Lorafauna

October 14-28, Madrona Gallery 

"Lorafauna" is a made up word for "beautiful creatures".  

This latest body of work pays tribute to the marvels and mysteries of the coast and forest.  Using animal and mythical motifs, symbolic landscape elements, and a highly tuned colour palette, these paintings portray the stories of dark and light just under the surface of familiar places. In addition to acrylic paintings, watercolours will be featured in series for the first time.

Contact Madrona Gallery for pre-sales if you are eager to get your first pick.  The opening will be October 14, 1-4 at the gallery, 606 View Street, Victoria.

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Fire Season

"Fire Season" is my latest body of work, debuting at Mayberry Fine Art's new location at 324 Dundas West in Toronto, across from the Art Gallery of Ontario.  The exhibit runs May 6-24, opening Saturday May 6 from 1-5. I will be there to meet you and discuss the work.

In this series, I continued to push the boundaries of landscape into abstraction.  I often began the paintings with a large palette knife loaded with paint, creating large, punchy stripy shapes that contrast with the brushwork and surface patterns to follow.  The title of the show, for me, symbolizes the changes we are experiencing with climate - both physical and political.  The paintings are meant to be transportive and open-ended, illustrations that await your narrative.

 

Cloud Hands

"Cloud Hands" is a series of paintings debuting in August at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, in the Community Gallery.  Showing in my hometown is always extra exciting. I chose the title because I like the imagery it evokes for me - softness, weightlessness, and mystery.  As I worked through the series, themes that emerged surprised me:  trucks, mining, and arctic lakes.  Maybe it was a natural progression from the geode shapes I looked at in my previous body of work.  I tried some new painting approaches, like exchanging the brush for a loaded palette knife, and finishing the works in a matte surface.  Hope to see you there! 

GIANTS

"Giants" is my fourth annual fall exhibit at Madrona Gallery in Victoria.

The show will run from October 10 - 24, with an afternoon opening Saturday, October 10th, from 1-4 pm.  Madrona Gallery is in downtown Victoria BC, 606 View Street, and is also accessible via Trounce Alley.


Picture yourself in a northern coastal forest.  The curve of a mountain and the sparkle of water are visible through the woods.  As you watch, the scene before you begins to shift.  The trees trade places with the landscape beyond, forming dimensional slivers, views of simultaneous realities.  Histories and futures are briefly revealed.  A darting shadow seen from the corner of your eye brings to mind the feeling of being watched.  Are you the darting shadow in the dream of another?

I thought about giants as I created these paintings.  The first giant I thought of was the enigma of the forest – the “woodsman”, “stick man”, or “sasquatch” (which is derived from a Salish word for “wild man of the woods”).  I went on to think of the giants all around us – the trees, oceans and mountains.  There are the giants of our imaginations – the memories, secrets, ideas and fears.  I went on to consider scale and the relative nature of size, the idea that anything can be a giant to something smaller.  A tiny star, visible as a pinhole among millions in a sea of black, dwarfs the sun, our giant.  A stone, cut open, reveals its unbelievable story.  A little giant held in your hand.

Enter the Woodsman

My work up until recently has been markedly non-figurative.  In my ongoing to quest to cover new ground, 'the Woodsman' has entered the picture.  The Canadian West Coast is rich with Sasquatch lore, and I am captivated by the wonderful, elusive men and women of the woods.  Just as I like my landscapes to capture the imagination, the Woodsman has a way of reflecting a viewer's personal narrative.  The face says so much, however these faces I have tried to leave open.

The watercolour works have been a refreshing departure from my studio canvases, and I hope to use these watercolour studies for future, large works.  Stay tuned.

 

Wood's Edge, watercolour and ink on paper, 11" x 9".

Working on paper

Since moving to a different house about a year ago, we have yet to figure out a studio for me to work in.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to be productive without a dedicated, uncluttered space.  I have found a good compromise - a folding table in front of the living room window, overlooking the sea, where I can work on watercolours.  Small and tidy.  I pulled out my watercolour kit a month ago to create some sketches of Hornby Island, and now I'm hoping that I've created some viable works on paper.  These will be heading out to galleries in Victoria, Winnipeg and Toronto this week.  A few will be in Powell River too.  I hope that you enjoy them.  These somewhat figurative pieces I see as friends to hang on your wall.  They are named after nice  things that friends say:  "You look great in that!" and "I miss you when you're gone", things like that.

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"Call Me" & "I Think You Should Go For It"  watercolour on paper, 18" x 12".

SOLOS opens in Toronto November 1

My latest body of work will be revealed November 1 at Mayberry Fine Art in Toronto.  I'd love to chat with you!  I'll be at the opening from 1-5.

