Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little update:

It has been an excessively busy week at work. But the beauty is, once I leave at 4:30 I can detach until the next morning. What's left me tired has been the heat and humidity. A couple evenings ago D and I went for a serious walk. We left our apt in Federal Hill and headed down to Water Place. We followed the canal down to the bay and then wandered India Point. Coming back on Wickenden we cross the canal looped around. Three hours later I dragged myself in the door drenched in sweat from the heat. But the exercise felt great.

The down side is that although I had a large salad before walking, I didn't eat a small anything before bed. Yesterday morning, instead of my usual yogurt I began with a scone. Two hours later, while at the office, my blood sugar plummeted into the toilet. I was dizzy, shaking, clammy and sweating. I couldn't move. My coworker grabbed me a glass of water while another put a can of soda in my hands. About 10 minutes later I began to come out of it and even out. A yogurt and a hard boiled egg (which I leave in the office fridge) helped keep me on an even keel.

It's been about 16 years since I've experience such a severe sugar drop. This one came on super quickly whereas normally I get more of a warning. So last night, still feeling a wee bit out of sorts...I took it easy and was in bed by 8 pm.

I've cooked more in the last few weeks than I have in Seattle. I'm not sure why but have severely slowed down my intake of processed foods and instead, eating many salads, fruit, some pasta. And yes, meat. Tonight, I sauteed zucchini, onions, red & green peppers, and carrots in garlic and a little olive oil. Then I added some balsamic marinate and a little water and reduced it down. Made a pot of brown rice, which will last me through the weekend and enjoyed some with the veggies.

Saturday, after some studio time I plan on taking D to Salem MA for the remainder of the day. She wants to see the area and I enjoy playing tour guide to someone who is new to the U.S. Her observations are delightful and astute. In addition to being good company, I've been practicing my french with her. Words are coming back to me...slowly but sure.

Next weekend she and I are headed to Ptown. It will be my first time back since I moved to Seattle. Pretty psyched.

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Compare and Contrast:

Photo my roommate took on Saturday at Block Island. I was startled because I immediately noticed the resemblance.

At 52 and at 7 years old.

This series is the first time I've titled work as it has begun. And because I always have many paintings going at the same time, (my ADD side) I've finally realized how it's been important for me to document each step of the way because otherwise, I just plain forget what was what. Many times it doesn't matter but for some unknown reason, with this series it does.

Something I haven't spoken of is how difficult it is to get in the studio since I've moved. The last fourteen months have been almost crazy-making busy. I was fully aware during that time that I couldn't let myself totally feel what I needed to in each moment because there was too much to do and no time to really feel it.

In the last few weeks now that I have a job, an apartment and a studio I've been slowly relaxing. In that, there's been much fear with the thought of even going into the studio. In that space, my holy space, is where I let myself be. Quiet. No distractions. And the last year is coming out whenever I step into that large white room. It is needed. It is important. And t isn't easy.

The first feelings that came up were for the loss of the deep connection I had with my Seattle studio and how it saved my life in a time I needed it. And then the next feelings were/are for the loss of the nearby-ness of my close friends...those I consider family. Even as I was saying goodbye, I was aware that I was holding back because there was no time to crumble. Too much to do.

Now it is happening. And with that, I'm living the paradox that is my return to the east coast. I never thought a choice I'd make would leave me simultaneously excited and broken-hearted.

I'm growing up.

More art I made from art I saw:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Guess what I did this evening?

I actually cooked something other than pasta or pot roast or a hamburger. Last week I went to my friend Pete's for dinner and had a super tasty meal. So I attempted (minus a couple ingredients) to recreate it. I made a braised radish, fresh green pea and mint salad. Paired it with a delightful Chardonnay. And then ended the meal with a package of Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls. lol. I'm not totally a gourmet cook. But the radish salad, although not as good as my friend's, was pretty good. It missed the shrimp.

Another photo taken in Providence.

I now have a new phone. Although tempted, I opted to keep it simple and plain. My new phone is like my old phone. They were able to shut off the old one and give me my old number which makes things far easier than I expected. So it's charging away and this evening I'll spent the time putting in phone numbers.

Photo taken during Friday's walk in Providence. Look, Providence has houseboats too!

I made a little slideshow with captions of my adventures yesterday on Block Island.

Block Island: 2 gallons of gas and a boat ride

Awesome amazing fantabulous day at Block Island. I am so going back. See this beach? Diane and I spent three hours walking it.

