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Ruminating

January 14th, 2015

Ruminating

Last night I was ruminating while I was brushing my teeth. I was thinking about rumbles, my own near death experience and all I felt during that. I haven’t told anyone my near death experience because, at the time, I thought it was just a very vivid dream. Also, this was a very deep personal thing. Who could I talk with about this, at that time? who would understand? Who would, without patting me on the head, saying there there and basically run me down? Who could I trust with my deep feelings? Who would KNOW? At the time, I felt more alone after the near death experience. So, I fell into a depression for many months afterward. The near death experience I had… is similar to others, that tunnel of light. I’ll back up… I just had my first back surgery, I remember being turned a couple of times in the sandwich bed, feeling fairly comfortable. I thought I was healing just fine after the surgery for scoliosis. Though, I could feel the new herrington rods in my back. I remember my next bed mate, an older woman, who also had the same surgery. She was very angry, and going through the grief stages. Losing mobility is traumatic for some. Then after that, things went wrong for me. I guess the student doctor thought I was not healing normally, or fast enough. So I was given a drug that was supposed to speed up my healing. It was in the I V drip I was receiving. I remember feeling like I was dying. You just know. I even told my Mom that I’m dying. I was drowning from the fully open I V drip. The bag was supposed to last like eight hours, but this emptied in 20 minutes. I was wheeled into ICU and someone smart put a catheter in me so I could urinate, which I desperately needed but was unaware of. When the catheter went in, I thought to myself, now I can start to heal. I then went into a coma. I had what I thought was a vivid dream of going down a tunnel of light. At the end of this tunnel is Home, or heaven to some. I could feel I was returning. I felt safe, whole, blissful, at peace. Though, I didn’t make it all the way. I came to a fork in the tunnel. One was to return to life as I knew it or to return Home. At the time, this choice confused me. I guess before, my soul would have a direct route Home. So, I returned. I don’t know how long I was in the coma, a week, 11 weeks. But to me, because I nearly made it Home, the time was always now. So, I thought it was only yesterday that I shared that room with the older lady. Boy, was I surprised how much time went by. It was difficult to have to return, after experiencing pure love. That was in 1986. I wouldn’t call that a life altering event, because at the time, I just didn’t know. And who could I tell? I guess I’m sharing this now, because of Rumbles. While I was brushing my teeth tonight, ah last night, I received this idea as a new painting to do. It is of Rumbles waiting for me at Home. I’ve “attached” this rough drawing as a start to this new painting. I always knew, that she and all my other animal friends I knew from this lifetime and all past lives, will be waiting for me when I return Home. Of course, so will all family and friends I knew. It will be quite a party. Words fall short of feelings. All we can do is try our best to express what we feel at anytime. Yes, I miss Rumbles very much, but grief is a gift to be opened gradually. We go at our own pace, hand in hand and foot in foot with the dear Creator. I guess this image is a merging of my pace with the Creator’s pace. I don’t think I’ve accepted Rumbles’ departure yet, but I’m learning to trust that inner Self. I’ve read and figured out that the Creator isn’t outside of us, “out there somewhere, sitting on a cloud”, but inside us. I guess Rumbles’ departure, prompted me to do a search, really for my higher Self, the Creator inside. This is what I’m coming to accept. I guess when I learn to trust this higher Self, I will then accept Rumbles’ departure. When Rumbles departed, I was completely shattered. How do you pick up the pieces? Nothing to hold onto. Just precious memories, artwork, and photographs remain. Nowhere to go but up. Leave the pieces where they are, but keep the memories. Of course, it doesn’t do to stay in the past. Staying connected to the Now moment is a daily challenge, even a challenge moment by moment. I’m getting there! Take one breath. Draw one line. Move one step. Do one thing if that’s all I can do. Hugs to everyone.

