Fundraising Auction

As many of you no doubt know, I am busy at work on an extended art project called Rare Beasts. This  project is a series of collages centred around the theme of rare and endangered farm animals. Click here to read more about the project.

 

In course of working on such an extended series, I have made a lot of unexpected connections with people who are actively involved in the preservation of rare breeds.

This is George the Newfoundland Pony. Newfoundland Ponies are critically endangered ponies native to the province of Newfoundland, Canada. George’s owner, Nathalie, kindly got in touch with me about my

George

my project and gave me a fine selection of reference photos to work from when making the collage. As I was working on the collage, I found out that George was ill with severe laminitis (an inflammatory condition) in all four feet and would need to be relocated to a Newfoundland Pony refuge in New Hampshire. You can read about the refuge, Villi Poni Farm, here.

Because George’s owner was so nice and George is SO VERY CUTE, and because the Villi Poni Farm does such good and important work in preserving these critically endangered ponies, I wanted to help George and the refuge in some way.

Tomorrow, October 1st, Villi Poni is holding an online auction on their Facebook page to raise funds for the refuge. I donated this charcoal drawing of George for the auction.


The portrait of George is 12 x 9 inches, unframed, charcoal and white chalk on blue paper. I hope you will consider helping out the sanctuary – and George! – by making a bid!

Art on the Move

First, for the art news:

This winter several of my collages on display at Main and Station’s lovely gallery space in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Main and Station is a gallery/depARTment store, a café, and an art residency/workshop space all rolled into one fabulous old renovated building. Owner Judith Bauer sent me some photos of my work on the walls of her gallery. My Black Orpington Rooster collage is hanging out with some of the gallery’s other paintings and sculptures.

Click here for more details about the gallery and for opening hours.

 

I also recently shipped several equine themed collages down to Solaris Art Gallery in Versailles, Kentucky. Among the pieces currently on the walls of Solaris are these two collages:

Le Cheval qui élève l’esprit 12 x 14 mixed media collage on panel.

 

 

Race Time, Saratoga – 8×10 collage on panel/collage sur panneau.

If you are in the Lexington, KY, area and would like to see the rest of the collage collection, you can find them here:

 

And now that I am finished talking about myself, I would like to introduce you to somebody else.

Facebook can be a huge waste of time for pretty much all of us. And if you are self-employed, social media is a time suck that is hard to avoid. One of the perks, though, is that every now and then you meet somebody you would not encounter if social media did not exist. Just recently I met sculptor Maggie MacLellan on Facebook….And I’m glad I did!

Maggie makes hilarious paper mâché sculptures, mostly of animals. As you can see, she is a girl after my own heart.

Flying pigs and a skateboarding French Bulldog. I’m still laughing!

 

Oil Painting

Since switching over to collage full time eight years ago, it’s like a mini vacation for my brain whenever I get a commission to do an oil painting.

I recently had the pleasure of immortalizing a Canadian stallion (yes, Canadian IS a breed of horse) who belongs to a friend of mine. He is a beauty and a true gentleman, so the job was a pleasure.

First I gridded up a drawing from a photo that my friend and I selected as our best portrait reference option.

To avoid unnecessary labour, the drawing was transferred to the panel via tracing paper and then drawn over with thinned oil paint to preserve the lines.

Then comes the  blocking in the major colour and value areas. The finishing of a painting is – for me at least- a process of gradual refinement.

I always marvel at artists who can work on isolated areas of a painting at a time. I need to bring the whole picture along simultaneously so I can see how all the parts relate to each other. I was taught to do this, and as I work, I can still hear one of my old painting instructors shouting to the class, “Start everything at the same time; finish everything at the same time.” I guess that advice stuck!
Here is a detail of the portrait near completion, and the finished product below.

Avery, 14×18 oil on panel

Some Exciting News and Some New Work

I was asked earlier in the year to submit some images of my work and brief descriptions of how I go about making my collages for possible inclusion in a book on drawing techniques. The book’s author is renowned UK  artist and art blogger Katherine Tyrrell. Obviously I was very flattered to be chosen, as I have been a huge fan of her blog for years, but I didn’t want to say anything about it just in case I didn’t make the final cut, so I put the whole thing out of my mind. 
Now I am very happy to announce that I did indeed make the cut and some of my work found on the pages of an internationally published book! The book, which is called Drawing 365 in the US and Sketching 365 in the UK, will be published on January 1st, 2015, and is now available for pre-order from Amazon and North Light Books. I haven’t seen it yet, so it’s all a bit of a mystery, but I’m hoping Santa will bring me a few copies for Christmas (hint, hint).
The other bit of good news is that The Brush Off Exhibition has been extended until December 12th, so you have extra time to get down to Avenue Art in Old Montreal to check out all the fabulous art in this gallery show. 
Duck Day Afternoon – 24×30 available at Avenue Art, 
731 de la Commune Ouest, Montreal, 514-867-3745
Dressage horses have taken over my work table just recently. Here are a couple of new ones:
Big Grey – 8×6 painted paper collage on cradled panel

Blue Ribbon – 10×8 painted paper collage on cradled panel
I wish all my American friends and readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Carriage Parade Number Two

This collage took much longer than I thought it would. In part this was due to a series of “real life”  – as opposed to “art life” –  distractions that kept my studio time  restricted for the past few weeks. That is over and done with now, so no more excuses!

