Project Living in the Dash – Synopsis

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:

  1. 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
  2. Come to my gallery during Westside Culture Days and record your audio there in a private space.
  3. 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.
  4. Send me one of your diaries, letters you’ve never sent, or anything you want.
  5. You can include photographs or other visuals if you wish.
  6. 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.

Works on display and available for sale: Canadian Blood Donor Clinic

art mixed media painting female nude dancer julia trops

Planting Seeds – The Artworks – June/July

I tend to work in series and projects almost like writing paragraphs that create chapters that creates a book. This particular series of works has to do with some soul searching, planting seeds, growing within and going beyond boundaries, and of course, the process of self-discovery. I feel these works are gentler than my past bold bright colours and to me, I can almost hear water lapping at the shore on a calm day.   Each one has it’s own message, it’s own story to tell. I’ve labeled them as I see them but it is very possible when you look, you will see your own. I believe that what we see is a projection of what is inside, so please don’t let my titles hold you back.

All of these mixed media works started out from a life drawing in charcoal and progressed through acrylic to oil and throughout, some graphite.   There was no direct expectation of expressing a specific thought, they evolved as they wished with me acting as conductor. Where I directed the flow was in the formal elements only.

If you would like to see the rest of the collection please visit www.juliatropsart.com. They are located in the Painting/Mixed Media section of the gallery. To purchase one of these works, please contact me.  20% of the purchase price will be donated to Canadian Blood Services.  Below are a glimpse of works available at the Blood Donor Clinic.  You may go and see them in person if you wish.

mixed media art original painting female nude julia trops  mixed media original art painting julia trops  mixed media original painting female nude julia trops gratitude  mixed media original painting abstract female nude julia trops  mixed media abstract female nude original painting julia trops  mixed media abstract female nude original painting julia trops  abstract female nude dancer original mixed media painting julia trops  mixed media original painting abstract female nude back julia trops  art mixed media original abstract female nude dancer julia trops

 

 

Death and solitude justify art

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.

No More Styx and Stones at Penticton Art Gallery

Acrylic Painting Bullying

Artist Statement for No More

Like many others, I have been the recipient of physical, mental and emotional bullying all my life. So many times I wished those watching would stand up for me and say “hey, wait a minute…”, but no one ever did. Even now, in the Okanagan, I have first hand experience of how loyalty to one’s friends supersedes what is morally right, or kindness to another. Over the years, through processing my own experiences and exploring my identity, I became aware of patterns of behavior, not only in myself as victim, but others, both the aggressors and the bystanders. In becoming aware of my own personal triggers of perceiving myself as a victim, I have developed thought processes to re-route my
previously traditional response. I re-vision scenarios where I am no longer the just recipient, but instead, I am a witness trying to understand the source of anger or sadness or lack of education that provoked that aggressor’s hate. Hate is an expression of pain or anger or being threatened, and I understand now that hate directed outwards is not personal, but symbolic. This understanding has made me aware of what a gift it is to both myself and to that aggressor, in witnessing and acknowledging their pain along with my own, and this act of witnessing is transformative and powerful.

In any action, positive or negative, there are two types of people: the bystander, who witnesses, and the participants. Witnessing can occur before, during or after a situation. Even those bystanders who choose not to participate cannot avoid becoming part of the scenario. By making that choice, bystanders become the witness, and they stand by and share in what they see and hear. I believe that bystanders can choose to be the people who say “no more”, and these are the people who become heroes, who stand up and effect change for both the aggressor and the victim. I don’t think anyone is determined to be a hero. I believe heroes are reluctantly so.

What if Charron, the ferryman across the River Styx, said “No more”? What if he, the bystander, decided he was not going to participate in his traditional role of taking those condemned over to Hades over the river of hate?

I have always had sympathy for Charron. I’ve always imagined Charron takes up the mantle of pain for each person who uses his ferry, and that he can see through to their pain, the pain and anger that caused these people to be evil, but can do nothing about it.

He is a witness to both their crime and their past. Instead of traveling the river of hate, what if he were to examine it? What if he employed empathy and he, as a witness, was the cause of their transformation? The ferryman Charron, a bystander, a witness, previously thought to be powerless, a victim in and of his role, becomes the most powerful of all.