I adopted Rumbles

January 14th, 2015

I adopted Rumbles

I adopted Rumbles, my second cat, during the third week of November, 2000. I got her to keep my first cat, Panther, company while I was away for learning how to make a video. It became apparent that Rumbles was afraid of everything and everyone. So, I made sure Rumbles saw everything I brought home. Over the years, I told Rumbles to be assertive. Assertive is what I got! She helped herself to my freshly baked muffins, and took bacon off my plate when I had pancakes. She’d also lick the salt off my potato chips. She eventually had me trained to hold a muffin or a potato chip for her.  She didn’t like high places. When we adopted each other, she would bolt to under the bed if the doorbell/phone rang. She would stay there until her perceived monster left. But, when I had some deaf friends over, she would come out to see what the silence was. Communicating in sign language was new experience for her. Rumbles was so very badly abused. Rumbles told me, telepathically, of some of the abuse she experienced. She was starved, kicked, and her past owner grabbed her tail and swung her. I was devastated when I learned all that. Why would anyone abuse a gorgeous cat like this? Knowing that, I told her, she’s safe with me. She was not a hold me cat, and not a lap cat. But she was definitely a close cuddler. When I read books or watched tv, she would have her back to my leg or her feet against my leg. Thus warming each other up. I had to earn her trust. I did that over time by allowing her to get to know me as I am, on her terms. When I came home from being out, no matter how long or short the time, she would greet me with her dainty walk, and tail way up high, with a little crook at the end of her tail. She would take my pancakes, probably because I used bacon fat to cook them in. I used to set the smoke alarm off, often. It got so often, that she eventually got used to that and looked bored when I set it off. She would look as if she was saying, “Oh, you set the smake alarm off, again!” Big yawn. She tried avocado for a while also, because I sprinkled nutritional yeast on. She was crazy for nutritional yeast! No cat story is complete without a story about their hunting! Rumbles brought in moths from the balcony. I didn’t know of that! She would capture them and bring them in and release them and play / hunt them then eat. She went between the walls of the apartment. Her first time, for me anyway, she spent quite some time in there. I was getting nervous and had visions of the fire department breaking open the wall to fish her out. Then I heard a thump. So, I was going to call the fire department, but she emerged from the kitchen hole with a mouse from her mouth! When we visited my Mom’s for Christmas, Mom left the balcony door open a hair line width. Rumbles must have worked all night to get that heavy balcony door open! She presented Mom with a hummingbird. Mom was Not pleased. Oh, I am a visual artist. Rumbles participated in my artwork as well. Once I was totally engrossed in a painting; I forgot everything. Then when I stood up to admire my artwork thus far, Rumbles jumped onto the artwork! She brought me back to the present moment, meowing in my face. I am currently editing a video in which I talk about the creation of one of my paintings, from creation to finish. She’s in that, also. I am so grateful I told her over the years to be assertive.  When it was movie night, she would join me and lay on one side of my lap, then after a few minutes, jump off the sofa, walk around the trunk – table, have a good scratch on her scratching post. Then she would jump back on the sofa, on my other side, and dive into my popcorn, to lick all the butter on the bottom! What a bum! Then she would jump over the popcorn bowl and resume her nap. Rumbles was always so trusting of me. Sometimes she slept with her eyes open, mouth open, on her back with all four feet wherever. I tried to take pictures of her like that, but to no avail. I think we were so close because we knew each other in past lives. For sleeping at nights, she would start her nights, sleeping ON my feet. Then she would move to behind my knees. Next, either back to back or front to front. Sometimes she would even come under the sheet and blankets. Sometimes in the morning she would wake me with a variety of ways: pawing my head, sometimes with her claws sometimes not, just breathing into my face, and touching nose to nose. One morning, I awoke to green eyes. I was on my back, and she was on my tummy.  Little did I know how deeply Rumbles’ pawprints would touch my heart. She was just 13 and under three months when she departed. Thank you, dear sweet Rumbles, for being the star of my life! I know we will see each other again. My visual art website is www.handsandpurrs.ca

Merry Christmas

December 22nd, 2014

Merry Christmas

hello everyone,

i would like to give thanks to everyone in my life who have touched me and i hope i have returned the favour.

it looks like this year will be a green christmas here in vancouver, bc. though, in the past, mother nature surprised us with snow, right on christmas day.

