Jane Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Category: art

Quick Sketches

It’s been more than two years since I was able to attend a sketching class, because of hand and wrist arthritis and general malaise, but yesterday it occurred to me after doing a workshop with the London Drawing Group (botanicals, watercolour) that I might find online ateliers with timed poses, as I’m mostly a figurative artist. I was lucky and found several. It’s so very good to exercise these muscles again, and I’m grateful to the hosts. As always, should you wish to purchase a print of anything you see, please follow the contact link. Here are some quick sketches, mostly one, two or four minutes:

Quick figurative sketches from online drawing sessions.

New Painting.

‘Tops. Yes They Call it Tops’–painting by Jane Eaton Hamilton 20″x24″ mixed-media on stretched canvas
We are all full of sorrow, grief and fear. I wish you all the strength to bear what comes our way/your way with grace.
I’m not having any luck painting at night because writing is just a wily beast and it claws all the time from any day. Keeping up with errands and housework, too, is proving a chore.
 
The weekends are for art. Today I rearranged my home studio because it’s in a small bedroom and I’m really at the stage I need one of the big studio spaces available in Vancouver, so I can go large. In this studio I can’t paint against the wall, have a ladder to get to the high parts, have multiple works going at once, or even store extant pieces. So it’s all a hellish jumble without adequate storage systems. I reworked the layout of the rickety old tables I have to give me some mostly empty table space for flat work and hope that will help to make it manageable.
 
Meantime, this painting is what I’ve been working on.

Part of the studio jumble is dozens of old paintings where my reach exceeded my grasp. Things I couldn’t figure out and abandoned as under paintings or just flubbed. What a delight to repurpose them! I’ve had several “go-fix-this” days in the last couple months, and with a few exceptions I’ve been successful. There’s still more to do to this one, but it will have to wait as for some reason, tomorrow’s Monday.

Meantime, two major rewrites this week on old/newish short stories, which was hella hard but gratifying. This week fun things like submitting and accounting, along with trying to finish first draft of a new story.

To purchase a print (mug, shower curtain, set of cards) please see Fine Art America under my name or Hamilton Art. To inquire about purchasing originals, please contact me at hamiltonjaneeaton at gmail dot com.

I love watching art and writing play off each other

study for Ice Queen: Jane Eaton Hamilton

I have to work in perfect silence but for the chirping of the fridge the songs of the birds, because it lets my subconscious rise. I was working on a painting this morning where I’d worked a study, and without conscious thought, or really even without realizing that I’d done it, I bounded up to the computer and started writing a pandemic meets factory farm short story.

Literally, the two have nothing to do with each other.

The art is about the arcane but nevertheless still sometimes practiced habit of leaving babies out in the snow and sleet. I’d lately read a BC Back-to-School guide, where it advised parents to dress their children warmly as the windows would all be open, and I thought back to a time in my childhood.

I’d come home from half-day kindergarten during a snow and wind storm. I kept tugging my own hat out from my face to shield the wind. My mittens were covered with pills of snow turned to ice. I found my baby sister’s squeaky, big-wheeled pram on the back porch. She just stared up at me, expressionless, her big brown eyes registering nothing, her cheeks flushed, her lips shaded blue. I remember begging my mother to bring her inside, where I was then shucking off my coat and boots so I could melt in front of a heat register, but was sternly told that taking “air” was good for her and that it happened to all babies.

That made me wonder where the tradition came from. We didn’t put babies out in 100 degree heat, did we? So was it disease-related? Had it in fact come about during the 1918 flu epidemic and was never dropped (or from an earlier plague time)?

The short story, though, flows back to a tweet I read where a writer kept walking into the same spider web every morning, and the spider would just rebuild it. I wondered whether a spider could feel ennui or have an existential crisis. “I work and I work and I work and just seems to get nowhere. And why do I never catch a fly? I’m losing so much weight?” Something like that. It triggered work on the short story that anthropomorphizes animals. The story, so far called Mom and Pop, is part of a larger project of short fiction from factory-farmed animals’ perspectives.

 

Torso

Covid-19 has stolen my voice. I went silent in March and am still mostly silent. I live alone so not seeing people makes this more severe. I’m struggling to write. Maybe I don’t believe there’s a reason any longer, though one could certainly argue that there’s never been a more vital time to lift your voice. I am trying every day to lift mine.

I find solace in making art. I’ve been doing a month-long art journal for the first time since I was in art school, when I would sometimes keep one for a particular class. It’s been instructive. This torso reminds me that creating torsos was an original love of mine and probably what I would have worked on if I had expanded into sculpture.

 

Fresh Art

 

5″x7″ canvas board, ink, acrylic, etiquette book paper, collage, watercolour pencil, marker

I’ve been doing a series of mini 5″ x 7″ paintings on canvas board, and I’ve put some of them up on my visual art page here, and publicly on FB. Enjoy!

Visual Art

 

More spring flowers

all photos: Jane Eaton Hamilton; do not copy or reproduce

New Painting

Happy to unveil a new painting, so far unnamed, from a series I’ve started of dancers, acylic on canvas:

Three portraits

Three of my portraits are hung at Dragonfly Art on Salt Spring Island. Great to see faces that aren’t heterosexual on a wall, I must admit. Quick iPhone pic.

