Gallery of Current Work

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Exhibition

All the work we have done so far went up for exhibition on Thursday. It has been a very busy week. We hung the show all day with late nights to get as much work as we could finish and ready to hang. We all agreed that there would be plenty of room in the space for all of us but when the hanging got under way we were surprised that the space filled up and it was actually a bit tight.

The exhibit space is actually the old dormitory for the monks with each window facing Jerusalem. A very strange feeling to be

working for 24 days straight and then just stopping suddenly. I am having withdrawals but today I worked for several hours on a tonal black and white piece and I feel a little more normal. It is unavoidable to feel the residency drawing to a close. It saddens me.

The show is amazingly diverse. It is fabulous to see how very different we are from each other and it is clear to me that I have been influenced by everyone in totally different ways and in ways I would never have expected. We had 104 works ranging from installation, collage, painting, drawing and mixed media. I can’t include all the work but here are my few pieces that I think represent the artists.

Sarah Waldron (thats me)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Breton Cows

The cows here are really healthy and big. I think I may have mentioned that already. Carl and I took a walk and he went up to one so I could take the cows picture. They are pretty friendly too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dogs of Brittany

All of you who know me know that I am crazy about dogs. Being away from my own dog for 6 weeks is pretty hard. Every dog I see here I am drawn too and Breton people love their dogs. They are every where and seem to be just another form of human. It is not unusual to see them heading up the street of a tiny town without an owner looking as if they are on a mission. Time to get home for supper after a day of hanging out down in town. The majority of the dogs are mixes so that appeals to me since I am pro-shelter dog. They come in all sizes and some pretty weird mixes. However there are a fair amount of Bernese Mountain Dogs and of course Brittany Spaniels. When you see a pure bred lab it is usually a Brit who is close behind. And yes they are allowed in restaurants, markets, stores. They seem a little righteous about it.

St. Malo side Trip

Yesterday we went to St. Malo for the afternoon. Jo, Sarah, David. Carl and I squeezed into the Peugeot. St. Malo is a walled city. When we got inside the walls it began to rain so we went from doorstep to door step to avoid getting soaked finally ducking into a restaurant for lunch/dinner. I have to say I think we are all getting a little tired of galettes (the buckwheat flour pancakes) which seem to be the only choice in a lot of restaurants which are tourist oriented. The rain subsided and the rest of the afternoon was pleasantly warm. David went for a swim and the rest of us went for ice cream.

St. Malo was originally in the Middle Ages a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance, controlling not only the estuary but now inseparably attached to the mainland, St-Malo is the most visited place in Brittany. From outside the walls, the dignified ensemble of the old city seems stern and forbidding, and passing through into the streets within the walls brings you into a busy, lively and very full of character packed with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. The crowds were a bit oppressive but we climbed up atop the ramparts and it was quiet and the views of the sea and city below were fantastic. Clean beaches below the ramparts.

The Heat is on

We have less than 2 weeks left in the residency and 4 days until the exhibition at the L’abbaye. We are feeling some pressure. For me I would like to finish the 20 panels and a series of Mylar paintings that I have started. We have been told that 200 to 300 people go through the show and attend the opening exhibition. It is a way of saying thank you to the town that has hosted and supported us. I have had several conversations (in my clumsy French) with local homeowners who are eager to see what we have done. I really do feel like we have become a part of the community for this short time. The experience feels way too short. I also feel the squeeze to fit in as much travel and exploration into the remaining 19 days in Brittany. So you may not see much in the way of entries for the next 4 days at least.

I have been picking up influence from the other residents. You can’t help it. I have added a soft touch to my painting style from Sara’s technique and I think I am on to something. The last two paintings are my favorite. I combined a soft blurry paint application with sharp crisp brush stokes for the reflections.

From Matt I have gathered ideas of working on some large distressed surfaces when I get home. Paint on large sheets of plexi-glass that have been damaged and scratched. From Jessica, her bold dark colors and division of space influence me. David’s rolling connection from one phase of creativity to another and gathering influence from experience makes me assess my own process and add a few elements to it to make it more potent. I have been so lucky to have worked along side this caliber of talent.

