Painting Against Hate...

Over a lifetime of painting, landscape, love and longing, joy and celebration too, have been constant themes in my work.  The question however, of what value is such a practice has traveled along side it and comes to the fore, especially at times when personal, political and world events create in me a mistrust of its worthiness. So much ugliness. Historical and contemporary. Charlottesville last weekend, Barcelona today, the race riots of my girlhood, the memory of domestic violence and early loss can conspire in my psyche to shut it down. Then somehow, either by divine intervention, or universal consciousness and the making of the paintings themselves, Anthony De Mello's writings come to me, in particular, returning love in the face of hate.  That phrase has stayed with me, challenged me over and over again, and has given me courage to continue painting as I believe I am called to do. Here are 3 new works for you to consider...

June Ridge

June Ridge

July Ridge

July Ridge

August Ridge

August Ridge

The Pleasure of Making Travel Sketches

We were in Maastricht and Rome at the start of June for two weeks and I decided to reinstate the practice of making watercolour sketches. I had forgotten how much pleasure there is in making these. Less precious than "making art", but nonetheless valuable. Documenting my experience in small, immediate sketches makes it possible for me to quite literally be in a new or familiar place. To take in and mean it when I say I've seen the Pantheon. 

Sipping an aranciata with my husband and sister in law at the Pantheon...

Sipping an aranciata with my husband and sister in law at the Pantheon...

The St. Servius Square, Maastricht A bit heavy handed this, I was amazed at the effects of not having used fine tools for so long. 10" square paper makes for a very different experience from the 4', 6' and 8' canvases I usually work on!

The St. Servius Square, Maastricht

A bit heavy handed this, I was amazed at the effects of not having used fine tools for so long. 10" square paper makes for a very different experience from the 4', 6' and 8' canvases I usually work on!

Maastricht morning, 2 Great watercolour rig. Genius design.

Maastricht morning, 2

Great watercolour rig. Genius design.

St. Servius Cathedral from De Hofnar Haas, our Maastricht B&B

St. Servius Cathedral from De Hofnar Haas, our Maastricht B&B

BEAT, Berkshire Environmental Action Team Art Show & Auction

I'm delighted to have had 3 root vegetable landscape paintings invited into the BEAT show and auction at the Stationery Factory in Dalton, Massachusetts.

Modern Hybrids

Un-Earthed

Roots in the Wind

Landscape, love and longing, ever present themes in my work, have led me into the contested nature of the idea of landscape in historical and contemporary visual culture, and in matters of environmental sustainability. That is why I am particularly grateful to be included in BEAT’S, Berkshire Environment Action Team’s, 1st Annual art show, Wild Berkshires opening 21 April with a silent auction 13 May 10am-6pm.

From the vantage point of my Keswick Ridge studio, in the three root vegetable paintings on exhibition and pictured here in the Artful Mind, you will see that mine is as an un-alienated, insider’s way of seeing and re-presenting land as the setting for life and work. The carrots, beets and turnips depicted here were harvested (and eventually cooked and eaten) from our organic farm, https://www.facebook.com/JemsegRiver/ Jemseg River Farm. Despite my urban roots, since childhood the stuff of the natural world, recast as landscape, has been my go to place for personal and social understanding.

 

When I am asked, “Were you thinking about all of this when you made these root veggie paintings?” my answer is always a resounding, “No!”  I had just completed a commissioned painting. Although it was an unexpected aesthetic and spiritually rich learning experience it was also soulless—an experience that took me away from myself, I was left feeling bereft. Without thinking I asked my husband to grab a bunch of carrots and beets so that I could get back to my palette. It was only on reflection that I realized my off handed request for root vegetables were not just about colour, but colour as a way for me to get back to myself, a way to heal. These works exude good health and celebrate the miracles that root vegetables are, but they remind us too that the health of the environment resides in each of our hands.

It's been awhile...

I quite like New Yorker Magazine's Peter Schjeldahl's art criticism, even as I take issue with his choice of the word nurture to describe the way women devoted themselves to the career of Alexei Jawlensky. Sacrificed may be more accurate. Of course had he used sacrificed I would have been differently predisposed. Closed, not open for discussion or thought on my part, certain, definite, already locked into a way of seeing. Nurture makes me think. Makes me consider and reconsider. Makes me want to know more, to question, to look for evidence in Jawlensky's work, for any trace of nurture. Finally, like all really good re-creative criticism, Schjeldahl re-presents the works under discussion in ways that assist me in seeing them more vividly and imaginatively.

Then he turns to what he describes as the most beautiful and bracing show in NYC at the moment. The works of Vija Celmins, who is 78 and described my Schjeldahl as an artist, "who is not only esteemed but cherished in the art world, as a paragon of aesthetic rigor, poetic sapience, and brusque, funny personal charm."  About her work he says they,  "evince meditative dedication." It's at times like these, when I need to jump start my practice that I marvel over the grace I experience that an article like this should cross my path.  When I need to come home to myself as a woman painter of 63. One who insists on the value of recreating subtle landscape imagery on canvas wiht oils, in the face of more obviously politicized, feminized and socially critical art making practices and materials. Home to the confidence and veracity of my own practice that I am uplifted by the much needed coincidence of Schjeldahl's words and Celmins art.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/the-beautiful-and-the-unexpected

Re-working as a way back...

