-wives of stratospheric art stars, with another ten, twenty, forty or sixty-plus years to go before establishing their own places in art history.”..

Today, “In terms of representation in commercial galleries, women hover around the 30% mark, with women continuing to make up only 3-5% of museum permanent collections in the U.S and Europe.”

TEN to SIXTY YEARS… 3-5% representation.

Tears quietly blurred my eyesight & I knew what to paint.


This composition purposely breaks a few rules:

1. When including a person in the landscape it’s best to have the figure facing away, so the viewer can picture themselves in the painting. Figure facing the viewer may be thought of as confrontational.

2. Thou sunglasses may be glam in fashion photos. In a painting, they block insight into the figure. Sunglasses off, you invite the viewer in, sunglasses on.. not so much.

3. I painted the island in the middle. A compositional no-no.

~
What I love about it:

It’s powerful.
The character element makes no apologies, quietly demands attention.
“I am here to stay” she says wordlessly.
Close connection of the canoe & figure may be viewed as an expression “Paddle your own craft, forge your own path.” ( cue fist pump)

It felt cathartic & was painted in joy.

Dedicated to the women who stayed the course, and continue to in the world of art.
To name a few Canadians, Mary Pratt (who was told there could only be one artist in the family, her husband.) Kathleen Morris, Anne Savage & those of the Beaver Hall Group, Daphne Odjig, Emily Carr, Maude Lewis, Dorothy Knowles, my friend Julia Hargreaves who captured this moment so well, & Mom, creative brave heart & art champion, ( first photo)
~
I’ ve been thinking about canoe names, what are your suggestions? Bertha & Agnes?

P.S ~ Sara’s Dad Robert wrote about pay inequality of women artists in comparison to men. It’s still an issue, with “women earning 81cents to every one dollar made by men. Women working across art professions earn 20,000 less than men.
In 2017 the University of Luxumberg (thru over a million records) found works by women sell for 47.6% less than work by men.

Fresh Perspective

Mountain Snowfall 

“Too close,” is an expression among creatives.
In the midst of creating artists may have difficulty ‘seeing’ the piece, unknowing if it’s moving in the right direction. ‘Is it bad or brilliant?’ syndrome.
Think of a problem/ decision/discussion/ crossroads you encountered in the past.
While emotionally invested, you may have felt unable to step out of the fray and see the big picture objectively. One can be temporarily blind to solutions.
The term ‘ too close’ refers to physical, mental & emotional state.
Like jumping on a train with destination unknown, or cutting your own bangs, it could have unpleasant or surprisingly positive results.

“Too close affliction” is why I nearly trashed one of my most sought after paintings.
Distraught over ruined expensive materials & wasted weeks of work, I was hoisting it out of the house when Marc stopped me. He loved it, insisting it be included in the exhibit I was working on.

Summer Beach

I don’t know why, but at one point I agreed to let the gallery owner decide.
He loved it, and set the price.
Thou I had nightmares about presenting the painting publicly, it was a show favourite, found a home quickly, and was my first sale over $1,000.oo
More than a decade later, people still approach me about that painting.

And it nearly went in the trash.

Proximity challenge also occurs in the midst of growth.

Desire to improve fuels artists like athletes.
Evolution of the work isn’t about pursuit of perfection, rather striving to offer more, digging deeper into the artistic well. Finding creative solutions how to engage the audience more fully and illuminate the subject to the best of one’s ability.
It’s also a matter of survival in a highly competitive industry.
Increasing knowledge, skills, listening to critics, dealers, market dictations, instincts, and clients, artists strive for individuality hoping to remain true to their creative spark. The road can be tough and not for the thin skinned.

Autumn Treeline

It is a fine balance to remain in the eye of the creative storm. In this daily whirlwind it’s easy to become too close.

Life parallels in coping strategies may help your journey encountering ’too close syndrome.’

1. Distance allows clarity of perspective and space for answers.
Put the art away, out of sight out of mind. Viewing later ( weeks/ months, years) with less vulnerability and fresh eyes/ new perspective will do wonders. Solutions will appear.

2. Double Easel. Working on two or more paintings at once prevents from overworking, or’ dwelling’ on one piece. Dwelling, overworking, overthinking, overanalyzing are self imposed obstacles which stall & block instincts, preventing good energy flow.

3. Immerse in Nature. Take a nature break without paints, camera or company.( if safe to do so. ) Nature has powerful effects, offering peace, solutions and revitalization. Exercising in nature, you increase the effects enormously.

4. Remember your truth. See the big picture. What do you want to contribute to others & the world? are you ‘too close’ to see what you create? are you accountable to your actions? are they in line with your beliefs & what you represent? how do you hope others interpret your work? what is your legacy?

