Drawn

This time of restricted contact and cancelled concerts feels very familiar to me, accustomed as I am to solitude, yet clearly it is different.  I have stayed home for most 60 days, which is an all-time record. I am not bored, and  I have so much to do… painting basement rooms and building a garden and proofing my book, rebuilding the Council of Canadian Bassoonists with our new Board (lotsa Zoom meetings) and practicing…

For fun,  I responded when my neighbours started a daily drawing group on March 20 via FaceBook. They are low key, welcoming and unfailingly cheerfully positive. and I have participated about 50 times. For some reason,  I use recycled cardstock or paper from packaging with a very limited palette (black felt pen, HB2 pencil, white pencil crayon). The paper is gray or brown, and the texture ranges from coarse to just heavy and the pieces are very small.The drawings are all in response to themes, but per usual, I often drift away from the original intention.

Here are 29 of the small drawings, a couple of them made up from 2 or 3 pieces of paper, moments from the cool spring days, moments where I returned to the fun of being a kid and making some drawings. All are done with in a short time and might become the basis for a bigger drawing. Somehow, time is my own when making these marks on paper. The one of the little blue bassoon was in response to the challenge to close my eyes and draw something.
Take good care, everyone. See you in the future at a concert or an art show in the new world that will come out of all of this. Don’t be scared but look after yourselves.

Fly!

 

Jump Into Bed
 
 

 

Mother’s Day

 

And the Shadow Passed

 

Old Stone House by the Sea
Crossroads

 

A Goat and a Boat and a Bridge to the Moat

 

Unframed

 

Mirrored

 

Hey Diddle Diddle
My Favourite Instrument
 

 

Catch Up

 

Crane

 

E-Racer

 

Crane 1

 

 

 

Galaxy

 

Fox in the Field

 

Bedtime

 

About Time

 

Castle

 

Lighthouse
 
Hare and Egg
 

 

Avatar

 

Superhero

 

Wake UP!

 

Blue Bassoon
 

 

Multi-tufted Symphony Bird (extinct?)

 

 
 
 
Blur

 

Auction Art

Just in case you wondered, I am a bassoonist who has always made art. I have had 7 dedicated solo art shows in my career and over 60 people own my art (in the beginning, I didn’t keep track, so more than 60). If you want to check the market values, go to my website (shop section).

Moving Sale Auction ends tomorrow…7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 . An easy way to avoid the crush of bids at the end of the day is to post your max bid now. The system will only go up by $2.50 at a time, so even if your maximum bid is $100,000,000, the system adds your bid only when someone else makes a bid on your chosen items, so if the last other person high bids $20, you get it for $22.50  Quite clever, old chap.

On with the stories.  All of these are “parallel works”, i.e. pieces that I made while working on larger works or preparing concerti….

I’ll start with the silliest piece.

Lot 132
THREE FINEAPPLES (2018) – 8.5” x 17” sharpie marker on foam sheets

I bought a stack of 8.5” x 11” multicoloured sheets of quarter inch foam at a local Staples store, and made art objects from them, working on a few things with and for neigbour children, and making two art pieces of which this is one. I sold one work in this series, Three Fine Mice, to a collector in Montreal , the clarinetist, Jean-François Normand.

The mounting system is low-tech, comprising of 6 clear (or red, as in pic) push pins and is interactive, meaning there are three separate pieces and you can choose the order of the images, reverse one or two of them to create a band of colour bar or display them vertically.

I called this work silly but it WAS A LOT OF FUN TO MAKE. I use very sharp utility knives to cut the shapes and you will note that the negative shape is larger than the actual fineapple, allowing for the contrasting colours to show.  And because I trust it’s strength, I used archival bookmaker’s glue to secure the images, though I remain unsure of the archival nature of the candy-coloured foam sheets.

This relatively robust work fits into a normal mailing envelope and is the absolute cheapest to ship.

Three Fineapples, 8.5″ x 17″
fuzzy photo by Nadina

LOT 131
GOLDBIRD (1999) 8.5” x 11” – india ink on paper, saturated with beeswax and touched with gold leaf, secured with 4 golden threads to a piece of black paper, recycled from previous service as a backmount for a paragraph I wrote about the Mark Morris Dance Company.

