Students, peers and collectors often ask me who my influences are, so here’s the answer. This is ongoing as they invariably evolve as I grow as an artist. I can tell you though that the first influence that significantly changed my life in regards to pursuing my art was the work and life of Mary Cassatt. That was over twenty years ago. Since, the Impressionists and post-- Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gaugan, and Degas-- then Munch, Klimt, Turner, Bonnard, Chagall—so many. After moving back to Canada I have garnered immense respect for Emily Carr as well as the Group of Seven. Painting the landscape on site and against all of the elements is challenging for any artist, but when I think of how they ‘weathered’ the Canadian wilderness back then. WOW.
Currently there are two landscape artists whose work I admire for their passion, honesty and integrity. One is Scottish artist Ken Bushe. He lives and breathes sky, air, water and land. I look at his work and feel him in it and it in him. The other is Canadian artist Bruno Cote. His response to Canadian landscape is exuberant colour, pattern, shape and pure joy and exaltation of all that is around him.
'Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye.. it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.' Edvard Munch
It was nice to get outside again to paint! I have been working in the studio on a large painting and needed the break. Luckily the weather was warm enough to accommodate me.
January, Remains of the Day
oil on canvas
6x6in, 2010 SOLD
What a beautiful day it was today. Mild, a little sun and NO WIND! Went out around 4PM. Days end, and a warm winter one, brings out lots of creatures. I saw my mockingbird-friend, some chicadees and LOTS of deer footprints. Flocks and flocks of Canada geese flying low over the field, crows and hawks hunting mice. There has been one (hawk, not mouse) who has taken to perching on an old pear tree and he allows us to get up pretty close before he flies off. (maybe he's eying one of the dogs for his dinner!)
For the past week I have worked on this painting at the same time of day: 4:45PM until dark. During each day, the light has been different--mostly subdued and rather monochromatic. But even on those flat days, the culmination of light at days' end always delivers.
And the days are getting longer! :-D
(and I should also mention it was too cold for even Me to venture out. Painted looking out my studio window)
This is one of my favourite trees and I have painted it as a background to other focal points many times. Over the years it has been a perch for numerous species of birds: crows, hawks and mockingbirds to name a few. I painted this on a very cold day from inside the remains of a little shack. It was so windy I thought that it was going to crumble on top of me so I quickly scrambed out to finish the painting in my studio. As I was walking back, I turned and caught that beautiful hazy pink light that only seems evident in winter. Hope this painting reflects it.
Last night a good friend lost her beloved dog, and I have been thinking about her all day. When someone we hold dear is grieving, it’s hard not to connect with our own heartbreak over loss.So here’s to you Guinn, and to Trudy ( named, said my friend, because dogs are ‘true’)
For the past decade, in all weather and almost every day, I have documented the seasons of rural land where I live on the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO world biosphere reserve). These paintings are ‘grown' primarily with oil on canvas and I am struck by the common elements between my own art practice and the seasons and cycle of harvest. Each must have faith in what the land will give. When I am out painting in the land I am surrounded by new growth as well as the old and dying. All have grown from the same place and all go back to the same place: "each seed according to its own kind.. each one knowing what to do, each one demanding its own rights on the earth..." - Emily Carr.
Painting plein air is immediate and intuitive and is affected on a daily basis by what cannot be controlled- climate. Through direct painting from nature I engage in an intimate dialogue with the land and I am developing a deeper understanding of the environmental factors that determine our world's future. What I also find enlightening in painting on open land is that I am in the midst of so very many creatures ‘unseen' -their continued presence entirely dependent on our Eco system. Protection and the importance of maintaining ecological integrity concerning protected land informs my work.
Studio/ Home Exchange I am interested in trading places with other artists - locations of interest are coastal areas of Scotland, Ireland France--or anywhere..Closer to home, the east or west coast of Canada. SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY clickhere