Thursday, November 12, 2009

Newfoundland Portraits Exhibition Opening

Looking into Abbozzo Gallery

"Caring for friends opens the heart, and gifts us with the privilege of sharing the fruits of our self-imposed and necessary solitude." ~Max Elliott

Last Friday was the opening reception for my solo exhibition, Newfoundland Portraits, at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. I cannot begin to explain how fantastic this entire evening was...I attribute it to a confluence of many factors. Friends had come from far away (Alaska, Virginia, Washington DC to list a few), dear friends I have known most of my life and new friends and supporters as well. I was touched and inspired by the turnout of folks coming to see the work and offer their well wishes!

All of the opening reception photos in this blog entry are courtesy of the terrific Brent Beshara. You can see the amazing knives that he makes and find out more about him here!

People gathering as the evening begins...

It has been over a year in the making but 21 paintings later and 12 sold after the first night, made for a great evening! It was very overwhelming (in the most positive sense of the word) and friends and family were so understanding that I would not be able to talk to everyone as much as I wanted to. People relaxed, mingled and enjoyed the artwork while John and Brad from The Killin' Time Band played some lovely music to make the experience perfect.

Creating paintings, or any form of art for that matter, requires a little piece of you to be placed into each of the works. Not to wax melodramatic here, but with work that you love, your affection and energy goes into each piece and when you see them all together for the first time, it is very special.

Some of the paintings have been sold for almost a year and the gallery retrieved them from the clients so that the entire body of work would be complete. It is only when the entire arc of your vision for a show is complete that a true feeling of accomplishment sets in. I had some fantastic feedback about the paintings. Some people said that the work took them back to feeling as though they were in Newfoundland, that they had a very emotional response to the work and others had lots of questions about how and why I painted what I did, what the objective was, and that they felt as though there were right there with me in that place and time.

The prize for the friend who traveled the furthest goes to my friend Ed Plumb, who I met last year when we hiked into Bus 142, where Christopher McCandless spent four months in 1992 together on the Stampede Trail near Denali National Park in the Alaskan Interior. You can read about our amazing adventure here.

August 19th, 2008, Ed and I sitting at Bus 142

You can also read Ed's fantastic blog about living the life of a true adventurer in Alaska here! To have Ed there was surreal...the last time we saw one another was saying goodbye at McClaren Pass, the highest elevation that you can camp at in Alaska! To meet again 7,000 kms away and share in that experience of meeting my family and other friends was remarkable. I cannot wait to reunite with him next year in Alaska!

The glorious panorama that greeted us in the morning at McClaren Pass..

Trevor, a great friend of Ed's and who I met in Alaska last year as well, made the trip up from Washington D.C. where he works saving the world from all manner or crises. I appreciate both he and Ed taking time out of their transglobal peregrinations to stop in the GTA for the weekend! Last but not least my dear friends Walt and Billie, parents of Christopher McCandless, came up from the United States as well to visit my family and I and enjoy the show. Our friendship means a great deal to me and I was touched that they came to enjoy the event and spend time together. Friends and family truly make life the beautiful and rich experience that it is...

Visitors looking at "Jim, Bennett's High Island"

More visitors looking at the work...

I will be giving a talk about the paintings, the ideas behind them, the work that went into them, the experience of being in Newfoundland and anything else that I think may help people interested in the work this coming Saturday at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario from 2-4pm. I would love it if you attended and there will be a question and answer period afterwards as well. Please come out if you are able and have a beautiful day!

"What I dream of is an art of balance." ~Henri Matisse

Heather Horton
Newfoundland Portraits
November 5-22nd, 2009
179 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Informal Artist Talk: November 14th, 2-4pm, Abbozzo Gallery