ART-in-CANADA
 
we 2005 @ you me
Artists' Statements
 
 
   
           

The Artists
 
we @you me
April 8 - 17, 2005
you me gallery
330 James St. North
Hamilton, Ontario CANADA
(905) 523-7754
  • Rashné Baetz
  • Ulrike Balke
  • Maureen Eustace
  • Diana Gordon
  • Fleur-Ange Lamothe
  • Arlene Laskey
  • Lynn Mills
  • Ann Oakley
  • Patricia Seeley

Hanging Ann Oakley's studies
Rashné Baetz  "Injoy 1 - 3"  "Meditation"  and  "Dancer"

The abstract expressionist work I have done for this show was created with a meeting of my conscious and subconscious. I started with a doodle on the canvas. Then I randomly picked whatever colour my hand pulled out of my box of paints. I let my brush do the painting until I had a framework. Then I put something of my mind into it, such as choice of colour to fill in the form.

Jane Gordon was a wonderful teacher for me at this juncture in my painting journey. She encouraged my improvisational style and guided me to stop once in a while to think about the choices I was making as I proceeded. I was feeling a sense of joy in the time I did the pieces for this show and I believe that is reflected in the art.

Ulrike Balke   "Avon Calling No. 1 and 2"

A dyptych of mixed media on raw canvas explores themes and intent of graphic art in advertising within a fine art perspective.

Maureen Eustace  "On the Edge"

A plein-air study in blue/green on the Niagara Escarpment near Dundas.

Diana Gordon "Domestic Intimacies"

I took the course with Jane knowing that I had reached an impasse in my art - afraid to move forward, uncertain what subject to paint next, conflicted over painting to sell and painting for the sheer love of it. I set myself up a challenge - to paint domestic objects from my home, forcing myself to paint the pots and pans rather than worry about washing them. So far it has worked - though the house is no cleaner.

"Domestic Intimacies" is a series of 13 oil paintings of still life objects. The paintings are hung on a kimono, fashioned from a plastic dollar-store tablecloth. Everyday settings of everday chores. But in each, a moment to stop and contemplate an intimate scene, amidst the clutter of our domestic spaces and thoughts.

In some fabulous, supportive discussions, we shared fears about our identities as artists, what outside expectations have fallen on our shoulders and how to move forward on our unique paths. We discussed the nature of art, what art means to each of us, the compulsion to create and how personal any expression has to be, in order to be authentic. A stimulating and challenging course, made more so by the opportunity to show our work at the you me gallery and on-line.

Fleur-Ange Lamothe  "Jeanne d`Arc et moi (et la mouche à marde)"  "Vivre de joie" and  "Le cheminement de mes arrières-grand-mères, mon père et moi"

My work began with using mapping as a conceptual framework. My paintings have a horizontal orientation. Simultaneously, the concept of time was explored and my link to people of the past was constructed.

"Art is memory" (Louise Bourgeois). "Le cheminement..." (left) is a map of the journeys of some of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers, my parents and myself.In my ancestral line, there are 45 filles du roi (King’s daughters). They came to New France (Quebec) between 1663 and 1674. It was unusual for women to travel at that time. I am amazed by their courage. The navy blue lines, moving from right to left, is my way of remembering these ancestors.

I chose red lines to represent my father. They represent his treks, as a soldier in WW II. His war records prominently display the acronym, NRMA. I have discovered that it stands for the National Resource Mobility Act. This act conscripted men, legislating that they would not be sent abroad. The act was ignored and men, such as my father, were sent to fight overseas. Having been sent to Victoria, B.C. and Siska, Alaska, my father was then transferred to England. From there, he was sent to continental Europe. My father received the medal of France.

My mother is represented by a green line. She was adopted from an institution in Montreal by a family in Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario. As far as my family has been able to determine, she was born of an Irish, Catholic, English-speaking woman from the Gaspé-Iles de la Madeleine area.

I represented myself with royal blue and burgundy lines, combining the colours used to symbolize my father and great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers. I have lived in three of Canada’s provinces and I have travelled in Europe, Australia and parts of Asia. The deer tracks represent my experience at home. I live in the country and deer roam the land. Some associate deer with souls and I like to think that my late husband might be visiting through them.

I have developed a personal coat of arms for this map. It is in the shape of a lozenge. This is the conventional depiction of a "shield" for a woman. It was assumed "that women did not make war or participate in tournaments and, therefore, had no practical use for a shield."

I decided to include a red fox, white florets and a spiraled fern as icons on my coat of arms. The red fox represents beauty, intelligence and refers to St. Exupéry`s Le Petit Prince. Wildflowers have always attracted me. I chose white florets in reference to the flowers making up the pattern throughout the tapestries, La Dame à la Licorne. The spiral fern alludes to the infinity of time, our minuteness within it, to knowledge through travel, to growth and development.

Arlene Laskey  "Waking the Goddess 1 - 4" and "Meditations in Blue and Yellow 1 - 3"

I am exploring the potential of square format canvases, saturated colour, and the development of a small suite of paintings on specific themes.

For example, a sunrise suite is called "Waking the Goddess"; another suite is "Meditations in Blue and Yellow".

I am working in a smaller format than before and I am trying to be less slap dash...I have a tendency to be very impulsive with my application of colour in the past; I am trying to be more meditative when I am doing it now.

 

Lynn Mills  "The Absolute Eye"

Acrylic on a Set of 6 Slate Roofing Tiles with 4 Wooden Cupboards

Ann Oakley   "Creek in Winter" and "Cloud Studies"

In this painting, "Creek in Winter", I am exploring ways of connecting my interior sense of order and space with the wonder and beauty of the world. I am also exhibiting 4 sky and sea studies (see photo at top of page) which are part of the same exploration.These are all done in chalk pastel.

Patricia Seeley   "Night Drive"  "Escarpment"  "Through the Window"  "Power Grid"  and "Back to Life"

Jane billed her Enhanced Studio course as a way of pushing independent studio work to a new level. I was interested in doing that, and just generally in kick-starting myself out of a creative funk.

My project for the course was to make some pairs of images that would constitute a creative, rather than a depressive response to the reality of being in Ontario instead of being on the Fundy Shore in Nova Scotia where my studio is located. It was interesting and helpful to be around other mature people creating a wide spectrum of images in a wide variety of styles.

Important breakthroughs came from starting to use my computer, digital camera and printer as art tools, rather than just as a way of documenting work. Another breakthrough was reconnecting emotionally with the beauty of the trees outside my windows and the dramatic cliffs of the escarpment. Still another came from reconnecting with the colour possibilities inherent in the human figure -- the colour of life pulsing under the surface of skin.

The course provided me with the support and encouragement I needed to get out of my creative block. It was great!


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