INDUSTRY is about the urban landscapes in Hamilton, about colour, and about a rich, visual experience of mills and chimneys.
Industrial Hamilton is endlessly interesting to me. I have studied it from every accessible viewpoint; the shapes and angles of its buildings, towers and chutes, the flares and clouds of smoke and steam, cranes and slag piles. I’ve observed its structures up close and its reflections and silhouettes from Eastport Drive and from parks and side streets across the harbour in Burlington.
Driving into the city you cannot miss the hulking, belching shapes of steel mills across the water. At night, darkness hides the grit. Everything is transformed into something different and more compelling. These paintings were inspired by that altered perception.
Eventually, the structures and their settings dissolved into shapes and patterns, of light and dark, and colour. J.M.W. Turner once said that “nothing is ugly or beautiful but that light makes it so.” I agree, and will take the liberty of adding colour to the thought.
The colours in these works happened organically. Strong shapes called for saturated colours.
Oil pastels are available in dozens of colours. However, it’s always necessary to create new colours. I do this by scribble-hatching one or more hues together. This juxtaposition optically produces new hues, similar to the way colours are blended in weaving and embroidery.
While I know what my core subject is about, I am not always sure from the beginning how a painting will look at completion, or even what palette will dominate. This shows up in a kind of dialogue amongst the shapes, my lines and the colours, like a call and response, that goes on until the image has emerged.