Saturday, December 22, 2012

Boyoma la Belle

There is no forest portrayed here, but there should be. The hills don't exist, they are a few strokes of the brush. Reality has no fields that are not in a small clearing in the forest invisible to any road.
Yet, for all that, this represents in my head the road to that part of Kisangani in the Congo where I lived.

 
Painted ten years after I left -- a sketch in paint -- the trees urban, the rest imagination. Is that allowed?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Under the August sun

Another set of stairs, without the slim comfort of shade, under a relentless sun, are also laborious to climb. Looking up, the lone tree at the top appears as a fragmented object.


Eyes, blinded by the light, see the tree and its branches shattered.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Urban Trees I Have Known

Sunlight flickers on a stone walkway lined with old trees. Walking up the staircase in the intense heat of the summer months in Haifa, a port city on Mt. Carmel, is oppressive. Even the shade of the tree-lined steps can't diminish the heat by much. 


Envisioning that intensity.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blue Spruce

Native to the American West, this spruce is an ornamental tree, decorous on urban lawns.




It is a tree of humility -- especially when it curves or grows bent under piles of winter snow. It bows its head as it grows old, knowing perhaps that it will be replaced before it gets too large.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Urban Tree

Trees in landscape, trees in forests, trees on farms, on shores, on lakes, reflecting in water, are eloquent. Trees that become one following the horizon, inspire. Always!

I paint trees in settings other than where they actually are. Blues and greens in the bark after a rain have a special hue. I admire the shape of a tree when the leaves have gone and I have a lingering regret when the spring fills the branches with beautiful leaves. 

Urban trees are sometimes small, struggling, boxed in by concrete, hacked at by drivers not adept at parallel parking. Mature trees in old neighbourhoods are scarred by electric companies that feel the need to leave gaping holes in these things of beauty. 

Acrylic on paper (30" x 22")


One of my tributes to the urban tree.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Conversation

It goes like this: You say something to someone just to start or keep the conversation going and immediately regret it because it sounds banal or stupid, or too little, or too much -- regardless -- it is just, well, just "too".
This is not confined to conversation. 

Too much said,

  

too little said,

 
but no one else notices.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Elusive

Never quite what I saw, never quite what I wanted, the nature of the beast is elusive much like grasping at wisps as they float out of your line of vision only to be seen again with a quick look to      the right, or left.


 Turn your head and try to 'catch' it. Not possible.


Sometimes it seems as though I am left with a shell of that vision

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Balance

Space implies non-existence. Yet we fill space.


Something from nothing and negative space suggest the state of non-being. It appears as though these come from nothing.



How do we measure "nothing"? How do we fill space?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

From Nothing to Something

In an earlier post I wrote about the consequences of lines. I wrote that with lines "the space [in a drawing] speaks. Until it comes from nothing to something."


Last week I wrote about negative space saying it was non-existent, but now I have confused myself and have to rethink my position. 

  
The concepts are related. They require more reflection. I suspect I will return to this theme a few more times before I'm done. Is it not limitless?


Friday, October 19, 2012

Negative Space and Cypress Trees


Negative space! It is actually non-existent and yet it can be filled.


It can be filled or left to take the shape that was taken from it, or the affirmative shape.


Could this be a visible expression of turning "negation into affirmation"?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Evening Sky

Friends went kayaking on the Brudenell River on a summer evening. Looking back at the sky one turned to the other and exclaimed, "Look, we are in a Louise Mould painting".



I like to think that this is that painting.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seeking

I seem to  always have a question with each work -- whatever the medium. I seem to be always seeking.





 Seeking the next step.
 Seeking the way forward.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Coastal Erosion

Constant hydraulic action on the cliffs creates the conditions for erosion caused by the attrition of soil and rocks. Trees teeter on the edge only to fall in the next storm.

 

The coastline, eroded by waves and weather gives way to these forces of time and tide.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Three Islands Triptych

The central panel of this triptych seeks to capture the same three rivers at the mouth of the Hillsborough Harbour that I saw in "The South Shore". 


Quite by accident the panel on the right expands the shore.


Quite by design the panel on the left extends the harbour and changes the perspective.


No longer does it reflect one harbour or one shore but translates into a unique place of sky and light, water and land.


Each carries its own composition, but give them one wall together and they enter into their own sphere.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Triptychs

The shore of Prince Edward Island is typified by its large sand dunes all along the northern coastline that faces the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The dunes are high and beautiful with the wind ever present blowing off the deep blue waters.


This small triptych is one more interpretation of that land and sea that never fails to inspire. Other interpretations of this can be viewed here and here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Artscapes Canada

There is an exhibit and book launch this week (Thursday 23 August 2012) in Edmonton, Alberta, at the Winspear Centre. It is called "Artscapes Canada" and is the culmination of a project that I have been working on for the past three years with other artists from across Canada. As the artist representing Prince Edward Island I have two paintings in this show and in the book. The project is explained in the link. These paintings are part photograph by Ray Belcourt and part painting by me. (The photographs have been digitally altered, enlarged and printed on a canvas) The first one is "Potato Fields of Prince Edward Island" A very prosaic subject indeed but to speak of Prince Edward Island without mentioning potatoes and red soil is nearly impossible.

