This month we are happy to have Richard Cole’s large-format portraits hanging in the Charles Clark. From a distance these stunning portraits are highly realistic, but upon closer inspection, explode in a multitude of layers of colour and brushstrokes that somehow magically come together to capture the essence of the subject.
The challenge as a painter to paint a good portrait is a daunting one. Representation is much more than just making an accurate drawing that looks like the sitter. Technically it is a balance between making lines that are descriptive and using brush work that is expressive. The way colour sits on canvas – and relates to itself – creates the illusion of depth and contour. But building up the canvas with paint and glazes to capture the beauty of skin is a lesson in patience. With years of practice, these time-honoured techniques can make a fair portrait. A great portrait – as art history has shown us – requires much more. It involves the portrayal of the intangible, a reaching toward making a work that breathes and lives. This unattainable goal is what I’m always striving for. I want to paint portraits that look back at the viewer and reflect a self, a real person. Getting closer to this impossible goal is a task I do not retreat from. I keep pushing forward with confidence in my brush strokes and an emotional commitment to my work, past and present.
Richard Cole was short listed for the BP Portrait award in 2016, the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world that represents the very best in contemporary portrait painting. Richard’s work is represented across Western Canada.
EXHIBITION: December 30th through January 30th
ARTIST’s RECEPTION: January 24th, 7-9pm