Posts Tagged ‘impressionism’

Andrea Ross: Rough Around the Edges

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

As September rolls on and the leaves start to change, we’re  heading into our last solo-show of the season: Andrea Ross’ Rough Around the Edges.

Andrea and her piece, “Shake it Down to Earth”

Andrea has always had a profound connection with Ontario’s natural places. As a child, her family had a cottage on Skeleton Lake in Muskoka. As she grew older, she ventured farther and farther into the seclusion of the outdoors, canoeing extensively in Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park. She feels very at home among the rocks, trees, and waters Ontario, and they dominate her paintings.

“Above Hogan Lake”

Andrea often depicts the places where trees cling to rocks and stone merges with water, the boundaries between elements of the landscape as we identify them. Often, she poises these tenuous landscapes on the cusp of day and night, or at the delicate balance between one season and the next. If you’ve ever rounded out a day of paddling in Algonquin by watching the evening light play across the rocks and trees, you’ll feel right at home with Andrea’s paintings…

“Hornbeam Lake Portage”

The fuzzy edges between day and night, summer and fall, water and forest make up the raw material for Rough Around the Edges. It’s a fitting end to this season’s exhibition, Metamorphosis. We’ve explored natural processes, environmental change, and cycles of growth and decay throughout the summer, so finishing the season with Andrea’s liminal landscapes feels like a perfect end to the exhibition. We can’t wait for you to see her work in person!

“Rugged Island”

You can take in “Rough Around the Edges” at the Algonquin Art Centre from September 15th to October 22nd. You can find us at Km. 20 along the Highway 60 corridor, and we’re open every day from 9—5.

Off-Season Artists: David Grieve

Friday, February 5th, 2016

It’s our next Off-Season Artists post! In this series Alex, the guy who feels right at home among both keystrokes and brush-strokes, helps you ride out the long winter season by talking to some of our favourite artists.
This time, he’s speaking with David Grieve, a southwestern Ontario artist with a talent for creating landscapes out of his unique oil painting technique.

So first off, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, originally? I understand that your mother was also an artist. I imagine a lot of your early artistic exposure comes from your experiences with her. What kind of art did she make, and how did the beginning of your artistic interest take shape?
I was born and raised in Brantford, Ontario.  When I was young, my mother encouraged me to draw and paint.  My sister and I were able to accompany her to her studio in the summer.  While there we had the chance to work with oils on canvas alongside the adult artists.  I took it for granted at the time but realize now that not many 8-year-olds have the opportunity to paint with oils.  As a result, I found myself at ease with the medium years later when I was studying fine art at the University of Guelph.
Looking back on my experience at school, I was always interested in art.  I recall being scolded in grade one for skipping my desk work to spend more time at the easel.  I’ve always been drawn to the artistic elements across subject areas in school.  Even something like drawing the cells in biology class was an artistic experience for me.

“After Harvest 2″

One thing that stands out in your work is the fact that it deals with Southwestern Ontario. That’s a very different environment from a lot of the Canadian landscape art we’re used to seeing—northern forests, the Rockies, big rainforest pines out west…
What attracts you most to the landscape of Southwestern Ontario?
It is appealing, to me, looking for beauty where you live.  The natural environment in Southwestern Ontario is a part of my daily life. Where I live, I am surrounded by beautiful rolling hills of corn and beans as well as trees that have lived here for many years.
The change in environment has an impact on me. It’s easier to breathe.  I am saddened however by the high rate of urban sprawl that is taking place in Southwestern Ontario.  Where I used to see fields and open spaces while driving along Hwy 403, it’s now being replaced by shopping centres and parking lots.  I feel that it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the importance of the beauty in nature.


“Breathe”

I’ve definitely noticed that as well. Once it seemed like a Toronto problem, but you can see it across the board, even reaching up toward the Muskokas! Slowing that down is going to be crucial over time.
Speaking of the trees you mentioned, some of my personal favourites among your work are when you capture them standing alone against the sky. That’s such a characteristically rural image, with strong associations of home and melancholy for a lot of people. And I feel like your heavy, distinctive swathes of paint are the perfect method for it! How did you develop that unique method of painting? Were there any influences that pointed you in that direction?
I have always been interested in thick paint.  Whenever I visit a gallery, I inevitably end up spending the most time in front of paintings that are ‘thick.’  When I was in university, I was lucky enough to go to New York with some of my friends.  There was a large exhibit of Lucian Freud works. I loved how thick and expressive they were.  I am also influenced by how loose and expressive works like Monet’s lily pads are.  It was a special opportunity to be able to stand in front of them during my visit to New York.
I feel that there is a parallel between myself and the lone trees that I paint.  I am similar to the solitary trees when I am alone painting in my studio.  I enjoy this solitude and find it peaceful.

“Cold Front”

Another aspect of your painting and one that’s made especially interesting by your technique is the way your big skies aren’t just a backdrop to your pieces, but performers in their own right. They’ve got rich textures and an uncharacteristic sense of depth. I’d love to hear about how you imagine the dynamic between foreground and background in your work, and if it’s a challenge to bring out so much liveliness in the sky, something that so many artists relegate to a place of secondary importance.
When a storm rolls in, and you get to witness it while out in the countryside, it stirs something inside of you.  Excitement, danger, beauty and drama.  I love trying to convey that energy and excitement in my skies.

I gather that you tend to work from photographs when you’re painting scenes from southwestern Ontario, but I also know you’ve got a cabin in the Kawarthas where you and the family like to spend some time. That must be a great platform for getting closer to the natural landscape, and for a change of tone. How does your artistic practice differ when you’re up at the cabin? What’s that experience like as a change of pace?
Spending time in the Kawarthas has changed me and my work. Having a place to go has been fantastic.  Since I work from home, sometimes it feels like I am always at work, so it’s simply nice to get away.  The drive north offers me the opportunity to observe nature and the changes that take place in the fields and trees across all four seasons.
Spending more time on the water has been wonderful.  I think about the lake a lot and the beauty around it.  There are times when the sun shines just so on the lake and surrounding islands that it feels awe-inspiring.  The open skies around that lake also offer dramatic views.  Whether it’s a summer sunset or storm clouds rolling in, the image is often breathtaking.
I do work from photos, and I’m now taking many at the lake. It took me a little while before I started to paint images from the KawarthasI was getting to know it.  The landscape there now feels like it’s a part of me and my life, which allows me to recreate it on canvas.

“Sister Sunset”

Speaking of being up at the cabin, what’s your favourite thing to do when you’re out in nature? What kind of environment do you find most fulfilling or inspiring?
It would be difficult for me to find anything better in life than paddling a canoe on a warm, calm day with my family.  The peacefulness of being on the water and the soothing sound of the paddles propelling us forward gives me great joy.

And last but not least, what’s something interesting that we might not know about you?
I love fishing. Whether it’s fishing from the boat during the summer or drilling a hole in the ice during the winter, I enjoy being outdoors.  The added thrill of catching a beautiful bass or a giant muskie makes it that much more enjoyable.

So that’s David Grieve! We love gazing into his large-scale canvasses and getting lost in those bands of colour.
Check back soon for our next Off-Season Artists! 

 


Algonquin Art Centre - Gallery in the Heart of Algonquin Park

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located at km 20 on Hwy #60

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