This exhibit is a departure from the way I typically put a show together.  Instead of creating a thematic series, the paintings in Solos, for the most part, are individual explorations. There are some themes that I've wanted to explore - like the mirror image painting shown on the invitation. The complete series can previewed at the Mayberry website.

CARRY ME

This series takes inspiration from the dramatic mountainsides of the coast and the patterns created by that forward-stacking of shapes.  I took a break from the rules of landscape and focused on graphic elements of pattern, using true, flat colours to create vibrant contrast and activity.  Iconic elements combine notions of  the sublime and supernatural to emphasize the magical experience of the forest and coast.

Opening Saturday, October 1 at Madrona Gallery, in beautiful downtown Victoria, BC.

Afternoon preview 2-4, opening celebration 7-9

Hello From Oaxaca

I've been refilling the creative well in the beautiful state of Oaxaca, Mexico.  Ishuakara Gallery in Oaxaca City was host to my first international exhibit, entitled ''Mapas y Cuentos'', or, ''Story-Maps''.  I created 14 watercolour paintings in as many days.  Many people came out to see the show, there was wonderful music, food and mezcal -  it was a wonderful night that I will never forget.  Upon our return to Canada I will post the whole series.  For now, here is a sample of a piece inspired by Oaxaca.

 Opening night in Oaxaca City!

Opening night in Oaxaca City!

Big Week!

 "Half Tide At River's Eye" from Restless Fables

"Half Tide At River's Eye" from Restless Fables

Restless Fables opened at Touchstones Nelson on Friday night, with the wonderful David Alexander in Gallery A.  Thanks to all those that came out!  The show is scheduled to move on to the Vernon Public Gallery and the Gibsons Public Gallery in 2014, with more locations TBA.  See the full series.

The same night, my band, The Abbie Hoffman Society, was celebrating the release of our first album!!  Do They Ever was recorded at the Music Room in Powell River and produced by John Wright of NoMeansNo (we are, after all,  the band that NoMeansNo says is "not bad"!)  

Find out more about the band and listen to a couple of our songs here: http://theabbiehoffmansociety.wordpress.com/.  We will be traveling with NoMeansNo for three dates next week - Thursday Dec. 5 at the Victoria Event Centre, Friday Dec. 6 at the Cambie, and Saturday Dec. 7 at the Waverley in wonderful Cumberland.  This is a special tour for NoMeansNo, who will be covering the Ramones.

 Cover art for "Do They Ever" by the Abbie Hoffman Society, by Meghan Hildebrand and Laura Balducci.

Cover art for "Do They Ever" by the Abbie Hoffman Society, by Meghan Hildebrand and Laura Balducci.

New Series Nearing Completion - "Restless Fables"

Recently I've been working on a body of work called "Restless Fables."  It has really tested me.  Since this series of paintings is heading for public galleries, I had to submit a proposal of the work to be created.  This is opposite to my usual practice - the painting comes first and the concept seems to emerge after or during the process.  With Restless Fables I was already bound to the proposal, which describes my interest in animal imagery within legends and fables, in local histories, and how culture is created (by the things we do and believe).  What do you do with that?!  After dozens of sketches, I chose my favourite and planned 12 versions of it.  The paintings became, some more literally than others, masks.  Masks made of landscapes and occupied by dreamtime animals.  Each of the 12 individually coloured 3 foot by 4 foot canvases contains a mask.  Here are a couple examples.

The exhibit of 12 paintings will debut later this month, November 29 at Touchstones Gallery in Nelson, BC.  Next year it will travel to Vernon and Gibsons, and now that I have the show nearly finished and documented, I can apply to more public galleries, maybe one near you. 

Now I just have to name 12 paintings..... 

(please click on image to advance) 

A NEW LOCAL GALLERY!

Powell River does not have enough exhibit space compared to the amount of artwork being produced.  So, I am so happy to announce the creation of a new art space!  Darlene Calwell, a popular local potter, decided to take the plunge and start her own studio & gallery.  She found a space with enormous gallery potential, which she painstakingly renovated into a bright, beautiful and professional art gallery.  Darlene invited several local artists to share the space, and upon seeing what she has accomplished, I could not refuse.  The doors are now open, with the Grand Opening to take place during the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, October 18, 19 & 20.  Dancing Tree Gallery is located at unit 120 in the Crossroads Village.

Arts Umbrella - 2013 Art Auction

This year I've donated a large painting to the Arts Umbrella Splash, a fundraiser art auction.   The event happens October 18 in Vancouver.  TICKETS

 Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit arts education centre for children and youth ages 2 to 19. Arts Umbrella is committed to delivering the highest quality visual and performing arts education to young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.

