Since moving to Hamilton in May 2012, I have been documenting the city and its inventory of wonderful residential, commercial and industrial locations. But it was not until Barry Coombs began documenting the urban landscape in the city that I fully embraced this project. The idea of a conversation between two artists’ vision of the same subject, sometimes the very same places, added particular piquance to the idea. After focusing mostly on rural and maritime landscape for more than a decade, the shapes and colours of Hamilton’s cityscape are a change of direction for me.
All of my work in Oil Pastel on wood panel is similar to drawing, using every imaginable mark-making technique, from layering and cross hatching, to blending and scratching with tools, my fingers and paint mediums.
I graduated in Fine Art from the University of Guelph. I have been working with Oil Pastels on wooden panels since the early 1990s. Though I was introduced to the New York Ash Can school of painters when I was still in art school, and always admired Edward Hopper, I did not discover the wonderful pastels by Wolf Kahn until I had begun using pastels myself. His landscapes and use of colour made a permanent impression. For many years I have also referenced the compositions, structure and brushwork in Richard Diebenkorn’s paintings and Henri Matisse.
"...I have been pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, experimenting with unfamiliar media and techniques and giving myself permission to have as much fun as possible. My routine is varied but I like to get started early while everything is quiet. Last summer, I studied at the Royal Drawing School in London. That experience introduced me to a lively online life-drawing community which now provides some scheduling structure to my days and gets me going before dawn to ‘join’ other artists from all over the world."