I have formed strong relationships with plants and landscapes and I paint the things that I know. These landscapes have been what I take solace in and what I have the most experience with. This is a cornerstone of my artistic foundation, particularly as a self-taught artist.
You made the heavens, the highest heavens, and all their host, the earth and everything upon it, the seas and everything in them. You keep them all alive.Nehemiah 9:6, Tanakh, JPS, 1985
For me, developing artistic ability has meant learning to see and relate to art differently. As I begin to learn something new, I attend to different things, I find that I enjoy different art, and I uncover new aspects of myself and the world. Experiments in making brushes, pigments, papers, and equipment forever changes what I look at when I encounter these things. I like to enjoy the art I make, but even when I don’t, I feel like I’m becoming part of the world in a new way, the physical, natural world, but also the spiritual, aesthetic, and emotional world.
I recognize the privilege of working in unceded Salish territories in Kelowna, Chilliwack, and Vancouver, to which Indigenous Peoples hold unextinguished rights and title. In trying to portray the beauty of nature, I feel the tension between the transcendental significance of land beyond the human on the one hand, and the risk of encouraging a view of nature as blank and colonizable on the other. I try to balance a reassuring beauty of well-known places with critical political and primordial undertones that frame the beautiful as a connection between what we appreciate aesthetically and what we prefer to be willfully ignorant of. I like to convey a feeling of nature looking at us but not being recognized. The folk-art aspect of my work plays into this tension. Sources I have found helpful for my own reflection are Marker, 2006; Spence, 1996; Furniss, 1997; Rotz, 2017; and Donald, 2009, which can be found below.
Straight photography, Ukrainian & Russian impressionism, philosophical realism and phenomenology, Liberal Anabaptist Christian world-view, philosophical Taoism, Chinese ink wash painting.
Chien Chung Wei (Taiwan), Алексей Савченко / Aleksey Savchenko (Russia), Atanas Matsoureff (Bulgaria), Бато Дугаржапова / Bato Dugarzhapov (Russia), Dmitriy Permiakov (Russia), Данчев Сергей / Danchev Sergey (Kazakhstan then Russia, 1981-), Denys Gorodnychyi (Ukraine), Amit Gautam (India), Сосунов Дмитрий / Sosunov Dmitry (Russia), Bhupinder Singh (India then Canada), Сергей Темерев / Sergey Temerev (Russia), Stanislaw Zoladz (Poland then Sweden, 1952-), Dean Mitchell (USA), Eric Merrell (USA), Victor Goertz (Canada), Геннадий Исаев / Gena Isaeff (Russia), Исаа́к Ильи́ч Левита́н / Isaac Ilyich Levitan (Russia, 1860-1900), Andrew Wyeth (USA, 1917-2009), Gordon A. Smith (England then Canada, 1919-2020), Mark Carder (USA), Harry Stooshinoff (Canada), Edward Weston (USA), Paul Strand (USA), Georgia O’Keefe (USA), Emily Carr (Canada), Sam Rocha (Canada), 홍성일 / Hong Seongil (Korea), Josef Schmidt (Canada), Anson Vogt (Canada).
I carefully research and select materials and know a certain amount about the industry and sustainability of paint and paper. I try to reduce waste produced by painting. I don’t put wash-water down the drain, I minimize rags used, and avoid lead, cadmium, and cobalt. At times I experiment with locally and responsibly producing pigments, binders, paper fibers, and brush hairs, but this remains aspirational as I balance the relative footprints and relationalities of commercial and local products.
I strive to use long-lasting archival materials. I use very light-fast and permanent pigments. I use acid-free cotton or acid-free buffered alpha-cellulose papers, and for mounting, acid-free, lignin-free, and buffered conservation mats and acid-free backing and tape. I use acrylic gesso under oils. Please inquire for exceptions and details about specific works and for care instructions see this handout. Conversely, I consider the need for longevity against the objective of sustainability. I generally aim toward longevity without toxicity, whereas for commissions I can tailor materials for a particular lifespan.
Clegg, D. J., & Marker, M. (2021). The metaphysics of counselling history on colonized land. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 55(2), 232–257. https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v55i2.71141
Clegg, D. J. (2020). A decolonial critique of metaphysics in counselling psychology education [University of British Columbia]. https://doi.org/10.14288/1.0392917
Donald, D., T. (2009). Forts, curriculum, and Indigenous métissage: Imagining decolonization of Aboriginal-Canadian relations in educational contexts. First Nations Perspectives, 2(1), 1–24. https://www.semanticscholar.org/…
Furniss, E. (1997). Pioneers, progress, and the myth of the frontier: The landscape of public history in rural British Columbia. BC Studies, 115/116, 7–44. https://doi.org/10.14288/bcs.v0i115/6.1721
Marker, M. (2006). After the Makah whale hunt: Indigenous Knowledge and limits to multicultural discourse. Urban Education, 41(5), 482–505. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085906291923
Rotz, S. (2017). ‘They took our beads, it was a fair trade, get over it’: Settler colonial logics, racial hierarchies and material dominance in Canadian agriculture. Geoforum, 82, 158–169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.04.010
Spence, M. D. (1996). Crown of the continent, backbone of the world: The American wilderness ideal and Blackfeet exclusion from Glacier National Park. Environmental History, 1(3), 29–49. https://doi.org/10.2307/3985155