I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about climate change this past winter.
Here’s my latest painting expressing those feelings.
acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 20″
© Shirley Williams Art
I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about climate change this past winter.
Spring is inspiring me. I’ve been pushing myself to experiment a bit and I like it !
Another one from my new series just completed today.
Just finished a pair of new abstract paintings. I’m already beginning to loosen up with my new creative direction.
With these I imagined myself walking through a neighborhood enjoying the day.
“Meandering 1 & 2″ acrylic on canvas 12 x 36 inches each © 2016 Shirley Williams Art
Have you ever had one of those times when both happy news and sad arrive at your door in a whole slew of rapid events? It kind of makes your head spin a little.
The past few weeks have been a career roller-coaster for me in just that way. Every day seemed to bring another surprise. Some good; some bad – but each one transformative in some important way.
My first surprise was learning Leonardo Galleries, my gallery in the prestigious Yorkville area of Toronto, decided to close their doors. Zoya Balija, the owner has represented me in Toronto since 2008 when I won a national painting competition.
I’d been hoping to have an exhibit with her soon. But high rents and lagging art sales made it just too tough for her to continue as a contemporary art gallery.
Leonardo Galleries was always good to me and 100% professional to work with. Fortunately, Zoya also has a thriving side business as a fine-art appraiser and restorer. She’ll continue to do well and I wish her the very best.
As for me, as one door literally closes, hopefully another will open.
With most of the galleries who’ve represented me going out of business during the past several years, I definitely sense the passing of an era.
When the writing on the wall became obvious several years ago, I was quite disillusioned. I’d spent 15 years building up my professional resume and carefully nurturing my international relationships.
This photo is from one of my past exhibits in Dallas, Texas. They closed down a year later.
But as an artist colleague of mine pointed out, “Suddenly I have a clean slate”. For the first time ever in my career, I have no upcoming shows. No pressure, no deadlines and no requirement to color within the line. After so many years, it’s an odd sensation.
For the first time ever, I can spend time in the studio every day goofing around to see what comes out. I’m excited to be exploring new territory, free of constrictions. And THAT, my friends, is when the magic happens.
So this bad thing may be a good thing in the long run.
Next came positive news from Oklahoma about a friend and colleague who had a brain aneurism two weeks ago. Pat, my web designer of eight years and I were in the middle of updating my website when it happened. Thankfully, she’s making a steady recovery without any apparent cognitive damage.
Naturally, everything is on hold with my website until she feels up to working again. Thanks for understanding if you notice things don’t look quite right.
The next day, as I was thinking how blessed I feel to have perfect health, the phone rang. Sadly, I heard that my dear friend, a lovely lady and talented artist had died of cancer that morning.
Sue’s creative spirit touched many people during her 71 years. I think of her with great fondness, while I paint. Her memory lives on to inspire me and others.
‘Horizon’ ID # P-0908
Next, out of the blue, another door literally opened. I got a call from a galley in San Francisco. A mutual friend in Windsor had recommended my work to them.
The Director happened to be visiting Windsor and came for a studio visit. We hit it off right away and fortunately, she also really liked my artwork. I’m happy to report that Eunoia Modern is now representing me in the San Francisco area and beyond. I’ll keep you posted on how it develops.
There were several other peaks and valleys throughout the past few weeks, too numerous to mention. But the one thing that always keeps me balanced is my creative work in the studio. When I’m fully absorbed in the process of painting, all stress disappears.
I’ll sign off by sharing one other GREAT thing that happened last week.
The October issue of Windsor Life Magazine ran this wonderful feature article about my art and career. It’s always a bonus to be given free press and I’m very grateful to the team at Windsor Life.
Thank you to everyone who’ve let me know they enjoyed reading it.
Read it here now 2015-08-Windsor-Life
Keep your creative passion alive !
A few weeks ago, while visiting my Mom & Dad in Shediac, New Brunswick, I received a disappointing email. My wonderful studio assistant, Christy Litster had been offered a full-time dream job and was regretfully resigning.
I’m actually happy for her. Christy is very talented and has the potential to do great work. In the eight months we’d worked together, I’d learned as much from her as she had from me. I’ll miss her input and wish her much success.
My hope had been to return after my vacation, refreshed and ready to ‘rock ’n roll’. As you read in my last post, Christy and I were working on revamping my color resource website ColorWheelArtist.com.
Progress on the site had not been going well. We’d been tied up of for over a month, with a challenging series of cascading technical hurdles.We were both frustrated and Christy kept saying, “It’s a sign you should be painting.” and we’d laugh.
This is one of the paintings from the series I’ve just begun.
‘Wish You Were Here’
We all get side-tracked sometimes. The trick is to look at a challenge as an opportunity to review the map and find your direction again.
My approach has always been to ask myself two questions.
Recently, the computer had become my master and was sucking up all my creative juices. The phrase: “Step slowly away from the computer with your hands up.” kept popping into my mind.
I started reading older entries in my studio journal and instantly came across a list of conclusions I’d written several years ago. Not only did they remind me of my own path, but in retrospect, pretty much apply to anyone who wants to live a more CREATIVE, VITAL LIFE.
This list helped me re-focus with a renewed purpose. Often, what we see as a huge disappointment serves as an important reminder to stop and look at where we are. Only then can we take the next step in our own personal journey.
If you thought this post was helpful, please share it with others who might like it also.
Wishing you a creative life !
How are you enjoying your summer so far? Everybody, everywhere seems to be talking about the weather.
Here in Windsor, we’ve had record setting amounts of rain with the wettest June in 75 years. While the rest of us pray for sunshine to lighten our spirits, the area farmers are struggling with swampy fields.
This summer, I’m taking a little break from painting every day. Instead I’m ‘filling the creative well’ by reviewing old sketchbooks, some going back 20 years.
It’s a wonderful experience to discover past drawings and ideas I’d totally forgotten about. Relevant drawings are being carefully separated from the sketchbooks and gathered together to inspire my next group of paintings.
Christy, my studio assistant, and I are also intensely focused on another creative project.
In 2008, to teach myself web design, I built an educational website about my favorite subject, which is COLOR. I hadn’t really added much to the site during the past seven years. But to my utter surprise ColorWheelArtist.com has continued to grow steadily all by itself. It now receives about 110,000 unique visitors every month!
I get lots of inquiries from students, teachers, artists, interior decorators and hobbyists asking for more. Schools and colleges all over the world are even using ColorWheelArtist as a curriculum guide.
Since Christy is a computer and graphic design whiz, she was keen to help me update and relaunch.
What I initially thought would be simple design changes has turned into be an incredibly involved endeavor. The internet is now exponentially interwoven and complex at a technical level. I am not naturally inclined to be a computer ‘nerd’ so the learning curve is extremely steep. But Christy and I are tenatious and determined to improve the experience for site visitors. We’re making changes almost every day – trying different things.
Please go take a look at ColorWheelArtist.com
Let us know what you think. We’re eager to hear any comments, ideas or suggestions for content.
Wishing you a colorful day !!
In just four short days we will be hosting our open house and art sale!
The art is mostly hung and ready to go – just all the finishing touches being taken care of around the studio.
There is plenty of parking on the side streets around the studio, as well as parking (on the weekend) in the parking lot behind the studio. Parking is free!
The studio is located at 3080 Grand Marais Rd. E, north of the E.C. Row Expressway just between Central Ave. and Walker Rd.
We recently installed a brand new sign that you can’t miss!
We look forward to seeing you all there!
Be sure to drop by and say, “Hi!”
Friday, May 8th, Noon – 6pm
See you there!
Keep the Passion Alive! #ArtLife
Shirley and Christy
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