I am pleased to announce the selection of five of my pieces for inclusion in the 2018 Calgary Stampede Western Showcase Art Gallery. Find the art at the Western Oasis on the Calgary Stampede grounds where the paintings will be on view and available for sale. If you are scheduling your visit, stay tuned for announcements regarding my participation in Artist InSite, the Western Showcase Art Gallery program set up to allow visitors to meet the artists and see them in action. I will post details and relevant links as they become available.
Taking it Global, the group behind the Canada Wish 150 Mosaic Project, has asked me to share a funding opportunity for Canadians between ages 15 and 30 to initiate and implement community building projects, from gatherings to gardens and beyond. Funding levels for projects range from $250 – $1500. Visit Canada Service Corps to learn more!
I happened to sit beside Debbie.lee and her friend as we made art at Rumble House one evening over a year ago. Towards the end of the evening, she mentioned she was an artist and told be about her website and sunflower project. I was intrigued and inspired! At the time, I had been doing some soul searching after being a stay-at-home mom for 5 years and having done a fair amount of artistic journaling that year as a way of expressing my grief after my Mom passed away in February 2016. I would look at the sunflower seed painting she sent me, pinned to the bulletin board above the sewing area I had created with my Mom’s sewing machine. And then the seed sprouted as I realized I could share artistic journaling with others. I started a Meet-up group called Artistic Journaling for Times of Transition and have offered 12 sessions. This is now sprouting and growing in other directions as I continue to share my gifts with the world. Thanks planting a seed, Debbie.lee!Artfully yours,Kelly Small
Anuj Agarwal, the founder of Feedspot, contacted me recently via email to let me know they have selected my blog as one of Canada’s top 25 art blogs. Feedspot ranks a number of different niche blogs in Canada according to search engine and social media popularity as well as quality and consistency of posts. They also refresh results weekly and offer to send updates from top blogs direct to subscriber inboxes.
Cool, thanks Feedspot!
Canada West Artist Drop-in
Heritage Park Historical Village, Gasoline Alley Museum.
Journey of A Lifetime Exhibition (January – April 2018):
Saturday, March 10, Sunday, March 11
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
The Canada West series are a group of oil on canvas paintings created by artist Debbie.lee Miszaniec. The works revisit early 20th century Canadian advertising posters that were intended to encourage immigration to the Canadian West. Each painting interprets the source image through juxtaposition, modification, or both. Debbie.lee is a life-long painter, a student of art history, culture and society. Visit the Journey of a Lifetime exhibit and join the artist for a session of informal dialogue and gain insight into this colourful and insightful series of paintings.
This is a quick announcement to let you know that March 10th and 11th 2018 between 11 am and 2 pm I will be at Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley giving mini artist talk/tours about my Canada West paintings and how they relate to their exhibition, Journey of a Lifetime. The talks are not posted to the website yet, but will be free with admission to the exhibition. Find out more about the exhibition here.
Last week I talked about my reasons for revisiting a painting, so I won’t go into that much here. What I will talk about, are the changes I made to this one, and why.
Amoung the many funny things I could be entertained by in this antique image of the west, one of the things that kept happening as I looked at it, was my increasing identification with the contested object of the narrative. The bull is trussed up and appears to be at risk of being re-branded by cattle rustlers. Our hero and heroine have happened upon this scene and have rushed in to defend the bull from the cattle rustlers. But they are not defending the bull, they are defending property.
It appears that when the image was made the bull clearly resided in the realm of objects which are owned, and can be stolen. Stella (who in marriage would have been classified as chattel herself) stands on the bull like a piece of furniture. Today, the bull is both an object to be owned and a being which needs to be humanely cared for. Though the bull is the centre of attention, no one bothers to ask whom he prefers to go home with. So I decided to give him a voice.
This painting might look familiar. It was Dime Novel 1903. The funny thing is, I often paint something because it is a longer form of thinking about the thing. There is something there that I need to get to the heart of, so I need to chase that thought down through the act of painting it. Sometimes the thought keeps circling after the painting is ‘finished,’ and I need to revisit it. That is the case with both of the Dime Novel Paintings. I will talk a little about Dime Novel 1907 next week.
So what was it about 1903 that brought me back? I was fascinated then as now by the conflicting image of the notorious criminal and civil war era terrorist as a fictionalized American Robin Hood character. In this particular cover I was drawn to the relationship between this vulnerable looking girl who seems to be both serving as a human shield and being shielded by the James character.
I knew James was married to his first cousin, a pastors daughter, Zerelda Mimms James. He was already active in his violent career when they wed. It seems like one of those relationships where outsiders ask, ‘what did she see in him?’
It is an interesting question to think about the intimate companions of some of our most infamous characters. How much do they see or know of their spouses actions. Do they know their spouses true nature, be it killer or lover? Are they ignorant, in denial, or complicit in some way?
These questions led me to add the locket portrait of Zerelda, balanced against the markings in the margin representing the violent side of James legacy.
These six sunflower seed paintings are the first for 2018, and the first of thirty I was able to purchase materials for, thanks to the honorarium from Taking It Global’s Wish 150 Mosaic project. Thanks Taking It Global!
In honour of the new year, I decided to take these six back to basics with black and white, and to explore active words which might give us thought about how we want to be in the new year.
Root has already gone to a good home. I am sure the rest would also like to find their homes! Go here to learn about the project and sign up to receive one free, or donate to ensure we keep this project going!
One year since I started the Sunflower Project, to encourage lovers of art and of life to share their gifts with the world.
This has resulted in 30 paintings completed for the project, 18 of them with the assistance of donated funds from supporters. 25 paintings have been mailed, my gift, to people who have signed up on the web site to participate in the Sunflower Project.
And then, the project grew: Taking It Global and Wish 150 invited me to contribute a piece to the Alberta Mosaic. The detail above is from the panel I contributed to the mosaic, and is based on the Sunflower Project. The Mosaic was unveiled in Edmonton at the end of October, and there are plans being discussed to have it exhibited in Calgary as well.
As a result of receiving the honorarium for contributing to the mosaic, I am able to produce and mail 30 more Sunflower Seed paintings!
I look forward to carrying the Sunflower Project into 2018 and watching as those seeds grow into something beautiful!