We Need Help Planning the Closing Reception for Our Show Medium of Exchange – Process

In light of increased Covid-19 case numbers and increased public health restrictions here in Alberta it seems unlikely we will be able to physically welcome you to the gallery for our closing reception on the afternoon of May 20th 2021. So since we are all new to this virtual event thing we would like to ask for your help deciding how, where and what to do in lieu? 

We have a brief 3 question survey below and would appreciate your feedback. We’ll share details for the event once we’ve had a chance to discuss the feedback. Thanks!

Artist’s Statement, Medium of Exchange – Process:

The Artist’s of Medium of Exchange c. 2010:
L-R: Jesica Campbell, Koren Scott, Jessica Hauser, Penny Chase and Debbie.lee Miszaniec

Five women walked into an art school… 

Three straight women, one gay woman and one who says it’s nobody business walked into an art school… 

An agnostic, a Wiccan, a Catholic and two atheists walked into an art school… 

Three settlers, an Inuit and a Metis walked into an art school… 

Five artists of diverse backgrounds walked out of an art school… 

…and had a conversation: 

They called themselves Medium of Exchange. They made work together and apart about topics relevant to them all. Then their lives and professional practices diverged again. After a decade Jesica Campbell, Penny Chase, Jessica Hauser, Debbie.lee Miszaniec and Koren Scott have re-converged for Medium of Exchange: Process

Process is about the process of making art: the process of the development of the artist over time. The individual’s process of art making. The process of creating a dialogue between diverse individuals through art. 

Our History:

We graduated from the AUA (formerly ACAD) fine arts program in 2008 and shortly thereafter formed an informal critique and breakfast group. In 2010 we organized our first show as Medium of Exchange, exploring the idea of Debt as discussed in Margaret Atwood’s book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2007), from our unique perspectives, but in the medium common to us, visual art.

This history forms another window into the idea of process, as in the process of our evolution as a group, and as individual artists. The question of how each of us processes the ideas Atwood writes about given our unique backgrounds. While you are exploring the rest of the virtual exhibition for Medium of Exchange – Process, I hope you will not miss a peek into that early show here.

Virtual Exhibition Launched!

Gallery View, Medium of Exchange: Process, Alberta Society of Artists’ Gallery, Calgary AB 2021

Medium of Exchange, Process

The culmination of 3 years of work and planning has, even in the face of a global pandemic, come to fruition.

It was a long journey for Jesica Campbell, Penny Chase, Jessica Hauser Koren Scott and myself, with many twists and turns, but there was definitely a sense of great satisfaction as we finished installing the last label for the show last week at the Alberta Society of Artists’ Gallery in Calgary.

The exhibition will run to June 5th. However due to Covid-19 the gallery is currently closed to the public and will remain so until Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch plan. We were on the verge of reaching Stage 3 prior to installation and had hoped to be able to have an in person opening reception for friends and family. Since we have moved back to Stage 1 instead, we decided it would be prudent to offer the public the opportunity to see the exhibition virtually so as of April 14th we also launched a website for the exhibition. While we still hope the exhibition can open to the public before closing, and have reserved the 20th of May for a possible closing reception, we hope that you will enjoy the virtual exhibition, leave us comments and subscribe for updates to be notified if/when the show is available for IRL viewing. Click here to be taken to the exhibition website.

Tricks & Treats: October Review

Trick or Treat, 12″x16″ o/c, $950

So Halloween is over and we have 2 weeks to see where it takes us in regard to new Covid-19 cases. Trick or Treat is my latest instalment in the Covid Chronicles saga of paintings this year. I was quite anxious about this holiday, it is so hard for us to disappoint the little ones, but no one can be sure who is passing along the Covid Apple in this rendition of a Halloween Snow White fairytale. Is the little old lady giving it to Snow White, or the other way around? Is the child transporting it from one house to another (all unintentionally of course)? It was good to see all of the creative approaches people took to carrying on with Halloween traditions this year, I hope it works out for us all. Trick or Treat is available for purchase. If you are interested in the original or prints definitely get in touch!

This month I put together a few short videos on completed paintings which show the stages through which each painting passed to reach completion. The first of these (above) documents Happy Birthday 2020, my last Covid-19 painting, along with my approach to the genre of Memento Mori painting.

