Saturday, 25 March 2017

Opening New doors

Life has a way of redirecting us. If we don't recognize the need to take another route, we risk getting stuck in a path that's not good for our personal growth. As an artist, I feel that freedom to express, and create are interlinked. If I'm restricted or my environment effects my ability to create, I feel I have lost my voice. In a way my creative flow is a good barometer of how free I feel to create and therefore express myself. 
In conversations, sometimes we talk just to create noise, to connect, or learn. We talk as we are passionate about our subject, and want to make a difference. Likewise in painting, we paint for different reasons, usually for me, it's spurred on by an emotional reaction to a subject, or an inquisitiveness and a means to understand .More recently I've become comfortable with creating just because I want to. There doesn't always have to be a reason,as in life, I don't think it's possible to understand everything that we do, and it can take years of reflecting a circumstance, to begin to understand. So perhaps creativity has a place in opening new doors of understanding, and seeing.
This is a new work of mine. Experimenting a little and opening new doors. Rod, and Randolph Jones are  good friends of ours. They need their own show on tv, as both have great minds and considered views on just about everything. These guys talk, as they know what their talking about :)


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Everything Changes

Thanks to +Antti Rautiola  for the photo

A friend once said to me, about Life, that "Everything Changes". A simple observation, but very true. After a year or so, of concentrating on my drawing skills, I eagerly attended our Plein Air Festival Art In The Open, here in Wexford, not expecting too much from myself, as I hadn't painted outdoors for a long while.
Art In The Open, for me, has always been less about competition, and more about meeting our friends , Artists who live parallel lives , at home and all around the world. They come to Wexford speaking the common language of Art.
I have never witnessed any large ego's that are sometimes attached to people, and only a lot of respect, love and support towards each other, and  for what we do.
Perhaps it's the common experience of battling with the elements,and  the persistence needed to continuously raise our level in this type of art. Contrary to the comments I hear while out painting..It's not an easy skill to develop, and sometimes I would go so far as to say it's Like an Adrenalin Sport. ( I can imagine the screwed up faces reacting to those words)...
Sure, there are days, when it can be relaxing, your in a zone, and the elements are just right. Weather is constant, not too many distractions, your interested in the subject you are painting, and your head is in the right place.
A Majority of the time however, particularly here in Ireland, when the light changes rapidly, there is an element of "racing". My heart beats faster, senses are heightened, aware of my surroundings, but still focused on the job to hand. It's getting myself into that zone, that is part of the training for Plein Air, and why it doesn't work for some.
There is an element of "being grounded" to a Plein air artist. The connection with Nature, thinking from the feet up, instead of shoulders up. Feeling your subject, not just theorizing about it. Experiencing and witnessing first hand, and uniquely expressing that through all your senses. Though it has a long history, it remains contemporary, as artists strive to make sense of their world, making art in the present and responding to their now...
So saying, I was delighted to receive a bronze award for my Painting "The Banks of the Nore" -Innistioge ". A wonderful thing happens when I paint, I feel a connection, to all that have given me advice, and insights into their experiences. It must be the same for all skills, in that we never truly achieve on our own, but are a culmination of our own experiences, and that of others, who so generously help in our own journey. Our duty is to be the same for others, and that is where Art In The Open is uniquely positioned. It creates that atmosphere of support, and joy in each others discoveries, which enriches our lives, and encourages us to keep moving forward in learning on our journey.
Everything changes in life, (we lost a dear friend in the past year), but one constant and a means of making sense in our world is art, and for us "plein air", which connects us with the past, while continuously striving for a better future.
Today I'm feeling all philosophical, it may not happen again for some time :)

