Wildlife Paintings on display at The Carrot Community Coffee House 9351 118Ave Edmonton Alberta June 4 to 30, 2019
I have always been a landscape painter. I enjoy little more than heading out to Jasper National Park and finding a spot where I can let my creativity run wild as I capture the spectacular scene in front of me. Painting on location, en plein air, is not always easy however; there’s weather - wind and rain (sometimes snow!), changing light, bugs, people and occassionally a wild animal to contend with.
Winters in Alberta are long, and while I don’t mind painting in the snow, the cold is hard to deal with so I wanted to find a way to keep painting the landscapes I so loved in the studio but spice them up a bit and try and find some of the magic that happens when I paint on location. I decided to try my hand at adding wildlife to my paintings. At first I worked as I would any other painting - leaving space on the paper for the animal and then painting the landscape around it. Somehow those early paintings didn’t speak to me as I wanted them to and so I decided to use the unique properties of yupo paper to try something new.
Yupo is a synthetic paper, it is very smooth and very white, almost like photo paper. Because it is so smooth the watercolour paint doesn’t absorb into the paper as it would on traditional cotton rag paper. This means you can wipe away part of your painting and this is where my idea took hold! I thought, as the animals and the landscape were so dependant on each other, why not make the animal appear from the background of the painting rather than painting it on top or beside it. I painted a background with wild and intuitive layer of colours and then, using a reductive technique, I began to lift the watercolours from the yupo paper to reveal the shape of a bear and the landscape. After that first painting I knew I was onto something special. The bear was less obvious, you had to work a little to see it and it took on a mysterious, almost ghostlike quality.
Since that first bear painting I have gone on to paint many different animals. The organic nature of the background allows the colour of each creature to blend into and from the paint, making that animal part of the surroundings, a being that lives in harmony with the land. When either is in jeopardy, the balance is thrown off. My hope is that my paintings reveal that delicate balance and help us to respect all the creatures that live on this beautiful land.
Below is a look at all the paintings on my Living on the Land exhibition and a little story about how each one came to be. I hope you enjoy.
For more information or to purchase a piece please contact me