Returning to work after a long break can be daunting.  Thankfully I had this diptych to work back into,

This is the version that appears on this website in the Winter Gallery. Below is how I've reworked it today. I painted out the hard edged horizon line and am reworking the lower left corner. More to do!

This is the version that appears on this website in the Winter Gallery. Below is how I've reworked it today. I painted out the hard edged horizon line and am reworking the lower left corner. More to do!

Happy New Year 2017!

It's 4 January. I've swept, I've cleaned, I've thrown out the trash. Canvases are in their places. It's time to paint! Always daunting after some time away. Seven years ago I stood in front of an 8' x 6' blank canvas and 5 hours later, Winter Sky 1 stared back at me. It doesn't always work that way.

We'll see how today goes. In the mean time, I am grateful to have Early Winter Redoux in the January issue of the Artful Mind.

https://issuu.com/theartfulmindartzine/docs/the_artful_mind__january_2017

https://issuu.com/theartfulmindartzine/docs/the_artful_mind__january_2017

To imitate, emulate, or take as a model for oneself, is the greatest praise. And so it has been for about 10 years now that I have been memorizing Mary Oliver poems. To test my aging brain yes, but by the acts of committing to heart, to find my way into her creative worlds so that I better understand my own, hers and others. At its most fundamental that is what art does. It may lay claim to a good many things, personal, social, cultural, political and spiritual, but there has to be something about it that compels us to stay with it, engage it, live with it as though it were our own. Indeed make it our own. I chose Walking Home From Oak-Head to accompany Early Winter Redoux as it so fully embodies my lived experience of snow laden skies, in winter, in the late afternoon. I chose Early Winter Redoux hoping you will live with it awhile, that you will look and look, and look again. Commit it to heart, and look out onto the world and see it and yourself anew. It is after all, a New Year!

Source: https://issuu.com/theartfulmindartzine/doc...

Welcome!

How lucky am I to have a space like this to work in? VERY! I have been living and painting on, from and with Keswick Ridge for nearly 25 years. First from a room in our house with a long view of the ridge beginning in 1993 and from the studio pictured below since 2007. After years of juggling my painting practice with the demands of university teaching, research and service, I finally call myself a full time painter. I was until two years ago a professor of art education at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. I look forward to conversations about living life in the arts as I share with you reflections on my practice; insights, joys, frustrations, and I welcome feedback.

Before I go any further, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Jennie Malcolm of Malcolm Design+Consulting. You can reach Jennie at, http://jamalcolm.tumblr.com/. Jennie is not only a visually talented designer, but has excellent written and oral communication skills. She is smart, inventive, patient and a pleasure to work with. Thanks Jennie!

Jennifer Pazienza, Art Studio. Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick, Canada, October 2013 The studio is 18' W x 30'L and 19'H with a pull down staircase to a loft area.

Jennifer Pazienza, Art Studio. Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick, Canada, October 2013

The studio is 18' W x 30'L and 19'H with a pull down staircase to a loft area.

Situated on a ridge, acres of farm land surround the studio

Situated on a ridge, acres of farm land surround the studio

There are compelling northwest . . .

The New Brunswick's capital city, Fredericton rests on the horizon

The New Brunswick's capital city, Fredericton rests on the horizon

and northeast views. The power lines dissuaded other buyers. Not us.

Inside the studio, Spring 2016. Photo, Joy Cummings Portale on the left wall is followed by works that would become Spring Suite. Late Winter 2016, a diptych in process, sits on the right wall. Hanging in front of Portale is the strap for pull down staircase to the loft area where I store, stretch and prime canvas.

Inside the studio, Spring 2016. Photo, Joy Cummings

Portale on the left wall is followed by works that would become Spring Suite. Late Winter 2016, a diptych in process, sits on the right wall. Hanging in front of Portale is the strap for pull down staircase to the loft area where I store, stretch and prime canvas.

I love the studio in winter.

2010, the January I made Winter Sky 1

2010, the January I made Winter Sky 1

Winter 2016

Winter 2016

There's nothing like a wood fire to take the chill off and warm the spirit . . .

Art & Psyche Sicily's, Beautiful Dreamer: Landscape and Memory on ARAS, Archive for Research in Artchetypal Symbols

Art&Psyche Sicily's Beautiful Dreamer: Landscape in Memory is now on the ARAS site!

https://aras.org/newsletters/aras-connections-image-and-archetype-2016-issue-3

Thank you Craig Stephenson, Mary Wells Baron and Ami Ronnberg. I'm very grateful for this dream come true. I'm delighted too, to share this honour and issue with Sarah Berry Tschinkel.

 

Source: https://aras.org/newsletters/aras-connecti...

It's Not Easy Being Green

Work in progress, June 2015-16

. . . I leave the studio thinking,  “I’ll return tomorrow at the same time” knowing full well that minutes, let alone a day can shift the light. What I did not bargain for was three weeks of rain that followed!

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