Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Wyll, Madison Avenue"

"My friends are my estate"~Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson said it best. As a reclusive woman, her friends were very important to her. As an only child, my cousins and friends are my siblings. 
"Wyll, Madison Avenue", 2009, 12"x16", oil on panel, is a painting of one of my dear childhood friends who I have known since grade 7.
I have painted Wyll three times over the years, and I have included these paintings below. 

True friends are separated by neither time nor geography. They simply are a part of you, and you of them. True friends are weavers; when you meet after a long absence the threads of your lives are quickly woven together so that soon your dialogue flows freely and your only enemy is the clock, indicating when you must part again. 

There's a certain comfort in spending time with someone with whom you share a history. Its like a secret that you both carry with you as you walk along the street, as Wyll and I did leading up to the reference shots for this painting. It is as though your combined force can take on the world, that this bond is greater than the relationships of the multitudes who pass by on the street.

Wyll and I used to work on a ranch together, leading trail rides and relishing our time with the animals there. We worked for nothing, simply the freedom of having our own hour of time at the end of the day to ride whichever horse we chose. Money was irrelevant.  We were young, fearless and acutely alive.

But here we are now years later, in the depths of winter in Toronto. We walked up a side street off of Bloor and I took some shots to consider for paintings. I edited out some elements that I did not want to paint in the finished piece. It was freezing that day but we were warm, and the energy from our conversation over lunch sustained us, keeping the cold at bay. 

I used a lot of blue in the rendering of the snow. I paint rather expressively in that I have not the patience to render each window, each brick in the distance, each blade of grass,  but prefer to capture the value, shape and impression of the landscape while focusing with more detail on the figure, the subject of the piece.

Wyll is brilliant. She is someone who listens and gives beautifully insightful advice, provides inspiration to me as a person and artist, and truly makes the world a more beautiful place with her in it. I am thankful to know her. We are both only children and solitary by nature, yet this fact strengthens our kinship. We have a silent symbiosis which is rare and I appreciate deeply.

Here are two other paintings of Wyll I did in 2005. I will write about them individually at a later time but it shows how people and artists change, how technique shifts and personalities coalesce. Friendships, like everything in life, constantly evolve, so that, as T.S. Eliot once wrote "we shall not cease from exploration, and at the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." 
"Bloor Street West Café", 2005, oil on canvas, 10"x30"

"New Place", 2005, oil on canvas, 16"x20"

Here are some snippets of paintings that will appear in my solo show on Newfoundland in November at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. I am working steadily on new pieces each day. It will be an exciting show! You can find out more information about the exhibition on my website here. One of the paintings has already sold and the show is still 10 months away! If you are interested in seeing the pieces please contact Abbozzo Gallery

On another note, Bravo! Canada filmed a special profiling my work in 2007. It will be airing on Bravo! Channel all across Canada on Monday, February 9th at 8:30am Eastern Standard Time. I hope you are able to catch it! It is on at an odd time but thank goodness for PVRs.

Have a wonderful day,


"Every experience is a paradox in that it means to be absolute, and yet is relative; in that it somehow always goes beyond itself and yet never escapes itself."~T.S. Eliot


Corinne K. Lewandowski said...

A wonderful piece. Doing new work of friends as they progress and grow shows transformation that comes with time and wisdom. Wyl has such a hopeful look (to me) on her face. It may be cold and stark but she has a good hat and the clinging berries show life will bloom again. Your art is amazing. I hope to meet Wyl one day. Her amazing presence is captured so well in your painting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather..really enjoyed the show on Bravo..I love your work and am a new fan. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your blog. Greetings from BC.