This residency structure has improved my work habits and instilled a feverish like enthusiasm in my outlook on painting. At home I would find diversions and tasks to do before I got around to painting – here I am rushing to the studio and can not get to the painting fast enough. My process and steps toward doing a painting had become laborious and boring before. I now have a much more direct process that is truly enjoyable and much full of energy. I’ve done away with my grid system and chalking in the drawing before I paint. Now I work directly into the paint skipping those phases all together.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Place it Project

I placed this great encaustic by artist Adelle Platt at the most beautiful gate on Ille de Brehat on July 8th. I think it was there 30 seconds.

If you found this art please leave a comment in French or English. Thank you!

Si vous avez trouvé cet art s'il vous plaît laissez-nous un commentaire en français ou anglais. Merci!

Place it Project

Artist Jackie Gardener gave me a bunch of art so you will be seeing her all over Brittany. The first peice here was placed on July 8th on Ille de Brehat. She and her husband Tom have a fondness for sail boats so I thought this would be a good spot. Probably a British vacation house.
The second piece was placed at Les Onze Ecluses (11 locks) along Canal d’ille et Rance on July 1oth.

If you found this art please leave a comment in French or English. Thank you!

Si vous avez trouvé cet art s'il vous plaît laissez-nous un commentaire en français ou anglais. Merci!

Place it Project

And another work of art by Betsy Lewis place on the 5th lock at Les Onze Ecluses (11 locks) along Canal d’ille et Rance. July 10 at 7:15pm.

If you found this art please leave a comment in French or English. Thank you!

Si vous avez trouvé cet art s'il vous plaît laissez-nous un commentaire en français ou anglais. Merci!

Place it Project

Here are the most recent placed art. Again they disappeared "tres rapidement".

Rick Wheeler - a wonderful canyon river landscape on panel place on the high point on Ile de Brehat.

If you found this art please leave a comment in French or English. Thank you!

Si vous avez trouvé cet art s'il vous plaît laissez-nous un commentaire en français ou anglais. Merci!

Les Onze Ecluses

Les Onze Ecluses (11 locks) along Canal d’ille et Rance. The canal la Rance was designed by the napoleonic time, to link the atlantic ocean to the channel at St Malo. You can walk by the 11 locks along the tow path past pretty little lock houses. We speculated as to how the lock person knows when to come out and let the boat through. I guess if you get there and they are not open the boat wait until it is open. You couldn’t wait in a prettier place.

A day off........sort of

Our Italian friends from Rome, Sergio Bottero and Francesca Tecce were here for a short visit. We went to Ile de Brehat for the day. I slipped into the studio for a few hours of work in the morning while Carl went to pick them up at their b&b.

IIle de Brehat is a little hard to believe. We took a very short boat rid to the island with what look like vacationers who load lots of things by cart onto the boat. Since there are no cars on the island (bicycles and foot traffic only) the residents use carts to carry their loads. Brehat is a fishing village/ vacation community. Foot and bike paths snake all over the island through idealic small farms and stone cottages. There is a joyful attention to detail almost like residents are competing for the best garden and garden gate, window boxes and bright painted doors and windowpanes. The weather was perfect and we walked about 8 miles having to run for the last returning boat.gave them a quick tour of l'abbaye first and then we were off. Driving the back roads of Brittany reminds me of the Wizard of Oz in a way. Incredible endless beautiful farmland. Both Carl and I are surprised to see how much of France is agricultural. In Brittany it seems it is corn, wheat and the beautiful dairy cows.

Friday, July 8, 2011

David Cunningham

The other morning David was making block prints with masking tape, cut outs, foam sheets and hot glue. I watched him a while since I don’t know much about printmaking. He talked me through the process. The result was just beautiful. I am inspired by his method of flowing from one medium to the next – whatever moves him at the moment. It is very good for me to be around an artist with his energy and intellect. I am learning a lot form talking with him and watching what he does.


Try as I might it gives me the willies to stand and paint with a crowd staring and taking snap shot of me. So I leave during the tour hours and do other things like take pictures, sketch, or prepare for other paintings. The new space is one end of the big vast exhibit space.

In general the work has been going well but it is definitely not my best work. I have decided that I am here to grow and to grow means to let go of the comfortable way of working. That being said I have found it wonderful to work with a huge bright brush (flat and square) and load it up with paint. I am also trying to shift my normal palette and work with some more limited colors. At this point I have finished 8 or 20 paintings but 2 of them are not worth saving so I will probably scrape them down at some point. I moved my studio a few days ago to a place with better light but need to work around tours that that go through the Abbey now that tourist season has begun.