Friday, October 30, 2009


Oil on Panel
49 x 24"

Fabula and Sujet (also sjuzhet, syuzhet, sjužet, or suzet (сюжет) ) are terms originating in Russian Formalism and employed in narratology that describe narrative construction. Sujet is an employment of narrative and fabula is the order of retelling events. They were first used in this sense by Vladimir Propp and Shklovsky.[1]

This painting has been sitting in my studio waiting patiently to be finished for a few months now. I really dislike leaving pieces half completed, but moving house just meant that certain things couldn't get done normally.

My ideas about the body telling a story really came through with this painting, I think. I'm becoming more and more interested in the emotional value of 'unfinished' brushstrokes, when juxtaposed with more 'refined' areas of interest in a painting. I think it adds a raw quality to the piece, an energy which I've been looking for to balance the new things I'm learning about the more technical aspects of painting.

I've got a lot more work to post, and it's interesting for me to compare this piece - which was really at the beginning of the change I'm seeing in my work - with the paintings I've done over the past few days. I'm still working my way through Richard Schmid's 'Alla Prima', and right now I'm very preoccupied with edges. And colour.

Sometimes I feel like my head will explode with all this new awareness of the visual world; other times, a lesson I learnt just appears in my mind at the right time, and I get to try it out for myself. It's very satisfying but I'm very much out of my comfort zone right now, and it reminds me of learning to drive.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bragging Rights!

"There is an ancient enmity between daily life and the great artwork"

Rainer Maria Rilke

So after a rather lengthy on/off hiatus due to housebuying, and then adding a new roof in the nick of time before the first snow hit Tahoe, I'm back on track (I think). I 'interviewed' one of my new models this morning, paid what must be my 100th visit to Meeks this month for studio essentials, and then (with a little glee) came across this issue of Tahoe Quarterly in which I appear alongside some pretty heavyweight 'Tahoe Masters'. It's their 10th Anniversary Issue, and they published a list of artists who'd been featured in TQ over the years, as artists, "who have mastered their craft."

Excellent ego boost for me at a time when I was starting to wonder if I'd ever feel like an artist again. Thank you Elizabeth Korb and Tahoe Quarterly!

In the spirit of reviving my dormant artist-self, I've also posted an invitation on my Tahoe Artists Network Facebook Group to a critique group on November 5th. If any locals are interested, drop me an email - I'm looking for professionally minded creative people to share and discuss your creative practice. I've also posted a discussion starter on the board - Influence & Originality, so if you're not able to make the meeting, feel free to throw in your ideas on the subject.