Sunday, 26 April 2015

Be still my heart

I am in two shows at the same time.  This doesn't happen to me often.  Okay it never has happened before and may never again but for today you can see me in two places.  Here is the invite - that is my doggie in the poster.

I have two pieces in the show.  Can a pictures be any worse? The glass is just reflecting everything but I think you can see it is a dress, just ignore the people in the bottom enjoying themselves and not looking at my painting.

Here is the other painting and see the ribbon beside it I won first prize.  YEAH!!!!!!  The judge also took the time to tell me such nice things that I am still blushing.  

YEAH!!!!! again.  Oh what the heck here is a third YEAH!!!!!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Every Day Matters 1-7

Sometimes you just need a push to get you into the studio and sometimes you need a shove.  I tend to avoid working when I am unsure of what I am doing.  Let's be honest I put the pro in procrastination. It wouldn't be so bad if I did useful things but 10 rounds of Candy Crush never really helped anything. This week I started each day with  a sketch from the Everyday Matters list.

Danny Gregory wrote a book (actually he wrote many books the man is busy), about his wife Patty and her accident and how he learnt to draw to save his sanity.  A list of drawing ideas came from that book and also many groups on facebook yahoo etc.  I started each morning by drawing from that list.  It got the juices flowing so to speak and into the studio.  I find once I am down there I might as well paint.  The photos are pretty bad because I drew in very light pencil and to make the pencil lines darker makes every little fold and shadow pop up.  Never mind it is just an exercise.
Day 2 Light
Day 1 shoes
Day 3 Purse

Day 4 Cup and Mug
Day 5 Your Bed
Day 5 Your bed and a dog who jumped up to hog the picture
Day 6 A toy
Day 7 A bottle from your kitchen

I started drawing my bed but Mully joined in the drawing session. It is sometimes hard if you don't know what to draw - having specific things makes it easier.  Of course after you post the photos you realize what is wrong. For instance in the Soda Stream bottle the letters should be going up and the bottle should be getting wider as it goes down. It was time to fill it anyhow.

Friday, 17 April 2015

I am running back to my comfort zone

I gave a talk for my show.  I discussed painting in a series.  What was I thinking?  I hate public speaking.  I want to go back to my comfort zone.  I am running back to my cave.  Why do people always say you should try something new?  They also say never let them see you sweat - I was dripping.  Ok it was hot.  Twenty people showed up which I think is great for a Thursday and no food.  (What no wine  I wasn't allowed).  People were kind and said wonderful things and it was much appreciated.

Complements are nice but you have to go back to work.  Here is something I am working on for a show. I have been trying to paint from life and I am enjoying it.

Mess - S. Charto Art
Mess  (20 X 24)
Do you believe that the pile of shoes is a mess?  The reason for the name is that I had to fill out the submission form but I hadn't painted it yet.  So I put in a non specific name and painted it this week. A deadline forces you to work.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

All Hung Up

It's done and hung.  All my paintings are hung in a row just as I envisioned and I am feeling really good. Actually I didn't do much - my good friends Sandy and Suzy just took my paintings and went to work.  All I did was match the title card to the paintings - really hard work.

this is Justin - he wasn't allowed to touch the paintings but he posed really well (he did push the cart to bring them in so he deserves to be in the picture). We were finished and done within an hour, because we had done so much prep work before.  Each painting was in a group, the cards were done and I knew basically what I wanted.  If you want a good lesson in planning for a show - listen to this podcast  I learnt a lot from this show.  You should listen to the savvy painter podcast anyhow because she interviews really special artists.  

I am giving a talk about painting in series on Thursday April 16, 2015.  I won't be doing much painting tomorrow because I am nervous and plan to spend the whole day in the bathroom. Maybe a little too much private information.  

Monday, 30 March 2015

My real artist statement

This is what I really feel

I have had three dogs as an adult.  There have been times I wanted to murder them.  Times I resented having to walk them in bad weather or clean up some accidents.  Did the puppy really need to chew my shoe?  Does the dog really have to go through the garbage and make a mess everywhere?   But never did I regret getting them.

I have learnt from all of them.  I have learnt to be a better parent through teaching them tricks.  They have taught my children compassion, patience and gentleness. Do they really love us – I have no idea.  I see my dog running through the woods but always checking to see if we are following.  She could run away but she chooses to come back.  I see her greeting us with joy when we come home and looking at us with sadness when we are leaving.  Is that love? I don’t know. 

I have cuddled them when they were puppies and I stroked them when they took their last breath.  There will come a time when I will be too old to take care of a dog. I have met some older people who stop me in the street, pet my Golden and they always smile and say “I had a dog once. It was the best dog in the world”.  

I am lucky to have had three of the best dogs in the world. 


I hope you enjoy my paintings.  I welcome you into my dog world.  It is my wish they make you smile and think of dogs that you might have encountered. 


(Mully, Bogey and Rex)

Artist Statement

I don't know why but I am told I should have an artist statement.  I have gone to school for 3 years for a bachelor, 2 years for a master and  I only wrote one paper.  Unbelievable but true, and now I have to write an artist statement.

Version 1 generated from 500 letters.

S. Charto(1956, Montreal, Canada) makes paintings, photos and drawings.  By taking daily like as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, Charto often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive.  Play is a serious matter during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.  Her paintings are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middle class mentality in which recognition plays an important role.  S. Charto currently lives and works in Cote Saint Luc

Not bad - they didn't have a topic of dogs but take out everyday and substitute dogs and it might do.

Version 2
S. Charto isn't writing no artist statement - just look at the damn paintings - its just dogs.
A little childish maybe and definitely bad English

Version 3
People say it's nice to have a hobby that you enjoy.  Painting is not enjoyable.  It takes work and it is frustrating and it is always on your mind.  You fall in love with your work and the next day you hate it.  You can't understand why you can't make it work.  The blank canvas taunts you.  Painting is not for sissies.

Version 4
I work in my dark basement and I feel like I am a very lucky person.  I have my own place to go to every day.  I am surrounded by blank canvasesses, brushes and an easel.  Every once in awhile my muse comes down and insists on a walk.  I take her out for a run and we sometimes meet other dogs.  I ask the owners if I can take a picture of their dog and I have never been refused - everyone is thrilled that a stranger recognizes the joy and beauty they see in these marvellous creatures. 

I paint dogs and I am a very lucky person.

I think I will go with version 4 - what do you think?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

It takes a a village

I can't believe how long it takes to put on a show.  I think the paintings themselves are the easiest part.  I am not framing them but yet each one has to have hooks and wires (2 trips to the hardware store).  I can't do the twisting because I am an artist and have delicate hands (hey he bought it)

There has to be a final decision and of course Mully was involved.  I actually had 2 friends come over and help but they didn't want to be in the picture.  

The space is divided into 4 panels.  My friends split up the paintings in about 2 minutes  - it would have taken me hours. They also helped with the names.  Its funny how you agonize about the first 5 and then you slowly don't care. Just do it.

Labels have to be printed - one visit to a business center.

Each painting has to be glazed (1 trip to art store) and each label matched to the painting to make sure each one has a label. (here are 15 there are about 36 paintings in all - a lot of paint.) 

Still have to take them to the site hang them and then I seriously deserve some ice cream.