The past month has been a whirlwind and I'm happy to finally have a chance to blog about it all! To start, I just got back from a family vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week! I was invited on the annual girls trip this year so my cousin Kim and I flew out to a condo in the Zona Romanticas to meet my mom and two aunts for a week. I've been to 'PV' a few times as it is my family's favourite vacation place but this trip was definitely unique. Rather than sleeping in and drinking margaritas on the beach (I did do this but not daily like my family) I found myself getting up at 6:30am to be picked up by local sculptor, Octavio Gonzalez, to go to his foundry to create a bronze sculpture. Octavio is a family friend who creates a lot of the big sculptures on the malacon in PV. He offered to show me how to make a bronze when I was down here so I had the most amazing week spending the day working in his foundry and coming back to the condo at night to hang with the fam.
The beach by our condo
Chili covered mangos on the beach - the best
Octavio's daughter Fabiola, who is a jewelry maker, with my cousin Kim in front of some of Octavio's sculptures in his studio
Sculptures in the studio
The kilns - one working, one not - and see if you can find the wandering chicken!
One of Octavio's sculptures waiting to be finished
Juanita, one of Octavio's studio assistants and main secretary, modeling for me
modeling for myself - stryofoam EVERYWHERE
I had to disassemble my woman to sculpt away at the ribs
Crockpots filled with wax
Step 2: Pour wax over piece
First layer of wax on
Positioned on a pole with several layers of wax and ready for Step 3: Scultping away at the wax
Back view sculpted and ready for Step 4: Casting
Unfortunately my stay in Mexico was so short that I didn't have time to finish the rest of the process. Octavio has offered to finish casting and put the patina on it and send it to me so it should arrive in the next few weeks. I would have loved to be apart of the rest of the bronze pouring process but I guess I'll have to wait for another trip - I'll be sure to post pictures when the piece arrives!
The TOMS shoe display was also going on in the Gallery of Student Art at the University of Manitoba all last week! Here are the shoes I designed for that event...
And Friday night at Gallery Ingenue, the March artists, Julie Coss, Lauren McPhaden, Jill Peters, and Leanne Roed and I were busy setting up for their show Canadiana.
Jill and I hanging her painting - Oh yes and I got a haircut - nice and short :)
Leanne and Ben hanging her work
Ben and Lauren
Since getting back form Mexico I've also become heavily engrossed in my 9x12ft painting! My fellow thesis friend,Ryan Trudeau, is the best and helped me stretch it, then I used a house painting roller to gesso it and the past few days painting on it has been bliss. I love a big canvas.
My thesis advisors told me to do studies (something I never do) before my big painting so the painting below is a smaller study of an earlier idea.
I've gotten used to painting on a large scale to the point where I feel uncomfortable painting smaller and find it quite restricting - so I stopped - changed my idea - decided to toss aside the idea of studies and just got going on the big guy.
I've been working off an image of the classical painting by 17th century Flemish Baroque animal painter, Jan Fyt, entitled Diana and Her Hunting Dogs Beside Kill.
Diana is a figure of Roman mythology and was the feminist goddess of the hunt. Originally, I was solely looking at the image but I think it's meaning is becoming more and more apparent. My thesis work this year has evolved into my interest in the idea there are relationships between the inhumane treatment of animals and how women are viewed and treated. I am also interested in how we view animals, such as which ones we have domesticated and deem as our companions and others that we are used to killing or eating. There is no way I would be painting the classical painting in a realistic manner as I am an abstract painter so i began painting the animals in flesh colours to relate them more to humans. I also made the decision today to start painting a stylized/abstracted vagina over Diana as she is such a powerful female goddess. I also wanted her to relate more to the dead and hanging swan she has killed on the left side of the canvas. I'm excited to see what happens in the next few weeks as I love painting intuitively on such a big scale. I will be sure to take photos as I go and I have been setting up a video camera every time I paint so I'm hoping to put the footage together in a video of how the piece was painted afterwards.
And to add to this all this excitement I got a new job! I don't start until April (thank goodness because thesis is crazy right now) but I will be working at LUNE Vintage!
I originally met Jill Monroe, the owner, when the shop was located on Rathgar (it is now on Broadway & Balmoral) and I began selling some of my jewelry at the shop. Lune Vintage is actually sharing a space with Freckled Nest designs which should be quite cool as Leigh Ann from Freckled Nest designed my blog and I have also known Kyla Roma, now one of their main designers since we were little. It's going to be the best and another great perk is my friend Cara Mason was hired too! It's going to be a great summer :)
Some things I can't wait to get my grubby little fingers on are one of Jill's Ojo de Dios necklaces
and one of Moorea Seal's amethyst rings....
Looking for something to do this weekend? Join the March Gallery Ingenue artists Friday night for the Canadiana Opening from 7-10pm at 166 Osborne Street! I'll be there :)