painting and photographic works

Latest

Urban Orange

A little photo series that I shot today (2015 February 23) in Edmonton.

Rising from the Orange

Rising from the Orange

Gravel Remembrance

Up

Up

Expression Orange

Expression Orange

Evening Orange

Evening Orange

Mill Creek in February – Photos

On the south side of Edmonton lies a deeply wooded ravine in which runs the Mill Creek. In winter it will be frozen over in some places and have flowing water in other locales. Here are some photos from 2015 February 8th:

Far From the Core - The downtown Edmonton skyline in the distance, near an access to the Mill Creek Ravine.

Far From the Core – The downtown Edmonton skyline in the distance, near an access to the Mill Creek Ravine.

Creek Opening

Creek Opening

Snowy Creek

Snowy Creek

Snow and Reflections

Overwintering - Mallard ducks in  Edmonton's Mill Creek

Overwintering – Mallard Ducks in Edmonton’s Mill Creek in February

Bridge Over Mill Creek

Red Bridge Over Mill Creek

Yukon Landscapes – Black and White

I have recently been reviewing (and cleaning up) some photos from a trip taken a number of years ago. It was June of 1993 when we set off driving from Edmonton to the Yukon and Alaska. In this post I feature 5 landscape photos taken on the way back. I don’t remember exactly where each of these were taken – most likely in southern Yukon but possibly southeast Alaska or northern British Columbia.

These photos were all shot on color slide film then scanned and digitized a few years ago. That process did not yield great results but after a bit of work with Lightroom I have achieved some images that are presentable. Black and white digital processing seemed particularly suited to these landscapes:

Around the Bend With Rapids

Around the Bend With Rapids

Black and White Road

Black and White Road

Cloud Build-up

Cloud Build-up

Rock in the River

Rock in the River

Trees on a Rocky Bank

Trees on a Rocky Bank

December Magic (part 2)

More magical long exposure photos from the dark days of December:

Blue Path Purple Sky

Blue Path Purple Sky

Path on the Edge

Path on the Edge

Lights into the Bend

Lights into the Bend

Bus Shelter

Bus Shelter

Blue Mirage

Into the Winter Night

See December Magic (part 1) for more similar images.

December Magic (part 1)

The Kate Bush song “December Will be Magic Again” comes to my mind every year around this time. While the darkness in the northern hemisphere in December would seem to be a major deterent to photography it does open a door to a magical world.

I am torn between shooting at 1600 ISO and a wide aperture for low light handheld photography or giving in to the darkness and shooting at 100 ISO with an exposure of a couple of seconds, completely abandoning any attempt to stabilize the camera for a “clear” image. In fact when I go to such slow shutter speeds I will deliberately move the camera during the exposure to create magic!

Moon Dance

Moon Dance

Sparkling Blue

Sparkling Blue

Candy Cane Light

Candy Cane Light

Green Post

Green Post

Castle

Castle

Jock Macdonald at the Vancouver Art Gallery

While recently in Vancouver I did what I try to do every time that I make it to that city – visit the Vancouver Art Gallery and very specifically to visit their collection of Emily Carr paintings. The Vancouver Art Gallery occupies a wonderful old building in downtown Vancouver with the top floor gallery devoted to Emily Carr. There are however 3 other floors, exhibiting other shows and what ever I can see there is just a bonus for me. See my previous post about what I saw on the Emily Carr floor on this visit.

Perhaps the highlight for me on this visit was the exhibition “Jock Macdonald: Evolving Forms“.20141116_110656_1 I must admit that before I got there, I’d heard there was an exhibit of work by the Canadian painter J. MacDonald and I just assumed it was J.E.H MacDonald, one of my favorite painters from the Group of Seven.

But wrong I was. It was a different Macdonald and while I guess I’d heard the of Jock Macdonald but never really seen his work – I got a good education!

Jock (more formally James William Galloway) Macdonald was a leading Canadian modernist painter of the 20th Century. He was born (1897) and raised in Scotland before coming to Canada in the 1920’s. He first settled in Vancouver but would live in a number of places in Canada before passing away in 1960 in Toronto after over a decade there.

His early training was as a designer and some of his early work bears the influence of commercial design. In Canada he worked with Fred Varley of the Group of SevenĀ  and produced some fine landscape canvases that fit right in with the work of the Group.

But most significantly (and enlightening for me) was his development as a leading modernist abstract painter. In fact he was an important member of the Canadian Painters Eleven group.

