Because we are a Canadian-run publication and we admire those who continue to work with the arguably dated medium of paint, in the arguably dismal landscape of the Canadian art-world, we have decided to do a week-long feature on some of our favorite current Canadian painters, in no particular order. Stay tuned this week to see who we believe to be among the greatest established and emerging painters the Great White North has to offer!
Where did you grow up? What was the landscape like?
I grew up in Toronto, Bathurst and Bloor. That’s pretty downtown, so not much landscape. Mostly concrete.
Do you think being Canadian has had any impact on your work?
I’m sure that being Canadian has had some sort of effect on my work. Maybe in my general temperament. It’s hard to say and I don’t think about much really.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
I paint in oil on masonite pretty exclusively. I kind of stopped drawing or sketching years ago and focused just on painting. Now I suck at drawing, all my instincts are for paint and what paint does on the masonite. I cant even switch to canvass. (lately “Drawing” seems to be creeping into the paintings, so I guess I’m my own worst enemy.)
What themes do you work with, if any?
I don’t plan my paintings much further than the colours I start with, so I’m not consciously working with any themes. Years later I can recognize themes in the work. Pride, disgust, fear, love, escape, are all themes I guess.. or motivations, ha! Barf
Are you inspired by any Canadian painters?
I like a lot of Canadian painters, but these days I’m most inspired by Jay (Issac) Brad (Phillips) and Darby (Milbrath). They are all so committed to their work in such a personal way, I find it inspiring. They are so different from each other but they are all saying the same thing to me.
Is there any one painter who has influenced your work more than others?
Jay, if you mean in a concrete way- not like who’s my favorite painter from history. I don’t really keep a favorite.
Are you drawn to any particular historical art movement?
I’m drawn more to regions than movements, in painting, but they’re all made up. Lately I’ve been walking around thinking I like “Italian’ paintings and wanting my paintings to be more “Italian”, but I don’t know what that means and I don’t want to think about it anyway.
Do you consider your work to be political?
You know what? sometimes when I think about my work, I see some sociopolitical overtones and it kind of bums me out because they are in opposition to my sociopolitical beliefs.
What do you think is missing from the Canadian art scene?
I don’t know. Probably money
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