Opening reception with artist in attendance May 11th 6PM - 8PM
May 12 - June 3, 2023
When paper is made, the fibres in the pulp align, side by side, like logs floating down a river. Torn lengthwise, or with the grain, paper tears nearly straight. Against the grain, it wants to tear in any direction but straight. Lightningwise, as I decided to call it. The torn edge, the uncontrolled line, adds an element of chance, which can help bring a painting to life, a lesson I took away from a workshop with painter Norman Yates many years ago. This jagged line was the starting point for the Lightningwise series. I wanted to create dynamic, electrically charged, high-contrast compositions that would zip your view around the canvas, as if tracing a bolt of lightning with the eye.
Although it might seem obvious, as a painter, I see myself as a colourist. The paintings are influenced by the landscape around me, but the shapes of mountains, water and sky are essentially containers for colour. This series represents an exercise in balancing these shapes, in terms of hue, contrast and composition to create scenes that are both stimulating and harmonious. I love to be surprised by colour, in real life and in art. My painting practice is an ongoing dialogue with myself: I set a goal, try to meet the goal, and then I look at ways to change the goal that will challenge me to become a better painter, to create something new.
Through all the iterations of my work, landscape has remained at the core. There is so much in terms of visual information – such as the specific geographical details, how light strikes, the view depending on my perspective, the quality of the atmosphere, the time of day, and the reflections of the lives lived there. As a foil to natural landscape elements, I like to include evidence of human presence, be it a pile of logs, unidentified shapes beneath tarps, or roughly stacked stones.
The last few summers have been spent exploring BC’s coast by boat, documenting the views and especially the small outposts where people make their marks with their docks, shops, floating homes, and all their assorted piles. I enjoy the mysteries of these places. What makes people desire such isolation? Who lives there? What’s under the tarp?
-Meghan Hildebrand, 2023