Painting Peace, Love, and Canada
The inspiration for this painting, Peace, Love, Canada, was sparked by the rise of #ICONICCANUCK on social media. Back in 2013, I launched my Instagram page just before embarking on my inaugural solo exhibition at Edmonton’s Gallery A, which was then part of Visual Arts Alberta. The hashtag #ICONICCANUCK ignited a frenzy of engagement with my Canadian-themed artworks. Amid the whirlwind of activity, I found little time to engage in lengthy written responses to comments. Instead, I opted to communicate through imagery, a mode of expression that resonates deeply with my artistic sensibilities.
“Take everything as it comes; the wave passes, deal with the next one. ~ Tom Thomson
In response, I would respond using three distinct emojis: the iconic peace symbol fingers, a vibrant red heart, and the unmistakable Canadian flag. These visual responses allowed me to convey my sentiments succinctly and artistically. The idea of transforming these emojis into a tangible painting had been brewing in my mind for quite some time. Now, as I prepare to embark on a journey to a painting residency in Newfoundland, I find myself reflecting on the extensive travels I’ve undertaken across this magnificent country over the past decade, as well as drawing inspiration from the legendary landscape painter Tom Thomson.
Painted in acrylics and gouache on canvas, this distinctively ‘Canadian pop art style’ painting was created using hard edged strokes, layering of cobalt, ultramarine and Payne’s grey with hints of cobalt violet, blue-green and hints of a peach toned linen. The piece was painted to appear as if the linen canvas below is showing through and the edges unfinished, when in fact it is just the way the paint has been applied.