And here are the Treats:

This month I completed three new Cravings paintings, as well as updating the Cravings Gallery with prices and sizes. There are no PayPal buttons yet, so if you are interested in purchasing a painting just pop me an email or fill out my contact form. I’ll get in touch and we can make arrangements.

Each of the paintings introduces its own small narrative along with my intense appreciation of these nostalgic sweets. I enjoy the associations each brings with the past, the present, the future, and the appreciation of the here and now, the moment and being present in our bodies, appreciating each moment life gives us.

Below you can find progression videos of each of the three new cravings paintings. What do you think of them? They are all around a minute long, (so no need to worry about time commitments). Leave me a comment on my channel, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Art of Home Studio/Office & Pandemic Dressing

Covid 19 #12 Original Ink Drawing, 299

Fashion is a little off my normal range of topics, but I will let you in on a little secret: I have always enjoyed fashion and style. Expressing myself through fashion is another avenue for creativity. When I was a teen deciding what I wanted my life’s work to be I even considered entering the fashion industry. Now I mainly enjoy learning about new systems of dressing, following what is coming across the runways, planning my seasonal wardrobe switch and helping friends and family organize their wardrobes. So it was lovely to read this article where I found an intersection between this interest and my own current work (above).

I was reading this article from the Gaurdian today about how fashion is adjusting to the work at home shift that the pandemic has brought along, and apparently it is not all tracksuits and crocs:


I have been working almost exclusively from my home studio since well before the pandemic, but even I have noticed a change in what I want to wear:

I’ve always had a special hate on for overly silly fuzzy house slippers. I’d like to have something for the home office that does not look like I’m down for a netflix/popcorn/P.J. binge, but don’t like the idea of wearing street shoes in the house either. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, with our dusty/slushy/snowy streets, but when I walk in the door I take off my shoes. Now maybe I’ll be able to find something a little more polished to wear in the home office/studio.

This leads to my second issue with home office dressing, pants designed to be worn with shoes with a heel look silly dragging around the house on the ground. So most of those long loose flowy (& leg lengthening) trousers are out of the question. I also used to do home art parties (a cross between tupperware parties and paint nights), and this was an issue for that context particularly, as I was now presenting in front of the client. As I said maybe it’s a Canadian thing but its considered polite here to take off your shoes in someone else’s home (or at least to ask). So how to look professional while leading a painting party in someone’s home? My solution was black ankle pants and plain black socks. A professional looking slip on shoe (maybe even with a wedge heel) with soft non marking soles would have been fantastic!

Speaking of heels, The pandemic has raised my resistance to wearing anything other than a flat shoe even out and about professionally. Also last winter’s uniform of form fitted mini dresses with statement leggings and accessories seems too aggressive for the soft relaxed vibe I’m craving now. This season I’m leaning more toward mid length dresses with an a-line shape that I can belt at the waist for definition. Of course I’m wearing what I have first before shopping, but how I feel about what I have has changed so I may be wearing it differently than last year.

Another issue that the pandemic has brought forth for me is something I hadn’t anticipated. You know that feeling you get when you have put together a particularly good outfit and you are looking forward to getting out in public where it can be appreciated? I suppose you could call it a peacocking impulse. Well I am missing those opportunities to peacock a little. Sure it gives me a boost to dress well for myself, but positive feedback is great too.

How about you? How has your sartorial sensibility changed over the pandemic?

The drawing above is available for purchase at https://onelifefineart.com/index.php/covid-19-chronicles/ #covid19fashion #covid19art

Covid Chronicles Shop Update:

The prints on offer during the July Pre-sale

Hi all! So in July I let you all know in a blog post that not all of the Covid Chronicles products being offered on pre-sale would be on offer after the pre-sale. The pre-sale might have been the only opportunity to purchase some items. So following from that, a few items (greeting and post cards, some of the print images) offered then will not be offered for sale again in the near future.

Kudos to you if you did manage to scoop an item not currently on offer, and thank you all for your support of art and artists!

