More and More by Loren Letourneau

And so, life continues.  I will continue to talk about teaching.  I will continue to talk about art.  I will continue to plan and get excited about everything that's happening in my life. In the immediate, I am now working as a TTOC (Teacher Teaching On Call) in Coquitlam, and though it's a little out of the way I'm happy with the hours and the experience.  I'd still love to get my hands on an art class and see what I could put together coursewise, but it will come.  I'm in no rush at the moment.

I'm also prepping artwork to put up in the Grind on Main Street.  The space is cavernous, open 24 hours, and I get to fill it up.  It'll be fun!

Art, Teaching, Limnal Spaces by Loren Letourneau

So, I've graduated from UBC with a BEd in Secondary Art Education.  Now what? Well, getting a job / finding employment might be a nice start.  But there's more going on here than just that.  Sigh.  I'm not exactly sure how to begin this conversation.

My life splits into separate but fully integrated categories - I am a teacher, I am an artist, I am a father.  Ie - my vocation, my calling, my private life.  The three work very well together, luckily.  I love teaching, and through my teaching I am reaching out into the world and sharing potential; as a teacher I get to help nurture/guide/subvert hundreds of students so that they can approach their potential.  I can't stop being an artist as it's a part of my identity.  Art is how I express myself in the world and it's also the medium I use to communicate/argue/shout about the things that matter most to me... like my family.   My family, both extended and nuclear, is my comfort, my clan, my solace.

So now what?  I have two school districts that have promised to interview me.  I have been hired to work with a tutoring company, and there's another week ahead.  I have an art show scheduled for January 2013, I have proposals in for work with an arts collective, and I'm a busy little bee creating stuff to fill my house (and then some).  For my family, it's looking like my divorce will come to a peaceable resolution outside of the courts, and my phenomenal daughter's excited about launching into grade one.  Oh, and my wonderful girlfriend is helping me to hold myself together while the bills accumulate and life carries on.

As for limnal spaces?  There's a work that's still up along the Greenway Bicycle Corridor, spread out across Boundary Road.  It's a story in twelve panels, wheatpasted to the skytrain columns.  I love it, and will have to post it here a little later.

Over and out.

Coursework and Posting Delays by Loren Letourneau

To all or any who might have been paying attention, this blog has been relatively quiet for something like half a year. That's far too long and there really isn't any good excuse for it except that I've been completing coursework to be accredited as a high-school art teacher. My family breathed a communal sigh of relief. ('Finally, something stable to support your daughter and partner.') Thanks for your awe-inspiring support... In related news, I get to teach art to high school students. What an amazing opportunity and what incredible trust all those developing people are giving me! Interestingly, I didn't think I was going to be all that excited about teaching in a standard/industrial institution... but I've been proven wrong. There is such intensity and potential that I can't wait to get started. The students will be in for something a little different - I hope that they'll be game.

Over and out for now - back soon.

Technical Difficulties by Loren Letourneau

Apologies for a long absence from the blog. The website was experiencing major turbulence this past month as I made some changes at the server level. I should have known better and backed everything up properly, but I didn't. On the positive side, artwork is still being produced, and new pictures will be making their way to this space in the near future.

Another Option for Artist Funding by Loren Letourneau

I firmly believe that the future of funding for artists exists in a micro-patronage model. This is a model whereby potential arts buyers contribute funding to an artist's or group of artists' career and receive a special relationship to the artist(s), credit towards artwork, access to the artist(s)'s studio(s), and the beginnings of an education in the arts - from those on the inside. The artist(s) get to escape from the painful business cycle of spending lots of time and money (on art, arts supplies, gallery exhibitions) on the eventual maybe sale of work. Instead, they work knowing that some of the art will be sold, that they have a guaranteed income, and that they are building relationships that will support them in the future. It is a much more tenable position.

Shameless plug: In the spirit of this posting, I've added a link to my menu that goes into a little more depth as to what someone (a potential art buyer) might stand to gain by supporting me as one of my micro-patrons.

It is hardly a new model, but rather an older model re-imagined for a world where cash-flow is tight, where arts education is on the wane, and where more artists can subsist without giving in to the 'starving artist' stereotype.

The way it goes, in my mind is that in the old world, a successful artist might have had an aristocrat or the church as a patron. Later, some of the emerging mercantile class could support the artists - and there was an arts renaissance in Europe. But the number of artists and the number of businesses that supported the arts were few. Now, we live in a society with a prosperous middle class filled with professionals and small business owners. Many of these would like to support the arts (and may be patrons inasmuch as attending theatre and live music), but they don't really know where to start. They haven't been taught to appreciate art (at least not beyond the self-refferential I know what I like and If it looks like something I can relate to) and they certainly don't want to look stupid. This is where micro-patronage works. It spreads out the cost of supporting an artist to a small group of 20-40 patrons. Those patrons develop a meaningful relation with a fledgling or established artist (and by extension, with the arts community). Those patrons learn about art - theory, history, appreciation - from the artist and his/her colleagues. And those patrons have access to fresh, real art to put in their houses and places of business to bring more life and vibrancy into their worlds.

New, Old and a Little in Between by Loren Letourneau

Just a quick post to recap the things that have been going on in my art studio. Unfortunately, I haven't spent as much time grinding out work as I might have liked. Fortunately, I have spent time, and the work is coming along.

Here's a photo of some of that work in its near-complete stages: [simage=30,400,n,center,] And another of an older work that never quite did it for me, and is now much improved: [simage=29,320,n,center,]

New Work on the Boil by Loren Letourneau

Just a quick post to give an idea of some of the new work that I'm putting together in the coming weeks. [sthumbs=28|27|26,200,3,n,center,]

Left to right, that's two new works in the Main Street suite of images while on the far right, you just might be able to make out a pair of abstract landscapes that are destined for a gallery in the Okanagan. The business of being an artist can set one in all sorts of unexpected directions, but then, that's also its charm.

Top Secret Projects by Loren Letourneau

Is it wrong of me to have a whole list (currently a top 10) of different mostly legal projects that I want to do?  Is it wrong that the majority of them are in your face public displays of my arts affectations?  Should I share any of them before (if ever) bringing them to fruition?  I'm just a jumble of questions this evening - a state possibly brought on by realising that I'm an artist intent on striking out alone at 30.  I'm too old to be a prodigy (thank god), too old to be hip, too lacking in experience to be an old hand, too separate from the Canadian scene to be in the know... good grief. And yet, I'm crazy-passionate about the arts in general and my art in particular.  Maybe shaking things up a little is a good thing.  But not just for the shake-down's sake.

My projects have to fulfill three basic obligations: They have to be about something (as opposed to against something) They have to be nuanced (no cheap tricks/thrills) They have to be public.

The first of the criteria strengthens any message, in my opinion, and is necessary for personal resonance.  The second is the most challenging.  It implies stretching the medium and ensuring that the message matches the medium (and that it all works on several levels).  The last of the three criteria is what makes them a project per this post.  Otherwise they'd just be a new series of works or some such.

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The Experiment by Loren Letourneau

So this is the beginning of the experiment. I'd like to be able to create a website that functions as an interface between me and whoever digns to find me, my work, my ideas or my updates of interest. I want it to be an active space, and I guess that time will be the ultimate decider. Here's to a beginning.