We are just back from a little trip to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the long Easter weekend. It was far too short, but we still managed to see a lot of very cool stuff! We went to the CN Tower but I didn’t take my camera, the windows were quite dirty anyways so I’m not sure the pics would have been that good. It’s still very impressive, especially the glass floor. The pics on Google Image for CN Tower are much better than anything I could have taken or you can see a few on the Tower’s website(Media Center-> Galleries-> Photo gallery.)
Saturday morning we headed to the Royal Ontario Museum very early, way before it opened actually.
We took a walk around the museum because there’s a very pretty park behind it, I think it’s part of the University of Toronto campus.
While waiting outside for the ticket office to open, we noticed a window washer doing his job.
We visited the Maya exhibition which was closing right after that weekend. It was huge but not very interactive or child oriented. One of the things I will remember is that some children were trained from a young age to squint to look like the Sun God. Apparently the Sun God suffers from strabismus convergent and has a single shark tooth, a sure way to be popular with the ladies.
We were not allowed to take pictures in the Maya exhibition but the rest of the museum was fair game. We saw some really cool pieces of artwork in the Canadian Collection. It did not entirely make up for not having time to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, but I discovered some artists that I had never heard of before.
One of these artists is Rex Woods. There are many of his paintings occupying their own little section of the exhibition. Woods was skilled, and it seems he was called upon to mimic the styles of many popular american artists.
One other artist was Arthur Heming, who wrote and illustrated stories about northern wilderness.
And what about this fantastic James Wolfe by Nathaniel Hone the Elder. The original is 10 times better by the way, it looks so lively.
A portrait by Theophile Hamel.
Thomas Sully was another fantastic painter I discovered, but unfortunately, all of the paintings of him I photographed ended up blurry.
I will spare you the dozens of dinosaur skeleton pictures I took, you really have to see for yourself!
Here’s my latest painting, which I called Anonynous, since we can’t really see her face. It’s done after a picture I took at the cemetary in Altoona, PA last november, I was there attending Illuxcon 4.
The painting is 12″x24″, acrylics on canvas and the edges are painted. The price is 180 $ CAN or 230 $ CAN with the metal leaf frame seen in the picture. If you are interested or want to inquire about shipping, you can reach me at chantal @ chantalfournier (dot) com
I can be honest about it: I’m not a veteran of conventions. Con*cept was my first convention as a panelist and as an exhibitor. I signed up at the last minute because I learned about it at the last minute and had to make up for lost time by working very hard. I also got the last spot open for a panel which means I was scheduled at 11pm on Saturday. The good news is there was only one panel at the same time, and it got cancelled. I learned about Con*cept at the last minute, which means I didn’t do that much research before signing up. You can imagine my surprised when I got there and found out we were only 4 in the art show. Con*cept is entirely run by volunteers and the last few years have been rough and the art show head was missing or something. So yeah, something to check for next time.
On the other hand, a surprising number of people attended my panel, given the size of the con and the time it was scheduled at. I had a great time explaining the process of producing commissioned art and then I gave a painting in photoshop crash course. I got very good questions and the attendance were nice and curious. I also got good comments from the people visiting the art show (it didn’t take them very long!) The good thing was that the prints table was manned by volunteers and that left me free to attend some panels so that made up for the fact that I didn’t break even vs my costs for attending the con. The other thing that made it worth it was the people I met. I attend the IMC and Illuxcon and forums and that means that most of my art friends are in the states or overseas, now I got to meet local artists, at last. One of the artists I met was EveChat and we are going to team up on up coming local conventions together. I’ll post about it here as soon as everything is official.
So I don’t regret attending Con*cept but I will check my expectations next time.
Here are some progress shots of my new paintings I’m calling le Fantôme de la Liberté, after a Luis Bunuel movie. That statue is on the back of the Edward VII monument (the same monument from the painting of Edward VII wearing a seagull on his head) and according to wikipedia, it represents the winged genie of freedom, showing royalty breaking away from religious persecution.
The dark mandala like pattern is actually clear glossy varnished sprayed on the unprimed massonite using a stencil I got in a craft store. I stole that idea from the always awesome Scott M Fischer who has been doing fantastically textured work lately. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s on his website quite yet.
And Sylvain took some pictures of me working tonite.
I just finished this. It’s the monument to Edward VII of England that can be found in Square Phillips in Montreal. I’m not sure why but I thought he looked great with a seagull on his head.
Edward VII was the son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The edwardian era was named after him.
The painting is 24 inches high by 12 inches wide. I usually use very limited palettes when I paint in acrylics but in this case, I used just about every paint tube that I had laying around. It looks somewhat different than what I usually do. I’m happy with it, it felt pretty experimental.
Work in progress
Here’s the last painting I have to finish before my opening at Katacombes next Wednesday. It’s my largest painting to date (4 feet long!) and I think it will look quite nice over there.
If you are in the Montreal area next week, I’d like to see you there.
A New Start is the May theme for our monthly challenge at work. Here’s my work in progress, the storytelling is inspired by Norman Rockwell (but nowhere as efficient as the master’s) and the colors somehow remind me of Freakangels (purple everywhere!)
I’ll keep you posted when it’s finished.
Here’s my latest Masonite painting. A little different from the others in that it has color, even if it’s just a wee bit of it. The monument I used as a reference really had red silk flowers on it, it was quite pretty.
I find that I’m starting to have a good handle on that style of painting. One of the challenges being that even if I put medium without any pigments on the Masonite, it becomes darker, so I had so problems with mid-tones in the beginning. It’s also nearly impossible to lighten an area with the pale paint because it creates a very saturated light blue that’s nowhere else. It’s almost like watercolor in that respect, except I can’t lift the paint off once it’s dry. I have to be really fast with the wet rag if I do something wrong!
So I work with ultramarine blue mixed with medium and unbleached titanium mixed with medium, but never both colors mixed together. In this case I mixed a bit of unbleached titanium with the naphthol crimson (light red) as well as some alizarin crimson.
As usual, I varnished it only on the painted part, with matte varnish on the graphic design parts and gloss varnish on the rendered parts.