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"Common Ground" (exhibit with Daniel Pigeon at the Niagara Pumphouse)

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Daniel Pigeon and I are thrilled to be exhibiting at the Pumphouse this month. “Common Ground” features new work, each in our own respective styles, focusing on the beauty of Niagara landscapes.

“Common Ground” arose from an admiration for the Niagara region, an area that glows with hot summer days that are cooled by the lake breeze, and that brims with lush fields and sparkling rivers. In this exhibit, Daniel and I have portrayed various Niagara landscapes using our own individual styles. Whether the subject is a shadow cast across a wheat field or the swirl of a river’s eddy, we are searching for the basic patterns, colours, and shapes which emerge from the land.

Whether an artist is an abstract or a representational painter, painting is all about light, the subject that makes the art of Rembrandt, Turner, and Letendre so compelling. To omit all details from a landscape, one is left with the essential; the essence of light.

The light that sprawls across Niagara is unique. Though our treatments differ, we share a deep awe and respect for light. Though Dan finds gloomy and foggy winter days to be especially moving, the aspect he admires most about light is its ability to obscure a landscape in any season. He associates light with the human experience of contemplation, an energy that permeates all aspects of human life. I, on the other hand, admires light’s ability to create a full range of values, temperatures and levels of intensity, and is particularly drawn to strongly lit scenes such as the glow of the sun dropping behind a dark tree line.

The Process

For this exhibit, we began by making a small sketch of the scene in order to capture its essence. As we moved from sketch to finished piece, the sketch served as a reminder of our initial impression of the scene, and helped us to resist overworking so as to let the nature and textures of the land — and the trees, sky, clouds and water — to come through.

The initial image, sketch, and larger piece are exhibited together to allow the viewer to see the stages of our respective creative processes.