Western Journey is an exciting new departure for me because, for several years, I have painted mostly expressionistic variations of florals, moving in and out of abstraction.
The summer of 2004 brought a range of new ideas when I had the opportunity to drive across our western provinces as far as Lake of the Woods in western Ontario. I kept to the back roads off Highway 13 and, for the first time, saw the immensity of our country. My mind kept focusing on the wonderful road signs of elk, cut out in white board. These signs kept appearing every few kilometers, orange neon dots for eyes reflecting in the headlights, saying: "Attention! Attention! Elk Crossing! "
The elk is the seed of this exhibition and was the first idea put onto canvas in this group of works. Many other Canadian animal images are represented such as bear and rabbits seen in an electrical storm in Dinosaur National Park in Alberta. The owl image has come from home, a spotted owl, a meter tall, sitting in a huge Douglas Fir in my back garden.
Certain punctuations have been incorporated into these paintings that depict the grid lines of the prairies, the mosaic of Canada, and arrows giving direction of movement born out of being able to see 28 to 30 kilometers of road ahead to the horizon.
This exhibition is a personal journey into new territory in all respects.