December 14, 2010

Happy Holidays

2010 has been a great year for me as an artist, I would like to thank you for the interest you have shown in my work in the past year and I hope you will continue to follow my work in the future. I have great things planned for 2011 and this blog will keep you up to date on all of those. I would like to wish you all happy holidays and a creative 2011!

Denise Buisman Pilger

December 08, 2010

Art Show @ Pierrefonds Cultural Center

In October 2010 visual artist Denise Buisman Pilger exhibited her Mixed Media work at the Pierrefonds Cultural center in Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada. The exhibit shows works of the artist's series Traveling the World as well as some experimental pieces. Visit for more information.

December 07, 2010

Road trip video

Here's a little video report of our trip from Montreal to New Jersey where we dropped off 'New York' for the 25th International Juried Show at the Visual Arts center of New Jersey in Summit, New Jersey.

December 06, 2010

Holiday Break

The snow is finally falling outside, our world is slowly transforming onto a holiday postcard. A perfect time to let you guys know about my holiday break. Next week on Wednesday our friends form the Netherlands will fly in for the holidays so I have a week left before my official holiday break starts. I still have some stuff planned for this week, including making a start on 'Toronto'. I am also working on a little video about our trip to the New Jersey arts center to drop off 'New York' so that will be uploaded somewhere this week. There is a little holiday treat in store for you guys as well so keep your eyes peeled to this space fot some holiday magic!

In the first week of January 2011, I will be back in full force to finish 'Toronto', blog about all my creative thoughts and hopefully create a lot of art. I want to thank all of you for reading my blog and following my work and I want wish all of you happy holidays and lots of happiness and creativity for 2011!

December 02, 2010

New website!

Most of you must be pretty curious about this website I've been talking about. Well I can tell you now, the wait is officially over! My brand new website is officially online, whohoo! I'm very happy about it and I hope you guys like it. You can check it out at: 

November 29, 2010

New York, New Jersey and 'Toronto'

My piece 'New York' has been accepted into the second jury round of the 25th International juries show at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. So tomorrow we will get up really early to drive to New Jersey to deliver my painting at the art center. It will be a long drive, about 6 hours, but we will be rewarded with a night spent in the greatest city in the world, New York! We will go and see 'the Adams Family' on Broadway and have a nice stroll through the city admiring the christmas decorations. It will be a very short trip, just the one night, we will be driving back on Wednesday, but it will be a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to it.

This does mean that starting 'Toronto' this week is going to be tough. Today is filled with pre trip preparations but on Thursday I should be able to get started at least a little with my 'Toronto' piece, that's what I'm aiming for at least. It is a big canvas that is waiting for me and I already know I'm going to need more then a week for the 'puzzle phase'. But if I can get it started this week that would really help with my overall productivity, at least in my head it will.

November 25, 2010

'Ottawa' is finished!

It has taken a bit longer then planned but today I've finally finished my piece on Ottawa. I've uploaded it to my artist portfolio on Absolute Arts so you can check out the result there.

So now it is time to move on to other things. I have a really nice big canvas waiting for Toronto so next week I will make a start on that. I am really excited about this one, I've got loads of material and I already know where to start so that makes things quite a lot easier. But there will probably be some other creative walls ahead of me, I will keep you posted as I hit them at full speed :)

November 22, 2010

On things that get in the way

My mind is a weird place, I get so caught up in stuff that there is simply nothing else I can think about. Here's the thing, I'm going to do this solo show in April 2011 and I got it into my head that I want to represent myself as a professional artist at that point. Not that I haven't been doing that up until now but there were some points that needed work to get everything to a certain level, things like a Facebook fan page and a proper website under my own domain name.

So when my Ottawa piece was at a drying stage I figured it would be a good time to start building my website. And I knew this would be a huge project and it's not like I have a close deadline or anything, April is months away and even that is just a deadline I set for myself it's not something that has to be finished in order for my show to be a success. My mind however, thought otherwise. Once I started building this thing I just couldn't stop, my mind just would'd let me. So when a week had passed and I could have started on finishing Ottawa my mind was like "NO!, you need to finish this website first!" So instead of getting myself into my studio I got back behind my computer and worked.

