Saturday, March 10, 2018

Time For Art

All of my life, it seems that I have had to fit art in around the edges of my life. Sometimes, there were multi-year gaps when I did no art. I could usually find time for a little art or a little writing, but not both.

So when I retired, I planned to devote a lot more time to those twin passions of writing and art. When looking for a place to retire, the natural beauty of the location was an important consideration, as was choosing a house that would have space that I could use as a painting studio.

Silhouette of Garry Oak
The part of Vancouver Island where we have relocated to is glorious. It is a rural area on the coast that has a little town centre and a strong sense of community. There is a network of trails right outside my door, and I go walking on them several times a week. I take photos on my walks, often thinking that I might use the images later as references for a painting. I have noticed several spots, not too far away, that would great for setting up my easel and doing plein air painting.

For example, the photo below shows of one of my favourite places along the trails. It is a rocky green meadow high above a lake, fringed with evergreens, Garry oaks, and arbutus trees. A little seasonal stream runs through it. I took this photograph on my walk this afternoon.

Meadow above the Lake
Along with spectacular views to paint, there is a strong community of artists in the area. In the Fall, I was invited to participate as a guest artist in a weekend art show. Although I exhibited in many juried shows and other group art shows from 1994-2004, and also had a number of solo shows of my work during that period, in recent years I have little time to exhibit. So I was thrilled to be able to participate. I put together some paintings to display, which happened to be the first 21 paintings that came out of the moving boxes. Many of the rest still have not emerged from the boxes yet.

My Paintings at the Studio Art Tour
It was wonderful getting to know the other artists, as well as members of the community who came to the art show. Recently, I formally became a member of the art group. This group hosts studio tours during the year, when members of the public are invited to visit the artists in their home studios and see their work. I have already set up the working part of my home studio, but still need to hang my paintings in the section that will be the gallery.

With the help of my daughter, who is an artist and web developer, I have been working on building an artist's website. Unfortunately, over the years, I have not done a good job of documenting my work photographically, or keeping track of all the data about each painting. So over the last few weeks, I have spent many hours sorting through the photos of paintings that I do have (retrieving them from my database of more than 17,000 digital photos!), labelling them, and making them website ready. I need to photograph many paintings for which I do not have digital photos, or only poor quality ones. There is a lot of other "behind the scenes" work in setting up a studio/gallery and being part of a formal group.

It all takes a lot of time. But, I am happy to report that I have finally picked up my brushes and started painting again.

Painting in Progress in my Studio
I hope to announce my new website soon. Stay tuned for details about our upcoming Spring Showcase.

18 comments:

  1. This is all wonderful news, Jude. I'd been wondering how things had been going for you the last many weeks, and am delighted to hear that you are full steam ahead in all aspects of your creative life. I look forward to seeing your new website and getting a closer look at your art. Congratulations on the great progress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen. I am really happy and excited about becoming a member of the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour art group. It is a friendly and welcoming group of artists. While I had a painting studio in my last house (which I didn’t use very much), I have never had a home gallery space that is open to the public. So it is very much a learning experience. Somehow, I have become involved in a lot of things, and am finding it hard to find enough time to write many blog posts.

      Jude

      Delete
  2. Hi Jude! I agree with Karen and am happy to see you putting your art out there in such a proactive way. And yes, Vancouver Island is a gorgeous place...Thom and I had the pleasure of spending a week there years ago and I remember it fondly. Our local city hosts artist's tours every year and it is an excellent way for the rest of us in the community to see all the talented people we live by. I'm sure your community will be the same. ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, when great opportunities arise, I tend to just jump in rather than deliberating too much. I am thrilled to join this art group, and curious about what it will be like having people to come to my home gallery. Fortunately, our first tour is a Spring Art Showcase that will be held in the community centre rather than a tour of home galleries. It gives me a little more time to get my home gallery organized.

      Jude

      Delete
  3. Hi, Jude - Congratulations! This is wonderful news! I look forward to viewing your website when it is ready...and taking part in a Studio Tour showcasing your work. Please continue to keep me posted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna! I had been thinking of the Spring Showcase as being ages and ages away, then suddenly realized that it is less than three weeks until the Easter weekend. That’s when the Spring Showcase will be held. Eeep! How does time go by so fast when you are retired?

      Jude

      Delete
    2. Actually, I am wrong about the dates. The Spring Showcase is not at Easter, but rather it is the last weekend in April. Phew - more time to get ready!

      Delete
  4. Excellent! Your photos, and what I can see of your paintings, are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Anabel. I have posted quite a few photos of paintings in progress on this blog over the years, but rarely have posted images of the finished works. I am looking forward to doing that on my art website soon.

      Jude

      Delete
  5. That is so exciting! You are the poster child for a satisfying retirement. I am so looking forward to viewing your website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janis. Throughout my career, I postponed full engagement in so many things that I love to do for lack of time. So there’s a sense of pent up demand to get started and do it all now.

      I laughed at your description of me as a poster child for a satisfying retirement. I think I am way too A-type for that, although maybe it’s too early to say. Rob, however, is a true retirement poster child.

      Jude

      Delete
  6. This is amazing, Jude! I'm glad you are getting into the swing of (art) things again. I love those shots you took on your walks - what great inspiration. The more I hear from you and Donna about Vancouver Island, the more I think that place could be a perfect home. As long as one is able to get away from the wet winters. :-)

    Being able to exhibit again must be wonderful. As is coming across all your paintings when unpacking boxes, I'm sure. BTW, I know all about going through thousands of photos to find the one(s) you want... All fun games, though. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liesbet, you and Mark definitely should come here for a visit. Donna and I could show you around.

      Rob and I would love to have you as housesitters, but we have a cat (and a dog), and I know there are cat allergy issues. Fortunately for us, at the present time our son lives with us so we have a built-in house sitter.

      Yes, looking through years of digital photos reminded me of many great times, even though it took days to retrieve all the painting photos.

      Jude

      Delete
  7. We will take you up on that tour one day, Jude! And, I"d love to see your paintings and art studio.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations, Jude! I look forward to viewing your web site, and hopefully one day taking part in the Studio Tour showcasing your work in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Natalie. Once the art website is functional, I will announce it on this blog. That would be cool — if you visit Vancouver Island, I’ll have a chance to meet you!

      Jude

      Delete
  9. hey lovely dear..
    your post are so wonderful,and really this is so helpful for me,I’m so happy for that.thanks dear for awesome sharing..

    https://www.lukhidiamond.com/

    ReplyDelete