This summer I’ve been commissioned to paint a piano for the ArtsAlive Oak Bay project. Every year three or four artists are invited to transform an old upright piano with their own artwork, and the pianos are then placed outside in the Oak Bay area for July and August. I was asked to work at the St Michael’s University Junior School in Oak Bay and the piano was to be placed alongside the Oak Bay Marina on Turkey Head. The pianos are covered overnight and in wet weather, and tuned every couple of weeks. In between times they are available for anyone and everyone to play music, to watch and listen.
As Turkey Head is alongside the harbour where tourists and locals feed the seals, I’d decided to include some seals in the design. By coincidence I’d also been invited to go with my daughter-in-law and grandchildren to the Aquarium in Sidney on Mother’s Day, the ‘Centre for the Salish Sea’. Here I was enchanted by the displays of exotic underwater life, stunning colours of sea anemones, spot prawns, jellyfish, hermit crabs, pacific salmon, a million tiny creatures all happily living beneath the surface of the sea, right outside our window. Arriving at the school the next day I found the children already studying the Salish Sea, well informed about all the creatures and with a series of requests for each of them to be included in my artwork. How could I refuse?!
As I worked each day in the hallway of the school, young visitors would venture out to see my progress and give me helpful advice. ‘When I painted the Salish Sea’ said one young girl, I painted it light on the top and dark at the bottom. ‘Good idea – thanks’. ‘Can you put an octopus in there?’ ‘Oooh I don’t think I like them’ I said. Oh please…. Well ofcourse, in the end I had an octopus playing the piano. Another moment a I was given an impromtu recital by a young student, playing beautifully. I had a great time at the school. Here’s the result:
This week I made a presentation to the Orbus Business Network. I spoke about Leasing my paintings to businesses. I have recently been in touch with Todd Kergan who outlined the ways in which Leasing can benefit both the artist and the business owner.
This is how it works: I connect with a business owner who would like to have large artworks in his offices. He might want to create a dynamic workplace for the staff and/or create a pleasing environment for customers. Upon selecting one or a number of canvases for Lease, I put him/her in touch with the Leasing agent. After the formalities have been completed and a leasing period and terms agreed, the artist is paid the full amount for the painting/s by the Leasing organization and the paintings are delivered to the Business.
This arrangement follows the same principles as leasing office furniture or a Photocopier. It is listed for accounting purposes as a depreciating asset and business expense. At the end of the Leasing period the business owns the painting, and the business owner might even choose to take it home. If the artwork has appreciated in value due to the profile of the artist, then this is an added bonus.
I have been researching my new series of Special Edition Prints. Each time a painting sells, I ask my Photographer friend Greg to create a series of High Resolution images. With an archive of these images I will be able to produce Prints of the painting on fine Art Paper and canvas. Up until now, I have not invested much time and energy in marketing prints. Sometimes I get an order for one or two, however my main focus has been on selling the original artwork. Things have changed. First of all, I realize that some collectors are delighted to receive a high quality reproduction of their favourite painting, printed on canvas and Gallery-wrapped on a purpose-built stretcher. With Greg’s technical skills I can now have the image created to “wrap around” the stretcher, in a similar way to the original painting. The result is beautiful, and I am able to sign these Special Edition Prints and provide a Certificate of Authentication.
My most recent Print was created to be the same size as the original canvas : 48 inches x 24 inches.
A less complex way to produce prints is via Saatchi Art website online. I have been selling artwork and prints with them now for a few years, and they offer a professional service to create, package and mail Prints. They also sell my original artwork and last Fall I managed to sell a painting twice! Fortunately they were sympathetic, and was able to offer the Collector a Print of the original painting.
The Prints available through Saatchi are standard sizes, and have either black or white around the sides of the stretcher. Some of my original paintings are also available on the site.
You can see my Saatchi Art page here:
Thanks to everyone who came out to see the two exhibits, and visit my Open Studio. I have had some wonderful feedback about both paintings. One friend has called them ‘The Flower Sisters’! As I normally don’t create many environmental paintings these days, these two were a little diversion into the natural world. I’m putting them up on the website today.
Thursday, 1st December is the Opening Reception for the ‘Red Thread’ Exhibit at the Gage Gallery. I have a new large painting in this show, and two smaller paintings in the newly opened ‘Small Works’ Gallery. Come and join us for the evening: Refreshments 5pm – 8pm and continue around Oak Bay for the Art on the Avenue Gallery Walk.
Friday, 2nd December is the Opening on Xchanges Winter Show ‘Visual Record – Exploring the Narrative in Art’. I have a large abstract painting in this show. Opening Reception is from 7pm – 9pm at 2333 Government Street (behind Gregg’s Furniture, just south of Bay St Intersection).
Saturday 3rd December my studio will be open from 12 noon – 4pm for the annual Open Studios at Xchanges.
For Directions see website:
New Art Cards are now available to order direct. I have a new range of cards from my recent paintings, some of which have been extremely popular. This time I will also include the 2 Polar Bear cards for those who get sentimental about bears over the winter season.
I will soon have them as a separate ‘Sales’ page, until then – here they are for you to see. All orders can be made direct with me on the contact page. Prices at the base of this message.
Price List for 7”x 5” cards
All prices include Tax
10 Cards, with Pure White Linen envelopes
20 – 100 cards with Pure White Linen envelopes
Cards with your Personal Greeting printed inside
– Prices include Tax and Proof of Personal Greeting –
10 Cards with Pure White Linen envelopes – Full Colour outside + personalized message inside
20 -100 cards with Pure White Linen envelopes – Full Colour outside + personalized message inside
Thank you to all those who purchased paintings from my Exhibit ‘Energetic Universe’ over the summer. I am so grateful for your support. There are more original paintings from this series still available, Click on ‘Sales’ on the Menu above.
Here are the paintings that have been sold:
‘Ohana’ 42″ x 51″ Gallery-wrapped Acrylic on Canvas
‘Soleil’ 16″ x 16″ Framed, Acrylic on Wood Panel
‘Catalyst’ 24″ x 36″ Gallery-wrapped Acrylic on Canvas
‘Gold Tree’ 45″ x 59″ Gallery-wrapped, Acrylic on Canvas
‘Terra Ferma’ 46″ x 54″ Gallery-wrapped, Acrylic on Canvas