I am finally coming up for air after my Wildlight Exhibition at Canada House Gallery in Banff, the crescendo being the artist's reception on April 14. It is an honour to see a collection of your work hanging in a lovely gallery space with other artist's work, as a dear friend said, "in conversation with each other." I am overwhelmed with the response, with many new collectors, seasoned collectors, family and friends in attendance, along side the excellent Canada House gallerists. I've spent the last week decompressing a bit, obsessing over comments made, questions asked, answers given.
One recurring question is "how long does a painting take" to which I have tried to answer with an estimated number of hours at the easel, which I think is the intent of the question. I'm just not good at answering this as I lose track of hours after the first few days and realize the difficulty and futility of counting. My painting process is certainly time-intensive but hours at the easel are only part of the equation. My answers haven't accounted for the research part of my process which involves traveling to find subject matter and taking the detailed reference photos I use to inform a painting, or in the case of the still lifes, finding objects to set up and light. I don't account for the preparation of the painting surface, framing, packaging, materials research and so on.
Other, wiser artists respond to the how long did it take question, with "it took a lifetime" which I used to think of as vaguely defensive and snippy even, and probably an unsatisfying answer to receive. It has taken me almost 30 years as a full time artist however, to realize they are right (I'm a slow study) - a lifetime is a more accurate answer.
Another frequent question is "how do you part with the paintings?" It is an honour when someone lets go of with their hard earned money in exchange for one's work, a satisfying and affirming adrenaline rush. Secondly, parting with one's work leaves space, in all senses of the word, for new work to happen. There is nothing more energizing and full of possibility than a blank canvas, so to speak. And so with a clear head and clear studio, I have space to work on new paintings and am grateful for it.
The available works can be seen at Canada House Gallery