Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art
Tom Forrestall
Basin Road (diptych)
24 x 72 Inches
egg tempera on gessoed panel
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“Basin Road’ “The Rotten Wormy Windfalls and the Winter Wood” “Windfalls and Woods”
Egg Tempera Sept. - Oct. - Dec. 2010. Every painting I grapple with is a struggle, a battle to stand still. This painting had an interesting hiatus from my painting. As it progressed through September and my visits to ‘Three Oaks’ near Annapolis Royal for studies, it started to look pretty good to me, but this is how they all seem to progress. I was on a scent with it, and feeling positive. . . then it started to level off . . . the rush of the climb left me, the false sense of security crumbled as I moved into the tough area of the finish and beyond that ‘cutesy’ state that so many painters stop at. . .think of Picasso most of what he did was left in the ‘cute’ painterly state, this is what gives one the ’high’. I go on with the development of a painting to remain with it longer and longer. The detail keeps me with the idea/painting not the main purpose, that is to sink deeper and deeper into the ‘True Realism’. The service is left behind as the in depth rivets me. Near Annapolis Royal I have a beautiful country house built in 1815. If one steps out of the front door in September and looks west there will be this grafted tree with its windfalls . . . rotten and wormy as most of them are. The deer come early in the morning and eat them up. Now turn your gaze east and there is my neighbour’s woodpile . . . across the road (left out of the painting), are cattle grazing, and this is how it’s been for decades. In the distance, tha Annapolis Basin, the town of Annapolis royal is 4 or 5 KL. to the right. Studies where done for two separate paintings but the basin tied them into one. As the painting started to give me trouble I leaned it face in against the wall and with my son Frank . . .(filming) , we left on 27 Oct. 2010 for five weeks painting in Israel. I did 45 watercolours all over Israel. Sunny and hot, 25-30 Celsius every day, I totally forgot this painting and it troubles. We returned on 2 Dec. 2010 up in my studio I found it . . . and dove back to work on it . . . whatever my problems had also been forgotten and I finished it today 24 Oct. 2010. There is a gap between west and east . . . north . . . There’s mystery in what’s been left out, but one will enjoy the painting all the more with this mystery in tow. I missed my studio while away, painting in egg tempera I so wanted to do in Israel, so when I got back it was a priority. How different my painting is from a photograph. It’s all me with it’s successes and failings. If you took this painting back to the location, it would only vaguely look like the real location. This is deliberate. This occurs because the painting takes on a life of its own. By the time it is finished the real location is forgotten, it started to fade away as soon as I started to paint. The painting becomes art and art is universal. At the base of my art is drawing and it is by drawing the real place starts to get pushed aside, ‘I draw to fill my head, and paint to empty it’. Vital words for my creativity. Look closely at my paintings, the minute brushstrokes are my building blocks for dwelling deep under the surface of dwelling on life’s experiences and thus the revelation of the ‘truer realism’, that trumps surface every time . . . they (tiny brushstrokes), are not done to create detail. Detail is there, but only as the by product, the collateral from a deep inward gut feeling for the location with very little detail. Tom Forrestall. Dartmouth N.S. Jan. ’11. Thank you – This is the intrinsic nature of what I paint.

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