Halfway There

One month has already passed, and another month to go, before I give up the extended studio space and go back to my old perimeter! I think I might have to look for a new, bigger studio space soon, now that I have a sense of what it’s like to work in a bigger space.

I’m really glad I have Corey Hardeman as my mentor. She pushes me to think beyond my own limits, to try new colours, new concept, listens with empathy when I have doubts, and is encouraging. I don’t envy her – it’s a fine balance to be objectively critical without getting your own ego involved. Each artist has their own vision, and it’s easy to try and impose your vision over theirs, so I’m grateful that she works within the scope of my ideas.

Having a dedicated time and space to do research, try new things, and do more research, really helps me think through my processes more. I’ve looked at how to incorporate my audiology test results into my paintings, creating a visual and/or memory landscape. I am open to trying abstractions, but I am insistent (either consciously or subconsciously) on keeping elements of representation in my pieces.

Another thing was to record things: favourite poems, favourite songs. My recorder on the iPhone has an app that shows soundwaves, so I visually transfer the soundwaves onto canvas. For example, the poem “Mountains” – I recorded myself reciting the following verses: “Languages die like rivers / Words wrapped around your tongue today / And broken to shape of thought”, and watch the waves as I replay it, translating them visually into, well, mountains! My painting “Effluvia” was the result.

My current painting is based on a favourite song. I’ve captured the first few lines the same way, and find the sequence of wave that I think I can work with, and now I’m about to translate them into my current canvas. I might have a mental picture of how it will look, but I know it will change, as it’s very dynamic based on how the colours interact with each other, and if something else has to interject itself into the painting. My mental picture is transforming the soundwave into a form of spectrogram – not an actual spectrogram, but a semblance of it.

In the next month, I will be working with Adobe Premiere Pro to learn how to do video editing, and then attempt a small video project. I keep running into obstacles – time (really…. I need to sleep and eat somewhere between painting!), and RAM memory and disk space. I hope to sort these all out, and videotape a couple of small scenes. I am really grateful to have a grant that allows for research as well as creation – learning how to use the editing software is part of research which will help me create something. I have ideas and have done some very rudimentary sketches, so now I just need to round up a group for one of the video idea.

I will be taking a small break for the Easter weekend, but not quite. I will be in Tofino, so I’m looking forward to recording both the sounds and videos. I just hope I don’t run out of space on my phone!


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Published March 16, 2016

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