Unexpected Outcomes

Wedding-web“The Unacknowledged (part 1)” by Laureen Marchand, 2016, oil/board, 6″ x 6″

The definition of an adventure is that you don’t know how it will turn out.

My 2016 new year’s resolution was to plan an Adventure for each month of this year. January’s was a winter driving trip back to my old home city to enjoy connection with friends and celebrate a fellow artist’s triumph. All of that was a joy and all of it expected. What wasn’t expected was that it would bring so much change. The painting shown here gives only a hint.

For years I painted figuratively. Then during the production of the paintings that became Bequest, a two-person exhibition with Canadian artist Honor Kever that toured in western Canada for 20 months in 2002-03, the figures left my work. I didn’t think they’d ever come back, but here they are. It isn’t clear yet how long this is for, but I’m having a wonderful time as long as it lasts.

Even more unexpected is that this is a collaborative sort of exploration. The pieces I’m working on are for another artist’s exhibition. In that forum they’ll  be scanned and printed on two by five-foot panels and seen with responses to the idea behind them from yet other artists. In a couple of weeks February’s adventure will take place, when I travel to work with the instigator on scanning and designing the panel. The exhibition will likely be shown for the first time this summer, and there’s lots of time between now and then to talk about the show’s concept.

In the here and now, I’m loving the work. There are three small oil paintings, two of which are close-ups of faces. The one shown here is six inches square, painted in grey and white, like the reproduction. Isn’t she beautiful? An important day in a new life, with so much hope. I wonder what happened to that life.

I don’t know what this will mean for my back-here-on-earth output when the project is completed, but I’m ready to find out. And I want to share what I find out with you. So this blog is changing too. It’s had a month-long rest and it’s figured out what it’s ready to be. Three posts a week from the artist’s studio, exploring painting, thinking, ideas, and the walks I take to sort it all out.

I hope you will join me.

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This blog is a series of posts from one artist’s life in one of Canada’s most beautiful and remote wilderness regions. To receive updates, with beautiful images and stories from the artist’s studio, plus a free printable postcard of one of my most recent paintings, just put your email in the box on the right. Your email address will never be shared.

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12 Responses to Unexpected Outcomes

  1. pam February 9, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    her whole face is smiling, especially those eyes. pretty hard not to smile back. good to hear you are having fun on this new adventure. Rich times, collaborating with another artist!

    • Laureen February 9, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      Yes to all of the above! And big thanks for your support 🙂

  2. Nikki Jacquin February 9, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    I love reading your thought process. I always thought any art derived purely from a photo had not much to say. (My art included). It is probably because I heard this from others in the art community but I’m glad to hear that is shifting. I think of your project now and of Edie Marshall’s current exhibit up at the Art Gallery of Regina. Clearly the artists hand expresses something in the work that departs from the original photo. Good luck with your project. I’m very interested to see where your figurative work leads.

    • Laureen February 10, 2016 at 7:20 am #

      Isn’t it interesting to heat what people think art can and cannot be? And isn’t it odd? I think art can be or come from everything – somehow it’s all in the journey toward making!

  3. Petrea Tomko February 9, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    You continue to inspire, Laureen. I’m thrilled your blog is returning to three times a week and await them eagerly to hear your thoughts and take your walks with you. Brava to you for the adventures. Isn’t is wonderful how immediately you seem to be being rewarded with that step up and out? I’m so happy for you…and me getting to travel with you vicariously. I can’t wait to hear about how this particular collaborative venture unfolds.

    • Laureen February 10, 2016 at 7:23 am #

      “Rewarded from that step up and out”,,,hmm…can it be I hadn’t even noticed that? Much to think about! Thanks for your support 🙂

  4. Antoinette Herivel February 9, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    Interesting Laureen! Who is she? Your post is timely for me as I am also inching back into figure work and wondering if it is the right step -but having fun

    Look forward to seeing more

    • Laureen February 10, 2016 at 7:22 am #

      As always when I use figures in my work, they become a symbol of something represented by the face but not the face itself. I think of it as fiction not essay. Glad your own work is leading you to fun!

  5. Melissa Dinwiddie February 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    Well, I feel like the luckiest person, getting a peek into your process, your evolution, your art, Laureen! Thank you for sharing!

    And I’m also curious who the person is in this portrait! And I look forward to more. 🙂

    • Laureen February 10, 2016 at 7:24 am #

      Melissa, thanks so much for always being with me, over a long period of searching and finding and starting over searching again. Maybe this fictional lady I’m painting will develop another story of her own!

  6. Carolyn Caldwell February 9, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    This figurative work of yours has real style. I like that it’s black and white and kind of mid century style. How cool that they will be printed large. i might have to come up to see that exhibit!

    • Laureen February 10, 2016 at 7:26 am #

      Oh Carolyn, I love the idea that you might travel back here. Your time as 2015 artist in residence with Prairie Wind & Silver Sage in Val Marie was so interesting and productive in so many ways – would that we could repeat it!