Archives for posts with tag: Visual Arts

The other week, I went through the steps I took in making a painting with no source material. Using random marks and composition, I allowed my intuition and previous painting experience to guide whatever happened next. In a similar manner I have made another example to share with you here.

random brushmarks in black

I started with paper, two tubes of acrylic paint, and I think just one smallish brush. I hit the paper with some random marks in black.

I added some greys

I decided to go grisaille at this point. Grisaille is the method of painting in black and white… and greys. You can then glaze colours on top if you so choose. I will show this process next week.

subtlety added by painting in white

I lightened everything up again by brushing in a bit of white. This added some subtlety to the greys.

time for dark paint again

Then I took my black paint and worked in some darks again. I started to see something…

becoming flowers

Using some more watery-black, I painted in some stems, some shadows in petals. The painting was becoming flowers.

bit more detail and a background

I worked in another floral shape on the right, and then watered my paint down much more. I painted in a background. This added weight to the bottom of the composition, and complexity, as well as the suggestion of other things happening.

however, as part of the process…

However, as part of the process, I opted to white-out a lot of that background. More subtlety needed!

my next step was to re-introduce some greys

Once again, I mixed up a grey and added it in, bits and pieces.

again background!

Again, I worked in dark paint to suggest weight and some sort of background. By painting in the negative-space I also emphasized the objects. Note the fine edges of white here and there: those are not painted in, rather, those were left behind when I painted in the background.

finished! For now…

Finally, I painted in some more white/light grey. Again, note the dark edge I left here and there, that was the previous step’s background being left to show through.
I plan to glaze some colour into this composition, as I feel there is still something rough about it. Colour can help cure problems within a painting. So next week… see you then!
Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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Welcome back to the “How To Paint A…” series! After a long hiatus, I am making/documenting/writing short tutorials on how to paint different things.

random marks

This week, I offer an example of “How To” break through Painter’s Block.

I started with a random blobbing of black paint of varying thicknesses, then saw a floral shape. I painted it in loosely in white.

The best way to cure a fear of flying is to fly. The best way to break through Painter’s Block is to paint. If you just start with something, you can turn it into anything.

I didn’t like the strong black line anymore, so I scuzzled over it with white.

I enjoy painting random things, just patterns and flowers and stripes and stuff. There is nothing wrong with this: painting itself is steeped in concept. You don’t have to have a Big Grande Overriding IDEA to start. Don’t be afraid.

I used the white paint to dash in some vertical stripes. I had watered it down and used the brush lightly to obtain both transparency and texture.

If you do like to make Big Idea Art… you can think of these random little paintings as studies, or as imagination-sessions. This is a good exercise for your mind, heart, hands and eyes.

sorting out a bit more of the composition with some “doodles”. Even though I don’t particularly like these “doodles”, I know I can always paint them over afterwards…

As I mention in the photo above, it is important to feel free and empowered as you paint. If you do something you don’t like, just paint it over. The end result will be richer and more interesting anyhow.

Painting in some black over those goofy-doodles…

I like to work back-and-forth as I go. From one tone to the next, from one colour to the next… back and forth…

I finished up when I worked in a bit of white again. I decided to let this dry. I could paint in some more detail, or colour, or not. I think it is done as it is. Maybe I will just sign it now…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

A McGill student takes a study break… and Drops In to Paint!

Drop-In Painting classes are a fun way to explore and learn about painting without a huge commitment.

a student opts to work from a combination of memory and a photograph

Drop-In Painting is a way to express yourself while painting under the guidance of an experienced artist.

classes held in Fleurbain, at 460 St Catherine West. Unit 917. Fabulous view of St James United Church, and always an interesting art exhibit on!

Relax. Create. Enjoy a cup of tea.

painting is good for you

Drop-in painting is now being offered MORE often…

SUNDAY: 11am-1pm

SUNDAY: 1pm-3pm

TUESDAY: 7pm-9pm

WEDNESDAY: 7pm-9pm

SATURDAY: 1pm-3pm

All you need to bring to drop-in painting is your self!