 

 Raincloud Shuffle, acrylic on canvas, 84" x 42".

Raincloud Shuffle, acrylic on canvas, 84" x 42".

Upcoming Show in Whitehorse

A brand new series of 12 paintings will be shown at the Rah Rah Gallery.

 That Crackle opens in Whitehorse September 19, 2013.

That Crackle opens in Whitehorse September 19, 2013.

THAT CRACKLE - A Whitehorse, Yukon Art Event

I've just completed a brand new series of paintings in preparation for a show that will open at Rah Rah Gallery in Whitehorse.  Come by on  Thursday, September 19 from 4-7 pm to chat and enjoy great drinks, goodies and proper coffee.  The paintings are inspired by a feeling I describe as "that crackle" - and I hope that the paintings will evoke the crackle within you, however you think of a crackle.

I think of a story by an art school teacher that told of the pork rind ghost that haunted his property, near the picnic table.  You could only hear the faint crackle.  I think of the warm eery light preceding a summer storm, or the pop of complimentary colours forced side-by-side.  The crackle of fire and the nearness of fall.  

LAUNCH OF NEW WEBSITE!

It's been a long time in the works, and here it is.  My new website presents my work in the context of the series in which they were painted, to give a view of the story arc of my work.  Included are the artist's statements from exhibitions.  Previously I had only shown available works, but I wanted share sold works as well.  With each image you will see either 'sold' or at which location the original can be found.  Hope you enjoy - please drop me a line if you spot any problems with the new set-up.  Meghan

ART LEASE EVENT - Powell River

The Shampoo-Motor Gallery opens its doors once again!  We'll be exhibiting works from the archives chosen for the lease-to-own program.  With this program, PR residents can choose a piece, a payment plan (via Paypal or post-dated cheques) and go home with the artwork.  When payments are complete, the ownership transfers to the leaser.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 7-9 PM.  6820 CRANBERRY STREET, POWELL RIVER

We will have the unpredictable Del Riviera on the piano and some fine refreshments. 

UPCOMING GROUP SHOW!

After meeting the folks from Galerie D'Este at the Toronto International Art Fair, I was invited to exhibit with them for a curated group show entitled "Carnaval".  Opens February 7!  

PRESS RELEASE

“What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more. … In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.” 

        -Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation”, 1964

To inaugurate its 2013 exhibition season, Galerie D’Este and exhibition curators Samara Leibner & Daisy Lilly Best are proud to present CARNAVAL featuring works by Betino Assa, Geneviève Lapierre, Nathan Brown and Meghan Hildebrand.

Present in all religious traditions, the transformative aspect of the carnival imbues reality with the magic of imagination. Masks, disguises and primal imagery transcend the personal to resonate with everyone, and allow us to order our world through metaphor. The dream-logic of the circus, the story and the all-night party offers an escape from banality, as temporary as it may be. Carnival is about excess and a more visceral awareness of the body and sensory stimulation, creating an openness to new experiences that allows us to ascend to a higher level of understanding. The four young artists featured in this show provoke a similar sense of joyful, chaotic release by using elements of the carnival to privilege a spontaneous dialogue between viewer and work.

Recipient of an Honourable Mention in the RBC Painting Competition’s 2012 edition, Montreal artist Betino Assa’s practice is rooted in folktales and mythology. Assa seamlessly blends playful narrative and a sense of the sacred in a series of monographs depicting masks, subtly revealing each subject’s distinct characteristics through evocative titles. The mask makes reference to caricature, but also to anonymity, of general attributes as well as personal traits.

Geneviève Lapierre of Quebec City creates hybrid works where costume, performance, photography, digital manipulation and painting come together. Rock stars, princesses and circus freaks populate Lapierre’s dreamlike images, where performance, costume and Klimt-like abstraction blur the lines of perception. The performative aspect of her work borders on personal transgression, allowing Lapierre to explore the physical and psychological realities of isolation.

Following his recent solo show at New York’s Rivington Design House Gallery last April, Montreal-based Nathan Brown draws on the rich symbols of tattoo flash and California biker imagery to create finely-rendered drawings, paintings and installations. Excess characterizes Brown’s work both in the visceral abundance of the iconography and in the painstaking execution, suggestive of an almost trance-like state.

Powell River, BC-based Meghan Hildebrand’s works resist simple interpretation and vibrate with an atmosphere of formal excess, breaking down iconography like neon cave paintings. Hildebrand’s works emphasize the sense of aesthetic, imaginary and emotional wonder art should evoke in the viewer.

With this in mind, we invite you to join the carnival!

Galerie D'Este - Invitation Carnaval