September 22 2016
Last week I had the most amazing time camping in Bon Echo Provincial Park and Achray Campground, in Algonquin Park. These location are where Tom Thomson and several of the Group of Seven discovered the inspiration for many of their greatest paintings and the views were unforgettable!
Why did I spend time in some of these treasured Canadian landscapes?
I ventured out to create a completely new body of work in response to an invitation by Angela Plesa for an upcoming show, Painting with the Past 2017 .Many ideas floated through my mind as to how I can combine my art and this theme of Painting with the Past. Though my practice is very eclectic, consisting of painting, printmaking, textile and installation I struggled with a connection. The future show was always on my mind, with ideas and thoughts spinning around my head.
In the spring of this year I participated in a painting course lead by Scott Sawtell. One component of the course was an introduction to En Plein Air painting. En Plein Air is painting and sketching outside, in any area and any weather. For the artist it is a lovely connection with their surroundings. Although I have always enjoyed the outdoors, while painting En Plein Air I fell in love with the serenity, the communication with nature, and the enjoyment of expressing the immediate visual experience. When the course was complete I continued working En Plein Air in various locations. I was hooked.
This year I also began to create a new body of work which utilizes a unique method for photographing landscape. Quickly turning my camera as I snap a photograph I capture digital images that are blurred and swirled, which transforms the landscape into a new visual interpretation. I use these twirled digital images as reference to create vivid and startling “spin” paintings.
As I worked on both methods of creating I realized how interesting it would be if I could combine the En Plein Air and the “spin” paintings for my exploration of Painting with the Past. I decided to paint En Plein Air and photograph using my “spin” formula from vistas where some of Canada’s most well known artists worked from, bringing a rich history to this new body of work. I believe when doing Canadian landscape who better to follow than the traditional Group of Seven. The excitement of this new investigation compelled me to venture out camping, hiking and canoeing, a sojourn to these most breathtaking and iconic sights.
This blog will cover my progress and adventure in finding and painting from various places that were once visited by great Canadian artists. I hope you follow along.
February 10 2017
Here are two quick little videos of one of the paintings I am working on for Painting with the Past. The reference photo I am working from was taken on my trip to Bon Echo this past summer. It was an inspiring experience, from the petroglyphs found on the cliff face to the serene canoe trip at sunset. However the painting does not seem encompass a calm, reflective scene.
February 28 2017
I have completed my painting Around Bon Echo !
Here is a little video of the entire process, start to finish…but really, a lot of the work had been skipped. There are multiple layers to create these paintings. Though it was fun to video working on this painting, I found it a little intrusive. If you want to can follow the work of my next Painting with the Past piece on Instagram at joanne.lomas .