Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art
Tom Forrestall
Painter At Tide Head
18 x 48 Inches
egg tempera on gessoed panel
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on back side:

The watercolour painted on site of the head of the tide on the big salmon river moved me to paint this work, but with all my watercolour, that move along to egg tempera paintings, I wanted to go some where else with it. Enter the self portrait or to be more exact, a portrait of the artistís eye. Looking to see, now the whole vision moves on further to oversizing, now its in your face, thereís no backing off, itís too close for comfort. We have no trouble reducing things into the painting, the river and beach with hills and woods are back from us, thereís a comfort zone. But the eye invades our space and puts us ill at ease. Now added to all of this is the riveting eyeball to eyeball stare down. Sight is our sovereign sense, it astonishes us, holds us tight as we struggle to break away from it and see the rest of the painting. Going out to a location and painting it on site is a great privilege and special favour because outdoors or where ever. As I paint I turn on all my senses and key them into the creation at hand. See it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it, and then with it all the sixth sense kicks in. it is truly a unique experience each time. Then back in my studio, the with added power of distance from the real place the whole experience comes back to me through creative imagination, free from the real location a vision builds and Iím away again. The problem is the vision is too perfect. I can hold it in my mindís eye but not in my hand. I fail the vision but not the self, the best, I could was done. While the watercolour looks like the site. The painting is free of this endurance. While it vaguely looks similar to the place it has moved to a universal. Real as the painting is it does not have the burden of looking like a photograph. When I paint (watercolours) and dwell on the site then I leave it and dwell again some sort of inner voice speaks. Yes you can to it or no you canít. each painting I create obeys my orders, but somewhere about the half way along it starts to give me orders. ďI need more colour here, better drawing there.Ē The painting takes on a life of its own and starts its rebellion and march away. It dumps me. A new vision builds. The back of my painting is part of the front. Writing is part of it all.

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