February 12, 2012
art and rage
18" x 36" oil on canvas
I don't really know what I'm doing other than 'following my brush', but thought I'd post it anyway. If it looks like a moonscape, it sort of is. It's a small section of northern Alberta's tar sands.
For months now I have been waging a quiet war in my head with the Tories and economists in general, and Stephen Harper, Canada's glorious leader, in particular. Harper's recent visit to China, a diplomatic attempt to woo them into supporting the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, badly disguised as a human rights exercise, finally pushed me into the studio.
So what is it exactly? A painting of gloriously beautiful northern Alberta executed in the Great Canadian Landscape Tradition? Not exactly. I would love the opportunity to travel to the north with my camera and see it all for myself, and attempt to interpret it visually. But unless there's a Canada Council Grant in my future (and there isn't -- maybe I should apply?) I'll have to have a bake sale or something. Meanwhile, I have been obsessively googling images and have a massive art crush on Edward Burtynsky now. I also discovered the photos and renewable energy project of David Dodge, and he kindly allowed me to use one of his photos so I could vent my spleen in oil paint. :)
And now I need a title. But every time I come across a piece of bombastic rhetoric supporting tar sands development it sounds dead serious when used as the title of a painting. How can I be ironic ... and sound like it? Is it even possible? If you've read this far without falling asleep in your soup maybe you have some ideas?
Finally, watch this. When Lenz starts choking back the tears so will you.