Monday, November 09, 2020

Painting in a Pandemic

 Lately people have been asking if I am still painting.  The world has been in turmoil for a while now, however most of us artists just carry on as usual.  We go to our studios and pick up a paintbrush or whatever is our favourite tool. 

After I sent my paintings to Newzones Gallery in Calgary for my landscape show in March (yes, that March and no I wasn’t able to attend the opening), I returned to a series that I had started in 2019.  The subject is something new for me, or new/old.  Years ago I painted flowers, flowers by themselves or flowers in still lifes.  I had some success with those paintings and was very happy with them.  Eventually though I decided that I couldn’t compete with nature, nature had more sophisticated tools than I had, and I turned aside from that challenge.


It seems that this past decade of exploring colour – and simplifying detail to do so – has somehow led me full circle, however. Looking for a new starting point I started tentatively thinking of flowers again. In the same way that I had simplified the landscape, I saw how the flowers could be a beginning. This wouldn’t be an attempt at verisimilitude; this series isn’t really ‘of’ flowers.  The flowers with their radiance and intensity initiate the act of putting paint on canvas but they don’t control the result. The result has more to do with the curious act of ‘painting’, playing with hue, surface texture and markmaking.

You can see Neil Wedman's essay in my previous post.  He explains it much better than I can do.