nostalgia

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Love is touching souls

Earlier this summer, I was gifted a found photograph.  It was a lovely group portrait of Québécois tourists in the Rocky Mountains.  I’m assuming it was taken in Alberta (I can’t identify the exact mountain), and I’m not sure when the photo dates from, but I’m guessing sometime in the early 1960s perhaps.  There are so many things I love about this photo, from the crazy patterns in their polyester outfits to the faded yet saturated colours that you get with photos from this period to the outlandishly tall tour guide on the far left.  There is so much to look at in this photo, and it also related to some of my previous work, aesthetically and thematically.  I knew that I wanted to make some art out of the photograph, but I wanted to work out a way that I could do so without revealing all the people’s faces.

I thought about it for a while, as I brought the photo with me to Ox-Bow, knowing I was going to do something with it.  I had it pinned up on the wall in my studio, greeting me each morning.  I knew I wanted to somehow carry on the theme of love, from the Banff residency I attended earlier this year, as it seemed to fit with the subjects in the photograph.  And then the idea came to me, while listening to Joni Mitchell’s song, “A Case of You” on repeat one day at my desk. I scribbled out the lyric, “Love is touching souls,” and started working on my laptop on a scan that I made of the photograph.  And here is what I ended up with:

Love is Touching Souls
Love is Touching Souls

*****

I only realized recently, while going through old files on my computer, that the background that I used in my painting, “Wish you were here! (Family 2)” of the snowy mountains was from a photograph of Banff that I found online.  I had always thought that the original reference photo was from somewhere in the Alps, so it was funny to realize that I had painted Banff in one of my paintings, about family and love no less, before actually going there this year for my residency.

Wish you were here! (Family 2)

Lying down in blue

Blue on blue between blue

Here are some more photos from the Blue series that I made in my last week at Ox-Bow:

Lying Down (The Blue Room) 1
Lying Down (The Blue Room) 2
Lying Down (The Blue Room) 3

*****

Lying Down (The Yellow Room) 1
Lying Down (The Yellow Room) 2
Lying Down (The Yellow Room) 3

*****

Red, White and Blue

A Skewed Point of View

Looking into the neighbour's backyard - 1989

I was going through some old photographs for the Domogeneous Q&A interview, and I found these photos that I took when I was eight or nine.  It was a fashion shoot that I did with my younger sister and my little cousin.  I remember they got all dressed up in their fashion outfits (you gotta love the 80s!), and we did the photo shoot in our backyard.  I had this dinky pink camera that was a point and shoot…I still remember, it was narrow and flat in this sugary Pepto-Bismol pink colour with a turquoise blue shutter button.  I think there were some  random purple plastic parts thrown in there for good measure too.  Anyway, not many of the photos actually came out from that day.  But the ones that did…well looking at them now, I guess I was already very interested in playing with composition and skewed horizon lines.  It’s just interesting to see that I was doing that at nine-years-old, and here I am at thirty, revisiting the past.

Judith's Reprise (2010)

And pose! *click* (1989)
Thy Preying Hands (Leda & The Swan) (2011)

A Contemporary Woman – Paris to London to Vancouver

I will be taking part in my first live auction coming up next week. I’m very excited as I’ve never had any work in an auction, let alone a live auction, so I’m not sure what to expect! The auction and event will be held at Maynards Fine Art & Antiques in Vancouver, in their beautiful new spacious showroom on Main Street. Maynards was the presenting sponsor for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s summer blockbuster show that has just closed, The Modern Woman.

The Contemporary Woman
The Contemporary Woman

Maynards auction is titled The Contemporary Woman and will be held on September 22nd, at 5:30pm (live auction starts at 6:15pm).

I will be auctioning three paintings – one portrait and two smaller paintings that will be auctioned as a pair – from my La Melodie de la Nostalgie series. These paintings were originally painted in 2005 for an exhibition titled Location/Locality when I was living in London, UK. The inspiration for the work, however, was my time in Paris, France in 2001. I was already interested in themes of nostalgia, and this series was unique in that it was my interpretation of someone else’s memories, or rather, how I hoped someone else remembered me during those times in Paris. The titles for each work place the event in a time and place and with a song lyric-like title – hence the title for the series, La Melodie de la Nostalgie, which translates into “The Melody of Nostalgia”.

Chez toi, March 2001 - "It must have been the red" (Private Collection)

A few of the paintings from this series sold while from the original exhibition, and the ones that are for auction are the ones that traveled back with me to Vancouver. It is hard to see in the photographs, but the paintings are done in both oil and acrylic. The portrait aspect is painted in thin layers of oil, so there is a transparent effect to it. These were meant to be “real” like photographs, whereas the backgrounds, which are the locate the events, were painted in acrylic interference paint. Acrylic interference paint are colourless, transparent paints made from titanium coated mica flakes and from afar they are lost in the background. On closer inspection, however, the colours have a metallic look and shift colour, depending on the viewing angel. The effect is very difficult to photograph, but appears similar to the colours displayed in an oil slick floating on water.

The backgrounds are fantasy like and surreal, floating in and out of view.

Saint-Germain-des-Pres, February 2001 - "A matter of complication"

This painting, which will be part of the auction, is a self-portrait on the platform of the Saint-Germain-des-Pres Metro station in Paris – the tunnel and train tracks can be made out on the right of the painting with the “METRO” sign at the upper right.

Chez moi, July 2001 - "Am I only..."
Chez moi, July 2001 - "...just one you love"

These two paintings, which are being auctioned as a diptych, are a pair and meant to be hung one above the other. These were some of my first examples of pattern work finding their way into my art.

For more information on the auction, please visit the Maynards event listing. All the works will also be open for viewing this Saturday, September 18, at the Maynards showroom.

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