Art Blog 1_First talk about my work_ November 13, 2014

Hello !

Here begins my first attempt to write a blog … I hope there are those out there who will enjoy reading and respond with their thoughts.

A little background first perhaps:
I began working as a visual artist and professional printmaker for artists in the 1980’s.  My partner and I worked in two printmaking studios prior to establishing our own studio called Atelier GF in 1991 in downtown Toronto.  We printed fine art prints in etching, silkscreen and relief until 2014.

My art practice combines a variety of printmaking techniques with drawing, collage, textured layers and paper-cuts to develop unique panels. I use visual imagery to reflect my response to the changing nature of Canadian identity. I think that the contrasts that arise from combining traditional and contemporary imagery stimulate awareness and  knowledge that benefits everyone.

My work is process driven. I respond to the dynamic organic environment of Northern Ontario in the Boreal Zone through layers of prints, drawings, texture and collage. Once this  environment is sufficiently recreated and energetic, I then situate figures or elements within it. What drew me to make the combination is the question of identity albeit Canadian. Those viewing will interpret what they see uniquely because they too have their own reservoir of visual memory. They will have their own answers and more questions too.

This brings me to Boreal Imprint 3 which you see here.

It is a 24″ x 24″  mixed media canvas panel from  2011.

The photograph does not show clearly the layered semi- relief character of the image so I will describe the image development briefly.

The canvas was first painted a dark terra cotta  then covered in a layer of prints of my drawings done on Japanese hand made paper or washi. This paper becomes translucent once glued to the surface so I used at least three layers of washi prints to begin some sort of design. I cover the surface again with a texture made of sand and medium. This allows me to draw on top with oil pastels, chalk or paint.I probably repeated these steps at least once. I would have been trying to see what to do next. Finally I started drawing into a layer of the sand/medium texture. You see the whitish shapes that look vaguely shell-like set in a rough grid across the panel. At this point there seemed to be an environment ready for something to inhabit it so to speak. You see several paper-cuts in different colours, a washi print of a drawing of a hand made basket and a drawing of a hunter standing on a dead seal carcass. Putting all this together took some time but the combination is very satisfactory to me. Why is still a question on my mind ????

I think that I have said enough for the moment.

I welcome your comments,

Susan

www.susanfarquhar.ca

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