Thanks to +Antti Rautiola  for the photo


Everything Changes

A friend once said to me, about Life, that "Everything Changes". A simple observation, but very true. After a year or so, of concentrating on my drawing skills, I eagerly attended our Plein Air Festival Art In The Open, here in Wexford, not expecting too much from myself, as I hadn't painted outdoors for a long while.
Art In The Open, for me, has always been less about competition, and more about meeting our friends , Artists who live parallel lives , at home and all around the world. They come to Wexford speaking the common language of Art.
I have never witnessed any large ego's that are sometimes attached to people, and only a lot of respect, love and support towards each other, and  for what we do.
Perhaps it's the common experience of battling with the elements,and  the persistence needed to continuously raise our level in this type of art. Contrary to the comments I hear while out painting..It's not an easy skill to develop, and sometimes I would go so far as to say it's Like an Adrenalin Sport. ( I can imagine the screwed up faces reacting to those words)...
Sure, there are days, when it can be relaxing, your in a zone, and the elements are just right. Weather is constant, not too many distractions, your interested in the subject you are painting, and your head is in the right place.
A Majority of the time however, particularly here in Ireland, when the light changes rapidly, there is an element of "racing". My heart beats faster, senses are heightened, aware of my surroundings, but still focused on the job to hand. It's getting myself into that zone, that is part of the training for Plein Air, and why it doesn't work for some.
There is an element of "being grounded" to a Plein air artist. The connection with Nature, thinking from the feet up, instead of shoulders up. Feeling your subject, not just theorizing about it. Experiencing and witnessing first hand, and uniquely expressing that through all your senses. Though it has a long history, it remains contemporary, as artists strive to make sense of their world, making art in the present and responding to their now...
So saying, I was delighted to receive a bronze award for my Painting "The Banks of the Nore" -Innistioge ". A wonderful thing happens when I paint, I feel a connection, to all that have given me advice, and insights into their experiences. It must be the same for all skills, in that we never truly achieve on our own, but are a culmination of our own experiences, and that of others, who so generously help in our own journey. Our duty is to be the same for others, and that is where Art In The Open is uniquely positioned. It creates that atmosphere of support, and joy in each others discoveries, which enriches our lives, and encourages us to keep moving forward in learning on our journey.
Everything changes in life, (we lost a dear friend in the past year), but one constant and a means of making sense in our world is art, and for us "plein air", which connects us with the past, while continuously striving for a better future.
Today I'm feeling all philosophical, it may not happen again for some time :)

Thanks to +Antti Rautiola  for the photo


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Plein Air Berlin / Brandenburg May 9th-19th - Altthymun - 2015

Another year has passed, and our crew, with a couple of extra members made our trip back to the Plein Air Berlin/Brandenburg Event 2015. This year the Event was extended to 10 days, which gave artists a chance to settle in, before the "wave of creativity" took over.
Irish Participants this year, were, Valery Syms Martin,Michael McGuire, George McHugh, Louise Tracey , David Goldenburg, Carla Goldenburg, and myself.Others participating were, Nikoli Kranis, Marko Fenske, Diether Munchgesang, Maike Josupeit,Sirkka Gonzalez,and Andreas Mattern

There's always a special atmosphere to this Event. Many people are involved in making it successful, from the Event Organizers, Marko Fenske, and Nickoli Kraneis, Mayor of Altthymun Manfred, and the lovely Angela and co. who provided such great support during the day, and fed us wonderfully from the  marvels of her Kitchen..

Altthymun, slows life right down to a snails pace. With a vegetarian diet, clean fresh air, and pristine countryside, it would be hard not to feel that a stay here is doing your body and soul good.
Working hard also, with locations to paint nearby, we had plenty of opportunity, to get our brushes wet, and work on our paintings.
The Event Culminated with an Exhibition of work at the nearby town Himmelpfort, followed by another lovely meal at a local venue.
Thanks again to George McHugh, who translated for us, and later helped us navigate Berlin ...Guest Adjudicater this year was Matthias Koeppel, Diether Munchgesang, and Marko Fenske.
I was delighted to win an award for best "Picturesque Quality" (roughly translated). Congratulations also to Louise Tracy , Maike Josupeit, David Goldenburg,Michael Mcguire, and Angela, who won awards also.
The embers burn on another successful year at Altthymun !

Monday, 4 May 2015

Being the best you can be....

I'm feeling a little nostalgic today.We were doing a spot of "spring cleaning " yesterday, and came across these..I didn't realize it was '96 when I fought in The European Full Contact Kickboxing Championships. My Brother Jim ,Wexford Injury Treatment & Rehabilitation Centre , trained me from a goofy shy farmer, to stepping out in the Ring at European Level. I didn't win, but I did in another sense, by getting past my shyness, and feeling strong as a person....None of us know what we're truly capable of, if self doubt and insecurities can be pushed aside....I think our challenge is to be best person we can be , with the talents we have, whether we reach the "first round"..or become "champions"....


