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maccski

David Kelavey
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3 min read

After a long hiatus the TILAAOP series is back (at least for one post). Thing #22 is:

The more you do it the better you get at it.

Yes, it’s obvious, but it goes a little deeper.  The reason I’ve chosen this “thing” is because I have been and continue to be working very hard to produce art for a solo show coming up next month.  For almost a year I’ve kept an aggressive schedule of putting paint to canvas. I’ve been keeping count of my paintings while keeping my eye on the calendar.  

There have been some dogs in there, but in general I feel the quality of my work has improved. My confidence has been boosted and, as a result, my speed of execution has increased. Even if the viewing world out there has a hard time perceiving any discernable improvement in my art, I feel better about the way I paint.

The key to this improvement is not just because I’m painting more, but that there is little to no break between each painting.  As one canvas goes on my rack to dry the next one is being prepped. I joke to my friends that the art factory is going full tilt, but sometimes it really feels that way. I am in an almost continuous state of creative production – it’s immensely gratifying, but it’s draining.

Once this current phase is done (i.e. by my show’s reception), I‘ll be happy to take a break, but I’m confident that the benefits will stay with me – even if I’m not painting so much. I started this whole crazy art ride back in 2011 by painting 50 small works in 95 days for no other reason than to improve my skill level (see Thing #6). This current exercise has had a similar effect, but with full-size paintings.

Over the next few weeks I’ll post some of these new works.

Thing #1: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Thing #2: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Thing #3: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

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Thing #20: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Thing #21: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Why am I posting this stuff? maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Take a look at my Facebook page...if you like it, please "Like" it! www.facebook.com/MontrealArtis…


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1 min read
I just completely updated the look of my web site to a cleaner, simpler, more "now-ish" design. Please go take a look: www.montrealartist.com/

I also started to look more seriously at using social media as a way of getting my work "out there". I created accounts specifically for my artwork on Twitter and Pinterest:
I'd be interested in hearing any comments/advice from anyone that has used these sites for their art.

I'm still plugging my work on Facebook - if you haven't already, please head over and take a look: www.facebook.com/MontrealArtis… . If you're feeling kind please shoot me a like.

That's it for now! I have something BIG coming up in October that I'm working towards. Sorry, did I say BIG?  I meant to say B-I-G!
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1 min read
If you're around Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada in the next few weeks I have a painting on show as part of the Society of Canadian Artists Members' Show. It's at the Civic Center, 399 The West Mall from today until August 27. The reception's on Sunday July 27th from 2pm - 4pm (but I won't be there because I'll be on a beach in Maine!).  
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2 min read
I'm one of those sporadic deviants that lives & breathes dA for a few weeks before dropping off the face of the Earth...only to reappear and redisappear (rinse & repeat). But hey, I'm back and that's what counts, right?

My time away from dA has not been idle - here's a run-down of what I've been up to:
  • I started the process of organizing my first solo exhibition at a gallery (Viva Vida Art Gallery in Pointe-Claire, Quebec) in October. More info to come.
  • I gave my first ever demo
  • I gave my first ever talk
  • I got accepted into Oil Painters of America
  • I got myself a purpose-built art studio. Previously I was working in my basement, next to the furnace, in amongst the ducts and kids' bikes...  Now I have an actual room complete with diffused full-spectrum lighting, a hanging system, a clean-up area, materials storage and (of course) my hi-fi
  • I spent five days in the stunning Charlevoix region of Quebec, plein-air painting with a bunch of hugely talented artists
  • My work was displayed out-of-province for the first time at the Love Art Fair in Toronto as part of Viva Vida Gallery's booth
  • I got voted in as Vice-President of the Lakeshore Association of Artists (eat your heart out, Frank Underwood)
As you can see it's been a pretty exciting 6 months - and the next 6 are shaping up well, too.  Currently I'm working hard on building a body of work for my solo show. Hopefully come October I'll have 40-50 pieces ready to go.

I plan to stick around for a while on dA this time...I have some work to post and a few more "things" to add to my journal series.  If (when) I disappear again it will probably be for the best reason: making art. Then I'll re-resurface (again).

Watch this space (but don't hold your breath)!
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3 min read
OK I'm back - bet you thought I was done...

An appropriate subject for thing #21:

Feel free to take a break for a while but make sure you get back on the horse before too long.

I'm in the midst of this right now - getting back into the rhythm of creating after a summer of doing "other stuff" (hey, I found Maine!).  I didn't completely drop the brush: I was involved in a couple of exhibitions, I gave my first ever demo and I had a commission to paint.  But somehow I got out of the habit of stepping up to the easel and I recently found myself making excuses for not doing what I love best.  Weird, eh?

Taking a break once in a while is an awesome thing to do.  I played in the ocean with my family and hiked a couple of Adirondack peaks with friends - really cleared my head. However, I don't think that artists are ever completely "on vacation" and that was true of me. Part of what makes us artists is the way we look at the world - whatever we're doing in it. A break from routine can help refresh, reinvigorate and even enhance that vision. Thanks to my trusty camera I now have a ton more source material to use...

Last night I consciously resisted the temptation of the couch and stepped up to the easel. I have a half-finished piece that's been a work-in-progress for longer than I'd care to mention. I methodically went though the prep work of setting up my area the way I like it.  I even threw some crazy jazz on the CD player to get me "in the mood" (Dave Holland Quintet, if anyone's interested).  I stared at my canvas for a while trying to figure out a plan and worrying about how it would turn out. Then my inner Yoda kicked in - "there is no try, only do". So I did. Before I knew it, I'd been lost in painting for a couple of hours and the worry had melted away. My painting still had a way to go, but I was excited about the next steps. It felt like the motor had been kick-started again and I was up and running.

It's the next day and I'm eager to get back in the studio. I know exactly what to tackle next and I have a much clearer vision of the final piece. It looks like I'm back on the horse.

So what's the "take-away" from this? What's that pithy piece of advice I can give.  Don't ask me, ask your inner Yoda.

Thing #1: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
Thing #2: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
Thing #3: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
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Thing #19: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…
Thing #20: maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Why am I posting this stuff? maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

Take a look at my Facebook page...if you like it, please "Like" it! www.facebook.com/MontrealArtis…
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