|What I want to do with this exhibition is encourage you to stop and look around yourself every time you find yourself at a dead end Ė whether itís a spiritual dead end, moral dead end, career or school-related dead end, or, actually finding yourself in some unexpected little cul-de-sac on the highway. Stop and look around Ė take in the scenery, because usually, the other alternative is to complain.
Of course itís fun to complain. Thereís a kind of visceral satisfaction (not to mention guilt-trip mileage, if your situation is someone elseís fault) to be gotten from complaining. Complaining gets you noticed, and quite often, it gets sympathetic attention. Itís a kind of ego trip. Things didnít go my way, you can say Ė and they should have.
But complaining also sucks the beauty out of life, and destroys your sense of gratitude, In the end, it takes away your joy. So, rather than complain when youíve ended up someplace you didnít mean to, look around and enjoy the view. Find something to be grateful for. Sit down, get out your sketch book, and make a drawing. Get your camera and take a photo. This moment will never come again. it almost didnít come at all.
Each of the paintings in this exhibition is related to a moment in my life when I had to stop and wait for something to happen, or got turned around and had to find my way out of some little dead end.
Scroll over to the right and take a look at my electronic Art Gallery to see approximately what I'd like the show to look like. Use the little people to stop and see the title of the piece, page back, or page forward. Click anywhere to start the Gallery up again. Use the "More Info" button to open a pop-up window that will allow you to look more closely at the piece in front of you, and take a look at my notes.
I have been inspired by German Expressionism and by Romantic Realism. I also like the Impressionists, especially Paul Cezanne, and I like Emily Carr and the Group of Seven, along with other Great Canadians of the West. I own a small collection of famous Canadian paintings and drawings, which I inherited from my father. These works, which reside in our dining room, are my daily inspiration.
Sometimes itís just about getting the form, the colour, the proportion, and the light to look right.
Iím not very good at eyeballing that sort of thing, and Iíve discovered a way to cheat. The look of my current works is the result of my method of cheating.
My subject matter is related to the events of my daily life - my work, the practice of my Catholic faith, the drama of my family life, and my interactions with friends, as well as my encounters with the dramatic story-telling of the Fire Exit Theatre, among other exciting assignments from the Emmaus Group.
About Judith McRae
Judith McRae was born in Calgary, in 1961. She has been a painter since 1963. She was educated at the Alberta College of Art in two periods - a diploma in Painting which she earned in 1984, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, which she earned in 2004.
She has maintained a working art studio since 1984. She has been affiliated with a number of arts organizations, including the Calgary Burns Society, Off Centre Centre, and TRUCK: an artist-run centre. She is currently involved with The Emmaus Group. The Emmaus Group currently meets on Friday mornings at the MacLeod Farmer’s Market.
The best way to get hold of Judith is by e-mail at email@example.com. Judith is typically available for appointments on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Studio is currently located at #105 1811 12th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta. It’s been at this location since May of 1999.
You can often see Judith’s artwork at First Lutheran Church, Avenue Church, and at Dalhousie Mennonite Community Church.
She has had a wide variety of work experiences, including computer programming, advertising, the printing industry, the non-profit sector, and education. She currently works at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church as Coordinator of Faith Formation.