[click on image to see detail]
"The Winter Shore", "Beach in December", "Frozen Beach" Dec 2008/Jan 2009- always give my painting your own title and write me of its whereabouts
Nova Scotia is just about an island, perhaps 99% is surrounded by salt water and over the years Iíve visited many of its costs. This one is close to my home in Dartmouth. Heartlands po9int is a rough boulder shore, rough walking windy and wild, jutting out into great north Atlantic. when I dwelt on it all, not the real place but that much closer, much more real. the vision in my mindís eye. That vision in my head that real place has made there and it is different and it is more real to me. The detail scene in my painting is not the end goal of the art, but rather is a kind of, shall I say, byproduct of a desire to stay with the work in progress, longer and longer. To sink deeper into it and to dwell on the vision , the art and the place; out of the vision (and its always an image of total perfect). Iím compelled to grasp beyond my reach and to fail, fail the vision but not he self. For I have tried my best. A work of art is always a reach and a struggle for the vision for perfection. Every inch of it is contemplated, intensely thought about and dwelled upon. so much so I become the serf, a boulder, frozen snow and kelp. Anyone who goes to the sea cannot help but be impressed by it all. By the site, sound, it taste, itís feel. all my senses turn on when I sketch and create watercolours on the real site. Then that mysterious inner sixth sense wells up a vision forms and place has a strange and enticing spirit. now, as the painting develops and takes on a life of its own, it gets aggressive and asserts itself as a singular totality and it pushes the real place and the vision out of its way as its strives into true existence. Real as my work may look, it does not, thank god, look like a photograph. The final art it has no dependency on the real place for its existence. It has with its life moved on to the universal. Unlike a photograph that always depends on the subject for its existence; most of all my paintings are created from imagination. The kelp that is strewn up on the frozen beach tumbled in on the great breakers was retrieved from memory and imagination, and a few simple sketches. I am riveting witnessing the powerful sea and never tire of it, but I must admit, in my all awe for it, thereís always a fear of it as well. As I paint, and how I paint, causes me often to think and dwell on the extraordinary of Georges Seurat (1859-91) his pointillist art, I was first introduced to Seurat in 1955 but Alex Colville, my teacher. Seuratís landscape and seascapes have held me ever since. His ďThe Beach of Bas-honfleurĒ and others I never tire of. Colville was affected greatly by Seurat as well as George Tooker and Paul Cadmus, two more paintings Colville introduced me to in my student days. Egg tempera has a nature of application that serves it well for pointillism as it dries to quickly each brushstroke is evident. As one as see the painting is layered upon with small brushstrokes atop each and beside each. Every part of the painting, each dab of paint is considered and placed. These paintings take a lot of time, but time means nothing to me as the panting enfolds about my whole existence. As I paint, nothing else has a meaning form me. I know there will be a return to this place of spirit and weíll see it anew who know knows, perhaps painted again and again and yet again.