Influences

I have many influences, and as my knowledge of the art world grows, so too does the list of those I admire. The following artists have influenced the overall aesthetic of my work.

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ABOVE: Joseph Cornell, A Swan Lake for Tamara Toumanova: Homage to the Romantic Ballet, 1946, box construction with blue glass and painted glass, 9.5 x 13 x 4 inches, The Menil Collection

I have many influences, and as my knowledge of the art world grows, so too does the list of artists I admire.

I like different artists for different reasons but for this post, I thought I would list a few who have helped to shape the general aesthetic of my work:

Joseph Cornell

Of all my influences, Joseph Cornell is probably the biggest. It is because of him that I make three-dimensional shadow boxes.

A. J. Casson

I am a huge fan of the Group of Seven and many of my earlier works are nature based.

Frank Stella

I am a stickler for measurement and a big fan of geometrical shapes.

Andy Warhol

Although I am not one to celebrity worship, I like the flat graphical imagery of the Pop Art movement.

Bridget Riley

I love the illusion of depth and I seek to convey the same – albeit not on a flat surface.

Donald Judd

While I am definitely not a minimalist, the ‘less is more’ ethos of this movement along with the clean, industrial look of Judd’s work have influenced my artistic practice substantially.

Lawren Harris

Another member of the Group of Seven. I love the simple yet elegant lines of Harris’s winterscapes.

Artist’s Statement

Ah the artists statement. As dreadful as the prospect of writing one is, it’s a necessary evil. Here is mine.

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Whether we want to or not, all artist’s must write a statement. Here is mine:

My artwork is often political in nature and deals with issues ranging from the environment to the economy. While I believe it is important to produce work with meaning, I also believe in ambiguity and I trust my viewers to draw their own conclusions.

As a mixed media artist, I produce three-dimensional artworks in a strong graphical style. In creating my pieces, I ensure that each layer compliments the other and that contrast is built through the use of light and shadow. My works are often monochromatic and contain an ample amount of negative space.

While critical thinking and the ability to apply concepts are integral components of my artistic practice, I also place a tremendous emphasis on craft as I love to work with my hands.

I have studied art history extensively –  albeit, outside an academic setting –  and I am constantly looking to expand my knowledge of it. To keep abreast of current trends in the art world, I follow several key critics and arts journalists regularly. My artistic practice has evolved as a direct result of this.

Influences
First and foremost, I am influenced by everything I see and experience but my biggest influence is probably Joseph Cornell. Other major influences include the Group of Seven, Japanese watercolours and Pop & Op art.

A Memorable Moment

This is one of the coolest things that took place when I exhibited at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

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ABOVE: My Booth at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

This past July, I participated in my first outdoor art exhibition. It was a ton of work but it was also a ton of exposure.

I will probably write more about outdoor shows at a later date, but for this entry, I am going to write about one of the coolest things that took place that weekend.

I saw and talked to so many people that after a while, almost all of them blurred into one. There were a few that stood out but of them all, no one stood out as much as the little girl who came into my booth mid-way through the show.

She was about ten years old and she walked into my both with authority. She had in her hands the exhibition program and as she studied my work, she took notes. She stood in front of one of my smaller pieces for a few minutes then looked up at her Mom who promptly responded with: “That’s in your price range.”

I asked the little girl if she had any questions but she was all business and didn’t have any time for idle chit chat. While she continued to take notes, I spoke with her Mother instead.

As it turns out, her family had been attending the exhibition for several years and every year, she and her brother were given some money to purchase a work of art – how cool is that?

The exhibition was enormous and it would have been incredibly hard to keep a child engaged. These kids looked forward to the show every year.

According to their Mother, they had each built up their own art collections and as the years passed, their taste in art had evolved from the purely realistic, to the more abstract.

A few minutes later, they were off to look at more art. A few hours later, they came back.

I was told that I had made the short list and I was flattered. Once again they left and once again, I was left with the hope that I had made another sale.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make the grade. A short while later, the little girl walked past my booth with the work of another artist in her hand (she didn’t even look in my direction).

Even thought I was a little disappointed, I was delighted that my work had caught this little girl’s eye and that she had engaged with it to the extent that she did.

My Favorite Toronto Buildings

Toronto isn’t an architectural oasis, but it does have its gems. The buildings of the Toronto-Dominion Centre by Mies van der Rohe are some of the cities best.

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ABOVE: David McDonough, Two, digital photography

BELOW: David McDonough, Two Part 2, digital photography

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I am a big Mies van der Rohe fan and I love the buildings of the Toronto-Dominion Centre.

They are simple yet elegant and they stand in stark relief to the other buildings in Toronto’s financial district.

I am drawn to these buildings and for that reason, I am going to incorporate them into a future artwork.

While I am not sure what the final design will look like, the above pictures are going to serve as my starting point.

I will post more on this in the future.