Material Vibrations, recent paintings and drawings

 

    I began this work after spending time on rural meditation retreats, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where I learned to observe simple things in the moment, like the touch of the breath, or the feeling of my feet on the floorboards. Engaging in this type of practice opened me up to a world of sensations inside the body which I hadn’t noticed before, and when I returned to my Montreal studio, I explored ways to represent these experiences through painting.

   After a series of experiments, I arrived at drawing vertical and horizontal lines on white primed linens, which reminded me of sitting upright and cross-legged on the floor. Within this grid-like structure I would then paint solid areas of oil colour, inspired by the feeling tones I was perceiving in the moment. For example, I might express a feeling of warmth and heaviness with a dark red ochre, or a feeling of coolness and lightness with a blue-green or light yellow.

  I then developed each composition over the course of several weeks or months by adding thin layers of semi-transparent paint over individual sections of colour, modifying the tones to enhance the colour interactions and create a sense of movement within the work. I also played with visual phenomena such as after-images and simultaneous contrast. For me, the life of the colour came to represent the life of the mind—animated by thoughts, feelings and visual sensations—which in turn facilitated a heightened interrelation between being and painting.

   More recently I have been experimenting with acrylic, collage and drawing to explore more organic line work, surface textures and the potential for symbolic narratives. For example, in “A Method of Investigating the Soul” (2022), I started to cut up and place roughly painted scraps of raw linen and discarded drawings onto my abstract compositions, which led to the emergence of diamond-shaped imagery in an atmospheric lighting. I see my subject matter continuing to evolve in this personal and poetic direction, with these latest ideas and forms suggesting new ways to represent the ever-changing nature of life.