Tuesday, June 29, 2010

cullioure north studio, june 29, 2010

An unbelievable day in the north, it feels more like fall than summer. Last week I saw garter snakes, black bears, heard the loons sing, even endured the constant droning of mosquitoes, now all there is is rain and wind.
My studio these days is cool and tough to work in, but I persist. Claire and I set up my work at the train station in Temagami, in the box cars there, unique and interesting.
Tonight I am posting an image of a painting I am using to advertise my show in Temamgami.
A cold and damp northern artist

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cullioure North, June 16, 2010, Bay Lake

Such a wet cool day in Northern Ontario. I refuse to put the heat on, so I worked all day in the studio with 3 layers on to stay warm. Working on 9 pieces of different sizes. The pieces are coming along well, except for a couple, that demand me to be true to myself, they are kicking back, crying out "hypocrite". Here is a piece that I have been contemplating for awhile, and I will want to do more with the image in the future.
A soggy northern artist

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cullioure North Tues. June 8, 2010

A fine cool morning full of brilliant warming sunlight. The studio has no heat in it, so it too is very cool, I work in it with a jacket on.
My pieces based on "Black Sound" all coming along nicely, encouraging and full of potential.
It is so interesting to see pieces that I have done over time, to see that some hold up so well, with this essence, perhaps a truth that continues to reverberate, like an echo that continues over distant hills.
The piece is called Spirit of the Nort.
A northern Artist

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cullioure North June 1, 2010

Another month begins, sun washed warm, gentle, filled with bird song. But the nature of life is multi-faceted, the yin-yang, and so we also mourn the passing of a great artist, Louise Bourgeois. She has passed away at the age of 98, and normally one would rejoice that someone had such a long life, but this is a very mixed feeling, because she was such a great artist, and she will no longer produce other great works, and this is a great loss for us all. On another level, all of us artists can look to her for inspiration and motivation. I am so thankful that she lived in our tme for so long.
And so to work again, for the love of what I do, for as long as I can do it.
Merci Louise
A northern artist

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cullioure north May 20, 2010

A typical May morning, a bit cool, a few bugs. set up my Temiskaming Art Gallery Show on Tuesday and Wednesday. The show looks great! I have the official opening tonight at 7:30pm
Exciting times
A northern artist

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, May 11, 2010

I haven't been blogging very diligently of late.
Usual excuse.....very busy
I have a lot of work to show for it.
My solo show at the Temiskaming Art Gallery is opening Thursday, May 20 at 7:30 pm. It will be a great show, exciting stuff going into it, can't wait to see it all in place. Also I have a "Diver and Loon" accepted into the summer juried show in Orillia. The opening for the Orillia show is on the same day as the opening in Ville Marie, The Bam show.
The work is moving forward the persistence has value.
A northern Artist

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cullioure North April 23, 2010

Just a fine morning, cool but brilliant sunlight, the lake is calm, glassy, the bird song is clear, loud and warming. A great day to be alive.
I have been working steadily on this career stuff for a long time now. Hit and miss at times, but now I have been able to remain consistent. Slowly, ever so slowly progress is being made. This is a tough tough business, but the love of what I do puts fuel in my life. There are nights when I don't want to stop working, feel like I didn't get enough done. I have a show coming up May 20th, so much to do!
A northern artist

Cullioure North April 22, 2010

Wow it has been busy times. I've been juggling a lot of projects, and a bit of fatigue has crept in.
Snow on the ground this morning. But the ice has long gone now, but I have yet to paddle my red canoe, I mean to do so soon. I'm in the last stages of 2 30" x 36" portraits. Also bringing along some small 8" x 8" oils. The ying and yang.
A northern artist

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Monday April 12, 2010

A cool frosty start to this day. The lake is gorgeous in the brilliant morning light. Each day should begin this way. Afterwards, beginning at 8:00am, my view was of 2 canvases that I am presently working on.. Incredible how the time flies by, 71/2 hours later I called it quits. Now I am back in my studio. I like to put in an hour after supper. The work is progressing nicely.
a northern artist

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cullioure North April5, 2010

Ice is on the move!
The snow is gone!
The robins are here!
Where are the loons?
I have an India Ink on rice paper
that expresses the exuberance of spring.
A northern artist

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CullioureNorth Studio, March 30, 2010

