Hey, hey; lots of things happening again. Our dreamrealism show (SEVEN) is now at 1027 Mountain in Winkler. Hopefully it’s faring well; I haven’t had a chance to check on it since Travis and Jay and I set it up. We crammed in as much as we could and it all looked like it belonged there when we were finished. I’ll be going there tomorrow as I have to adjudicate a show in Winkler and I also want to put up a few posters; I’m hoping to do a few workshops on Dreamrealism painting later this fall and winter. Anyone interested in taking part in these workshops can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 1-204-822-4998. It will probably be on Wednesday evenings or on a few selected week-ends depending on who signs up …….. By the way, if anyone knows of a venue willing to host our show (anywhere in Canada) we’d love it. Travis and I will personally deliver the show and set it up and take it down; all this at no cost although we do count on the venue to line up some PR to advertise the show……Just drop me a line at the above address…..
I’ve been working on the cave almost every day since the 7th and loving every minute of it. I’m well advanced on the dome now; I have a passage 4 meters long, 2 and1/2 meters high and 1 and1/2 meters wide and am hoping to solidify it with cement before digging out the sides….. It’s nice and cool in there. I haven’t worked much on the sculpture that will go into it but have been studying it a lot whenever I go in the studio and it’s starting to need me again so hopefully one day soon…….
Jen and Richard were here a few days ago and we fired the new (third hand) big kiln. Richard figured out all the computer stuff on it in about 17 seconds, so now Jen and I are planning to work a lot bigger; I’m thinking sculpted pieces as well as large pots; it’ll be nice to do a pot or 2 and then head out to the cave for a bit. I’m really enjoying what is happening for me lately.
Lots of hummingbirds around here lately; now there’s a wonderful creature that I never tire of. We have 2 feeders and they just can’t seem to get enough; they have no problem sharing with the bees. I must have 50 photos of them and am enclosing my favourite…. Also a lot of dragonflies so no mosquitoes…..
Well, gotta go. Feel free to write even just to say Hi. Always a treat to hear from someone who actually reads this……
It’s been a long while since my last update but I’ve been a busy man….. Spent a few weeks in San Diego, L.A .area, and yes, even Hollywood. Apart from family the tourist highlight for me was seeing Gainsborough’s Blue Boy which I must have copied a hundred times when I was in Grade v and vi. I could still remember most of the pleats when I saw it and still think of it as a masterpiece….
Mostly though, I spent a lot of winter time in the studio painting. At one time I had about 70 wet paintings lying around on the floor drying. I work in layers and leave at least 2 weeks drying time between layers…. It got so crowded that it cramped my experiments….It’s pretty hard to throw paint around and spritz and whatever if you’re getting paint on other paintings huddled around I, so a priority now is stacked shelving for next winter’s creative binges….
We also had a great time at the Artists’ week-end at Jen’s. Mainly, we did some hand-built lanterns, oxide painting on clay, tie-dyeing, and raku. Gabrielle has refined oxide painting to a fine fine-art and even though my project got rained on, I am totally fired up to pursue this technique later this summer….
A few days ago, Matt and I did the impossible and stabilized the mystery stone by pushing it back with a jack-all. Pretty intense experience as we originally used only one 4x4 and it was bending like a bow from the pressure so we had to double it up.The weight was unbelievable and took all our power to jack it back. We shoved road gravel under it with a spade and water and left it for a few days to stabilize (see photo). Heavy duty experience and we feel lucky we were able to do it without getting flattened.....
SEVEN, our new dreamrealist group is now a reality. We had our first show in the studio on July 7 as planned-------7 dreamrealists showing 7 paintings each. (see www.dreamrealism.com ) I love this group and we plan on touring the show through Canada and into Australia as time goes on. We presently have 72 venues interested in hosting the show and Cherie and I are busy putting a CD and power-point presentation together to enhance our chances with the bigger galleries. The show is at the Morden gallery until the end of the month and moves to a Winkler venue (1027 Mountain) next month. It then comes back to the studio for the studio tour…. We have a show booked In Portage and are presently negotiating with 2 Winnipeg galleries and have feelers out in Calgary and Kelowna. It’s a pretty ambitious undertaking, but I’m expecting things to normalize now that the show is finally launched and crating and Canada Customs are not daily on my mind….
