Artist Q&A: Janna Watson shares elements of her successful painting practice

Janna Watson abstract painting presented by Bau-Xi Gallery

Janna Watson, No Strict Rhythm, 2016, 48 x 48 inches, acrylic on canvas with resin coating 

 

1. Where do you draw inspiration for your paintings?

Everyone has a need for escapism. Even if you're someone who doesn't drink or watch movies, or have someone to flirt with or have a religion- I'm sure you dream at night. My abstractions are intentional escapes into non-reality.

2. How do you begin a painting, with colour or composition?  

I begin a painting by choosing a background colour/wash.  From there I move into the composition of colour.  I do this intuitively.  

3. Related to last: which do you feel is most important in painting, colour or composition?  

Both are equally important.  I play with negative space and contrast with both colour and composition to create tension in my pieces. 

4. How much time do you devote to planning the painting versus actually painting it?  

I don't literally take time to plan a specific painting but I feel that being outside of my studio away from my work is just as productive as being in the studio.  Being able to step away from the work and come back with "fresh eyes" is just as important as actually creating.  There are paintings that have taken me 2 months and paintings that have taken me 2 magical hours.  It's all about the moment.  

5. Do you prefer the composition planning stage, or the painting stage?

Working out with the paint is always most satisfying.

6. How does it feel when a completed piece leaves your studio?  

It always feels good because then I have a bit of extra space!  

7. Where do the titles of your paintings come from?  

For abstract work I feel that titling the work is important.  It gives the viewer an extra entrance into an already convoluted image.  I title my pieces after they are finished.  Sometimes the title comes to me instantly and sometimes it takes a few days.  It's cheesy, but I read a lot of poetry and this helps.  Words I've read come back to me in different forms and these become titles.  

8. What would you like people to feel when they look at your work?  

I have a few of my paintings up around my house (mostly because I gave them to my partner).  I don't enjoy looking at my own work as much as I enjoy looking at other people's work.  I feel the mystery is gone with my own art since I know how it was made or it's just always in my face at my studio.  I purchased a drawing recently and it is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning.  It makes me feel so happy and in awe.  It's really weird and off beat so I guess these are the feelings I would hope people will experience with my work.     

 

VIEW NEW ARTWORK BY JANNA WATSON HERE 

Janna Watson artwork installation presented by bau-xi Gallery

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New Vicki Smith paintings at Bau-Xi Toronto

Vicki Smith swimmer painting presented by Bau-Xi GalleryClearing, 2016, 36 x 48 inches, oil on canvas, click image for more information

New Vicki Smith paintings have just arrived at Bau-Xi Toronto. These gorgeous oil on canvas pieces will be presented in a group exhibition in August, highlighting new and exciting work by Bau-Xi Gallery artists. Be sure to visit Bau-Xi Toronto this August to see a rotating selection throughout the month.

VIEW ARTWORK BY VICKI SMITH HERE

 

 

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Visiting the underwater studio of Barbara Cole

Underwater photoshoot poolside with artist Barbara Cole

July 21, 2016 - Toronto

Riko Nakasone (Bau-Xi Vancouver Director) and Alissa Sexton (Bau-Xi Toronto Co-Director) were thrilled to spend this heatwave poolside at one of Toronto artist Barbara Cole's photoshoots today. As an artist who typically shoots underwater subjects, Cole has to use these beautiful summer days to create her artistic visions. 

During the shoot, Cole used multiple models, various costumes (designed by the artist), and 2 pools as she worked toward two parallel show ideas, still in their infancy. Following these photoshoots, Cole works tirelessly in studio evaluating her images, and editing her selections for inclusion in the final exhibitions.

It was amazing to see how Cole is able to crop these moving, floating figures all in-camera to create stunning images. Thank you to Barbara Cole for sharing this incredible process with us over the years.

This image above shows one of Cole's models awaiting her turn to be choreographed in front of the lens-- we are sorry we can't share more!

VIEW ARTWORK BY BARBARA COLE HERE

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Bau-Xi Gallery, established in 1965

Bau-Xi Gallery was established by Paul Huang in 1965 in Vancouver, to showcase the many Canadian artists in need of gallery representation on the West Coast. As the oldest commercial gallery in Vancouver, Bau-Xi is a founding member the  South Granville Gallery Association, and a member of the Art Dealers Association of Canada since the early 1970s.

Since its inception, the iconic Vancouver Bau-Xi Gallery has expanded to include Bau-Xi Gallery and Bau-Xi Photo in Toronto, and Foster/White Gallery in Seattle. Over the past 50 years, Bau-Xi Gallery has been recognized as one of Canada’s most highly regarded art galleries, with a reputation founded on adherence to the highest standards in quality of art and service to clients.

