On-Location

16 May 2022 – After two years of COVID shutdown, I am finally getting back into the field and doing some en Plein air drawing. While I usually work from reference photos, I like to draw outdoors to understand the landscape better and re-strengthen my real-life perspective drawing skills. Also, since I am developing a new approach to realism, outdoor drawing allows me to rework the process from the first sketch to the finished painting.

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New Paints

Golden’s new SoFlat matte paints

11 April 2022 – SoFlat acrylic paints by Golden have arrived. They look good, but Golden only sells them in 2-ounce and 4-ounce jars – not enough for a large painting. Golden likely is aiming for the illustrator market. SoFlat is a new product for Golden and only came out in February 2021, so maybe they will produce more significant amounts at a lower per-ounce cost in time. Unfortunately, that does not help me now.

Mixed Media in Westdale (Hamilton) is looking around for alternative producers of flat acrylic paints available in larger qualities. Guerra Paint and Pigments out of New York City is great, but the import duties plus exchange rates make it impractical cost-wise. Not sure what is going on with Curry’s in Hamilton, their in-stock paint supplies is crap. Maybe it is supply chain issues, but even online is not great. For SoFlat, I had to order from Above Ground art supplies out of Toronto. However, I like supporting local, and Curry’s has always been my go-to store. I will use Mixed Media more – if they can get stuff for me.

My goal is to create a foundation of flat colour in a patchwork pattern, removing all signs of the brush and having each block of colour flat and matted. On top of this layer, I want to layer oil paints in a pattern of dots or lines to create the shading and texture of the work (like Damien Hirst’s Cherry Blossom paintings). With luck, the oil will contrast nicely with the acrylic foundation and add a layer of complexity that will help slow the reading of the painting by the viewer, like what Gerhard Richter’s blurred photography paintings achieved.

The new flat paints combined with oils are part of a new direction that I am trying out for the representational art that I am developing for the Elizabeth Gardens Project. I am also re-examining my approach to space and colour, but I haven’t settled on anything yet. I am still experimenting at the moment.

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Impact of COVID

COVID Stockpile

One impact of COVID on my art practice is getting supplies can be difficult. Sometimes it’s no problem, other times it can take months. Beyond tying up space and resources, having a range of stretchers and paints allows me to respond quickly to short notice “Artist Calls” or rush client orders.

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Tik Tok

Nov 1st, 2021 – Part of my art practice is traditional narrative and experimental short films. I have been thinking about using Tik Tok and whether this could provide a useful vehicle for concise projects. I have also wanted to do William Kentridge like stop-motion animation since the 1990s, but stop-motion is incredibly time-consuming. However, a short 30-60 second film is more practical and ideally suited to Tik Tok. So, over the weekend, I made my first attempt. I have provided a link below if you are interested.

https://www.tiktok.com/@chriserskine223

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Martys HUB Connects

Oct 29th, 2021 – The official launch of Martys Hub occurred yesterday with great fanfare.

My representational practice includes murals, portraits, and public art commissions collected under the FCSD Studio banner. So, it was wonderful to be part of this new go-to website for the arts in Mississauga, Ontario.

Martys HUB connects Mississauga artists, arts organizations, and businesses to the public, featuring artist profiles in a searchable directory including news, events, articles and more. This artistic hub is a significant step forward for the Mississauga arts community, and I look forward to the many new opportunities it will provide for FCSD Studio.

Over the past five years, Mississauga has been the source of several important commissions from the private sector under my Chris Erskine Studio (CES). CES represents my abstract projects and is geared to Interior Designers and Condo Developers. A new CES commercial website is under construction and will soon be launched.

If you wish to explore the Martys Hub, please click on the link below.

https://www.martyshub.com/user/erskinec/

Cheers

Coming Soon – Chris Erskine Studio

July 7th, 2021 – I am working hard to get my online store up and running for this month. My Studio (CES) will feature great art for the Corporate Offices, Real Estate Agents, Model Suite Showrooms, Home Staging Projects, Interior Designers, and Television/Film Productions. Whether you need a large piece for a major renovation project or a small work as a thank you gift, my studio will have something special for you. Like something but have slightly different requirements, let me create a custom piece for you. Art is about personal expression and relationships. Send me a DM, and let’s see what’s possible.

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Dog Days of Summer 2020

 

Aug 24, 2020 – After years of debating the pros and cons of having a dog, I finally decided to get a golden doodle puppy. The puppy has kept everyone extremely busy and reduced the amount of time in the studio. Once trained, it will be great to have “Newton” as a studio companion.

The last five months of COVID have been very challenging on several fronts. COVID itself has proved a significant distraction. The stress of not knowing what is going to happen next etc. Getting art supplies has been difficult, with several vendors being out of necessary items like stretchers and certain paints. Finally, delivery times have ranged from a few weeks to a few months, making ordering supplies for projects very unpredictable.

Pre-COVID was very promising, with several potential customers looking for large-scale abstracts. At the moment, I am waiting to hear back from these developers and interior designers to see whether my suggestions will be moving forward. Given COVID delays and summer holidays, I don’t expect any answers until the fall.

Next time, Cheers.

Artist Statement 2020

 

22 Feb 2020 – Just completed 10 painting for a potential customer.  Here is my artist statement for this project.

As an artist who works in Hamilton but lives in Mississauga, I feel the energy of old and new architecture. While Hamilton has a very long urban history, Mississauga is filled with the sense of the new; that history is being created today. As a result, my art practice is attracted to open spaces, hard lines and geometrical shapes of modern architecture and urban landscape design. A blurring of colours or boundaries has no place in my art practice; my urban world is clearly defined.

For me, a walk through downtown Mississauga is to be surrounded by movement and stillness, like waves washing over large boulders on a beach. Taking my inspiration from the “gestural” black and white painting of Franz Kline (1910-1962) and the “still” black, grey, and white paintings of Mark Rothko (1903-1970), this latest body of work strives to tell the experience of movement through open (white and grey) spaces around the black shapes of urban structures.

My paintings also strive to match our human scale by engaging the viewer as an equal (in size). Furthermore, the paintings are intended to be part of the space, not separated or isolated from the room or the viewer. As a result, frames are neither needed nor desired. A frame is a fence, and these paintings are against anything that might prevent the painting from reaching out to the viewer

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Condo Development Gets Two

Nov 20th, 2019 – I delivered two new paintings to the Arc Condo Project in Mississauga.  Installed in the hallway leading to the gym, the paintings fit perfectly with the color scheme selected by the Interior Designers.  This amazing development is located at 2550 Eglinton Avenue West.  This was my first opportunity to work with Daniel’s who are known for their support of the arts community.

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Corporate Collection

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August 5th, 2019 – I had the pleasure of installing a new piece outside the Director’s Office at the Health Sciences Library, McMaster University.  The 2019 piece is entitled Frontespizio and measures 38 inches wide by 48 inches high.

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