Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just read the Margaret Atwood piece from the Globe & Mail today on the Harper cuts. Its a good read on a frustrating and critical subject, please check it out here

For more information about the cuts, a great site can be found here

Back to Ireland, well actually Scotland. I tracked down a new catalogue release of the artist Joan Eardley. I have enjoyed her work immensely for quite some time now and haven't found a whole lot of information about her. So I was thrilled to find out that the National Gallery of Scotland just had a retrospective of her work and published a new book on her. Her figurative work is gritty and harsh and falls in the vein of social realism, but it also captures some really delicate moments beautifully. Her landscape work is where Eardley starts to play with abstract expressionism and you have to spend some time really looking at the paintings. Unfortunately all I have is the catalogue to look at for now. I will have to get out to the gallery while I'm here.

I just came across Art Review magazine's new (well its new to me) online version of their periodical. here
Its really quite amazing. I will always prefer to physically read a book or magazine but the selection in Galway is, well its horrible actually. I have really been spoilt in Guelph. So to be able to digitally turn the pages of a magazine that I cant get here is the next best thing I suppose.

Went for my first ride yesterday. As a result I must commend the cyclist of Galway for their bravery. I was forced (yes I admit it, out of fear for my life) onto the sidewalk. I abhor cyclists that ride on the sidewalk. It drives me nuts. But in this case due to the narrow-ness of the roads and the large trucks that used this artery out of Galway, I felt it was necessary. Once I was into the country-side I felt quite a bit more safe and the ride turned into an adventure. The back roads (paved ones only this time) are a feast for the eyes. Walled Fields everywhere. I will post some pics shortly (i forgot to bring my camera) I felt that the first ride was a tester :-)
Anyway, thats all for now.


Sunday, September 21, 2008
Just saw a clip for the movie/documentary Beautiful Losers. If your unfamiliar with this travelling exhibit check out this website or pick up the book (its worth the purchase).
Seeing as I am in Ireland at the moment I don't think I will be able to see it anytime soon. But after seeing the trailer I have to say, definitely go see it if it comes your way.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thought I would put up one of the two commissions I had this summer. I dont usually do them, but in this case they were friends of mine who asked and I had a lot of freedom with the work. The tentative title for this work is 2 boats and some hope, oil and enamel on board 4x3'. I am missing the easy access to great artwork one had in southern Ontario. The great variety of artists found right in Guelph and the close proximity of Toronto. There was always something to take some time with.
So, I went back to the Galway Arts centre to spend some more time with the photo show they have on. I new it needed some more perusing. The main floor work was still a little weak in my opinion but the second
floor work came out stronger on the second visit. The photo show was by Ruby Wallis Titled: Other Madonnas,
( ) An exploration into domestic relationships specifically the mother and her daughter. I found some works to reveal an unforced strength of character, while others seemed desolate and lost and one piece a little too staged. Wallis states an influence of Dutch genre painting. One sees that when you look at how she lighted the subjects. I suspect my previous visit was probably rushed, as the more I looked at these images the more I was drawn into them. The photos are quite beautiful.

On my way to the centre I had to navigate Galway's unique
sidewalks. Some are quite wide and accommodating others well actually most of them are very narrow. What I have also noticed is the relationship between Galway drivers and pedestrians. One of those relationships is sidewalk usage. When one needs to park, sidewalks will do in a pinch.

Its hard enough getting by these guys, but I thought what if you were in a wheel chair? Yep the city is definitely geared towards the auto. Some additions to alleviate the average pedestrians plight might be cross-walks....that work. Fines for those creative parkers. Larger sidewalks? Just some thoughts.
Anyway, as you can see from the car pics we are having an incredibly sunny day today. We had lunch outside and I believe Fish and chips on a patio has been suggested for this evening.
Still looking for a studio space over here. I just mailed off an application to a govt. funded Artspace ( ) for a studio. I spoke with them before. It looked great, so we'll cross our fingers.
Thats it for now.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some random musings;
So we landed safe and sound in Ireland. Getting settled in, Galway is going as planned. Working on some houses. Going to attach them to walls (more pics to follow) I'll elaborate more, soon. Nina and I have been in Galway for about two weeks
now. We need to explore so much more. There are so many small independent stores hidden down side streets and back alleys. Galway is a tourist destination so you overhear a lot of languages and accents, Russian, French and Polish seem to be the rank the highest. We have learned that the main strip (Quay St, High St, and Shop St, which are really all one street) should be avoided on the weekends. It becomes a bit of a zoo.
The car / pedestrian relationship is best summed up as cautious. Approach a street crossing with caution. The roads are small and the side walks are smaller. When crossing a street, look right then left then over your shoulder, right again, then run like hell.
Stopped by G126, an artist run gallery last week. They have a nice program set up but are situated well out of the way.
The other significant art gallery here is the Galway arts Centre
A nice space found right downtown. They have a photo based show on right now. I didnt think much of it. I didnt think the quality of the images was that good but I will go by again and take some more time with it. We just missed the Galway arts festival by a couple of weeks so Nina and I will catch that next year.
The Cats,
Bringing our cats over from Canada was a chore but well worth the trouble. New adventures now are finding food and litter. Cats don't seem to register too high on the Irish pet scale and that means a rather poor selection of food and ridiculously small bags of litter in most stores. Obviously they dont know our cats and their daily output.

till later,