I finally got a bigger kiln on Monday and am now looking forward to getting back into pottery, sculpture, and continuing the cave. Jen and Richard and I are anxious to get back together for a few fires. It sounds like we’ll be joined by a new wave of potters so really looking forward to that as well….
We’re also thinking about next year’s show on Artists’ Day…July 7, 07 (777) which should be special. We’re thinking of 49 artists with 1 piece each as well as workshops and music at the Stones…. There seems to be a little cluster of volunteers coming forward so that will make a huge difference…. Anyways, will keep you posted…..Meanwhile, if you know of a gallery wanting to host the show, (no cost; we set up), or if you have ideas or wish to participate in next year’s show, let me know and please do spread the word around. Life is good…
-Had a great holiday with friends and family and getting into painting again, so guess who’s in a good mood, eh! Big John did a super job of the frames and panels, but I realized right away that I had given him the wrong thickness for the panels (1/8 inch panels warp like crazy) so I did the dirty deed and got new ¼ inch masonite delivered and re-cut all the panels myself. (I now have ‘saw-dust of the bowels’.) Anyway, I have 96 panels to experiment with and 104 panels to do keeper paintings on. I’ve already sanded and primed twice all 200 panels and have 21 experiments on the go, mostly to try crackling, adding pigments to the gesso and doing pastel transfers from sketches. Total fun or what! I was heating one in the kiln and it caught fire so I also have a burnt one that actually looks real cool…. Will definitely try a few more like that!
Our Dream-Realism group is now on the same page, or on the same site, at least.
I’ve taken part in many group shows but have never felt closer to the membership than now. We all paint in a similar style and have a lot to learn from each other. I feel inspired and energized and positive every time I look at their work and we hope the feeling is contagious. Each member of the group will bring 7 new paintings to the debut show (in my studio) on the 7th of July. None of us will have seen each other’s new paintings before the show so it should be pretty intense for all of us...like a family reunion with a lot of new kids and/or significant others...We are inviting all artists we know to the opening show so if you’re an artist, you are invited...We will celebrate at the stones that day with the usual fire, and hopefully some music and fireworks...
-Recently did a video on Portrait Drawing. Sandy is now editing the take and it should be ready to release soon. I was nervous as usual in front of the camera but luckily I had my back to it most of the time, and all in all it turned out better than I expected. It always amazes me that I have worked out a systematic approach for portraits over the years (art teacher) and yet, in front of the camera, the whole system just flies out the window and I paint from panic mode all the way through. We will be adding to the video at a later date and am determined to be more disciplined for the next one...
-Lots of coyotes celebrating the night-time lately. One of our neighbour’s horses died and I think the coyotes are feasting on it. Not a pleasant image for horse lovers but quite the reverse if you love wild animals as much as I do...
Well, back to the studio. Yeah for 2006!
- Guess what! You got it! More pots! And this time I have definitely shut down for the winter. We fired again last Sunday with some excellent results and very successful experiments and now will have a portion of the winter to figure out how to utilize all this new info. Take a peak at the new ware.
- I decided not to go for the China show after all. We recently had a few trauma days in the family and were glad to spend time where it means most. We also toured Bill Gossman’s studio out Minneapolis way as well as a few galleries and Quilting shops;
Bill is an awesome potter and very generous with his time so it made for a great weekend as you can see by the photos.
- My night school portrait workshops are over. The quality of my students’ work is quite amazing but I have to admit most of them were very strong before the course even started. We are planning a show after Christmas.
- Sandy and I are planning on doing a video or two on the ABC’s of portraiture and have already arranged for a model. By next update, I should be ready to give you an address to access the demos. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time so I hope it turns out well as my eyes are starting to give out a little….
- Deer hunting is mercifully over for another year so we can enjoy walking on our property again without fear of gun-toting bozoes.
- Got the call from Big John that all the panels and frames will be ready on Saturday. He is managing to squeeze a few extra small ones from the lumber he purchased so now I will be looking at 60 or so new panels. Sounds like my favourite winter is about to happen…..
