Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My latest painting




Untitled (for now), © Brenda Clews, 2016, Windsor and Newton professional watercolours, some Daniel Smith Extra Fine watercolours, a little mixed media, all permanent pigments, 5'5" x 2', on Canson archival 140lb watercolour paper.

While still untitled, this painting is finished. It took about 2 weeks. I photographed the painting in direct sunlight to get the colour as accurate as possible. I prefer a photo taken in full spectrum light, of course, even if a watercolour painting should not ever be in direct sunlight. Out of direct light or in artificial light, the colours are deeper. This painting has 5 layers of various archival varnishes that are recommended by Golden to protect the pigment and which also help provide some UV protection for the painting.



Here is the original, untouched photo - I shoot in raw. The colours captured by my Canon 60D are surprisingly good, except the blue, which, while it is ultramarine, should be more towards the cyan range because it's watered down and other colours were mixed into it in parts. All the cameras I've used have problems with blues, I've found.

I tweaked some areas in PSE for the final version: the blues I shifted towards the cyan range, toned down the yellows and pushed them towards a orange-cadmium yellow a touch and slightly darkened the overall painting as it would be in a room - in fact, I always colour correct with the painting beside me to calibrate the colours as closely as I can. Still, in direct light, what you see is very accurate (though one would never keep watercolour paintings in sunlight - rather, on a north-facing wall or where sunlight doesn't reach). Taking the final photo was the one and only time this painting will ever be in sunlight.







Monday, February 22, 2016

'Performance Poems' chapbook is published!



My new chapbook, Performance Poems, will be ready for my performance videopoem presentation at Mount Pleasant Library on Thurs evening. 'the Performance Poems' (Epopeia Press, 2016) is a limited edition of the poems that I do in performance and that I have made multi-media videos of, and will be available for sale at the event.

On the back cover:

In 2013, Brenda Clews began performing poems that a repertoire of imagery, drawings, paintings, masks, choreographies of creative movement, had accumulated around. She videoed these readings with a tripod and edited them with a newly-found creative freedom. The subjectivity of the poet performing the poem is central in a personal nexus of arts - poetry, painting, dance, video editing - each of which comprise a different access to the same topic yet all of which emerge from an inner drive to produce a composite approach to a theme. Her oeuvre draws on the multiple resonances of intersections of writing, painting and videopoetry. Poem fragments emerge in drawings. Or a painting evokes a poem that is later inscribed in it. She may recite a poem while dancing it wearing a mask that has emerged from a painting. The poem, mask, dance, painting, soundscape and art house video editing, however they appear in a single piece, arise out of the same creative process. Each multi-media project is a contract of elements, a unity of multiply intertwining energies. The videopoem, then, becomes the stage where the entire show can play.

Toronto Urban Folk Salon
Thursday, February 25 at 6:00 pm
at the Mount Pleasant Library 599 Mount Pleasant Road (south of Eglington)
Featuring: Gannon Hamilton, Brenda Clews, Norman Cristofoli, Ann Elizabeth Carson,
Glen Hornblast, Kirk Felix and Jeff Orson

(Promise to hold a launch for this chapbook in the near future - and show a bunch of the performance videopoems - it's 40 pages, 7" x 10", and quite lovely.)




Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Books to Come!


Good news. I received a contract from Quattro Books to publish my novella in the Spring of 2017 (my poetry book with Guernica Editions is coming out this Fall). Another publisher sent a response that made me feel that rare thing, understood as an author, and I consider it my first review: "We found your formal experimentation with "S*'s" characterization highly appealing, in the way it plays at the boundaries of poetry to reflect the sensuousness of experience. Overall, we felt it was an accomplished work."

My book has found the right home. Lovely to join the Quattro family!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Trailer for an Upcoming Videopoetry Performance



direct link: Trailer for Upcoming Videopoem Performance

A short trailer for my upcoming feature! I'm presenting and performing three of my videopoems at Shab-e She'r next Tuesday evening, June 30th. As a multi-media artist, I am very excited to be showing my craft- poems, art, dance, video. It's at 7pm, Beit Zatoum, 612 Markham St., Toronto (Bloor and Bathurst), cover: $5.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/911027915631459
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The photo for the still is from a poetry event where I performed A Floral Opera and was taken by Josef Hochleitner. The Ink Ocean clips in the trailer are from that same performance, though the video has been given multiple visual 'treatments.'



Monday, June 22, 2015

Before Conceptualism



Before Conceptualism. Brenda Clews, 2015. 16" x 20" x 1.5", oils on gallery size canvas. $1,000. range when completed and varnished.

Almost finished. What I'm considering: toning down the blue lady on the right with a patina of white when she is dry; toning down that knee-shaped pillow (that echoes the saron lady's bent knee) or adding another pillow between them.

Otherwise, it is almost finished, finally.

This is a 'poem painting' and the title will be a line from one of my poems. This painting is a return to a love of paint, raw wild colour, mystical figures, a composition of depth and flatness, linear and with blocks of colour. Perhaps I should call it 'Before Conceptualism,' because that is what I am returning to.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

'Contrast,' ink painting in Bampot Bohemian Teahouse Group Show



Contrast. Brenda Clews, 2015. 16" x 20" x 1.5", acrylic, permanent India and acrylic inks on gallery size canvas. $400.

Bampot Bohemian House of Tea
201 Harbord St (at Bathurst)
Toronto, Ontario


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Two Spots this Weekend


I'm featuring in two poetry events this weekend with a whole lot of other fantastic poets and musicians.

◇ On Saturday afternoon I will be a guest poet at 'Words and Music Salon' hosted by Linda Stitt and Lucky Mike from 1:30p-4:30p at Vino Rosso, 995 Bay St (just north of Wellesley St).

◇ On Sunday evening I will be performing poetry with masks and video at a 'Syrian Refugee Poetry & Music Fundraiser' hosted by Sharon Goodier from 7p-10p at Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St (near Bloor and Bathurst) ▻ their facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/802749636487643.

If you're in Toronto and can come out to one or both events, I'd be chuffed to see you.