Quarry, Winter Solstice

Quarry_excert003

 

 

Quarry, Winter Solstice
Xwaaqw’um XVII
oil on birch panel, 40″ x 72″

Having already incorporated the quarry as one element (and always from afar) in several paintings, I wanted to do a larger work, focusing solely on the quarry as a subject in and of itself. Its shapes, and the mix of the natural and the man-made, intrigue me, as the little firs establishing themselves along the rock shelves are virtually the only element not shaped by man.

I began with dozens of large plein air sketches on December 21st, bundled up against the chill, and glad of the thin sunlight that fingered its way in to where I stood. The idea of painting a triptych came the next day, as I began sorting and organising all the information on my studio floor.

As an artist who is always seeking abstract forms in the landscape, I found the quarry to be a particularly enjoyable subject to paint. Though I kept closely to the actual shapes of the cut rocks (as anyone familiar with the place can see), due to their innately abstract quality, I was able to get out my biggest knives, and apply a lot of texture while really letting loose with the paint.

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