26th Annual Exhibition Preview
November 7, 2019 | Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Hotel, Edmonton Ab. | 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
On the 7th of each month leading up to the exhibition, one painting will be posted online to give a sense of the larger body of work. There are no pre-sales, and all work will be available for purchase at commencement of the exhibition on November 7th.
"Endure" | Watercolour | 25 x 40” (40 x 54” framed)
York Minster (Britain) was begun in about 1225 and completed in 1472 and is renowned for the largest expanse of medieval glass in the world. While in York, my impression of the cathedral is of an enormous magnet drawing visitors to stand spellbound below its soaring limestone towers, its riot of intricately carved grotesques and statuary, and immense stained glass windows. I had almost finished the painting when Notre Dame burned this April and as parallels were being drawn to York Minster. It was struck by lightening in 1984 and the ensuing fire burned the south transept. The same questions about rebuilding were raised at that time but the Minster was indeed rebuilt in four years which lends confidence in the rebuilding of Notre Dame. The Archbishops of York and Canterbury called for cathedrals and churches around the U.K. to toll their bells in solidarity with Notre Dame.
The great west window or "Heart of Yorkshire" from 1338 features a heart shape in its limestone tracery, seen here reflecting the sun. The cast iron fence and lamp post train the eye upwards providing a foreground and reference for perspective and scale. Dark clouds symbolize the Minster's tumultuous 850 year history of war and fire while the warm late afternoon sun suggests hope and defiance, endurance and possibility.
Preview #2 | Watercolour on Board | 40 x 17” (52 x 29” framed)
After a long day of cross country skiing under grey winter skies at Islet Lake (Cooking Lake Blackfoot area) east of Edmonton, the sun finally broke through and warmed the last of the day - as if it was reminding us of its presence and power in case we had forgotten. Winter can seem cold and monochromatic on the surface, but when looking deeper there is a broad palette of surprising colours, which in this piece I have exaggerated to make the point. The aspen forests are tall and elegant, and to me they appear as a kind of vertical calligraphy - graphic and elegant marks on the page. The obligue angle of the sun back-lights the trees and creates a fiery focal point.
Watercolour 14 x 9" (22.5 x 18" framed)
As always there will be a number of still lifes at the exhibition, intimate portraits of objects portraying texture, detail and the effects of light on their surfaces. After travelling or being in the outdoors, it is comforting to focus one's gaze and thoughts on the small objects that adorn our everyday lives. This sugar bowl and spoon have been in my family for generations and holds not only sugar but many memories. I love it's delicate grape motif, and how polished silver is a convex mirror, reflecting in miniature the objects and room around it. The concave mirror of the spoon has the opposite effect and flips the reflection. The natural window light illuminates the objects creates warm elongated shadows. The warm golden palette underscores the warmth of the interior contrasting with cooler exterior.
Preview #4 "Archipelago" Watercolour 22 x 13" (34.5 x 25" framed)
This summer we kayaked through the Broughton Archipelago off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. Over 6 days on mostly calm water, we saw all manner of wildlife and sea creatures, fog rolling through lush forests and a few spectacular sunsets. The maze of islands and narrow passages create layers of perspective and undulating lines. What looks like impenetrable forest from the water can be an inviting and protective refuge, with elegant limbs framing the seaward views. We watched this fiery sunset with reverential oohs and ahhs, the light and colour changing each second until the quiet twilight descended.