Carriage Parade 2 – 8 x 10 painted paper collage on cradled panel
Now on to the next!

A Good Month for Shows

April.
So far it hasn’t been a great month for weather. However, April IS turning out to be a good month for art exhibitions.

Along the English River 
20 X 24 painted paper collage on panel
“Along the English River” is currently on display at TAG, the public art gallery of the town of Cornwall, Ontario. A friend kindly let me know that my collage had received an honourable mention from the judges. I was unable to attend the opening, so this bit of information came as a pleasant surprise. TAG (The Art Gallery) of Cornwall is at 168 Pitt Street. Opening hours are from  10 am- 5 pm, Wednesday to Saturday.                     The exhibition is on display until until May 10th.
Capture the Wind
7 X 5 painted paper collage on panel
“Capture the Wind” is part of the American Academy of Equine Art’s Spring Invitational Exhibition and is currently on display in the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery, Georgetown College (corner Mulberry and East College Street), in historic Georgetown, Kentucky. If should find yourself in the Lexington KY area this spring, I hope you will check it out. The exhibition runs from April 12 – May 24th, 2013.
Three Greys and a Bay
14 X 20 painted paper collage on panel
And last but not least, “Three Greys and a Bay” (above)  is on the wall of the Marietta Cobb Art Museum,  Marietta, Georgia. The museum (pictured below) is situated about 15 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Marietta Cobb Museum interior
Marietta Cobb Museum exterior
The exhibition is on view from April 13 – June 30th.  Opening hours are from Tuesday through Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m, Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m, and on Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Still Horsing Around

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time on horseback: long trail rides, do-it-yourself steeplechases, make believe rodeos, stupid stunt riding- you name it. And FYI, jumping onto a horse from a second story window is only fun in the movies. Bumps and bruises aside, the freedom I felt as a young girl when galloping across a flat, open hayfield, my stirrups run up high so I could ride like a jockey, was a freedom unsurpassed. It was sheer joy. If you’ve never ridden barefoot and bareback on a pony through fields with the grass and flowers grown so high you could pick daisies with your toes, then, my friend, you have never lived.

Small wonder, really, that I never stray very far from the equine themes in my art. Yes, I am still working on that large non-equine collage, but I needed to give my eyes and brain a rest, so opted to create this smaller, equine collage.

“Capture the Wind”- 7×5 painted paper collage on panel, © 2011 Alyson Champ


The title of the piece was supplied by my friend Cathy Macfarlane-Dunn who, like me, also remembers the happy, freedom of galloping bareback on a pony. Thanks Cathy!




I’m delighted to report that my collage, “Saratoga” has been accepted into the American Academy of Equine Art Fall Exhibition. This is a very competitive, juried show which features some of the best equine art in the world, so I am very happy to know that my piece will be in such good company.


“Saratoga” 8×10 painted paper collage on panel © 2011 Alyson Champ

The 2011 exhibition takes place at the Scott County Arts and Cultural Center in Georgetown, Kentucky in September. The show will also appear online on the A.A.E.A. website. You may still take a look at the fine work in last year’s show here.
Happy Trails!



Back in the Saddle

Along with all the gardening and animal husbandry (wifery?) that goes on around here, I have managed to make time to produce some new collages. I made my first attempt at an equine themed painted paper collage with the intention of submitting it to the jurying process for an equine art exhibition in the U.S. coming up this fall. It took a lot longer to make the collage than I thought it would, but I was still able to squeak in under the wire and get my entry in on time. Now I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Here is the work in question. I call it “Up and Over”.

Up and Over– 20X16, painted paper collage on panel, © 2010 Alyson Champ

This is a detail shot of the horse’s head. Yes, those are little pieces of painted paper. You can see why it took so long, can’t you?

Up and Over detail

And while we are on the topic of equine art, I found this print in a flea market near where I live. I was admiring it and, much to my surprise, my husband up and bought it for me. It is likely that the frame is worth more than the print itself, but still I thought it was beautiful. It’s probably a copy of a Mughal or Persian miniature.