I did many very intricate works that were based on antique middle eastern rugs and I would soak these ink drawings in beeswax and secure them to heavy painted paper… all of these works sold and one became an album cover for Pentaedre’s album, Airs Anciens.

All that remains in my personal collection are a few simple studies and this bird.  Though he is light-weight and small, the saturation with beeswax seems to have made him very strong and he has travelled with me since 1999. And though he is called Goldbird, it really is his environment that is golden.

GOLDBIRD, 8.5″ x 11″, ink on paper with beeswax and gold leaf
photo by Dawn McLeod

Lot 139
ORANGE TABBY UNDER STARRY SKY (2014) 14.25” x 28.25” – watercolour on handmade paper from Quebec

Painted on unusually shaped and beautifully textured handmade paper from Quebec, this is a simple watercolour sketch of a very relaxed and slumbering orange tabby.  And one day, I had a brush loaded with mica-infused acrylic paint, and I added it to the background of the cat, making the deep smoky purple sky shimmer behind the indifferent feline; the frame (not visible in photo) cleverly enhances the shimmering effect but you have to see it in person to appreciate.

ORANGE TABBY UNDER STARRY SKY (2014) 14.25” x 28.25” – watercolour on handmade paper from Quebec
photo by Dawn McLeod
 
 

Lot 138
DUCK STORM (2009) 48” x 48” – oil on canvas
This is one of my anatomically incorrect domestic fowl with a lovely subtle texture both to the bird, his sorrowful small eye and the rippling background.

 

 

DUCK STORM (2009) 48” x 48” – oil on canvas
photo by Dawn McLeod

Lot 136
BRUSH FIRE (2009) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas

This big, vibrant acrylic painting has many textures and surfaces and is presently pulled off the stretcher so you would have to provide your own stretcher  (I used it’s stretcher to paint AIR MARE). It also looks fantastic just stapled to the wall.

BRUSH FIRE (2009) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas
photo byDawn McLeod

Auction Art

Auction Art – AURORA (2004) –  36” x 48”  and AIR MARE (2017) 48” x 60” – acrylic on canvas –   transcendent domestic beasts  
 
Art stories continued, auction bidding open until 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 6
 
Lot 133
AIR MARE (2017) 48” x 60”, acrylic on canvas – original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson
 
This acrylic painting is done with very transparent paint over a lightly gessoed, heavy-weight canvas on a very heavy stretcher. One of the works painted while I lived in the repurposed church in the beautiful small Ontario town of Drayton… while many of my neighbours are involved in breeding race horses, there was not a literal inspiration for this abstract-style horse, just a sense of summertime elation.  Not sure they would approve of my horse’s particular gait either! Like most of my canvas art, AIR MARE can come apart for shipping (roll the canvas, bundle the stretcher).
 
AIR MARE (2017) 48” x 60”, acrylic on canvas – original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson
Photo by Dawn McLeod
 
Lot 134
AURORE (2004) 36” x 48” original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson
 
This is the third painting in a series that I did in 2004.  There are two others in this series, one entitled “Princesse” (purchased by Dr Nancy Mingo in 2004) and  “Orpheline” (purchased by Deborah Whale in 2018).

Painted in very thin layers of luminous acrylic, these painting gives a feel of summer sun and the, to those who entertain such idea, the depth of soul in the innocent cow. That, and the fact that this quintessentially earthy creature seems to be levitating.AURORE can come apart for shipping (roll the canvas, bundle the stretcher).

AURORE (2004) 36” x 48” original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson
Photo by Dawn McLeod
 
 
 
 
 

Auction Art

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.
 
Lot 135
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

 

Lot 142
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.
Nadina
 
 

Auction Art – ZOOM and Thanksgiving – big art

 
Lot 141
In 2010, my divorce was finalized, the big house sold, my elderly mother moved out into a retirement home, my Braun recording finished… I still had my Tacoma pick up truck and could fit an 8 foot canvas in the back.
 
I brought a store-bought one home (I usually stretch/prime them myself) and went outside to shoot paint all over it from squirt bottles, the idea being to make a good background for a large (4’ x 8’) landscape.
 
