Our Industrial Landscape
Our Industrial Landscape.
Or, fondly, a return to Courtenay Bay.
This is the newest collection of work on exhibition at the gallery. I have been spending the last two years on sidewalks and alleys looking at window reflections, brick walls and fire escapes. Grey days and early nights this fall called for a brief return to Courtenay Bay and the Saint John harbour. Followers of my work will recall that tankers and cranes and container ships feature(d) prominently. An industrial oasis of strong reds and harsh lines. A Courtenay Bay art sabbatical.
I'm being (mostly) facetious, but in truth, Courtenay Bay is a reassuringly familiar subject. I know what and how I want to say about this landscape - I rely heavily on mixed media materials to convey a sense of organic roughness to the place, contrasting that with the rapidity and harshness of industrial (inorganic) elements. I apply ridges and strips of unbleached cotton to the canvas surface before I begin the actual painting. There is a rough concept before I begin that step, but much of the final image is dictated by the placement of the cotton material. I prefer a dark grey background - I sketch and photograph mostly on overcast or rainy days - as I like the contrast it creates with the white and red (or blue or orange) of the tankers.