New Works 2017 and a new series for The Artist Project, a contemporary art fair in Toronto. The show runs from 23-26 February at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto. Here’s a preview. See what you see. See what you think.
Seeing Is Believing
They say ‘perception is reality’, but sometimes there can be more than one reality!
All art is a form of ‘trompe l’oeile’, a trick of the eye, an illusion. After all, a painting is just paint and canvas, a sculpture is just a piece of shaped stone – isn’t it? A painting is a provocation to use our imaginations to perceive a reality. We know a painting is not really a landscape, a sculpture is not really a human being. But our imaginations work hard to make it so. Our imaginations work to derive ‘meaning’, to tell a story of what we see. And what we see, we believe to be so.
Art is in the eye of the beholder, and in the beholder’s imagination too. With my non-objective paintings, I am playing a trick on you with my paints. I am suggesting a feeling, an idea, a thought and I’m leaving it up to you to step into another world,a world of perceived reality, a world made from your experiences and imagination, to see what you see.
Everyone is different. Everyone is unique and so you will see different things from other people and at different times you’ll see different things in the paintings too. That’s why I love non-objective art, making it and living with it. The paintings change, depending on where they are hung, depending on the light, time or day and my personal state of viewing.
I’ve done a new series of non-objective work for The Artist Project, a contemporary art fair in Toronto. The show runs from 23-26 February at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto. Here’s a preview. See what you see. See what you think.
I use music as my provocation to my ‘other’ worlds. The instrumental tones, the rhythms and keys, the sounds all suggest colour and shape to me. I paint what I hear. With this piece, I was listening to ‘Take Five’, composed by Paul Desmond and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for their 1959 album Time Out. I felt cool and composed. I’ve gone big this year with a couple of canvases. This one is 8 feet high x 4 feet wide; acrylic on canvas.
I live on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Geese, swans, ducks and waterfowl of all kinds spend their winter with me, or just a few days on their migration south. They gather and bob about amongst the ice floes, feeding and catching up on family news. 48 x 48 inches; acrylic on canvas.
I was listening to jazz trumpets for this one. Bright notes! 36 x 36 inches; acrylic on canvas.
‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’, by George and Ira Gershwin from 1937 was in my ears. I felt myself swinging and swaying on a dance floor. Here’s Fred Astaire singing to Ginger Rogers. 36 x 36 inches; acrylic on canvas.
‘Soulero’ by Kenny Burrell was on. A jazz piece with a strong beat. ‘Mauveine’, also known as aniline purple, was the first synthetic organic chemical dye, discovered in 1856, for dying silk. 36 x 36 inches; acrylic on canvas.
This year (2017) is The Artist’s Project’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate they have given the artists the theme of ‘Birthday’ to conjure with. Here’s my take on celebrations. 24 x 24 inches; acrylic on canvas.
This is another big one – landscape this time – 4ft x 8ft; acrylic on canvas. It’s a bit on the edge, hence the title.
I love Annie Lennox. Singing ‘I Put A Spell On You’, she charmed me. 48 x 48 inches; acrylic on canvas.
An Annie Lennox inspired me again with her version of ‘Summertime’, another Gershwin tune from Porgy and Bess. 48 x 48 inches; acrylic on canvas.
I was listening to Ronny Jordan’s ‘Brighter Day’, all dooby-doo jazzy, with a repeating bell, calling, promising… something. 48 x 48 inches; acrylic on canvas.
And finally… two pieces I’ve done on stone paper. Both are 28 x 38 inches; acrylic; framed.
I was thinking of windows, windows of opportunity, openings onto worlds of imagination.
And when I paint, that’s exactly what I’m doing!
Copyright 2017 Joanna McFarland