The fire theme was provoked by my context and working rituals. On cold winter mornings, I light a fire in my studio wood stove, and the visual effects of combustion stimulate impressions of the devastation of fire to human and animal life. Fire provides me with an enormous subject to explore - realistically and symbolically. Engrossing as my theme has become, my process advances in tiny steps, as painting has it's own rhythm, and I am obliged to keep time with it. My explorations are mixed-media and oil, on wood, paper and linen grounds.
Cet thème était inspiré par mon environnement et mon rituel de travail. Au matin des jours froids d'hiver, j'allume un feu dans le poêle à bois de mon studio. Les effets visuels obtenus par la combustion simulent des impressions de dévastation de la vie humaine et animale par le feu. Les flammes me fournissent un énorme sujet à explorer visuellement et symboliquement. Forte de l’ampleur qu’a pris mon thème, mon processus n’avance que par étapes minuscules, car la création d’une peinture m’impose un rythme qui m’oblige à maintenir le pas avec celui-ci. Mes explorations sont donc exprimées dans une série de toiles que j'ai intitulée : “Landscape under fire”/ "Paysage Enflammé". (média-mixtes sur lin).
La neige sur la pôele
fire in a triangle
these 3 images are oil pastel on sanded Papier St-Armand
flames in the distance(collage)
once there were vikings(monotype)
the meaning in the ashes(monotype)
Once again it all begins with observation. Models - a few that are special; people in places who don't know they are being sketched; friends and strangers - we are all in this life together. A never ending group to nourish my need to record. My humble recordings, are a murmur rather than a commentary.
Observational sketching is a visual workout. Sketching a life model in the studio, or human souls in public places is a frequently repeated activity. The improvement occurs by trial and error learning. No secrets here, the repetitive observation and recording, builds up a library of image-skills, that can be called upon later and applied in developed works.
the executive, mixed-media and oil on
waiting for wings to grow (middle-mensch series), mixed-media and oil on wood panel.
fading into the absolute, shaped-scape series, photo insert.
I consider my paintings material statements and not decorations. Shaped-scapes are my effort to avoid framing. They are hung directly on the wall, with a back-frame projecting the image surface 2" forward from the wall. This series was painted on Russian Birch plywood, with hand dyed fabric inserts.
no city here
Whenever I have an opportunity to learn something new that can enrich my art, I do it. Keeping art vital, requires strategies for moving on and not relying on old devises. After a workshop in Japanese indigo dyeing techniques, I applied dyed cloth to the panels, and used the imagery as a point of departure.
lambing in april
The landscape around me, full of farm shapes and equipment, as well as the rolling hills, is very suggestive - sights that I re-interpret frequently. These paintings began with the materials. My point of departure were sheets of hand-made paper dyed a vivid hue. Papier St-Armand (st-armand.com
These paintings are mixed media and oil. The rag paper has been treated on front and back to preserve and prepare the surface for paint. I hang the works on the wall with magnets.
I have sketched people and animals for many years, and can invoke their presence when I need them, by memory or sketches. Sometimes an unpopulated 'scape' speaks to me, or, the need to populate with specific souls makes itself necessary. The dog and the human both look outwards - custodians of what is and what can be.
time with the dogs
Here the scene is different, a more saturated red - showing the contrasts at dusk. March lambing was an active time, with small life/death dramas that cannot be avoided on a farm.
My optimum time for painting is in the winter. A time of muffled quiet, solitude and snow. I do not wait for inspiration or
ideas; I empty my mind and submit to reality. Here, deep in the hills overlooking the Rivière Rouge valley, I have found my place to reflect and create.
Je vis au cœur de la nature; mes thèmes trouvent leurs sources dans l’environnement, les événements et les éléments qui alimentent ma vie. Dans les montagnes, qui surplombent la vallée de la rivière Rouge, j’ai trouvé ce lieu d’existence qui m’appelle à la réflexion et la création.
these paintings are mixed-media and acrylic, on Papier st-Armand canal paper.
A series of works that evolved from calligraphic ink sketches of a sleeping dog. These fellow creatures are my ‘familiars’ with whom I have shared my life. They leave imprints in the scapes of my memory. My immediate goal was to give an impression of 'dog-ness' - not cute or pleasing, but something essentially canine. Once achieved, I looked at them over a period of time and decided that I would develop a concept of fellow travellers, who experience both the successes and obstacles of humanity.
The studies of my dog sleeping, began after a calligraphy class. I used a roll of rice paper and liquid inks. When I am working on a subject or theme, I try and work freely - by interest and curiosity.
The following images are painted on rough, hand-made Papier St-Armand, or canvas or wood(Russian birch). All surfaces are treated for receiving mixed media and oil.
Three rivers have marked my life. I was born by the river Thames, later I adopted the Saint Lawrence, and now I am settled near the Riviérè Rouge. I have spent much time looking over and into water - responding to the challenges of constant movement; changing atmospheres; and a simultaneous experience of surface and depth. In 1981 I initiated Ateliers Beauxarts, a summer painting school for adults on the Domaine Forget music school in St-Irénée(the Charlevoix region of Quebec). From there I periodically travelled up the north shore of the St-Lawrence to the end of the road. I have grown to love that isolated and remote region of Québec. Last summer after spending time in Natashquan, I brought small format rock and sea studies to my studio. These studies were not to be copied, but rather to keep my memories of the sea vital during the winter.
This last winter I began work on four large-format paintings (mixed-media and oil on Belgium linen. These paintings, temporarily called "Immersion" are not yet finished, but on their way to completion.