Tuesday, October 6, 2009


"If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."
~Edward Hopper

"Rebecca", oil on canvas, 36"x36" was one of those commissions that came about very naturally and enjoyably. Perhaps it is because the composition and feel of the painting is similar to figurative work that I usually paint. For whatever reason, it felt like I was returning to the comfortable, the familiar.

My friends were fantastic about giving me the freedom to organize the painting according to what felt appropriate. They had a general idea of what they were looking for but gave me a lot of room to play with composition, lighting etc. This is a liberating feeling for a painter and is a great example of creative co-operation.

After working on Newfoundland paintings for over a year, and it has been an enjoyable year for sure, it felt good to deal with the figure in a way that I have been working for a long time. I love rendering sheets (I say that now, but it can be challenging!), and a figure in repose with lots of negative space and a muted palette are elements that really appeal to me. I love a limited amount of colour and then a splash of colour where flesh is....I think it serves to draw the eye in and adds focus and vibrancy in little pockets of concentration. The objective always is always to treat the entire piece to function as one narrative with all of the elements weaving together in a way that works.

When I work often I turn a painting on its side or sometimes even upside down. The odd canvas is intended to hang on the wall so that the subject is upside down..these canvases I usually paint right side up! The point is that how we perceive things varies greatly, even with a tilt of 90 degrees...I find that when I work on paintings and turn them periodically that I am usually happier with them when they are completed. Just as many teachers will suggest that you should occasionally look at your paintings in the mirror to spot inaccuracies, I think turning your canvas if you are able and working on it from different orientations only serves to benefit your painting.

One of the most rewarding elements as a painter comes with the simple joy of not doing the same thing two days in a row. Every day essentially is a new road that I go down, but with paint, rather than my little 1991 Toyota Corolla (who is running like a dream still at 225,000 kms). No two roads are the same, as are no two paths, nor two canvases...it is an aspect of my career that I appreciate and never take for granted. Plus, unveiling a painting for clients who are thrilled with it is a highlight too...it is one thing to be happy yourself, but when you love what you do that happiness comes across in the work and in turn others are filled with joy as well.

I will be speaking at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario next week as a guest lecturer. I am looking forward to this opportunity to speak to students enrolled in their Art and Design Fundamentals program very much. I will discuss my methods, body of work, past shows and upcoming projects as well as answering questions from the audience.

The opening reception of my solo exhibition is one month today! I really hope that you can make it out to the show. I will be giving an informal talk on November 14th as well from 2-4 pm at the gallery.

Have a beautiful day and share some happiness,


"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without." ~Cecil B. DeMille

Portraits Of Newfoundland
November 5-22nd, 2009
Opening Reception November 6th, 7-10pm
179 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Come out, see some artwork and listen to special musical guests
The Killin' Time Band who will be playing
some East Coast-inspired songs for your enjoyment!


Peggi Habets said...

Beautiful commissioned portrait. Lucky you to have such creative, trusting clients. This portrait is a great example of a successful collaboration between client and artist. Good luck with your show. If I werer closer, I would love to see your work in person, but...Pittsburgh is a tad away.

Ishrath said...

Absolutely love this painting. And also love the quotation that you have put below... how can one really explain in words what you have painted.

Heather Horton said...

Thank-you for so very much for your feedback! It means a lot and I wish you a beautiful weekend... :)