Another week has passed since that moment and here I am, behind my computer writing this blog. I can hear you thinking; "Is she going to procrastinate working on Ottawa again?" No, not this week, this week will be dedicated to finishing Ottawa and starting Toronto, my next project. Because my website is finished! it isn't up and running yet but that's just technical stuff, my mind isn't bothered by that. The designing of it is done and my mind has set me free, I can paint again! Ottawa has been patient, the gel is dryer then dry it's time to get to my studio and paint!

November 02, 2010

Ottawa; bring on the gel!

I have finally finished the puzzle phase of my next piece and dropped off the files at the copy shop. So this week it is time for some gel, although I am not sure how much gelling I will be able to get done this week since I will be game testing for Ubisoft the next three days as well as all the afternoons next week. But I hope to be able to get it done at least before the start of next week so I will be able to start on the finishing stage as soon as my game testing stint is done. 
I have been busy with some promotional stuff as well. As you all know I've been doing some research on websites and how to build one and I have decided to use iWeb so I will be starting with that soon. I also created a Facebook Fan page so to anyone who likes my work please visit my page and become a fan! 

October 27, 2010

Ottawa; Almost there!

Yeah, I know, I know, I am supposed to create two pieces in two weeks and I'm working on this Ottawa piece for at least three weeks already. It has been a tough ride this one, somehow it took me a bit longer to get into it this time, life just seems to be getting in the way. I haven't had many days to spent solely in my studio, something that usually really helps a piece along. I haven't been sitting still though. I have done a lot of resin work on some of my older pieces and I'm looking into building my own website so I'm doing some workshops and researching the different possibilities. Currently I'm looking into the difference between Squarespace and and I'm not sure which way to go yet.
I'm also working on getting a solo show going for april 11-24 in downtown Montreal so that is taking some of my time as well, funny thing is that I decided on my two pieces a week schedule because of this solo show in the first place. Oh well, I'm sure things will work out, April 2011 is a long way off still. 
For now Ottawa is getting along nicely, I'm in the finishing staged of the 'puzzle' phase so soon I will be able drive the girl at the copy shop crazy again. I already have a nice big canvas waiting for 'Toronto', which will be my next piece. I'm very excited about that piece, somehow I think Toronto will do very well for me! I hope to be able to start that one by the end of this week. Next week will be a difficult week for artwork as well because I'm going to do some game testing for Ubisoft on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, fun but not very productive art-wise. So as you can see, things are moving, they are just a little bit slower going then I would want them to be. 

October 21, 2010

Ottawa; Now I'm happy!

Today is definitely my turning point on Ottawa. It has taken me about a week of complete misery and moping around, but I think I've finally reached the top of the mountain and can now start enjoying the ride down. Now, to be fair, I didn't have a whole lot of time this week to enjoy creative time in my studio which kind of added to the misery, because in the back of my mind 'Ottawa' kept nagging at me.
Last night I had to go to a gallery show opening with a friend of mine and when it was time to leave I was so miserable that i just wanted to crawl into bed with a book and not go out at all. But since I was to meet up with this friend of mine I kicked myself in the behind and went anyway. And I am so glad I did because it was a great show (Obsolete idols by Jono Dotion @ Ctrl Lab) and I met up with some great people which pulled me out of my funk pretty quickly. And then, when it was time to go home, I realized that I would have the next two days to completely focus on my art which lifted my spirits even more. So this morning I was in a great mood when I got up because I knew I was going to find the top of that Ottawa mountain today!
I started up the computer, changed the size of my starting picture and reached the top of the mountain! and now it's time to enjoy the rest of the ride! Ottawa here I come!

October 13, 2010

Aaaah, to many great pictures!!!

I've been sorting through all my Ottawa pictures and there are just so many good ones I don't know where to start! I have to pick one as the starting point for my piece but I have 531 picture to choose from! I'm trying to make a selection of the ones I definitely want to use so I can narrow it down a bit. That usually ends up being a bit useless because I go back to the big stash anyways but somehow sorting them at this stage helps me focus. By the end of the piece I will have seen all of my pictures a gazillion times and know exactly what's in that Ottawa folder on my desktop. But for now that folder is still one big challenge. 
I thinks it's part of my creative process to have one or two days at the start of a piece where I just don't know where I'm going or even where to start. I know that it will figure its self out in my head after some time and that at one point the piece basically creates its self. But at this point in time that moment seems some distant future that might never happen. 
People often ask me if creating my pieces is difficult and usually my answer is no because in hindsight it always seems like the piece created itself. But now that I'm at the start of a new piece I realize that maybe next time they ask me I should say yes, because it is difficult. I go through this creative process that has a lot of ups and downs, mainly downs at the moment, and it takes time and patience and a lot of guts to see it through to the end. And then I haven't even considered the knowledge of composition, light, color and technique that is involved.
Right now I'm feeling like I have to climb this impossible mountain but I know that I will reach the summit somehow and that it will be in the near future. It would help if I didn't have a cat sprawled all over my keyboard though. 

