My self portrait from the "Nasty Women" project is heading to an exhibit at the Federation Gallery in Vancouver which has made me nostalgic for the opening reception for the series that was held in Calgary. The reception was amazing, so heart-warming to see many of the women that allowed me to include them in this project. I love looking at all those beautiful faces.
I'm still receiving stories and photographs, which are fabulous by the way, but am also still in need of 12 grandmothers to paint. I know that they will come over time, and am so grateful for the grandmothers and the interesting histories that I have already received. My greatest challenge at this point is whether to paint them all as young women or later in life or to paint portraits only like the 'Nasty Women' project or a variety of different poses more like the '52 WEEKS::Heroes' project (above). Many years ago, I saw an article in a Victoria magazine about an artist who used old photographs to create large paintings in black & white. She never included faces and though the imagery was slightly abstracted, I really loved that she honoured these people in their prime like that. The third option would be to create a collection of both old and new paintings. I'm also undecided as to whether I would like to paint these portraits in black & white or lightly coloured like a hand tinted photograph or in colour. Decisions, decisions.
The past few months have been filled with deliveries of artwork. I love this time of year. Even though it's quite busy, it's a very happy time. As a painter, I find that early summer and late fall are the two busiest seasons for me. I love being able to share what I do with others, and it's a special privilege to be able to see their reactions when I get to hand deliver the work, and occasionally hang it, myself. It's been an interesting mix of canoes, portraits and chairs lately, all of the things I absolutely love to paint. And I love visiting beautiful galleries, talking art, and taking those drives in the country, especially when the warm Chinook breezes arrive. It's been feeling a lot like Christmas. New work is now hanging at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond and at Mukluk Magpies and ABRIO in Airdrie.
I thought I should answer a few questions about THE GRANDMOTHERS project:
1. I will begin painting portraits in January 2020 & will be sharing them every Monday.
2. You will be able to find them on instagram (instagram.com/veronicafunk) & on my website weekly (like my previous 52 WEEKS & Nasty Women projects).
3. I will also be creating a small book/exhibit catalogue for this series which will be made available to purchase online.
4. There will be an exhibit in 2021...the date & location are yet to be determined.
If there are any other questions, please get in touch. Thank you!
Recently as I was standing in the line at Michaels to pick up some Liquitex acrylics, I was flipping through the current issue of 'In Her Studio' magazine and came across my 'Nasty Women' project. The magazine is offering a new enewsletter that offers inspirational advice from female artists around the world. It's always exciting to see my work in print, but especially fun when it's unexpected...and being connected with something so positive. An honour, really.
Online courses available as an immediate downloadable PDF with links to videos are now on sale at 25% through etsy. Please click here if you would like more information.
A few new bees along with a selection of art cards are heading out to Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond soon...just waiting for the weather and conditions to improve a bit. In the midst of any winter storm it's always nice to bring some sunshine and a little reminder of summertime.
As I've been preparing to embark on another 52 WEEKS project, I began gathering antique items from around our home...it feels like an alter of sorts. I guess I've been feeling rather sentimental with all of this planning for The Grandmothers project, reading all of the old stories and looking at the beautiful vintage photographs. I love history and reading so this just feels like the right thing for me to do at this time.
I haven't felt this excited for a project since last year's 'Nasty Women' series, though this one feels so much gentler to me. I know I will be thinking about how others might perceive the portraits I paint, but not in the same direct way that they might feel about a personal portrait. I might be wrong, but it does take the pressure off me a bit. And, it certainly helps that I will be working from photographs that are being provided to me.
And after giving it a lot of thought...I want to focus on the vintage photographs, but would love to exhibit the paintings with more contemporary photographs of each of the women. There are still a few things I need to clarify for myself, but I think some of that will come as the project begins. It seems that is my process.
I have taken a bit of a break from teaching in the past couple of months, but while I was going through my supplies I found a great list of questions that I ask students, but are really great for any artist:
1. What worked well in your project/piece?
2. Why do you feel it did (consider colour, contrast, line, composition, subject matter)?
3. What didn't work as well as you had hoped?
4. Is there a way to fix this issue?
5. Can you ask someone trustworthy for feedback?
6. What have you learned that will help you in the next project/piece?
Reflection is such a huge part of what I do. I find that if I don't make a conscious effort to think about what I'm doing and why, I often struggle. Just need to remember to reflect more often.
It's been a week of delivering paintings, which is always a little daunting but also such a great privilege. Especially when i get to visit some of my favourite neighborhoods in Calgary. With the weather being so wonderful I've been able to pick up my daughter and do a little fun Christmas shopping and lunches as well.
I'm currently working on a special portrait for a family remembrance, which is an honour. These ones are always a little more difficult because I want them to be perfect for that family, but also so rewarding as I feel as though I have been entrusted with something so important.
AIRdirondack Art Project