Acrylic Painting Bullying
No More 9×36 Mixed Media Julia Trops

Ryan Robson’s Lady-like exhibit at the College – my take

Recently, a number of people asked me to comment on Ryan Robson’s “Lady-Like” exhibit and what happened in those subsequent weeks.  I’ve taken some time to think about the events and the subject and for what it is worth, here are my thoughts.

If you aren’t familiar with it, the story is documented here:

http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/240912791.html

and here:

http://infotel.ca/newsitem/Controversial-art-exhibit-stripped-from-Okanagan-College/IT7297

and here on CBC is the interview with Ryan about the show (7 minutes long):

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/British+Columbia/ID/2430385542/

From the infotel.ca link:

“After receiving a number of concerns, we thought the time frame for this exhibit maybe should be left at two weeks. During that time almost all of our college community would have had time to experience the art,” Lister says.

So here are the facts as I see them:

  • Ryan Robson is a local Vernon artist.
  • Gallery Vertigo, an artist run gallery, has an agreement with the Kalamalka Okanagan College satellite campus in Vernon to have artworks on display for one month, so by my math, that is four weeks.
  • There was no financial cost to display the art.
  • Robson creates sincere and genuine works with the intention of helping herself, and helping others by opening a dialogue on a very distressing and confrontational subject.
  • The artworks are on display for a very, very short period of time (days?) before complaints come in to the Okanagan College administrators.
  • The artworks are no longer able to be up for the agreed amount time with the administrator citing the “complaints”.

Based on the actions of the administrators of Kalamalka – Okanagan College, my take is the following:

  • The Okanagan College failed in its role as a centre for expanded learning.
  • They don’t understand the value of art as a vehicle for education and understanding, compassion and empathy.
  • They see art as “conditional” rather than a “necessary”.
  • They should have stood up to the complainers and stood up for the art.
  • I believe that as long as the art is landscapes and flowers and fairies or objective abstracts then art is welcome on their walls.
  • Ryan Robson is a local artist.
  • Local artists are not taken seriously or their genuine work is seen as valid.
  • If this was an outside exhibit that they had to pay to display then the artworks would have been up for the agreed amount of time.

The College had an opportunity to expand consciousness and understanding of such a highly charged area of human life, and I am certain sexual molestation happens to more children and people than we know.  I am sure they could have taken advantage of this artist’s sharing by having her come and speak to the psychology classes, or other subjects they teach.  Speaking from the experience of someone who is coming to terms with my own identity and exploring the same in my work, the actions of the College are reprehensible considering that this area purports itself to be so culturally aware.

Instead, they shut her down and gave the message “we don’t want to see that”, or “we don’t care about what you went through, it isn’t valid art”. Regardless of what was said, actions speak louder than words, and that was the message, very clear to all.  And again, I think it is because she was a local artist.  If this was an artist from Toronto, or Vancouver, or if they had to pay for the exhibit, then this outcome would be very different.

Too bad the College succumbed to squeaky wheels and whiners instead of telling them to stuff it.  They could have made themselves the example of strength and leadership by standing up for the principle and needs of art.

But they didn’t.

 

 

Workshop at Opus Kelowna

Art Money Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian Artist

Demystifying Self Publishing

Sat, December 7, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Julia will discuss the various platforms for self publishing and show how to format your content with Word into an ebook for Kindle or a printable book for Amazon.

There will be a discussion of various platforms, marketing challenges, budgeting for the project, making a website for the book itself and title.

BRING

Laptop, ipad or other notebook type device.

http://www.opusartsupplies.com/how/demos/de-mystifying-self-publishing&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Demos&utm_campaign=HolidaySale13

As part of the Venus is Rising project, this workshop is given to help artists take control of their career.

Art and Money – dear to my heart

Art Money Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian Artist
Art Money Marketing Artist Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian
Art & Money by Julia Trops

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.

An unexpected pilgrimage to the self

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.

Marilyn Monroe – the reality behind the fabrication

Marilyn Monroe

‘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.

Recent work 2012 – everything comes around

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:

Acrylic Painting 24x12 Julia Trops

Acrylic Painting 40x30 Julia Trops

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.