Archive for the ‘intriguing images’ category

YIN Art Exhibit at Hillside House Gallery in Nassau, Bahamas

November 8, 2018

YIN.exhibit.logo.signatureDelighted to be part of this group exhibit with five Grand Bahama artists—Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and me, Paula Boyd Farrington—celebrating feminine energy and spirit, opening November 9, 2018, from 6 to 9 pm, at Hillside House Gallery, #25 Cumberland Street, Nassau, Bahamas. Bring a friend and enjoy our new art, live music from Shelley Carey-Moxey, and handcrafted Bootleg Chocolates flown in from Grand Bahama’s chocolatier. An Artist Walkabout with the artists on hand for an open house to talk about their work as you browse through the gallery, will be on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Our thanks to artist Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA, Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting, Ontario College of Art and Design University, for her writing about the work.

Yin Calls Forth a New World of Feminine Transformation

I’ve always said the fact that all women aren’t stark raving mad is a complete miracle because to live in a world where basically every bad thing that happens to you, you’ve somehow brought on yourself by being female … it’s just like, come on, man! It’s like … to the least of us, whatever is going on, it’s happening to all of us.”

Callie Khouri, screenwriter of “Thelma & Louise”

The past two years have been extraordinarily difficult on the psyches of women around the globe. Newsfeeds are full of disturbing stories of sexual assault, the falls from grace of several male celebrities and cultural icons, and the pulling back of dark curtains revealing immense pain and abuses of power in all sectors of our society. Social commentary abounds on how the enormity of this abuse was allowed to go on for such long periods of time. Women from all levels of society began to speak out in large numbers, bringing what was hidden behind closed doors, out into public view. Secrets of violence whispered to each other in back channels were suddenly being blasted loudly on cable news; relentlessly dissected, cast with doubt, and denied by powerful men. How does this onslaught affect our consciousness? How does bearing witness to these damaging stories change the way we view ourselves and the women around us? How will these revelations and their ubiquity change how we interact with one another? What does the future hold for the human relationships we hold the dearest? These questions and versions of them are swimming about in the public consciousness.  Although it is much too soon to know the answers, what seems clear is that if we are to have a way forward; we need a hand in the design of what we want our future to look like. We will need to be creative, manifest new ways of being with one another, and imagine possibilities that bring us back into a healthy balance. 

In this exhibition Yin, Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and Paula Boyd Farrington work towards this seemingly impossible intention. Through a visual journey into a return to balance, these women begin to show us, through art, a time of harmony, a return to respecting the sacred feminine and the healing it has to offer the world. Upon examining these works, one can imagine these women in their studios working past the misogynist upheaval through the vehicle of their artistic practices. Around them, as they move in and out of creation, the mass media amplifies stories of environmental disaster, men overpowering women, reactionary politics, and sanctioned state violence. However, in this sacred space, they create as artists, a new visual language that calls forth a beautiful world where humanity can return to harmony. A world that manifests celebrating women echoed in organic shapes, sacred patterns and communal collectivity. As one moves through the space of this exhibition, forgotten is the angled hard world that values the impersonal, and the individual. The world that protects the abuser and defames the storyteller is banished. The hard angles and the rough edges of a society that value power, and worships what is keeping us off balance, fades into the distance. It is instead replaced by a new warm, beautiful future where the Goddess reigns supreme. 

