This past year was one for the record books; I have a partner who is considered high-risk if he catches Covid-19, so we’ve had to be about as careful as it’s possible to be. Which means we’re coming up on a year of barely leaving the house.
I have not visited my art studio much, but I brought home my more portable easel and my supplies and set to work on a few large-scale pieces. Here they are:
This is one of his pieces; it almost directly inspired the name of my website. Manfred lived a few blocks away from me, in this incredibly interesting house that he designed – see below (he was an architect).
He’s also known for designing a church-in-the-round on Manitoulin Island, which I’m very interested in taking a road trip to visit.
I didn’t know Manfred well, but I had a few very interesting conversations with him, after I stumbled across his property while out on a walk one day. He had his sculptures all over the property, and at the time (2014) he was still allowing people to photograph them. Later on he became worried about theft, but now it seems all but the heaviest pieces have been removed, and I have no idea where they’ve gone now that his house has been sold.
Here are a few photos of the pieces that really struck me when I first explored his property:
There’s almost no information about Manfred available online; I’m interested in finding out more about him, as well as his sculptural and architectural work, if anybody local has any information or stories.
Walking into the back yard was like going into a sun-dappled fairyland. The place was overgrown and wild, and the art was almost unearthly. I hope the new owners of the property do the house justice, with the restoration it badly needs.
Here’s my most recent work; a portrait of my friend, Michael:
I finished this piece at the end of May and submitted it to an art show at Mansfield Outdoor Centre in June, where it was voted People’s Choice winner. I’m very pleased with how the painting turned out, and flattered that my fellow festival-goers liked it as well.
Since May I’ve been absent from my studio quite a bit. There was a lot of travelling in June, and again in July (including a trip to Vancouver), so I haven’t been keen to start any projects. I think I need to spend some time looking for inspiration. This painting rattled around in the back of my head for about 5 months before it started to come through into real life; I’m hoping to incubate some more ideas during the heat of the summer.
This is a portrait of my friend, Michael, whom I managed to photograph in a quiet moment last fall. He looked so regal that he reminded me of a saint in a stained-glass window. Since he’s a stained-glass artist himself, it seemed like the photo was screaming to be made into a painting with a stained-glass theme.
This is my most recent finished piece, which I was thrilled to exhibit at the Novah Gallery for International Women’s Day: