I would say it was the time of my life. I had experiences I never would have had other wise, met people who touched my heart, and came to look at the making of art in an entirely different way. I think I might approach my work a little differently now. I might approach my life a little differently, in time. I feel I should end my blog now, with the hope that those interested will check my web page – www.lyndasg.ca- from time to time to see if a new show is on the horizon or a new blog is about to begin. I want to thank you all for your support, and due to the statistics from this blog, it seemed like a lot of people cared enough to “tune in”. That has made me so happy!! I always appreciate and learn from feedback, so if any one feels like it, please communicate with me through this blog or my website. So long for now…
Category Archives: 2011 – Banff
It’s a great accomplishment for me (28 paintings and drawings) but next to Jane Goodall’s presentation Friday night, I feel quite small. What an inspiration she is and to hear her speak about her “Roots and Shoots” program around the world, is to understand how effectively she has spread her message about environmental, community and spiritual consciousness. Then there was also Lavinia Meijer’s (the harp musician from The Netherlands) self directed repertoire in part about abused and drug addicted women, executed with such passion. And, after last night, I am a new fan of Jesse Cook and his Latin styled music! Not to mention that I am currently, and late into the night, making pastel studies of the Alberta Ballet dancers whose energy and dedication and beauty will hopefully blossom into paintings for another show in the future…
I went to Calgary yesterday to see a wonderful gallery, came back just in time for “Country and Western Hour” sung by the Icelanders with a bit of performance art thrown in and we all couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity and fun of it all, then topped it off with a glass of wine at the Bistro with my artist friend Jeanne Krabbendam, woke up to find that the Alberta Ballet Company was in the Eric Harvey Theatre making a film of a previous ballet performance based on Elton John’s songs, and I was given the gracious and kind permission to take photos of the dancers for paintings,yet, in the midst of this great honor, I was running to the Music and Sound Building to take photos of a rehearsal of Lavinia Meijer playing the harp so beautifully that I cried, after which some dancers came to pose in my studio. I think that says it all.
And so began my wonderful adventure of a canoe trip along Bow River, “putting in” at Castle Mountain, running the Red Earth Creek rapids, and “taking out” at Massive Mountain, you know, where the CP rail has a “siding” there (parallel set of tracks to park a train). It was so glorious to be out on the river – “watch out for sweepers!” (trees that have fallen cross wise along the river) navigated by my friends for life, Chip and Jim Olver. I took so many photos for future work. I have shared memories that will last forever.
Who knew that listening to such talented performers of the piano and cello playing Beethoven could be so enthralling? They were beyond professional in my eyes (and ears) and their collaborations seemed as though they had all played together for years. Next on the “to do” agenda: make sketches of the musicians rehearsing. Meanwhile, back at the studio in the forest, I had visitors and wine – Ragnar Kjartansson and his wife, Asdis Sif Gunnarsdottir and their gorgeous baby, and David Thor Jonsson: internationally known Icelanders in visual art, performance and music. David was the one playing piano in the dark last week. Asdis was making projections on the walls at the time. Very special and multi-talented people. Also very gracious.
It’s all happening so fast!! But aside from the long hours in my heavenly studio, surreptitious moments occur – wandering on a trail just outside Banff by myself and coming to the glorious Vermillion Lakes, being included in a Banff family Thanksgiving dinner where the laughter never ended, listening to a fabulous pianist/jazz artist in the dark, hiking down a slope to Bow River never expecting the rapids at my feet, or a tranquil meandering stream with a postcard perfect scene.
This is what one young artist told me his “project” was. I think I am already living artfully, so why am I working so hard? Because it’s heaven in this studio and the paintings and drawings keep coming… There’s just so much stimulation. You are never too old to be inspired by every one here even if some of them are half your age. There is a self confidence, a freedom of expression and an interest in collaboration that I love. I photographed (for drawings) two wonderful rocker girl musicians, “Mise en Scene”, who debuted some new songs on Indie Band Showcase. I saw a “boat” made of branches in a clearing, met the artist, and another who had put a piano on an ice field and played. Imagine!!! Yet another artist (an M.D. by day) is developing a conceptual piece based on the two sides of the brain as she experiences the same meditative hike for 30 days. Jeanne K. has exposed me to her wonderfully abstract/but not, mixed media paintings and installation and video project, while offering excellent critiques of my work. Lastly I received the most moving poem from a woman who posed nude for me in the woods. It will be incorporated into a painting of her….
Somehow I have found myself tucked away in my studio in the forest, hours flying by, with no interruption. Not even music. I hear the breeze rustling through the trees, the calls of the birds, the tooting of the trains as they pass down in the valley below. Finding deer just outside my balcony. The ideas are coming fast and furious, mostly landscapes, dancing Stoney women, and myself, in one painting – trying to make sense of it all. So much stimulation from artist’s talks about their own work to critiques in my studio (very valuable) to a chance encounters with like minded people but with a different story to tell.
A few nights ago, I shared a dining room
table with an Australian Aboriginal author of 26 books, some of which were written to educate about the true history of Australia, a First Nations writer and dance teacher who shared her life story, a very fine intaglio printmaker who suggested I use copper roofing to make my prints, an “installation artist” who is making perfect digital prints of her paintings illustrating the differences and commonalities of two neighboring cultures, not to mention the three others who had tremendous contributions as well. I also attended an artist’s talk about the conceptualization of the triad of culture, business and politics, as well as inventing a new way of swimming. What am I doing here??? Oh yes, I am embarking on 8 paintings and 2 drawings about what I am experiencing, and my studio now feels like home.
In Banff Centre-speak, it’s all about envisioning your “process” and then producing the work. I have always thought of myself as a realist painter since the basic drawing of the piece is what appeals to me the most. However, I did come with a general idea of being immersed in the scenery here, and exposing myself to the ideas of other artists in all disciplines. As I was having dinner at a group “Arts” table, I confided my more specific wish to paint nudes in the landscape and some courageous women agreed to pose for me. Amazing!! That “process” was thrilling and resulted in my first paintings. But it was at the Lake Louise trip, inspired by the “process” of other artists that clearer ideas began to form. The landscape here. How can anyone not be moved by it? The lakes and rivers are turquoise and I happened upon dancers from the Stoney First Nation’s People – flashes of reds and greens and silver. Week two is beginning and I expect very much of myself…