For me, to paint is not a choice but an obsession. I am endlessly fascinated with the possibilities for creating an image by simply using brushes, little piles of paint and an empty canvas. Whether it’s the play of light and shadow, interesting textures or form or intriguing colour combinations, if it stirs an emotional response, I am compelled to paint. Translating that emotion onto a two dimensional canvas can be very challenging. I try to first capture the viewers’ interest with colour and form and then draw them into the core of the painting, instilling a feeling that might mimic my own or better yet allow them to interpret the image in a very personal way.
Nature themes dominate my paintings as I search to share calm, peace and beauty as well as organic colour palettes, shapes and patterns which can be translated with my free flowing painting style. The ethereal nature of the mist, fog or clouds I frequently incorporate into my paintings erase everything we know and are meant to draw the you into the detailed areas of the painting in order to imagine what lies behind the veil.
As described by Kiran Desai in THE REMEMBRANCE OF LOSS :
“ the smoke mingled with the mist that was gathering speed, sweeping in thicker and thicker, obscuring things in parts — half a hill, then the other half. The trees turned into silhouettes, loomed forth, were submerged again. Gradually the vapour replaced everything with itself, solid objects with shadow, and nothing remained that did not seem molded or inspired by it”
Once a scene captures my attention, I photograph the subject matter for reference material in the studio. Before applying acrylic paint to canvas, I begin by painting a small black and white study so I can determine the values I want. This is followed by a small colour study. As I work I take photos at various stages which then can be used as a tool for correction or simply a record of the process. Each painting becomes a learning opportunity for the next.
Although I am relatively new to paint and canvas, my degree from the University of Guelph in textiles and design has allowed me a smooth transition from many years working as a designer and fibre artist into the world of fine art. I continue to learn through study in workshops lead by accomplished artists, online courses and experimentation.