In November 2011, when the snow was already 10 inches deep and just the beginning of a harsh winter, I gave a series of tree painting workshops - Your Brush Your World.
The best way to paint a tree is to first spend time with your tree. Get to know it. Notice it. Pay attention to how you feel when you are in its presence, and then take that relationship and let it flow onto your canvas.
It is also important to have fun and being outdoors with your paint freezing on your palette is not so much fun... so I chose to offer the workshops indoors using a single reference photo - generously offered by Judy McCloskey.
This description from wordsmith Judy, brilliantly encapsulates the premise of the exhibit:
"There is an obvious association to the forest that the title of the group art exhibit Out on a Limb alludes to. The artists, all Terrace residents, live in the frontier between the verdant, temperate, northern rain forest and the astonishing waves of interior mountain valleys. The natural environment in the northwest has captivated and inspired this group of artists as it has so many others. But Out on a Limb is more of a personal metaphor than a clever word play about trees to this group of four women.To be out on a limb is to take a risk, to embrace uncertainty, to make one’s self vulnerable. In this case to be out on a limb is also to suspend attachment to our own world view and to marvel at the truth of another vision of the world within and around us. The four exhibiting artists are each at a transitional, perhaps transformative time in her life – in that challenging place that is not quite on solid ground.
We see the world through our individual lenses; the world sounds differently to each of us. Smell, taste and touch reveal particular and unique meanings, messages and memories. Through our senses we first create and then share our own realities. And while we inhabit our own particular orbits, we travel among others – sometimes for shorter and sometimes for longer stretches. We may regularly forget that the face we see, the water we cross, the mountain we climb is not perceived identically by our sister/fellow travellers. It is especially surprising and marvelous when we share with each other our worlds, or portions of them. Four artists share their interpretations – their realities – in the group art exhibit Out on a Limb.
The exhibition Out on a Limb is a collection of four individual artists’ works each based on ordinary photographs of the extraordinary local landscape we share. The artists began each of several paintings with the same photo, consulted her own interior world - her own senses - and rendered her interpretation of each image. These four orbits travelled variously together and alone during the past year. The artists laughed, gasped, puzzled, pondered and received the gift of seeing each other’s visions. The exhibit Out on a Limb is evidence that what each of us experiences, even from a static photograph, is singular. The results of this body of work are remarkable; the trip was exhilarating."
If you are in the area for any of the Openings, please come. An artist talk is planned for 8pm in each gallery. There will be accompanying workshops too. Once we get our paintings done, we’ll be designing those...
To quote Dianne, “Onward Ho!”
Kitimat - Kitimat Museum and Archives
Opening Night - April 5
Smithers - Smithers Art Gallery
Opening Night - May 10