Tag Archives: gorilla house live art battle

Gorilla House Live Art 27

Yes, I usually post these as Wordless Wednesday posts, but I felt like posting it today because the video just came out. Also, I wasn’t sure that all of you know what the heck a Gorilla House is, anyway?

So, Gorilla House is this awesome place in Calgary that’s part gallery, part studio, all fun. Every Wednesday night at 7pm, there is a live art “battle”. I’m finger-quoting here because the only battle really taking place is within myself, to see if I can complete a painting (actually, I have always made two each time) in the two hour limit.

A wheel is spun at the beginning of the evening, and three very random pieces of inspiration are chosen. I don’t rely heavily on the inspiration, but let it gently speak to me. Honestly, sometimes I flat-out ignore it.

During the evening, people can stop in and watch art being made, which looks like fun, but I’ve never attended as a viewer! At the end of the two hours, all the art is auctioned off! The proceeds are split between the artist and the gallery.

Before arriving, I had these two canvases prepped, using leftover paint from my studio time. It makes the painting so much less stressful when there’s already a first layer!

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Gorilla House wouldn’t be the same without my painting-partner, Kathleen Moors. She’s awesome, and we always stick together!

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Here’s how my paintings ended up. I was pretty worried that one of them wouldn’t quite work out, but in the last 20 minutes, something magical happened, and I love them both.

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My wonderful neighbour, Barb, attended Gorilla House for the first time last week, and she purchased both of my paintings! For the funny story about how we met, click here!

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I purchased my second Kath original during the night! Woo hoo!

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Finally, here is the video from the art battle. There is lots of footage of Kath and I dancing our butts off, so have fun laughing!

Gorilla House Live Art 20 :: Wordless Wednesday

The Three Muses.

The Three Muses.

Wish Upon a Star

Wish Upon a Star

Pleasure Dome

Pleasure Dome

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I bought Kath's painting!

I bought Kath’s painting!

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Gorilla House Live Art 19 :: Wordless Wednesday

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Gorilla House Live Art 15: Wordless Wednesday

Gorilla House Live Art 14 (Wordless Wednesday)

Gorilla House Live Art Battle 13! (Wordless Wednesday)

photo by Terry Storey


When artists look for validation.

When artists look for validation outside of themselves, things can get yucky.

For the most part, since April, I have been happy with my painting, and really enjoying the process. I almost always enjoy the compliments I get (I say almost because I’m still working on really taking them in, rather than dismissing them).

Participating in the Gorilla House Live Art battles is really giving me something to work on, as my dear friend Tietje pointed out. Last night, after the auction, and after a fun night of painting, instead of being happy that my two paintings were bought by Valda, a lovely woman who was eager to purchase both, I was instantly bummed that my pieces sold for the lowest they ever have (in a total of four auctions) while other works were getting up to five times as much as mine. As Tietje pointed out, I am allowing the purchase price of my paintings determine my self-worth. I don’t care so much about going home with cash in my pocket, but low sale price seems to equal crappy art, which logically means crappy artist, or not an artist. See how my mind works?

Having had a morning to mull it over, I would say that there were a bunch of little things that ended up in me perhaps not turning out my best work: the themes were not ones that I could immediately relate to; I tried something a little different towards the end of one of my paintings; and I had to pack up my stuff about 10 minutes early to get out of the way for the auction. Being the first adult to auction paintings probably didn’t help much, either, but now I’m kind of looking for reasons why my paintings weren’t the problem.

Things to work on:

It’s OK to have bad days.

It’s OK to produce bad art. That doesn’t make me a bad artist.

It’s OK to feel bummed sometimes. I don’t even have to look for reasons why.

It’s OK to want validation, because without it, aren’t we producing art in a vacuum?

Validation, or lack of it, doesn’t define who I am.

“Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.”
Mike Ditka (like my brother says, “Art is just like football. You either win, or you lose.”)