O P E N s t u d i o : new work ‘presage’

This body of work, which includes ten paintings in raw, ground pigment, graphite, pencil crayon and pastel on either hardboard or mahogany as well as sixteen small drawings with graphite and pigment, also on hardboard or mahogany.

The series was created for the upcoming solo exhibition at Herringer Kiss Gallery in Calgary that is set to open on Saturday, April 10 from 2-5pm. If you happen to be in the area, please stop by and say hello. If you are in Vancouver and are interested in seeing this new work, or in just saying hello, come by the studio tomorrow, Saturday, April 3rd between 1-4pm!

'presage #8', 2010 48" x 48" Raw pigment, acrylic, graphite on mahogany'presage #9', 2010 84" x 48" Raw pigment, acrylic, graphite on mahogany

'presage #7', 2010 48" x 48" Raw pigment, acrylic, graphite on mahogany

'presage #9', 2010 84"x 48" Ground pigment, acrylic, graphite, etc on mahogany veneer

‘presage’ a series of paintings in acrylic, graphite, pastel on wood

Essentially, everything about my work deals with the natural world, the world mostly outside of human contact or human emotion. The world of positive and negative space, of space and form in nature as interpreted by myself.

At the start of this particular body of work, I wanted a matrix on which to test and try out new materials (ground powder pigments) but not necessarily new ideas. I discovered a number of things. One: that one cannot work with new processes and material without a divergence of visual ideas. Two: that in an effort to explore comes the benefit of energetic playfulness. Three: in beginning to work on one long length of paper (thirty-three feet long, in fact), I discovered that the tenuous paper surface forced me to ‘work ahead’, thinking before marking while still allowing the paint to perform naturally. I have continued this practice onto the wood and it has grown the work into something more spontaneous, looser and more apt to juxtapose one story to another.

This work draws from and adds to my previous visual lexicon. The omnipresent circles have stretched themselves into ovals and representations of hyperbolic geometry. Perhaps these gestures intimate something visible, perhaps microscopic, or distant. There are direct lead ins from the natural world, of stones, of wings and the odd linear marking here and there, representing the human factor.  Our common thread is as passionate interpreters moving through time, while the idea of passionate nature, the anthropomorphic interpretation, is at times lost in romantic mist.

The title ‘presage’ infers looking forward, our plans intertwining with hope tangled demise. I play with the theme of nature, its beauty, its fragility and more frighteningly, its possible extinction. I have always created these stories in my mind with only half expectation that they translate visually, to the viewer. The stories are still abstract, yet in their nebulous chapters I can hope they may speak directly of the demise of many aspects of our ecosystems, from coral reefs to honey bees to glacier ice while proffering an element of recondite aesthetic.

In using ground pigments, I become an alchemist. Mixing, blending, thinking and construing ideas onto the paper and wood until there is enough said. Areas of neutrality play with busier, more layered areas to create visual metaphors. It is at once outside the process and translatable from the process itself.



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