Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anonymous Art Show

Just letting you know that I'll have some of my art on sale at the upcoming Anonymous Art Show. Here are the details:

The Anonymous Art Show Anonymous Art Show 2011

Sale & Opening: Thursday, November 24, 7:00-9:30pm
CityScape Community Art Space
335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

The Anonymous Art Show is a group exhibition and fundraising event that includes two-dimensional artwork by both established and emerging artists on unframed 8" x 8" x 1.5" canvas and wood panel.

Artwork is sold right off the wall from the opening until Saturday, December 17.

Each artwork is priced at $100. Fifty percent will go to the artist and the balance will remain with the Arts Council. The paintings are sold anonymously as the artists sign only the back of their work. This event helps the Arts Council fund many of our valuable programmes including free community events, art classes and youth programmes. It also enables the community to support local artists and provides an opportunity to purchase original art work at a great price.

A wonderful opportunity to purchase original art
in time for Christmas!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Ventures

Short post today. First off, I want to mention that my lack of blogging is not indicative of a lack of artistic productive. Quite the contrary, in fact.

In terms of the visual arts (my go to!), I recently finished two canvases which have been submitted for the Anonymous Art Show in North Vancouver. I assume I'll hear very soon if those pieces have made it into the show, which begins on November 24th (and I'll post the details here for that too). I submitted another piece recently for jurying at another local North Vancouver art gallery, but it unfortunately, did not make the cut. And I have started another painting now that I was commissioned by a friend and former student to do - so far, so good! Enjoying the process!

Last week was my big performance in my Exploring the Arts for Social Change course. Like I mentioned last post, it was my chance to start playing guitar again. But what I hadn't anticipated was how the performance allowed me to find my performing singer's voice. I love singing and know I have talent, but my singing has always been very private. Anytime I've performed guitar, it's been without voice; anytime I've performed voice, I've been part of a choir. So this was a first on many levels. Our class' response to the performance was overwhelmingly positive and I'm still reeling. We were asked to play it three times!!! Not only did they enjoy it artistically, but the message we worked so hard to write was received so well and we were able to gently challenge them into considering and noticing the injustices and inequities we witness every day in our societies, and act as if we're alright with them being there.

So in the coming months, I have a painting to finish, and a life as a musician to fully get reacquainted with. Sounds like artistic bliss to me!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Exploring the many forms of artist in me

This past month has been my busiest month in a while, now working two jobs, taking a class, and doing many other things such as art, running, and of course, spending time with loved ones. Previously, I hadn't been quite so busy, for about 5 months or so, yet in that time, I was so much less productive artistically. Why? I wondered this before, given I had been excited at the prospect of having the gift of time to work on my art this summer. But that gift of time was needed for other priorities; and spending so much time at home every day meant that one of the reasons I create art was no longer a reality.

For me, creating art has always been, among many other things, an outlet: a way to relax, decompress, and re-energize in times of busy-ness, in much the same way running does for me. But unlike running, art is a way to force me to spend quality time at home resting, in a way that is hard when life pulls you in multiple directions. So as I spent the summer at home a lot, I focused more on running because I didn't need any other excuse to be at home; instead, I needed more excuses to get out of the door.

Somehow, in this busy month, trying to work out a new routine for myself, I've managed to carve out a bit of time here and there, when needed, for creative expression. I've finished two new canvases recently as a submission for the Anonymous Art Show held as the annual fundraiser for the North Vancouver Community Arts Council (so to preserve anonymity, I won't be blogging about the images right now). In addition, I've also prepared a submission for a call for artists to the Seymour Art Gallery where I've never exhibited work before. Tomorrow, I'll be dropping off both submissions and it feels really good having them all ready to go, packaged up, and waiting by the door. I feel like I've accomplished something great here! Hopefully I'll get into both shows and have news to report on upcoming exhibitions!

I've also somehow found time for other forms of creative expression. Because of a class I'm taking, Exploring the Arts for Social Change (fantastic course, by the way), I'm working on a collective art piece and presentation with a classmate. We decided on a combination of poetry and music for our 'performance' next Wednesday. I wrote a poem I'm quite proud of which we'll be creatively reciting to the class. And as for the music piece, well, we'll be playing guitars and singing a song we've worked on (adjusting the lyrics of a song we found and like). The moment we decided on the idea, I got excited. Also nervous, because I haven't considered myself a 'musician' for a while. But I know it's in me.

It's been a few years since I've played my guitar regularly, although I'd picked it up a few times here and there over the last little while. Recently I broke a string and another important part was also broken. I left it in its broken state, uncared for, for the last few months, ignoring the state it's been in, thinking, "I'll get to that later." I finally made plans to get it fixed, get new strings, and start playing again. I realized that prior to this class project, I had little motivation to fix the guitar. Here was my excuse to re-start, and it felt great to notice this. When I got to the repair shop and learned what I was in for, and learned of what new guitars went for.....guess what I did? I invested a few extra dollars and bought a NEW guitar, leaving the old one in its state of disrepair! Oh my goodness, am I crazy?

I bought my old steel string when I was a teen - bought the least expensive one I could find as I learned to play. Over time I realized that while I loved strumming and singing cover tunes, I much preferred trying classical songs - really using my ability to read music and interpret the notes on the page. And it's hard to compare to Spanish guitar playing flamenco music! But playing classical on a steel string guitar can only satisfy you for long. It's hard to finger pick, and the sound isn't as rich and full. Playing harder songs can be really frustrating when your fingers get sore real easy from trying to do it all on steel strings.

So I figured now was my time to finally get a classical guitar! Again, I got an inexpensive model, but oh my goodness, she's a beauty; the sound is incredible! I can't get enough! I bought the 2011 Yamaha C40, which delivers the sound quality you'd expect from Yamaha, but at a really good price - real awesome value. I'm certain that this new guitar, the kind of guitar I've wanted for years, and the rich tones the nylon strings provide, will keep me motivated to play and challenge myself to harder songs for years to come.