Recently I sent some paintings to the Nikola Rukaj Gallery in Toronto. These particular canvases are abstractions derived from images of tree trunks and they were painted at the Emma Lake Professional Artists Workshop in 2009.
I am just packing to drive up to Edmonton for my exhibition there, "Totems", opening July 9, this Saturday at the Scott Gallery. There will be lots to see on the way, some of my favourite scenery and sources of inspiration.
To elaborate on how 'trees' can become paintings, here is an example of what can happen.
Recently someone asked me who were the artists I looked back on; which were the ones who had influenced me. There are so many that I can't even begin to say this one or that one was crucial to the course I took in my work. Here are a few who are presently tacked to my studio wall:
Agnes Martin; Georges Braque; Paul Cezanne; and Paul Flandrin. You can what they have taught me, whether it be in the trees I have painted, the road trips, the lakes, or anything else.
Several years ago I met Nikola Rukaj at
the retrospective for William Perehudoff’s paintings in Saskatoon. Later on when I met him at the Toronto Art Fair, Nikola asked if I would like to show
some paintings in his gallery in Toronto. Miriam Shiell started showing my paintings in Toronto in the 1980's, and Gallery One under Goldie Konopny and Sharon Fischtein carried on with that until 2008. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity, especially to show with a gallery that appreciated the work of a great artist like William Perehudoff.
Now I am pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of my paintings at the Nikola Rukaj Gallery:
This is one of the paintings in my coming exhibition, 'Less & More", at The Gallery/art placement inc., in Saskatoon.
"Turnaround", 2015, 42 x 42 inches. acrylic on canvas
Levi Nicholat, one of the new owners of the gallery, has written an essay about the paintings, showing an understanding of where I started from in my painting, how I have progressed over the years, and where I am now. The whole essay is available on their website, but I quote from it here:
"Interestingly, while Service has spent more than a decade exploring a simplified aesthetic, her very recent paintings demonstrate a swing of the pendulum back towards a more lushly impressionistic approach. Features in the landscape are once again more detailed, space is more complex, and there is generally more going on; however, these elements are now contrasted against areas of flat colour and crisp, graphic lines--the signatures of her reduced works. Rather than a return to a previous style, these paintings are actually a complex synthesis of stylistic idioms in the continuing evolution of Service's artistic practice."