my teacher at my recent course at emily carr, gently encouraged me to draw and paint cats. i was unsure i could, because i am still missing my cat named Rumbles. wow. she was an amazing gentle spirit. i still cry for rumbles sometimes; i still feel shattered. i include the artwork i did last year for my mixed media course: those are broken incandescent light bulbs, to represent my feeling of shatteredness. i live on the hope that one day i will have another cat. i have to figure out a way to do this. i wrote an article for the black cat white dog newspaper, about rumbles. i includ a link to the magazine. my article is on page 11. Black Cat White Dog Newspaper, February / March Issue i think i will post the full article i wrote in an upcoming blog post, because the article i wrote was edited. i'll post it, unedited.

one pleasant memory i'd like to share about rumbles: sometimes i made pancakes for breakfast, with bacon. i put the plate on the table and i'd turn my back to cook more. i turn again and i see her helping herself to a pancake! probably because it was cooked in bacon fat.

so, may your christmas be filled with your cat helping her/him self to your food, laughter, and peace.

hugs to all.

February Art News

February 14th, 2014

February Art News

Hello, here is my e newsletter that i just sent out to my e newsletter people: (copied and pasted)

January was quite busy for me.

I had to close my studio at 195 Pemberton Avenue, for various reasons. Maybe one day,
I will find a new studio from which to create. In the meantime, I will do my artwork from home.

I sold a painting: the Three Kittens. :)

I finally uploaded my documentary video, showing my painting process for the painting I
worked on last year. Doing both the painting and this video was part of my grief process,
for Rumbles. This was difficult for me to get through. I really wanted to finish it before my
course at Emily Carr started. I hope you take the time to view it on my youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUL4SL0SKO4&list=UUB369mCiqohmTD4oK2FYLTw&feature=c4-overview

I contributed an article to the Black Cat, White Dog magazine:
http://www.blackcatwhitedognews.com/editions/BCWD15.pdf

I am also taking a course at Emily Carr University, through their continuing ed program. This
course is called the Business of Art Practise, and is required for the certificate I'm going for.

I am planning to take part in this year's North Shore Art Crawl, on the third weekend of April.
Details to come.

Happy belated new year and happy early Valentine's Day!

Hugs to all. A.J.

Giving thanks

February 14th, 2014

Giving thanks

I just found out that someone blogged about my website! I found out from a new acquaintance who told me she was searching for abstract art with a Japanese theme. The search results brought her to a blog that had my Mask drawing which directed her tp another blog about me and my art. Yippee! So, to whomever wrote / blogged about my website here, THANK you SO much! I had no idea. :)

To the universe at large, please keep up with these Very Nice Surprises! :)

Book of A J Brown

February 14th, 2014

Book of A J Brown

The book I wrote, My Voice: A Journey of Courage, Creativity and Hope can be found here:
Click here

Contact Magazine for Christ Church Cathedral Spring 2007, Volume 38, Issue 1

February 14th, 2014

Contact Magazine for Christ Church Cathedral Spring 2007, Volume 38, Issue 1

The Art of A.J. Brown
Barbara Brown

The art of A.J. Brown is notable for its childlike naiveté and is seen as not contrived but bold, courageous and honest, arising as it does from her disabilities and her great need as a creative person to communicate, to dream and to imagine a new and better world.

A recent showing of A.J.’s art illustrates her range as a conceptual artist and her belief that a viewer’s impressions and insights of any particular painting are more important than the traditional view of art as a precious commodity.

Visitors to ‘Between Friends’, a co-show at West Vancouver’s Silk Purse Gallery with established artist Marie Becker-Pos, wrote at length about their impressions of A.J.’s art: “Super great work, both simple and complex at same time.” “I really enjoyed the story telling qualities in both worlds.” “I love how you use so many diverse mediums. Congratulations on a successful show.” “This is a remarkable show, so well matched! Cats & birds, Argyle garden & fanciful designs. I loved it all.”

A.J.’s interest in art began in 1999 when she participated in art therapy classes about the time that her disabilities forced her to retire from paid work. Since then she has studied with the Vancouver School Board (a great experience because they supplied ASL interpreters for every class) and the North Shore night school (a bad experience because no interpreters were provided). Since 2005, A.J. has been mentored by a collective of artists under the guidance of Elizabeth Harris-Nichols at the Bad Dog Studio in North Vancouver.