Spring ever so slowly has revealed the dark earth beneath the thick white blanket. The ice on the lake has begun to loose its cold grip on the water beneath, here and there some of the dark ochre water has managed to make it to the surface.
My work continues to make advances, the pace some times feels glacial. I have entered several competitions, as well as the exhibition now on, my next exhibition begins in several weeks, and other exhibitions are set in the future. The train is on the tracks and gathering steam.
A northern artist

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, March 25, 2010

What about this bloging thing? Who are we bloging to and for?
Well, worked hard again today, many opportunities beginniing to take shape, so much work to do and so little time.
Today I post the beginning of an idea. Enjoy.
A northern artist

Monday, March 22, 2010

Collioure North, March 22, 2010

Detail of "March 2010", oil on canvas, 18" x 24"
Somemore beautiful spring like days, so conducive to doing work, getting out, recharging, refocusing. Working on several pieces simultaneously.
A northern artist.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cullioure North Studio March 16, 2010

Each day here for awhile now is awash in sunshine, each day patches of dark earth emerge through icy snow, each day the new warm energy invigorates all that it touches.
Each day patches of light and dark, puddles and ice it is such a tangled convoluted mess, it's all really fine.
I've been busy a bit, but that's good.
This painting is a reflection of all that.
A northern artist

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, March 5, 2010

Spring is in the air, the air which smells fresh, and wet. Unlike winter air, or April air which smells of earth unseen for months here in the north. Rhythm is very important for me, the creative rhythm of my work; the continuous, sinuous, tenuous stream of intuitive, conceptual imaginative thought. Rhythm is everything! But then the rhythm must be disrupted, interrupted, how else to get somewhere else, to be reflective. A beautiful rhythm is a fine thing, imagine a red canoe on water as smooth as glass, the canoe rolled radically to one side, and you are holding a dark paddle, a paddle given to you by a true friend, you are paddling forward effortlessly, silently, stroke after powerful stroke, along a dark green shore line, and suddenly something beautiful catches your attention, you reach out , draw your canoe rapidly to that shore, to an unexpected stop, so that you can observe this place, you can contemplate, rejoice, question, enter the well of your memories, sore to new heights. A break in rhythm. Enjoy! A northern artist Bruce

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, March 4, 2010

Missing a day from time to time doing necessary other activities. Such is life.

Meanwhile I have taken this time as an opportunity to explore ideas, for example the drawing of March 1st that Greg so articulately commented on. At this time I have 5 pieces on easels staring at me, each one a bit different. One might argue they are very different. perhaps! But I am exploring ideas that come to mind. 3 are portraits, one is a landscape, another a still life. The centre piece, which is a portrait, involves reflections on gravity, gesture, viscosity, aand colour. It is very different than the 30" x 36" "Vlog Portrait", exploring different creative concerns, not least of which is that the Vlog is intentionaly flat, and the Drip Drop Splatter and Smear piece, 30" x 40", was created in multiple dimensions, and expresses those dimensions. All are unfinished.
A northern artist

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, March 1, 2010

6:30pm It was a fine winter day, only -4c, but it continues to be grey, and a slight breeze kept it uncomfortably cool. Didn't do a lot of creative work today. This morning we set up a show of my work at the Classic Theatre in Cobalt. It is always so good to see some of my work up in a particular space, hung properly, with good lighting. Also a bit disturbing because we never know how the work will be received or perhaps it will be ignored. Some of my pieces are a bit difficult to be appreciated. It's hard not to be cynical at times. The work will be up for March and April. So the optimist in me hopes for the best. So is the life of an artist. Got to draw this evening, ah!
A northern artist

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Feb. 26, 2010 1:00pm

Another snowy winter Friday, another week has come and gone and with that regretable passage of time one piece has grown, another has been given life. Two different expressions of a creative soul reach out to be seen, understood, perhaps, hopefully make a difference. This artist sits here surrounded by the work, the offspring of imagination, reflective, perhaps confused, certainly critical. That blue, does it ring true, that shape of the ring, repetitive, is it too subtle, that tone too egocentric, will it speak to another, will it have universal appeal. Doubt, constant irritating doubt!
These pictures, they are meant to be drunk, to be eaten, to be consumed. I intend them to be a hearty meal, a bold wine, and a fine read. There is a common language here, I assure you. This visual communication, these paintings can speak to you, metaphorically, intuitively, viscerally, certainly emotionally.
Try to not stop looking, do not use the fleeting glance, slow your adrenalin enraged pulse, draw in a deep breath of cold clean winter air, then look, really look, and imagine!
A northern artist