Today, the Bau-Xi group of galleries represents emerging and established visual artists across a variety of media and genres and remains committed to excellence in the promotion of exceptional contemporary fine art.

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Joshua Jensen-Nagle exhibition extended in Vancouver

Joshua Jensen-Nagle photo at Bau-Xi Gallery

Hanauma Bay I, Edition of 7 in 3 sizes, archival inkjet print face-mounted to plexiglass

Exhibition extended until July 29th at Bau-Xi Vancouver

About the exhibition:

'Simple Days' conveys the nostalgia of Joshua Jensen-Nagle's childhood spent along the shore. Inspired by endless days floating in the water, jumping waves, and surfing with his father, the series evokes for the artist memories of a simpler time, one that captures the essence of pure happiness.

For over a decade, Joshua Jensen-Nagle has been photographing picturesque beachscapes and romantic European vistas. In the past year, the artist has introduced aerial photography into his repertoire, scouting locales in Australia, Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Hawaii with exciting geographic and tidal patterns. Images captured by leaning out of a helicopter reveal an organic arrangement of umbrellas, surf, and swimmers contributing to a seductive, abstract composition. The transportive quality of 'Simple Days' immerses the viewer in the endless joy of a summer spent at the beach. 

VIEW ARTWORK FROM THIS EXHIBITION HERE

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How Lori Nix created “Botanic Garden”, her post-apocalyptic paradise

Lori Nix Botanic Garden presented by Bau-Xi GalleryLori Nix, Botanic Garden, chromogenic print, available in 2 sizes in editions of 15. Click image for more information.

Lori Nix meticulously constructs three-dimensional miniature dioramas by hand and captures her images using a large-format film camera. These scenes of an imagined, post-apocalyptic world are infused with dark humour and irony. Through the photographic process, the fictional scene is transformed into a surreal space, where scale, perspective and the document of the photograph create a tension between the material reality of the scene and the impossibility of the depicted narrative.

Here is a behind-the-scenes image by Lori Nix that offers more information on how these captivating images are created and captured.

Lori Nix behind-the-scenes image of Botanic Garden presented by Bau-Xi Gallery

Lori Nix's work will be featured in Bau-Xi Vancouver’s August Group Exhibition, Into The Garden opening August 6th

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In-Home Trial Services Available

Bau-Xi Gallery artwork in space designed by Kelly Deck

Artwork by Tracey Tarling (left) and Andre Petterson (right) placed in spaces designed by Kelly Deck Design (photos by Barry Calhoun Photography)

After gallery associates assist you in narrowing down to a favourite piece, we sometimes suggest that clients take artwork on approval for a 24-48 hour period with no obligation, to facilitate the decision making process. We have plenty of artworks available at any given time, and want to make sure you have time to consider your options.

BROWSE ARTISTS HERE

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Studio Visit: West Coast painter Cori Creed

Cori Creed painting from Bau-Xi Gallery

A look inside the studio of West Coast painter, Cori Creed. The richness of the Canadian wilderness is a perennial source of inspiration for Creed, who captures its sumptuous textures with oil paint. Cori Creed will be participating in Bau-Xi Vancouver’s August Group Exhibition, Into The Garden, opening August 6th.

Cori Creed paint palette at Bau-Xi Gallery

BROWSE ARTWORK BY CORI CREED HERE

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INTO THE GARDEN: Group Exhibition at Bau-Xi Vancouver this August

Jamie Evrard artwork presented by Bau-Xi Gallery

Jamie Evrard, Giacoso, 24 x 36 inches, oil on canvas, unframed. Click to view more information on this piece here.

 INTO THE GARDEN

August 6 - 17, 2016 / Bau-Xi Gallery Vancouver

The Garden Party:  
Saturday, August 6, 2-4pm

Bau-Xi Gallery is pleased to announce 'Into The Garden', the August annual group exhibition. As a site of display, cultivation and enjoyment of plants,  the garden has historically functioned as an earthly paradise inspiring refuge and enjoyment. With ideas of bounty, natural wonder and lush colour in mind, 'Into The Garden' brings together new work by gallery artists interpreting the myriad of symbols and forms associated with the garden. 

To celebrate Into The Garden, Bau-Xi Gallery will be hosting The Garden Party, a themed reception with light refreshments to open the exhibition on Saturday, August 6 (2-4pm). 

