Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"At Greenspond"

"Colour has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it. 
I know that it has hold of me forever...Colour and I are one.
 I am a painter."~Paul Klee

"At Greenspond", oil on panel, 24"x12" is all about colour.  I loved the interplay of oranges and auburns at the bottom and the blues and vibrancy of those watery hues at the top of the painting. The rock is an amalgamation of those to compliments, dividing its temperament between warms and cools. I was exploring the trails and rocks that met with the sea that day in the little town of Greenspond...large slabs of organic rock like frozen water, softened by countless waves and storms. 

With this painting I wanted to create a focus on the large rocks almost falling into the foreground. I saw in my mind a vertically-oriented painting, with heavy cropping and a small amount of water and sky. The skies are so clear in Newfoundland (when there isn't fog!), the colours so crisp and clean. It is very similar to Alaska, or probably anywhere that has minimal pollution. Everything is in sharp relief, no blurry edges, but each flower and rock beautifully defined. 

The land and the people in Newfoundland are genuine, the real thing, they exist closely with the land and are intertwined with it, live in close contact with it, cannot help but be shaped by it. The tidal pools that you come across contain little worlds of life ebbing and flowing, reliant upon the tides just like air into lungs. What may appear to the casual passerby is actually a complex ecological system of life and death, beauty, growth and decay that is continually changing right before your eyes. It is magical. The people too are dependent largely on what the land has to offer, from fish to berries, there are cycles to be seen everywhere you look. 

From a technical standpoint this painting was relatively uncomplicated and came together quickly. The water jumps out as it is so vivid there...a deep blue that is even purple in some places (I saw some in Cape Freels). My greatest challenge here was to convey the impression of the hardness and undulation of the rocks...the veins and organic patterns and shapes that twist and braid down the length of each rock. Certainly the most enjoyable area to paint was the burnt orange hues at the bottom where the rock has water on it and the minerals can be seen in an all together different light, darkened and brought to life by the water. 

Oftentimes after months have passed the beauty of a place starts to seep into your a trickle from a rock bed or the melting of a glacier....slow and steadily you find yourself romanced by a land that you dwelt briefly upon many months ago. The captivating part is that you are not even consciously aware of it. It simply is. I find myself being bewitched by Newfoundland all over again, each time I look through my reference photos to ponder the possibility of a painting here or there...each painting is a reliving of an experience, and in that moment all of the affection and wonder that you felt sitting on that cliff, speaking with that person, hiking down that trail, they all come back to you with an fragile intensity. Anything that moves us to that extent deserves our attention and we must embrace that memory so that we can share it with others, in the form of art, poetry, photography, music, or simply as enthusiastic anecdotes shared between kindred spirits. 

Be well, take good care, and share some happiness today.


"Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment." ~Claude Monet

Here is some information on my upcoming solo exhibition! 

Portraits Of Newfoundland
November 5-22nd, 2009
Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario
Opening Reception November 6th, 7-10pm


The Florida Escape Artist said...

Hi Heather,

I saw you on Twitter, and I thought I would stop by your blog. The paintings are breathtaking! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to see the next one.

Anonymous said...

I am astounded by the intensity of emotions you must have felt when you first experienced the beauty of Newfoundland, and then when you painted these, and then a third time when you wrote your blogs. I think this is why your paintings are so alive: A rare combination of technical skill and an incredible, sustained intensity. I am sure these small jpeg files do not do justice to your paintings, and hope to be able to see the originals someday. Hopefully before they are exhibited at world-famous museums :).


Heather Horton said...

Thank-you both so very much! I appreciate you taking the time to read the blog and your feedback is creative fuel for the creative campfire! Thank-you very much, take good care and keep creating in whatever way you do best!