I am getting there! These images show: 1) the Grisaille Underpainting on the right, done in brown and white over an Indian red priming, 2) the Velatura Foundation on the left, that sets values into colour, but most importantly establishes a light structure for the glazes to "harness", 3) The First Hardening Glaze, where colours are glazed on to harness the light, and further refinements are dropped into the wet film. I still have a long way to go, still! Onto the complex final glazes!
Whoever 'likes' this post will be given an artist and has to post a piece by that artist, along with this message, the idea is to occupy Facebook with art, breaking up all the political posts! Thank you Wayne Moore, for assigning me Ted Godwin! I was unfamiliar with Ted’s work, so I googled him. I was delighted to have been greeted on the screen by this painting:
I think it is called “Small Cove”, and is at Wallace Gallery in Calgary, AB.
Seeing this visual feast was wonderful to behold. I love the complexity of this landscape. Because it is so integrated, it does not overwhelm my vision; instead, it engages it. This is a difficult and fastidious task to embark upon, when an artist takes on such subjects. It is like riding a bucking bronco. You are always on the edge of “pulling it off”. Finally, if you are lucky, you do. But it has taken all you’ve got. But what results! I could look at this painting all day. It is in the same way that I could look all day if discovering this pond in nature. It gives the same sense of splendour, wonder and enchantment.
And this is not all the latitude Ted Godwin had! You should see the rest of his work! There are two more that I cut and pasted below.
Ted Godwin just died in 2013. He was a contemporary of my parents. When I look at his larger body of work, it reminds me of my parents who were both artists. His work is different from theirs, but just as you can look at old photos of other people’s families and it reminds them of your own times, you can look at old artistic paths of those of the same eras and see similarities. It was very interesting.
Ted Godwin is an accomplished and much acclaimed Canadian artist, whom I had never heard of. I am quite glad that Wayne Moore assigned him to me, and that I got to share this wonderful painting and discover the work of this artist.
Here are two more that show both his latitude and why his path reminds me of my parents – especially my dad.
All these works can be found at Wallace Gallery in Calgary, Alberta.
I am mesmerized by the spectacle of nature. There are infinite details within details within details that pull me in and hold me in rapture. The design paths are endlessly detailed – like looking into a moving kaleidoscope. I can visually barely hang on - barely compute. This sublime experience of God’s world that occurs for me is what I try to speak of in my artwork. I am sharing what is most sacred to me – the humanly connective experiences to our Maker that are available for the taking, if I am open enough to them. The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. These I encounter, revere and delight in whenever possible. They are incomprehensible in magnitude, and yet I can perceive them somewhat, in my most limited human way, if I make my heart and eyes and talents available to them. Human powers are very limited, but the resources of the Force who made us are infinite, nearby, available and will open up - like breaking clouds - to authentic human openness. This has been my most sacred experience.
- Kathy Marlene Bailey, January 2017
Despite the hardship imposed by the Cod Moratorium on commercial fishing, families in Newfoundland and Labrador have had designated days to catch and process codfish for their own family’s consumption. This smalltime industry contrasts in the harbour to multinational and corporate operating, and all the other sizes of fishing operations in between. Noteworthy to see in conjunction with this “Food Fishery” is the increasing interest in old technologies. In this painting, the Green family salts cod much like their ancestors did before the advent of freezing cod. Glaring differences are the big plastic buckets and the convenience of running water. Family co-operation has always been key to success in fishery operations in this province of all types and sizes.
The opening of my show “Harbour” on Thursday in St. John’s was nothing short of fantastic! The evening kicked of with two major sales of“I Look to the West”, 36x48”, and “Nightfall Over the Harbour” 26x36”. Thanks to Christina Parker Gallery for putting together and such a lovely reception! Thanks to so many art lovers and our friends from up the coast for trekking out.
This painting shows a long-lingering sunset that hangs wonderfully over the harbour sky, well into the early night hours. Three barely audible lights populate the night-blackened coast, revealing the wildness of the land that the port is set into. The wharf in contrast is lit with the busyness of its business. In fishing season, the busyness actually never stops. Boats enter the harbour at all hours. The fish plant processes the fresh catch immediately. Evenings’ quiet is punctuated by the forklift beeping and the clanging and clanging of human industry that revolves around the bounty of the preceding day, brought in from fishing boats large and small, from very close or far and wide.
All the painting are ready and shipped out to the Christina Parker Gallery, on Water Street in St. John’s NL, and I won’t be too far behind them. The final details are being tended to for my first show here and the opening will be next Thursday – August 11, 5:30 to 8:00pm. The show is called “Harbour” and it is a portrayal of the interwoven relationships and paradoxes around Old Perlican Harbour. This is the harbour that our little house in Newfoundland overlooks.
The image you see here is my latest painting called “Slick”. I couldn’t help but paint this water. How amazing it must be for the fishermen of this boat as they tend to daily tasks, to look up and suddenly view the water that their humble and half broken old skiff is effortlessly transforming into a bounty of incomprehensible splendour.
I feel very honoured to be participating in the 48th Open National Juried Exhibition for the Society of Canadian Artists! Hope you can come! My entry is "Intimate Canopy, Gull River.
Learn oil glazing in a fun, intensive and very effective program then break out onto the Bay for more casual painting experiences, plein air, whenever the weather looks good. HOW FUN IS THAT!?
Today I had one of my students ask me about embedding copyright in her work for online publication. If you are a fine artist, you don’t want illegal pirating of your images, so you want to make it difficult for “pirates” who would like to copy and profit from your hard work and you want to make it very clear about your rights.
To answer my student’s question, I fiddled around in my “Word”, program, which is part of my “Microsoft Office Suite for Mac”. This program is Microsoft, so basically should work for any “Word” program. Here is a process that works:
1) On a fresh Word document, type: "©" and your name ("©" can be typed on a mac by pressing the option button and “g”). For instance: "© John Smith".
2) Make it the typeface, colour and size you want.
3) Insert your jpg from the"Insert" menu at the top of "Word", then go to >photo>picture from file.
4) If you select your downloaded image, then the “Format Picture” menu title appears right of “Home”. Click on that title and a whole pile of menus appear.
5) Go to “Wrap Text” > behind text. This will allow you to move your jpg around wherever you want, and you can place your image on top of your text. You can move and further format the text to harmonize it with the image if you need to.
6) Save it to “Word”.
7) Make a jpg of the whole thing by taking a screen shot. Press Command/Shift/4 and drag the cross - drag it corner to corner of the image area you want to make a jpg of, and then release the buttons. A new jpg called “Screenshot” (with the time and date) will appear somewhere on your desktop.
8) Go to your desktop to find it.
9) Rename it before trying to move it.
10) Drag it to your working folder for such images that you have in your documents filing system.
Copyrights are important to working artists. It isn’t too hard to make sure the message is loud and clear, and that your image is trickier for bad guys to copy (and yet... aesthetically pleasing!). A very basic “Word” program is all you need. Good luck! I hope that all the profits from your work go to you and that they support you well in your art-making.
I am honoured to be part of this very exciting celebration of Burlington, through the "lens" of our most talented visual artists. For 50 years, the Burlington Fine Arts Association has been haven for nurturing the talents of visual artists within this community. This year, the association is celebrating not only it's longevity, but this wonderful city in which it has flourished. More specifically, the artists are addressing some of the complex and paradoxical attributes of Burlington, the city that is half city, and half country. The uniqueness of this paradox gives Burlington a very unique flavour and lifestyle for the people that are lucky enough to call it home.
Please, come and see my take on this theme, as well as the multitude of of others by this very talented pool of artists. The show will even feature Burlington's well-loved and most famous artist, Robert Bateman. The exhibit's opening will be Wednesday June 15, 5 - 7 pm.
Jul 13-Aug 10, 2016 | opening reception Sun 17 Jul, 2pm
Etobicoke Civic Centre,
99 The West Mall
ON M9C 2Y2
Society of Canadian Artists – 48th Open National Juried Exhibition. The Society of Canadian Artists is proud to present their 48th Open National Juried Exhibition featuring Large Works. Many prestigious awards such as the Mary Pratt Crystal Award will be presented at the reception.
I am happy to enter the "Burlington: Urban and Rural Exhibit", at the Art Gallery of Burlington.
My entry, "Sanctuary Between" speaks to a cultural phenomena that is integral to living in Burlington: access to rural sanctuary even though it is a very urban centre. We are so blessed to be able to go to quiet, unspoiled and magnificent places and be utterly alone in what feels like wilderness.
