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Brian and Sue
While I have been working away in my studio, exciting things have been underway.
Each year The Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour holds an international watercolour exhibition called Open Water. This year there were 350 entries from around the world and 63 were selected by the jurors. I am delighted to tell you that my painting, Along The Way, was one of those selected. I am very grateful to the jurors, Marc Gagnon and David McEown. The entire exhibition may be seen online at www.https://cspwc.ca
I have also submitted six miniature pieces to St.Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre's Miniature Show. There will be 340 miniature artworks on display and for sale. For information about hours and covid protocols go to the website www.https://stepac.ca
And finally, the greatly anticipated Westland Gallery's Square Foot Show will have hundreds of pieces by local artists, including three of mine. The exhibition will soon be available for viewing online at www.https://westlandgallery.ca and in person by appointment from November 14 to the end of December.
Thank you for your ongoing support. I hope you enjoy viewing the artwork either online or in person.
Stay safe. Wear a mask and practise social distancing.
I have not sent out a newsletter since just before the Pandemic Lockdown. For nearly two years I had been in my studio working on paintings for the 2020 club shows, the London Artists Studio Tour and my own solo show at STEPAC. The Pandemic caused cancellations and postponements and, I have to admit, took the wind out of my sales. After much deliberation with my family and my Tour Helpers, I came to the conclusion that I could not safely open my home and studio to visitors and so withdrew from the studio tour.
For consolation I turned to my kitchen where I could create new dishes for my family. This served several purposes. It gave me an outlet for my creativity not in any way associated with painting. Secondly the nutritious and, even if I do say so myself, delicious food I produced kept us healthy and in good spirits. And, Lastly, the enticing fragrances of home cooked meals, freshly baked bread and treats made our home a comforting and pleasant place to pass the lockdown together.
Time not spent in the kitchen was spent on the Internet exploring. I found new artists to admire and reacquainted myself with others.
One of the artists, Karen Stamper, from Cornwall U.K., introduced me to working in a concertina sketchbook.I enjoyed this very much. Here is a portion of the sketchbook.
I also discovered an American botanical illustrator, Lara Call Gastinger, who introduced me to the idea of a perpetual nature journal. For me, this seemed an act of faith as well as both hope and trust in that it required working on it for several years, returning to pages time and again to make additions. so this is the first year of my perpetual journal! Look her up on the Internet if you wish to find out more.
Zachary Login, a Canadian artist from Sakatchewan, is another artist worth investigation. I saw his work a few years ago on Instagram, and was intrigued to find some of his work included "After Mary Delany" in the titles. Mary Delany is one of my heroes and lived from 1700 to 1788, taking up botanical collage in her later years. Zachary's contemporary paintings are filled with botanical images, beautifully rendered and have been exhibited internationally.
Eventually my Internet explorations and my sketchbooks allowed me to return to my studio and to paint. Three pieces will be in the Westland Gallery's Square Foot Show, November 17 to December 24 by appointment and online.
Square Foot Show
Process and Products
I entered paintings into the OSA Member's Exhibition of Selected Works and was delighted to have one painting juried into the exhibition.This is an online exhibition and is available to view until Oct. 31.
I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe. Take care. Be good to yourself and each other.
WEAR A MASK!
Belated Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for your patience. I have been so busy checking things off my monthly "To Do" lists that, to my chagrin, "compose and send newsletter" has remained incomplete month after month, often bullied to the bottom of the list by looming deadlines or commitments. My art time, when not spent sketching or painting, has been filled with computer work consisting of me making applications and submissions. I am pleased to share that my computer time has had wonderful results.
To begin with, I am honoured to report that one submission resulted in my election to the Ontario Society of Artists, a professional association for visual artists. Founded in 1872, it is Canada's longest continuing art society. In May I will attend their meeting at The Arts And Letters Club in Toronto to receive my pin and certificate.
My submission to the London Artists' Studio Tour was also successful. I look forward to welcoming many of you to my studio. You will see some familiar paintings, several new ones in various sizes and price points and several works in progress destined to be exhibited during my solo show in November. I applied for and received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to help with associated exhibition costs and am very grateful. More information about my exhibition will be sent in later newsletters.
As always, I am grateful for your continued interest and support. Thank you.
Happy first day of summer to you!
This evening Brian and I will be attending the ceremony to celebrate our grandson's and his classmates' graduation from elementary school. It seems fitting that it is taking place on Summer Solstice for as one Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood, says of solstice:"This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath."
The past lets go..... I find myself once again missing life with a wee one, a toddler. First it was his mother and now it's him. I miss watching the world through the eyes of a small child, seeing the exquisite sense of wonder, the sheer pleasure in discovering the world. But I must let go of the past to revel in the accomplishments of both my daughter and her son. They are the future.
