Author Archives: Nadine

4X4 Master Class With Jean Pederson

Why I decided to take Jean’s Masterclass?

By the time I signed up for Jean’s Masterclass I had been painting since 2009. I was a good painter but I wanted to be a great painter and I had no idea how to get there.  Watching Jean’s videos and reading her books inspired me to take this leap of faith and sign up for her Masterclass. Fast forward to 2019, 5 years later and I was ready to put my big girl panties on and go out into the world. 

What I learned in Jean’s Masterclass.

Be Fearless! Nothing is Precious! The Layers of paint only add to the integrity of the surface. Boy did I learn this the hard way.  A common issue with artists is that we think every painting is going to be a masterpiece. I PLEAD GUILTY!  Jean knew this and so when she walked up to me and said “ok, now flip it and start again” I actually had a panic attack! I couldn’t believe that she wanted me to ruin my painting. I knew that I was in her Masterclass for a reason so I bravely flipped the canvas and started another painting. The next attempt was even better than the first one, so when she came to me again and said “ok, now flip it and start again.” I almost cried.  I learned a very important lesson that day, nothing is precious and I can always paint it again. This really changed how I approach all of my work, no hesitation just freedom to explore with the paint.

One of my biggest struggles over the years has been disrupted studio time and a commitment to my work. I can’t believe how 5 years in Jean’s masterclass has changed all of that. Jean introduced me to the art world. Having no formal education in art,  I was intimidated at first to be working with Jean. I worried I didn’t have the knowledge to really move my work and myself forward as a professional artist. That was not the case. Jean’s Masterclass is just that, a Masterclass. She wants you to broaden your mind as well as your skills. She forces you to ask hard questions about what you want from yourself and your art. What your goals are? Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 5 years? I spent more time thinking about my work and experimenting than making finished work. The payoff was huge.  I am using collage now,  I can’t believe how it has become such an integral part of my work. When I use paper, I can’t really describe how I feel. Excitement, freedom, joy, these are all the things I want in my paintings but had no idea how to express. “Surface integrity” was a term my friend Deborah used and it fits perfectly, a variation of line, colour, texture, shape, value, these all make up surface integrity. Suggestive composition is to not get stuck in the idea of what the name of the subject is!! Being in Jean’s Masterclass broadened my mind, my intuition, and my skills as an artist. I work full time now at my forever job and its amazing!  I am starting to explore nonrepresentational work. There is such freedom in working intuitively. Allowing myself to respond to what is occurring on the surface of the canvas and with the paint is a new way of expressing myself. I would not even have been able to articulate this 5 years ago. Thank you Jean!

“Internal Sensitivity” what is it?

Our Masterclass would run 4 times a year for 4 days. During each session, Jean would bring a collection of her books in for us to read.  Just being exposed to her books changed the way I view art. I found a love of abstraction, figurative works in line, paper, paint, and monoprints. I started to buy books from artists that I loved. I started to follow the artists that I admired and loved. I would look at work that I wanted to hang in my home and try to figure out how they painted it. I wanted to learn as much about what they were making and as to why they made it. When I started to paint in 2009 my only thought was that I wanted to paint. I had no understanding of what being an artist was or how to get there. It never even occurred to me that I could have gone to art school at the age of 41. Maybe I didn’t really believe the dream was possible. After having completed Jean’s Masterclass I know that’s not the case anymore. I am happy to say that I am an artist and look forward to creating for many years to come. 

Some of the artists that I love!

If your wondering which artists inspire me, here is a shortlist:

Richard Diebenkorn https://www.instagram.com/diebenkornfoundation/
Robert Szot https://www.instagram.com/robszot/
Helen Frankenthaler https://www.instagram.com/helenfrankenthalerfoundation/
Jackie Leishman https://www.instagram.com/jleishmanart/
Veronica Cay https://www.instagram.com/ronniecay/
Brian Atyeo https://www.instagram.com/harbourgallery/
Bobbie Burgers https://www.instagram.com/bobbieburgers/
Emily Filler https://www.instagram.com/emilyfiller/
Karen Stamper https://www.instagram.com/karen_stamper_collage/
Jean Pederson https://www.instagram.com/jeanpederson/

Stay in touch, follow me!

