Thursday, November 1, 2007

e newsletter November 2007

Happy Autumn

A fine Fall Season to all of you!

I am in hopes this finds you all well, and taking time to enjoy the changing of the seasons to the utmost! Here’s what’s new here— if you have any questions, just
drop a line?

The current news here includes the annual

Studio Art Show
Show hours are—
Sat. Nov. 17 11-4
Sun. Nov. 18 2-4
The location is

-15 South St. E., Aylmer, Ontario -

Spring Thaw (oil painting on canvas, 11” x 14”)

'When a thaw blows in suddenly, after a hard winter, the morning hours seems to bring a special light and misty atmosphere. Portents of a soft spring (and joy swelling the hearts of Canadi­ans).'

This is another century home just down the street from me.

Last March I was doodling some ideas. Needless to say (needless for those who know me anyway) the painting started out as a quick oil study to get my ideas down, but it was far too much fun to leave it there, and it ended up being a fairly detailed work. (Once I started painting the fieldstone on the chim­ney I was hooked.)

Since this was originally meant to be a local piece, I was surprised that there was so much interest at the out of town shows this summer; by request I’ve done a small edition of prints.

* * *
I’m often asked where I get my ideas for paintings; usually it is a combination of several things I’ve seen and imagined. Often the image quite suddenly appears in my mind’s eye or in a dream and I know it will haunt me until it is painted. Travelling provides a visual ‘workout’ and so you may see bits of the following experiences surfacing into paintings this year:

The last ‘away’ show for this year was on Thanksgiving weekend, in wine country, in a valley conservation area on the Niagara Peninsula. My outstanding memories include hazy fall mornings near Lake Ontario, the rocky escarpment peeking through the fog, and the aromas of the abundant grapes and fruit trees and woodsmoke in the fall air. (I’m still trying to figure out how to paint aromas (and also music)).

Within hours of arriving home from Niagara, we set out to make our way through Pennsylvania and the Smoky Mountains. Proving that ‘life is full of ups and downs’, we ended ‘down’ at sea level (having traditional Maryland crabcakes and crab chowder on a dock) at Chesapeake Bay (photo below)...

and a week or so later, flying on a Dash 8 into the mountainous interior of BC to Nelson, one of the most beautiful small cities I have ever seen. We were now back ‘up’ at 1900 feet above sea level. Nelson is ringed by the mountains (the Selkirk Range) and anchored by its own glacier fed Kootenay Lake. (Nelson beach photo below)

Colour studies are important, I find, because a camera doesn’t capture colours properly, so I took soft pastels of almost pure pigment with me (more welcome on airlines than oil paint). It was exciting to layer colour after colour to try to capture the exact blue of the mountains, the water, and the shadows, and the interplay with the intense brilliance of the trees.

It is written somewhere that most paintings are an expression of gratitude. I am grateful that we live in such an amazing, glorious and diverse hemisphere—visually almost overwhelming. Much scope for the imagination as I paint through this winter, and many ideas to pursue.

Hope to see you at the ‘home show’!

Cheers, Judy

* * *

P.S. If you’ve been receiving these emails for awhile, you might remember that little time lapse video that was done while I painted an oil study. (It is accessible from the Studies page of my website but I store it on YouTube to save space.)

Now I see that it has been viewed over 1,000 times from YouTube itself; I don’t recognize the languages of all those who have linked to it, but nice that art is universal. sold

‘Why art?’ Quotes for the day:

'Watch out! Looking at artwork can improve your brain!
...instead of just quickly glancing at everyday objects, you may start to 'see' them as an artist would...(the) shapes and shadows of a winter landscape, for example, or the way sunlight shines through and saturates the colour of a flower petal...
...recent studies postulate that at these times, you are actually changing the chemistry and architecture of the neurons in your brain.' (Unknown)

'You are what you think about.' (Dr. W. Dyer)

‘Creativity is perhaps one of the most important ways in which a human being can grow. The growth occurs not only in the creative person, but in all those who are affected…Art, literature, and music are essential to achieve a spiritual level of life in which discord and hate are less likely to occur.’ Dr. Silvano Arieti

All information, text and graphics, is copyright Judy Minor.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

e newsletter August 2007

Happy Summer!

I am in hopes this finds you all well, and taking time to enjoy your summer to the utmost! Here’s what’s new here— if you have any questions, just drop a line?

Air Water Fire (oil painting on board, 11” x 14”)

I’m not sure if this is some ancient instinct, but some of us have a need to be near water; we just feel better there. We are abundantly blessed in this country.

Given the setting, what child wouldn’t believe she could fly (especially if bestowed with those Supertowel properties).

Air Water Fire is a local image I’ve been longing to paint for some time. (It felt especially poignant this year, with such things as children graduating and leaving home to stretch their wings.) Doing it now also gave me a nice excuse to visit the beach in the evenings, ‘absorbing the atmosphere’.
(The painting is now dry enough that I’ve been able to reproduce it, and those details will be on my website.)

These tiny handpressed original prints were experimental. I’ve been a bit obsessed lately by the ancient cave paintings in Lascaux and Alta Mira, and by some fascinating reading on ancestral migrations and the DNA studies on the origins of mankind.

These sort of prints are very ‘hands-on’ (rhymes with ‘messy’—I am still cleaning ink from my elbows I think, as well as healing from scalpel wounds from inscribing the plates) and were quite fulfilling, another project which just felt right.

I am told that it is now high time to buckle down and get everything ready for the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival, which begins a week from now. I hope to see you there-this show is one of the highest quality art shows in Canada, and is held in a very relaxed setting in the Kawartha Lakes District. There are some directions and a description on the website (see ‘Events’). Be sure to come say hello if you do visit?

Cheers! Happy Trails—

All information, text and graphics, is copyright Judy Minor.

Friday, June 1, 2007

e newsletter June 2007

Happy Spring!

I am in hopes this finds you all well, and enjoying the spring weather so far.

As for here, long winter days (and evenings too) in the studio were excellent for the concentration and I will attach some of this year’s ‘crop’ of original paintings. Enjoy!

Nappers 16” x 20” oil painting on board

Absolute bliss. A joy to paint.

‘Nappers’ (above) is a fairly detailed oil and one which provided a good challenge. (I have been able to reproduce this work, now that the paint has cured somewhat; the details are now on my website).

The smaller pieces below are relatively quick, small (3” x 3”) watercolour studies. I often do these as warm-ups before starting a day’s painting on more intense subjects. (I have been haunting the produce section of the local grocery store regularly, in search of just the right shapes and colours!) These are painted on gessoed paper—it increases the technical difficulty, but I do like the rough texture of the gesso. They are available only as originals and are matted to a 12” x 12” size.

The summer here will be lively and full of shows and travelling as usual, but I do hope to squeeze a good bit of time out for painting as well. Lots of ideas which intrigue me! and I suspect the email updates may become more regular from here on in. Feel free to forward this e-newsletter on to others if you think they may enjoy it (but they will not be subscribed to my e-list unless they specifically ask to be.)

Hope to see you on my travels, enjoying the summer weather ‘to the utmost’—

Cheers! and Happy Trails—
Judy Minor

All information, text and graphics, is copyright Judy Minor.