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Painting is a dance between intent and happenstance. When I paint, I need to allow the creative process, the unknown future, to guide at least some of the work.
Until recently, I lived and worked in the Montreal region of Canada. I have painted and exhibited those paintings since graduating art-school in 1998. I have moved to the Yukon Territory in the summer of 2020.
In recent work, I have taken formal rules found in various forms of music and poetry, and applied these rules to my painting. These canvasses have a sense of rhythm, metre, and mood found in the inspiring art form.
Most recently (starting in summer of 2020), I have found myself painting both the landscape I am in (Yukon Territory) as well as the local creatures I am enamored with (Ravens.) The sky and light effect upon the landscape and its objects are inspiring for me, and the character and beauty of Ravens are so intriguing.
Natasha Henderson, Artist Statement for Under The Yukon Sky
In 2020, I experienced a socially-
The paintings in this exhibition are based on photographs and sketches I made while in the early stages of my arrival in Yukon. Working first from photos, then developing pencil sketches, the paintings evolved according to a structure that utilized both randomness and deliberate, structured input. I selected the order that I layered my paint colours in, out of a hat. There were ten potential paint colours. As I drew the colours out, one by one, that dictated which colour would be used next in all the paintings of a particular size. I feel that this relates to the randomness of fate that hit us all this last year, and the idea of “going with the punches” or “making lemonade out of lemons”.
The future viewer and the artist both play a part in making artistic choices, both control these choices to some extent, but also lose control: the end result is based upon the interdependency of a community. Layers of paint are layers of meaning. What do these layers mean when they are chosen by randomness, by something other
Artists do not practice their art in isolation. Even when alone, while taking photos, making sketches, and in the process of painting, we rely on connections with others in the community. This work reflects my desire to find that fragile balance and harmony between isolation and the need to reach out to people, to mitigate the loneliness.
Finally, I chose the title for the exhibition due to the overwhelming beauty of the Yukon Sky. All this stuff, humans and our wants and needs and interpretations and wishes, it all continues under this glorious Sky. In life and in art, the Sky can be a launching-pad for the imagination.