Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's Really Important? (remembered)

In 1990 I was invited by a commercial gallery in Winnipeg to have a solo exhibition. We lived in Kenora at the time, and because the gallery also did custom framing I'd drive into the city often with at least two of our four kids with me to have my watercolours framed.

My paintings were of my own children. I was concerned about composition and about how the sunlight on the figures caused interesting shadows. I used a loose technique of primary colours mixed right on the paper and I used mixed media. When he saw my newest paintings done for the exhibition, the young owner (male) took me aside and advised me to change my subject. He told me that while my technique was unique my subject matter would limit me. He showed me his own work. Dark large abstract oil paintings. I know that he was trying to help me.

It irked however and I thought about what he said for a long time.

I ended up calling that exhibition "What Is Really Important?" .


  1. Good for you! Funny how some serious artists seem to think that paintings need to be dark and serious somber subjects in order to be important. Sad that they feel so limited...

  2. Do you know about the film called Who Does She Think She Is? It is about women who are artists and mothers. It is an independent film, but you can find very interesting clips on youtube and at

  3. Thanks Gwen, I shall follow up on your suggestion.
    There is a story written by Alice Munro called Who Does She Think She Is .
    But I have not heard of this film.

  4. i find it interesting that i have to keep reminding myself what is important even though i have always known it.

  5. This is really important.
    I love the way you have the starfish hands in the shadows too.


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