Prince Edward Island Potato Fields, 2010
  Part fiction, part fact!

The second canvas in this show is called "Cavendish Winds". The theme is the north shore of Prince Edward Island, the old sandstone cliffs, the dunes and the incredible blue of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Cavendish Winds, 2011




I have been exploring the themes in these paintings with other works over the past three years, one of which is entitled "Free Range Fields" that I wrote about in May 2012.

















Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reluctant Spring

Feel the spring in a maritime landscape. It creeps on shore much like fog, or mist. There are glimpses of the warmth beyond the snow-melt, beyond the grey sky, beyond the wet, damp earth. These appear ever so slowly, agonizingly slowly, it sometimes seems.


Then the greening begins and with it the world.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Arial

The mysterious place. Not Aerial nor even Ariel. Neither soap powder, nor typeface; neither looking down from a flight, nor even Shakespeare or the ancient name for Jerusalem. Just a fullness of life-giving greens and indeterminate blues. The forms and origins are as unknown as the source of the movement in this place, to and from this mystery.






It leaves me wondering why I titled it that if it is not that, and if not that, then what? No, in its essence it is Arial; that was and is its name. Persistently so, annoyingly so. It insists on it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Breaking Free

Are all the parts desperate to break away, or merely disparate bits of paper? Is it host to them or might this be no more than a paper chase? There is a sense of fumbling around here, without direction but with mistakes. How do we get from there to where we are?



Once the path becomes clear it all swoops away, released, like a swallow.

This is one of the pieces in my new show at Howes Hall Gallery, 24-30 July 2012.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chef in Action

The title suggested itself; the circle became a head and the upward and downward movement in the centre of the piece represented the flurry of activity that is at the heart of the culinary profession. The Chef is multi-tasking; chopping and rolling and dicing, seasoning, tasting, trimming, sharpening and  yet staying calm


 -- all that fine stuff that goes on in kitchens.
This is one of the pieces in my new show at Howes Hall Gallery, 24-30 July 2012.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Guitar Player

"The Guitar Player" is one of the few paper collages that began with something that wasn't an abstract form. I cut out the shape of the guitar and placed it on the paper. The head followed, as did hands, arms and feet. The hands then had to move with the strings on the guitar and the feet had to stomp and tap.






It had to vibrate with its own joyful sounds. It works because of the simplicity and plays for itself.
This is one of the pieces in my new show which will be held from 24-30 July at Howes Hall Gallery.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lines: more consequences

One line also can change the whole piece. It is then impossible to stop - one must continue until the space speaks. Until it comes from nothing to something.


One line starts it and the next step is then made clear.


It could lead into error or into completion. It all starts with a line and its consequences.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Abstract - just questions

Does our conscious mind insist on seeing something in an image? Anything at all? 


Is it a need to make sense of the world, or sense of our worlds?
More questions. No answers.


This is a landscape. There are trees with roots, wind, moon and what else? Does anyone see anything else?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Where Was I?


 The possibilities of form and movement seem endless.



Endlessly fascinating and endlessly different.
Each one with its own story.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Uncertain Ground

This painting shifted in concept and composition from my original idea. I continued my exploration of the subject, letting it lead me where it needed to go, letting go of my direction. The ambiguities in the composition speak of  uncertainties, in life and the physical geography of where we live. 

Uncertain Ground (acrylic on canvas 24" x 20")

Storms, tides, earthquakes, and other natural disasters erode convictions. Contemplating life and the mercurial changes around us, this painting speaks to me of the uncertainties of life. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The South Shore

I saw "The South Shore" from a window looking out over the Hillsborough Bay just at the point where the three rivers, North, West and Hillsborough, meet. It was a fleeting look and I retained an image in my mind of the light on the water and in the sky.



The first work on paper was very spontaneous and was finished very quickly. It became a study for this canvas which is one of three hanging in The Dunes at Brackley Beach.
 
Dimensions: 18" x 20", Medium: acrylic on canvas.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Free Range Fields

Free Range Fields portrays the landscape of Prince Edward Island with its distinctive red soil. The potato field appears animated as the green rows and furrowed red soil rush down to the sea. The sky is reflected in the water.





This canvas is one of a series that highlights the rural views of Prince Edward Island and is one of three hanging in The Dunes at Brackley Beach.

Dimensions: 20" x 26", Medium: acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Faces in Question

Drawings start with a doodle and expand into something a little more developed.

 The elements find themselves in need of rearranging,


or elaboration,


 or rescue!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

So when is it finished?

There is the exploratory sketch which marks the beginning.


It is finished but I haven't finished what I wanted to say.


 It is still not yet complete. So I must say it again and again.


Until perhaps I have just said enough.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sometimes a sketch is in order

Sometimes the pasted paper on paper feels confining.


The pen needs to go where it wants to go with nothing to prevent the flow of the ink.



So it is just a drawing. Just.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Symmetry and precision

There is a symmetry and precision in working with this medium. 


So unlike me in many ways and is completely different from what I paint.


Or is it? Down at the linear base, au fond, perhaps there is no difference at all.