Friday, 23 September 2011

Moving again

After finding a little corner of the Fayetteville Underground's classroom to paint in a few weeks ago, I made two paintings. Somehow after that, I never quite made it back to painting in there. Partly it was because the space was a public one.

As luck would have it, Underground artist Maggie Ivy went back to study in Sweden a few days ago and so for the next month, I have her studio to work in. It is a really big space, which seems almost intimidating, and it is very empty right now. I plan to make it home until the end of October and I've already started two new pieces.  If you are in the area, drop by and say hello. You might even catch me making more new paintings!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Another 5x5

She Brings Me Back
© 2011 Stewart Bremner, Mixed media, 5x5"

The last time I visited Arkansas, I painted a 5x5" painting for a fundraiser at the nearby Tulsa Artist's Coalition in Oklahoma. During this visit I've again painted a 5x5 for an arts fundraiser, this time the ninth annual 5by5 Exhibition at the Arts Center of the Ozarks. Both exhibitions sell the work through auction and use the profits to fund their organisations. Whilst that means there is no direct profit in this for the artists, there still other benefits.

To begin with, it gets your art out into the public and, for me in particular, in places it has never been seen before. That means another group show for my CV and exposure into a new market. More altruistically, these kind of shows also help to raise awareness of art, bringing it not only to people who may never have considered buying any before, but also those who cannot normally afford to. It brings people into the art world and that is not only a benefit to artists, but to everyone who enjoys art.

When painting my entry for the exhibition, I found there is something about working on this small size and shape of the canvas that is quite enjoyable. It feels both like a quick sketch painting and something more serious. Having spent some time recently working on other small paintings, it was not as much of a stretch to paint as the last 5x5 and it fits as part of my ongoing Hidden Messages series. Next week I'm going back to painting bigger pieces.

5by5 Exhibition, Arts Center of the Ozarks, 214 South Main St., Springdale, AR; October 5–November 4, 2011 (Ticketed reception, Thursday, November 3, 2011 5:55–7:55)

Friday, 9 September 2011

In a distant classroom

My borrowed studio space in the Fayetteville Underground's classroom
A few days ago I came the closest I've been yet to having an actual away-from-the-house studio, when I was told by the lovely people at the Fayetteville Underground that I could take over a corner of their under-used classroom. I was slightly reluctant at first to be in such a large space and one that was not solely for my use. However, I decided to try it out and in less than a few hours I'd made a nice space for myself.

Find my certainties
© 2011 Stewart Bremner, Mixed media 20"x16"
That moment of clarity
© 2011 Stewart Bremner, Mixed media 20"x16"
Over the last few days in that space, I've come close to completing two new canvas paintings, both 20x16", that build in the simple idea  behind my Hidden Messages series of paper paintings. It has been really enjoyable to be painting larger pieces again, after working on so many small bits of paper. I've had room to make a few more expansive strokes and to load the painting more with paint and water. The large space of the classroom has also given me room to really get some distance from my paintings, which I have found has helped at times when I've painted myself into a compositional corner.

My plan now is to build on these pieces and to attempt to create a small body of work, with luck, I can get exhibited here in the US.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Spreading the message

In our imaginations
© 2011 Stewart Bremner

Mixed media 5.25" x 8.5"
It's a week and a half since I arrived in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In that time I've been bitten by a score of bugs (or bitten a score of times by one bug), tried hard to deal with the high temperature and humidity and painted four new small paintings. The last of these three things I'm really quite pleased about.

These new paintings are part of my Hidden Messages series of affordable works, that I began in July. The series was conceived as a message to, or about, a distant lover. Each message is composed of one line of text, which forms the kernel of each painting. The messages, however, are almost fully obliterated in the painting process, leaving only small hints as to their content. Every painting marks tiny moment in time that, like every moment we live through, is irrecoverably lost to the past.

Which way
© 2011 Stewart Bremner

Mixed media 5.25" x 8.5"
As well as these four pieces I've just painted, I brought eight more of the series with me. All twelve are on display at the Fayetteville Underground this month outside the studio of Megan Chapman, along with the remaining eleven paintings from my Post Process series.

My most exciting new news is that my work has been picked up by the Found Gallery in Dunbar! They've taken three of my Life Is The Process paintings and six of my Hidden Messages paintings. All will be on show there very soon and should be up for the rest of the month. So if you're in either North West Arkansas or East Lothian this month, stop by and see some of my newest pieces.