Monday, December 21, 2009

Life of Horses

Relief -  ciment fondu,  36" by 48"

Pure  admiration and love of horses was the motivation for this relief. Not much narrative, not much composition. Obviously I got a fair bit of inspiration from  Degas,  Delacroix, Gericault, Stubbs and mythology – pre-car culture.
But I seldom ride except nervously and only as a tourist on special occasions.

My mom, Faye on her palomino, 'Pal' - in front of a small barn on our property in Watrous Sask.

During the time we spent on the prairies, my mother learned to ride in order to overcome her fear of horses. Once she was in  control of that fear her interest shifted to other things and she stopped riding.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Versions of Myself

9 by 12 oil

9 by 12 oil

I have been told that doing one's self portrait in oil is a good way to learn how to handle this difficult medium. Well I can't disagree with that.
I find my husband's observation interesting also, that although neither of these necessarily looks like me, they are still interesting...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oil Study

life study - oil,  22“ by 32“ on unstretched canvas

This model,  Andrea,  is a yoga teacher and has the remarkable ability to hold a pose without budging for an hour or longer and then has the kind of muscle memory that when she resumes the pose it’s exactly as if she had just left off. It's the yoga training that allows for that kind of stillness. I had two three hour  sessions with her but I left it unfinished.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tsilya Nissman

Portrait bust of Tsilya Nissman

Tsilya Nisman was our daughter, Jenny's piano teacher. She came to Hamilton from the former Soviet Union. A gifted teacher, she imparted not only the necessity of discipline but also the habit of really listening. Listening, listening and listening. She taught at the Suzuki School of Music, here in Hamilton. The Suzuki approach required a fair degree of involvment from the parents. The principle idea that music is a mother tongue, comes from the Japanese violinist Suzuki, not the motorcycle manufacturer.

Tsylia Nissman was a very gifted pianist herself. Sometimes she would play for us – one of Chopin’s Nocturnes or an Etude. I discovered that Chopin was a close friend of Delacroix. It was exciting to discover that the relationship and interaction between music and painting, poetry and literature was close. And then also how the influence of philosophers like Nietsche, Schopenouer, Bergson and others entered into it. All the arts were inter related.