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Opening today in Vancouver: Joshua Jensen-Nagle 'Simple Days'

Kaneohe Sandbar III artwork by Joshua Jensen-Nagle presented by Bau-Xi Gallery

Kaneohe Sandbar III, Edition of 7 in 3 sizes, archival inkjet print face-mounted to plexiglass

Join us today for the opening reception: July 9th, 2-4 pm, artist in attendance in Vancouver

Exhibition runs July 9 - 23, 2016, Bau-Xi Vancouver

'Simple Days' conveys the nostalgia of Joshua Jensen-Nagle's childhood spent along the shore. Inspired by endless days floating in the water, jumping waves, and surfing with his father, the series evokes for the artist memories of a simpler time, one that captures the essence of pure happiness.

For over a decade, Joshua Jensen-Nagle has been photographing picturesque beachscapes and romantic European vistas. In the past year, the artist has introduced aerial photography into his repertoire, scouting locales in Australia, Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Hawaii with exciting geographic and tidal patterns. Images captured by leaning out of a helicopter reveal an organic arrangement of umbrellas, surf, and swimmers contributing to a seductive, abstract composition. The transportive quality of 'Simple Days' immerses the viewer in the endless joy of a summer spent at the beach. 

VIEW ARTWORK FROM THIS EXHIBITION HERE

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Artist Q&A: Toronto artist Vicki Smith

Vicki Smith painting presented by Bau-Xi Gallery
Vicki Smith, Quietude, 48x60 inches, oil on canvas. Click image for more information about this painting.   
July 2016 conversation between Toronto-artist Vicki Smith and Bau-Xi Gallery Toronto Co-Director Alissa Sexton
 
1. At the moment, your work centres on female figures who are swimming. What lead to this development?                                                                      
The female figure has always been central to my work. Water became the solution for where to place the figures. Watching my daughter swim in a northern lake was an “aha” moment. Slipping in and out of the surface of the water was pure poetry, no gravity, no boundaries, just a lovely fluid movement. It gave my figures a recognizable place to exist, without confining them to a specific statement. Also, because water and swimming are universal, it allows the viewer to bring their own story to the painting. I’d been searching for this solution for a long time.

 

2. Is this a conscious choice to paint only women?

The work is a journey of trying to express something that is abstract, and that expression takes the shape that is most familiar to me.

3. What do you want viewers to feel when they look at one of your paintings?

Peace. The swimmers are a meditation. An invitation to peace; a space to enter into and leave the busyness of the day behind. As the body stills so too does the mind, surrendering to the real-time flow of moment to moment. I think that initially the viewer relates to the remembered experience of swimming, but I hope that ultimately it’s a deeper sense of peace that resonates.

4. How do your compositions begin?

I start with a photo shoot for reference.  I scatter the prints on the studio floor, and live with them for some time. Eventually a few images will resonate with me.

I begin a painting with a pencil drawing. I use the photo for some initial colour and detail reference, but eventually I put it aside, try to get out of my own way, and just let the painting develop. A lot of the work is sheer chance. I try to clear my mind and just let it happen.

5. What part of the process is most enjoyable to you?

The start of something new, the beginnings! There is such excitement and potential in the initial inspiration, that wordless concept that I can’t quite put my finger on because it’s just emerging. The most joy comes from the drawing. That’s the part where I start to coax a feeling into reality. I love that the drawing will ultimately be a secret hidden under layers of paint. The rest of the process is an all-consuming, ebb and flow of frustrations and hallelujahs.

6. How do you feel when a completed painting leaves your studio?

When a painting leaves the studio it stops being about me, and becomes a space for other people to enter into. If the work allows another person to connect to a familiar feeling, a sense of time or place, a wordless moment, then I am very grateful.

 View this 30 second video to hear more about her practice

BROWSE AVAILABLE WORK BY VICKI SMITH HERE

Contact us to receive a message when Smith's next painting arrives

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Bau-Xi Summer Focus Series: Michael Wolf's Paris Rooftops

Michael Wolf artwork presented by Bau-Xi Gallery

 

BAU-XI PHOTO  |  JULY 9-23, 2016

 

Bau-Xi Photo (Toronto) presents a group exhibition with a focus on Paris Rooftops, the latest series by internationally acclaimed photographer Michael Wolf. Known for his studies of dense urban landscapes, Wolf’s newest work captures the countless rooftops of historical buildings in Paris. In his signature approach of removing any reference to the ground or horizon, Wolf flattens each image to present abstracted views of the iconic city. 
 
German-born and educated in the United States and Europe, Michael Wolf now lives and works in Hong Kong. His work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in prominent collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The San Jose Museum of Art, California; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and The Brooklyn Museum, New York.

 

VIEW MICHAEL WOLF ARTWORK HERE

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