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"The Voyage".... a reflection



                                               "Ballycotton Boats 2014" -  K.Scannell

 link - Christy Moore's Version of "The Voyage" written by Johnny Duhan

One of my all time favorite songs  by our much loved Christy Moore. It has an extremely romantic backbone, and reminds  me constantly of my parents, and their love for each other. Through often very hard times, it kept them strong and got us all on the road to begin our own path.The older I get the more I realize how important loved ones are, in supporting us on our own Life's Journey, which is never a solo voyage. 

The song, is full of metaphors and imagery , telling a story in poetic fashion ...much like what  I try to achieve in my painting !

Artists in general live quite a solitary existence. It's the nature of their work, which often demands long spells of concentration. The creative process itself is still mysterious..who knows why, one day we can do no wrong...while the following day, the brush just won't behave itself.
Though we can be comfortable in our own company,we're  still social animals, look for new experiences, and benefit a great deal being around people, particularly other like-minded artists.
  
"Experience is not what happens to a man (woman) : it is what a man (woman) does with what happens to him (her). " - Aldous Huxly

It takes a while for new experiences sink in, and allow for growth. I believe every experience we go through, changes us a little, and if we're lucky, in life's journey, through the people we meet along the way, the positives will outweigh the negatives, and our reflection of the world, become deeper, and more meaningful as a consequence.










Sunday, 15 June 2014

Paint Annapolis USA 2014

 Update.. I was very happy to return home with two awards from this great event. Third place in both the "Nocturne", and "Quick-draw" events :) 


                         

                                      Paint Annapolis 2014

                  Presented by the Maryland Federation of Art
                                         June 23-29


I am  honored to be one of thirty artists taking part in Paint Annapolis 2014.Working very hard  in developing my work, I made the decision early in the year to be open to any opportunity that arises, which will help me develop as an artist. As a result, when I saw at the last minute, a call for entries to the Paint Annapolis Event, I applied.

My brother JimWexford Injury Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre ) always says work hard and be prepared ,as you never know when an opportunity will arise. He coached me in my sporting years, and is a great coach also in life. It helps also, that he can fix my back when it "screams" after along  painting spree ;)

Often (and I'm sure it's the case for many artists) we get caught up in the process of making, and are happiest painting, creating, and developing work. However it is very easy to get lost in the process, and we can  forget the benefits to be had, by stepping beyond our environs. New experiences, help us to develop as human beings and as artists. 

Annapolis is the Capitol of Maryland with a population of  about 36,000 in comparisons to Wexfords' 19,000.Perhaps one of our biggest connections is Commodore John Barry , founder of The American Navy. 
Annapolis is also a Maritime City, the United States Naval Academy was founded in 1845 on the site of Fort Severnand now occupies an area of land reclaimed from the Severn River next to the Chesapeake Bay.

 I was barely aware of Annapolis, and Wexford's connection to it, until the organizers of Art In The Open , (Wexford's Outdoor painting Festival), encouraged the relationship between the two . As a result, over the years A.I.O has had artists from Annapolis, and further afield participating in the event, Lynn Mehta, Ardis and David Diaz, who has made the journey for five consecutive years, and has been a great ambassador  for the city.

"Paint Annapolis is a four-day juried plein air painting competition held June 23-29, 2014, that brings to Annapolis plein air painters from across the United States. For 12 years it has been a premier event, bringing artists and patrons of the arts together to share in the spirit of the energy and vibrancy of outdoor painting. The event is designed to explore in paint the special colonial architecture, marine atmosphere and overall energy of Maryland’s capital city - home to families, business, colleges, and maritime activities."

It  promises to be a great experience, painting inside and outside the environs of the city, with a quick draw and Nocturne Event also in the schedule.

Preparing for a week of serious painting, I enjoy the pressure that competitions bring ,as I feel being challenged, always helps to progress my skill level. At the same time I never regard it as a win or loose situation. Much like in my sporting life in the past, competition is only ever with yourself, in a drive to keep improving...and achievement is in the eye of the beholder. Long term your own judgement is what matters, and a continuous movement forward with honesty to our own creative vision and response.

Look who's coming to Paint Annapolis 2014

Paint Annapolis Website

My Website : Karenscannellart@jimdo.com

http://pleineire.ning.com/

http://pleinairartists.ning.com/photo




My Painting of eighty year old Gerd Hinrichsen , during Plein Air berlin - brandenburg Event 2014