Echoes of a Landform
Raymond St. Arnaud
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My transition from highly stylized figurative paintings to abstraction had its roots in a casual conversation at Pharos Pizza, near where I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada around 1980. The point of the conversation was painting products and I learned about an industrial paint product used in extreme conditions, such as high wear and exposure to acids and bases. One if its attributes was its clarity, or lack of the milkiness common with layers of the clear acrylics of that time.
Eventually I settled into a form factor that exploited the character of both medium and pigment. I worked on stretched canvas around six feet in length and on Arches art paper. Of the two surfaces, the paper proved to be the most versatile.
The forms depicted in these works relate to my experiences in a seasonal job as a camera operator doing aerial survey and mapping. The greatest proportion of that time was spent overflying northern Canada from Manitoba to the Yukon between latitudes 53 and 67 degrees north.
I watched the landscape unfold underneath me for countless hours. These images are echoes to those landforms.