- I’m posting a few photos of my sculptures in progress. As you can see. I have 7 sculptures on the go simultaneously; I’m the Henry Ford of modern sculpture….I love sculpture but the dust is a problem in the studio, so am planning to get into it in spring when I can wheel them out on the deck and let the breeze deal with the dust.Still’ I can’t help taking a swipe at them every now and then….
- Have a great holiday and don’t let Santa steal your money….
- The big snowfall has come and melted away and the weather is tender again.
- My Night School Portrait Drawing classes are coming along so well that I decided to post a few drawings. This has to be one of the most inspiring groups I've ever worked with; their talent and energy seems limitless. Check out some of their great work here.
- Jay now has a quilting blog. (http://jdebreuilsartandquilts.blogspot.com/) She has become a quilting addict ever since Emma Jane got her into it. Emma Jane will be spending a few weeks with us in the near future so we are looking for more good conversations and a lot of quilting. I just love the sound of sewing machines and happy ladies working at what they love doing………
-The cave is on hold till I get the geodesic dome assembled inside. I am now 9 feet into the dome without proper support and fear and common sense are starting to make me cautious. I hope Big John gets his bike in gear real soon so he can get on the dome and finish my panels and frames (for painting). He is such a perfectionist that it is totally worth the wait. Meanwhile, my mind is going crazy with anticipation of a lot of new stuff.
-The municipality is finally straightening out the road so it is off our property. They are doing a great job and the new view is nothing short of spectacular. The stones are now a lot more private. This little piece of land is as close to heaven as I want to get (for now, anyway)----Beauty, with an exclamation mark everywhere I look….
-Jen put on a great show at the Morden Craft Sale and did extremely well in sales. Congratulations, Jen. So inspiring to see your work improving daily and to have you as a potting buddy.
-I’m also feeling that my work is improving, so maybe there IS something to ‘old-age’ after all. My pots seem to be getting bigger each time I touch the wheel and we are finding variations and glazes that are absolutely stunning. Check out the new babies….
-Sealing off (plastic sheets) a portion of the studio for sculpture. Have been invited to participate in the Olympics art show in China and am very tempted to send something. Not usually desiring commissions but I love China and was treated so well each time I went there that I’d love any excuse to return. Yes. I will send a proposal…
-The Dream Realism art group is slowly getting it all together. Some of Rob’s work will soon be posted and I will be photographing Caleb’s work sometime this week. Rob is coming through a tough period of his life and we are planning on working together for a few days so I’m anxious to see what his new work will look like. He is super-gifted and has managed to escape from 15 years on the mean streets of East-side Vancouver. I visited with Rob on the week-end and he still has the spark and the intelligence as well as the sensitivity and humour he always had. I’m really looking forward to teaming up again.
-The studio tour drew a large number of people. A lot of people came to see Jay’s quilts and silk painting. I was totally unprepared and only managed to take some paintings out of the crates on the second day. It was a buzz and a half to see so many people we hadn’t seen for years and to meet so many new ones……
-I am teaching a night school course on Portraiture. We are a quarter of the way through the course and still picking up new students .We started with basics and are now ramping up, moving from line drawings to tonal drawings, and working from the memory and logic of ‘proportions systems’ to observation from real life models. I love my group and we can already see encouraging improvements.
-If ‘67 was the summer of love, then ’05 must be the summer of raku pottery for me. Breakthrough results with a little help from my friends! I’ve been fortunate to have excellent assistants for the last few firings, and, check it out on the site: I love the results and it has fired me up to put more care in my forms, so an all-around better product. Special thanks to Jay, Jen, Richard, Wess, Sharla, Dan, Germain, and Angelica. It’s really been a tiger-torch blast all summer and still happening…We’ll be doing another firing around Oct.15, and then I hope to stop for winter, but got 5 new boxes of clay yesterday, so who knows……check out the updated pottery page for more photos of completed pieces.
-I am now well past the centre of the dome in the cave, and need to build a new cage inside, for my own safety. It’s looking even better than I thought it would and it’s keeping me in shape! A lot of it is just plain hard work as I am digging it all with a small pick and the clay-shale is rather unyielding. I’m still hoping to find a fossil down there, and no, not bringing a mirror with me….A couple of former students who are in a band were here today and they hope to do some experiments with sound down there. A big bee visited me down there today and the buzz seemed to fill the tunnel.