By forging a solo creative journey, one may become over self involved, neglecting what & who is outside the ‘bubble’.
What solutions arise when you act to contribute rather than receive or achieve?

Remember why you chose this path in the first place, knowing choice is fluid.
Change of scenery, medium/ genre, relationships, occupation, can infuse the soul and offer new perspective.

~
I wholeheartedly believe in order to progress artists have to be their own toughest critic.
A dear friend reminded me to find balance among harsh self judgement “while you see flaws, others see beauty”. Robert Genn wrote ~paraphrasing,~ ‘you may want to think about hanging onto your dogs, there is a pup for everyone.”

All NEW work above available for purchase:

Mountain Snowfall 12×24 oil available at the Hambleton Gallery Winter Exhibit

Summer Beach and Autumn Treeline each  24×36 $2170.oo oil in progress in studio

Kenosee 14×18 oil $825.oo on exhibit at the Shurniak Gallery

Congrats to new collectors of “Bay“, SOLD this week & Thanks to International Art Designs for the assistance in framing!

 

Art & Ironman

Preparing for a solo exhibit is dramatically similar to Ironman training.

It can take years of preparation, fitting the work in among other career projects & life. Building a body of work is like building a foundation of physical & mental strength for racing. The work needs to be quality, consistent and confident. Doubts may flare along with logistical planning nightmares and large financial investments. The long journey to race day(opening day) can bring forth a whole gamut of emotion and reflection.

While living in Kelowna, BC, aside from day job, I volunteered often. For Ironman Canada held in nearby Penticton, my position of choice was the massage tent located at the finish line.

Sundance 
At the time I was a seasoned marathoner, wildly curious about the training involved in the mammoth endurance event of a 3.86k swim, 180.2k bicycle, & a 42.2 run. Massage volunteer was an opportunity to spend uninterrupted one- on -one time with athletes and hear their adventures first hand.

Cloudy sky

It was an unforgettable experience, being in the midst of celebration and tender vulnerablity witnessing their accomplishments. The depth of emotion wasn’t something I was totally prepared for. “They didn’t cover this in training.” I thought, as a large muscled man tipped his head to my shoulder and wept. “I will never ever do that again.” he whispered. In contrast, a lively woman gripped my shoulders while in a happy dance. “My husband worried I wouldn’t finish, and here I am, with him still out on the course. It was AWESOME!.”

Sunset shore

Exhibiting one’s original art also has emotional peaks and valleys, with the physical & creative demands of marathon painting for months on end. The impact after years of work requires time to recover & restore before reflecting on the fruition of a dream.

The differences participating Ironman and a solo art show, in Ironman all the hard work & training come down to one day where your work blooms to fruition. You are in the drivers seat for the most part, on how the day plays out, whether success is achieved. In an art career, whether the show is deemed successful, my friends, is totally up to you.

As they say in the art world, that part is out of my hands.

rugged shore

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new NEWS news

Exhibit at the Shurniak Gallery is on until Dec. 2, please visit if you are in the area, all work is for sale, inquires please contact me. Peruse Mr. Shurniak’s astounding diverse collection while you are there, and have lunch in the adjoining cafe. Special thanks to my Papa, family & those who braved the storm to attend the opening.

Papa

~ Thanks to Gene Hauta of the Hudson Bay Review for his lovely article!

~ Before leaving Saskatchewan I had an important stop to make at the Elgar Peterson Arena, personally delivering the entire proceeds from the sale of ‘Bronco’ (sold at the opening of the Shurniak exhibit) to the Humbolt Bronco team. To the collector who purchased this unique original, please know they are grateful.

~ New work sold nearly immediately after arriving at the Hambleton Gallery in Kelowna!

SoldSold

Congratulations to visitors from Toronto, new collectors who purchased two new paintings! Thanks to Joshua and all the lovely folk at Hambleton Galleries. Group Winter show opens late Nov.

~ I am back in the studio this week with new paintings in the works above! Rugged Shore 22×28 also in progress ( nearly done!)

Cloudy Sky 18×24 oil $1100.00 on exhibit Shurniak Gallery
Sunset Shore 18×24 oil $1100.00 on exhibit Shurniak Gallery

Sundance 5ftx3.3ft is now complete $5300.00 & in the studio.
Email me to stop by the studio, recent work available for viewing & purchase. Looking forward to seeing you!

~ P.S, Participating in two full Ironman events, in some ways, I found easier than exhibiting. Thou both require an individual to control all elements we can, like quality work, execution of training, etc. ( in art, also marketing, business acumen, etc.) In art, my life’s work depends on people embracing & collecting it. An art career can be the ultimate wonderful lesson in letting go of control.