Roberts Gallery Blog

Roberts Gallery Blog

THE LITTLE WOOD by RFM McInnis

4-7-21

I have the neatest little wood before me to paint. It is not a forest, just trees occupying a vacant lot. Some of the trees are dead or dying since the water pools there in spring from snow melt. It makes a nice pond. The trees themselves block the view (but not the noise) from the roadway. My mind can imagine all sorts of visions from this wood.

Beside me is another wood, a bigger wood. In this wood can be seen the small white bungalows of a Fabreville street, hidden and lost and peeking through as boxy shapes. It is these white boxy shapes that fire my imagination. They are just geometric shapes buffered by the organic forms of trees. What more is needed to make a painting?

Subject and detail were of interest in the past. But, like a job I had stayed in for too long, I staled on them. Expressing my feelings for a subject became more important rather than it’s likeness. And that’s what these small paintings are. They refresh me just as I’ve refreshed my need to paint.

There was always a stiffness to my subject matter that I did not like. This was due to the bounding line at which I was so proficient in drawing. “Letting go” of this and “swamping” the drawing in paint through brushwork is how I resolved the issue. Letting go has long been a desire as a way to achieve expressing my feelings in paint.

It would be difficult to paint large scale paintings in our newly rented quarters on the top floor of a new apartment building in Laval, Quebec. My “studio/office” is a mere 8 feet by 10 feet in size. At my age, (79), I’ve made it work for me though limiting it is. I’m content as long as I am painting and drawing. There’s no let-up in that. Yes, I’d love to work big. But the logistics preclude it.
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