"Mayberry Street, Hidden",oil on panel, 48"x36",available at Abbozzo Gallery, Toronto
“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”
~George R.R. Martin
"How do you paint the cold?" It's the artistic equivalent of "Where do babies come from?" People have asked me over the years how I paint folds or paint emotion within a face...I wish I had a more esoteric answer but I do not. I do not know when feelings or temperatures are transferred onto a canvas. There is no one 'moment'. I think it is the cumulative effort applied to the work as a whole. As painters, we get so close to the subject from a technical point of view that we aren't even aware when the "effect" of the whole painting emerges. It happens without our knowledge, like the technicians and people who light a play, or cue the orchestra, or direct the performers.
"Mayberry Street, Hidden", oil on panel, 48"x36", came about following a huge snowstorm in Omaha, Nebraska this past winter. Two paintings emerged from that storm..."Mayberry Street" and also "After The Storm", oil on canvas, 10"x30". Both paintings are currently a part of a brand new exhibition at Abbozzo Gallery's new space in downtown Toronto at 401 Richmond. If you can, please stop in as it is a gorgeous space. I have attached some photos of the gallery below.
"After The Storm", oil on canvas, 10"x30", available at Abbozzo Gallery
Most of us have experienced the incredible quiet after a snow storm. In these two paintings the snow is sticking to trees and a wooden fence...it buffers the world around and sound is muted. We can hear our heart beat and we marvel at the transformation that has taken place from when we last looked outside. Snow is one of my favourite things to paint. I like mixing the warm and cool greys that show form. It is all about contrast. Snow hides and reveals at the same time. It colludes with our psyche to reveal truths, and that's where the paint comes in, to record that moment.
I think painting snow, mixing whites with all other colours to produce that coldest of illusions, is a way of allowing the painting to have a lot of negative space, but a space that is actually filled with substance. I like to find a point of tension, usually a figure, and let the space around it provide breathing room to bring you back to that focal point, the place within ourselves where we all return.
Here are some photos that I took of Abbozzo Gallery's amazing new space in Toronto. You can see my painting "Figure, Perched", oil on canvas, 60"x40" in two of these photos. I will be blogging about them soon. I am so very fortunate to be with such a great gallery. This space and Ineke, Margaret and the rest at Abbozzo are what every artist should have...a dealer who believes in you, in your vision. I am very thankful for our relationship.
Such a beautiful space!
"Figure, Perched" hangs on the wall behind the main desk.
You can see "Mayberry Street, Hidden" and "The Stone House" here in this shot.
A view down the hallway that runs alongside the gallery..
Thanks for reading today and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about these paintings or any that you see on my website or this blog.
Have a wonderful day!
Occasionally I have come across a last patch of snow on top of a mountain in late May or June.
There's something very powerful about finding snow in summer.~Andy Goldsworthy