I am an artist deeply influenced by his natural surroundings. Originally from New Brunswick, I moved to the province of Manitoba in 1981. I left behind a world whose intimate coastlines, rolling hills and meandering streams gave way to a boundless prairie landscape with impossibly immense skies, and a northern wilderness with mile upon mile of sprawling lakes and primal forest. When I tackle a landscape painting today my aim is to communicate not just the physical detail, but the atmospheric elements, the hidden forces that permeate the land and air and determine the quality of light, and our emotional response to the subject. A good landscape rendering is an environmental snapshot, a captured moment conveying palpable hints of an actual place in a specific time. The hour of the day, the temperature, even moisture levels, should in theory be as readable to the viewer as the depicted topographical detail.
As a sculptor, I try to push barriers. I delight in recombining found materials into whole new objects, altering the DNA, so to speak, of discarded natural or synthetic materials to create fresh associations and new meanings. I am always experimenting with new framing formats for my landscapes, applying sculptural techniques to explore different ways of augmenting the two dimensional image and its effect.
Elsewhere, when I undertake portraits, figurative studies or still-life interiors, I am always conscious of the play of abstract elements in each case. The shapes, relative densities and linear forces that describe a given setting – these are qualities whose manipulation in the construction of an image can add dramatic new meaning to the simplest subject. As an artist I make no apology for wanting to spread my energies across such a wide spectrum, for embracing so many different materials, mediums and subjects. My eclectic impulses may be a source of frustration for those critics who insist on ready categories and labels for art, but I believe diversity is an essential virtue in this age of over-specialization. By embracing variety, the art remains fresh, and the artist more readily open to change and discovery.
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