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About Neil Dawson
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BLUEROCK GALLERY Black Diamond, Alberta
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Sunday, June 05 2011

Summer is slowly unfurling on the high prairie. May has been pretty miserable but today the cloud and wet gave way to hot sun and mosquitoes.We got the seeds into the garden at the Smiths' place a week ago and today the radishes and Kohlrabi are just pushing through.

Friday night a heavy roof of cloud framed exaggerated mountains in a lemon yellow lens. A forty minute rain made its way down the foothills and my jeans got wet up to the knees. Hugo the poodle's coat went into ringlets. This year's steers were delivered on Wednesday. They are surprisingly friendly and came up to see us as we walked through the woods. They're clean and thrifty and are already a good size for yearlings. We followed them down to the lower pastures and they let us walk amongst them; wet hides, steaming nostrils and cud chewing jaws. Hugo stayed close but quietly whimpered with excitement.

The fields are full of alpine shooting stars and toadflax. Mountain bluebirds flit along the fence lines. But the city isn't far away; just along from the gate Friday there was a sporty little Lexus smashed into a tree in the ditch, crumbled hood, deflated airbags and draped in yellow police tape. Happily, today it was gone.

Today we went out to the cabin for my birthday. Check the garden; make tea with the Kelly kettle. The girls spray each other with the hose and bounce on the tramp. Shoot the air rifle at pop bottles and make pizza on the barbecue. See the Smiths who are shopping for horses.

Friday Julia and I drove down and met with Karen Gimble of Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond and left 10 paintings with her. It was very exciting meeting with her and we're impressed with the newly revamped gallery that she and her husband have now owned for a year. I had a very successful show in this space when it was under different ownership in 2007. Good to be back.

Posted by: Neil AT 11:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 07 2009
On April 1st, my wife Julia and I conducted a class for Ms Sherrin at Westgate School. The theme was self portraits as Picasso may have done them. I used David Douglas Duncan's 1957 book of photographs which documented Picasso's painting of a portrait from a stylised sculpture. On the Sunday prior, I made a copy of the sculpture in the book and painted it with the help of daughters Anna and Isobel (7 years old). On Tuesday before the class the two girls drew full face portraits of themselves and we did profiles by drawing around their faces onto a piece of paper. We then merged the two drawings before simplifying them into geometric shapes for colours and designs using tempra paints. On Wednesday I showed the children (16) how the sculpture represented the flattened facets of the head (full face and profile) and then we proceeded to go through the plan worked out with Anna and Isobel the day before. Great results in under 2 hours! The main tempra shapes were then outlined with black Sharpie. The children really got the point of the execise and produced absolutely wonderful images.
Posted by: Neil AT 01:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 27 2009

I've been working on this one, on and off for a couple of weeks. He's one of the boys playing on the local rink in the brilliant sunshine. Moved him off to the left to ensure getting the stick in the picture. Picture shows that delightful athleticism, enthusiasm and grace of youth which I so like in shinny hockey - something not so readily seen in the fully padded and helmeted game.I got the title from the sports pages of the Globe and Mail and after hearing the guys discussing league standings in the NHL.


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Saturday, March 14 2009
Attended the opening of Joe Fafard's show at the Glenbow museum today. Exaggerated terracotta figures/portraits absolutely wonderful. Nude males somewhat reminiscent of Freud's paintings. The big bronze bull was fabulous.
Posted by: Neil AT 06:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 13 2009
Went along Sunday March 8th and sketched monks making sand medicine mandala at Glenbow Museum, Calgary. Returned evening March 12th for Medicine Buddha Healing Prayer. A full house in the museum theatre; deep resonant male voices of 5 monks with cymbals and highly ornate reed instruments.
Posted by: Neil AT 04:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Phone: (403) 629-5116
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