This is an anonymous public participation project.
I am calling this project Living in the Dash. This project for an exhibition, is ultimately about sharing, growth, compassion and understanding. This is a project that surrounds people and their lives, people sharing their story.
They can talk about it, they can write it. They can tell their story as they lived it, or as they wish to have lived it. It can be as long or short as they wish. It can be a person’s entire life, or it can be what happened yesterday. Any names will be changed to protect privacy.
This is about trust and integrity and I can promise to protect yours with mine.
To participate you can:
Send me a letter with your story. No return address as I will not be responding to Venus is Rising Box 32093 2151 Louie Drive Westbank BC V4T 3G2
Come to my gallery during Westside Culture Days and record your audio there in a private space.
Record an audio at home and during Westside Culture Days, drop that audio disk in my drop box at Julia Trops Gallery Westbank Shopping Centre. Outside of Westside Culture Days you can drop it at Westbank Blenz or send to the post box address above.
Send me one of your diaries, letters you’ve never sent, or anything you want.
You can include photographs or other visuals if you wish.
There is no sensorship. If you sent it, it means it is important to you and will be honoured.
It is entirely up to you.
The result of this process I hope will be a healing one, for you, for me and ultimately for our community and our lives. I hope you participate.
Excerpted from Word for Word: A Prairie Voice, 1996:
Venerated Prairie author W.O. Mitchell, 82, left a hospital bed in Calgary, where he is being treated for prostate cancer, and traveled to Winnipeg last week to address the annual meeting of the Writer’s Union of Canada. Some highlights:
“Death and solitude justify art, which draws human aliens together in a mortal family, uniting them against the heart of darkness. Humans must comfort each other, defend each other against the terror of being human.”
“All artists make or create, and the result is an important ingredient in the receipe for culture, for they are the bridges and patterns which connect us, which create human solidarity.”
“Artists, philosophers, historians know that man is a finite, warm sack of vulnerability and because of this knowledge they do have an unfair advantage over politicians and generals and quarterbacks.”
I was given these quotes from a gentleman who came to the Summerland Art Gallery Philosopher’s Cafe, where I was presenting with David Korinetz and Linda Lovisa. It struck some amazing chords within and it says everything about arts and the humanities and being human. Those who are in business should take note that they can not fail by championing the humanities, because it is what makes us who we are.
I was asked the other day, who is the artist who should read Art & Money?
Well, I answered, that’s a tricky question. There is no one group who “should” read it, whether beginning, mid or late career. I believe that we can all benefit from many streams of information, and that having read something is superior to not having read it.
The book talks about a lot of areas, and would be good for those who are beginning, as it gathers the information that I wish I knew about when I was first starting out.
This book would have a long shelf life because there are a great many things in the book that take years to develop, and by this I mean items on the cv, and renewed perspective on the biography, as time goes by, and you are active in your career and your community.
The book touches on the media, and how I believe they are interested in their community too, in helping it grow, and expand. It touches on the city – or at least my city – on how those in the cultural departments are interested in helping their city grow, and how the artist can be and is a valuable resource. It describes ways that you as an artist, or a believer in culture, can encourage this kind of investment of your city. This book would help the patron understand what goes on behind the easel.
The book also describes how the beginning, mid or late career artist can interact with charities, giving a number of points of view to do with supporting non profits. The charities would benefit from reading this information to see how they could change or adapt their policies to be more artist friendly. The patrons who frequent charities would benefit because they, as patrons, are interested in the success of their charity, and I believe they wish to see everyone successful. This book would help the patron or supporter understand what goes on behind the easel, and how they could help.
Am I an expert? No, I don’t say that I am. I am just an interested party, and believe in the growth for the good of all. I care enough to say something, and I care enough to believe that artists can take control of their career. This book is for those who believe in culture, who believe in their community.
After so many years on Ruby Lane, I have opened up my own art gallery online at http://www.juliatropsart.com. It’s really new, less than a month old, and the works from the residencies in Italy and Spain are available here. Because I am so prolific, it did not make financial sense to keep paying the fees on Ruby Lane, but I will keep that art gallery open for a little while longer, probably til the end of the year, or to mid 2014.