Down side? I lost my phone.

Last time I used it was while on the ferry to the Island when I texted a photo to family. A couple hours later I was walking on this beach and had a nagging feeling my phone was gone. Stopped. Checked my pockets and bag and nada. Tomorrow I pick up a new phone. And for those of you who I had numbers for, please email me your contact info - gagnon60 (at) gmail

And more photos forthcoming.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Went for a long walk by the bay at India Point. My favorite time at the water tends to be on foggier days...such as today. And tomorrow I'm looking forward to a lengthy ferry ride (about an hour) as D and I go explore Block Island.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I love being able to walk across the street from my job at lunchtime and see this.

Slowly I'm getting into a good work routine. Getting a handle on the job so I'm not too wiped after work and was able to spend two days in a row in the studio after work. This evening was a really productive painting session. Slowing down and taking my time.

We now have a third person in the apartment. A room was rented to a young woman from Lyon, France who is at Brown for a 3 month internship in physics. We hit it off pretty well and as I get more comfortable with her, I'll be practicing my french. This weekend, she and I are going to day trip down to Narragansett and if weather and finances permit, hop a ferry to Block Island for the day. We've also planned out Pride week in Providence...and I'm taking her to Ptown for a day in early June.

I'm adjusting to my new life and it's fun exploring with someone who has never even been to this country before.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

While exploring Providence on Sunday I found myself frantically taking photos of two pigeons. As I downloaded the photos I was struck by how pigeons seem to be in my life at this time. (note also my photo last week). I wondered if it was my new totem. Over the years, as I continue to evolve I've watched how various animals take prominence in my world and each has become a powerful totem in the moment.

I looked up pigeon totems and found that due to pigeon's natural homing abilities, he teaches us how to find our way home again, helping us return to our roots. Potent stuff.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Art I made from art I saw.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm officially taking today off. No painting. No errands. No work. No appointments. I have a fun get together I've been invited to this evening by a meet new folks. Otherwise, even though it's a blue sky, 70 plus degree day, I'm holing up inside. I feel like, after a year of unknowns and packing and relocation and major changes...I'm finally crashing. Here's a photo I took while spending time at RISD's MFA Thesis exhibit.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A new painting in my series. 24"x12", oil on canvas.

Exploring more of my new hometown.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

From this evening's walk in my neighborhood...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On the Broadway near my place in Providence versus Broadway near my former home in Seattle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Photo taken in my current hood on my way home this evening.

Settling into my new job and it's the first week I'm not exhausted when I leave the office. Tomorrow I plan on getting back into my old routine of hitting the studio after work. I've also been slowly looking for an apartment of my own, hopefully for July 1. I do miss having my own private space and yet at the same time, I'm enjoying the inexpensive rent.

I had a small adventure on Sunday as I was getting ready to leave my parents' home. After placing my laundry in the trunk and slamming it shut, I realized I left my keys in there. No, I do not have a trunk latch in the car. And no, my back seats don't come down giving me access to the trunk.

It was 4:00 pm and I had planned on being home by 6pm to chill before beginning the work week.

AAA sent a locksmith out who had to take apart my passenger door to get to the lock so he could make a key. I was finally on the road by 7:30. Normally I always leave an extra key in my bag but that very morning I saw it on the dresser...hesitated...and chose to leave it there. See what happens when I don't listen to my intuition?

On the plus side, it gave me a really great couple hours with three of my nephews as we chilled on the front porch.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It was my first Mother's Day with mom in 14 years. We also celebrated her 80th birthday a little early because it was the only time her kids would be together in the next few weeks. It was a lovely time. I love my mom.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Two other little (24"x12") paintings I worked on today.

Very productive studio time. Reworked four of the six currently in the series. It was one of those really rare really great studio days where I feel I'm finally beginning to get a handle on this painting thing. I'm tracking the progress of each. Some changed drastically and others, not as much but the little made a big difference. Here is one of the majorly changed pieces...still in progress. Oil on canvas. 28"x22"

Friday, May 11, 2012

Across the street from my new job is a little park with a bike path and picnic area. It's right next to the river and the falls, with old mills and this beauty - a gorgeous remnant of what once was.

The color you see is what is there. All I did was pull out the vibrant foliage color so the structure would stand out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On the way to work this morning.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Photo from the other night.

