My abstract work examines landscapes and cartography. I am influenced by the topography of remote landscapes juxtaposed with urban sprawl and the loss of open space. I capture the energy and tension between these two geographical areas using grids to evoke maps, satellite images and the charting of imaginary territories. I’m attracted to the grid form from my studies of 20th century art and architecture at McGill University. The grid patterns in my paintings, recall micro and macro observations of forms found in architecture – internal structures and facades – and patterns found in aerial views from rural to urban development. By using an aerial perspective in my work, I remove myself from the ground level and observe the imagery from an elevated view which becomes a form of escapism from urban life.
I work intuitively, painting lines across the surface using an average of fifteen layers per panel, scraping back and repainting until the desired patterns are achieved. My paintings are created with either acrylic based mixed media or encaustic* paint. I use professional artist quality materials such as Golden Acrylics, Liquitex, R&F and Kama encaustic paints. This medium offers unique textural and luminous possibilities and it also allows an artist to carve into the works like a sculpture.
* Encaustic is a painting medium comprised of a pigment or oil paint, damar resin and wax. Encaustic paint is applied hot to a firm surface such wood. Each layer is cooled and then heated with a heat gun to bind each layer creating a durable surface. Encaustic works are perhaps the most durable of paintings and have outlasted other paintings by thousands of years. Evidence of this can be seen by the Fayum mummy portraits in Greco-Roman Egypt that are over 2500 years old. Unlike other mediums, encaustic paintings are resistant to moisture, acid, and mould.