The Theatre of Disapearance – Collage

On my most recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I kept a promise with myself and made my way to the roof-top for a glass of wine while overlooking Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. A pretty spectacular and indulgent treat, I thought. (Especially as I was alone and the wine was not inexpensive) 


To my absolute surprise and delight, I found here this extraordinary installation by Argentinian artist Adrian Villar Rojas – The Theatre of Disappearance. 


In this exhibit, the artist used the Museum itself as as inspiration. Each piece represents replicas of nearly 100 objects from The Met collection. 


Each object is a fusion (or collage) of various, otherwise unconnected pieces from the collection, drawing from thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures. 


It’s is all rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a layer of dust. 


It was equally eerie and mesmerizing.  Simply breathtaking set against that magnificent backdrop. 


I was happy to slow down and admire, taking it all in while juggling my wine glass with my camera. 

If you are in NYC, the show runs until October 29, 2017 at The Met Fifth Avenue. I recommend it!  

WPC –collage

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Artistic Quest

Quest: /kwest/ a long or arduous search for something. Late Middle English from Old  French queste (noun). – OED


I wouldn’t call it an arduous search, particularly. But my quest to find my artistic style (or voice?) has certainly been a long one.  Life-long, in fact. 

These days I’m exploring sketchbooking through on-line classes. The idea is to develop a daily creative practice.  I can’t quite say that I’ve made it a daily activity (yet) but I’ve learned such a lot through this format. If you try it (and I’d recommend it to any one), beware – it’s addictive!

 This evening I followed instructor Liz Steel’s demonstration on drawing a tea cup. I couldn’t resist giving it a go myself. And whoosh!  An hour and a half slipped by, just like that!

About Face

If you can sit still for 20 minutes at a time, for three or four sittings, you too can be a model for a portrait painting.  I had this privilege a few month ago when I was asked to sit for a local group.

  
Every 20 minutes (they use a timer) I was able to up and walk around and check their progress. Each artist works in their own medium – from pencil and charcoal to pastels, watercolour and acrylics.

  
I enjoyed the experience and the company of these talented people so much, I joined them.  We met each Tuesday morning.  

Portraiture is tricky and full of rules. So, the goal at these sessions is to get a little bit better at the craft.  Practice, practice, practice!

I’m getting better, but still feel compelled to apologize in advance to whoever is modelling. 

  
At the end of each session, the finished pieces are lined up and each one is critiqued in the most encouraging and nurturing way.  For me, this is when the real learning happens.

WPC – Face

Vibrant

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Last June I volunteered to guide a group of grades primary-3 students (ages 5-9) in a collaborative art project.  Here each student created a 3-D butterfly in colours which spoke to them.  When brought together like this, the piece reflects their joy of learning and their part within their community. The piece continues to be displayed outside of the school office, and what fun it is to see the children continue to stop by and seek out their own part – their individual butterfly.   I love how this collaborative piece comes together to be greater than the sum of its parts.

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Considering art, collections and vibrancy ….. I can’t help but think of the fabulous realist Mary Pratt.  Her vibrant reflection of daily life is uplifting and …..humbling.. This was part of a retrospective presented at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. If you’d like to see more about that show, you can do that here.

WPC – vibrant

Wet Paint

  

  The rain on the window this morning was a welcome sound, bringing with it permission to linger a little. That’s what happens after a very busy weekend.  Just as we have done for the past four years, an artsy friend and I participated in the our local community art gallery’s annual fundraising event, Paint Sea on Site.  That’s kind of an awkward title for a wet paint sale.

  
If you are not familiar with a wet paint sale, it works like this:  artists (from near & far) sign up and spread out around the town to create art.  The artwork is collected throughout the day, and often whilst still wet, the pieces are displayed at a central venue for the public to enjoy and bid on, silent auction style.  At the end of the day, the highest bidder walks away with a piece of original art.  Fifty percent of the proceeds go to the art gallery and the other fifty percent goes to the artist.

  
It’s a two day event and is so much fun!  My friend and I have a longstanding date to spend the weekend together.  We use the opportunity to catch up, while supporting each other as we rush to get some work done.  We talk, we paint, we eat, we entertain friends, acquaintances and tourists who stop by.  The time absolutely flies!

  
It is usually one of the hottest weekend of the summer, which can produce some challenges to keep the paint from drying too quickly. And so, we have learned to seek out a place with some shade.  (We also try to be near some public washrooms – but that’s just because we like our comforts)  Heat and drying paint was not a problem this year, not by a long shot. Saturday was cloudy and cool – a little too cool for me – and on Sunday it absolutely poured rain!  

  
The smart people moved inside to work, but not us! No! We stuck it out, finding shelter under a generous person’s deck. It worked pretty well for the morning, but by afternoon, everything was so wet including the canvasses, it make working very difficult, indeed.  The above daisies were in our host’s garden, the blue sky was in my dreams.

 
  
At the end of each day, we went back with our last pieces to watch the auction close, tally the results and compare notes of the day with all the other painters.  There were around 70 of us this year. The gallery provides us with a nice salad supper and some social time.  In spite of the weather, I’m happy to say that all seven of the pieces I produced this weekend sold. (I forgot to take pictures of the last two – no surprise, there). 

But perhaps more significantly, by bedtime last night, my body was tired, my eyes were blurry and my heart was full of the companionable friendships – some newly made and others warmly renewed.