The place of caught breath...as an artist I am fortunate to be able to occasionally rediscover that "place of caught breath" while working on location. It doesn't happen often, but when it does "everything begins to yes",(e.e.cummings). In this place everything is sketch worthy. Every tree, rock, path, plant, wildflower, cloud, calls to be examined in wonder. My head spins and even as I am working in my sketchbook on the selected subject, possibilities swirl through my mind. I return home and fill my sketchbook with wonders. Eventually I make paintings.... lots and lots of paintings. This has been known to continue for more than a year. I may leave the place for a bit to paint something else but I always return to the place where the past is becoming the future. And then, just a suddenly and with just as little warning as it started, it is over. And so I continue to sketch and to paint waiting for the next "caught breath" moment. I don't know when or where it will happen but I do know that it won't happen unless I am somewhere sketching, somewhere it can find me waiting.
And so tonight our family will celebrate a milestone in our grandson's life. Brian and I will catch our breath and note how quickly time is passing. We will give thanks and celebrate summer and rejoice in our summer plans and I will quietly and privately give thanks and rejoice that the "place of caught breath" found me waiting and sketching recently.
May your summer be filled with family and fun and the occasional caught breath moment. Happy Summer Solstice.
A very quick message about a fundraiser and group show I am taking part in. The show opens today and the official Opening is June 8. All of the information is here on the poster.
While my time in the studio has been very limited, I have produced a few paintings, some of which you will find at the following shows and exhibitions, along with a few older favourites. I hope to see you at these events as well as during the London Artists' Studio Tour. As I mentioned in a previous letter, I will not be taking part in the tour this year. However, I will be visiting several studios during the tour and hope to see many of you along the way.
The Gallery Painting Group will be starting our paint out season in less than a month and I am very excited to get back out to sketch. My new sketchbooks have been ordered and delivered and my sketching materials sorted and stored in my backpack. I am like a kid waiting for Christmas or summer vacation! Here is one of the paintings I have been working on recently which is a sketchbook inspired piece from a paint out at Coldstream last season.
As always, thank you for your interest in my work and for taking the time to read this.
A New Year has brought with it a temporary change of focus and a necessary hiatus from both art making and participation in this Year's London Artists' Studio Tour. I am still able to take some time now and then to work in my sketchbook, but studio time has been almost non existent since Christmas. Hopefully new routines will form and allow me some limited time in the studio soon. Nevertheless, it is a happy time with a decidedly energetic feel. I am hopeful that when I return to my studio some of that energy will join me!
In the meantime I have been thinking about painting and doing some reading. Say what you will about modern technology and its sometimes negative effect on our lives, I have found it to be such an amazing source of inspiration and information. Among other things, it has allowed me to find several authors I may not have read otherwise. Among these is Robert Macfarlane. His book, The Lost Words , a response to the decision by Oxford Press to illiminate many Nature related words from their children's dictionary and replace them with words from the world of technology, has received much coverage through social media and the response to his book has been overwhelming. ( The irony here is not lost on me! ) Reading about this on social media led me to search out his other writing and I have been enjoying, both The Old Ways, and Landmarks, very much, partly because so much of what he thinks and says and quotes others saying about landscape applies to painting too. Macfarlane writes, "....the two questions we should ask of any strong landscape are these: Firstly, what do I know when I am in this place that I can know nowhere else? And then, vainly, what does this place know of me that I cannot know of myself?"
What do I know when I am in this place that I can know nowhere else?
I've copied the first question on the flyleaf of my current sketchbook. It will become my mantra I think. The response to the second part of the question may become clearer, perhaps, when looking at my finished sketch or painting. Time will tell...What does this place know of me?
Macfarlane writes, " There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation...or to which silence is the best response". I would add that sometimes, in that silent response, a painting is conceived.
My hope for you all is that you find places that hold truth you can know and that, in turn, the places you find both know and love you.
So, I will miss seeing many of you during the studio tour this year. Maybe we will see each other at other events throughout 2019. I will keep sending out my newsletters with updates about my work and any shows or exhibitions of interest to me and perhaps to you too.
As always, Thank you for your interest and support. Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of help to you.
I have some paintings in the Group Show at Westland Gallery. I hope you can stop by.
Thank you for your interest in my work and your support throughout this year.
i am busy getting ready for the Spring shows and the London Artists' Studio Tour.
In the meantime,
I am on Facebook, https://m.facebook.com>paintingsbysusangarrington
I post work on both so you can see my new work as it is finished and discover the story behind each piece.
Merry Christmas and all the best to you in 2019!
I am so very grateful to live in a place where I can enjoy, photograph and sketch such wonderful things. I am also very grateful to all of you who support my art through visiting shows, purchasing my work, reading my newsletter and so many other thoughtful and kind ways. Thank you and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you!