Monday, October 26, 2009
Art isn't 9 to 5
A friend, Sheila, in Montreal is a truly fine artist but somewhat private and secretive. She is driven to quietly create. Photography, pencil sketches, oil paintings, wood sculptures and more are all in her remarkable and extensive repertoire.
Name an artistic endeavour, such as film making, and you will discover that she's tackled it, done it, and filed her completed work in her bulging portfolio.
Wonderfully tart, thanks to fresh lemons and a bit of lemon zest, this is a pie that owes nothing to Shirriff lemon pie filling. Her pies are truly her pies.
My wife went to the Ontario College of Art. We have two of her works from that period on our walls. But when she left the college, for the most part, she left her personal involvement with art behind.
I attended art school in Detroit and I got a degree in filmmaking from Ryerson in Toronto. Ask me how many of the students in my classes actually went on to work in art or film. The answer is not many. This is not uncommon.
One thing that one learns in art school is that art is tough. Art is not just lines or colour on a stretched canvas. I would argue that a lot of fine art is the culmination of the artist's thoughts on the subject at hand and the artist's visceral reaction to the work as it takes shape.
Sheila spends weeks thinking about her art, planning, anticipating, and then modifying her approach continually while she works. Once she has the statement complete and on display in a finished piece, she creates another work building on a different visual riff on the original theme.
Sheila deserves a show. She has earned one.