The place that I have painted is a view down a ravine, south of New Street. It is an inconspicuous wonderland, wedged right between two old subdivisions, and if you look hard, you can barely see a shed up at top of the hill that is in someone's backyard. Utterly alone and unseen, I stood at the creek bank looking into the wildly complex undergrowth, the backlit, stained glass autumn trees and into the mesmerizing lightning quick, morphing kaleidoscope of colours and shapes on the water. I felt the sacredness of this spot in its untouched glory. There was this feeling of enchantment - like I was the first to ever discover this magical world.
First to discover - hardly. But that is how a place in nature like this makes me feel. Like it is a tropical desert island. Like it is mine. The magical untouched whole earth is all mine and I am completely attached to every nuance of wonder in it. It is an exhilarating way to feel. In Burlington, the availability of such experience is ever at-hand. It happens by a quick dash to innumerable parks, or even by a turn of your head as you fleet by an open view of the lake on Lakeshore Road. It happens in the middle of well-planned subdivisions where the natural soil was respected and trees and were revered instead of plowed down and saplings sparsely replanted after the planting of houses.
Such experiences with nature add immensely to the quality of my life here. They are a spiritual replenishing for my soul and healing for any transgressions that happen within our urban, compacted and hurried society. This experience of solitary connection in nature seems to be held sacred for Canadians and for those living specifically in the community of Burlington. For me, this amazing "convenience" in Burlington is the best part of living here. It makes a profound difference to the quality of my life every single day - much greater than I ever would have imagined.
The "Burlington: Urban and Rural Exhibition" runs June 15 2016 to the beginning of September. Each artist has been selected for his or her unique interpretations of Burlington's urban and rural culture.
(As published on www.artsburlington.ca, March 29, 2016)
By Kathy Marlene Bailey
Do you sometimes feel like you are beating your head on a brick wall when you plan on selling artwork? Where are those buyers, who are they and what do they want anyway?
Oh, those elusive buyers! You would think, after pouring your heart and soul into your artwork, and doing a perfect job of expressing what was so important, the world would instantly “get it” and have to get it!
Not so, evidently. It shouldn’t be that hard. Just one person has to come along that not only loves it as much as you do, but they love it enough to buy it! But where oh where is that person? Rarely is that person milling about galleries, art shows or art fairs, that is for sure, as any professional artist would attest.
Event, after event, after event, it happens. You plan to sell quite a bit. Your body of work is the best ever. You are in love with every piece. You have read all kinds of stuff on marketing and taken marketing courses. You have attended “the business of art” workshops. You are totally organized down to every last detail. Ready, waiting, poised, relaxed, and ready to share your heart of heart of why you did the artwork, and your all-important process. All ducks in a row. All people attending the event, including you, have a lovely time! Then, at about 4:30, the cold truth starts to creep in. Not a sale. Not one. Or, maybe you have sold a card. Maybe you sold a painting. Any way you slice it - you are out of the ballpark for financial success compared to anyone on minimum wage. Cold Hard Truth.
Sure, lots of those people seem to enjoy the art. Lots stand for periods of time marveling and verbalizing how incredible it is. But when it comes to tipping the scale and turning that enjoyment and appreciation into the act of buying, the vast majority of those in these crowds do not weigh in. It seems that at an art event of any kind, average art sales would be zero to two paintings per artist. Fine craft would be higher and modestly viable. Virtually all professional art income is meager. These dedicated souls make the art. Perfection is achieved. So are long hours, study and execution of flawless marketing. Why no sales? Almost no art market - that is why. Look at your friends’ walls, while they diddle with their iPhones. The walls will show you; there will be NO ART THERE, almost assuredly. Today’s market is exceedingly small.
“These times” are particularly poor for artists. They have been since the big stock market crash of 2008. It was lean before then. Clearly, the number of buyers has gone way down since. But…. there are still a few out there! Who is left?