A.J. first exhibited her work in 2002 and now has had exhibitions in several galleries, including the CityScape Art Space, the Artists Helping Artists in Burnaby, a deaf artists show at Vancouver Community College, the West Vancouver Harmony Arts Festival, with their ‘Art Beat,’BC Festival of the Arts, the Deaf Canada
Conference Art Show in Quebec City and the Silk Purse Gallery
She is a member of the Society for Disability Arts and Culture, MediaEyes Production Society, The Famous Open Door Studio Society and the North Vancouver Arts Commission.

A.J. is excited about the growing interest in her art, and we recently met over lunch to discuss her work.

“I began to paint because it was so hard to be employed by other people. I worked for the government and found full-time work and the three-hour commute to be exhausting due to the stress and being CPish [AJ’s unique descriptor for her cerebral palsy symptoms, which have worsened over time].
1/2

“I’m inspired by what surrounds me – my cats; Rumbles and Panther, the view of the trees and birds from my window, the work of other artists like Picasso who is so free, the photography of Ansel Adams, a movie perhaps. Sometimes my friends say things. The painting ‘The Lazy Melting Cat’ was inspired by comments my friend Leanor made about her cat in front on the fireplace.
“I like to work with an image and along the way, some humour comes out. A magazine photo inspired ‘The Dog and the Wedding Cake’. I let it sit in my collage book for a long time before I actually made the painting. From the beginning I thought it was funny and poor dog would later be sick. Cats just get into my paintings! I can paint Rumbles shape now without any references!

“The Purple Cat’ started with the sky. I used my hands to get all that texture. That’s how I get the great feel for detail. Panther was once a participant in my art, with his tail. I just let him swish away on the one I call ‘Panther Comedy’. His work is on the eye colour.

“In the past few years I did a lot of volunteer work with a deaf video group called MediaEyes. I acted with Theatre Terrific in a couple of roles. At Gallaudet University [the Washington DC liberal arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing] I wrote modern, classical music and even received a couple of awards for my work.

“The Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing recognized my contribution to local deaf culture in 2005, as an example for people in adversity. Their WIDHH Award is given annually and was given that year to three of us. I was cited because they felt I was an inspiration for living.

“Generally, I’m upbeat and positive. I try to find the humour in situations. But painting is my focus now. For recreation, I love to walk. Sharing time with good friends is great. I love to spend time with other artists and more and more I have the opportunity to paint with them.

“In ten years I would like to be living and working in some place hot, like Toller Cranston in Mexico. Painting full-time. It’s my plan. Of course, I know changes will happen along the way. I’m hoping for a better future.

“Everyone asks me about my AJB butterfly signature. It’s a symbol. You know a butterfly starts as a caterpillar and then turns into a butterfly later. Likewise, for me!

“Advise for budding artists? Keep at it. That’s the only way.”

To view A.J.’s art go to www.handsandpurrs.ca.

Alumni Profile A J Brown 1990

February 14th, 2014

Alumni Profile A J Brown 1990

AJ Brown, ’90

It takes some artists a lifetime to develop a distinct style and gain renown. For others, fame doesn’t come while they are alive to enjoy it. But for AJ Brown, ‘90, it’s taken just 10 years of painting to hone a distinct concept for her work and to draw an adoring fan base.

Brown grew up in Vancouver, B.C., and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She ventured down to the States in 1985 to attend Gallaudet, studying English literature. No art courses made it onto Brown’s class roster during her time at the University, nor for several years after. But she did find friends and mentors in several professors, including Joe Grigely, a retired English faculty member, and Diane Merchant of the former Music Department. “They were genuinely interested in me,” Brown recalled. “They were role models for me, as well.”

When she returned to Vancouver with her college degree, Brown discovered that as a deaf woman with cerebral palsy, there were barriers in the job market that she had not anticipated. She went back to school, taking music and business courses. She considered becoming a musician, a dancer, and a model. She worked at an income tax agency and at the post office. Ultimately, a muse came into her life that changed everything.