I started by splashing wet acrylic on the canvas and spreading rapidly with big sea sponges, then waiting a bit for it to dry and doing the next layer.
 
HOWEVER, the moment I finished the last pirouetting, air-flung squirt of  black paint, I thought  it looked fantastic. So active yet so transparent.  So I set it up in the corner of the overpriced loft I was renting, resolving to think about it before proceeding further.  And it stayed that way, becoming a backdrop for a photo shoot of a beautiful singer by a well-known photographer and the title work for the 2014 show.
 
So many people say they love it, and it has been expensive. I also do not have a single 8 foot expanse of wall in my new house. So it is in the auction and I hope one of the people who love it will marry it.
 

 

photo by Dawn McLeod
 
Lot 140
I had a quiet day on Thanksgiving, 2010 before heading out to visit parents in different towns.  I hand stretched a canvas and primed it, then did a heavy layer of very soft, sky-inspired blues, grays and pinks…. Uncharacteristic but I enjoyed it.  Paused for a second, then began writing quickly in the heavy paint, pouring out words of thanksgiving to people who would have been shocked if the words were visible… writing fast and furious, layers of sentences piling upon sentences until it was a torrent of invisible lines.  Then I let it dry…. And went nuts with the brightly coloured paints in my squirt bottles.  So much for soft and subtle sky shades!
 
photo by Dawn McLeod

 

 

Auction Art – 4 works inspired by Rex Ray and the Hummel Concerto

Auction Art – 4 works inspired by Rex Ray and the Hummel Concerto
 
Continuing the descriptions of art that is up for online auction until Dec 6, 2018
 
In 2008, I bought two plane tickets for myself and Guy Few, and we flew to San Francisco to edit our second concerto album, Romanza.
 
We spent 4 days in the studio of recording engineer David Bowles of Swineshead Productions LLC in Berkley, CA. When the editing was completed, we headed into SF to eat things, buy stupid hats and look at art.
 
I was really inspired by the art of Rex Ray which was on exhibit. I bought a book about him and a big pack of postcards.  I pored over the book and created two large paintings in one of my favourite elongated narrow shapes (2 feet x 6 feet).
 
LOT 137
One was called The Sun’s Letter to the Moon (I love you) and sold in 2014 to flutist Leslie Newman. The second, Othello and Desdemona, is available in the current online auction until December 6.  It is acrylic on canvas, with portions of the painting collaged onto the main canvas.  I also used multi-media acrylic polymer to give it a gritty texture in places.  If it doesn’t sell, I will pull it off the stretcher, roll it up and use the stretcher frame to continue another series I am currently working on.
 
 
 

 Othello and Desdemona, 24″ x 72″, acrylic on canvas, original art by Nadina Mackie Jackson

 
 
LOTS 129 AND 130
 
And I carried the postcards for 9 years, through 3 house sales and moves, one divorce, the death of both my parents and several more recording projects.  When sorting out boxes when I moved to the church studio in Drayton, I found those fabulous postcards and made two very long, double-sided mobiles.
 
The first one is my basic motif of a flying bird. I used very strong, thin nylon string that I had inherited from my father who had used it for creating fish nets (for catching food, not for making stockings) when he was sailing to Hawaii on a boat he built himself. Yes, his story might be more interesting.
 
For the cut-out birds (Fly Free), I cut birds from two postcards and glued them one at a time, always referring to a hanging point to make sure they were level.  The cardstock is good quality, but all papers need to be heavily weighted to dry straight and true, so I did one bird at a time, allowing a minimum of 12 hours to dry for each. In the end, there were 11 birds spaced on the string, and when hung, they turn slowly in different directions. In the daytime, they catch the sun and briefly flash; at night, they cast poetic shadows. 
 
I used the remaining postcards to make PictureThis (Fly Free), which is another, shorter mobile (ca. 7 feet).  This mobile uses two parallel support strings which are attached to a carved willow twig at the top.  To create this mobile, I put equidistant pins into each end of the work table, then secured them for the duration of the creation process.  I alternated the flying direction of each bird on the totemic mobile and spaced them evenly.  There are 10 images on the mobile.
 
 

 

all photos by Dawn McLeod