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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • Art exhibit at local funeral home is proof art isn’t dead!

    Location: Alexandria, ON

    • Friday, 21 Feb 6--9: Wine & cheese, entertainment by recording artist Katie..
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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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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call for Art - 11th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Poetic Notions

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Bringing together 30 artists and poets, curators & participants Holly Friesen and Carolyn..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • Dianne Davis and the WAP Collective

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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  • Overzealous Fine Art Exhibition 2020 Call for Entry

    Location: Toronto (GTA), ON

    Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 1st, 2020 -- Exhibition Dates: March 30 – April 18,..
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  • VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    VOYZX Exhibition of Contemporary Surrealism 2020 is an annual international art exhibition, dedicated..
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Wendy Skog “A Kind of Poetry”

By Robert Amos October 28, 2004

} Wendy Skog “A Kind of Poetry” By Robert Amos at Fran Willis Gallery 1619 Store St., 381-3422, until October 30 “It’s just pure creation from my heart and soul.” Wendy Skog Wendy Skog was painting pictures of children when I first met her in 1984. One day soon after, a revelation came to her in the library. “This book literally fell off the shelf at my feet,” she recalled. “I’m the kind of person who investigates unusual occurences,” Skog continued. It was a book about American abstract painter Lee Krasner. Sometime shortly after, Skog herself became an abstract painter. Many people are still frightened by abstract painting. They want pictures full of things they recognize. Skog prefers her paintings to hit you in the solar plexus, bypassing the thinking, rational mind almost altogether. “This painting did not evolve from thinking about it,” she explained, regarding her canvas titled Edgewater. How did it evolve? “I just try to stay out of its way.” Edgewater, 39" x 81" To my eye, Skog’s canvases might have been made in 1962, during the time when the gestural expressionism of “action painting” and “colour field abstraction” were at their peak. This was the last heroic moment of “modernism”, before Andy Warhol and “pop art” opened the flood gates of “post-modernism”. Though Skog never took a degree in fine art, her resumee indicates the influence of New York critic Clem Greenberg. Skog has paid close attention to the critiques of his acolyte Karen Wilken. She has attended both the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop in Saskatchewan and the Triangle Artists’ Workshop in New York. Each of these refined Skog’s natural tendency toward the abstract. What is it like painting large abstracts? “It’s open-ended,” according to Skog. “There are no rules. Who says the sky can’t be green? Approaching the canvas in this way, I can be more creative.” The artist begins with her canvas on the floor and works over and all around it. “I use mops and house brushes to move the paint around, so I am not so inhibited.” For her, working on large paintings is almost an athletic activity. The “whole-body approach” creates a freer result. Juno's Mischief, 55" x 85" Is it hard to control the elements at that scale? “Yes,” she replied, “they are basically out of control. I say “yes” to everything, and everything will happen that you want to happen.” In the beginning textural elements come into play: the wake left by the brush casts a shadow, or a chance gob of dried paint may intrude. The acrylic paint which she uses, thinned with water, can be as effusive as watercolour or thick like plaster. It may be transparent or opaque and everything between. “There are so many personal choices about what you want to include from all the possibilities.” “It’s a whole ‘nother language”, according to the artist. This is perhaps what frightens the more conservative among us about abstract art. Skog puts aside that notion. “They think it’s confusing, but it’s actually more immediate”. You confront the painting and let it speak. “It’s involuntary,” she added, “like breathing.” The colour, line and form have a presence that communicates on a level before thought. When her paintings begin to “look like” something, Skog backs away. “Abstraction is not mediated through the mind. I make an effort not to define it in my head.” The elements she works with are more direct, like the squiggle of pink paint dancing across a neutral grey ground. “I use that tension,” Skog explained. “I like the elements to show their generation.” Plastic Pelagic, 80" x 80" Creating the harmony of colour, the variety of line and the balance of form is an art like music or dance - all essentially abstract disciplines. Skilfull work results at the intersection of experience and openness. “There’s always an interaction,” Skog went on, “never a preconceived idea.” while painting, it is her intent to be “as flowing as I can be.” At a glance it’s clear that this isn’t just free play. Skog is acutely conscious of the structure of her work, and knows precisely when she has achieved sufficient resolution in her paintings. “I don’t stretch them immediately,” she concluded. “I love to hang them in my home and let them mature a bit.” In fact, mature is a word I would use to describe the handsome paintings of this seasoned veteran. She knows what she’s doing. Oddly, this style of painting, which in the 1960’s was considered outrageous effrontery, has now become exactly what interior designers want for corporate offices - something large, colourful, mentally engaging yet devoid of specific imagery and reference. Here is an artist who can evoke a perfect little cloud of cadmium green and summon it to rise up and dance somewhere in optical space between the canvas and your eyes. It’s not easy and Wendy Skog does it well. For more information, visit www.wendyskog.com and www.franwillis.com ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert 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