The Quick and the Dead

Artist’s statement, copy edited by Kevin Taylor.

Conceived when I turned 65, “The Quick and the Dead” reflects my increasing preoccupation with the effects of aging and an acute awareness of the rapid passage of time. My goal was to capture, in real time, the life cycle of a beautiful floral arrangement, which first I painted in its full, youthful beauty- a lively explosion of vibrant colour. After allowing the flowers to naturally die and dry out, the second panel captures the wilted leaves and petals, drained of their vitality. Whereas most paintings depict a single frozen moment, this diptych is a short journey through time, allowing both myself and the viewer to reflect on the fragility of all living things. We all live, we all too will die.  
Creating this piece was a summary of the lessons I’ve learned about painting throughout my long career: complimentary colours, composition, accurate drawing, and, most importantly, varied mark making, featuring thin lines of paint contrasted against heavily built up impasto areas.
The title of my work is a reference to Hamlet’s conversation with the gravedigger who is burying Ophelia: “‘Tis for the dead, not for the quick.” This painting is a humble nod to both. 



I did this little plein air in the beautiful town of Millpond near Peterborough. I was with some talented companions, Sam Paonessa, Shelly Burke and Karen Fox. I was putting the last touches on when the skies opened.


I have a great fascination with the work of the late artist Jeanette LaBelle. This was an attempt to see if I could figure out what makes her work so appealing. There is currently an extensive exhibition of her work at Neilson Park Creative Centre.


My figurative works are carefully planned and structured. Once in a while, though, I like to jump in without a plan and see where the paint takes me. This piece is also inspired by the work of Jeanette Labelle.

“Homage” this Sunday.

I hope you can join us this Sunday between 2:00 and 4:00 pm at Neilson Park Creative Centre for the opening of our exhibition “Homage: Figurative and Portrait Works.”

A Great Moment

Today I painted this wonderful heritage home as part of the Elora Plein Air Festival. I drove it over to turn it into the event headquarters in the Art Centre. A lovely elderly lady(I was told she is 90) was at the volunteers’ table and smiled broadly. “You painted my house!” she said. I told her I added the geraniums to her window box for a dash of colour. “I am doing that tomorrow,” she said.