Sharon Hogg

So…..
It started with pastel silk cross-stitches, and wandered, a bit radicant, from there.
It started as a nominal oval, and became a bit pear-shaped from there.
It started with a subject of flowers, but became a bit 21st century from there.

Leighton Arts Centre Exhibition
June 20 to Aug 1, 2015
BENEATH THE LONG GRASS: THE CONSTRUCTED CANVAS: presents an acute awareness of something that lies beneath. My work is supported by strong underlying structures and constructed canvases; I am interested in a clearly evident means of construction. The works contemplate energy and environment using layers, transparencies, and a depth of materials. Encaustic waxes combine with transparent oil paints over an underlying support of specifically woven tapestry or interwoven canvas, burlap, or linen. Layers move on and off the surface, in search of a connection between the way that I sense, and the way that I come to understand the natural energies at play in our environments.

Beneath the Long Grass: The Constructed Canvas examines what lies beneath my conscious awareness of the land and moreover, what lies beneath a whole romantic conception of nature. Here is the mindset of a realist, existing in a world filled with energies, both physical and contemplative. Human and natural forces meet with both challenge and synergy and are planted firmly together in the enduring prairie landscape.

SPRINGBURN

Mats and islands of dried grasses; the remains of last year’s growth, in the receding snow. A torch applied, a fire controlled. A cleansing burn reduces the tangle to ash and clears the way for an abundance of new growth. Humans, anticipating the cycle, urge along inevitable progress of the season.


Ex Kathedra

By Ex Kathedra I by mean “from the seat of authority”. By authority I mean all “things” passed down to me from humans that have gone before me. And by things I mean rules, traditions, freedoms, and habits; a litany of layers. ExKathedra is a series that empirically explores this layering of these "things".

Supports for the sketches are cut from the motor oil stained floor boards from a car mechanic's garage; 2x12 lumber. The larger work has a constructed surface of canvas, linen, burlap and rope.
Textures are supplied by encaustic medium, plaster of Paris, venetian plaster, joint compound, string, bits of burlap or canvas and the underlying lumber.
Surfaces are finished with oil paint, pigmented encaustic, and sometimes acrylic paint.

Kathedra noun...Greek, seat of, place of authority (1587 Harrison)
Ex Kathedra ......OED... from the seat of authority (1635 Pagitt)


TEXO VITAE

Texô, Texere and Texuî
To weave
To have woven
To have been woven

Each work in this series exists in all of these three conjugation simultaneously.

Life continuously building upon itself; in turn built upon and tethered to
its inherited contexts.

Context...derived from the Latin con-texure...
A background, a milieu or a climate securely held together by weaving, plaiting, intertwining.

BETWEEN THE SWAN AND HERCULES

Do I Always Look for Order in Every Chaos?

It is a naïve, often futile, but perhaps noble tendency of mortal humans. Using their feeble tools of precision and intellect to reach beyond the grasp of their understanding, they vainly attempt to find reason within the chaos of the universe. And in so doing, become the envy of the gods.

Chaotic encaustic, pigmented according to the dawn skies in February.
Orderly oil painted lines scribed using instruments of so-called precision; ruler and compass and such.

BENEATH THE LONG GRASS: THE CONSTRUCTED CANVAS: presents an acute awareness of something that lies beneath. My work is supported by strong underlying structures and constructed canvases; I am interested in a clearly evident means of construction. The works contemplate energy and environment using layers, transparencies, and a depth of materials. Encaustic waxes combine with transparent oil paints over an underlying support of specifically woven tapestry or interwoven canvas, burlap, or linen. Layers move on and off the surface, in search of a connection between the way that I sense, and the way that I come to understand the natural energies at play in our environments.

Beneath the Long Grass: The Constructed Canvas examines what lies beneath my conscious awareness of the land and moreover, what lies beneath a whole romantic conception of nature. Here is the mindset of a realist, existing in a world filled with energies, both physical and contemplative. Human and natural forces meet with both challenge and synergy and are planted firmly together in the enduring prairie landscape.


TALES FROM THE MAPLE FOREST

From the Party of Twelve Series' - Tales from the Maple Forest is a 12 piece silkscreen series, each work 12x18 inches and finished in a format suitable for use as a placemat. Each “Tale” is intended as a conversation starter for the dinner table; perhaps a cause for contention over who gets to sit where.

Twelve identical backdrops. Twelve different “tales”. A collection of line-drawing portraits of maple trees, ranging from young to old. Some tall and straight and proud, some more marked by the misadventures of the years, but all with tales to tell. Roughly cut-out newsprint stencils hint at wandering, imagining tales of things that might have been.

