north of little

Winter has finally come to Edmonton. Gershwin and I traipsed through it last night after I shoveled the walk. This morning when I left to open the cafe....the sidewalk and roads were missing. Or buried, rather. I was supposed to be helping friends finish their move and drink beer, but little car needs to be dug out of the ever increasing, car encasing snow drift that was the street in front of the studious little flat. Winter is making up for being non-committal these past 3 months. In 2 days. I love Alberta. Suddenly I feel as though I live very far north.

So rather than helping my friends move and drink beer, I'm working on things in the studio, sorting receipts for income tax purposes and trying not to panic about how quickly the months of this year seem to be blowing by so far. February 25th? Where the hell did you come from?

I have 3 things due relatively soon. Four commissions. Two of them for the same person. Here's how the one piece is looking so far:

I spent the better part of an hour cutting out tiger lily shapes from a large scrap of stiff, sort of corrugated orange paper from my little tub of papers....only to hold up the shapes to the canvas and go: '........nope. I'm not digging it.' Knifed on color is what I went with instead. Far more bold. I'll keep the cut out shapes and use them for something else. The base of this painting is acrylic mixed with water, giving it the feel of having been painted with watercolor. It's modeled after the 'girl in the hymnal dress' series, but instead, she's sporting a family tartan on her kilt. The orange chunks of paint will eventually be wild tiger lilies...with the addition of another layer of self-leveling gel and some drawn in details with ink. An odd thing to be painting on such a blustery day.

It kind of looks like I shoveled a few hours ago, but not really. I love this weather. It's fitting too, as I'm currently reading a very interesting book called "Canada and the Idea of North" by Sherrill Grace. It's about how we as Canadians identify ourselves  as a 'northern people' and how the stories we tell, the paintings we create, the music we produce, the activities we celebrate and engage in...how these things help to perpetuate certain falsehoods and truths about Canada and our various cultures. It's very, very good. Now I'm trying to track down a source to buy and download Glenn Gould's 'Solitude Trilogy' to listen to in the studio while I paint in the evenings. You would think this wouldn't be hard....me being Canadian and living in Canada and him being a Canadian icon, but oh no....Amazon, itunes, soundcloud....none of these have the full version available for purchase and/or streaming IN CANADA. Honestly!

Thank goodness I have clever friends who know more about torrents and the internet than I do.