Claudia Stewart - Artist

At present, I am trying to build up the incentive to get down to work towards the July show.  I am not certain of the theme, which is part of why I am dragging my feet. It might help to go on several photo walks around the area for some inspiration, though I am not a landscape type. I have been pursuing wider interests by reading plays, and getting back to doing more home cooking. My space at home has long been in need of getting rid of papers, which I have also been doing.  Tonight I came across some family documents regarding relatives who are long dead.  The penmanship on some is exquisite and makes me long for the time of flourishes and quill pens. But I digress. I also am participating in the Sketchbook project( you can look it up on the Internet). I am only a few pages into it and need to send it off in the mail mid February. Yikes! In the meantime, I will be putting gesso on cradled boards and hoping for inspiration for July. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One of my favorite things is ordering art supplies from Opus . Most of the year I shop locally, but once a year at Boxing day week, I put in a big order from Opus art supplies in Vancouver. So imagine my delight at the arrival of 2 boxes of (very necessary !) stuff. More cradled board , some palette knives, a pen with a brush end, vine charcoal , some crackle paste, photo transfer gel and a kind note from the woman who shipped it off! I was practically dancing .Ask the cat. So now it's clear off the table and get to work. 

 

 

 

 

 


It was a rainy afternoon late in December and I was staring at the sign up sheet for the feature wall at Icehouse Gallery.  July was a free month! Last year my month long show in July garnered a lot of feedback and praise and a sale. There was a cruise ship in on my opening day (Canada Day) and a lot of celebrating and festivities going on. So I am going to be hitting the ground running this year, as far as artwork goes. I am also starting up a business presence on Facebook. Look for Claudia Stewart Studio.  Hope I have time to make art! Wishing everyone the best for 2019. I am aiming at blogging once a week. We shall see.

 

 


I have settled into Prince Rupert once more and joined the artists' co-op here, the Icehouse Gallery. For the month of July, my crows will appear on their feature wall. I am pleased with this, as only a couple had been shown earlier, with other work. So now comes the planning of posters, invitations, and possibly interviews.

 

On another front, I was stage manager for a very successful community play. I enjoyed it, as I have worked with the director before, as well as one of the actors. Time now to catch my breath.

 

I now volunteer as a cruise ship ambassador, to help tourists have a good experience in our town. And (yikes!) work one day a week at lunchtime at the Seniors Centre.

 

So I am off now to celebrate our summer festival, Seafest.


I have been following Xanadu Gallery's Red Dot Blog for quite some time and have gleaned a lot of information on being an artist from Jason Horejs, owner of the gallery. Recently I too a leap forward:

 

I have enrolled in his Art Academy, which means one-on-one emails about my work specifically and challenges specific to my work or situation.There are instructional videos, sharing of artwork with other artists, and podcasts with others pitching in and joining into the conversationl  It is ideal for me and already it has gotten me so stoked I have produced two pieces and am working on a third.

 

Also I am compiling the information needed to send my work in to the Icehouse Gallery here in Prince Rupert. It is a co-op gallery and it woud mean spending some time in the gallery in sales, which would be fun for me as I like people. 

 



This is Majestic moths, one of my new series. It's 16"x20" on cradle board. The fleur de lis are stamped and the forward moth's leaf is made of patterned paper. The plain brown leaf is of sandpaper and the furthest one is of paper from Paper Ya on Granville Island in Vancouver (one of my favourite haunts!)



Here is Paradise Sold, It's a much more abstract piece and a bit political. The piece of stone glued to the piece is agate and amethyst.

 

 

 


As an artist I am moved by many things; a baby's perfect hand, sunlight on a coffee cup in a sidewalk cafe, the full moon, nestled in ever-changing spun-glass clouds. But this time I actually moved location to be nearer things and people that move me. I've moved north to Prince Rupert, where I'd lived for 20 years. My daughter lives there presently and many old friends. It feels like coming home.

 

I don't know if this will mean my palette changes to more muted colours or noisier ones. I do know I may take up doing some skyscapes and interpretations of storms, as there are often some great ones, come October.

