Monday, September 1, 2014

During the past month, we spent several weeks on Long Island, Nova Scotia. Plein air work encourages an immediate spontaneous interpretation of the landscape.  Drawings are on Fabriano 300 lb. hot press watercolour paper using permanent inks, then toned with acrylic, with additional drawing over the paint, keeping the work lose and free.  Abstraction and pattern evolved.  I have included location photographs taken as reference for possible later studio work.

Wood near Beautiful Cove

Wood with rope


Rock pool Flour Cove


Wood with Channel Marker

Woodland near Boars Head Light

Northern Light fog lifting

Saturday, July 19, 2014

                    Back to the drawing board 

The joy of discovery, working with ink and acrylic on Fabriano Hot Press 300lb watercolour  paper.  Drawing is elemental to the practice of painting.  The immediacy of the line requires commitment which in turn encourages decisions of colour, pattern, shape.  How do you describe a living landscape?  With energy and life. 

Five drawings: Flour Cove, Long Island, Nova Scotia


Monday, April 28, 2014

Woodlands and Watersheds: new work by Susan Tooke, Gallery Page and Strange

          Woodlands and Watersheds:  Gallery Page and Strange                                    April 25-16, 2014

With compositions inspired by woodland streams— nature is abstracted, the energy expressed trough animated line and organized through vibrant colour and form. 

Well known for her illustrations in children's literature, Tooke's studio practice exhibits a more dynamic approach. Influenced by artists such as Emily Carr, Tooke exaggertes and simplifies the existing colours found in nature. Patterns create the textures of the earth to express the "soul" of the landscape.

Blue stream tangled wood 36" x 48", acrylic on canvas
Dry stream bed Fishing Cove Trail, 48" x 36", acrylic on canvas
Near Shannon Falls, 36" x 48", acrylic on canvas
Pot Lake Bluff Wilderness Trail, 36" x 48", acrylic on canvas
Fallen spruce The Barrens, 36" x 60", acrylic on canvas 
Two rocks three logs, Bluff Wilderness, 30" x 30", acrylic on canvas
Stream Acadian Trail, 36" x 60", acrylic on canvas

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dry Stream Fishing Cove Trail, 3' x 4' acrylic on canvas
 Fishing Cove Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands is a fairly gruelling descent of 355 metres from the top of MacKenzie Mountain through the forest to Fishing Cove.  Parts of the trail seem more like dry stream beds, with a tumble of moss and lichen-covered rock, and tree roots.  Using a turquoise underpainting, then drawing with cadmium red, I completed the work with  exaggerated colours, simplified patterns and shapes, building a composition which shows the delicacy and impermanence of the structures.  The natural landscape seems disorganized, but a rhythm, a tension develops as colour and line pull the disparate elements into energetic harmony. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Stream with blue log

Stream with blue log

The purple under-painting covers the unknown, the dense mystery of the woodland teaming with birth, growth and decay.  The stream flows through mossy rocks, tumbled debris on the forest floor and disappears back into the undergrowth. 

Stream with blue log, 4' x 5', acrylic on canvas 

detail: Stream with blue log

detail: Stream with blue log