Artist Statement

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I Paint to Belong

I am an explorer, and the urban skyline is my pristine wilderness.

Growing up, my family followed my engineer father around the world; my palette is greatly influenced by the South American art I first saw living in Bolivia. Vivid, brightly coloured landscapes hung at home and provide my earliest artistic memories.

Moving 23 times by age 17, I was always “the new kid.” To feel at home, I explored my surroundings, hoping that if I knew your home like the back of my hand, you’d accept me as one of your own.

Now I live in Montreal, and I know it well; I ride the Metro downtown daily and stroll Montreal’s streets, famous streets like Ste-Catherine, Peel and de Maisonneuve and obscure back alleys. But I grow restless, aching to see new skylines. I travel to distant cities, eager to explore, seeking that combination of inspiration, elements and light I will transform into a timeless symbol of the sense of belonging I feel.

We connect when you too feel that, “I know this place, I’ve been here” spark. I eliminate human artefacts; traffic, crowds and signs all disappear, making space for you to finish the story, to rebuild your memories or explore your dreams.

2014_Duane-Gordon_Bronzed-Windows_WebCityscapes seduce me with light that reflects, traverses or refracts about geometric forms, creating an endless kaleidoscope. Urban spaces inspire me; this is the environment most of humanity has created for ourselves. Cities offer endless visual stimuli. The structural beauty of the lines and shapes of the buildings combine with vibrant colours to create exciting compositions.

I draw with pencil, for only pencil perfectly captures line and value in portraying my urban compositions. I paint with oils, for oil alone has the transparent quality that shifts painted light and shadow as if the sun continues to move across the substitute sky. In his last days, my grandfather could no longer rise from his bed, but he thrilled to see my painting of his favourite landscape transform as the sun rose and set.

My deep passion for and years of experience drawing make composition intuitive and instantaneous, as I select my subjects for their inherent contrasts; rough stone and brick made smooth, structures cool to the touch on the hottest days, street “canyons” darker in daytime shadows than under night time neon and architectural styles of many generations stand shoulder to shoulder.

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