October 24, 2014:
The process started slowly, taking 3 days to get the base colour sorted out, given the composition of this piece. Acrylic paint can be a challenge in the difference once its dries, and some colours such as the dark browns can look too dark on a sample on paper, and be too light on canvas. Browns and blacks are also great fun depending their base tints.
Glad to be in the painting phase finally and gradually building shading and highlights, the ambers versus blues.
Still have a ways to go.
September 18, 2014:
It has been an interesting and challenging time of discovery as I journey through one totem image to another. As I reach the completion of my 15th painting, I can't help but obverse how my paintings have changed since the beginning of the series, and how each totem painting is different from any of the others. Still no sign of repetition.
I have no definite plan when I select another image and start with another blank canvas. I leave myself completely open to wherever it goes, and to what hurdles I encounter. I've developed a distinct new style, which is so very much about the tactile work with my fingertips. Believe or not, other then the initial larger brush to do the base coat on the canvas, aside from my fingers, the only brushes that I use are, a liner brush and smaller round sable brush. It is all about the undercoats.
Someone asked me how I learned to do this. Aside from my years in Iconography, the style of this series is just evolving on its own. For the most part, they have been happy discoveries.
Aside from the financial worries, which any artist faces, each day, it is exhilarating to finally be taking that risk in trying to make a go of this, in this phase of my life. It is affirming to be also receiving exhibition confirmations for 2015. To date, I have a 1-month exhibit in the McMillan Centre in Parksville BC for March 2015, and I've just received word that the Silk Purse Arts Centre Gallery, West Vancouver has confirmed a second exhibit for 2015. I should be receiving those dates within the next week or two.
The painting (30"x40") is coming along. It, as the others, has had its own challenges; this one being dark and working from the amber and blue lighting. I'll be able to complete this one and do the finishing touches on the Eagle Totem (that I had worked in September) by the end of the week. Of course, now that I have the commitment of 2 exhibitions, the clock is going that much faster!
October 20, 2014:
With the icon commissions completed, I am back to the totem paintings. Today was a big day, the first of many as I push through the next 3 months for the upcoming exhibitions.
Before I can finish the Eagle Totem painting, I needed to get the next canvas plotted out, choosing the subject and determining the size. The totem that came to the forefront was the Haida House-Front Totem at the MOA-UBC.
This totem once stood before a dwelling named 'Plenty of Ilimen-Hides in this House.' It belonged to a clan named 'Those Born at Qadasgo Creek'. It was cut into sections for transportation. All 3 are included in this next painting, seen one behind the other as placed in the museum. I've chosen a exhibition canvas of 30" x 40", painted the base undertone, plotted out the grid, and inked in the design. With this canvas ready to go, I can return to the Eagle Totem.
October 6, 2014:
I received confirmation from the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver that the 'Journeying With The Totems' exhibition has been selected and the dates are January 27 to February 22, 2015. I am very pleased to have succeeded in getting two back to back exhibitions so early in the new year, when galleries are making selections into 2016 and 2017. With this surprise in scheduling, I am having to advise the Winnipeg archdiocese that I can no longer continue with the discussions of a centenary icon which had a mid-January completion date. I need to take the remaining time to continue on the totem series to cover both exhibitions. My hope is that the centenary project may be able to postpone its timeline for a completion at the end of March. My sister put it perspective (as she knew I hate having to pull out of a project) by saying "That is the way it is when commissioning an artist in demand!" Such a nice problem to have. :-)