Auction Art – BLUE UNICORN and YOUR JEWELLED ABSENCE – transmogrifications
continuing my descriptions of the art that is up for auction this week
The bidding continues for 2 more days on my online moving sale auction, ending at 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 6.
To reiterate, bidding is anonymous and progresses in increments of $2.50. You can pre-set your highest bid and the system will notify you if someone outbids you.
The auction house will ship at the buyers’ expense.
Now back to the stories. The next two paintings I’m telling you about have been drastically changed from their original forms in different ways. They both bear scars yet are more beautiful than they were in the beginning.
For reasons I cannot explain, I was inspired/provoked by the title of the book by the original nasty old Scottish religious reformer, John Knox. His diatribe was The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. And that phrase rang uncomfortably in my mind, so I started an abstract painting and called it What Women Are Really Thinking .
After I stretched the canvas, I used a black gesso as a primer for the first and last time in my career. While the painting was too good to destroy, I didn’t like it. After carrying it around for a few years, and after seeing an art book in Calgary about the artist Cynthia Girard called Unicorns and Dictators , I decided to release my own inner unicorn and paint on top of What Women Are Really Thinking. I cut down the canvas of the original work and re-stretched it on a 36” x 48” frame, then rapidly sketched my unicorn with a white pencil crayon, then using a sea sponge, painted out the negative space with black gesso. The result is a luminous little unicorn… the colours shine through the darkness in a somehow refracted but undeniable way. Because of all the overpainting and tumult, there is some cracking on the sides, which seems appropriate to the history of the piece, and I committed the further cardinal sin of using the black acrylic gesso on top of the oil to create the negative space, but even if it flakes a bit, the unicorn will prance on.
Photo by Dawn McLeod
This was my first very large oil painting. In 2003, my now ex-husband went to Washington to sub for 3 months with the National Symphony, then went on tour with them. I stayed home with our young son and continued preparing for my third solo album, Notes From Abroad.
While it was a bit challenging to be completely on my own with my child and elderly mother for so long, it was also completely wonderful.
I stretched a large canvas, I think it was 36” x 60” and started my first large-scale oil abstract, finishing in 2004. And because it was summer, and the oil smelled powerfully, it was my first time completing a work outside. I liked this painting very much but something always bothered me about the part of the work… it was expressively appropriate but the lower section was nebulous and unformed. So after a decade, I chopped it down to 36” x 48”. Some of my male colleagues were dismayed, having preferred the larger painting, but I kept the beautiful part. Again, the painting is slightly distressed from being stretched a second time, but is so saturated in colour and texture that it can withstand a few cracks. I used the offcuts to make many smaller items such as heart-shaped coasters and book covers. Used the whole animal.
Photo by Dawn McLeod
This is a chance to buy one of my large paper-based or canvas artworks below market price. My works are in in the collections of more than 60 people and the majority of my art is still available on my website for sale at market price.
Love and thanks for following and supporting my efforts.