Sunday, January 31, 2010

Great Video of Self Portraits
I found this on Twitter and wanted to share it as I thought it was pretty neat.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Painting

This "Musical Painting" is the same design as the previous one called "Golden Notes" but it's a painting I did while I waited for the ink to dry on the experimental printed piece on board. I quite like to try doing the same thing in several different ways. This is in a high colour key, a play on words too, which is a nice change from the many red coloured paintings that I seem to have been doing lately. It's also a playful piece with more fluid brush work.

Please let me know what you like hearing about in this blog and I will try to oblige.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In and Out of the Studio

The last few days have been spent applying to upcoming art festivals and planning a new kitchen to replace the very old one in our apartment. It's all very time consuming. One of the festivals required actual printed photographs and after working perfectly for months my printer decided to play up. It took me the better part of six hours and lots of good paper to get the six required photos! Hardly a good use of time.

Today I will be printing up labels and getting organized to hang a show on Monday at a very nice local restaurant called Insomnia here in Toronto. Restaurant shows are very big in this city. I was also contacted yesterday about having a show in Ottawa in March/April 2011 at the Ottawa Folk Center. They have a huge gallery space with ongoing shows and this will be a perfect venue for my musical paintings.

I am posting a photograph, not a very good one unfortunately, of the full sized work on board that I have been working on using printmaking as a basis. The oil inks have finally dried so that I can begin painting in the central area. Now to decide what ccolours to use.......

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Test Run for a New Painting

I have been thinking for some time of combining printmaking with painting and working on board. Last week I did a test run on paper first to see how it would work out. The paper size is not as big as the final painting will be and so both sides, and some of the most interesting parts, are cropped off. I have a big board, 24 in x 30 in, ready to print the full size work on. Some time back I did a piece called Golden Geisha using the same sort of method, block printing, but I want to take this further by moving onto wood panel instead of paper. This will enable me to do quite large pieces that are not under glass. Please let me know what you think.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to Art

After the last non art related post I am back on the art theme again. It's the time to apply for art shows and organize my art life. A week or so ago I received a very nice invitation by way of facebook to show my musical paintings in an exhibition called "Something Jazzy" in Illinois. Because my work is large I decided to find out the shipping cost before sending off the forms and was very discouraged to find out it would be over $350 each way including insurance. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that to send from Canada to the US requires going through customs however I can't justify spending that on shipping so unfortunately I will have to decline.

I spent several days last week preparing images and info for applying to local art fairs coming up in the spring and fall. It's a very time consuming activity and I have another couple to do this week. In April I will be showing my work in an Ottawa coffee shop gallery right in the area where we used to live so that will be fun as I will be able to reconnect with lots of friends and neighbours. I will also be showing in several other spots in Toronto.

I have also been working on a small collagraph print to submit to the Ottawa School of Art printmaking exhibition. At 4" x 4" it's quite a challenge for me as I usually do much bigger works. I hope to be able to ink it up and run it through the press later today and post it here but now I am off to life drawing at the AGO.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Health Care

With all the debate going on in the US about health care I thought I would add our perspective after experience with both the US system in Atlanta and the Canadian system in Toronto. In our brief two years in Atlanta we unfortunately had two major uses of their health services. On the first occasion my husband had to go to emergency to check to see if he had a blood clot in his leg. He has a blood condition and had had one once before. He had first class service, they checked absolutely everything, found nothing, and we ended up with a bill for $10,000. Fortunately we had insurance through his employer where we had to pay the bill, send in the info to the insurance co, and get reimbursed. Just prior to paying the bill at the end of the month, my husband received a phone call from the billing office at the hospital who told him that if he paid the bill by the end of the month there would be a 50% discount! He thought he was hearing things! Because we were what they consider 'self pay' they were concerned that they would never get their money and so were trying to encourage us to pay by offering the discounted rate. Evidently the insurance companies get the discounted rate so we were getting offered the same deal. What really bothers us about this is that the people who don't have insurance are usually asked to pay the full rate. Once we knew about this discounting we then asked for, and generally got, a discount each time we went to the doctor or dentist. Even though we were insured we were always concerned about using medical services in case we were declined on claims or even dropped. The second event was when I had to have a small operation. Once again good service but very expensive, with separate bills coming in for weeks afterwards. The doctor, anesthetist etc bill separately. All this time the debate on healthcare was going on in the US. We felt that there was a lot of miss-information with regard to a government plan that covers everyone. There is also the idea that Canada, with it's universal care, is a socialist country and that to many Americans is bad. We live in the province of Ontario and each province has a slightly different government healthcare system. Since returning we have been very impressed with the care we have received. Because we were new to the area and didn't have a GP doctor we used the local walk in clinic for a couple of prescriptions etc. Within a few weeks the doctor there had us sent off to specialists get all the tests he felt we should be up to date with here in Canada. Then my husband cut his arm and ended up in emergency and had to return a week or so later to get a tendon reattached and then visit the hand clinic for multiple follow ups. We now have a GP within walking distance who we really like and who gave us the most comprehensive initial consultation we have ever had. All this and not one medical bill and the service has been fantastic. We also don't have to worry that we may not be covered or that we may be dropped from an insurance plan. If you need a hip replacement you may be put on a waiting list and be done according to need however if you have an emergency you are treated immediately. Some wealthy people may decide they don't want to wait and pay to have it done in the US but then that frees up the system for the less affluent. Our perspective is that if you are with a big company in the US and have great healthcare plan then it may be ok, however we feel it's pretty dreadful that a country with all that wealth doesn't have universal health care and care for it's less fortunate. I can't imagine how worrying it must be for all those people who have lost their jobs and benefits and cannot afford healthcare at all. Sure we pay considerably more taxes in Canada for all this but we feel it is a far more caring system. Just to add to this, we also lived in the UK from 2001 until 2007 and found the free healthcare there very good too. If you haven't watched the film Sicko you may find it interesting.
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