It's spring! Doesn't it feel amazing? I try to slow down and savor the beauty of the changing seasons because it's one of my favorite parts about living in Toronto. The light streaming in in the morning, the warm, fragrant air, the leaves budding, everything feels new. Which is why I wanted to share some new exciting things that are happening!
I am still going on my year of creative habits during the week. I am not as excited about it lately because I've been feeling like I can never get into something enough to really do something different. I feel like they're all starting to be the same. But I think it's still important to stick with it and finish the year out. Plus I've been feeling a lot more confident in my ability to work on more finished pieces because I'm practiced. And it's taught me a lot of discipline and how to steal moments to create when I don't have a lot of time.
Which is going to help me a lot because I got into the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition again this year! Which is exciting and stressful as all art fairs are, but I am happy for the deadline to push me to make a whole new body of work. Everything I have right now has either sold or is being exhibited somewhere which is awesome, it just means I have to make a ton of paintings before the show.
I am also going to be doing a week long artists residency at Spark Box Studio at the end of September which I am SO EXCITED about. A whole week to work on nothing but painting is better than anything I could imagine. I love having my studio in our apartment for its convenience but it means I am always distracted by the TV or tidying or laundry. I really thought hard about how I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday this year and this was at the top of the list.
Painting-wise I have been thinking a lot about trying to make my work more sophisticated and thoughtful. I want my paintings to convey the feelings of the city. Cars zooming by, the hustle of people trying to get where they're going, food smells, flowers, people with strollers and walking their dogs. I've been feeling like my paintings aren't showing the full story of what I want to show. They are more than just architecture, I want people to feel alive and excited when they look at my work. I want them to be full of texture and colour and energy like a city street is layered and constantly in motion.
But I don't want to lose the pleasure I have in painting with freedom and spontaneity. I feel like when I paint from photographs I get too bogged down in what the picture looks like and I'm not painting as loosely as I would like. But then when I paint completely abstractly, they lack coherence and representation. I want them to have more space and depth so they feel like they could be a real place instead of being so random.
So I tried a new technique yesterday where I brought some of my source imagery into photoshop, simplified it and converted it to black and white so I wouldn't be distracted by the colours. I think it still might be too representational, but I'm getting more toward a happy medium of showing the essence of a space and all of the energy and life it contains.
I recorded my process for that painting up there in the super-short video below, so I hope you enjoy seeing how one of my paintings comes together! I am going to be making a boatload of these new paintings every weekend from now until the show so stay tuned my my Instagram account to see the progress!
Music credit goes to my super amazing brother Ben <3