What's Going On

2016: THE LAST PICTURE SHOW: FORCES & artifacts, The Gallery at R&F Handmade Paints, December, 2016.

For more than a decade The Gallery at R&F Handmade Paints showed the works of encaustic artists from around the world, but December, 2016 was its last show. The business of making unique paints was so good that the gallery space was needed for production. Along with sculptor, Pamela Blum, I was chosen to fill the gallery for its last show.

In all, R&F decided to hang thirteen pieces of my Root Cellar Meditation series* along with a similar number of Pamela’s pieces. Pamela wrote of my work:

“...the place and landscape narratives cause the observer to shift mental viewing distances within each image…the resulting imagery - indeterminate places and spaces - transcends her materials. These artifacts shift scale from biological processes to human habitation, huge earth forces and aerial views.”

The show was up for the month of December. R&F chose Root Cellar Meditations # 12 to add to their permanent collection.

 

*Root Cellar Meditations #s 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 and 14.

In Newfoundland, a few artists have shown their works at The Rooms, the provincial museum and art gallery. When they do, it is often accompanied by an exhibition catalog, printed in very limited editions and paid for by the gallery, which shows the artwork in the exhibition and often contains an essay about the artist and their work. A catalog is a wonderful thing for an artist; it is a physical celebration of their achievement, but is available to only a selected few due to cost.

 

But with the advent of print on demand and with digital graphic design, the cost and risk of publishing has decreased dramatically . Now one copy, or ten or a hundred can be printed as they are ordered. Although the creative options of the finished products are limited, it is of the same quality as the art catalogs you will see on the shelves of museum bookstores. The boost from having a catalog of one’s work is now available to a larger number of artists.

 

As a publisher, Komatik Press has decided to try an experiment and produce a series of books celebrating of the work of Newfoundland artists. They will be available as print-on-demand  paperbacks and  e-books  through on-line retailers worldwide and in bookstores who choose to give them space on their shelves. Artists will also be able to buy copies of their books to promote their work and will have copies of their e-books to distribute without cost.

 

Our first test of this concept is a book celebrating Carol’s Root Cellar Meditation series and is entitled A Nurturing Darkness: The Root Cellars of Newfoundland and is scheduled for release in early 2020.

 

Rex Passion

Komatik Press

As many of you may know, Rex and I have sold our apartment in Cambridge and have moved permanently to Torbay, Newfoundland. Rex lived there for thirty years, so the process of clearing out was long and exhausting, both physically and emotionally, but we sold it to a couple who we like and who will treat the apartment and their neighbors with respect.

 

As for the studio trailer, it is still in the back yard. We were able to leave it there on the part of the common area owned by our friends on the second floor until spring of 2021. We were hoping, and still are, that the couple who bought our apartment will fall in love with the idea of a separate room and will buy it, but it is indeed for sale. It will make a fine instant art studio. If anyone out there is interested, drop me a line via the Contacts page and I will send you the story of its construction.

In October of 2017 I was contacted by the publishers of Riddle Fence, a Newfoundland journal of arts and culture about the publication of some of my Root Cellar Meditation paintings for issue # 28 of their magazine. In all, they published six of my Root Cellar Meditation series (#s 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9)

In September, 2019, I was awarded a significant grant from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council for work on three new large paintings in the Cape Spear Battery series for Christina Parker Gallery. The grant will be very helpful as large paintings take lots of materials. Thank you NL Arts.

Every year in September, The Rooms sends out a call for their Provincial Art Bank  Procurement program. An individual artist may apply, or a gallery may apply for its artists. Every year since 2013 Christina Parker has submitted to the procurement program for my work.  This year The Rooms bought my painting,  Encounters, Duntara and Keels # 4 for their Art Bank.

In January of 2016, I traveled to San Ramon, Costa Rica, to participate in  the Intercultural Odysseys Artist in Residence program run by Royce Slape, where I lived with a Spanish speaking family. The head of the household, Doña Zulema Jiméniz Espinoza is a master gardener and the grounds around her home were filled with flowers, fruits and vegetables. When I realized that I did not have enough room to do my mixed media painting, I decided to print. I asked Zulema for permission to print leaves from her garden and she and I worked together to choose plants whose leaves we thought would make good prints.  I went through all of the paper and all of the ink I brought with me. Above is one of my favorite prints.