Monthly Archives: July 2013

Too Much

I started a new piece today, after taking a break for a few weeks; I NEEDED to paint TODAY.

As I started my latest creation, which in actual fact is 4  8″ by 8″ panels, I thought about my idea, blobs of acrylic paint mixed with molding paste, 6 different colours. This was something different than what I have been doing, and was inspired by a few different things that I have been looking at over the last few weeks.

I am usually all about big, big gestures, big loops of fluid paint or strokes with a big paint brush. Bigger is better, more is better. This was very methodical and rhythmical, and tedious as I created, yet I held firm to the idea that I had for this piece, thinking about what ties it to the rest of my practice.

It wasn’t spontaneous, like my earlier works, yet it definitely has a flow to it.

It was, however, TOO MUCH….too much, that’s what ties it together with my other pieces, I like a lot of paint, paint that takes days to dry, paint that drips and puddles and oozes. This doesn’t puddle and oozes, but it is too much: big globs of paint, messy, irregularly formed blobs of paint. It makes me smile just typing the words.

I am too much, at least that’s what I have believed about myself for a long time: too loud, too opinionated, too smart, too overwhelming, too much to handle, too much, and too many (there were after-all two of me (I’m an identical twin)).


I’m not really, I’m perfectly imperfect, like everyone else. I am the most perfect one of me there is, and there is only one, not two, despite being an identical twin.

The idea of too much, informs my art practice…too much paint…too much movement…too much energy…too much…except it’s not too much, it’s JOYFUL energy exploding all over the canvas and I can’t have enough joy, can you?


Running out of Too Much (work in progress)

Running out of Too Much (work in progress)

Running out of Too Much, completed

Running out of Too Much, completed


Realistic vs. Abstract

I went to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) on Saturday (July 6, 2013), it wasn’t as hot as last year, which was a good thing. As always there was lots of art to look at, in all kinds of mediums: painting, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, photography, drawing, etc. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is where I bought my puzzle piece lapel pin, that 10 years later would inspire the name of my consulting company, Missing Puzzle Piece Consulting, but I digress.

While I was at TOAE I spoke with several of the artists about their art, their process, and motivation, because as much as I dislike people asking me those questions, mostly because I have to think too hard to describe my art in words, I am curious about other artist’s practice.

In particular I had a good chat with Brock Irwin and his art. As you can see on his website he sometimes paints realistic pieces, and sometimes abstract. I asked why he goes back and forth between the two types, he said he gets tired/bored of doing one style of the other, so switches back and forth. What also intrigued me was that he said he thought the abstract was much more difficult than the realistic. He explained that the while realistic pieces were much more technically difficult, there was typically a model that he was working from e.g. a landscape, a bowl of fruit, etc. whereas with abstract pieces it was all coming from inside him. The abstract pieces demanded much more knowledge and attention to colour and composition.

I think I mostly agree with him, in the details of what he said, but for me, the realistic pieces are hard, I don’t have the patience to do them. I also feel like, for me art is about expression, and emotion, and the reaction I have to either looking at a piece or creating a piece and the thoughts of me doing something realistic is something mind-numbingly boring and tedious. I can absolutely appreciate the dedication and skill involved, but it’s not where my interest lies.

To me the abstract pieces that I create are the easiest thing in the world to create, they bring me joy and balance and I enjoy creating them like I enjoy nothing else. I enjoy going into myself to decide on colours and shapes and composition, and doing what speaks to me. That is not to say that process is easy, it definitely takes time and courage. I have had many people tell me they could never create abstract paintings like I create, they would be too worried about “getting it right” and “making a mistake.”

To me that is the best part, there is no “getting it right” or “making a mistake” there’s nothing to compare against, it’s pure, unadulterated, me.