"Many times over the years I have been asked what style my paintings are done in. I'm not all that fond of "labels" but over the years my style has shifted further and further in the direction of "Decorative Realism". The gentle distortions, the two-dimensional nature of the work and the strong colours are combined to create images that are designed to please.
To say that I love colour is quite insufficient. I think it’s more like an addiction. Colour dominates every aspect of my life. Every room in the house is decorated in strong colours and, of course, large, brilliantly coloured, acrylic paintings hang everywhere.
Colour is not my only concern in my painting. Design elements are also very important. I love balancing the use of strong flat areas of colour with the suggestion of light and detail. In one glance the viewer may be struck by the play of shapes across the surface of the painting and in the next may be intrigued by the sense of depth that is evident. As time passed visual texture became more and more important. Now most of my work is completed using the finest of brushes to create gradual changes from lights to darks and surface interest.
One thing that hasn't changed over that time is my use of the "cloisonné technique". This is the outlining of forms. It helps to create the solidity of forms that I am comfortable with and it helps, as well, to emphasize the two-dimensional quality that I seek in my work.
How many times have you heard somebody say "Every time I look at that painting I see something new”? There is no such mystery in my work. I simply want my painting to be "drop dead" refreshing, taking the viewer away to a magnificent garden, a clear autumn day or a crisp winter morning.
Although over the years more and more elements of light have been introduced into my work, one could hardly talk about the treatment of light in my paintings. Light is nonetheless very important to my work. My paintings were all born in sunlight.
Thus one can sense the clarity of the morning air, the chill of a crisp winter day or the sharpness of a mid-summer afternoon sun, free of pollution and haze. That's why my paintings of the Ontario countryside are such idealized images. One always gets the sense in these paintings that things were so much better in the olden days....so much cleaner, when we all know for a fact that this wasn't so.
Over the years, my work has evolved into an "in your face" style which means that one of my paintings hanging in a room tends to dominate that space. We have all heard the commonly expressed sentiment that people buy paintings to fit their décor. Forget that idea. I want the purchaser forced to redecorate around my work and I know of at least one time when this happened.
While I like to do florals and occasionally tackle a subject from our travels like "Mexican Village", seen on my website, the bulk of my work deals with a subject that is very dear to my heart.....the Ontario countryside".
Artist Website – paintingsbykeast.ca