Time to start a new piece!

So, today i is time to start a new piece, I have decided to take Ottawa as my next subject so now I have before me the enormous task of sifting through my pictures and selecting some decent ones to use. I am basically typing this blog because I am stalling, haha, caught myself there! I had already made a start at cleaning up my desktop, something that should be done, for sure, but not now! Do you hear me!? NOT NOW! Ok, stopped myself doing that, now to stop myself typing this blog.... Someone told me recently that you have to focus on the thing that you are doing at that moment and not get distracted by all the other stuff that needs doing otherwise you might as well go and do the other stuff because you are going to get no where. So this is me, stopping the typing and starting the sorting and printing and cutting and puzzling...

October 12, 2010

Montreal 2 is finished!

This past weekend I finally finished Montreal 2, my second piece on Montreal. It took me some time to get all the images on the canvas and paint everything together but now that it's finished I have to say I'm very pleased with the result. So now it is time to start something new, I am still deciding on a subject for my next piece. Things have been pretty crazy around here the past two weeks. But now that everything with the gallery has been arranged and my weekend show is over and done with I can go back to normal and just concentrate on painting for a while. Although this is not entirely the case because I am also looking into changing my website and maybe doing a solo show in the spring so I will have plenty of other stuff to distract me. That being said I am going to make an effort and try to still finish one piece a week, I know its ambitious but I am going for it!

October 05, 2010

Finishing Montreal 2

Tomorrow I will finally be spending most of the day in my studio to finish 'Montreal 2'. I've already started taking the paper of the gelled pieces and I am certain that I'll be able to get most of the pieces on the canvas tomorrow. So I should be able to finish the piece by the end of the week. 
Other good news is that I've signed a contract with the Viva Vida Gallery in Pointe Claire today so some of my works will be on display there starting this weekend. So things have been going well lately although it has been a bit to busy to really get some painting done. But starting next week things should be starting to quiet down a bit so I should be able to spend most of the week in my studio catching up. 

September 28, 2010

An Exhibition, a Gallery Contract and an unfinished painting

You must all be wandering what happened to my promise to finish Montreal2 this week. Well my exhibition got in the way a bit. This is the first time I'm in a duo exhibition so I have a lot of pieces that need preparation. I also have a lot of work to do on promotion and I still need to make all the cards to go with the paintings. I have to say I went to a lot of 'OMG why am I doing this' moments this week but now I'm really looking forward to the exhibit, it's going to be fun!
Next to the show this weekend, which is in a local Cultural center, I received a consignment contract from a gallery which makes me very happy. Somehow everything seems to happen at once. This did make me realize that I really have to get back into my studio to get some more work done, I barely have enough to fill up the space at the cultural center and I want to be able to do some solo shows in the future so more work is definitely a priority right now. Well, not Now, now of course, because now my exhibit has priority, but after the weekend its back into the studio to make some art! Montreal2 will be first on the agenda and after that I've loads of new ideas floating around in my head... 

September 25, 2010

Exhibition at the Pierrefonds Cultural Center

Exhibition Denise Buisman Pilger 
 Pierrefonds Cultural Center
October 1st, 2nd and 3rd

Come see the art  and talk to the artist 
Friday October 1st 7pm - 9.30pm
Saturday October 2nd 11am - 5pm
Sunday October 3rd 10am - 2pm
The Pierrefonds Cultural Center is located at 13850 boul. Gouin Ouest in Pierrefonds, QC.

September 20, 2010

Trip to the Netherlands

I just came back from my 10 day trip to the Netherlands. These trips are always loads of fun and exhausting because every single person you know wants to meet up and spend some time, preferably in the evenings because naturally they have to work. So our days and nights were spent driving around the country visiting friends and family and we even managed to have a few hours to ourselves so we took a nice stroll down the beach and did some shopping, we always want to bring a couple of Dutch things home that we just can't get over here. Things like salty licorice, Dutch cheese and speculaas. On Friday we spent the day at a spa with friends, something we try to do every time we visit.
On Saturday my mums took me to Amsterdam where we strolled through the city and visited all kinds of places from my childhood. I did bring my camera a managed to shoot some material so a piece on Amsterdam is definitely coming up. I have to say it was kind of weird being back in the city where I was born. So many things have changed that I almost look at it like any other new city I visit. But then there are places that have stayed absolutely the same and all of a sudden its that same old city again. Its a weird mixture especially because I look at the city with different eyes when I take pictures for a piece. I don't think I have ever noticed the architectural beauty of Amsterdam before. I mean, I've always known it was there, it's something you learn about in school as a child, but I don't think I've actually taken the time to really see it. I think I want to make a piece of it with the material I gathered this time, but since we mainly stayed in the downtown area I think I would want to go back someday and visit all those places from my childhood and see if that results in a different kind of piece. But that is something for another day. 
I think I talked about doing some promotion at galleries in the Netherlands while I was there. I managed to send out 19 artist packages to different galleries all over the country. To my surprise I got 4 of them back within that same week. From earlier experiences I had kind of expected a waiting time of at least three months, I mean I sent out some stuff here in Montreal last year in November and I was still getting replies in July! And although I appreciate the quick replies of the Dutch galleries I have to say I was a bit disappointed when two of my packages were returned without any comments, they didn't even attach a card so I don't even know which galleries the replies came from. I hope I'll be able to deduct this when I've received all of them back. I've never had this happen before, maybe it's a cultural thing. I mean I do get the message, they don't like my stuff and thats fine but it would have been nice to know why. Oh well, you can't get it all right? I still have 14 more packages out there so who knows.
In the meantime I've plenty to keep me busy here at home. I have an appointment with a local gallery tomorrow morning and my second piece on Montreal is eagerly awaiting my return to the studio. 

August 31, 2010

Patience is a virtue

So, you're probably wondering where I'm at right now with my Montreal 2 piece. Well I've completed all the photo sorting yesterday and all the material is at the copy store right now so come tomorrow it will be all about the gel again, which is actually pretty good timing wise because we're having a house guest till next tuesday so not much creative time to be had then, but I can slip in some gelling. Next well we'll be heading for the Netherlands for about a week so the gel will be nice and dry when I get back so I can finish my piece then. I know, I know, not as fast as you were hoping but you know what they say, good things come to those who wait and I promise, the waiting will be worth it! And who knows, I might even have time to visit some nice Dutch cities and shoot some material there for a future piece.

August 26, 2010

Montreal 2

Last week I spent an entire day strolling through Montreal taking pictures for my second piece on this city. This is part of an experiment I started when I moved here, I will be making 3 pieces of this city over the time period that I spent here, each time I will make a new batch of picture to work with. The goal is to see how my view on this city changes over time, already I took more pictures this time and I went to more specific spots that have meaning to me now that I've been here a year and a half. My tour through the city last week was therefore a bit longer then I had in mind, I started out at ten in the morning and walked till 4 in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day so it was an amazing experience, Montreal is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer, it has amazing architecture and very charming little streets. The thing about Montreal I found out in this past year is that you really have to know the spots, some things look awful from the outside but when you get inside there's this beautiful restaurant or great little patio. Montreal's most charming spots are hidden and you really have to get to know this city to get the most out of it. That's also why this is a great little experiment, because it means that each piece I do on this city will be like uncovering more of her secrets. No time like the present I say! Let's start Montreal 2!

August 24, 2010

Quebec City

I finished Quebec City yesterday, that was quite a journey that piece! It has a lot of different elements and details but I think it has paid off. I'm very happy with the result, I love how it gives you a glimpse into the city without going there. It is like all these murals they have in the city where you can peek into peoples homes. This piece gives you a chance to peek into the lives of ordinary people on the streets of Quebec city, doing ordinary things. Because it has so much detail you can look at it endlessly and discover new things about it. It was even like that for me when I was creating it, because I had used so many different photographs I kept discovering little details I had not seen before. That's why I love creating these pieces, they're give me the opportunity to journey back to a place I've visited and discover it in a whole new way, taking in so many more details that pass you by when you're just walking past them. So it's not just a journey of creation, it is also a journey into my memory and into the unknown. I snap so many pictures when I'm on a trip, and I take them quite quickly so I catch things on camera that I didn't even notice at the time. 
Quebec City is like a fairytale town. It has an old citadel which was built high on the cliffs looking out over the Saint Lawrence river. When you walk past here and look out over the old town you see Chateau Frontenac, a proper castle in which you almost expect to catch a glimpse of Cinderella or her handsome prince.  And this is just the first glimpse, this city has a whole range of buildings that excite your imagination. Well placed murals offer you glimpses into past and present, offering the opportunity to do what we all like best, sneak a peak into other peoples homes. All in all the perfect city for me to explore.

August 23, 2010

Not quite finished yet...

Ok, so I haven't quite finished 'Quebec' yet but I'm close. All pieces are in place and it's down to the painting bit. It's just that it's a pretty big piece with loads of different elements that there are many details that have to be painted in so that;s why it is taking a bit longer. I am pretty confident that I can finish it today though. I will just have to because I want to be able to start another piece this week and get it into the gelling phase before the end of the week. We'll r getting another house guest next week and after that we will be in the Netherlands for 10 days so that's enough hold up already! Got to stop writing now, need to paint!

August 18, 2010

Back in my studio

After all the craziness and the traveling it is finally time to get back into my studio and finish my piece on Quebec. I'm about 2/3rd into cleaning up the gel pieces and attaching them to the canvas. I suspect to be able to finish it today, at least thats the plan now, at 9 am, you never know for sure with these things. It is a big piece with loads of elements so I'm probably going to need a lot of time in the painting phase, there's a lot of detail work to be done on it. I do love this part, it's the stage where the whole piece comes together, the phase where I can just loose track of time. All of a sudden it will be 9 pm and the piece will be finished...

August 16, 2010

Price Changes

For those of you who follow my work regularly you might have noticed that my prices have changed. I was represented by a gallery in TX for over two years and they set my prices for me, but in those two years I never sold anything. Now that my time with this gallery has come to an end I have reevaluated my work and come up with a new pricing system that I feel comfortable with and that will stand the test of time. From now on I will be pricing my work by size. Pieces on canvas will be prices higher then pieces on board and prices will be set by medium. I know I have been inconsistent with my pricing and I know that that is a bad thing to do as an artist. I am still new to the art world and I am still trying to find my feet. Recently I have found some clarity about art pricing and how to go about such things so things will be better from now on. I want to thank all of you for being patient with me. From now on my prices will be consistent weather you buy at a show, in a gallery or online. 

Crazy Weekend

Ok, so I've got to tell you guys about my crazy weekend. I spent my weekend flying up and down to San Antonio TX to pick up my art work. As most of you probably know I used to live in TX and I was represented by a small gallery in Corsicana, about an hours drive from DFW. When I left TX in early 2009 I left about 15 pieces at the gallery to be shown. But now it was time for them to come home so I contacted the owner who had since then moved to Rockport, a small village on the Gulf Coast of TX, near Corpus Christi. She picked up my artwork at the gallery and dropped it off at the local UPS store in Rockport to have it sent over here to Canada. It all seemed to go according to plan until I heard that it would cost me about $700,- to have my paintings packed and shipped. Since I don't really have $700,- lying around I decided that it would be cheaper to use some of my collected miles to fly to TX and pick it up myself, so that's what I did.
On friday morning I was at the airport at 4 am to catch a flight to San Antonio, TX. I arrived there around noon, picked up my rental car and drove 3 and a half hours to Rockport where a lovely lady at the UPS store helped me load all my stuff in the car. I then drove all the way back to San Antonio where I spend the night in a hotel in downtown. I managed to grab a quick dinner on the riverwalk before I went back to the hotel, I did after all, have to pack 15 paintings so that I could take them with me on the plane without paying a huge amount for extra baggage.

August 02, 2010

My Dutch Spring project is finished

I finished my Dutch Spring project on Friday so now I can start a new piece while waiting for all that gel to dry. I haven't decided on a topic for my next piece so that will be my next challenge. I will go back to all my pictures to see which project jumps out at me today. 

July 30, 2010

Gel, gel and some more gel

Those 53 pieces I was talking about, they came back from the copy shop so now its my turn again. The next couple of days I'll be gelling, gelling and then some more gelling. I bought me a nice 3.5 gallon bucket of acrylic gel so I should be good for a while. 
In the meantime I've been working on my Dutch Spring project which is coming along quite nicely I have to say. I might even be able to finish it today. In any case I will be able to show you guys something soon. For Quebec you will have to be a bit more patient though, that's going to take at least another 2 weeks.
I will be starting a new piece while I'm waiting for the gel to dry, working on two pieces at once has been a great experience so far so I'll keep doing that for a while I think.

