Good Piece by Russell Smith of the Globe and Mail

20160728_191829

Nice piece about how public space is being re-shaped by digital and corporate influences.


Artist’s Notebook for July 11th

Digital drawing of campus architecture, Hamilton (Ont).

Digital drawing of campus architecture, Hamilton (Ont).

 

My focus for the past week has been a proposal for a commission job.  I can’t really go into details but if successful would be a really positive development.

The proposal pushed me to get my CV updated.  I also created a dedicated artist’s website.  The site is a WordPress product and I used a free theme to get things started.  In the past few months, I have been looking at different artist’s sites for inspiration.  I would like something more polish up and running before I start showing at group shows.

Otherwise, I am continuing to work on my campus building iPad Pro project.   This project is meant to work out the bugs of using digital created images oppose to more traditional drawing on paper.

Related to the working in digital, I am considering creating a work for submission for a digital competition for floral images.  This contest would allow me to judge my efforts against others with more experience with floral painting.

All this digital painting stuff is related to my discovery of David Hockney efforts with digital tools and the creation of digital paintings worthy of being show in galleries.

I will keep you posted on how things work out.  Thanks for dropping by.

Chris

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Art Post 72


Artist’s Notebook – Developing an Artists Statement

Developing an Artist Statement

Why – Urban buildings and Landscapes?

Buildings and the land that surrounds them reflects our collective values and priorities.

When I first started painting, I was very focused on portraits and figures, trying to capture the essences of the subject.  I found it amazing that 500 years later, you could gaze into someone’s eyes and get a sense of their personality and character.  However, portraiture is conflicted by biases and deceptions created by the sitter, the artist, and the audience. Each player trying to control the message that the portrait is trying to convey. There is also the additional challenge of why would collector want to hang some stranger on their wall.

 

from life portrait

from life portrait

Unable to resolve these problems of the individual, I shifted my focus to tree portraits.  Viewing trees as a sort of collective representative of the community that surrounds them.

In urban settings, the placement and continued survival of trees is not accidental.  There is too much competition over land use to let this happen.

Winston Churchill Park, Hamilton (Ont).

Winston Churchill Park, Hamilton (Ont).

 

Winston Churchill Park, Hamilton (Ont).

Winston Churchill Park, Hamilton (Ont).

The presence a tree or a group of trees is a visual statement by the community.

In effect, tree portraits became a proxy for a human portrait.  It is hard to hide your values behind a huge tree living in a middle of a park such as the large tree that used to grow in the middle of Churchill Park in the west end of Hamilton, Ontario.

For nearly two years, this large and imposing tree became the focus of my artistic, from life, efforts.

In the 1920s, the land was set aside for further development of residential homes.  However, the Great Depression brought these plans to a halt.  Over time, the land came into control of the city and was made into an urban park.

The name of the park reflected the post-war character of the surrounding neighborhood, British and fading colonial empire might.

Within the last 10 years, the great tree was lost to a winter snow.  The lawn bowling club that used to be busy with bowlers dressed in summer whites is now closed.

Churchill Park Tree (2004)

Churchill Park Tree (2004)

Churchill Park, same view (2016).

Churchill Park, same view (2016).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The community is now much more diverse and the edge of the forest that surrounds one side of the park is now protected by a wild grass transition zone.

From managed stateliness to managed wildness.

Trees introduced me to the concept that to understand people, it is sometimes better to look at their handiwork rather than their faces.

Now, I have shifted my focus to buildings and the lands that surround these structures for clues about what we really value in life.

 

 

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Art Post 71 – from life sketches


Artist’s Notebook – Creating a Website

Artist’s Notebook – setting up a website

Fat Cats and Starving Dogs is a personal website; the goal is not to sell art but to explain what it takes to make art. However, I now need an artist’s website.

For the past year and a half, I have been struggling to master oil painting techniques and to find a voice in the field of contemporary urban landscape painting. Furthermore, I have also been struggling to find time to create a consistent body of work that I can present to galleries and collectors.

While these efforts continue to challenge me, I now need an artist’s website that can place my new creations within a larger context of art-making.

So, as I create my individual works, I need a place where galleries and collector can visit and understand what I have to offer them.

As I have mentioned before, I originally started off as a portrait and figure painter. However, the challenges of post-modern identity and perspective caused me to shift focus to tree portraitures. It was my way of examining people’s character and personality via the landscapes they create for themselves.

Today, my focus is on architecture and urban landscapes. In a way, I am still continuing the themes of my earlier efforts.

By creating a portfolio that highlights my tree portraits, maybe I can bridge this pre-2006 period with what I am creating today.


Art Post 70


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