I live in a big city. But I grew up in a small community in the prairies. There is a wave of nostalgia that rushes over me when traveling along the highway back to my hometown. The familiar terrain is welcoming and friendly. I am overwhelmed by comfort and excitement. It is a sense of home.
I am not a traditional landscape artist. I experience a paradoxial attraction for both rural and urban scapes. I am stirred by the sharp, significant lines that construct both places. My quest is to find balance in the void of the solitude prairies and the visual complexity of the modern city.
I paint hard, crisp edges by masking off areas and adding smooth layers with a palette knife through control and precision. The diagonal lines intersect and overlap to create perspective and break open the flatness of the land into geometric planes of strong colour interactions.
By varying the size of lines and angles on the canvas, I can manipulate the space and accentuate the vastness of the area. My initial sources are photos taken while traveling through the prairies, but I deconstruct the image by instinctively selecting colours and lines to form a specific rhythm and light for each painting. The lines replicate the movement of a vehicle through the sprawl to expose an assortment of effects and conditions. The composition is layered and distorted to create contrast and the notion of seasons and time.
Through each painting, I feel more connected to who I am and my surroundings. These paintings are abstract landscapes. The process involves the opposition of strong, decisive marks to form a vaguely familiar location. I experience great anticipation to see and interpret ordinary places in a fresh, new context.
Photo by AJ Valadka www.valadka.com