Out of the blue one afternoon about a year ago I received a call from someone with the Oceanside Community Arts Council asking if I would like to put on a solo show in the 2018 season. I was as surprised as I was flattered, but because I don’t complete more than 7 or 8 paintings in a typical year, some of which get sold, I never have enough inventory on hand to put on a show. I was given a wide choice of dates, so I picked the October 16 – December 2 slot, giving myself as much time as possible to prepare enough work.
I find the pressure from making this kind of commitment invigorating. Not only are you under the gun to produce enough work to fulfill the obligation, but there is enormous pressure to produce the best quality you are capable of which, I believe, actually forces you to improve as you progress.
Around that same time, I had just started thinking about painting a series that featured a raven somewhere in each piece. This was inspired by my “Raven Tree” painting in which I placed the raven as an afterthought. I liked the effect enough to build on that idea, and I eventually completed 7 paintings in that series before running out of time. Three of those have already been sold but I am grateful to the buyers that allowed me to borrow back two of them for the show.
The show is titled “Islands and Ravens”, so besides the six raven pieces there will be seven (including another sold piece thanks to the generous owners) featuring the islands that we see every day from our home and from the ferry.
The show is at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville, and the official opening reception is on Sunday, October 21 between 1 – 3pm. Everyone is welcome.