Somewhat by chance, one day a while ago, I met three. I was attending the “Art In Action Studio Tour” here in Burlington, Ontario. While at an artist’s studio, I struck up conversation with a group of three patrons wielding bags of treasures, purchased at the tour. They told me that they regularly buy art. I knew that as an art journalist, I had struck gold. If only they would agree to be interviewed, surely, three real, live art buyers could shed some light, for all of us who trudge along this tricky path of professional art. Robin Cooke, Alex Kucharski and Joe Henriques, ALL agreed to be interviewed. My understanding of this market and its elusive buyer has now increased. This was far from a complete survey of art buyers, but it certainly was an interesting and insightful one from the three buyers I found. By the way, to add a bit of context, I will say that Alex is married to Joe, and Alex is also a sister to Robin.
When I first sat down to talk to Alex, I asked her what motivates her to buy art. She jumped on the answer: “NO REASON! It just grabs me! I cannot explain it – you need it spiritually. You can feel it; it connects. It would be a very shallow existence without art - art and nature and art….”. Alex seemed to - and needed to - react to art on a deep and primal level. This primal connection occurance was common to Joe and Robin as well. Although Robin was more hooked into a specific genre (Realism), and it sounded like Alex and Joe were quite eclectic in their tastes, not one buyer was eclectic in their motivations; all three made an instant emotional bond with the work, which drove the motivation to buy.
Robin said to me: “ I know immediately if I want it. There is absolutely no hemming or hawing. If I have to think about it, it’s no good. It is 100% emotional. It has to talk to me. I have to see something I like. Price doesn’t matter.
Summarizing, Joe told me, “Artwork speaks to me in several ways. I know it is not for the sake of investment. There is no commercial attraction to buying art. It is exclusively because it appeals to me. I enjoy my artwork everyday. It is eye candy all over my walls. I remember when I bought this piece called “The Curious Cow”. It was just this cow looking out, from a group of cows. I don’t know why, but I just had to have it. The reason is - and was - completely beyond me. I just had to have it.
Money did not seem to enter into the equation with anyone. Craftsmanship, pattern, composition, aesthetic, message, subject matter and stories that they could personally identify with all might weigh in.
So could connection to the artist. Alex noted that she loved striking a cord with the featured artist at openings and usually ended up enjoying meeting the other artists there just as much. These buyers had a favourite gallery, where they were on a first name basis with all the artists and staff. These were relationships that Alex savoured.
Robin too noted that building a rapport with an artist was important to him. He said that the exchange of a piece of art was a two way emotional street. As a buyer, he wants to witness the attachment of an artist to his or her own work – how important it is to the artist. Was it dashed off, or was it lovingly prepared with great meaning to the artist? Likewise, he figures it is always reassuring for the artist to know that the art they love is being appreciated just as much by its buyer. This was an interesting concept that Robin brought to light. It could be compared to an adoption. From the buyer’s standpoint, Robin wanted to know: what kind of beginning did the artwork have? From the artist’s standpoint, an artist would wonder: what kind of role will the artwork have in its future? Will it be barely looked at, tying into some décor, or will it be treasured everyday and racked with meaning for the new owner, as was the experience in making it in the first place? The two parties are making a transaction that really has nothing to do with money. It has to do with care, emotional investment and reverence for something that goes beyond commodity and strongly into the realm of relationship - much like an adoption of a person. This artwork is no mere “thing” to either one of them.
Knowing artmaking or artmakers well also seemed to be a factor in becoming an art buyer here. Robin and Alex have an artmaking sister. And Joe himself is a part-time artist. These buyers have witnessed the investment of effort, care and talent needed in creation of art. They said this gave them profound appreciation of the gift that art is to them and society. Both Robin and Joe noted that this factor didn’t necessarily come into play with everyone exposed to artmaking. Non-buyers were sometimes just as exposed as they were, but did not seem to get the bug. They might appreciate art - a bit - in a much more limited context. They cited other members in each of their respective families that liked art enough to have a bit on the walls, but it was exclusively for decorative purposes. It did not hold a primary function in their daily lives. For Alex, Joe and Robin, the artwork they had purchased was key to their day, in a similar way to how an artist’s own work is to theirs.