Tales from the Maple Forest is a two layered silk screen done with one line drawing screen and one newsprint cutout screen. The somewhat cludgy and delicate newsprint cutout is destroyed in the printing process making the editions a one-time work. Like a tale being told, person-to-person right here, right now - of course it can be repeated, but never in exactly the same way.

JUST TO SAY HELLO

Simple old-school scissors-and-glue collage
Pictures
of the everyday landscape across Canada.
Not the "just-the-highlights" that are usually found on postcards from the Canadian "wilderness"; these are views from the TransCanada trail. The awesomeness of the trail is its dogged connectedness across a vast expanse of geography, rather than a singular spectacular snapshot.
Pictures
from the reject pile of old family albums.
Not just the beauty-shots and the main-event highlights; these are one-liners of ordinary family life, snippets from mostly untold short stories. Their awesomeness; simply a dogged determination to stay connected across the vast distance between generations.

The TransCanada Trail is sponsored in part by TransCanada Pipelines....who issued this set of postcards in May 2014 to commemorate the partnership. The 23,000-kilometre trail is the longest connected recreational infrastructure in the world.

LANDSCAPE FOR A GOOD WOMAN

Moment trumps perfection.
Impasto impressions on a crimson ground are done in one pass, adding sky and land then scraping away a space, a hole to quickly fill with a female presence.
Any good woman will do.
Embedded, but not at home, not on it, not of it, she is simply in her landscape, awkward, non-comfortable but getting on.
Busy trumps happy.
She was busy in her struggles, in her world, at least until you interrupted.
Struggle is mandatory, but suffering is optional. Her life, like all life, is struggle.
The only suffering here might be with the fool that she turns her gaze upon.

SELF-ish

I am an enthusiastic, somewhat prolific but ultimately lousy portrait artist; especially when it comes to depicting myself. Pieces that are clear self portraits are almost always notes-to-self; what I want to be, what I don't want to be, and what I fear I actually am.

Never capable of "posing" for a picture, I believe it is because, in this world, I simply must do....so much moreso than simply be. A posed picture of me, simply being, never seems to get to the centre, or the truth, of matter. I have always had a strange affinity to the verb-based understanding that I hear is the basis of language of the Navaho. They would never say "Here is a ball that is rolling." It would be "Here is rolling of the type that balls do." I guess that's it - I regard myself (and others too) as a verb and notsomuch as a noun.

The Vortex series is a meeting of opposing energies; a swirling confrontation where polar opposites meet. They wrestle, waiting for the balance to tip, as when a world balances on its axis and slowly tips to the other side. With the mindset of a realist, I envision a world filled with energies. Whether these energies be Intellectual, emotional or physical, there is that tipping point where both repulsive challenge and attractive synergy simultaneously occur. My exploration is both physical and contemplative. The encaustic and oilpaint, reflect my keen interest an authenticity-of-materials; the heating/cooling nature of wax-working embodies this fluid sense of co-existence between the light of powerful, balanced energy and the vast darkness of the void.

SUNDAY 2PM

Too late to start something new, too early to call it a day, Sunday 2PM is a time of coasting, of waiting, of status quo. Yet it is not a time of stasis or repose;
more like a time of ongoing process playing itself out. Although newly constructed works, their lived-in textile nature suggests the private rather than the public, the individual rather than the collective. Sunday:2PM is at once a specific but ambiguous feeling; still but alive, claustrophobic but viewed with a distance,
reaching outward but turning back and unexplainable but truly real.

Sunday 2PM is a collective but personal metaphor for that time in any day, any week, any year or any life.

CURIOUS MESSENGHER

O, the drama. That serene and blue-green sphere becomes an overwhelming physical force when I meet it up close and human-sized.

A digitized transmission from a space probe neatly packages a planet sized view and
fits it cleanly into my personal screen-size. It becomes an esoteric planet of the mind.

Does the 5ft x 6ft cherry panel allow human-sized physicality to break through
the purely intellectual understanding of a distant world?

Fairly Odd Landscapes

Only when
they are fairly odd,
do landscapes
become the thing,


Otherwise they are
just the stuff
I live in every day.

Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions

Watercolour on paper, and as flat as it comes.

Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions is a loosely patterned and thoroughly abstracted tour through the environment of our daily lives.

It examines what the natural forces that we take for granted everyday might look like when a two dimensional plane is sliced through our space-time.

It imagines what the processes of our GPS and our cell phones might look like, expressed with a few simple watercolour pigments.

It begins with a multi-dimensional imagining of our simple everyday machinations of living. Then it chews them up, digests them a little and reflects them back in a simple graphic and a severely limited pigment palette.

The Land in Close Up

A more near sighted view,

no long range
vistas, visions

or great grand
plains, plans

here.

“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us.” Virginia Woolf, Orlando.