Brown began taking art courses in 1999 and found that painting was the right medium for her. The subjects of her artwork also became clear. Brown enjoyed using her first cat, Panther, and photos of other pets to create her pieces. Her paintings continue to incorporate furry characters. Although she often works from photos, Brown’s works employ abstract techniques like bright blocks of color and skewed angles. She calls her style “conceptual,” and said that each of the pieces tells a story.

The specific animals vary from painting to painting, sometimes fluffy and black like her current companion, Rumbles, and sometimes a fanciful blue; sometimes seated and obedient, other times prowling and mischievous. Secretly, though, like Marc Chagall, who always added a rooster to his dream-like watercolors of people and animals, Brown sneaks the spirit of a certain character into each painting. “I put my cat in each one,” Brown revealed, “and a bit of myself in as well.”

Some of her paintings feature a scene familiar to pet owners, like a cat pawing at a running shower, while others imagine a world in which daffodils communicate from their vases. She sometimes incorporates words, like Panther’s name in the Pablo Picasso-inspired piece “Panther Comedy’s Eye Colour.”

“Her themes have expanded and are bold and fun, as it is with her use of color,” said friend Lisz Keallen, who met Brown as her interpreter and has been following her work from the start.

In 2004, Brown released her first book. Through poetry, art, and stories, My Voice: A Journey of Creativity, Courage and Hope describes the brushstrokes she has used to become an artist and the challenges she faced as she filled her life’s canvas.

As Brown continued to paint and gained self-assurance, she formed the idea for a business. “It started as a natural evolution from my creations,” Brown said. “I wanted to develop a business of artwork, paintings, greeting cards, art prints, and my book.” In 2005, on the advice of a job counselor from the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Vancouver, Brown went to a self-employment program. Within two years, she had learned enough to start her company.

Since starting her business, Hands, Paws, and Purrs, Brown has created a website—handsandpurrs.ca—and wrote a second book, Room in my Heart: A Book of Cats Galore. She has also participated in several art shows. News stories about her have appeared in artistsincanada.com and Contact Magazine, and she has been interviewed on two Vancouver television shows.

In November of 2008, Brown hung her first solo exhibit, “The Ultimate Gift,” in Vancouver. “I felt proud, joyous, and like I was 10 feet tall,” Brown said. The exhibit drew enthusiastic comments, and several people paid her the compliment of buying her work. “That was the icing on my cake,” she said.

In addition to painting, Brown is active in the community. She sits on the board of directors for the Society for Disability Arts and Culture and The Voice of the Cerebral Palsied of Greater Vancouver, and she is involved with two other arts organizations. Brown is proud of what she has accomplished as an artist who happens to be deaf and have cerebral palsy. “A double disability, so to speak,” she said, but not a major barrier—not a barrier to creating art, nor to sharing her oeuvre with friends, colleagues, and the community. Indeed, she has participated in more than 20 shows since 2002.

As she looks ahead, Brown wants to continue learning and developing herself and her business. “My plans for the future are to keep loving my cat, keep reaching out, keep learning, and keep painting,” she said.

This profile originally appeared in the spring 2009 issue of Gallaudet Today Magazine.

The Primitive Style of A.J. Brown, by A.J. Brown

February 14th, 2014

The Primitive Style of A.J. Brown, by A.J. Brown

The Art Style of A.J. Brown

It is unique. A.J. Brown’s style has always been uncommon, unusual and remarkable. Her style draws in the perceptive viewer and rewards him or her with insights hidden in her image: joy, wonder, forgiveness, curiosity, fear, even understanding of some of life’s eternal dilemmas such as the soldier’s need for peace and comfort on a battleground

An example: For her piece, Soldier and 2 cats … The original of this was sent to A.J. as part of an email. A.J. then drew the original and then from that, painted. She added a second cat on the right side of the diptych. She also added a plane and a big bomb being dropped on a house. She thought this might hopefully say this is overkill. To keep improving technology to the point that maybe in the future a bomb the size of our fingernails will destroy a city. “Eek! Well, I hope not!” says A.J.