July 26, 2010

Québec, a 53 piece puzzle...

Those of you following this blog know that I have been working on a bigger piece on Québec for the past week or so. I am now at the stage that all images have been printed and cut and the entire collage has been assembled, disassembled and numbered. Québec is going to have a whopping 53 photographs integrated into one image. Right now my canvas looks like one of those painting by numbers things. 
My next step will be facing the girl at the copy store, I feel kind of sorry for her, it must be a pain in the butt to make mirrored color copies of all these pieces while fitting as many of them as possible on one sheet while at the same time making sure that none of the pictures get cut off. I've kind of gotten used to getting these weird looks when going to a copy shop, when I was in art school I was putting orange and chestnut peels on the copy machine.
I hope my copies will be done by tomorrow morning so I can start gelling them, it is going to take me a while doing them all. First I will have to see how the gel pieces on my Dutch Spring project have turned out, I have only done two coats on those so if that works out it will safe me a lot of time on this Québec project. 

July 23, 2010

When the postman rings

Even though I have changed my technique and I am not using inkjet prints in my final works anymore, I still need them to construct my collages. Remember me and my perfect day a couple of days back? well it was only perfect until my printer ran out of ink about halfway through the day. Usually I have spare ink lying around the house but this time all I had left was ink for my small printer and that won't cut it for the big canvas I am working on right now. I can hear you thinking, what's the big deal, why not just run to the store, pick up some new cartridges and get on with it? If only life were that simple, apparently my printer needs a very rare cartridge that I can't find at any store :( 
So my perfect day was rudely interrupted by an ink cartridge crises. Luckily there is this thing called the internet where you can find anything and everything. That's why I am now eagerly waiting for the doorbell to ring, I feel like one of those dogs sitting on the doormat waiting for the postman because that man is going to make my day! As soon as those cartridges arrive my perfect day is going to pick up just where I left it a couple of days ago!

July 21, 2010

Perfect day

Today I have an entire day in my studio to work on my two projects. My Dutch Spring project is in the gelling stage so while the acrylic gel is drying I am sorting through my Quebec pictures, printing them and wrestling them into submission. And surprisingly enough I am having a great time doing it. Usually this would be the faze where I am doubting the piece but today I am having a blast, somehow it all seems to fit. It might be because I've had several trips to this city so I have loads of material to choose from or maybe its the fact that this city has so many charming buildings that almost every picture I made there will work. Whatever the reason might be, today I am very glad I chose this city as a subject because it has given me a perfect day :D

July 19, 2010

It's working so far

Working on two pieces at once is working so far. I have already finished the photo selection for my Dutch Spring project and I am now starting on sorting through my pictures of Québec. I am all excited about my Québec pictures, I have some great people pictures and Québec has some awesome buildings, I should be able to make a great piece out of them! 

July 18, 2010

2 pieces at once?

Usually I work one piece at the time but I have two great canvasses that are both begging for my attention so instead of denying and disappointing one of them I will start work on two pieces at once. I am still doing my Dutch Spring project and at the same time I will start work on a bigger piece on Québec.
For both pieces I am now at the stage of picking the photographs that I want to use, I think it will be quite nice to work on two pieces simultaneously although I might change my mind about that in the future. At least for now I will be able to get all the computer work done all at once which is nice because this is the stage that has me running around the house like a mad woman with prints in several stages, yeah I'm a bit of a mess at this stage, maybe doing two pieces will shorten this period of madness, or it might make it worse, who knows? I'll keep you posted ;)

July 16, 2010

Austin is finished

As a predicted yesterday I've finished my Austin piece and I'm very happy with it. So now that this one is finished I can move on to the next one. I've already started work on a piece in oils yesterday, just to change it up a bit, but that piece requires some drying time before I can work on it some more so in the mean time I will start work on a new piece.
I have decided to do something a little different for my next piece. This is an idea I've been toying with for a while now and it feels like the right time to let it out. Sometimes these things that have been brewing for a while don't work out, but the only way to find that out is to start working on it. For now lets just call this project Dutch Spring and then we'll whether it is going to deserve a real name or if it is one of those things that seemed better in my head... I'll keep you posted. 

July 15, 2010

Finishing 'Austin' today!