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cullioure North Studio. Thurs. February 25, 2010

Cooler now, -16C with snow. Busy times.
Multi tasking furiously. I prefer the idea of the canoe, simplicity, perfection of form and function.
My "Portrait" piece slowly nearing completion. Meanwhile other ideas percolating constantly in my mind. Language is such a difficult, complex idea. It must always go through the filter of each individual. "Mad" means one thing to me, and something very different to another. If people do not make the effort to learn more about whatever they see or read, then it is possible that they do not understand what I am doing what so ever. Imagination, open mindedness, and forever learning are vital. I like the idea of tough ideas, and imagery. Now what does "tough" mean.
A northern artist

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cullioure North Studio February 24, 2010

Beautiful morning in the north, minus 14 and brilliant sunshine creating deep blue shadows on the snow. I have missed a few days on my blog, life became busy, my painting took a break, which can be beneficial. I was offered a show last week, with very short notice, I have to set up next Monday. In this business you learn to expect the unexpected, you learn to juggle many things at once. Meanwhile my 30" x 36" Portrait takes on life. But it is so challenging to push my work forward and as I do so to increase the isolation that I live in, on the other hand I have to believe that in time new contacts and supporters will come along.
A northern Artist

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Feb. 16, 2010

Back to work, into my studio at 8:00am.
Considering where to go now with the "Portrait", also considering another box painting. It's going to be mild outside also which should give me an opportunity to do some construction of pieces and framing.
I had time also to do a small 8" x 10" mixed media on board. It came together effortlessly, now that's fun. A few new ideas entered into imagination today.
That's fun also.

A northern artist

Friday, February 12, 2010

cullioureNorth Studio, Feb. 12, 2010

Easy start this morn, into the studio at 9:00am.
A fine winter day, so I took some time to play, or experiment, the 2 pieces you see are the result of imagination wanderings.
John Keats wrote "I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the hearts affections and the truth of imagination"
This week began poorly and ends just fine. Off to enjoy the Olympics!
Have a great weekend.

A northern artist

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Feb, 11, 2010

At work 8:00am in my fine studio, these 4 walls of contemplation. My "Portrait" is finding her voice. She can be mournful, or joyous, perhaps complex or all too simple. As I work, sorting out with reason each shape, each colour relationship, every stroke of paint,I find myself discovering her as I define her.
You can look at her dismissively, having perhaps seen such a face a million times before, or you can look in wonderment, searchingly, never having seen this stranger before today. Perhaps we will only get to know her when she is gone. A dialogue with the divine can only reside in wonderment and in that interaction there are moments both fine and bewildering.

A northern artist

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Feb. 10, 2010

8:00 am It's a bit more wintry this morning, minus 14C with a breeze, snow is blo wing about, white and icy. When I entered my studio, warm and welcoming as usual, I saw my "Portrait" and cringed. It isn't working!
There are those dark non productive days, paint on, scrape it off, paint on, try again. Sometimes we search and find, sometimes we just search. At times we just have to scrap it.
I'm not there yet.
6:00 pm. Well after a rough few days solutions might have been arrived at. The "Portrait" 30 " x 36" I think is on the right track now.It's a tough inner struggle that only the artist can resolve. It's a wrestling match between reason and spirit and one should not overpower the other. Tonight I give you a detail of the whole.

A northern artist

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Feb. 9, 2010

Into my studio at 8:00 am. I continue work on my portrait. Now this is a struggle. I'm looking for its soul so that it isn't just paint and canvas.
6:50pm My studio reeks of paint and mineral spirits. At times everything comes together more or less easily, and other times it is agonizing. Just now it is the latter.
A northern artist

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cullioure North Studio Feb. 8, 2010

7:00 pm Another day spent in the studio. This is one of those days when I wonder why? So many of us, artists, be it visual, or dramatic, or musical, or whatever arts, struggle every day, to bring something enriching to our cultural fabric. We work hard every day to do really good work with little to no support. Galleries themselves, who are in the business of culture can't even bother to be courteous enough to respond to the very same artist they constantly ask to volunteer time or artwork to sustain them. Perhaps it is time we, the lowly artists decided to withdraw our "worthless" wares from society.
well, here is my "Vlog Portrait" in progress, but then so what.
A northern artist

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cullioure North, Feb. 5, 2010

8:30 am, - Continues to be wintry, -18C, brilliant blue sky. Back to the "fragments" piece as well as working on the 30" x 36" "portrait". One nourishes the other, the fragments, for all its difficulty and complexity inspires me, literally and metaphorically all the pieces are coming together.