The photograph is of three acrylic oil paintings of non-binary people hanging on a display wall.

A recent portrait…

charcoal and acrylic on canvas 11×16

Treat refugees and migrants with respect

Unite parents and kids. All of them. The world is drawing horrible parallels.

acrylic and charcoal on canvas 12×18 Jane Eaton Hamilton

the photograph/painting depicts a baby being removed from its mother by a huge red hand

 

New Painting

Jane Eaton Hamilton: 8×8 conte on mixed media paper 2017

Nietzsche: the why of art

Jane Eaton Hamilton

“We have art so that we shall not die of reality.” –Nietzsche

Margaret Laurence: Could you start the year off, please?

margaret-lawrence-by-jane-eaton-hamilton-2016

Margaret Laurence by Jane Eaton Hamilton 2016

I wonder if people remember Margaret Laurence. She was a powerhouse of Canlit when I was a young writer–certainly an influence on us all. Canlit was headed, in those days, by “the Margarets” as much as by any of the men. I was friends with the writer Jane Rule, who was Margaret Laurence’s close colleague. She used to say, “Oh, she knows she’s a terrible writer, she doesn’t fool herself. She used to say, Imagine if I was a good writer!

This, from Wiki:

Literary career

One of Canada’s most esteemed and beloved authors by the end of her literary career,[4] Laurence began writing short stories shortly after her marriage, as did her husband. Each published fiction in literary periodicals while living in Africa, but Margaret continued to write and expand her range. Her early novels were influenced by her experience as a minority in Africa. They show a strong sense of Christian symbolism and ethical concern for being a white person in a colonial state.

It was after her return to Canada that she wrote The Stone Angel, the book for which she is best known. Set in a fictional Manitoba small town called Manawaka, the novel is narrated retrospectively by Hagar Shipley, a ninety-year-old woman living in her eldest son’s home in Vancouver. Published in 1964, the novel is of the literary form that looks at the entire life of a person, and Laurence produced a novel from a Canadian experience. After finishing school, the narrator moves from Toronto to Manitoba, and marries a rough-mannered homesteader, Bram Shipley, against the wishes of her father, who then disinherits her — disinheritance is a recurring theme in much of Laurence’s fiction. The couple struggles through the economic hardship and climatic challenges of Canadian frontier existence, and Hagar, unhappy in the relationship, leaves Bram, moving with her son John to Vancouver where she works as a domestic for many years, betraying her social class and upbringing. The novel was for a time required reading in many North American school systems and colleges.[5]

Laurence was published by Canadian publishing company McClelland and Stewart, and she became one of the key figures in the emerging Canadian literature tradition. Her published works after The Stone Angel explore the changing role of women’s lives in the 1970s. Although on the surface her later works like The Diviners depict very different roles for women than her earlier novels do, Laurence’s career remained dedicated to presenting a female perspective on contemporary life, depicting the choices — and consequences of those choices — women must make to find meaning and purpose.

In later life, Laurence was troubled when a fundamentalist Christian group succeeded in briefly removing The Diviners as course material from Lakefield District Secondary School, her local secondary school.

The Stone Angel, a feature-length film based on Laurence’s novel, written and directed by Kari Skogland and starring Ellen Burstyn premiered in Fall 2007.

Novels

Short story collections

Children’s books

  • Jason’s Quest (1970)
  • Six Darn Cows (1979)
  • The Olden Days Coat (1980)
  • The Christmas Birthday Story (1982)

Non-fiction

TNQ 140, cover and a bit of innards

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The New Quarterly, cover art: Jane Eaton Hamilton

I did the cover for The New Quarterly this issue, and also have a story, “Angry Birds,” appearing inside. Just arrived today! I look forward to exploring the other writers.

Phart on, babios

JEH acrylic on paper 2015

sketch: Jane Eaton Hamilton 2015, acrylic on paper

Freefalling into art

freefall

I was chuffed that Freefall literary journal out of Calgary, and editor Micheline Maylor, Calgary’s poet laureate, chose a sketch of mine for their cover! Thanks! I love it!

The Near-Sighted Monkey Is At It Again

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Lynda Barry has her class syllabus online so you can work along with her students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Go here and scroll down to the bottom, working backwards.

Download Free Art Books from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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“You could pay $118 on Amazon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Or you could pay $0 to download it at MetPublications, the site offering “five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.” If that strikes you as an obvious choice, prepare to spend some serious time browsing MetPublications’ collection of free art books and catalogs.” Open Culture

The Norton Simon Museum

I am in LA in order to do readings at Cal State Channel Islands and yesterday, I went to Pasedena to see the Huntingdon Art Museum,  and then, after that to the mind-blowing Norton Simon Museum.  I could not get enough, and closed the place down at 8.

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The sculpture garden

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Henry Moore

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Pablo Picasso, detail

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Diego Rivera

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Amadeo Modigliani

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Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 3.18.56 PMVincent van Gogh

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Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 3.20.07 PMEdgar Degas, including Le Petit Danseuse de14 ans

 

 

All photography: Jane Eaton Hamilton, iPhone

Pharting around.

 

It is a good exercise to make art.  i do it often.  It makes me think in poetics, somehow.  Does this happen to any of you?

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