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  • Call for Art - 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 5th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Leaves & Petals online art..
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  • Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human Spirit: Nikola Wojewoda

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre presents Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human..
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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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Ken Campbell - Canoe: Images of a Mystic Journey

By Robert Amos February 2, 2004

} Ken Campbell - Canoe: Images of a Mystic Journey October 16 to 31 Avenue Gallery, 2184 Oak Bay Avenue Victoria, B.C. 598-2184 Ken Campbell is known as a top illustator and graphic designer here in Victoria. His book covers for Kids Can Press, Orca Books and Stoddard Publishers are memorable. At the moment he’s making a change in his life. Campbell is putting the commercial art behind him, and is entering the world of Fine Art - the world of gallery-type paintings. His debut exhibition, Canoe: Images of a Mystic Journey opens today at The Avenue Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue (2184 Oak Bay Avenue, tel: 598-2184). Many have tried to pull off this tricky transition , and I feel confident that Campbell will succeed handily. Smoke on the Water Campbell grew up in Peterborough, Ontario where his father was an artist, a potter and a documentary filmmaker. “My dad had a definition,” Campbell told me. “The artist, he said, is a designer-craftsman. The craftsman has the technical skills: he knows how to lay down paint, how to mix the exact right colour complement, how to draw all the elements perfectly in proportion. The designer has to deal with the conceptual part: he has to have something worth saying, and has to tell the story in his own way.” By that definition, Campbell is a true artist. At a glance you can see that his craftsmaship is superior. Just consider the subject he’s chosen: the canoe is a subtle and difficult thing to render, not only in its complex convexities but with regard to its weight and balance: the way it seems to move without friction over the surface of the water. As a manipulator of paint, Campbell is ferociously talented. The Canoe series is painted on canvases which have been twice underpainted with a matte black gesso. The major part of the painting is then blocked in with acrylic paint. Subsequently, the image then evolves through patient applications of oil paint. He finishes the picture with an alkyd glaze. “Oil has three advantages,”Campbell explained. “Speed, accuracy and depth. With oil glazes you can achieve darker darks, longer greys, and a hugely supple change of gradation of colour.” As he speaks from a lifetime of experience, his practical notes are worthy of consideration. While black velvet paintings have a bad reputation, other artists well worthy of admiration often work from a black background: Grant Leier of Yellow Point comes to mind. Painting with a rather “dry” brush, one with only a bit of oil colour in it, Campbell lays in his subject with a tender touch. The deep ground tone which remains, peeking through, is almost as important as what’s laid on top. The resulting paint surface offers an image which speaks by suggestion, with a sort of informality. Much is left to the imagination. This technical expertise, while hard-won, is only a means to Campbell’s end. The “designer” part of the equation, that story-teller with something to say, is vital to Campbell’s bid to enter the august realms of Fine Artist. I learned during the course of my visit to his studio that Campbell’s story of this “mystic journey” is not complete within each painting. The concept embraces the entire show - one could publish the series as a story book. Planning the Trip During Campbell’s childhood the canoe was his transport of delight. Algonquin Park, the lakes and rivers north of Lake Superior, and the waterways along the southern edge of the Canadian shield were his playground. And so a canoe trip suggested itself to him as the narrative structure of this series. This is the sort of story that goes deeper than a well-painted and recognizable surface. The canoe is, according to the artist, “a thing of feeling.” “My goal is to make a beautiful painting, but is has to touch the emotions, and be evocative of a place,” he went on. “Not a transcription of particular location, but something less specific and more mysterious.”Campbell has set his canoe in locations relevant to a story. It travels from the homestead to the lake, the portage, the seashore and finally sits afloat among ocean-going boats. Each of these situations is simplified and generalized, allowing space for our memories to flow in. This narrative sequence has an allegorical dimension. The canoe - with no paddler aboard - is available to each of us, and is the way we make our own journey. Campbell called this a mystic journey, though he went on to explain he didn’t mean a religious sort of mysticism. It’s a mysterious passage. “These are places where we go in our lives,” he told me, invoking the allegorical. Clearly these paintings can be appreciated on many levels. The sheer sensual delight of red paint on canvas is part of the pleasure of an actual canoe (Campbell’s is a 16 foot Chestnut canvas and cedar model). The precise and curvaceous geometry of cedar ribs and gunwales is exquisitely mirrored by gently lapping waves. That beauty is here matched by its painted representation. Thanks to the artist, this momentary glimpse is captured forever. Campbell’s paintings breathe confidence and seem to have been executed with apparent ease. It’s easy to forget that hundreds of sketches and technical studies lie behind each compelling image. The subject matter comes from a place deep within. This is a rare marriage of skill and sensibility. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2003 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com