Feb 8, 2016 – Feb 27, 2016
Opening Reception Monday Feb 8, 7-9 pm
Photography is about light, how light shapes our perceptions. As poetry is about hearing and cadence so photography is about looking and seeing. Seeing beyond the obvious; finding something to ‘see’ wherever you are, whatever the circumstances. It encourages me to look, to see more, to be more observant, to train my eye, to consider possibilities.. A camera is a tool to record such observations, however I can frame any scene with my fingers and many remarkable ones exist only in my memory. It is vision not equipment that is crucial.
I came to Canada and shortly thereafter bought a 35mm camera and used any cheap film I could find. Perhaps fortunately the film degraded and the emulsion separated, whereas Kodak film from that era remains in first class condition.
About 1992 I was given a Cannon eos SLR and started taking pictures after a 20-30 year hiatus. Soon after a friend encouraged me to enrol in a correspondence course run by the Open College of the Arts in the U.K.. I had an amazing tutor, he was encouraging, had a lovely sense of humour and when I was in crisis both arranged a leave of absence and after a year twisted my arm to continue and finish the course.
I really enjoy the interaction with other photographers when on a course. It continues to interest me and astonish me how a group can spend the day together and yet how incredibly diverse are the images produced. Were there a camera club in town this would be one of the very real bonuses , to enjoy how others view their world using this medium.
Having only recently made the transition from film to digital my ingrained way of working is to “get it right ” in the camera. Thus I do very little post production computer processing on my images. However I am paranoid about level horizons, living on the bank of the Ottawa river, essentially a lake in Deep River, makes one acutely aware it flows neither up nor down hill.
Basically I paint for my own amusement and relaxation and as a record of places I have visited. I find painting makes me “slow down” and “observe” the scenery around me and savour its beauty. I find it a challenge to adapt my palate from the greys and greens of the Precambrian shield country where we live to the reds of the New Mexican and Australian deserts.
My great-grandfather was a notable animal painter and his daughter, my grandmother, studied art and specialized in painting birds. Her husband, my grandfather, made his living as a young man sketching in pen and ink for the Bradford Telegraph and Argus in the days before press photography. My mother was an art student and teacher in Huddersfield and a wonderful potter in a 1930’s style so it seems that I have been blessed with some artistic genes. I was always sketching war scenes as a boy and continued doing pencil sketches of barns, boats and churches during my student years. This ceased because of the activities of family life until 1995 when Maureen, my wife, bought me a watercolour set. Since then I have painted more or less continuously taking my paints wherever I travelled. Elizabeth and I have journeyed widely in Canada and the United States, France and Australia and Elizabeth has busied herself photographing while I was painting so it worked out well. Early on I took lessons from Warren Thurston and have attended painting courses when they were available and now I enjoy being mentored by Olga Nazarkina in Deep River. I began the practice of giving my long suffering daughters a painting each at Christmas around 2000 and then extended this to an animal painting for each of my grand-children.