As I am painting the icon for Rose Of The Carrier, and because of its quiet meditative nature, I have the CD of 'Native American Flute + Ocean Waves' playing in the background. But in addition to its quiet, peaceful setting, it is also such a nice way to stay connected to Rose Prince while painting.
But it is also bringing memories of my solo show of 'Journeying With The Totems', the one where I was often present. I know that it was a bit of a strain for the volunteers at the centre, who had an eclectic collection of CDs to brighten their days while supervising the shows, but Jazz and such didn't suit a space filled with totems. It didn't have the quiet serenity of a totem in its natural state. I am very thankful to those volunteers who were so supportive, and understanding and accommodating of an artist, and went along with the CDs that I had provided.
One memory, in addition to the beautiful eagle's chanting in the tree tops as the show was being set up, was of a gentleman, who came a few times, pulled a chair and sat in the centre of the room, and just 'be' with the totems. He would quietly sit for up to an hour. The room became highly charged for me in those moments, as it so strongly spoke to me that the totems were speaking. That fact was always evident as people came through to experience the series.
Just thought I'd share that with you.
A few months have gone by since my last Journal entry for the totem paintings at the end of October. A few things were at play.
Being the artist, the quest of survival on the home front is always a going concern, along with the ongoing self-judgement about the chosen path and uphill battle of energizing interest in the work. It is a daunting task, and can be brutal to one's moral and self-assessment. Some times are worse then others; sort of like a wave that comes upon you at intervals.
The totem series is especially so in that, even though some question where the artist is in my work (seemingly devoid of interpretation and personal messaging), it remains a passion and a love. There are so many totems that I hope to experience in person, and photograph from my perspective; angle and lighting being especially important. There are so many that I would dearly love to capture close-up facets, within the time capsules of their lives. But the hurdle at this time is getting past all the questioning and re-rediscovering my original passion with the series. It wasn't about a commercial interest, but it gets challenged when struggling to make ends meet. The pressure to produce naturally railroads the process and as an artist, I always need to find my way back to allowing myself to respond to the totems and give them the time they require.
I do have those two canvas which are near completion, but I wasn't in the right head space in November. I didn't want to force them.
And then, another icon project came up in early November. It turned out that the project came from two different sources but for the same prototype. It was obviously time. Each icon would be of Rose Prince, better known as Rose Of The Carrier. It is now January 18th and I'm in the process of painting after a month and a half of research, and numerous design directions. Once I get these two icons completed, I will have to get right back to the two totems ASAP as the pressures of the home budget always remain.
It was encouraging to read the few positive comments on Facebook after JD Stevenson Gallery's posting about the recent sale of 'Blue Totems'. But as with my iconography after so many years, I always seem to be the one still to be discovered for the most part. It would be so nice to hear from those who have commissioned or purchased my work. Otherwise, an artist works alone in the studio without that important feedback in moving forward.
Heart-felt regards to all.
Andre Prevost, began his work in theatre in the late 70s after completing his studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and in his iconography in 1980, and having a large body of work in each. He has since been based in Western Canada; North Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and now back on the West Coast.