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A Quick 5 Questions With Floyd Elzinga & Nancy Farrell

 Nancy Farrell & Floyd Elzinga Blog Questions

As you might have heard, we hosted our first Artist Meet & Greet on Saturday  July 10 afternoon. It was well attended, but we acknowledge that some of you might have had other plans, on vacation or just not ready to head out for non-essential trips. 

So, Earls Court Gallery got the artists to answer a few serious and fun questions that you might have asked them in person. Enjoy their responses. Feel free to leave or email more questions to pass along.

Don't forget that you can always enjoy the exhibition from the comfort of your home via our virtual tour.

-- Curator Andrea  Jackman 


Floyd Elzinga ProfileFLOYD ELZINGA

  1. Does the media that you use dictate or restrain what you depict?

Yes. Definitely.  

I was initially drawn to use steel because it is plastic and forgiving. 
Steel and stainless steel have physical properties quite different from stone or wood; ranging from soft and pliable to rigid and brittle. 
The physical properties lead to creating industrial and organic forms and surfaces.    

Steel and stainless have a range of surface colours and textures that are seemingly endless. I recently discovered that there is way to turn steel green.  Crazy!

I am continually surprised and inspired by a new property that the material reveals and a whole new style or body of work results.   I love the way light plays off the surface. 

Polishing, burnishing, sanding, grinding, rusting and heat treatment are some of the ways that I use steel to determine the colour palette, create textures and produce the illusion of depth through the reflection of light. Steel paintings are the result.


  1. How do you feel you are bringing greater awareness to the change in our environment through your artwork?

It is a lofty goal.  I think about it a lot. Creating landscape paintings of the Canadian wilderness out of steel could be considered ironic. The natural world is fundamentally my inspiration and it is strongly reflected in my subject matter. 

 Western Giant Floyd Elzinga

"Western Giant" Steel and Stainless Steel 20" x 40" $1,500

  1. How would you rate your visual memory? Does it assist or hinder you in creating art?

Very Poor.  I only rely minimally on my memory for creating art. I rely more on visual acuity…looking to understand (the ability to recreate in steel) provides me with both inspiration and closure when my work is finished.  As a result, seeing problems in my practice is definitely a hinderance. My artmaking process uses this conflict to make me find new forms of resolution with better results.


  1. If you could have one of your artworks in a permanent art collection, which institution would it be and why?

Ydessa Hendles- I love her sensibility and she has an amazing collection!


  1. Drink & Food paring... What drink & food do you think is best to consume while being immersed in the “Convergent Terrain” exhibition?

Sharp old cheese makes everything better! 

If I were to do this virtually - the Good Earth’s sparkling rosé wine Aria and Chef’s Board (local to me in Beamville), but under ideal conditions Bob Daniels creates an amazing sweet and savoury arrangement of delectable, cheeses and definitely something bubbly.

But really it depends on a lot of things…. a better pairing might be espresso, dark chocolate with farm fresh strawberries/cherries …

A crispy salted cracker and a hoppy beer might also be lovely …

Freshly baked bread and tap water…

Regardless, adding another layer to this show by combining Nancy Farrel’s paintings, George Brasovan and Bob Freisan’s musical compositions, and my metal work with good food and drink is convergent terrain.  Enjoy.


Nancy Farrell Profile NANCY FARRELL 

  1. How does the media that you use dictate or restrain what you depict?

I use acrylic paints and many different mark-making drawing tools. I love the fast-drying aspect of acrylic paint as I paint in layers, and I can immediately make changes.

For mark-making I use pastels, pencils, pens, ‘woodies’ and charcoal.  These marks react with the paint to produce tints, tones and shades of subtle colour. I love experimenting with acrylics as they lend themselves to quickly applying combinations of paint and marks.

My paintings are not pre-planned; I respond to what I see in front of me on the canvas or board using my imagination and memories.  Acrylic permits me to add imagery quickly and delete quickly, letting some of the previous levels peek through to the surface. Blending takes longer with acrylic, but experience makes it easier. I do like the less toxic nature of acrylics as ventilation can be an issue in painting studios. 


  1. How do you feel you are bringing greater awareness to the change in our environment through your artwork?

I have always been an observer of landscape and weather and how quickly things change from year to year. The theme of climate change resonates through many of my paintings with unusual skies, abstract land forms, sometimes use of a high horizon line and emphasizing what is below the surface of the earth as well as what is on it. I am interested in what the future landscape might look like, and I use my imagination and intuition to create possibilities for what is coming. I never try to prettify my landscape; air and ground pollution, increased drought and water issues all provide sources for imagery. The viewer is encouraged to think about the effects of climate change and what the future might look like. 

 Leaving Earth Behind Nancy Farrell

"Leaving Earth Behind" Acrylic and Mixed Media 12" x 12" $250

  1. How would you rate your visual memory? Does it assist or hinder you in creating art?

I have a fairly good visual memory. Often in my paintings, I try to use images from past travels, hikes and observations. I no longer sketch when I am out on the land. Instead, I notice and remember the feeling of colour shifts, light, shapes and textures. The impetus for my work is the natural world and over the years my subconscious has absorbed colours, marks, shapes, values and textures . I have taken numerous photos of places that interest me, and often use these as reminders.

Although I began painting many years ago by replicating what I was seeing, I no longer focus on exact realism.  I now begin every painting with random mark-making; sometimes the surface dictates that I am moving into landscape, sometime into non-objective work.  My conscious and subconscious memory and intuition provide the impetus into developing and finishing the artwork.


  1. What artist’s quote do you often think about?

“If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint” is a quote by Edward Hopper; this reminds me to continue using my imagination, painting intuitively with feeling and painting without planning. I am always looking for an unusual depiction of our land. 

Another quote I appreciate is by Hans Hoffman: “Never be Stingy with colour”.   Possibilities are open when my palette is covered with enough paint to feel I can take risks and experiment.


  1. Drink and Food paring...what drink and food do you think is best to consume while being immersed in the convergent terrain exhibition?

I did ask a few appreciative gallery goers for some input.

a) A charcuterie board with a nice Shiraz (Australian) or an amaretto Sour cocktail.

b) And always coffee Americano (with shot of expresso) accompanied with salted caramel macaroons.




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