*Classes are limited to eight people max, so if you are anticipating bringing a large group, please book ahead. Custom workshops and travelling art lessons are available. Just talk to me: fleurbain@gmail.com

*Drop-In Painting price, all-inclusive, is $35 per two hours session. (For a private, booked session, it is $70 per two-hour session.)

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

On March 31, three artists from the current exhibition Art and Architecture graced our podium and ears with their insights into Architecture and Art, citing artistic inspiration as diverse as book gilding, Bauhaus textiles, dreams, and beyond.

Today (April 14) at 3pm the exhibition’s remaining three artists will inspire us with talks about their works. Please join us if you can! I will share videos from their talks here, too… but in person you can participate in lively discussions following the presentations.

Thank you Marc Chabot, Naomi Frangos, and Keivan Khademi Shamami for taking your time the other week in sharing your thoughts with us.

Today we will hear what Denise Buisman Pilger, Kimberley Mok, and Jennifer Himilton have to say!

Naomi Frangos:

Marc Chabot:

Keivan Khademi Shamami:

Natasha Henderson

The Mona Lisa.

The Mona Lisa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember the good ole days when Bob Ross would guide you, step-by-step, through the process of making a painting? Isn’t it time to revisit such a fun yet methodically satisfying approach to making a beautiful painting?

Painting Create Night is the newest format of *FUN* one-shot, evening workshop where you eat, drink, make merry, and create a stunning painting (no matter what your skill level.)

HOW IT WORKS: You (and a friend or two, highly recommended!) bring yourselves, something tasty you would like to nibble on, perhaps a bottle of wine to enjoy. (We have glasses and a corkscrew!) Over a couple of hours, and your wine and nibbles, Natasha Henderson guides you through the process of making a professionally designed painting. Indeed, you will go home at the end of the night with a finished piece of art.

Theme: FRENCH IMPRESSIONS Date: Friday April 20, 7-9pm
Theme: TUSCANY SUN Date: Saturday May 5, 7-9pm
Theme: BIRDS OF A FEATHER Date: Saturday May 26, 7-9pm
Special Mother’s Day Mom+Me Whimsical Portrait Session on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13 at 1pm-3pm (perfect after brunch!) Paint you and Mom together. These will be whimsical and light-hearted portraits.

Cost per Painting Create Night is $40 + taxes (works out to $46) per participant. Please note you must be over 18, and anyone who drinks must have a reliable form of transportation home.

Please email fleurbain@gmail.com to register.

Art and Architecture is a group exhibition that brings together six artists. The work examines ideas about architecture, and ideas about our use of space, our cities, and our history. Some of the artists are also trained in architecture and are practicing architects as well as visual artists.

Burano - Denise Buisman Pilger

Denise Buisman Pilger shares three pieces with us… all mixed media acrylic collage on wood or canvas. These paintings take scenes and snippets of life from a specific place, and reconstruct them. They are like condensed visions of experiences.

Vers Brooklyn - Marc Chabot

Marc Chabot has three larger pieces, as well as two smaller pieces in the show. They are mixed media collage and paint on wood. All are ruminations on New York. They layer images from diverse sources, interwoven and infused into a new surface.

Naomi Frangos is displaying the Utopia series, as well as a single simple and lovely piece “of snow”. The Utopia series is a collection of four ceramic hand mono-printed tiles. They reflect upon ancient architecture, as well as ideas of weaving time and space through process. During the opening of the exhibition, she also shared her amazing and masterful Fig Vessel ceramic work.

of warp and weft 1 - Naomi Frangos

The Tower - Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Hamilton‘s piece The Tower is a large digital print of sacred places, transformed into one fantastical, imagined entity. For me it feels like a trip to Disneyland!

Mycelial Kingdom - Kimerley Mok

Kimberley Mok (some might recall her work from our Small Works show last December) is sharing five prints with us, three of which are available in a large and small format. Her work looks at architecture, nature, places, Montreal, and stirs in a healthy mix of fancy, fantasy, and wonder.

