I presently have a piece hanging at the Penticton Art Gallery along with a wonderful variety of work by other local artists. The intention of this exhibition is to highlight the immigrant experience. Each artist was paired with a new immigrant individual or family. I was introduced to Martine and Michal from Slovakia and after hearing their story I gave some time to consider some ideas before beginning.
I decided to look to their future, a young couple moving from a small mature country steeped in culture and history to a massive adolescent country full of opportunities and uncertainties.
I chose a 48X88" substrate which replicates the aspect ratio of the Canadian flag.
I titled this painting "This Majestic and Fragile Land". The moose is a metaphor for all that is grand and majestic in this country. In my plein air work I have come across these beasts in the field and they felt like good representatives for the scale of this place. I placed my couple comfortably relaxed in their new home. The butterflies stand in for all the threatened and vulnerable species and ecosystems that we all are responsible to coexist with.
This gives you a sense of the scale of the piece. I painted oils on cradled hardboard. The forest was underpainted with red oxide and then glazed with viridian green. I think that turned out nicely.
So to Martine and Michal I say "Welcome Home!"
"Welcome/Home" the exhibition runs until Mar 15 at the Penticton Art Gallery.