The time I've been spending both in and out of my studio recently has been so refreshing. At times I struggle with the direction that I want my work to head, and yet, whenever I trust myself and follow those little nuggets of inspiration, everything tends to fall into place.
I'm glad I painted the small series titled 'Fashionista' to honour the 20% of female fashion designers that have been recognized. And enjoying the extended time I've been spending in the city has inspired another series of large paintings...something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately.
And, of course, I am very excited to begin 'The Grandmothers' series in the new year. I am struggling a bit with the total focus...to paint portraits or full images, rely on the vintage or more contemporary photographs, or to work in a more neutral palette (keeping the background colourful) or continue to paint portraits as I have been doing for several years (leaning towards that). Anyway, I know that I will trust the inspiration as it comes.
Lately I've been spending a lot of time in the city visiting my daughter at university and my husband at his office which means I have been taking a lot of photographs, too. My last cityscape consisted of the Calgary tower, which stemmed from a photograph I took on a beautiful, chilly evening on our way to a Calgary Flames game (the painting can be seen here). I'm not sure if this one will be vertical or horizontal, and if it will lead to more cityscapes...but I hope it does! Another great new project for the new year.
After learning more about my ancestral history but struggling to find photographs, I began to think of other ancestors. My daughter has been collecting vintage photographs from flea markets & antique stores for several years and I've often wondered about their lives. How did their photographs end up with strangers? What were they like? Who did they love? I decided to paint them before the photographs fade. Here is my first 'Ancestor'...I wonder what her name is. This is a great pre-cursor to The Grandmothers project I will begin in the new year. Just have to figure out how to get better photographs.
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.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +