Curtain Wall

This piece started out as a warm-up exercise for the class on landscape painting I just wrapped up at the Elora Centre for the Arts. I printed off 15 copies of the reference photo and handed them out without giving much thought to what the image meant, until I started to paint it myself and thought the trees and wall together formed a kind of frontier zone.

The scene is a carefully selected detail from a ravine. Shaggy trees and shrubbery bump up against an artificial concrete buttress. Grafitti spills out from the walls onto the tree trunks. Branches look like they have been snapped by kids up to no good. It's a mash-up, in other words, of human culture and nature, a breaking down of that very dichotomy.

Meanwhile, the colours - bright, artificial, exaggerated - bring an expressionist, almost punk mood to the setting. They break down its everydayness and provoke, as the expressionists and punks did, a sense of spiritual authenticity, a challenge to be real.

Then again someone did ask me the other day what I was smoking, so maybe all this is just ridiculous.

36" x 36"
Mixed media on panel