If you would like to stay current with what I am working on please feel free to follow me on my Instagram page or Facebook page.

https://www.instagram.com/nadinejohnsonfineart/

https://www.facebook.com/nadinejohnsonfineart/

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What I Learned From My Sketchbook

What Inspired Me To Work In My Sketchbook

Like most artists I love sketchbooks! They often have beautiful covers, lovely paper and beg to be worked in. Like most artists I have many sketchbooks that don’t get used. Recently I was on instagram and I came across this 30 day sketchbook challenge by Cheryl Taves
https://www.instagram.com/insightcreativecoaching/  I had participated in a 30 day painting challenge at the beginning of the year and thought this might just do the trick. 

Why Timing Is Everything

This sketchbook challenge started right when my three month online course ended.  I used my sketchbook as my warm up every morning, prior to going into the studio. I was loving working in my sketchbook but I couldn’t have picked a worse time for a 30 day challenge. With Covid many families have been isolated and unable to see one another. I hadn’t seen my parents for 4 months. Once I finished my course I took my family and we went to stay with my parents for a week. It was wonderful but of course my sketchbook challenge went out the window. Another thing I learned during this time was to be kind to myself and others,  so will start back into my sketchbook this week and keep going.

What I learned From My Sketchbook

Working in a sketchbook is often easier than working on a canvas or board. I find it’s not as precious to me. Using a smaller sized sketchbook makes a difference. I am able to work faster, make changes and finish in a shorter period of time. There is more experimentation, no fear in trying new ideas. I push my boundaries and will try things that are really outside the box for me. It’s a great way to warm up prior to painting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I recommend.

If you haven’t tried a 30 day sketchbook challenge I would absolutely recommend it.  If the timing is bad for you then start your challenge when your able, find some friends to participate with you or start one yourself! There is so much to learn from challenging yourself when doing something you love.

Stay in touch, follow me!

If you would like to stay current with what I am working on please feel free to follow me on my instagram page or facebook page.

https://www.instagram.com/nadinejohnsonfineart/

https://www.facebook.com/nadinejohnsonfineart/

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Al Rashid, First Mosque Built In Canada!

Why I Was Inspired To Paint It!

My inspiration to create a vision of this historic landmark was in honour of my grandfather, Mohammed Ali (Andy) Hamdon and my grandmother Josephine Hamdon. In addition to my grandparents I wanted to honour the other founding members of the Al Rashid Mosque. Including my parents and aunt who were married there. While it was still serving the community I had attended bake sales, prayer services, weddings and funerals, all of which were an important part of the community.

How It Came To Be!

In November of 2016 I decided to submit a piece of art to the Shaw Conference centre in Edmonton, a call had gone out for historic or iconic landmarks in the city.  Subsequently I thought of the Al Rashid Mosque, the connection I had with it through my family and the significance of being the first mosque built in Canada.  In 1989 the Al Rashid was moved to Fort Edmonton as a historical landmark.  Immediately, I contacted Salwa Kadri at the new Al Rashid Mosque to gather information. Salwa was able to give me historic photos of the original construction site and old newspaper clippings about the Al Rashid opening and first funeral held there.  

Putting It All Together!

The most difficult part for me was drawing the Al Rashid Mosque, buildings can be complicated and not a subject that I do a lot of. Having completed the drawing of the Al Rashid Mosque it was time to start painting. I began by layering paint, making marks and glazing. I took the newspaper clippings and photos and made image transfers with them so they could be imbedded into the painting. Most importantly I wrote the names of the founding  members onto the surface of the canvas. It was crucial that they be included in the body of this work. 

Work In Progress!

Al Rashid Mosque

Al Rashid Mosque

Construction and history of Al Rashid Mosque

Al Rashid Mosque

Construction and history of Al Rashid Mosque

Al Rashid Mosque

Construction and history of Al Rashid Mosque

Untitled 6 - Al Rashid Mosque

Construction of Al Rashid Mosque

Untitled 5 - Al Rashid Mosque

Construction of Al Rashid Mosque

Untitled 4 - Al Rashid Mosque

Construction of Al Rashid Mosque

Untitled 3 - Al Rashid Mosque

Construction of Al Rashid Mosque

Untitled 2 - Al Rashid Mosque

Construction of the AL Rashid Mosque

Untitled 1 - Al Rashid Mosque

Construction of Al Rashid Mosque

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay in touch, follow me!

If you would like to stay current with what I am working on please feel free to follow me on my instagram page or facebook page.

https://www.instagram.com/nadinejohnsonfineart/

https://www.facebook.com/nadinejohnsonfineart/

https://www.pinterest.ca/nadinehjohnson0005/boards/

https://twitter.com/artbynadine

Read more about the history of the AL Rashid here!

https://nadinejohnson.ca/built-on-faith/

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