Live from the Empress hotel

Some days, it is not about the act of painting, and today was one of those days.
I emailed a public art gallery in London, England attaching two paintings of a young Emily Carr that I had based on two works in their collection by Renoir and Manet. I asked them to think of me if they ever create an exhibition showing how contemporary artists springboard from works of the past. A longshot for sure and that longshot took me 3 hours to figure out who owned these Manet/Renoir works, and the address to send my email of hope. What a coincidence that both works are owned by the same institution.
Someone has brought my work to the attention of a major Canadian art institution and I wrote of my gratitude to her for doing so. Another longshot, but having The Other Emily exhibit at the Royal BC Museum was also a longshot.
Somedays, sometimes, it is about taking the time to see if a longshot can win.

Live from the Empress

Today I started the painting for Gina, the Co-ordinator for South Carolina’s HOG State Rally occurring this October. I am painting Gina’s Harley from a side-view and there is no mercy at this angle. All of the lines of the engine, every nut and bolt, every line and spoke is there to be seen….and therefore painted. I have started with the deep indigo base from which the color and chrome will pop from. The sunset sky and smooth beach are something to look forward to as I will paint them smooth and watery-looking. But I am a long way from there and that is the way it is.
I just finished the flower painting so I can tell the difference in the body language. The paint has flowed and the mind has floated while painting the flowers. The breathing has stopped to keep a straight line moving straight and the eyes have strained for the details in the motorcycle painting.

Ocean at the Empress Hotel

I was painting wild roses when I met Ocean.
“Short for Oceania”, she told me.
She watched me for so long.
Then I turned to her and asked, “What have you learned so far?”
“You press hard and then you press light”, she said in summary of her observations.
“That is exactly what I have been doing. Good for you”.
I painted some more and thought about this nine-year old girl who had figured it out so quickly.
“Come and paint this leaf for me”, I said. This time I was inviting someone to paint.
“I don’t know how to hold the brush”. But Ocean learns fast and she soon felt comfortable with the brush. Even though she was unsure of her ability to paint, her curiousity and yearning won the day.
“Just this leaf,” I said as she worked with trepidation and care. She put on the paint, she blended the paint and when it was done, it was a great leaf.
“I will finish the painting, but I won’t touch your leaf”, I assured her.
Her parents took a picture of Ocean and I holding either end of the painting, the next morning.
“We are going to sign her up for art lessons”, they told me.
I finished the painting during the sumptuous Easter Sunday Brunch in the Empress’ Crystal Ballroom. And Ocean’s leaf is still all her own doing.

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