Isolation

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Whenever a new year begins I find myself alert and watching to see what will emerge in the news first.  Often that issue, whatever it happens to be, will be the thing that shapes a particular year into something unique–whether that thing is a change in the political climate, emerging of unusual natural disasters or climate issues, social problems or what have you.  Naturally, the beginning of a decade is even more interesting.  So I watched with fascination to see what would emerge as newsworthy.

What emerged, immediately, as we began a new decade in 2020 was Coronavirus, a new viral strain that had not been previously identified in humans.  After only a couple of months, this virus has taken over the news and put us all on high alert.  Only yesterday the first confirmed case landed in my own city right here in Winnipeg, arriving unceremoniously via air travel from Vancouver.  The news has widely reported on the potential for death and generously thrown around words like pandemic and quarantine and has urged us all to be “prepared” for the coming of the inevitable. 

So what is a person to do in the face of such impending apocalyptic news?  Like most things in life, our response to what is happening around us is all we really have control over.  My response has been to paint this piece of art.  And ultimately, this piece of art is all the potential response of society to what is happening in the news.

I have called it —  “Isolation: The Epidemic of a New Decade”.   I think the title really speaks for itself, but let me break it down for you a bit.  This piece expresses the possibility that what will really affect us most about the presence of pandemic will not be the disease itself but the isolation that will result as we shut ourselves away from each other in an effort not to get sick.

Within the painting, you will see references to the coronavirus and medical symbols (eg, shapes of the virus at top of windows outside, medical glove as a balloon).  The cake is a reference to the birth of a new decade (2020).  Note that the main figure is standing alone and isolated inside (is this his home or is he in a hospital?).   The figures on the outside of the window are loosely based on artwork painted in the 15th century during the time of the Black Plague.  The mask he wears is a reference to the plague masks worn by doctors which they believed would prevent them from contracting the disease.  To sum it up, this painting is meant to help us weigh the reality of the possibility of contracting the virus against the damage that too much isolation could do to us as humans.  This feels like such a modern and current problem for us all as we walk into a new decade together.

The biggest question for me now, however, is:  “Where on earth am I going to put this painting?”  Anybody work for the CDC or some sort of research facility and want to purchase or borrow a thought-provoking work for a little while?

“Isolation:  The Epidemic of a New Decade”
Oil on Canvas
48 x 36 inches

Becoming Zen

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I stumbled into some truly impressive eastern art while on vacation in Minneapolis and Chicago.  There was an abundance of temple artifacts, statues much like this Buddha I began painting recently.  I am beyond fascinated by the differences in religions from around the world, but more so by what they have in common.  Have you ever noticed how we fashion our “gods” to look like ourselves?  In the west, we have a white christian god—a father-like figure with a white beard and his son, white Jesus, who looks remarkably European.  In the east, we find buddhas and statues of gods who look like they could come to life and walk among the people as if they were simply part of the general population.

What strikes me is that the god-stories that we have created throughout humanity’s history are really stories about ourselves.  They are the story of humanity.  They depict the human struggle and our desire to rise above and find greatness.  They depict our deep unspoken understanding that in some way, we are the best hope for our planet and for humanity, that we will be its salvation.

I will be painting a series of spiritual artifacts in the next few weeks, like the one pictured here, which is still a work in progress.  I will keep you posted on when they will become available for viewing and sale.  I am definitely excited about this group of work!

“Becoming Zen”
36 x 24 inches
Oil on Canvas

Somewhere in Manitoba

I took this photo on the east side of the river as we drove between Selkirk and Winnipeg. It struck me as such a typical Manitoba scene. There is something beautiful about all of the abandoned farmsteads, barns and sheds that are scattered throughout the province, as any prairie girl could tell you. They are reminders of families, full of hardworking men and women, that came before us. Every time I see one my mind instantly begins to form stories of what those lives must have been like. “Somewhere in Manitoba”

“Somewhere in Manitoba”
20 x 20 inches
Acrylic on Canvas
$250

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New Art Studio!

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NEW Art Studio Announcement!

Hey friends! I am excited to announce that as of the 1st of November my art studio will be moving from my home studio into the Cre8ery studio and gallery on Adelaide Street in Winnipeg. After that, I will be working and creating most of my art from that space, as well as having it available for viewing and sale in my studio space at that location! Very excited to be working alongside such an amazing group of creative and inspiring artists.

In preparation for this, I will not be offering any art for sale between now and then. It seems to slip out of my hands as fast as I can create it. I would very much like to have a stock of art for sale as I arrive there, so will be hanging on to everything I create between now and Nov 1. However, if you like something you see me post between now and then, you can visit me at my new studio early in November!

I am planning to be available at that space for people to drop in from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.
The address is 125 Adelaide in the Exchange district!

 

The Creative Force

I think most artists would tell you that they are deeply spiritual people.  To be an artist is to know at your core that the creativity that passes through you comes from another place.  And that place is a place of spirit and of light.  A place of peace and healing and love.  A place that refuses to leave the world the way it is, but emerges to re-create what is broken into something beautiful again.  The art that moves through us has a will of its own.  Often, it is impossible to stop it from coming out in some form or other.  It seeks to express the truth that change is not only possible, but imminent and it works to help us catch glimpses of a better life.

The creative force is a healing force–in every way.  Surround yourself with as many creative works as you can…and you will surround yourself with the very force of life.

Pink Flow

“Pink Flow” — — 20″x24″ Acrylic on Canvas — $75