A.J. describes her painting style as primitive. This is an old word deriving from the Latin, primitivus: first of its kind. In painting, it is used to describe a style that is direct, that rejects convention, a style that is unaffected and is unique, not derived from anything else. Primitive is not used to describe her style as uneducated or rough. Instead, her paintings are the opposite; sophisticated and urbane without being embellished and complicated. A.J.’s work is full of oxymorons: It is simple and complex at the same time. It is sarcastic and humourous. It’s fun and realistic and always has a message of the spirit of the animal. It’s sweet and profound and shows the spirit of the artist. It also has a whimsical flair. Her style is sort of eclectic, with some elements of impressionist, or abstracts. It has an unhindered raw energy and vibrancy. A.J. likes to surprise her viewers. She likes to try to keep her cat in its natural environment, but maybe one day one of her cats will be in outer space or living in the water as a mer – cat, or fairy.

Another beloved painting is the Wedding Cake piece. A.J. cut out a photograph from a magazine many years ago, before she acknowledged herself as an artist. She did collage back then, a little bit. She hung onto this without knowing why. Then in 2006, she thought to try and tackle this as a subject for a painting. A.J. took a painting course at the time and I was encouraged to try new approaches. She drew out a very rough drawing of it to work out how to do it. She didn’t like the Dalmatian in the original photograph. She added 2 cats from her imagination to the drawing, but it still seemed to be missing something. She had the calendar from the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society that year, and in that, was a puppy in boots. She had what she needed!! She thinks she pitched that calendar since.

In a way this is somewhat like describing personality traits, being direct and unaffected, and very much her own person, that is, unique, ready and willing to meet the world head on. A.J. treats everyone and everything she meets, with respect, even if that respect is not reciprocated. She knows respect comes from exposure to a wide variety of experiences. The more we are exposed to different things, the more we learn of different things and can understand things better, and therefore, earn and give respect.

For some of her artwork, A.J. just created straight from her imagination, like the Purple Cat and Between Friends. She didn’t plan these out. Though, for these two, she used her hands to get the sky just right. For an element of fun, she added the squirrel and the owl for a bit of wisdom.

Art is a new way of looking at things. When we look at someone’s work, we see through their eyes for a short time, sort of like borrowing “A.J. Brown’s spectacles” for the current moment.

A.J. practiced drawing out the Cat Sled Team. She “borrowed” a picture from the movie Pinocchio, because its cat, Figaro, is perfect! That was a challenge to get it just right, when its tongue was coming out. She froze her VCR at that second and took a picture of her TV. She hopes whoever did that original doesn’t mind! But she doesn’t see the art police coming …. to arrest her for borrowing the image. She practiced the cat standing. She used her favourite fairy tale book for a reference for this. This was her favourite fairy tale book because its pictures are alive, vibrant and they support the stories. She thinks this fairy tale book is a big influence on her art. It’s too bad the artist isn’t given credit for his or her work! The work is conceptual and inspiring. She has re read this many times since her childhood. She will read it again and again in the future.

A.J. thinks her disabilities influence her style. Because A.J. is deaf, she takes care to watch her environment carefully. She looks for subtle clues as to what is going on, and what people are talking about. So the lift of an eyebrow, a single frown line, a glance, all tell her a bit of what is being possibly said.

For one painting, she took a photograph of two cats. She enlarged this photo to the painting size, 15 x 20. She really wanted to be accurate. So, she traced around the cats, and then put this tracing onto canvas. Then she painted it. This one is called, My Foot’s Clean!

A.J.’s art is alive with insight that she uses to interpret with sensitivity of her subjects.. A single brush stroke for a whisker can show impudence or sorrow. The angle of an ear shows interest or boredom. The line of a mouth shows mirth or fear. The simple lines of an eye can show laughter or naughtiness.

A.J. caught her cat in the act of drinking from the toilet. She took a photograph of that. She then tried to draw that out to practice for getting her hands used to the hand positions for painting this. Then she painted it from the photograph and from her drawings.

