Port Burwell

Many artists are most rigid in the way that they work. Following a consistent path to the production of a painting feels secure to these people. I, however, vary greatly in the way that I develop a painting. This piece was produced half in my car on site, with the balance executed in my studio. This mixed-media piece involved India ink on matboard administered by fountain brush and pen—the in car bit—and then tinted with acrylic later on.

I was attracted by the mess of nautical gear in combination with the lighthouse. My late aunt always thought that artists painted unattractive subjects, as she saw them, as a way of showing just how different and arty they were.

My first exposure to subjects that are not pretty was in my first year of art college where we were sent into the grotty alleys of downtown Toronto to develop our appreciation for subjects that are not picturesque and to learn to see interest in these subjects.

Over the years I have painted subjects such as work boots, bailing wire, car motors, mud puddles and butcher-blocks. Bits of dirty beach as well as rotting stumps have posed for me. Sometimes these nasty bits and pieces are pictured on their own but more frequently become part of a larger piece.