- I’m afraid the sculptures are still on hold though I do pick away at them once in a while. I might move them to the old studio (caboose) for winter as the plaster dust gets to be a pain in the new studio---gets into the paint and the clay, not to mention Jay’s sewing machines……
-Big John is cutting out 49 new panels and frames for me as soon as he gets his bike fixed (2nd accident). He figures they should be ready before first snowfall, so it’s starting to feel like a great winter for painting.
-The Dream-Realism show I am organizing is slowly coming together. Cathy Painter has already sent a couple digital photos (wow!), and I spoke with Patricia Grace by phone last night and she is good energy personified. The group and show will simply be called SEVEN. We are planning to launch the show from our studio on July 7, when we will be hosting a party for artists, so if you’re an artist, consider yourself invited.
-Lots and lots of deer in the yard and everywhere these days----and the crows are grouping for a southern tour to check out the farmers in their RV’s. I hate to see deer-hunting starting up again. We have our land posted, but we still hear the shots…The deer walk up to within a few feet of us and are so spiritual….and so terrorized once the blood-lust junkies arrive….
-I’m always glad to hear news from the outside world, so feel free to email comments etc. to me. Happy dreams……
-Looking forward to the studio tour coming up on September 10 and 11. Just returned from the studio tour of Gimli, Manitoba area last weekend, and loved the experience. Wow to Kirk Creed and his bushman pottery and to Heidi Hunter and James Peterson for awesome work and inspiration.
-I will be instructing an evening course in portrait drawing and painting starting this September 14. Really looking forward to getting back into "faces", my favorite art form. For information about the course, please contact me.
-Just had another raku firing on Sunday. Big thank you to Dan Heinrichs for his help. It was a great pleasure to work with someone who is not scared of the big fire, and who understands the process so well. We pulled off a shining experimental pot (something I never could have done without Dan). I look forward to another firing on Thursday.
-I have been working on a cave (to house a special sculpture) for the past 3 years. I am now 35 feet in and 35 feet down, and finding great crystals. I'm totally through the tunnel, and half way through the dome so learning to live with danger. Love the smell of the earth. I'm planning to dig an air hole straight up from the center this coming week.
-On Monday I will put pottery on hold until the next raku firing at Jen's in October and will be going back to sculpture until late fall. I work outdoors because of the dust - no mosquitoes, thanks to the dragonflies.
-Have been seeing a lot of wildlife this summer. Dozens of fawns and a blue heron couple that must be raising a family nearby. We hear the coyotes almost every night. Life is good...
-I am planning a show of art work in the Dream Realism style on next July 7th. We are planning to kick the show off from the studio, with a party (for all artist who can make it) at the Stones, then travelling the show. If you know a gallery or a venue that would like to host this show, please let me know. We are well organized and can easily set up and take down the show in one day. Should be exciting meeting new artists and adding to the size of the show as it bounces from one venue to the next.
-The Municipality of Stanley bulldozed almost 1200 trees on our property a few years ago, and that score is still not settled. Got completely sick and down about the ugly attitude and the lawyer shit that comes with it, but lately have gotten myself together, and now hardly think about it. I know legal things take time, but five years to settle, after admitting all guilt, and all damages seems a bit unjust-not sure why we waste a dollar on the justice system. It SUCKS.
-Spent some time in Maryfield, Saskatchewan adjudicating a show a few weeks ago. What great artists, and what a super show! Special thanks to Jayne' Raven for hosting, and to all the contributors. Patricia Grace from Kelowna emerged as the "best in show", and the peoples' choice, but every contributor had something special. I came out of that weekend enthralled by Aaelleen's harp music and almost addicted to Jason's lemon cello (ciello??-that sweet mix that makes you wish you were rich.) If you are interested in hiring me to adjudicate a show in your area, please feel free to contact me.
-This is a long update, but I guess not bad considering the last one was almost four years ago. I seem to have some time now that I am "retired", and the plan is to update on the 7th of each month. (My daughter Cherie does the computer part, she orchestrated this whole web site, so thank you Cherie, you are so nice!)
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