At the centre of my landscape painting is my relationship with the stream and the intimate environment that surrounds it. Winter, spring, summer and fall, I have worked for decades alongside the stream that rambles past my woodland studio in Vermont. In the months reliably shrouded by snowfall (late fall, winter and spring) I work closer to my Montreal home, retreating whenever possible, outward to the woods and waterways that abound across the Quebec landscape.
At times I work close to the ground, ankle-deep in water, to convey the abstract privacy and intricacy of these natural spaces. At other times my gaze is drawn to the distance, tracking the riverine vistas: shadows traced across the snow, pointers to the inevitability of change.
Perhaps it is the prevailing whiteness of the Quebec landscape that makes working on TerraSkin feel so familiar, so right. I have worked four years now on this stone-based paper. It’s nature: it’s pliant, semi-opaque grit, the natural white of its ground, fills the room with light, easily playing the role of snow, water, or earth: not negative space at all, but rather, a space for reflection and possibility.
I have chosen to work with multiples. My landscapes, sketched in quick sequences, create natural grids of time and space. More recently, my works created on a scroll-format allow me to pull these fragments of space together: individual steps, forming a path.
The flexibility of TerraSkin—it’s ability to act as paper or canvas—allows me to temper my stylistic vocabulary to my mood or the seasonal density of my subject matter - alternating at will between the solid volumes and painterly chiaroscuro of European oils, and the more delicate, open aesthetic of Asian water colours.
My restless brushes find release in the description of the land and water, it’s movement unstoppable and unexpected, it’s colours never simple. Nature’s lines, uncurbed by human intent, mitigate the unrelenting intentionality of social interaction. The woodlands allow me to slow my own thoughts, let down my guard, and find what is valuable in my existence, in all existence. This, is what I hope to communicate, what I aim to give to my audience.