Is it possible to manifest a new world through the creation of art? In her book Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, bell hooks states that  “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it’s to imagine what is possible” (hooks 281).  These women compose this declaration clearly, stating that their work is a celebration of “each a half of the harmony of the Universe, balancing sun and moon, light and dark… homages to the empowerment of women as vessels of love, healing, and transformation” (Yin Artist Statement). In Tuchel’s naturalistic portraits of senior women, we see a homage to the faces that are relegated to the sidelines in our patriarchal worship of the young and nubile. Her larger group painting brings women back together in a dancing collective that become one with each other through colour, gesture and texture. In Del Foxton’s sculpture of women from across the globe, they stand in a group sharing their compelling stories on a path to healing. Their shoulders hunched in a communal discussion. As viewers, we can imagine these women walking away upright with the strength of their stories straightening their backs and empowering their way forward.  A coming together of collectivity is echoed in the figures of her doll-like cutouts that hold hands, dancing across the recycled paper that, in its very existence, shows us a new way into a future of environmental sustainability. Small cut out daughters held in their bodies travel with the figures along with a new path in the community. As we move onto Chantal Bethel’s work, this concept is reflected in her sculptural and painted vessels that call forth rebirth, reincarnation and the new life that we yearn for. The lotus flowers, water symbolism, birth and rebirth that exude from each piece immerses us in a return to nature which provides us with the answers of how to begin again. Bethel calls forth in three dimensions women’s power and a human kinship with the natural world that once lost can be found again. Claudette Dean carries this narrative through her work as we see the divine feminine, head down and meditating. We can feel her protagonist magically imagining and drawing forth a new world. The vaginal openings in her tree focused paintings centre the viewer on the cycles of the earth and the blossoms that represent the rebirth that spring will bring through a universal womb. As we work through her paintings, this rebirth she tells us will have women as the metaphorical gatekeepers; enormous and powerful in stature, branches reaching up to the heavens. In Paula Farrington’s work, we see the manifestation of a new world in the visual form. She illustrates through vibrant colours, glittering shapes and reflective surfaces, the universe bringing forth a new way of being. A new world in which the Earth Goddess is returned to her rightful place of the sacred. We feel the movement of our positive thoughts through splashes of colour that move in and out of one another. The beauty of her saturated colours stand in direct resistance to the oppression and darkness of what is being revealed in the movements of Me Too and Times Up. Organic shapes, complex colour symbology, groupings of symbols and subjects, intricate patterns that live alongside free intuitive ones, metaphoric vessels and literal vessels, water, land, earth and sky all communicate with one another between these artworks. Yin takes us on a journey to the answers to our burning questions. It asks us to remember the power and value of women; to bring our lives back into balance by protecting and respecting the land and water. It tells us that the answers are all around us and inside our humanity.

In the book, When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone writes that ancient goddess worshipers believed their deity was “creator and law-maker of the universe, prophetess, provider of human destinies, inventor, healer, hunter and valiant leader in battle” (Stone 11). Out of the studio and into the gallery, the artists of Yin bring forth a deity that battles oppression with visual expression. A prophetess that tells us a story of a new way of living and being that is coming in our future. A healer that literally and figuratively births a new harmonious way of being that is balanced and respects the environment that we inhabit. She is a hunter that goes out on a journey and brings back the qualities of love for oneself and love for others through intention and imagination, collectivity and collaboration. Magical in its optimism, the Goddess that Yin manifests will provide the viewer with a new space of transformation. She provides us with a space that shows us what is possible when we come together in community to honour women and the communities that they bring forth. 

Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA

Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting

Ontario College of Art and Design University 

Work cited:        . hooks, bell. Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. Routledge, 2008.
                           . Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.

 

The exhibit continues through early December. Our thanks to Antonius Roberts and Paula Roberts of Hillside House Gallery, The Charitable Arts Foundation of The Bahamas, and our husbands, families, friends, and YIN sisters everywhere for their support.

Ocean and Sunset Artist Trading Cards

April 12, 2016

Ocean.ATC.Stirred.Sea

Creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the fabulous Helga Strauss Stevens of ARTchix Studio was a big part of how I discovered my love of making collage and mixed media art.  It’s also how I made the e-acquaintance of the delightful artist, Lenna Young Andrews, who is hosting an Ocean & Sunset themed swap of these small, almost-business-card-sized works of heart—all made just for the love of art and sharing the joy with other artists and crafters!

I couldn’t resist this theme, especially with such glorious sunsets by the sea and crystal-clear aqua waters around here.baby.turtle

Sunset.Inspiration.WestEnd.GBSo, I set out to have some fun with warm tones and cool blues, making 3 of each theme (and a couple extras for personal swapping). I started with watercolor paper and acrylic paints for the Sunset cards … yellows and oranges and a touch of red mixed in with some gold highlights:

1st.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 2nd.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016 3rd.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 4th.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016For the Ocean cards, I let my love of gelli-printing on tissue paper lead the way and started layering that in with various bits of collected paper (and vintage ARTchix sheets):Tissue.Paper.GelliPrints.4Ocean

Beginnings.Ocean.ATCs

With all the backgrounds ready …

Ocean.Sunset.Backgrounds4ea

… I started browsing through my stash of image sheets from ARTchix, and paired pictures with some other wisps of paper, stamping, some typed “by the sea” words (on yellow tissue to blend with the paint), and little embellishments to bring the ATCs together … I kept the colors separate in the Sunset & Ocean themes (warm and cool), but loved playing and mixing the themes together in the content, with bathing beauties and sea creatures cavorting on the Sunset cards too! The little veined marks in the backgrounds of some of the Sunset cards (almost reef-like) was made by letting a little water into the paint mix and pressing the cards together … it added to the blending of the colors and I’m totally in love with how water creates these little rivulets—patterns that show up in paint, in tree roots and branches, in underwater coral fans, in our veins, in trickling raindrops … it’s an organic flow that shows up everywhere water makes its mark!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse

