Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Picking Partridgeberries"

'I always think of myself, not so much as a painter,
but as a medium for accident... and chance.' ~Francis Bacon

"Picking Partridgeberries", oil on panel, 8"x10", has a long journey ahead of it. This small painting is one of several that will accompany me to Ankara, Turkey next month. I have been invited by the wife of Canada's Ambassador to Turkey to participate in an art exhibit and fundraiser to help women in need. This event will coincide with International Women's Day in March. I am ecstatic to be a part of this exhibit and the chance to travel to a beautiful city in a beautiful country!

I will bring a variety of paintings with me on this journey...a selection of landscapes, portraits and still life pieces. I have painted two small landscapes that feel very "Canadian" to me...and this is the first. "The Berrypicker, Greenspond" echoes this small piece, as I took many photos of this kind woman while she stooped to collect berries on a hillside in Newfoundland.

As before, the vibrant red of her sweater jumped out at me, I thought it would provide a nice contrast to the faded grasses on the surrounding slopes. I also liked how the houses on the hill were partially hidden by the grass, with the beautiful blue of the Atlantic ocean just visible on the horizon. Newfoundland is such a fresh place, almost no pollution to dilute the intensity of colour and always the constant briny wind to keep any sort of stagnancy at bay.

I have spoken before about the freedom that I feel when working on small paintings...I smile at the seeming irony there as I would presume most artists would find a larger canvas more conducive to a freedom of brushstrokes and room to breathe within the composition....however the opposite is true for myself. For one thing I don't use a lot of paint when working, and logically, there is less paint required for smaller paintings. I am able to really concentrate on brushstroke economy here, and generally have more fun with smaller pieces.

You can see the ladder on the top of the house in the painting, the ladders that are so ubiquitous in Newfoundland. When I asked one local gentleman what they were for he explained that chimney fires are very frequent in Newfoundland and these ladders are a way for homeowners to scramble up the roof to douse a fire with water if such an emergency should arise.

I do hope that the Turkish people and diplomats who attend this exhibition enjoy this piece as a small peek into a typical Maritime Canadian scene. I cannot wait to be a part of this good cause and chance to see another culture and enjoy making new friends as well!

"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Self-Portrait, Renewal" will be up for auction next month at the Burlington Art Centre in Burlington, Ontario. Here is a link to the auction information...if you can attend, please do! It is an opportunity to see some excellent local artists' work!

Have a beautiful day, wherever you are...


Kim said...

Hi Heather,
I just awarded you the Sunshine Blogger award. You can come to my site to retrieve it. Your work is absolutely lovely.

Vern Schwarz said...

Heather, I've been a long time fan after seeing your profile over a year ago on one of the arts channels. I find your work inspiring and have followed your web site since then. It's great to find your blog.

SYLVIANE said...

Heather, your work is admirable, bravo!
Stop by my blog and pick up the award I left for you!