In 2005 I was honoured to be selected by Emaar International in Dubai to represent us as "Canada's artist". I was one of twenty painters from around the world who were flown into the United Arab Emerates.
Each day a private bus picked us up at our hotel and took us to our Studio, which was a massive tent at the Marina where we were treated like royalty. We had people to fetch and carry for us. We could ask for whatever materials we wanted and they would appear. The work we created there remained, housed in what was at that time, the tallest building in the world. I painted 5 large canvases.
Many of the friendships I made there have endured. We all spoke the language of art. In the bus one day I commented that the town looked blue and yellow. The artist beside me gazing out the window nodded in agreement; he understood. The interactions with the other artists validated me and led me to a new level of awareness. We all talked about our work, our colors, our galleries, lives and loves and learned so much.
When I came home the gallery that represented me in Port Credit wanted me to have an exhibition with 2 other travellers. They wanted brand new work created from the experiences we had all just had; it was to be in two months time, so I worked like mad, reliving the sights, shapes, smells, tastes and sounds.
"More Building" 48x44" is one of those paintings. About half a gallon of modeling paste is mixed in with the blue and green acrylic paint here with gold encrusting the tops of many of the raised sections. The oranges are acrylic washes representing the buildings, the negative spaces between very old and very new structures, the blowing desolate sand crossing the 6 lane highways. The booms of cranes are in the raised line through it all, working 24/7. What a strange place to be, but how grateful I am for all the experiences.