It's about 9 am when I write this and I know that by tonight my Austin piece will be finished. I spend yesterday cleaning up all of the gel pieces and about half of them are already on the canvas. It might seem weird that I know for sure that the piece will be finished tonight but thats how it works for me in this stage. I just know that when I start working things will start falling into place. 
What I like best about this stage is that when I start working now I can start by just putting the pieces of the puzzle together it is quite a soothing process which helps me get into the piece so I can finish it with the final layer of paint that knits everything together. Somehow halfway through the day the piece will start to live a life of its own and I will just be along for the ride! Allonz-y!

July 14, 2010

'Austin' the final stages

Now that I'm all back from vacation and I spend last week on some experimental work I am ready to enter the final stages of my Austin piece. The Acrylic gel has had plenty of time to dry so today I will be rubbing off the paper. This is a very delicate process that requires a lot of patience. I have decided to go piece by piece, when I disassembled my collage to get the pieces copied I numbered all the pieces on the back so now I will start with the highest number and work my way backwards.
After rubbing off the paper I will immediately place the pieces on the canvas, building up my collage again. While doing this I will sometimes have to paint the backs of the gel layers or put some paint on the canvas underneath, I am truly building this painting...

July 05, 2010

My trip to Nova Scotia

I just came back from a 10 day road trip to Nova Scotia, I have to say it is absolutely beautiful there! I made loads of pictures so I have a lot of new material to work with. I took pictures in Charlottetown (PEI), in Halifax and in Fredericton. This was off course more a nature vacation then a city trip but I think three cities/towns to work with in ten days is pretty decent. And who knows? I might even do something with all those nature pics in the future.

June 15, 2010

'Austin' out of the darkness and into the light

I've been working on my Austin piece all day and I have successfully conquered the doubt faze. As I am typing this my last print, a bit of a cobblestone street, has just rolled out of the printer. When I started this morning all of a sudden things became clear and all the pieces fell into place, well, not literally, I still had to do some work...
When I make a piece there are always two critical stages, the one I just went through and the finishing stage when the paints come out and all has to become one. That last stage is still a long way away though. First I will have to deconstruct the puzzle and mark all the pieces on the canvas so they can find their rightful spots when they have been transferred to the acrylic gel. I will be taking reference pictures during this faze in case I forget to mark something, I tend to be a bit chaotic. Then I will get all my pictures mirrored and copied and then I can begin the gelling.
This whole gel transfer process takes a while so in the meantime I can worry about the the canvas underneath the gel layers. I want to do something special with the sky and since I am using a layering technique I will have to apply anything that is visible behind the buildings first, before I reassemble the piece. So I'll be gelling and painting next

June 09, 2010

‘Austin’ second stage

I have just printed and cut the first two picture for my Austin painting and I am now at the usual doubt faze of the project. I always have this moment where I'm not sure about my choice of subject, I'm not sure if I have enough material and if I made the right pictures in the first place. This will last until I find a couple of pictures that seem to fit, then things will start to feel better and I will be able to be happy with my choices. For now that point seems like a long way away though.
In these early stages of a piece I will be making loads of prints that I'm probably not going to use because they're either to big or to small or they just don't fit in the piece. I have long since given up on trying to save on photo paper because somehow that just doesn't work, all the cutting out an physically placing the pieces on the canvas like a big puzzle is just a part of my creative process that I can't seem to do without.
So for now you can imagine me switching from office to studio all the time printing, cutting resizing and changing images until the pieces fall into place...

June 08, 2010

Decided on the subject of my new piece

I have decided to do my next piece on Austin TX, this was the last city we visited before leaving the US for Canada and I've been wanting to do a piece about it ever since. I will be using an 18x36" canvas, I know I said that I would be doing some larger pieces but I just want to get a little more experience with this new technique and try out a couple of things before I go bigger. I want to see if I can go thin on my gel transfers and that is probably going to be harder as I go bigger so a bit more practice seems like the best way to go right now. 
The first thing I will be doing now is going through all my photographs of Austin and making a rough selection of the ones I might want to use. After that I will search for the one picture I definitely want to use and that will be my starting point, which doesn't necessarily mean that I will actually use that picture, sometimes my start out picture just doesn't fit any more as a piece develops.  
Next to all this I will be visiting some more galleries in Montreal early next week, to introduce myself and leave some materials. So I am updating my portfolio and artist packet so I will look good. Lets hope this round will be more productive then the one I did in November last year.