VASA group gets goopy
Goop of 7 spread it on thick
Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 06:00 am
Artwork by Peter Gegolick, Samantha Williams-Chapelsky, Rick Rogers, Connie Lynn Osgood, Linda Blezard, Randall Talbot, Carla Beerens, Lisa Liusz, Julie Kaldenhoven and Garrett Plummer
Opening reception tomorrow evening from 6 to 9 p.m. during the August ArtWalk
Artists will be in attendance.
Exhibit runs until Wednesday, August 27
25 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue
Call 780-460-5990 or visit www.vasa.ca for more information.
Making visual art can require a diversity of inspirations to get those creative juices flowing. Many painters, especially Canadian painters, often refer to the Group of Seven and others who are associated with it like Tom Thomson and Emily Carr.
At the Visual Arts Studio Association, the “Goop of 7” has established itself by picking up their brushes and spreading the paint on nice and thick. Together, they have “a common interest in poured, dripped, flowed, splattered, melted, splashed, smeared and molded media,” states the VASA website, giving the description for their new exhibit, which just opened yesterday.
This is the group’s inaugural show at the gallery and it’s meant to be the same kind of tour de force demonstration of unique materials and methods that first gave the Group of Seven its place in history.
“We’re all using fairly innovative, loose, goopy styles of mostly acrylic media, mixed media,” explained Miles Constable.
“Mixed” is a pretty modest term for the variety of media that are employed in some of the members’ works. For instance, he continued, Garrett Plummer mixed some crushed up baby teeth in the paint of one piece, a small example of some of that artist’s offbeat ingredients for his abstracts.
“Well, my one painting … has what I like to call treasures in pretty much every glob of paint that's on it,” said Edmonton-based Plummer.
He listed off a recipe of what he calls “treasures” including sharks’ teeth, antique diamonds, diamond dust, 23k gold leaf, citrine, amethyst, crushed mirrors, wasps’ nest, four leaf clovers, crushed scorpion, metal dust, raw pigments, garnets, crushed selenite crystals, shredded paper money, glass beads, glow dust/glass, crushed turquoise, sparkles, puffer fish spikes, brass shavings, copper nuggets, tiny plastic people, glitter, shotgun shell pellets, coloured sand, silver/copper leaf, Chinese porcelain, broken records, rare/discontinued paint, various dried flowers, and ostrich quill …
“Just to name a few,” he said.
It’s not just about making his work unique, he continued. The artist thinks of it as a kind of value-added approach to improving the worth of each piece.
“To be honest, I always try to think of what people would think looks ‘like art’, it kind of sounds weird to say even ... so when I think about the kind of people that maybe would buy an expensive painting, they might want it to be made out of expensive things. That’s why I paint with diamonds and gold and crystals and thick paint. The thicker the paint, the more unique and luxurious it becomes. It adds another dimension.”
The Goop group is perfect for him to share his artistic ideals with others. He said that he is thrilled to be creatively involved with 10 others who share the same kind of ethos and aesthetic.
“Paint is so thick and juicy, it deserves to be packed with energy and life! I’ve been working up to this point my entire life. It really frees your spirit when you can throw buckets of paint round.”
Constable said that his own landscapes would be more directly inspired by the natural scenery that was featured in the Group of Seven’s paintings, including Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald and Tom Thomson too.
As for Peter Gegolick, his artistic tastes originated in typography, logo design and portrait work. He explained that he grew up in the skateboard/snowboard culture, something that brought a heavy influence of graffiti and pop art along with it.
“Once I decided to get serious with my art, my style and interest started to lean towards abstract art, while maintaining a connection to my past. I would see work in VASA by people like Miles Constable, Julie Kaldenhoven, and Rick Rogers, and be immersed in how lively and visually stunning their work was. This was something that I wanted to do,” he said.
“For me, Goop is more of a mentality at this point. It is the embodiment of having fun and experimenting. If my work either excites or inspires someone, I feel I have made something important.”
The thick goopy nature of these works, he continued, offer something that traditionally flat, two-dimensional paintings don’t. It’s about the difference between creating a painted reality and tricking the eye into seeing what isn’t there.
“‘Flat’ paintings will use shadowing and perspective to achieve the illusion of a third dimension. The part that cannot be translated by ‘flat’ paintings is the dynamic nature of ‘goopy’ paintings. When comparing the two, ‘flat’ paintings will generally look the same in every type of light and viewing location, while ‘goopy’ paintings can drastically change. The added third dimension will create shadows and change site lines that simply cannot be achieved on a two dimensional plane.”
People can learn more about the group by visiting goopofseven.wordpress.com.