20141106_162403_2Accompanying the exhibit is a fine catalog (printed by black dog publishing), that I just had to bring home with me as a reminder and reference, after seeing the exhibition.

Jock Macdonald: Evolving Forms runs at the Vancouver Art Gallery until 2015 January 4th.

[link to Jock Macdonald at the National Gallery of Canada website]

Securing an Exhibit – Questions to Ask.

I was recently involvedĀ  in discussions with an art organization about technology options for securing an art exhibition. Unfortunately, theft of art, especially from exhibits in public spaces, does occur. There are an increasing number of options for monitoring and alarming an exhibit and the financial commitment can be significant. Without going into technical specific of different options, I recommend stepping back and asking yourself a few general questions.

The questions to ask relate to what you are expecting the security solution to do for you and what it can realistically be expected to deliver:

  1. Will it be a deterrent to theft? Will potential thieves be aware that there is a security system and be scared away from attempting anything?
  2. Will it help stop a thief in the act? Would the system trigger some sort of visible or audible alarm that might make a thief run away without completing their dirty work?
  3. Will it help recover a stolen work? Does the system have a way of tracking the stolen piece or provide a means of identifying the thief (e.g. a video recording)?
  4. Will it help the reimburse the artist for a stolen work? Maybe what’s needed is theft insurance?

There will probably be lots of other considerations but these questions should help an organization check if their expectations and deliverables from a security solution are a match.

If the technology does nothing more than tell you a piece of art has been stolen, is that really worth paying for?

post script: As a commenter (@lauxmyth) on my twitter feed mentioned “We do have to remind folks at times to balance alarms/camera with the locks/doors and INSURANCE”. The best security will be multi-faceted but you have to think about what is necessary/desirable and what you can afford.

Credit to a Curator

It might be said that a curator (of an art exhibition) is doing their job when they aren’t even noticed or thought about by the visitor to an exhibit. Most of the time, I never give any thought to who the curator was or how well they did their job. The exhibit either works and I enjoy it (the art work presented) or it doesn’t really make an impression on me so I just move on.

Last week though, while visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery, I found myself thinking “This shouldn’t be working but it does – Who curated this?”

The exhibit I refer to is “Emily Carr and Landon Mackenzie: Wood Chopper and the Monkey“, described in the exhibition guide:

Engaging in a dialogue with the work of eminent British Columbia artist Emily Carr, Vancouver-based painter Landon Mackenzie presents three thematically arranged galleries with more than 50 artworks that collectively span over 100 years of landscape paintings by these two artists.

Why I was skeptical about this exhibition working is because I hold Emily Carr in such high esteem. I couldn’t imagine presenting her work with anyone but, say Tom Thomson or the Group of Seven members. Landon Mackenzie is a contemporary artist, born in 1954, whose work while including some landscape elements also extends to large abstract paintings that at first glance would seem to have no way of being connected to Carr’s work. Somehow though, the juxtaposition of the work of these two artists works and delivers and pleasing and meaningful experience.

images of paintings by Mackenzie and Carr (from the Exhibition catalog)

images of paintings by Mackenzie and Carr (from the Exhibition catalog)

This exhibit runs at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 2014 September 20 to 2015 April 6. Incidentally this exhibit is the fourth in a series of exhibitions pairing Carr’s work with that of contemporary artists from the region. It was the first one that I’ve seen (or was even aware of) but my interest is piqued.

Oh, yes, the curator? Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art – BRAVO!

 

Autumn Color

It is mid-September here in my part of the world and that means that autumn is arriving in a hurry. There is an exciting burst of color that will soon give way to 7 months of greyness. Fortunately images captured, can be images savored (and perhaps painted), during the long wait til spring.

Splash of Red and Green

Splash of Red and Green

Color Grain

Color Grain

Bending Gold

Bending Gold

O' Canada

O Canada

Orangey Shades

Orangey Shades

Down By the River (Part II)

In this post I share 5 more (mostly) black and white photos captured in one beautiful September afternoon beside the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Canada.

Ragged Wood

Ragged Wood

Lumpy Wood

Lumpy Wood

Bridge Angles

Bridge Angles

Stones in a Muddy Shore

Stones in a Muddy Shore

and finally, not really a black and white but pretty much mono chromatic except for the rust. This collection of hardware was just sitting on a rock beside the river.

Rusty

Rusty

Also see another 5 black and white photos from this shoot in Down by the River (Part I)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers