The works by Shane Norrie and Jamie Jardine, currently on show at the Westland Gallery in Wortley Village, have a common theme in the Canadian landscape. Each artist approaches the forest, lake and sky on their own terms and in their own manner. Each applies the paint in a way that creates an atmosphere that is very different but equally as skilled in execution.
Norrie uses a more stylized approach in his acrylic panels. At a distance, the reality of the trees and undergrowth are there, but on closer inspection, the subtlety of his abstraction becomes apparent. In ‘Wildwood Forest’ for instance, the web of branches creates an intricate sense of movement through the composition. Texture is added by the thick application of brilliant foreground colours which are almost smeared across the panel giving them movement and energy.
“The surface of Norrie’s panels are activated with heavy brush strokes and carved lines reminding us of the artists background in three-dimensional work,” states Danielle Hoevenaars, Associate Director at the gallery. Norrie works in ceramic as well as paint. In ’Woods Song #1’ and’ Wood Song #2, the trees sway and dance with a tempo and rhythm echoed once again in the thicker strokes of the underbrush in the foreground .The song of the wind in the trees is within our hearing.
Jamie Jardine takes a very different approach to his work. Predominantly using a composition focusing on an immense area of sky, he creates a sense of atmosphere that can be calm, but is often turbulent and foreboding. The oil, 'Untitled Sky’, reveals a hillock of trees that are overshadowed by a sky not yet in full storm…a sky still and more tranquil than in ‘Untitled #1'. Here, the turquoises and blues begin to emit an energy all their own as the clouds stretch across the canvas to meet one another. The canvas, entitled ’Cloud’, allows us a glimpse of the honey yellows of a thunderhead lit by the sun shining through an opening in the cloud cover. The brush strokes remain bold and dramatic in all. The use of colours to create the feeling of light stands out in its expertise.
“Looking at these paintings you can imagine the artists exploring landscapes right here in Ontario. Carefully looking and gathering information on form, composition, texture and light," summarizes Hoevenaars. The information that each artist has gathered is displayed in each of their works in their own unique way. Similar in subject; different in interpretation and effect, yet creating a lovely integration of artworks on view in this show until May 28th.
Cheryl Jennings is a local artist, freelance writer and retired high school teacher.