My theory about my own intelligence was tested this past fall/winter when I embarked upon “Introduction to Psychology” at York University. This was the entry level course in my quest to become an art therapist. Bending my artist’s brain around science was quite a challenge. It turns out that language and logic reside in the left side of our brains; apparently mine has quite a few cobwebs. Like most artists, I spend a lot of time hanging out in the right side of my brain; the abstract, happy, visual side. I'm quite comfortable there; the furniture is well worn, the pillows are fluffed just the way I like them, I have my favourite tunes and snacks, and there is very little mind chatter. The left brain is a little intimidating - there's a lot of fancy words and strange things called "numbers" flying around over there. For people like me, who still use our fingers to count, you can imagine my distress when told to calculate coefficients for correlations. Sitting in exams, looking around at the mostly 20-year-old, fresh-faced kids, I stood out like someone’s Mom at a frat party. The kids glanced at me curiously from time to time. They may have wondered whether I was a student, prof or an exam narc? They may have even assumed that the course would be easier for me, a middle-aged adult. They are partly right. It turns out that although our working memory decreases with age and we aren't as snappy with new ideas or thinking on our feet, our crystallized thinking (word power) gets stronger. The good news is that nature gives us consolation prizes for aging, including enriched language and infinitely more patience. Good thing, it's gonna take me 6 years to complete this degree.
Just Me And 249 Other Artists:
Somehow, I was able to pause my brain-bending long enough to participate in the biggest commercial art show of my career: "The Artist Project" held it’s 10th annual international exhibition in February at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto. It proved to be an exciting and dynamic experience. I met some wonderful artists and some enthusiastic appreciators of art. Since artists tend to create in a bubble, it was great to have a chance to chat with a lot of like-minded folks. I was exhilarated, exhausted and stressed-out. And as soon as it was over, I immediately signed-up to do it all again next year.
Got My Kicks On Route 66:
In March, I checked off three bucket list items: 1. See the Grand Canyon, 2. Go to Sedona, Arizona and, 3. Travel on old Route 66. It wasn't in an R.V. (like I had pictured in my head), but that’s another trip. Grand Canyon was jaw-dropping, Sedona was a red rock, new age, (hippies young and old) artistic haven. Route 66 in Arizona was like going back in time to the days of old diners, motels and gas stations complete with rusted out old antique cars, worn out neon signs and tacky tourist shops. It was grass roots nostalgia at it's finest. I even bought a Route 66 oven glove. I also developed a bit of a cacti obsession. Look out for some of those in future paintings.
Hot Of The Press - Upcoming Show Sat May 6, 2017 Getting All Romantika:
I have always loved vintage poster art but now, I finally have a great reason to make some of my own. On Saturday, May 6th, for 1 night only I will be exhibiting a body of work at Gallery 345 (345 Sorauren Ave, Toronto) called “The Colour of Music” which will feature some of my musically-themed originals, plus a few new ones, painted in the style of vintage French poster art. Headlining the event will be a classical music performance entitled “Romantika, 3 Countries, 1 Language", by "Trio Incontro" which features internationally acclaimed musicians, violinist Paulina Derbez from Mexico, pianist Radka Hanakova from Czech Republic and cellist Dr. Dobrachna Zubek. Trio Incontro will play music by Romantic Era composers from their three home countries.
During my research I learned that during the late 1800's in Europe, famous artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Cheret, Bonnard and many others found alternative and lucrative opportunities to present their work to the masses through advertising art. "Affiche Artistique" was the term the French used to describe a poster that contained artistic expression. The art was so impressive to the public that people began to collect the posters as soon as they went up, which is why they are so scarce today.
It gave me a renewed appreciation for these old posters, which are artistic illustrations of what was going on culturally, socially and politically in the late 1800's-early 1900's. Three of my new "vintage poster" style paintings are inspired by Trio Incontro's performance of violin, piano and cello, reproductions of which will be available on my website in June 2017. There is an admission price of $20 for the concert, which can be purchased at the door, as well as a wine and cheese reception. If you are interested in attending please click here for more info. Hope to see friends there old and new.
Almost Time to Take the Art Outside
My June newsletter will include information about summer art shows around our beautiful city, including some I will be participating in, such as June's Solstice Art Market, and Riverdale Art Walk and August's Art In The Square Don Mills. Until then, I wish you all health, smiles and a great spring!