Imagine a place where you stood once and then you moved, where the waterfall meets the river, in the morning, in the afternoon, the evening, imagine this place without you, when the trickle roars in the wind, the surface, the surface never seen before, remember the time yesterday, last spring. Fragments. Remember something so precious that it will foreever reside within you.

A northern artist

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Feb. 4, 2010

8:30 am -Shift back to the "Portrait" so as to give the "fragments" pieces time to sit, for time to contemplate and reflect.
Look at the work of Julian Schnabel, "The Sea" or anything by Anselm Kiefer, or Richard Serra's "Santa Fe Depot" 2004, wow! Where to go? The conversation is marching on, the cultural dialogue more complex. The brilliant question is more powerful than the redundant statement. It's about searching...isn't it?

The 30" x 36" "Portrait" moving ahead, the black work is almost done. Is it strong enough, will it inhabit and dominate a space, will it cause the viewer to stop, to think. I have seen spectators spend all of 30 seconds in front of a deKooning. well, it's their 30 seconds to spend as they wish. I am trying to get more.
A northern artist

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Culliour North Studio Feb. 3, 2010

11:30 am A fine mild, snowy winter day, full immersion in white
My "fragments" piece has captured my full interest, the train is coming into the station, and now it gets difficult. I'm trying to find the balance between the idea expressed in a complex intuitive language and visual attraction. Is it too busy... is nature too busy...I have seen a small fragile creek trickle its way into the larger waters that is so full of life, colour, form, line, light...that it is bewildering, awesome, holding my attention endlessly, scanning slowly to the right, then left, then being drawn back to where my eyes started. The word "busy" is the problem, in its negative connotations in relation to artwork, perhaps we should use the word complex.
A northern artist

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cullioure North studio, Frb. 2, 2010

8:45 am -24C This time of year is tough, the cold at times seems like an oppressive weight. I believe it is normal to like warmth, bright light, long days, bird song carried in the breezes, tree bending, swaying, laden with green leaves, waves rolling, rushing, crashing agaisnt rocky shorelines, and the gentle symphony of a rain storm. Mostly by now I miss the variety of colours, my eyes search for it, wish and dream of it. Perhaps this is why I put strong bright colour in my work. Gao Xingjian has said, "An idea is a prompt, a starting point at best;" this is apparent in my work. The pieces that I am presently doing attest to this. To work!

Anorthern Artist

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cullioure North Studio Feb. 1, 2010

8:15am: and -18C back in my studio. Continuing work on the 30" x 36" oil on canvas, which I think I will title "I'm Looking". I have exhibitions upcoming, the first of which is at the Temiskaming Art Gallery, May 21 to June 25; I plan on putting this piece in the TAG show. To work.

3:00pm So it would seem a bit of progress achieved on "I'm Looking" portrait and also on the fragment piece. The fragments piece is approx 24" x 36" mixed media on board. It has changed, and changed again, forcing myself to adhere to this rigorous process that involves non linear within a linear structure, using verticals, horizontals and obliques. The 2 pieces I'm developing side by side, the portrait and the fragment piece. Working on these 2 feels a bit like being in a canoe, on the brink of rapids, excited and fearfull, full of anticipation, but not sure if you should bail out now.