When idea and concept are presented in a disembodied medium... like an oil painting on the wall, they are called fine art and have an intellectual connection to the mind rather than the body. They seem to have a sense of a declaration to the whole world that this is some universal truth.

When that same idea and concept are presented in an "embodied medium" and by that I mean in a functional object like clothing or furniture or indeed even wallpaper rather than a painting on a wall..... when that is the case, then idea and concept seem to scale down to human-sized and become more personal; more attached to the wearer or the user. The concept and idea declare that this is (merely?) my idea, my viewpoint, my opinion. It is a one-to-one, or else one-to-ones-immediate-world communication, rather than a universal disembodied declaration.

Should concept and idea presented in an embodied medium be dismissed as just a pretty decoration of a functional item; a vain trifle? Or do they indeed change our view of the world and the world's view of us?

At The Regatta

In the series At The Regatta,
I am thinking about the physical exchange
of energy between the world and me;
the direct accumulated consequences
of repetitive natural physical forces.

Specifically, I am thinking about
the way that I incompletely sense,
selectively accumulate, and
finally struggle to fully comprehend
the forces of wind and water and light
that have acted over a timespan
of many years.

Facing Forward

I am a lousy portrait artist; it seems that I can only ever depict myself.

The clear self portraits are almost always notes-to-self; what I want to be, what I don't want to be, and what I fear I actually am.

When it is another person, I seem to pick out only the connecting parts between us, be they intellect, emotion or physicality. When it is an animal, then it is my own physical or emotional states that they represent. I sometimes wish I could wrap up everything that is in another person and present it to the world on canvas, but I know that will never be.

So I stick to calling all of these works more or less self-portraits, with apologies to those people and animals and things onto which I project my own experience.

Life in the Outer City

Not quite so hip as the real city
no grandeur, no monuments,
no sense of the urban flaneur
Not quite so chill as the country
no idyllic pretense of wilderness
Regular Real Life in the Outer City
is just that.


My favorite recorder
of daily life is Camille Pissarro
He must have seemed so mundane in his time.

There is a kind of everyday no-drama atmosphere
that places some distance
between Pissarro and the commonplace world.
He describes his commonplace present
with intelligence but non-involvement.
He picks out just the things to hint at significance;
all this done in his "now".
So there is absolutely no simpering nostalgia.

But there is a space
between me locked
in my contemporary present
and he also locked
in his contemporary present.
It is this distance, I think,
that can charm the present
(either his or mine)
into a sort of prescient
"Days of Future Past".

One Warm Line

Tracing boundaries
where land meets human.

Depth of January
in Alberta,
convinces:
humans are most certainly not
masters of all they survey.


Peopled Land

Sometimes,
but not often
do the figures
dominate
the spaces they
inhabit

The Turner Project

These are my interpretations of
a selection of WJM Turner's watercolour works.
Sketched by Turner onsite,
some from the UK, but most
from his infrequent (war-interrupted)
travels to the continent.

Many of these works are what he would call
Beginnings; just the minimal essential bits
that might go into the making of
larger studio works in the future. A

And though they are not "finished",
I think they give great insight into the way
his work was developed.

My physical action of interpreting these Beginnings
is a way of understanding the use colour and form
that he seemed to develop naturally
over years of sketching in watercolours.

The result? These 18 works of watercolour and ink,
Perhaps not providing a thorough understanding,
they are at least for me,
a beginning :).

Print is in Odd Duck in my practice - On the one hand, it is odd to put creative energy into a device that will then mechanically reproduce the art object; the "print". On the other hand the crafting of the finished print, using a hand made tool; the screen, the stencil, the etching... is an art in itself. A fully mechanical reproduction... well that would be documentation/distribution after-the-art.

Corporeal Foment

The fragmented view of the miniscule:
Corporeal Foment is an exercise in scale reduction.

It reaches towards a “new universal”
by examining blocks of magnified flesh and sensation.
A sort of search for globally commonality in human potential;
something that lies beneath race and gender
has no specific geography.

I find it irksome,
the postmodern tendency to throw away the baby of common human potential with the bathwater of Euro-exclusive universality.

Commonality is located in the smallest of fragments,
the firing of a synapse or a sequence of DNA.

New Universality is found in these fragments;
the momentary not the momentous;
the journey contained in each small step, following one upon the next,
not in the great grand plan.

Day at the Museum

Evolutionary Day at the ROM
Its all back there somewhere in the DNA.
A twisted radicant path.
(...See more about radicants...)

Take the museum tour through these selected specimens....


Stills From Life

These things that seem to stay still
while I stealthily try to observe and capture.

Not really momento mori,
these stills from life are more like a
catch and release.

Most all of these subjects will resume their normal objective lives after this brief pause.