Sunset.ATC.BySea.w.Fish

Sunset.ATC.bySea.Flower.Shell Sunset.ATC.Love.Sunsets

Sunset.ATC.BySea.Mermaids

A quick picture of the fine line needle tip applicator that I used for putting little gold highlights on the cards—shown in front of my beloved trusty 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter—I love pecking collage words out on this machine as much as I love hearing the carriage return bell DING!

fineline.applicator

I finished off the backs of the Sunset cards with snippets of polka dotted papers gleaned mostly from odd bits of wrapping paper and smudges of paint in the same warm tones … just because I love dots dots dots … and paint!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse.Back

Totally enjoyed finding more bathing beauties and images and sea-inspired touches for the Ocean themed cards … snip, snip, glue, stamp … there’s even a thin layer of clear pouring medium over the blues to give them more of a water feel …

Ocean.ATC.LiveIN.Sea

OceanATC.EnjoyToday

Ocean.ATC.MerryMermaid

Ocean.ATC.Beachcomber

Finishing them off on the back with more polka dots, along with Starfish postage stamps from The Bahamas (they have especially pretty postage stamps in The Bahamas that I seem to use more in collage than in mailing letters! 🙂 )

Ocean.ATC.Card.Back.ET

Thank you, Lenna, for hosting such a wonderful swap—I really enjoyed the process of making these—and what fun it will be to find ATCs from other artists waiting for me in my mailbox in a few weeks!! Swaps swirl with shared joy and the glow of art enthusiasm … just like sunsets and the oceans of creativity sparkling out there … enjoy!!

Picture Postcard Kind of Day

January 25, 2015
Banana.Bay.1.25.2015

© paula boyd farrington 2015

 

Enjoying the afternoon at Banana Bay … a true Grand Bahama paradise kind of day … straight out of a picture postcard. The combination of brilliant and soft-blended blues, an intensely-gentle warming sun, a just-enough breeze, and low humidity all came together today in one stellar “Ahhhhh ….” that begs both simple enjoyment and a cyber-singing of its praises.

It is after all High Gratitude season here.  When I first moved here, people told me this idyllic time of year was sometimes referred to as “gloating season”—that is not my intent here. And we year-round island residents have waded through our share of summer heat and high humidity to get to these glorious days of dewy-free revelry. These slice-of-heaven days may already be well-enough celebrated in the tourism brochures, but those images don’t capture all the little moments of day-to-day warm winter bliss …  the long rays of dawn glinting off the cat’s fur …

cat.w.sun.glinting

… the delight of finding that the avocado tree in the back garden is offering up yet one more late-ripening gift of green goodness …

late.ripening.avocado.1.2015the silhouette of a shorebird wading in late afternoon liquid gold glimmers …

silhouettes.shorebirdsAhhhh indeed.  Perhaps today is received with extra gratitude and thanks because it was blustery and somewhat gray yesterday—a grand day in its own way with the palm fronds applauding madly in gusts, as if cheering wildly for the cool front to get here—sweeping a path clear for silky sun and cyan sky kisses that take your breath away. And give you pause to take an extra-deep breath and offer up a quiet hallelujah for natural wonders—and absolutely exquisite island days.  Here’s to the sunshine of the heart, wherever your paradise …

 

A New Dance of Color & Light

December 14, 2014

Intuitive Acrylic Painting. I am enjoying it so much; making marks and layers … allowing images to emerge … loving the dance of color and fluidity, ideas and movement to flow onto the canvas and learning to trust the process, the choices, the Now.  Here are a few abstract pieces I’ve finished, and a close-up detail of a work-in-progress that’s still on the easel:

The Natural Structure of Vibrant, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

The Natural Structure of Vibrant, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Color Jazz, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Color Jazz, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Undersea Soirée, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

Undersea Soirée, acrylic on canvas © paula boyd farrington 2014

In Flowers, mixed media (paper on acrylic on canvas), work-in-progress © paula boyd farrington 2014

In Flowers, mixed media (paper on acrylic on canvas), work-in-progress                              © paula boyd farrington 2014

With thanks to my dear friend and amazingly talented artist, Susan Moir Mackay, for encouraging me in all creative endeavors (including Life!), and to Flora Bowley for sharing her process and brave intuitive work via her fabulous Bloom True course. So grateful for all the beauty and inspiration and grace and textures and forms and wonder in this wide world of ours—all just waiting to be embraced on canvas! So happy to be a-twirl in line and shape and shades of creative bliss when I’m painting.  And even when I’m not. The process seems to spill over and start painting new perspectives on loving what is in all the layers of day-to-day.  May the joy of whatever you like to do and make and just be with bring you an ongoing source of satisfaction and serendipity, especially in this season of loving generosity and holy (wholly) grace-full and heartfelt spirit.

