Shifting views

2016Shifting views

Every artist experiences change. It is that which can either compel creativity, or thwart it.
I am in the midst of an artistic change right now. After 17 seasons as the head scenic artist for Canada’s National Arts Centre,  I am moving on. I have called it ‘retiring’, mostly to signify it’s job like status. I was, have been, contracted each season since the 1999-2000 season, to paint all the English Theatre productions as well as various Theatre Francais sets, the Governor General Awards sets, as well as other special projects around the building.
It has been a rewarding experience. I was renumerated for the work I did on an hourly basis. The workshop is a large well equipped studio to work in, it has its faults, but we worked within those boundaries.  It has a typical 70-s building issue, poor ventilation,  and so I have been spared many of the toxic chemicals I may have been seconded to use. I learned to paint with what I call the ‘30 foot eye’, seeing the images from that distance, when you are actually only 5 feet away. (I am 5’4” and that is as far away as I can be holding my paint brush on a pole to paint with,  standing up. ) I’ve learned to paint on the floor, in the air, and sometimes, even upside down.
One of my favorite art teachers always said, what you don’t say is just as important as what you do say with your paint. It was a lesson I took greatly to heart. Let the mind of the viewer  fill in the details. So today i am at a juncture where I must look at the 30 foot view and let the details figure themselves out.
I am looking forward to this new phase,  I have more ideas than years ahead of me, so let me stand on this hill for a moment as I look over the view.

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