"Another Cootes Path"
9" x 12" (Image)
Soft Pastels on UART 400 Premium Sanded Paper
I call my art “playing” and my creations are my toy box full of colour for the viewer’s enjoyment. My belief is that art in general and my art in particular must be both objective and subjective: objective in its original intent and execution and subjective in its interaction with the viewer. I try not to get in the way of my art, allowing any subtext to be discerned by the viewer. When I see something that holds my attention, it tends to be the totality of that context that gives it meaning. Hits of turquoise and squiggles of pink run across my work. In my art, colours, shapes and patterns all occupy the same importance. I let the contrast of light and shadow separate them out. My hope is that my art gives the viewer pause to reflect on a moment in time that I cherished, frozen in pigments.
While my focus now is painting with pastels and oils as well as teaching, I’ve actually been an artist all my life. I began my career as an agency art director and then spent many years in Toronto as a commercial illustrator working in a broad range of media. After relocating to Hamilton, I started working with pastels for my own pleasure. In 2006 I was juried into a Purely Pastels show at the Art Gallery of Hamilton where I won an Honorable Mention. That was the spark I needed and I haven’t looked back. I received my Master Pastel Artist of Canada (MPAC) signature designation from Pastel Artists Canada in 2014.
I gain additional inspiration by teaching art as a part-time instructor in the Visual and Creative Arts Department at Sheridan College and by teaching courses in soft pastels as an occasional instructor at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I enjoy conducting demonstrations and workshops, such as my all-day workshop titled “Painting the City” at the ICAN Pastel 2016 Conference in Aurora, Ontario.