I am an “alla prima” painter drawing directly from models or still life set ups into my studio. To enable me to capture the essence of a landscape I sketch in pencil or complete small oil studies in the field then work them up into larger canvases in my studio. For life drawings, I prefer to use charcoal and pastel; but for landscapes and still life, I paint in oils and acrylics.
According to some opinions, painting is dead…….painting is not dead yet – and in my experience there is a renewed interest in the arts. Culture is being viewed as a local economic driver and artists and artisans are being viewed as community resources. Websites, QR codes and the internet are available to everyone; especially those who may not visit an art gallery.
Someone who likes a painting does not have to be a “connoisseur of art” because my artwork not only appeals visually but also emotionally. As a painter, I invite the viewer to join me in my vision. I paint as I am- sometimes sombre, playful, spiritual, awe inspired. and invite the viewer to join me in my journey. Because I paint from the core of my being, I want people to make a deeper connection and see what excites and challenges me. Painting gives me a sense of accomplishment because it allows me to delve into fleeting moments of light and space as I capture ephemeral experiences like moving water or ice sparkling in sunlight.
￼My inspiration is often from my immediate environment which creates the ultimate challenge of depicting Nature and the beauty of the physical world. Not only the environment inspires me, but also seeing other artists’ works in shows and art galleries motivates me. I am excited by Sargeant, Manet, Van Gogh, the Group of Seven and so many others. Occasionally, I paint an homage such as Madame X or the Dejeuner sur l’herbe with a twist such as using a local model in Sunnidale Park as the setting instead of a park in Paris. My technique and subject matter are eclectic. For me the best compliment I have received was from an older gentleman viewing The Guardian. As he stood looking at the painting, he turned and told me that his career was in the Danish fisheries and he had spent a great deal of time in Northern Seas. He said “the water is exactly right – cold and darkly menacing”. I was thrilled – I had captured my personal perception and portrayed it.
My process for creating a painting usually begins outdoors, painting on masonite or on a small canvas as a plein aire study. While working outdoors, all the subtle elements of sight, sound, smell become part of the experience of painting in open spaces and have a bearing on the finished piece. In my home studio, I use the spontaneity of my outdoor studies as the basis for larger studio paintings. When I paint, I am completely absorbed in my own world. I play music and lose all sense of time, suddenly it is dark or I am hungry and hours have flown by. Viewers can enter into the process by joining me and being present in the same moment. I pay special attention to light and shadow as a painting takes on its own life. In order that viewers can enter into my process, I usually paint small portions of a larger vista so that people can respond to the intimacy of it.
Success in the art world not only demands talent but also resilience and perseverance. Some people will like and admire your work – others will not. Putting your work and yourself in public spaces takes a leap of faith and self confidence as your work is discussed and dissected, selected or rejected.
I participate in various art related community projects such as sitting on the Springwater Township Cultural Consultation Committee, donating numerous paintings for fundraising auctions, and supporting the MacLaren Art Centre.