Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Art is on my Mind

Hiking With my Trusty Companion
It’s April and art is on my mind. The days are becoming longer and sunshine has sharpened the colours. The daffodils are waving their yellow heads, and one by one the shrubs in my garden are bursting into flower. As colour returns to the coast, I feel the urge to paint.

A Fallen Leaf
The natural landscapes around me have always inspired my creativity. I walk the trails observing all the signs of Spring, and it feeds my soul. The other day, I made a point of counting how many types of wild flowers I saw along the trails. There were 13. Yes, I counted the dandelions and skunk cabbages too!

Unidentified Spring Flower
Last week, I went to the excellent artist's supply store that serves the mid-Island area. I spent a happy hour choosing some tubes of paint, a couple of new brushes, and some other products like varnish and primer (ground). I am not much of a shopper except in art stores, bookstores, and stationery stores. Once I enter one of those three types of stores, my self-control deserts me. I might as well open my wallet and dump all the money out.

I came home feeling inspired and varnished ten of my paintings. Varnishing the surface of the painting helps to protect the painting and restores the colours to the brightness they had when the work was first painted. You can’t put permanent varnish on an oil painting until the paint has time to cure (fully dry), which takes about a year. I have not been conscientious about remembering to go back and varnish finished works. It is not a necessary step, but I do like the way it enhances the brightness of the colours.

View of Nanoose Estuary
On a recent walk, I took the photo above of Nanoose Estuary with the tide out. I started a painting last Fall of this scene, working from a photo taken near this spot. The painting is still sitting on my easel, unfinished. Somehow -- I don't know how this happened -- I have signed myself for so many things that I hardly seem to have any time to paint.

Here's a list: Weekly yoga classes at two different studios, book group, writer's group, service group, weekly volunteer activity for service group, volunteer at grandson's preschool, art group, planning committee for upcoming art show, organizer for activity to combat invasive plants, academic committee, Elder College course, participant in Drawdown Ecochallenge 2019, and, um, lots of other stuff.

I just want to put in a plug for Drawdown Ecochallenge. This is a three-week challenge in April, in which people from all over the world commit to do one or two or more things to contribute to efforts to combat (and eventually reverse) global warming.

There is still time to join! I would be happy to have you join my team, Vancouver Island Sustainable Future (you don't have to be from Vancouver Island). This is my way of taking action, rather than just sitting around worrying about it. If you join, you can read my feed on the Ecochallenge and find out all about my eco efforts this month. You can join up here.

It's only ten days until our big Spring Showcase art show! I have updated my art website, and added more paintings to it. You can read about the upcoming show here.

12 comments:

  1. Hi, Jude - Isn't the Island wonderful?! There are always so many interesting things going on - we are very spoiled for choice! I look forward to seeing you at the Art Show! See you soon!

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    1. Donna, I’m thrilled that you are going to come to the Spring Showcase. I will send you an invitation to the opening reception on Friday night.

      Jude

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  2. It’s good to have a full life, but maybe not quite so full that it edges out your favourite activity! I hope you manage to find some space for your painting.

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    1. Anabel, you are right. I am finding hard to protect time for my painting and writing. As I wrote a couple of months ago in a post, I have a problem with overcommitment. By the way, did you notice my square photo above? I was thinking of you when I took it.

      Jude

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  3. Yes, you are a busy bee, Jude. But, spring is bringing inspiration, which is a good thing. And, you’ve made good progress with your book as well, so your paintings will follow. I’m also happy to see that you have added the EcoChallenge to your efforts of taking action! I’m trying to think about two things we do this month at our house sit... only use the car once a week (or ten days) to run errands and go shopping. And, only starting the dishwasher (twice a week) and the washing machine (once a week) when they’re full. :-)

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    1. Liesbet, that is a good point. I find that when I am really into writing, I am less inspired to spend time painting, and when I’m painting, I tend to not be writing much. Right now my novel is in the forefront of my mind and I am devoting my spare moments to it.

      I agree with you about home appliances. We only run our dishwasher when it is full, and the same with our washer and dryer. Most items of clothing can be worn more than once (except I draw the line at socks and underpants), which cuts down on washing — which saves both electricity and time. We have high efficacy machines with good energy star ratings.

      Jude

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    2. I had no idea that some people only wear a set of clothes once and then throw them in the wash. What a waste. But then again, people are very wasteful.

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    3. I meant to say high efficiency, not efficacy. When I was growing up, we used our towels once and then tossed them in the laundry basket. It was the sixties and consumerism was seen as the good life.

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  4. Hi Jude - The colours in your photo of the fallen leaf alone are inspiring. I can see how nature is calling you to paint. Spring is beautiful, isn't it? I was counting the number of wild flowers and birds that I could identify in my neighbourhood. I'll visit the EcoChallenge and your Art web site next. Have a wonderful weekend and Spring Showcase!

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    1. Thanks Natalie! Yes, that colourful leaf really caught my eye. I love the springtime.

      Jude

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  5. Hi Jude! I'm finally getting around to reading this and I LOVED all your paintings. I'm a big fan of color and you do that very well. I can see where putting varnish on them would make them "pop" more because they are so very colorful. As you know my husband and I will be coming to Vancouver Island in July. Will there be another show during that time? I would love to see your work in person. Meanwhile, enjoy spring and the best of luck on your coming show! ~Kathy

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    1. Oh Kathy, that is such a nice thing to say. I really do love to use colour when I paint. When you come to Vancouver Island this summer, I would be happy to give you a tour of my studio/gallery. And if you are interested in seeing the work of other artists in the group, I could arrange a tour to some of the other studios as well.

      Jude

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