Visual artists capture emotional thoughts, feelings, and living experiences on paper, and in other ways, much like a writer would capture a day or feeling in poetry, short story, or essay. For the next month and a half, anyone who has ever tried to ‘draw’ their feelings, or scrapbook a memory, will have the pleasure of seeing how Vancouver print artists Rodney Konopaki and Rhonda Neufeld do it.
Each of their drawings begin with a single drawing or line or colour, then more is added to the paper to try to depict the emotion and how that day felt in colours and lines. For many of the pieces displayed, Konopaki and Neufeld walked through Banff National Park, and took in what the weather was like, things that they continually saw out of the corner of their eyes, and what inner feelings rose to the surface. Most of us would try to describe this in words, but Konopaki and Neufeld succeed in depicting the sensations of the day in a drawing diary. Pieces in the ’21 Days’ collection included everything from old snow fencing to corners of tickets and worn paper found, raising scrapbooking to a higher plane.
Each piece becomes a daily journal of the walk the artists took. In ‘Initiate’, there is an explosion of black fuel from a hot yellow sun background. The Artist’s idea erupting in black ink onto the page and moving forward to grow and grow.
My favourite is ‘Summer’ in which a bee, or perhaps a firefly, lazily lights a meandering air above soft green ground and slow pieces of water. It’s how Summer should feel: light, soft, slow and whimsical.
Ontario artist Ron Shuebrook celebrates his 70th birthday in the Thames Art Gallery by displaying a collection of geometric charcoal drawings that have never been seen before. Shuebrook’s pieces are Hoffman-like: the attempt is made to represent settings in their most elemental state. Like Konopaki and Neufeld, Shuebrook focuses on the exterior environment. What is the base outline of the shape looking up through a ceiling, at a sky, as in ‘Radiance’?
All of these ‘emotions’ are on display at the Thames Art Gallery in Chatham, Ontario until October 6, 2013, and you can meet the artists themselves on Friday-the-13th of September, 7p.m.!