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Here are some musings about Canadian art…

“All art begins with grids. All artists long for grids.”
– American poet John Taggart

Canadian Art has a long history of landscape painting. While many artists have historically submitted that the spirit of Canadian art lies in the land, there is a faction who contended that the spirit of Canadian art lies in the mind of the artist and in the culture of the people. This gives birth to Canadian abstract art. In my work I have tried to honour both traditions and merge these long time disparate schools of thought.   While I do not always try to literally depict cities and neighbourhoods, I often aim to capture the bustling motion and excitement of a busy urban environment. I like using colours and patterns found in the architectural vernacular of a city and try to capture its essence as seen from above. As an Artist interested in urban development and sustainability, the hive-like structures we build up around us and our own insect like behaviour within these structures fascinate me. I seek to recreate the animated gestures of these ever vibrating landscapes, striking a balance and harmony between the rigid man-made infrastructures and the organic and fluid way of the earth’s natural geography. In creating these paintings I hope to evoke the same lively feelings one gets when flying into a new big city for the first time when we try to take everything in or the lasting impressions stored in our memories of travelling anywhere far from home.

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Tom Thomson where are you?

 

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Above: Studio Building – Then and Now

I’ve been reading a fair about Tom Thomson’s life and about the Group of Seven activities during 1918-1928. I went to visit the historic Studio Building last week on Severn Street.

It’s the building Lawren Harris had commissioned in which the group painted regularly. Tom’s cabin, which was originally near to the building, was moved to the grounds of the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg. The front windows of the building have been changed which are not nearly as useful now that it sits in the shadow of the condos Canadian Tire built after a long legal battle. you can read more about the history of the building here.

It would be nice to work in the building while working on paintings that responded to their works. Perhaps I’ll investigate space availability.