Why I Love Art

Art offers an opening for the heart.
True art makes the divine silence in the soul
Break into applause.
                        – Hafiz

This morning I was eating one of my most favourite breakfasts (Kaz-made fried rice left-overs, an over-easy egg and black coffee), and thinking about how to start this blog. I was almost on my last fork full when I realized that I had been all up in my head and almost missed the deliciousness of my breakfast. Rats!
But wait, this sudden wake-up call brought me here, to the start of this blog.

Cardinal and Vivaldi - Autumn
Cardinal and Vivaldi – Autumn April 2018

In a nutshell, art is one way that I can savour the moments and can, from time to time, “break into applause”. See how that works? No? Well then please allow me, if you will, to explain with a journey through my recent works. Hold on! For me, journeys are never a direct path.

This past year has been a continuation of my quest to Draw Music. After my ‘Eureka – Drawing Music’ moment a year ago, I’ve been on the look out for the next steps.

The Image

The creation of Cardinal and Vivaldi – Autumn turned out to be the first step. It led me to explore the meaning and power of ‘image’. This work was designed for a friend who loved Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and whose favourite season was fall.
The almost mystical appearance of a cardinal in their back yard was from a story about her, lovingly told by her husband.  The cardinal, for him, symbolizes her spirit and love of nature. The combination of her music and this image shapes the piece.

Drawing Silence 1
Drawing Silence 1 March-April 2018

Drawing Silence

Another road taken was this one, drawing silence.
A sure way to uncover new ideas is to ponder the what-ifs. What if I drew: the space between, or emotions, or story, or silence? This time I chose silence.

The most silent time, for me, is during my morning meditation. Nisargadatta said:
“Meditation will help you find your bonds, loosen them, untie them and cast off your moorings. When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.”

I know that although I find physical silence in meditation, there is precious little internal quiet. Much to my surprise, drawing this silence vividly reveals how very “noisy” an experience silence can be. Hmmmmm.

Thank you, Franca.

Drawing Story

I have experience, Because She Cares
I have experience Sept 2018

After image and silence came story from the spoken word.

In August of last year, I was fortunate to have attended a live performance of the spoken word and poetry called “Because She Cares” by Lori Chambers. This work is unique in it’s own right. The design concept involves Lori’s PhD study of 10 women who shared their stories of their experiences as African, Caribbean and Black women engaged in the HIV response both “back home” and here in Canada.

In my series of her work, 15 pieces were drawn to the rhythm and sound of the words during the performance. Overlain are two circular symbols to reflect the experiences told through the poems. The top symbol is from West African Adinkra. The bottom shape is Japanese Kanjii (from my heritage). The colours are from of the fabrics worn by African, Caribbean and Black women.

Going Big

In September I heard some haunting beautiful music on Pondercast.ca (#20 – Altered States). The piece “It’s Magic” by Masayoshi Fujita was particularly compelling. I found his website (masayoshifujita.com) and 18 pieces I wanted to draw.

I remembered an art book I bought in 1990 called “The Conversation” by Jean Michel Folon, design by Milton Glaser. It is a 40-page fan-folded continuous water colour painting that extended out to 20.8’. Perfect.
Visual Impressions – music by Masayoshi Fujita

Visual Impressions, Masayoshi Fugita
Visual Impressions music by Masayoshi Fugita

18 pieces of music, 10 pages, 12” x 100” (More than any other of my recent works, this one has opened up big opportunities to stretch, innovate and experiment.)

Painterly Drawings

Death Star 2 of 3, Star Wars, TSO
Death Star 2 of 3

My most recent work was drawn during the “Star Wars – A New Hope in Concert” musical performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The 26 small drawings gave me the time to be immersed in the slow process of developing the style. Four things happened to me while working on this piece.

  1. Discovering the term “polytychs”. The 26 pieces are actually 13 pieces; 4 single pieces, 12 diptychs, 2 triptyches, and 1 quadtych.
  2. Hearing my beloved grade 9 art teacher insist that the work must extend off the page. I don’t remember her name but I do vividly remember her critiques.
  3. Mark Rothko’s field of colour influences and impacts.
  4. Being able to see ‘painterly’, one of my favorite art terms, in action.

This piece here is Star Wars: A New Hope (TSO Jan 2019) – #15 The Death Star triptych, 2 of 3


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