Things I saw within a few blocks of each other while driving home: Throop Alley (which tickles me and is a perfect name for an alley), a Megabus (Prov to NYC) at the embarking point, dead in the water with a big ass tow truck in front of it, and then the X Factor semi blocking the street next to the Civic Center forcing us to detour because Simon Cowell and friends are in town doing auditions.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Last night, while walking to India Point with my friend Matt.

Although I've now relocated to Providence RI and am slowly settling in, I'm pleased to announce a new show, "The Space Between", opening in Seattle this week on Capitol Hill. Sadly, I can't make the opening but will be there in spirit.

Thursday, May 10 - Saturday, June 9
The Blindfold Gallery
1718 E Olive Way, Ste A
Seattle, WA 98102

Opening, Thursday May 10 from 6 - 9 pm

The Space Between

We are drawn to others for various reasons such as shared interests, mutual attraction or physical circumstance. No matter how well two people may appear to fit, it is the space between where the unspoken differences reside. It can be a vast chasm filled with deafening silence, grief or anger. It can be a space that permeates with restful stillness, lust, excitement, love or passion.

My ongoing meditation has been on the space between the two.

I fell in love with b&w photography back in 1982 when I was required to take a b&w darkroom course. That love pushed me into working in a custom lab for six years, spending hours in the darkroom processing work. The education I received in viewing a multitude of images was invaluable to structuring my visual sensibility.

When I left the lab, I stopped taking photos because of the expense. Every day, I'd long to capture images but didn't have the finances to engage in such a practice. In 2006 I purchased my beloved little Lumix TZ1. My camera is always with me. I'd shoot with no other intent but to take hold of a scene.

It was only when I began painting the viaduct that the camera also became a tool for painting as I'd work from the photos of the crumbling structure. And I was still taking photos simply for the love of it.

A few months ago as I was going through my photo library of over 20,000 images, I began to notice how the paintings reflected the photographs and vice versa. My imprint, my preference for light and composition played into both mediums. It didn't matter if a photo was taken four years before a certain painting. They held my mark.

Not once did I have the desire to print or exhibit these photos. When approached for this show, I feared that in doing so my photography would become self-conscious. Other than periodically capturing scenes to paint, I liken the bulk of my photography to doodling - rapidly moving pen on paper. It is my sandbox where I can play with no responsibility. But the possibility of pairing the work heightened my curiosity and so here I am.

Monday, May 07, 2012

from tonight's outing...

Sunday, May 06, 2012

photo was a total accident. finger slipped. because i'm using a dropcloth in this studio (and yes, it's new so not yet spackled with paint), immediately began painting while barefoot. have yet to wear shoes while painting in this new space. it's now become part of my painting ritual.

Series slowly coming together, although none complete. I'm really enjoying the journey with this grouping. Here is the 6th in the self portrait as a youngun' series. For the first time, I'm actually numbering them and so can remember which came first, even as they can dramatically change.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Driving past RISD this afternoon and noticed Benefit Street was blocked off. They were having some type of fair. I wanted to pull over and check it out but didn't have the time.

Busy, busy week. Wed and Thursday I focused strictly on work in an attempt to get a handle on the new job (which I really like). Heavy duty concentration for 8 hours a day left me too wiped to paint after work.

Yesterday after work I needed to run errands in preparation for this weekend's tasks. Today, I needed to send the remainder of the art work express mail for my show that opens next week. I also needed to work on the show statement and other details. And...I had to finish other paperwork and mail everything out for my relocation reimbursement. Originally I planned on spreading this out over the weekend. But I locked myself in the studio and found momentum. So things that have been weighing on me for the last few months but couldn't complete without further info from others finally were completed this afternoon.

Huge load off my shoulders.

And it means that tomorrow can be a painting day. Yeah!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Taken at Horseneck Beach on Saturday afternoon.

First day at work. It was good. Much lower stress level that what I've had for the last decade. Came home after work instead of painting so I can slowly readjust to a full time job. Also, I only slept about two hours early this morning. Part excitement. Part nerves. And a big part noise...from my new alarm clock.

I've been playing Goldilocks with alarm clocks.

The first one I purchased two days ago has such a big display that it was too bright. I returned it yesterday and decided to pick up a non-digital one. The older kind. It went tick, tick, tick all night long and kept me up. I returned it today and picked up a smaller digital clock. This one should do the trick.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I'm actually really excited to begin my new job tomorrow.

The downside is less time painting. I'll have to return to painting after work and on weekends.'s a regular paycheck. And hopefully leads to permanent with health insurance so I can stop paying it out of pocket.'s lilac season!