This summer, I’m participating once again in the instructors exhibitions with the Ottawa School of Art, both downtown and in Orléans. For 2017, I’ve selected two recent commissions. Whilst somewhat different in technique, I think they showcase the main themes running through my portrait work quite nicely: expressive brushwork and colour, capturing personality and a universal connection – perhaps a somewhat timeless quality too with influences, classic and modern.
At the downtown exhibition, I’m showing a portrait of George W. Leir (1918-2017). George was 97 years old when I met him. I painted him in oil on canvas, I added in blocks of colour, applying the medium thick from the tube, partially mixed, without added oil. I felt my way until passages emerged – blending experimentally and wiping/scraping down in places. It was a great honour to paint this great personality and I will remember George, proud and human, having an influence on my life.
Portrait of George W. Leir, Oil on canvas, 20″x16″
The exhibition runs from the 3rd of August to the 4th of September, 35 George St., Ottawa, K1N 8W5
The reception is Thursday 3rd August, from 5 to 8 pm.
For the Orléans exhibition I’m contributing a portrait of Astrid De Haan. For Astrid’s portrait, I initially worked up a number of studies from both life and my photo references. Most have a quieter feel – invariably though, that smile surfaced, resulting in this portrait. I started this painting in acrylic and achieved the effect I was looking for with the hair, blouse and background. The face itself was then rendered in oil with some layering and glazing. I hope to have captured Astrid’s engagement with life, perhaps despite it’s challenges.
Portrait of Astrid De Haan, Oil over Acrylic on canvas, 20″x16″
The exhibition runs from the 4th of August to the 16th of September at the Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd, Orléans, K1E 0A1
The reception is Thursday 24 August, from 7 to 9 pm.
France and I hope to see you!