 

Smitten

February 14, 2014
© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

© 2013 paula boyd farrington · mixed media artist trading card

Yes, I’m smitten with mixed media collage—these were created for the ARTchix Studio artist trading card swap and are winging their way to other collage enthusiasts.  Here’s to finding even a tiny bit more time for doing whatever makes your heart feel light—Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Val.CardBack.ATC.SmittenVal.CardBAck.Forevermore

An Art Garland of Sea Scallops

November 19, 2013

Garland.Day.At.BeachGarland.Sea.Frolic Garland.Sea.Star Garland.Shell.Chaise Garland.Swim.In.FlowersGarland.Mermaid.Silhouette

I created these scallop-shaped collages for an ARTchix Studio swap at the end of summer—all with a sea theme, and splashes of mixed media goodies:  vintage bathing beauty images and laser wood cuts (from ARTchix), plus tropical umbrella-paper & stamped cupcake-liner toppers, colorful blue/green background papers, tissue paper, watercolor crayons, and even snippets of paper doily “scallops” painted with gelato sticks and fortified with layers of Mod Podge® to make them more durable.  The art-scallops string together with ribbons and festive ties into one see-worthy garland 🙂 … oceans of fun!

And deep oceans of thanks to the amazing Helga Strauss Stevens, owner/creator of ARTchix for inspiring so much creative joy, not only with this theme and so many others over the years, but also as a pioneer in supplying vintage & contemporary mixed media images, custom-made embellishments, and ephemera and cool stuff of all kinds when she started ARTchix 12 years ago.  She’s the one who started me on my collage journey, and I am heartily grateful, and ever in awe of her talents, generosity, kindnesses, and fun-loving spirit. Brava, Helga, Brava!!

p.s. … and here are the lovely, beautifully-detailed, whimsical, and smile-inducing scalloped artworks I received in the swap … waves of thanks to all the artists who made these and the extra bonus goodies in the packages too … thank you!

sea scallop collage by Michelle McLean of artfulembellishments.com

sea scallop collage by Michelle McLean of artfulembellishments.com

sea scallop collage by Lisa Robinson
sea scallop collage by Lisa Robinson

sea scallop collage by Naomi Walsh

sea scallop collage by Naomi Walsh

sea scallop collage by Ronetta Bantly

sea scallop collage by Ronetta Bantly

sea scallop collage by Julo Twombley

sea scallop collage by Julo Twombley

 

Art Nests

August 9, 2013
mixed media artist trading card paula boyd farrington ©2013

mixed media artist trading cards by paula boyd farrington ©2013

Nest.ATC.Mon.Nid.Paris

Nest.ATC.TransCont.TravelNest

Nest.Exotic.TRavelWishes

Nest.MermaidNest.by.Sea.ATC

Nest.ATC.FilmFest.Nest.CannesI had fun weaving some “exotic travel” thought-twigs & vintage glamour threads into these “Nest” inspired artist trading cards for an ARTchix Studio swap this past spring.  Artist trading cards are little 2.5″ x 3.5″ mini mixed-media masterpieces created just for the joy of making art, and traded with other collage artists.  It takes a bit longer to get lovely old-fashioned snail mail here in The Bahamas, and I was thrilled to find these Art Nest beauties (from fellow ARTchix swappers) waiting for me in the “post”:

mixed media artist trading card by Nikki Smith © 2013

mixed media artist trading card by Nikki Smith © 2013

mixed media artist trading card by Jodi Velasquez ©2013
mixed media artist trading card by Naomi Walsh Montoro ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by Naomi Walsh Montoro ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by plstork ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by plstork ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by kelly ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by kelly ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by shu shu perugino ©2013

mixed media artist trading card by shu shu perugino ©2013

Aren’t these sweet? And GORGEOUS?! These tiny treasures are so fun to look at and hold … so many layered and textural details and captivating images. Completely inspiring and heartwarming. From my cozy art nest to all the very talented creators of the cards pictured above: Thank You!! And to everyone out there having fun creating art in your own little studio or dining room table nook: art on!

ps … ARTchix hosts all kinds of themed swaps throughout the year and sends darling packets of little art goodies to participants … you can follow them on FB (here) or on their blog for swap announcements if you want to play along (& find occasional digi-freebie images; beautiful!). Like everything on m’blog, this is Not a paid commercial announcement. I just dig art and collage stuff and wanted to share! Tra-la …


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