March 24, 2017
Bold Colour and Strong Design: Bond, Irving and Sparacino

Bold use of colour, strong design and a love of the natural world are just a few of the uniting factors in our 2017 group show! Enjoy this insight from the artists themselves, ahead of the exhibition opening:

"I think it's fair to say we all have a love of the natural world" observes Jennifer Sparacino. The animal portraiture artist has followed her heart to create this latest series of distinctly Canadian wildlife, in her signature graphic style.

For both Rick Bond and Dana Irving, it is western Canadian landscape and its lifestyle which has captured their interest and provided inspiration for this show. Dana's works are striking, stylized landscapes, which she selected during her time hiking and biking in BC last summer. "I find it easy to paint and draw these places because I love them so much" she explains. Dana is expanding her palette by exploring the colours of glaciers, glacial lakes, sunsets and sunrises.

Rick employs a contemporary impressionist style for his loose, vibrant landscapes, which often also feature figures enjoying the lifestyle activities which Canada has to offer. The energy is palpable: "I like colour!” Rick exclaims; “I feel it exaggerates a natural energy that emanates from the landscape and the people that are in it.” Contemplation simmers in the back of his mind always, but when it comes to putting brush to canvas in his home studio, Rick likes an immediate start “so that the intuitive forces can kick in as soon as possible. Once I get going I like to paint quickly so that the painting does the talking - not me” he explains.

Jen also comments on the power of the bold colour in her works: “I have always felt comfortable with using colour in a bold way, even back in design school. I find it such a tangible way to communicate emotion and mood and I love the challenge of finding the right balance of brights and neutrals, cools and warms.” She notes a more judicious use of colour and refined use of shape and pattern in these new works. For Jen, each paint stroke in her strongly designed works is mindful. The effect: Jen’s animals are always captured with power and respect.

Dana’s paintings are also strongly designed, and to achieve her bold, clean colours her process is slow. As the only artist in the show choosing oil paints over acrylics, she will often have six or more paintings on the go as oil takes so long to dry. To finish each piece, her process is unique. “I achieve really bold colour by layering ‘glazes’ (pure pigment in oil), with very little white added” she explains. “This can only be done in the final stages of the painting, once the body is well established. It might take 4-6 passes over each piece to complete.” The resulting landscapes are awe-inspiring.

Each of the artists are looking forward to seeing their works displayed together, and enjoying the harmony between their personal approaches to bold colour. “Rick and Dana have found their unique voices and their confidence is palpable in each of their works” notes Jen. Similarly, Rick observes, “They (Jen and Dana) are both very talented artists with unique perspectives and designs. They create consistently high quality paintings and have very good command of their medium. It’s great that there will be no doubt whose paintings are whose in this show.”

It is an exciting time for each of our artists. For Rick, who celebrates nearly 20 years with the Adele Campbell Gallery, this is just one of five fabulous shows on his schedule for this year, to be fitted around trips planned to various parts of Canada, seeking inspiration. Jen is excited to see her family and career expand at the same time: the artist has recently given birth to her second child, and also recently partnered with high end, boutique shoe company Six Hundred Four to see her paintings feature on limited edition shoe designs. Dana looks forward to talking and demonstrating to other artists about her process for the first time, and also to being a featured artist in Arabella magazine.

We can’t wait to see these three talented artists displayed in harmony, and we hope you can’t either! Join them at the exhibition opening this Saturday, March 25th from 5-7pm.

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