7:00 pm: Took an hour and a half break for supper and then back to the studio. Another full day coming to an end. The days seem to go by so quickly. Tonight as I sleep I will visualize and perhaps gain more ground.
A northern artist

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Friday Jan, 29, 2010

January ending with a frigid cracking, bone chilling -24C.
Here in my studio I am warm and I work on. The very exacting work on the portrait keeps me entranced. But every now and then I spin around and go to some other pieces where I push and pull paint, scrape and layer, it's like shaking yourself loose, relaxing the muscles, but in this case, it's relaxing my imaginative mind. Did I mention I love my work. Yes I do run into a brick wall after brick wall, but in the end what else can I do but persist. After all who gets to do what they love every day.
A northern artist

Cullioure North Studio Jan 28, 2010

6:00pm. Time to call it a day, fatique setting in again on this cold windswept day.
Began the 30" x 36" Vlog Portrait, incorporating some text and playing with the form. By tomorrow I hope to have made more progress on it.
Lots of prepertory work had to be done today, as well again I did some paperwork and house cleaning. Did some experiments on small format, very loose intuitive landscapes.
A northern artist Bruce

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Culliour North Studio Jan. 27, 2010

2:00 pm What a strange life that of an artist, or perhaps specifically a northern artist. Not that I'm complaining. I love what I do. But part of what I do is to push the work into a creative imaginative place that few inhabit. So by it's every nature, my work isolates. Now I am exploring a piece with lights and a piece with bits and pieces. I could make it bland, easy to consume, but no, I don't want to do that. I am also going to start a piece 30" x 36" on canvas, what I call a "vlog", of a portrait that is also on my cube portrait. I need to work out the colour relationships.
As to my "Cube Portrait", my goal is to do it as large as a 7'h x 8'w x 8'd, but the artist dilema comes into play. How to fund it? Going from concept to the finished piece is a difficult process.
A northern artist

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Jan 26, 2010

8:10 am Awoke to the sound of hard snow blowing against the window. But so far it is only 0C. Winter carries on, it must have been nice for Matisse or Picasso to work in the south of France at this time of the year. Off to work on new pieces, exploring the materials and the concepts, mining my imagination.

3:00 pm The small piece(14" x 11") that I worked on today is a fun exploration of colour, line, form and light. Something I have been curious to explore for some months now. The other piece looks into the idea of abstract content within an architectual structure. I find them both intriquing, they also act as counter point to both the Vlog and Earth pieces. The challenge and the questions can only lead to something good.
A northern artist

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Jan 25, 2010

Today has turned mild, imagine +1C and raining. There are times when one has to reorganize, re-group and this mild day triggered just such a day. Placing, organizing , both in my studio and in my head, The mild weather also allows a northern artist a chance to do outside work, like cutting a frame, or plywood for another piece I have in mind.
The piece I have posted today for your pleasure is a 32" x 40" oil on canvas done earlier in 2009. It is one of the last of another style of painting which I did for several years. It was about rapture, the joy of being in nature, of trying to absorb it viscerally. Some observers comment on the influence of First Nations Art, there was no such influence, it's me and my reaction to my space. I love those pieces, but it was time to move on.
A northern artist

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cullioure North Studio Jan 22, Fri. 2010

Whew, I missed me entry last night, life and all of its needs took over. Keeping the balance. But I did work yesterday. I believe I finished "Joy to be", an oil on 18" x 24" canvas. It is part of my "vlog" style.
Vlog being a play on blog, which simply for me is a visual log. The idea has morphed since its conception, but it has resulted in this style. The "vlog" style has a lot to do with an idiosyncratic use of language, but it can also be universally understood. Paper work and deadlines playing on my mind, I find it isn't a creative activity.
Meanwhile, everyday, Haiti is on my mind.
A northern artist.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Wed. Jan 20, 2010

Cooler, -10C this morning at 7:00 am, but here comes the sunshine.
Into my studio at 8:00am, and I began to work on my Scroll Triptych. As things were drying I moved to my canvas, the landscape. Pieces are coming to completion. Long days spent on imaginative creative work, and so little or no time for the marketing side of things. These are many days when I pause and wonder why I persist.
So it is 7:30pm now, and I believe the "Scroll" piece is finished. This isn't an easy piece, it is challenging, but give it a chance, give it time, give it space and let it grow.
A northern artist, Bruce

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cullioure Studio North January 19, 2010

8:45am. This snowy morn -7C. So I drove my love into work, great chance to chat together.
I began work therefore a bit later, but well worth the delay. I am working out the location of the windows on the last side of the "Cube Portrait". I still need to shoot the photos and the video. And the colour? So far I am pleased with the idea and the result to date. It will be awhile before I am finished. I have spent the better part of 3 weeks on the piece to date. No doubt weeks remain, and changes will occur, but I remain excited about the piece.
Now as well I am continuing work on a large landscape, handled in my loosely painted manner, and then continuing work on "joy to be".
A northern artist