Several years ago, I had a studio in the Williams Mill, in Glen Williams. One day at my studio, I was chatting with Jim Ball, who was the United Church minister in Glen Williams at the time. We were talking about the dramatic decline of churchgoing in Canada. I was expressing apprehension about the future survival of churches and prospects of faith in Canada. He volleyed a wisdom that changed my entire paradigm. He cited the major effect of social norm that used to bring the majority of Canadians to churches before the 1960’s and then said that the current churchgoers of the time were under no social pressure whatsoever to go to church. If anything, it would be the opposite. Churchgoers – all of them – were driven by their own, genuine, internal faith. There was no other agenda left. The upside to this was that a dynamic, exciting group was left. It was small, but mighty. It was completely dedicated - genuinely passionate. It had all that was needed for effectively moving forward.
When I mulled through all that Alex, Joe and Robin told me about their art-buying passion, I came to have hope for the same kind upside in the context of the art world, and for the survival of professional artists. I also came to have a profound respect for those individuals that step out and buy art. They are the few who are left of the art buyers. They have no other agendas other than passion and absolute need of the experience of living with art. Just like us. They get it.
Not that they can help it anyway. They can’t help it anymore than I can help being an artist obsessed with water and morphing shapes; I need to paint these as much as I need to eat and breath. These people need to buy art as much as they need to eat and breath. They are driven to perpetually connect to the genuine spirit that lives and manifests from an artists heart, into the conduit of the art.
I asked each of these three buyers the following question and got three different, profound answers. The question was, “ Why, other than personal satisfaction, should artists make art? What do you see as the most valuable role for art in today’s world?”
Alex Kucharski replied, “ Artists speak to something that is in us and express things that we can’t”.
Joe Henriques responded, “Art is a legacy that stays behind – a representation of emotions – the fabric of society”.
Robin Cooke answered, “Art brings a level of humanity into our increasingly sterile world.” We as a society seem to only reward better technology.”
They get it. The group is small, but completely dedicated and genuinely passionate about our art. I have a feeling that the small number of art buyers today has all that is needed for somehow providing for our sustenance - for the survival of our artmaking in Canada.
If you are looking for them, I wouldn’t recommend that you search in any ordinary “target markets”. Don’t look for a necessarily moneyed or necessarily cultured lot. It seems the agendas and social norms in the art world are gone too. Apparently, the art buyers of today reach fully into the fabric of society. Robin says everyone he knows buys art! He is an IT guy. He talks to a broad cross section of people in the bump and grind of his day. Art buyers he knows can be truck drivers, social workers, plumbers, government strategists and other IT people. The only common thread is: they get it.
I would challenge you, as artists, to get yourselves. Don’t make art that conforms to a social norm because unless you genuinely fit that norm yourself, it won’t be real. Don’t fake it or try to fit in or hurry it or make art that you think curators will like or other artists will like, or customers will like and therefore buy. Instead, make art that fits – to a tee - your own personal heart. That is something that is real and can be trusted. Always. Even in these tough times. It is what buyers, these buyers, are looking for. It is the art that connects. The elusive buyer, it seems, just wants to connect.
Kathy Marlene Bailey is member of Burlington Fine Arts Association. She is a glaze oil painter, a sculptor, writer and an art instructor at Art Gallery of Burlington, Canadore College and English Harbour Art Centre (in Newfoundland). She is represented by Christina Parker Gallery in St. John’s, NL. You can visit her website at: www.kathymarlenebailey.com.
When I saw the magic of the water and the enchantment of the massive rock walls that hug the coast of Trinity Bay, just north of Old Perlican Harbour, I was wonder-stuck. These micro-worlds of intense beauty were where my direct ancestors precariously and carefully gained their survival by fishing - in little boats - just like I was in, at that moment. Herbie Cooper, our friend and a fisherman, took us in his small boat to a little nook in the rock"around the corner" by sea from our ancestral land, where he traps lobster. It is so peaceful, when the weather is right. But these shores are entirely unprotected. The waters are open to the large expanses of Trinity Bay and all the hazards that can evolve instantly with a change of wind and weather. They are also ripe for human disasters by means of the sheer fiord cliffs that rise hundreds of feet from the water. There is no refuge on these shores. Fair weather sightseeing is one thing. To comply to the urgency of livelihood and eating is quite another. I live in awe of the courage and tenacity of past and present fishermen and their families in Newfoundland and Labrador. I live in awe of the beauty that is part of what rivets them to this land and sea. God has carved-out and poured-on such visual wonder and spirit here that it goes beyond what a human can process. It is nothing short of spectacle. I try to process with my paint, to try to understand the magnitude of this creation.