Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Visit to Our Nation's Capital!

I’m in Ottawa for a week to volunteer at the Canadian Improv Games National Festival, where hundreds of high school students from across the country will participate in friendly competition. In high school I competed in the games myself and owe many thanks to the organization for giving me an outlet in my formative years. It’s one of the two weeks a year (the other being Improv Camp) that I whole-heartedly look forward to! It’s a fun and uber supportive environment and hosted in the National Arts Centre! This photo is of one of the founders of the Games, Howard Jerome speaking before the competition.

This trip also marks the start of 6ish weeks of travel in the area. I’m working on various projects, (most of which are collaborations), of the visual and performing arts variety. After Ottawa I’ll be visiting Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago. Stay tuned for some recounts of the adventures! This photo is of a Louise Bourgeois sculpture outside the National Gallery, with Parliament in the background.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back from the Woods

I spent the month of February in Saskatchewan, most of that time I was in a cabin on a lake near Prince Albert National Park, up north. I was there all by myself to work on art in an internet-less, cellphone-less and more or less distraction-less environment. I chose to go this lake because my great grandparents bought a cabin there many years ago and the area has hosted five generations worth of family reunions. I spent many of my childhood summers there and I was interested to return as an adult, this time in the starkness of winter and without the company of dozens of family members. In my art practice I’m interested in origin points, familial history and personal meccas; I felt like this place deserved some time and meditation. While there, I worked on a series of landscape paintings (not my usual medium), sorta as a means of reflection, while simultaneously I brewed about other larger, more conceptual projects. I was also interested in being a “Canadian artist” and what that means in a historical context. I couldn’t help but think of the members of the Group of Seven painting the great Canadian wilderness as a means of understanding it. The experience was a very rich and rewarding one, partially for the paintings I did but mostly for the time I had to think about the direction of my practice.

Here are two of the ten oil paintings I made. I’ve sold all the pieces to fuel the next leg of my travels.