During the transition, send me a note if you are looking for a specific artwork and can not find it.
Payment can still be done the regular way, online through paypal or if you want to call me with payment information, I am set up for that as well. Any questions, by all means, let me know.
In November of last year, I made the decision to write a book about Art and Money because I was asked so many times to do marketing seminars. When I was accepted to Can Serrat in Spain for April 2013, I also booked the month of May at our friend’s friend’s condo in Vinaros with this part of the Venus is Rising project in mind. During that month, before my husband arrived to do some touring, I worked on the book. It was bliss to just sit down and focus and get everything organized. It’s been three months longer than I anticipated, but the book is finally done.
So what is it about? This is on the back cover:
This is not a book for those who like to fly by the seat of their pants.
This book will give you candid practical advice on what you need to do from a business perspective, to the art documents you require to manouevre around the art world, pricing your artwork, who are your cheerleaders, and what kind of requirements you should expect from dealing with charities as an art professional, who you might want to donate to and how, and consideration of who to stay away from, how to get involved with your local community, and create your own events.
Currently, it is self published, but if it works out, I’d love to have it published through a major printing house. Guess we’ll see. At least, for me, it was something I needed to do for myself, and it hopefully will fill a need in the community.
I will have the book in two formats – one printed, and the other electronic. Prices will be 15.00 plus tax and 5.00 plus tax. If you are local, you do not need to pay for shipping, you can pick the book up from me, at a book signing. I am told that it is the thing to do for a new book, so stay tuned for the dates. Also the book will be available locally at Mosaic Books on Bernard. This post here is for pre-ordering. I expect that I will have the books here for mid September or perhaps before.
I was very lucky to be chosen to attend Can Serrat just outside of Barcelona Spain. I highly recommend it to any artist who would like to be immersed in a life from 100 years ago. Both residencies that I went to involved highly spiritual influences, though I dislike to use spiritual, it is the only way to describe it. Mont Serrat is the mountain that dominates the area, and being from the Rockies, I was thinking, oh, another mountain.
How wrong I was.
There was a magic, a being-ness about that mountain; it would not be ignored. The days that I found myself wandering about, I inevitably ended up at its base. One day, a few of us decided to climb to the monastery, and I am glad I did. The trek up felt like a pilgrimage, and took about 3 hours. It felt like it was straight up, but you know, there was something that happened to me that day. I arrived at the monastery, ended up in the cathedral of the black virgin, touched her for hope of enlightenment. I fancy she did speak to me on some level, I am still not sure what the message was, but I felt/feel different and I believe this has come through in my work.
I am finding that the work coming out right now, is all to do with transient nature of existence. Skies change and evolve and blossom. Outside of the studio, I spent much time on my own, absorbing the culture, the surroundings, and the flavours of the people in the area. The food was amazing of course – it is Catalunya after all. I found the people to be very friendly and pleasant. I made the effort to communicate with them in Spanish, and there were times when I am sure I was confusing my French and my Italian. One time, the book shop lady responded to me in Italian, because she thought that is where I was from! So maybe my Italian was not so bad after all. With the help of my trusty little dictionary, I made out okay. I made up words, I am sure, and my pronunciation was horrible probably, but I felt that they appreciated my effort to live within their country and their comfort zones. I really enjoyed being out of mine.
Much of the work you see from these residencies are because of this fresh perspective. There were no boxes where I was, I was free to roam the earth and I did.
Since moving to Kelowna in 2002, Julia Trops has taught drawing, trained life drawing models, and was the sole founding organizer of the weekly Life Drawing sessions at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. These sessions began the development of the non profit life drawing group, incorporated two years later in 2005 as Livessence Society of Figurative Artists and Models. Heavily involved in the arts community, a Kelowna Museums board director for the past seven years, a founder of Okanagan Erotic Art Show, co-founder of Okanagan Arts Awards (as part of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan). Encouraging other artists to get their name in print, 2009 onwards, Julia has compiled the Okanagan Erotic Art Show Catalog and the Simplicity in Mind for Livessence. In 2011, Julia was shortlisted for the City of Kelowna’s Honour in the Arts.
Julia keeps pretty busy in her studio, having sold over 1000 works worldwide since 2004 and shows at Gallery Odin at Silver Star Mountain Ski Resort.
