FROM ABOVE: URBAN LANDSCAPES
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The photographs I took from Toronto hotel rooms and office buildings were the ‘launching pad’ for these images. I am attracted to colour relationships, and paint what I find beautiful – typically images with strong graphic components. Because I now live in the country, the city’s energy feels more amplified on my returning visits. I am impacted by its busy and stark nature, and being ‘removed’ gives me a new appreciation of the urban landscape. I appreciate the micro/macro contrast, and the birds eye view of grids, roads, trees and sidewalks. Cars, trucks and streetcars, along with pedestrians, become moving shapes that dot the visual canvas with fervent markings.
Mixed media allowed me to capture the urban noise that I aimed to articulate, and I employed oil, acrylic, charcoal, chalk, gold leaf, and ink. My aim was not to reproduce exactly what was before me, but to reflect back the energy, movement and shapes I saw from above, and celebrate the juxtaposition of man-made materials and objects with nature. I spent time defining the composition, then worked somewhat quickly – at first with manic strokes that felt sympathetic to the subject. After the composition was set, I worked as a whole to define areas – burying and excavating marks to create layers and textures that supported the structure. The monochromatic palette felt rich, yet underplayed, and coincided with the drab, early spring season when the photographs were taken.
This series began in the summer of 2015, and the two most recently completed in winter, 2018.
Click on the first image to launch the slide show.