Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good things come in small packages

"The Guest Room", 4"x5", oil. Available at Abbozzo Gallery 

Recently I created these two miniature paintings. Each is 4"x5". I find small paintings fun and freeing to paint. Many people ask me if they are more difficult to execute, and generally no, they are easier. Not only do they take less time, but something about only having a small surface to focus on makes me relax. When I am working on a huge painting (like right now) I have to focus on one area...otherwise it can get overwhelming!

Little paintings are like little windows, little peepholes into other realms. They have just as much weight as large paintings I think. They require you to look closely, to stand near, to put your ear up and listen to their story that is whispered and not shouted.

"Self-Portrait, Daughter", oil, 5"x4", private collection

Now large paintings have their place too. They take up your entire field of vision often. They are doors flung open, waiting for you to step inside. They have impact, they have a lot to say. I suppose that ultimately it is not the size of the painting, but the message contained within it. Often I think a lot of art is painted very large because human beings have a tendency to think that if something is painted on a HUGE canvas that it is somehow better, that it is superior art. Why? Because it is on a large format? I am not convinced. It should be good art because it is good art, not because it is placed on a huge scale.

I loved that these little pieces fit in the palm of my hand. I propped them on my coffee mug while I worked. What a wonderful little easel it provided! 

Here are two book covers that my artwork is on! The first is a Dutch publication about finding the sacred in every day things. The publishers found my painting of a clothesline from Newfoundland and thought that the clothes looked like Tibetan prayer flags. I thanked them for providing me with this copy of the book. I wish I could read Dutch!

The second book has my painting "February 2005" on the cover. It is another book of poetry by esteemed poet Samuel Peralta. "Tango Desolado" is currently #1 on Amazon Kindle's hot new poetry list. Here is the link: "Tango Desolado". I am very grateful to Samuel for including my work alongside his work. I have an incredibly high regard for his poetry. Please check it out if you are inclined.

A last thought about creating art. Sometimes we falter in our motivation. Or perhaps fear or anxiety grip us and we worry about starting, about how to finish, about what to do next. I can say this: practice patience with your work and your life. Keep at it diligently and do not live in the future but focus on the present, where your painting is today. Often we become deflated if a painting doesn't develop quickly enough or look like our mind's eye imagines it to look. Try not to be hard on yourself. You are there at the easel, or in your studio. Creating art requires courage. Trust that it will end up where you want it to. Work on the today, rather than trying to control the tomorrow. It will help you enjoy the process even more and thus produce better art.

Dates for my solo exhibition this autumn at Abbozzo Gallery are as follows!

Surfacing: New Paintings by Heather Horton
November 2-17, 2012
179 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, ON
Opening Reception: November 2, 7-10pm
Artist meet and greet Sunday November 4, 2-4pm

"Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown."~Charles de Gaulle

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Change: A Conduit For Transformation

Where is the summer going? It has been a long time since I posted so I will get right into some new happenings.

I am continuing to work on paintings for my solo exhibition this coming November at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. It has been SO difficult to hold back showing you new work so I have posted a snippet of one above. I won't say any more about it other than I think I have fallen in love with painting water. It is like a different type of fabric. Delicate undulations that invite distortion. It is a great challenge...and what rewards we can reap from pushing ourselves! I am so happy to watch this painting unfold and develop day by day. If you want to see the finished piece first hand, you must attend my solo exhibition! I will publish finalized dates when I know them, but it would be a real treat to see you there dear reader. 

The group of paintings in the show will be autobiographical. Back to what I love to do: paint people I know, in places I love or am inspired by. New friends. Old friends. Self-portraits. A couple of mountains perhaps :) 

I have been thinking lately about change. Big changes. And then I become afraid of the tumult and upheaval. Then I return to the excitement of possibilities and back and forth I go in my head while I work at my easel. Joseph Campbell had it right when he said "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."

Above is a photo of my breakfast a couple of weeks ago. Blues and reds are the best! Speaking of blues I have a new colour in my palette: Cobalt Turquoise by Grumbacher. This fabulous colour seems lifted right out of the intense blue of the Mediterranean. was introduced to me by Yvonne Petkus, a talented painter and art professor at Western Kentucky University. Her palette has many green/teal/blue variants, and it opened my eyes to the rewards of introducing even one new colour into your orchestra of pigmented instruments to use!

This colour is fabulous for the water that I am painting currently. It has immediately become a staple in my palette. 

Finally, I am going to be packing up my paints and canvases to head back to the Yukon in two weeks. I will work and hike there. I do not have to tell you how excited I am to head back to my favourite place: The North :) Expect more blogging while I am there. Less distractions. More silence. Silence is wonderful. There is a lot of silence up in the Yukon. Lots of opportunity for introspection. Everyone has their own Yukon. Is it Moab, Utah? Northern Ontario? Waterton, Alberta? Your backyard? It matters not. I think just to find an oasis for your soul even once is worth everything. It is a place to repair wounds, inspire new ideas, help bring resolution, bring you closer with your true nature. These places help us realize who we are on our deepest level, and the location, as I mentioned before, is irrelevant. I hope that you have found such a place, or many places. 

Halfway up Mount White, near the Yukon/British Columbia border

I hope that this entry finds you in good spirits; happy, healthy and enjoying every moment of your day, wherever you are. Stay tuned for most posts soon. Thanks for your patience while I have been painting for my exhibition. I will post all of the paintings once the show is up at the gallery. If you have any questions about my artwork or would like to inquire about paintings that I have posted already, please contact Abbozzo Gallery toll free at 1-866-844-4481 or via their website. Please feel free to check out my new website as well! 

On top of Mount White

"Being an artist means not numbering,..but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, standing confidently in storms, not afraid that summer may not come."~Rainer Maria Rilke