The Covid Chronicles Hardcover Book: 99 CAD + Shipping

However, I am happy to say that the Portfolios, Zines and Books did go to production and are currently available for order, as well as the remaining originals (299 CAD each + shipping) from the sketchbook project, and a selection of limited edition prints (69 CAD each + shipping) of the sold original drawings. All are available through my website. Click here to make a purchase! Sales are made through PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account to make a purchase.

Cravings: My New WebGallery

Detail of Happy Birthday, 2020

I realize that Covid-19 Has taken over the world, and certainly my practice of the last few months with the Covid Chronicles and the related attention that that has brought to my studio. However, earlier this year I blogged about discovering a new /growing fascination in my work when I realized I had been painting a lot of food for the past few years. So I decided to make it formal and introduce a new gallery section to my website. Cravings will showcase all of my food related paintings, wherever they might fit in to my other themes and bodies of work. Check it out, watch it grow, & shoot me an email and let me know what you think!

Saskatoon Berry Jam II

Fresh Art: A Covid 19 Memento Mori

Happy Birthday, 2020.
12″ x 16″,
 Oil & acrylic on canvas

A Memento Mori is an object or image which serves to remind the viewer of the inevitability of death. Historically speaking the intent of the Memento Mori was to advise the viewer to forsake temporal pleasures and attend to the spiritual life which theoretically transcended death. 

For myself, the Memento Mori reminds me to appreciate the gifts of life, as life is fleeting and an after-life is far from certain.

The bee in this painting is a stand in for me. My name, Debbie.lee, means bee, according to some interpretations. I painted this memento mori to celebrate my birthday and the completion of another cycle around the sun. The incorporation of the Covid-19 virus in the floral decoration on the plate commemorates the specific year, it’s most significant event, and is a reminder not to take for granted the pleasures of life life and good health, for who knows what lies ahead.

This painting is not currently for sale, however if you are interested in limited edition prints contact me and I will add you to a pre-order information list.Yes, add me to the list!

Limited Edition 100: means I won’t produce more than that (I may produce less, or none).

The pre-order period for the most recent Covid-19 images is nearly up, 9 days (July 19th) until it closes. Now is the time to add to your collection.

All people ordering before July 19th will receive a free 11″x17″ portfolio of the final 19 drawings. So that’s a great reason to purchase your drawing, print, book, zine or cards now. After the pre-sale that portfolio will be 15$ plus shipping, while quantities last.

I mean, you can wait until whenever to try to order some of the print pieces, some will be available, but some will not. If there are no orders of the object of your desire during the pre-sale then I won’t produce it (unless you want one of the original drawings, in which case when it’s SOLD, well it’s gone, right?). If more people order the item then I will produce it, plus a few more than ordered, and you can likely still get it (while quantities last) after the pre-sale.

That said, it could happen that I re-open an edition again, up to that maximum number (if the stars are correctly aligned), but that’s not much of an assurance of future availability for you is it?

So that’s my rather lame sales pitch, if you want a limited edition print, book, ‘zine, greeting cards, post cards, or portfolio, order it now or risk missing out.

Thanks for supporting us small scale artists doing our best to earn a living while providing fresh perspectives on the big and little things in life!

Virtual Exhibitions

So Covid-19 #9 has been included in a virtual exhibition, the Covid-19 Artwork Showcase, presented in conjunction with Fortune Live Media’s Health Brainstorm Virtual Event which opens tomorrow and runs for three days. I think it sounds pretty cool to be part of an exhibition of international artwork & artists put on by a major media force like Fortune Magazine’s live media branch.

In addition to this event, I’ve also been invited to contribute work to virtual exhibitions and archives including the Women’s Art Museum of Canada, the Immortal Artist’s Pandemic Archive Project, a residency project organized by artist Pamela Moon, Life As We Know It: 2 Meters Apart, and to various institutions actively soliciting archive material documenting the pandemic.

The question is, without the personal interaction of hanging the work in a physical space and interacting with viewers at an opening event, do these virtual exhibitions have the same impact for you as an artist or as a viewer? The reach they can have is far greater than a physical exhibition, and I have had people across the globe reach out to me, but is the impact of the encounter as potent when we cannot be physically present?

I will be curious to see what sort of long term response comes out of these virtual exhibitions.