Monday, October 24, 2011

Spadina Chinatown

During my first course at the Toronto School of Art five years ago, I would walk home on Spadina. I tried taking some photos the old Cartier-Bresson way without people noticing. And it was with my retro film camera at the time, sorry to say. I loved the source image for this photo. The woman shot from below, the expressive hands, the face written with anxiety. I came back to it a few years later in my painting class. I like the hands but the expression is different from the photo, it's what came out from me, even if it was not entirely my intention. I have come further along as a result of my practice over the years, but this painting still marks a positive place of where I was in 2009. Size: two feet by three feet.


Thick and Thin Diptych

Painfully slowly over the last year, I have worked on these two paintings to try to experience the thickest and thinnest ways of working with paint. There are so many items you can put into acrylic paint, it is intimidating. This was one of my experiments. I did not use a brush except for very secondary touch ups. Palette knife and and dollar store sieve to throw the colour spots onto the canvas (look closely). I think the beauty of abstract art is when the layers are very present and create resonance and depth. I am still learning, my experiments are on the blunt side, but I hope to keep working at it. Size: both 20 by 28 inches

Snow/fog/rain 4

Don Valley Parkway in the Rain

Everyone in Toronto has been stuck in traffic on the DVP. This past spring, there I was, in the pouring rain. It was a good opportunity to catch it on camera and among my shots, this one with a long curve is the image that resonated with me. Don't worry, I was not moving when I took my photos. I loved my experience of painting on grey fabric earlier this year. I was determined to do it again and try to keep more of the fabric showing than I did on my first one (see Saturday Spadina below). Usually for my paintings, there is a period where I lose hope that it will be any good and it's a question of perseverance. This is one of the few of my paintings that I liked from the outset. I think I have taken those moments of frustration, anxiety, even anger at being stuck in traffic and losing so much time, and transformed it into something haunting, reflective, even lovely. Size: one foot by four feet