Her cerebral palsy in some ways limits her abilities. But she uses her CP limitations by being prudent with her brush strokes. The direct, simple forms of her animals highlight their physicality. The curve of a tail says so much and she gets across each animal’s point of view with a few subtle strokes. In a way her disabilities limit her and empower her at the same time to tell an entire story sometimes with a minimum of brush strokes.

A.J. creates paintings, using acrylics. Her art is conceptual, meaning it has the potential to tell a story. Her art shows movement and has an element of fun. Some of her influences are from Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and even the ancient Mayan, Egyptian and Greek cultures. She also likes Monet. She has seen the work of Mary Michael Shelley, who does whimsical folk art. A.J.’s art might go in the direction of Louis Wain in the future. He painted cats, wearing clothes and attending tea parties. She uses a wide range of colours, from muted to vibrant. She likes to include a bit of humour in her artwork. But, like Picasso, her style is constantly evolving.

There is a corner in A.J.’s kitchen that is open to the wall. She cannot get at that space, but her cat can. From this space, Rumbles brought A.J. two mice. A.J. caught her cat coming from that space. She thinks she just worked straight from the photo for this one, titled, Thirsty Feline.

Most of A.J.’s art is of cats. However, she has done other subjects as well. She also studied the human figure, from a terrific book, Anatomy for Artists. This is to help improve her skill. Another teacher she had, from the Vancouver School Board, James Picard, said that if we can draw people, we can draw ANYthing.

A few examples of how A.J. approaches her work: She approaches her subjects with sensitivity and respect. This is because we don’t speak each other’s languages. A.J. doesn’t speak cat, and her cat doesn’t speak English or sign language.

For others, she uses photographs that were sent to her by email, or from her own photography. For some of these emailed pictures, she drew on canvas, using charcoal, sometimes chalk, then as she painted, she covered over the charcoal or just rubbed off the charcoal. The Cat with the Magician‘s Hat is an example of that. A.J. really thanks Rachael Hale for that photograph! Such an endearing kitten! She also drew this out, because when she first saw this, it was from a friend’s book, titled, It’s a Zoo Out There. A.J. just HAD to do this!

So, she approaches her work in several ways. She uses many resources. Hopefully, her art will always be a treasure. She hopes to continue to evolve as she matures as an artist. She has only been doing art since 1999. The well was her first image. She used this as a start to get some of her demons out. In the future, she hopes to make the transition to watercolour and egg tempura because she learned that acrylic does not last very long. On all of her more recent work, she includes her signature, which is a butterfly. So, now you know all about A.J., or at least her artwork. Thank you for sharing in this journey!

A Bit about Circles Cat

September 12th, 2013

A Bit about Circles Cat

Hello,

I guess I am not sure what I can write in this blog. This is because this website's host only wants posts about art. I'd love to write about my disabilities and how, sometimes it is SO frustrating. Frustrating to relate to very different people from myself. But I think if I put the word, "art" in my posts somewhere, then posts will be accepted.

I just finished my large painting, 24 x 36, Circles Cat, last week. I will post another photograph of it to my cat paintings gallery. Right now, though, I've posted it to my "Ajs Atelier studio gallery". This website is eccentric. It doesn't like punctuation in the titles of my artwork, or the names of galleries or the titles of blog posts. (eyes rolling)

In a few days, I plan to start to edit my video that I took during the process of creating Circles Cat. Circles Cat took me six months to complete. I usually can finish a painting in a month. This is a large painting for me. I am not sure I will do another large painting, unless I'm asked. I enjoyed the process of making this painting. However, Rumbles, my cat / muse / best friend died during the process. So, finishing the painting was very difficult. My approach changed during the process. I could only work on this for maybe a half hour or maybe 15 minutes at a time. This is my most detailed painting thus far. So, to show my process, I thought it would be interesting for some of you to see the work and love I put into my paintings.

I will hold onto this painting for a while. I mean, I'll mark it as not for sale.

Til my next blog post! If you want more current information, I'm more comfortable with posting on my Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AJ-Brown-Hands-and-Purrs/84194221410

Hugs to all of you.

 

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