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New Landscapes: Visions of Southern Ontario

A storm rages in the background; a cluster of pine trees cling to the jagged rocks of the great Canadian shield. Each branch is made of a single brush stroke; each rock, a mark from a palette knife. It is very common to see vibrant paintings of our rugged and untouched Canadian landscape.

But what about our other landscapes?

A small urban Oasis? A well-maintained city park? Deserted farm fields? The view out the bus window between cities? The parts of our landscape that have been touched by people fascinates me. While an expressionistic approach to painting suits the powerful landscapes of the north, these groomed and tamed altered landscapes require a different approach to properly reflect their particular characteristics. I squeeze lines of paint onto the canvas. Bright, toxic greens reflect the fertilizer and pesticide that goes into these landscapes. The white, washed out sky reflects the limited range of the low-quality camera-phones that often capture these scenes. We rarely set out to explore, enjoy, or photograph these parts of our environment.

A pilgrimage to the North may be a Canadian long-weekend tradition, but lets take a few moments to focus on the overlooked landscapes that surround us between those weekends.

Kyle Clements

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