Room - Keivan Khademi Shamami

Finally, Keivan Khademi Shamami is showing two pieces that further walk into ideas surrounding history of place. They wonder at what has transpired before, asking about what layers of time and meaning are found in a place.

The exhibition is in Fleurbain at 460 St Catherine Street West, Unit 917 until April 17th. We are open regular gallery hours Saturday and Sunday 3-6pm, as well as by appointment, please email: fleurbain@gmail.com

See all the individual work online, too. All work in the exhibition is here. Note for collectors, all prices include taxes and shipping to anywhere in North America.

If you want a little taste of how the works in the show all relate to one another, you can enjoy the following video:

Artist Talks will be held on two days.

On March 31 from 7-9pm, Marc Chabot, Naomi Frangos, and Keivan Khademi Shamami will talk about their work.

On April 14 from 3-5pm, Kimberley Mok, Jennifer Hamilton, and Denise Buisman Pilger will talk.

Come meet the artists, and join in the talk about architecture, space, art, life in the city, and more.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Small Works, the exhibition currently in Fleurbain, has had an effect on me. I spend a few hours each day in the presence of this collection of artworks. There are works by twelve artists (or artistic teams) to enjoy, and it is all food for thought. I like to compare and contrast the different approaches to art-making, media, and what I imagine the individual artist’s inspiration might be. I take all this in, and then process what the works have to say to me, the viewer.

I would like to share a little about each of the artists’ works with you here. Before I begin, I would like to thank each artist for submitting their work to be in this show. I had sent out a call-for-entry a while back, and was fortunate to receive some top-notch submissions. There are forty paintings, prints, photographs, and mixed-media pieces to explore by Montreal’s established and emerging artists.

Carole Arbic - Garden Party series

Carole Arbic‘s pieces in the show are a joy, a description of painting and layers. The colours are bright, but there is subtlety in the combination of them. Two of the Garden Party series feature little pieces of broken mirror, so that the viewer is reflected back to themselves within the piece. This reflects something about art in general; that the understanding of art is dependant upon context and who is looking, perhaps even more than who made it and what their intentions were. In looking at Arbic’s five pieces, it is difficult to not choose a “favorite”, based on colour or painterliness or any other number of influences.

Lorraine Miller Emmrys - "Apple (Falling Into Feminine)"

Lorraine Miller Emmrys has included three pieces in the exhibition. One of the pieces is “larger” but is composed of smaller pieces. Apple – (Falling Into Feminine) is a story. It describes a timeline of youth, change, decay, rebirth: the cycle of life. There is a glimpse into the artist’s ruminations about femininity, about life itself. How do we inhabit our apple, our body, our knowledge? How does that change with time?

Darlene St Georges - "Bee Palm"

Darlene St Georges has created intricate floral botanical paintings that speak of a zen-like observation. To paint in this manner is to leave one’s self and go to another place, and the experience for the viewer can be something of a similar experience. If you allow the painting talk to you, this will happen. Bee Palm is a striking and captivating piece; you want to stay with this flower, and live like a bee.

Natasha Henderson - Pigeon series

Natasha Henderson is me. Now, to talk about pigeons. The pigeon is an amazing, tough, and somewhat endearing little city-bird. I like them, so I opted to paint some. The Pigeon series is my recollection of pigeons, be they singular or seen within a group. In appearance, I love their differences in markings, their subtle colours. In personality, I like their work ethic and how they simultaneously have a sort of laissez-faire attitude.

Francoise Issaly - "Structure Cigale (Small I)"

Francoise Issaly‘s work is beautiful. Again, I feel transported by the zen-like practice and appreciation of painting. In Structure Cigale (Small I), I feel as though I am glimpsing into the heart of a jewel. It is something of a treasure, a feeling of a branch, of something poetic. I have many readings of this painting, and it is the sort of piece to have a good conversation over.

