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

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Jan 18, 2010

8:10am, and only -2C in January!
A bit rested now and back to work after a weekend of winter outdoor activities.

4:00pm Shifted focus today, worked on my triptych, explored the language. Then I worked on the 2 final scrolls and a bit more on each panel. getting close to being finished on that piece. Tomorrow I intend to go back to my "Cube Portrait" I have been thinking about the DPF shots I want and the video I need to project inside the "Cube". Today I have a small expression of place to show you. It is done quickly and loosely, a way to stretch, to way to search for the other self.
And fun.
A northern artist

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cullioure North Studio, Jan. 15/2010

10:58 Wow, continues to be -1 C.
Slow start today, other things demand my time. But the big effort this week has created progress. I will have to work a bit this weekend, but that isn't a problem. As well as work on my "Cube" portrait, I also began work on a triptytch. My thought there is based on language and image, language as image, the power and ambiguity of both. Very conscious of being post-ironic. In many ways the triptytch is connected to my "Cube" portrait.
Well the exploration continues, there really is no point in repetition, change is good.
A northern artist

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cullioure North Studio Jan. 14, 2010

9:00 Into my studio at 9:00 this morning . Had to remove ice and snow from my roof this morning. Only -1 C. Where did the sun go?
4:38pm Ah progress, the "Cube" takes form, problems are resolving, I saw something in my mind aand now I see it before my eyes. Next step is to put into a DPF 57 portraits. How to define a portrait, what will constitute a portrait. Is it a feeling, or a movement, a smell, or a particular line? How much of ourselves do we import into our understanding of a portrait? What of time? We don't remain the same. I am working hard to hold the entirety together, so that within the concept there is cohesion.
6:15pm time to quit, another good day, and tired.
A northern artist

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cullioure North Studio Jan 13/2010/-7C at 7:00am

8:15am Into my studio at 8:05. I worked until 8:00pm last night. I'm busy also organizing the Tagalong children's workshop series beginning at the end of February. Decided to enter the juried show at the WKP Kennedy Gallery, entry deadline February 4th. On Friday I will be bringing 2 pieces to the BAM!, the International Biennal of Miniature Art, in Ville Marie, Quebec. My "Cube is taking shape.
Haiti hit so hard by an earthquake, how can we express our heart felt sorrow.
In the morn below the sun.
I saw a flake white descend.
Somewhere else nature is a trembling gun
2:22pm I've been working non-stop, the second face is coming into existence. My back and neck is getting stiff, time for a coffee.
5:56 Supper is over and back into my studio for a bit of more work. Worked until 8:00pm last night, it seems I will do so again tonight. I have paperwork to do, and then painting continues on the 2nd portrait.
A northern artist

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tues. Jan 12/2010/Cullioure North Studio/Bay Lake

3:11pm: fairly mild at -10°C,and a bit of sun
Into my work by 8:10. I'm working hard, stopping only for coffee or lunch. Any interruptions can be irritating. I love my work.
Tadaa! Put my first portrait on the "Cube". Up close, it reads as an abstract array of negatives and positive spaces. Depending on your focus, the white spaces can read as either negative or positive. Given some distance the portrait clearly jumps at you. When I'm painting it I am of course only inches or centimeters away, and I have a lot of fun with the individual shapes. Then I step back, and like a revelation. There she is!
Next, the other portrait to go all the opposite side of the "Cube" to this one. As well, my mind has to begin to find the color. Even in sleep, I search my Cube Portrait for color.
Also, throughout the day I moved a very different piece forward. I think I will call it "The Waters, Montreal River".
It has a digital picture frame integrated into it, photos scrol by approximately every 6 seconds, so that at pictorial relationships are in constant flux. I see it as an internal dialogue.
A good day!
A northern artist.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010, Cullioure North studio, Bay Lake

8:10 a.m. I'm back after a great weekend in the north. Very mild on Sunday, we went to Kirkland Lake for the official opening of the Juried Show at the Sir Harry Oakes Museum and Gallery. Very pleased to be named second in show. Perry Kong of Kirkland named first in show, and my friend Anne Denise Mejaki named third! To work!

3:15 p.m. I've been working hard all day, most of it spent in the torturous process of reassessing both portraits. Now I have reworked both and I feel they are stronger. The process demands time, reworking and reassessment. At some point, I rely on an intuitive understanding. Artists will often say, "it's working".This means what? I understand what it means, but it's really hard for me to write it down. There is a certain rawness to them now. Same person, very different expressions in each portrait. I'm ready to move on now to the next step.
A northern artist

Friday, January 8, 2010

january 8, 2010, Bay Lake Frozen Day

So many small things eat up my precious time, I'm only getting half a day to do my work. Regularity book ended with spontanaiety is what I need. As well input, lots of creative imput, diverse views and challeging ideas. Worked in the morning on the first portrait, looking for the expressiveness I want, then shifted to the second portrait, same person. All the while I keep in mind my overall goal, or vision for the "Cube Portrait". Also moving 3 other pieces forward in my mind, waiting for the right moment to strike.

A Northern Artist

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jan 7, 2010, Bay Lake

- 11degrees C, gorgeous morning.

Well I was able to get into my studio at 8:15 am. I spent a long day at work. I had many things to do, organizing various activities, writing proposals, re-organizing my cluttered studio space, and also worked on another drawing of a portrait for my "Cube Portrait". Very happy with this portrait so far because it has excellent use of the positive and negative spaces and I love the expresive quality of the portrait. Winter for a northern artist isn't easy, it demands energy and time, days are too short, and it does not help when your furnace breaks down. It has been out of commission since December 22, and wood burning demands time. Something I'm sure Gaugin didn't bother much with. Each day has its ebb and flow, so although I wish I had achieved more today, I did make progress.

A Northern Artist.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jan 6, 2010 Bay Lake

Late start today, in the studio at 9:30 am. -14 degrees C and grey. So now some steps of the "Cube Portrait" have been achieved. The cube has been constructed, sanded, and primed. I have shot a number of photos to comtemplate. Then I worked on the drawing and transferred it to the 4" x 6" lino tile. At the same time I am experimenting with works on 14" x 20" glass, as well I am developing a concept for a layered piece, probably on a 24" x 36" board. I could easily work 16 hours a day, but I struggle to keep the balance. The work of Louise Bourgeois invades my imagination, here in this white frozen land, but then I push it back, I go outside and suck in the cold clean air staying focused. I pulled the first prints of the portraits. Pleased but there is work to do on it. Of course I am never fully satisfied with the quality. Perhaps I am to self critical?

A Northern Artist

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


In my studio at 8:30 am. Only -11 C and a bit of snow. Immediately on entering my work space my imagination fires up. I have several works at different stages, and each bit of paint, or scrape of a palette knife, or stroke of a paint loaded brush initiates an idea and murtures curiosity.

I am working on a new idea. A cube, this is a prototype for a larger piece and on it I intend to paint two portraits in my style on 2 sides and on another side mount a digital picture frame loaded with photo portraits. In it I will project a video on an inside wall opposite to 2 windows from which the observer can watch the video unfold. The external and internal person. The idea has been developing for months. It has a long wonderful process. I have built the cube and shot some photo portraits.
northern artist

Monday, January 4, 2010

first post for this northern artist

So here I begin, and from here I reach out to, hopefully like minded souls, kindred spirits, and those with optimism, knowledge and critical thinking. As an artist I want to be prodded to do better, to push myself, to be able to interest you. I will share with any who care to read and observe, the weird and unique way this northern artist works. So today I worked on some new pieces which tommorow I will elaborate on.
So adieu for now, have terrific creative dreams.
Northern Artist