UNDERNEATH

I’m working on a new painting today, and I find that it really helps to take a picture of the work in progress instead of just standing back to look at it every now and again. For some reason, it looks very different to me that way. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really seeing what’s in front of me, or if the image in my head is more prevalent.

This is another Ship Island under the ice image, abstract as it seems. I think it’s about half way there…

UNDERNEATH

This post was promised to one of my besties… screenshots of film footage I’ve been getting under the surface of the ocean (with lots of help from Duke) for my newest works in progress… I’m working on a series of paintings, prints, and textile pieces focusing on the ocean in relation to depression and life.

UNDERNEATH

UNDERNEATH is a proposed body of work as a follow up on my Surfacing works where I explored the surface of the ocean.  What lies underneath the surface of the ocean?  What lies underneath our own surfaces?  I have been thinking a lot about my own mental health and how often we take a look at the surface images but make assumptions about what is underneath instead of asking questions or getting to know someone.  Many of us feel alone in our worries and self-doubt.  What should and shouldn’t be revealed?  Lots of questions and ideas to be developed.

Inspiration was sparked by photographs taken under the ocean with my husband’s GoPro camera.  I have lived next to (sometimes on!) the sea all of my life, and have never before had access to see what is under that great divider of two ecosystems.  Tucking the camera under the water at the floating docks in Wesleyville captured images of thousands of tiny intricate electrified jellyfish.  I was excited to see this very different perspective on marine life.

Screenshot (112)
See a tiny video here on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZeX1182yBQ

UNDERNEATH development will take several video and still shots of underwater life in my region. Those images will be transferred to my interdisciplinary art practice through textiles (hooked mats and embroidered prints), oil painting, and printmaking.

All work will be created in my own studio in Brookfield between June of 2018 and June of 2019.  My usual working style is to have several works in progress at the same time which helps avoid health issues (i.e., I do not keep at one repeat movement for too long or sit for too long) so I will probably be creating a large hooked mat installation piece over the duration of that time, while also working on many paintings, and creating one edition of relief/intaglio prints at a time.  Embroidering on printed cloth is also a slow process that can take many weeks to complete a series.

I have been holding off on larger art piece ideas for a while- treading water with Norton’s Cove Cards, Mini-Prints, and Bookmarks and other small pieces- while working on other projects, like Norton’s Cove Café.

ArtsNL-colour

My grand goal right now is to apply for a show at The Rooms Art Gallery.  For that, I need time to plan and create.  With the help of  a Project Grant from the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council (ArtsNL), I will be doing just that.  I’m very grateful for the support I’ve been offered, and I look forward to sharing my working images and thoughts with you along the way.

Underneath

When I made the paintings, prints, and hooked mats of my SURFACING collection of works, I felt like I was just breaching the surface, coming up for air and starting to feel successful in all areas of my life.

Surfacing III Janet Davis (2016_07_12 16_56_16 UTC)
SURFACING 5   Oil on plywood   Private collection   Janet Davis 2012

I did not expect to feel trapped underneath
without air to breath
There is light streaming down
from above
If only I could grasp it
It’s cold and quiet down here
Depression
Numb
Beautiful glimmers
of beauty all around me, even while drowning
Sparkles
Hope
Family
Love
Breathe

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UNDERNEATH No. 1   Oil on plywood      Janet Davis 2018

Studio Work

With the Café up and running with new staff members working away like pros, I am left with the job that doesn’t feel like a job. Aaaah, creating in my studio. Welcoming visitors to my beautiful c.1890 general store. This is the life!

Right now, I’m working on a new little hooked mat which will be one in a series of three. Part of my UNDERNEATH series. Duke’s favourite t-shirts have been sacrificed for this piece, so I hope it turns out well! I didn’t ask his permission, and I was caught cutting them up! Oops!

I posted the finished Hermit Cove Cups in the online shop yesterday, and I plan on making two more of these images in the coming days. You’ll see them here when I’ve got something to show!