Susan and I had marvellous trip to Alaska - cruising the inside passage from Vancouver and then a week touring on land. The landscape is inspiring and the people are very hospitable.
We took thousands (thank heaven for digital cameras) and are only starting to select and process. And although we didn't post a lot of images or impressions along the way, I hope to make up for that as I update the website/blog
One of the things I did on the trip was to sketch with a pen in my little book - not consistently but enough to keep the memory fresh with quick impressions. Although a few sketches were done while on the ship, most were done sitting in a bus as the scenery whizzed by, and completed in less than a minute.
I post them here as a slide show.
Feeling the need to loosen up, so decided to do some pastel batiks - working quickly and having fun. I call these "Cosmic Questions" (100% pastel, about 10 x 13")
I am pleased that my watercolour block print, " Killarney Dream" was accepted into the 2016 Print Show at the John B. Aird Gallery. Susan also had a print accepted and we are looking forward to the exhibition.
Susan and I will be guest artists at the Kennnsis Lake Art-on-the-Dock weekend. Our host is our good friend, Jeff Gardner, a great photographer.
July 9 : 10 am -4 pm July 10 10 am - 3 pm
Click here to read about the event in the Haliburton paper -
Click here to link to the brochure:
Here is some of the information you will find on the brochure.
Access only by boat to Island 11, which is the larger island south east of the island with a lighthouse. Docking for 3 boats at a time. Mainland parking is available at 2280 Wilkinson Road (call from the dock 705-754-9726)
Jeff Gardner is passionate about nature and photography. He is an award-winning photographer, inspired by the character of the land; often as viewed by canoe. By combining colour and texture, he
typically creates an artistic impression that extends beyond the photograph. This year’s images will feature stunning nature works from several locations including Kennisis Lake.
Tony Marinus Vander Voet –
Paintings & Wood Cuts
Tony is an avid painter, elected member and past president of the Ontario Society of Artists (OSA). His works can be found in the Government of Ontario Collection (Archives of Ontario) and private collections in Canada, Germany and Chile. Tony is also an elected member and Past-President of the Colour and Form Society, member of Headwaters Arts, signature member of PastelArtists.ca, and holds the designation of Master Pastellist.
Susan McCrae – Paintings & Mono Types
Susan is an avid painter and printmaker specializing in monotypes and collagraphs. She exhibits in juried exhibitions, group shows and solo exhibitions throughout the GTA. Her works are found in numerous private collections in Canada, Chile and Germany. Susan is an elected member of the Ontario Society of Artists, the Colour and Form Society. She is also a member of Beaux-Arts Brampton and Headwaters Arts.
Since coming home from Mexico, I have been printing up a storm in preparation for the Art-on-the Dock Exhibition at Kenissis Lake in early July (July 9 and 10). Susan and I will be showing with our good friend, Jeff Gardner - a fabulous photographer - on his island dock. While on the artistic production line, I had some fun turning a couple of the paintings I did in Jocotepec into woodblock prints.
The painting, "Mexican Colours in a Graphical Vein and a Mondrianic Mood" morphed into the block shown below. I liked the grid work in the painting and decided to incorporate it as embossing in the finished print.
The finished print " Mexican Colours in a Mondrian-ic Mood
"Village Square" (Original painting shown below)
One of the areas of Guadalajara we really enjoyed visiting with Jairo was the "Jardin Cuautemoc" adjacent to the Plaza Expiatorio (Templo Expiatorio del Santisima Sacramento). On a Saturday night this park becomes a gathering place for the neighbourhood. Kiosks and vendors abound - organic produce, cheese, baked goods, home made jewelry. Local entrepreneurs mix with new-agers and old hippies. There is free entertainment. You can buy the most delicious coffee and crepes. People mingle. Children play. Wedding parties enter the church (templo). Young girls in evening gowns. Teens on bicycles. They are all there - and all enjoying. Over in the corner, there is a guy teaching couples to dance the salsa. A young couple in wheelchairs, holding hands, watch - envious but enjoying. And as we sit in a sidewalk cafe enjoying a lovely bottle of Chilean carmenere and snacks, I spot a woman sitting with another, older woman (her mother?), and a man (her husband). They are still - and taking in the tranquility of the evening. What a wonderful face she has. It is not beautiful - but it is strong - or I imagine it so. She looks tired. Her husband wanders off, but she stays behind. The older woman leans into her, and slips her arm into hers, What is in that face, I wonder? Patience? Resignation?
All I know is that I am moved. And inspired. I want to take her picture - but don't want to disturb her silence or be intrusive. I want to paint her.
I aim my camera from my waist and hope. It is night and I know I will not get a good picture.... but I get something.
I also grab a napkin and a pen and do a quick sketch.
My first attempt at creating a block print of this scene is below. I quite like it, but it doesn't quite capture the mood of the scene.
So I decided to redraw it - and go back to the photograph to refresh my memory.
I cut a new block and proofed - adding new sections as shown in the proofs below. The final (?? is there ever a final) is shown below. I enhanced the temple, embossing and outlining the towers in metallic gold watercolour.
"Enjoying an Evening in the Square"
We arrived back in Toronto in mid-March, and miss the sun and warmth. Spring is a bit sporadic and delayed here, and although things look promising, it is a good time to spend in the studio.
Since returning, I have been concentrating on wood block work, and have made a number of interesting new prints.
I started by preparing a block from one of the Mexican sketches I did while in Jocotepec. I liked the grid work on some of the paintings, and introduced it into the block as embossing. (It is hard to see in a photograph, but looks good in "real life"
Today, I visited the Instituto Cultural Las Cabañas - a former orphanage now museum gallery. The main feature there is the collection of murals by Jose Clemente Orozco in the former chapel. Incredible! Powerful. Below is the painting "Man in Flames" which is in the central dome.
Although we spent our first two weeks in the Yucatan Peninsula, most of our holiday has been in the state of Jalisco. We came to Guadalajara, the capital, near the end of January, and moved on to Jocotepec on the first of February. Jocotepec is the westernmost of three or four communities along the north shore of Lake Chapala, one of the largest lakes in Mexico. Others (to the east of "Joco" include Ajijic, a village very popular with Canadian and American snow birds, San Antonio and Chapala. Joco is not at all popular with tourists, and is vey authentic. We rented a lovely place in a B&B villa named "Villa Los Dos B&B", owned and operated by Phyllis Porter Rauch. Perched on a hillside, with a view of the lake, this villa is set in a one-acre garden. The rooms are simply furnished, but the walls are covered by artwork. The paintings and prints on the wall are by Georg Rauch, Phyllis's late husband - a wonderful artist who is Austrian by birth and training, and Mexican by inspiration.
Our routine was very tranquil - with lots of time spent relaxing by the pool. But also very productive. I established my work table in a shaded patio next to the pool, and inspired by the colours and sights of the area, did a number of watercolours. Susan spent a lot of time working on her novel and accomplished a lot. There was still time for swimming, reading, relaxing and the odd trip into Joco for supplies or Ajijic for entertainment.
Below are some of the watercolours I did. I think there is a show there - somewhere
Tony Marinus Vander Voet