28 May 2015

Alberta Landscape #89

alberta landscape painting

Last weekend we went out again plein air painting at the Sheep River just a little way out of Calgary.  It was a perfect day for painting outdoors.

When we arrived at the river, we noticed a really beautiful trout/tag painting done under the bridge, a very sophisticated work of art:

alberta landscape painting

Here's the painting I made, downstream from the beautiful fish tag:

alberta landscape painting
Alberta Landscape #89
oil on wood panel
10x10 inches

Reflections and shadows on water are so beautiful: semi-transparent, shape-shifting, always in motion.  Like this whole world, hey.

alberta landscape painting

alberta landscape painting

18 May 2015

Miner, Healer, Instrumentalist - part II

Last week the groundbreaking ceremony for cSPACE arts hub at King Edward School took place.  Here's an article about it in the Calgary Herald.

I went to the ceremony and really enjoyed Mayor Nenshi's address, in which he spoke about the arts being not merely a frill, but an essential part of any community's financial climate.  How wonderful that our mayor has a big picture in his mind!
verna vogel hard hats
a very happy and excited crew
Reid Henry and Dale Ens described some of the history of bringing this project to fruition, which was very interesting.  A lot of people have worked together to make the idea of an arts hub at the old King Edward school a reality.

And the hats made by the other artists were fantastic!  One had a bird's nest on it; another, a carpenter's square embedded in the top.  Reid Henry was wearing a hat with the most amazing wings made from old venetian blinds, and I saw a hat covered in the tied ends of balloons, which I couldn't resist touching.  Every hat I saw was both fun and beautiful.

I also shamelessly took photos with the people who wore the hats I made:

verna vogel hard hats
Cheryl Gottselig, cSPACE board chair
wearing the Instrumentalist's hat

verna vogel hard hats
Deeter Schurig, cSPACE project manager
wearing the Miner's hat

verna vogel hard hats
Carloyn Boston, Construction Manager for cSPACE
wearing the Healer's hat
very appropriate, since she is also a shaman!

In working on these hats and talking about them, I discovered this was not the first project of its kind.  Here's a helmet that artist Lynn Kelly altered:

Verna Vogel

She describes it:
"It has a motor and the dove and sphere both rotate.  
Then there's a maple leaf on the top and the white satin garter.  
I liked inverting the hat liner to make it look like a parachute.  
It was for auction with the proceeds to support the families of Canadian soldiers."

Very cool.

Since the cSPACE ceremony, I've been doing a fair bit of gardening, and getting back into my studio work.  The break was great, and now I'm happily making a few more "Ellipse" pieces.  More about that later.

07 May 2015

the Miner, the Healer and the Instrumentalist

Between other things over the last couple of weeks, I painted/altered some hard hats for cSPACE Project groundbreaking ceremony coming up on May 13th at the King Edward school.  All three hats are finished now, and will leave my studio in a few days.

cSPACE verna vogel

I'm very glad I took on this project.  It's out of my usual practice to work on 3D objects, and it was so much fun to explore, experiment and discover what I could do with them.  They all came out quite different from one another, but still aesthetically related.  

Steel Sky Woman at cSPACE

I am pleased also with the quality of photos I managed to take.  The process for photographing 3D things is a bit different from my usual 2D paintings: different lighting requirements and a kind of staging, as the background is not completely cropped out of the final image.  

You don't need a fancy set-up to get good photos:

verna vogel hard hats

At one end of my studio I set the stage.  A piece of canvas pinned to the wall and draped over my working table creates a seamless backdrop.  Two hardware-store clamp lamps with 150W halogen flood bulbs, positioned on either side at roughly 45 degree angles, creates decent lighting.  A tripod and camera, et Voila!

If you'd like to see more photos and read a bit more about these hard hats, you could visit my website here.