The earth lets me breathe: paintings

An exhibition in two locations.

Bluerock Gallery, 110 Centre Ave W, Black Diamond, November 21-December 5, 2015. Opening Saturday Nov 21, 4-7 pm

Rouge Restaurant, 1240 8 Ave SE, Calgary, through January 2016

Coulees“; oil, wax, conte and acrylic on panel, 36×48”


Ever crested a hill, rounded a corner, to find yourself holding your breath: caught small against the wind, lost in a tangle of branches or exposed against the curve of the earth, vulnerable in sudden relationship to an experience, however brief, that forever changes you? It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does…oh.

As long as I have been painting, my work has explored the human experience of the natural world. We humans aren’t static creatures. We wander. We catch glimpses of things from the corners of our eyes. We learn to know a place over time. We bring our beliefs, and our moods; we hear, smell, taste and feel. We bend our internal maps to reflect our singular engagement with our environment. We bend them further each time we revisit our memories. And when we are open, the land bends us.

“Sky #25, Community Association no. 2“, oil and wax on canvas, 12×12”


These oil and cold wax/mixed media paintings are each evocative of a specific location, at a specific time, in a specific circumstance. Some of them are small studies, landscape or still life, and descriptive: there is enormous value in working from observation, in exploring brushstroke and colour and composition within the limits imposed by what is before me. Others use formal elements to explore my personal connection to the space, to the weather, to the experiences that inspired them. Memory guides my hand, marking the shapes of the land, the trees, and the sky, drawing a line between what is and what was, what I saw and who I became. Oil and cold wax lends itself to layering, to preserving the tracks of my brushstroke, to being drawn or carved through, to creating surfaces that may be reminiscent of natural textures but sometimes…sometimes: look, look what this paint can do, look what it can shape itself into. Look at the beauty my brush finds when I consider all that my senses collect.

“Sky #12,Roadside, Kelvington”, oil and wax on conte, 30×30″


Look. Look what happens when I open myself to the sky that humbles me, to the wind that carries the scent of home, to the land that rolls to a far horizon, to the earth that lets me breathe.