I spent the first years of my life in the Maritime city of Halifax. Since then, I have resided in a succession of cities: Moncton, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. My travels have led me to discover many places. Madrid, New York and Louisiana have been significant in my life and work. The east coast however, has always remained a place to return to, either in person or in thought.
In Montreal, my university studies brought me in close contact with the modernist aesthetics of the painters John Fox and Guido Molinari. Both were formidable colourists. Today, working with colour continues to trouble and excite me. Montreal became and remained the home base of my art practice.
In the Natural History works of the 1990s, science provided unexpected contexts to engage the imagination. This series brought together an eclectic array of animals, plants, animate and inanimate forms in a way that transgressed conventional boundaries of figuration and abstraction. During this period I shifted my focus from oil to acrylic painting, At the same time, my evolving understanding of the painting process was teaching me how an image needed to be reborn through the process of experimentation.
Since 2008, I have been working on the Oil Rig Paintings, a series of abstracted ocean scapes. Featuring offshore drilling platforms, they evoke both southern and northern places half lived, half conjured. Many of these images depict an offshore “blow-out”, the fiery discharge that rises through layers of waves, smoke, fog and clouds.
In these paintings culture and nature hold together in a tenuous balance. Emotion tinged recollections of sites observed and imagined, are layered one over the other. Abstraction and figuration, ideas and materials, overlap. accumulate and intermingle. In these maritime colour fields the sea is a strong metaphor of power and a fragile reality.