 

I hope to join the gallery coop here, the Icehouse Gallery, and will be handing in my form within the next week. 

 

I am presently staying with my daughter but hope to find a place soon to call my own. I will be keeping an eye open for a place with space available to use as a studio. In my condo in Port Moody that had been my dining room which looked out over green space. Many places here do that, or look out on Mt. Hays or over the harbour. The deer are plentiful, as there is no shooting on the island (Rupert is technically on an island, Kaien Island). There is a young buck who has been frequenting my daughter's neighbourhood and looks at people with unafraid eyes. 

 

Another project I am looking forward to is to finally iillustrate the 2 children's books I'd penned years ago and hopefully get them published. 

 

I've seen several old friends in and about town and had tea with some. It is a gradual reunion with people I knew quite a while back. And so wonderful.

 

Have you ever gone back home to live? What was that like?  I'd love to hear stories.

 

 


I've been with my hands ever since I remember. Longer than my teeth, even.

When I was a baby they fit in my mouth a lot better before the teeth, actually.

 

But now, darn it, they have AGE spots on them. And crepey little wrinkles in places. Still, they serve me well. I became fascinated with hands as subject matter due to Albrecht Durer's hands in prayer. My grandmother had a print of it and I quite liked it. Many photographers have made a study of hands and they are considered one of the most difficult things to draw. I think it is because they are intricate, yet familiar. We THINK we know hands, but we don't. In Drawing Magazine's latest Winter issue, there is an article of how to draw the hand from the inside out, looking at skeletal structure. Jon Demartin speaks of movement and perspective and takes you through a classic process of drawing. Of drawing the gesture, of drawing the sweep of the direction of the fingers.

 

It's important to know the skeletal structure beneath the hand and fingers

 



Too, one needs to study foreshortening. This makes the fingers look as they actually do rather than what one's brain would have them look like. 

 



Some of the fingers in this hand are foreshortened. The life drawing class I attend is helping me clear up some issues I've had in the past with foreshortening and I also find that studying some of the Masters has helped as well. 

 



This is a pose of my hand that I've drawn many times and I enjoy drawing it. It is soberiing to reflect that I've been drawing my own hand since I was in high school and have probably only kept one or two of those sketches. One cannot keep everything one draws or paints, as everything is always in flux and sketches are made for practise, not to be held up to the world as grand works of art (unless, perhaps, you are daVinci.) 

 

The crow is coming along slowly, as I have encountered the small intricacies of architectural detail of the fleu de lis in the cathedral the crow is landing on. Hoping to finish it some time this or next week.

 

My final and most exciting piece of news is that my show, Outbound Flights, at Gallery Bistro in Port Moody, is being extended to run til April 19th. This is due to the fact that the Bistro will be closed over the Easter weekend and this will give it more time for exposure.

 

And that's all she wrote.

 

 


 

Just this last Saturday was the reception for Outbound Flights, the show I've got on now at Gallery Bistro here in Port Moody. All went well and there were many visitors, both friends and people lunching or brunching at the Bistro.




 

All this would not have happened were it not for the excellent owners, Helen and Reiner. Nor would it have been possible but for the excellent work of my friend Yolande and sister Carryl. They hung the majority of the show for me while I fiddled with some of the smaller works and placed the title cards up and oversaw the installation.

 



I was in attendance at the reception, painting a new piece called "Arrival", another of the crow series.



This is the piece in its present state...hoping to finish it this week or next,

 

I have also been attending regular life drawing classes at the Evergreen Centre in Coquitlam and find them quite good and useful to increase my knowledge of the human figure. Also in the works are going to be a series of studies of hands, just for my own use, as I find them fascinating. The winter edition of Drawing magazine features an article of drawing hands from the inside out, which I will rely on for my sketches.

 

That's about all that is happening artistically with me. I am planning on moving away from the Lower Mainland  sometime in the near future, away from the crowds and into a smaller community. More on art, life and general mischief in the future.


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