As a creative person, I am my father in girl form. I’m not sure if I’ve become more like him, or if I’ve only now noticed. Growing up, I spent a lot of time playing with the gadgets and ornaments I found around my dad’s study. When I had outgrown playing with his glass figurines, I would do my homework at his writing desk while he worked on his computer. His study was the perfect retreat because I was the only one who dared to disturb the peace of his sanctuary. His study was the most productive place to be because he had every article of stationary or tool one could ever need. Many of his tools are even self made for specific purposes.
When I was a little girl, my dad made various creative versions of christmas trees. I loved that. He made one out of chicken wire and toilet paper for a couple of years. It was way prettier than it sounds. It was my favourite tree. I attempted to make an origami something this year as a stand in for a christmas tree. It turned out being quite pretty though not very christmasy.
The process of making it and deciding on the materials to use reminded me so much of my dad. It really made me miss being home this year for Christmas. When I started making it, I realised that I already had all of the materials that I needed to make it. It appears that I’ve begun to create my own ‘study’ that is well stocked with art and craft tools of every variety I can think of.
I don’t know when I started trying to recreate his study, but its a place in my heart that I attempt to recreate wherever I live. It’s my base.
After making the hanging thing and cleaning out an art box, I came across some off-cut squares of watercolour paper I’ve had hanging around in my art storage for over 5 years now. I kept them thinking that they’d make lovely little ‘moments’ one day.
This holiday vacation, I used them all. I got out my stained watercolour brushes from my dad’s old orange tackle-box and got to work with the gouache paints he sent to me for christmas last year.
Today I sat reloading ink into my fountain pens (just like my dad taught me) and I realised that I owe him the biggest thank you. Thank you Da for making me who I am. I see you everyday in many of the things that I do, think and say. I’m older now I guess, so I can see it all much more clearly. You made me who I am and I’m not sure how to say thanks for that. But I’ll try anyway. I love you. Thank You.
This morning I was out for a walk with Kai and I felt the familiar stirring that I wanted to make something. I sorted through whether it was something written or drawn, coloured or black and white, realistic or abstract, 3 dimensional or 2 dimensional and eventually realised that I wanted to make a mandala. Then, in my mind I went through my paper collection and and decided on a grey page. I got home, dug into my art supply stocks and sat down to make this. A few hours later and here it is. I feel so much more relaxed and centred.
Conflict is a piece about the serenity of the natural world in opposition to war and conflict. In this abstracted landscape I’ve attempted to represent violence intruding into an otherwise peaceful landscape.
This turtle has been wanting to be painted for a while. I started this piece a little over a month ago. As some of you may know, I had an accident around that time. I was walking my dog on a pedestrian trail near my house when I slipped on a patch of ice and broke my ankle. This is why I haven’t posted in a while.
Source images of red sea turtles have been taped up on my art room wall well before my accident. I’ve had a long time to think about him. When I first filled in his outline on the canvas I felt like I was in over my head, but I got into a great painting zone and after half the night, I was happy with how he turned out. I’m really enjoying a totemic approach to animals these days.
In terms of process, as an experiment while making this piece, I took progress photos every time I took a break. This turned out to be a great technique for me, since I changed my mind a few times about the way I painted the sky as well as the peak. It was by looking back at previous images that I was able to determine what I really wanted.
It’s kind of amazing how many hours went into this piece. In the past I might have been more frustrated at the time it took to create. Now however, with more experience, I am no longer as impatient with my work. That’s something great that’s come to me through this accident – patience. I hope I don’t lose sight of it when I’m walking again.
An exhibition call was sent out at the beginning of the year for visual art work from Trinidadian artists toward a National Carnival Exhibition. I’m happy to report that the 3 pieces I submitted were all admitted into the exhibitions.
For those in Trinidad, please visit the show! It looks like it will be a great one. It’s being held at several venues across the island. If you want to visit or purchase my pieces, you can do so at the Carnival Village location at Queens Park Savannah, where 1 piece (A City with Two Faces) is located and also at the Art Society Headquarters, where 2 of my pieces are being shown (Downtown & South Quay)
The pieces I’m exhibiting at these locations are abstracted drawings of the city of Port-of-Spain that portray the celebration of Carnival. Downtown and South Quay focus on places in Port of Spain, taking the actual urban scene through the lens of the Carnival experience. A City with Two Faces looks at the city of Port of Spain and it’s transformation during Carnival into a city of celebration, connected and animated through the pathway of the Carnival parade.
When I get some images from the exhibitions I’ll post them on here. Hope some of you can make it.
I’m very excited about this show. A great deal of love, introspection and research went into these pieces and although I finished them and exhibited them in Canada in 2010, they’ve never been show in Trinidad.
Black, white, ochre, red and yellow. Those are the only colours that I used to make this piece. A long time ago an art teacher told me that I should avoid using the colour black straight from the tube. In this piece I’ve played with it in different ways – including using it straight out of the tube. A final rebellion against one of the last lingering painting ‘rules’ in my head.
The beginning of this piece was heavily influenced by 90’s alternative rock. That sounds like a disclaimer. It’s true though. There’s a lot of nostalgia in this piece. My 17 year old self would approve.