On March 2 Mary and I took the one and a half hour automobile trip from our home in Toronto to the gallery for the official opening. It went perfectly well. I enjoyed myself. A few friends came and their presents helped a lot.
I didn't take any photographs. Being a photographer pushes me out of the picture. I had to be totally at the opening, nothing withheld.
I have not written an artist’s statement since the last century nor have I exhibited since other than in the occasional group shows and online.
I have continued to paint 4 to 8 hours each weekday. I am a practicing painter. I love to paint. I’d like to show my paintings in real time/space and not simply as jpeg photo reproductions online. The paintings have become less easy to photograph. Touchable textures and finely tuned colour relationships arose from my pallet that cannot be captured with a camera. The liveliness of a painting, the effect of changing light, sequent/consequent viewing, a sense of scale and proportion is lost on an internet audience.
About 40 years ago I witnessed a conflict between the older schools and newer schools I attended. Expressionists would not paint impressionistically. Abstractionists would not paint expressionism. During the final modern crisis, conceptualists rejected painting altogether. Painting has existed for, as far as we know, 60,000 years. Why would it, at the end of the modern era, during the late 20th century, come to an end?
I’ve spent my life attempting to make a synthesis of the myriad isms of modern art. I choose acrylic as my medium because it is relatively new. There are acrylic techniques yet to be invented. Acrylic is an experimental new medium. I believe that experimentation is necessary for my continued interest in art.
I have produced and directed “new media” computer art for online audiences. I learned over the past 10 years that the digital medium itself is unstable. Code which works and is fashionable can and does become “unsupported” by industry standards. Digital media is not a good artist’s medium because it is subject to obsoleting as code and, as content is lost as the machines used to play it evolve and lose earlier “backward compatibility”. I choose painting, again. It’s simple. It has longevity and a future. It has a rich history. The viewing machine is the human eye. The manufacturing machine is an applicator, a medium, a pigment and a surface. It is best done, but not necessarily, by one person.
I don’t limit myself. I use all the technology that is available to me. I try to use others as my subjects rather than turning inward upon myself. I paint my time, our time; the environment in which we exist. What I do require of the painting is that all the technology and thought that goes into it becomes it and is media transformed into acrylic and encased in polymer. Each painting is required to stand alone and be a complete whole.
Realistically, LandSea is a series of 9 paintings. They share common threads of theme, technique and evolution. There is a thin narrative which holds them together as an exhibition. They draw upon pre-modern and modern theory and concepts, hopefully recognizable by people educated in art. At the same time they exist as paintings that people who have no understanding of art history can enjoy too.