Statement: I came to Can Serrat without any constraints or preconceived ideas about the direction my work would take. I was looking forward to letting inspiration guide the expression. Montserrat became the primary source of ideas pertaining to place and identity.
The mountain is ever changing. Standing tall in the landscape, unashamedly evolving, dissolving, renewing and creating, it is made of disparate materials, conglomerate rocks. It is a refuge and a home for many animals, including man. It reaches to the sky, tantalizing climbers. It´s a tower of babel, a place of many languages, all striving to be understood. Rock climbers and pilgrims alike find a sense of self within the landscape, one of the human spirit and the earth mother, an answer to “where am I, who am I,” and a sense of relevance to the world.
The colours, bold reds and blues are the same palette I am known for at home in Canada. Though until now my work has been dominated by the human form, here it is the naturally occurring figures in the mountain that inspire me. Having completed some works, and named them, it came as a surprise and yet not really a surprise, that the mountain peaks actually have names. There are “Monks”, “Angels”, and even “a Giant”.
My process is tactile. I paint with my hands, – I like the immediacy, the intimacy, the direct contact with paint, feeling it between my fingers, seeing each stroke on the canvas, shaping with light and colour. I layer colour upon colour, creating vibrations and relationships, some jarring and some in harmony, just like human interactions.
One day I was so full of the mountain, I had to recreate it in stones that I found along the path to Vinya Nova,(a beautiful restaurant snug at the base of the mountain). This piece is an assemblage of slate and quartzite mounted on tile from the nearby tile factory, which I also passed along the way. I called it Little Montserrat and is about 24 inches long by 8 inches high.
Like other mountain ranges, created from the clashing of tectonic plates, Montserrat symbolizes strength over adversity, the subconscious brought to the surface, the recognition of buried treasures, brought in to the warm friendship of the Catalan sun, shaped by the whipping criticism of the wind and the gentle pressing of falling rain.
‘I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.’ Marilyn Monroe
I passed through the following link which gives 50 quotes from Marilyn Monroe. http://entertainment.ca.msn.com/movies/galleries/marilyn-monroe-quotes#image=1 (The image above is also from that link.) I was surprised at her depth. How horrible is that to admit? I’ve never really watched her movies, even when I was younger, well – maybe that was because my family was more in to John Wayne and Orson Welles and Hitchcock. But I am curious to see her movies now and read her biography.
It is now 50 years since her death. I wonder how much the FBI will now release from their closed books. She was an icon for women, but what was her real impact? Sexuality, sensuality, identity, body image, intelligence, lack of intelligence, competition, I don’t know. She certainly seems to me, to encompass the entire problem the woman of today is still facing – balancing the female identity in a male world. Credibility, understanding, acceptance of being a whole person. Only seeing her in movies, I was never motivated to learn much about her behind the scenes. Many of these quotes though show her as being very self aware and emotionally intelligent. Did she really play by her own rules in the man’s game?
Think I’m going to look for a good biography on her …. if you can suggest one, please comment, or send me a note.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
In 2005, those of you who are familiar with my work, I did some paintings on a young female Botswana girl named Gobona. This was pre-Existence in the Dream, where my palette changed to jewel tones. Two of the Gobona’s follow:
Recently, I went to Italy and loved every second of it. I met this young man just outside of the Duomo in Lecce. He was just so gorgeous, I could not help myself staring. Finally, yes, I did take a picture:
When I came back to Kelowna, I was going over a number of different pictures, and came across him … I was already doing pairs of females prior to departure (some of which I think I will paint over). New now, from my works from Gobona, and my dancers, and the time in Italy with the earthy colours, and returning to most of this palette. Everything comes around:
I am enjoying the return to the earthy colours, it’s been a challenge to come back to, but it feels right. The limited palette I gave myself in Italy was definitely beneficial.
The experience has been a very positive one. There will be a few changes when I get back to Canada. I feel much more confident, more assured, more in control and cognizant of my own abilities, in so many different ways.
These artworks are based on the birds that flew in the courtyard where I was staying, but they were hard to catch in a photo. They had a joy of life, of freedom, and they taught me so much.