Thaneah Krohn - "Candy Lace"

Thaneah Krohn is sharing a selection of funky, familiar, and sometimes mysterious photographs of Montreal. All five pieces evoke the spirit here. During the vernissage I overheard: “That’s my Montreal!” I would have to agree. For those of us who love this place, we just can’t get enough. Candy Lace is a delicious photo of that gingerbread-styled woodworking you see decorating the old mansions and apartments around town. Often painted bright, happy and beautiful colours they are like candy and bring joy to the day-to-day life of Montrealers. This photo allows us to glance at this joy whenever we feel like…

David Merk - "Tim Lid Coprolithe"

David Merk is sharing some from his Coprolithe series. These marble pieces are fascinating, and thought-provoking. Detritus of contemporary street-stuff find their way into the permanence of marble. Like any archeological finding, the things from the street reveal a bit about our society. A Tim Horton’s lid, discarded work-gloves, and a Second Cup cup are all some of the things used during a typical work-day: objects used and discarded. Art can lift vision and ideas from daily existence, and art resembles and reassembles life. We are reminded of this in Merk’s works.

Kimberley Mok

Kimberley Mok has included terrific illustration-style prints of her drawings. The three pieces depict aspects of this city by a quirky, observant mind. Again, people are drawn to these pieces and ask each other “which is your favourite? And why?” I have my personal one… though all three pieces are appealing. The simultaneity of ideas found in Carpet Moebiusis what I keep coming back to… Carpets, prints, butterflies and Escher… neighbourhoods and rejuvenation. Rebirth and recycling. Very smart.

Michel Pedneault - "Alpe"

Michel Pedneault has paintings that just keep saying new things to me. Interesting in the best of painterly-ways, they are done in an expressionistic manner. I feel a sense of empathy for the subjects of the works, be they human or landscape-based. Alpe is loose, with lively yet soft colours and brushwork. A solid and seemingly effortless composition is practically perfect in a classical sense. As with all painting, this (and Pedneault’s other pieces) are so much better to experience in real life…

Sarina Rahman - "Untitled 1"

Sarina Rahman has included two mixed-media pieces that utilise fabric remnants. The shapes created by the fabric evoke ideas about foliage and natural forms. They are abstract, however, so that the viewer can respond with their own story to the remnants and indications presented by Rahman. There is an examination of the tactility of materials here, and it is difficult to Not Touch The Artworks…

Patrycja Walton - "Falling Petals I"

Patrycja Walton has shared some very lovely abstract paintings with us. The Falling Petals series uses unusual yet harmonious colours in a mix of a sort of white background/base. The petals that fall are chunks of colours, the background is the white. However… like so much in painting, the background isn’t really a background. The negative space is on a level with the “objects”. There is paint, there is an idea of depiction… and again, if you allow yourself, you can be transported to another place.

Julie Webb and Meredith Hayes "Montreal: Une Belle Perspective"

Julie Webb + Meredith Hayes have shared two pieces, and both are captivating as portraits of place. One is Montreal, the other is New Zealand. As Webb is a native of New Zealand, now living in Montreal, this makes sense. Both places feel like “Home”, and this love of both places comes through in the work. The format of presentation is appealing both as a structure (the photographs are cleverly mounted on varying layers of reclaimed MDF board) and as a composition of units. Viewers of the Montreal piece have commented to me about the familiarity of the individual shots, and yet the formal composition speaks of something larger. The greenery of the New Zealand piece is very calming, yet full of life. As I spend more time with these works, new aspects keep coming forward to me.

I am in a place of privilege, allowed to see this exhibition on a daily basis. You can come and see it any of the following times:

Tuesday December 20 to Friday January 6, 3pm-6pm each day. Closed Mondays and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Finissage January 7th, 12pm to 6pm

Another option is to check out the online gallery. It isn’t as good as the live-version of the gallery… but you can visit (and re-visit) any time you like.

See us at 460 St Catherine West, Unit #917. Located to the left of Future Shop on St Catherine Street close to both McGill and Place des Arts metros.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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